UFC on FOX 10 Date: January 25, 2014 Arena: United Center City: Chicago, IL Bantamweight bout: Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres (+175) vs Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis (-190) Fight Breakdown: The UFC on FOX 10 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be headlined by a bantamweight scrap between The Ultimate Fighter season 12’s Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres, and recent RFA import Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis. Caceres is the underdog in this match-up at +175 ($100 to win $175), with Pettis being the favorite at -190 ($190 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. ALEX “BRUCE LEEROY” CACERES (9-5-1 NC MMA, 4-3-1 NC UFC) is coming off of a split decision victory over Roland Delorme in Canada. After having his last bout against Mitch Gagnon canceled due to his opponent’s visa issues, “Bruce Leeroy”, immediately booked this match-up and is ready to go. Caceres is much better than his faulty record suggests. In fact, I believe he should not be 4-3-1 in the UFC and should instead be 6-2. He dropped back to back losses to Mackens Semerzier and Jimy Hetes in the featherweight division, largely due to being undersized., and then made the move to 135 pounds, where in my opinion, he has been on a 6-0 run. Initially, he upset veteran and former WEC bantamweight champion Cole Escovedo in his bantamweight debut. He followed that impressive performance with a split decision loss to Edwin Figuroa, which would have been a 30-27 Unanimous Decision victory, if not for referee Herb Dean deducting not one, but two points from Caceres for throwing unintentional groin-kicks. He followed that up with an impressive third round triangle-choke submission win over veteran Damacio Page that earned him Submission of the Night honors, and then a Decision over Japanese fighter Motonobu Tezuka in China. Next was a controversial split decision win over Kyung Ho Kang which was later turned into a No Contest when he tested positive for having marijuana metabolytes in his system. A former backyard street fighter, “Bruce Leeroy” possesses great skills on the feet. He is very creative, flashy, and above all, effective with his striking. He is a technical and calculated striker but is also good at pouncing and inflicting damage. The MMA Lab product throws great combinations and uses his reach really well. He moves smoothly on the feet and is always wearing his trademark smile. To compliment his stand-up, Caceres is incredibly talented on the mat. His Brazilian jiu-jitsu is very good and ever-improving. As proven in the Damacio Page fight, it is dangerous to be in Caceres’ guard. Training out of the MMA Lab in Glendale, AZ., “Bruce Leeroy” has tremendous conditioning, so he will be ready to go hard for all 15 minutes of action, and he’ll be wearing his signature smile while doing it. SERGIO “THE PHENOM” PETTIS (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Will Campuzano in his promotional debut over two months ago. He now makes a quick turnaround and looks to go 2-0 in the UFC’s bantamweight division. Pettis has fantastic kickboxing and taekwondo skills. He works hard leg kicks, but prefers to go high with his kicks. Much like his brother Anthony, he has a wide range of kicks in his arsenal, including some beautiful spinning attacks, like his spinning heel kick and spinning roundhouse kick. Also like his brother, Pettis likes to improvise on the feet, and often displays flashy maneuvers. He has good footwork, but does not always use it. He cuts the cage off really well, being very good at slicing angles and pressuring his opponents. He does not have good head movement, but he is fast and he does have a good chin. “The Phenom” has a nice uppercut, and works some great combinations, including a solid one-two, which he used to knock-out Dillard Pegg at RFA 8 seven months ago. He is a good counter-striker, but he has trouble getting on the inside of opponents who have a reach advantage over him, which will be the case against Caceres. The 20-year-old’s takedown defense is not very good, but he is very comfortable off his back. He has an excellent guard, and remains very active from the bottom position. He makes great transitions on the mat, and has an excellent submission game. Training out of Roufusport in Milwaukee, WI under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, Pettis is a well-conditioned athlete who does not cut much weight to make the bantamweight limit, and I expect him to be prepared for a hard three rounds against Caceres. Fight Prediction: Caceres is fast, but Pettis will have the speed advantage over him in this match-up. However, Caceres will have the advantage in physical size, height, reach, and Octagon experience. I think he is good enough to avoid trouble and implement his own game-plan against Pettis, which is what I believe he is going to do. Gabe’s Pick: Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Alex Caceres (+175) 4u to win 7
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