UFC 173 Date: May 24, 2014 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Lightweight title bout: Francisco Trinaldo (+110) vs Michael Chiesa (-150) Fight Breakdown: Headlining the UFC 173 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be a lightweight scrap between The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil season 1 veteran Francisco Trinaldo and The Ultimate Fighter: Live winner Michael Chiesa. The Brazilian is a small underdog heading into this bout at +110 ($100 to win $110), with the Washington native being the favorite at -150 ($150 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Francisco Trinaldo (14-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is coming off a split decision victory over Jesse Ronson three months ago, and now looks to make it two in a row in the UFC’s 155 pound division. The decision over Ronson is the first decision victory of his Octagon career, as his previous three wins had come by way of finish. Trinaldo is a very strong man and a powerful fighter. He has a great chin and is capable of taking a lot of punishment, as he has not once been knocked out in his professional mixed martial arts career. The Brazilian has powerful takedowns, and implements brutal ground and pound. He is well-versed on the ground, as his jiu-jitsu game is also very good. The 35 year old is capable of finishing fights with both his fists and submissions, as five of his fourteen career victories come by way of TKO/KO and another five by tapout. Trinaldo cuts a lot of weight to meet the lightweight limit, and that combined with age often cause him to gas and lose momentum in fights, though he did show improved cardio in his last outing against Ronson. That said, I think he will be at a cardio disadvantage heading into this bout, as Chiesa has tremendous conditioning. Michael Chiesa (10-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) will be making his fifth appearance inside the Octagon, coming off an impressive come-from-behind second round submission victory over fellow The Ultimate Fighter winner Colton Smith. Chiesa has average wrestling skills and works decent takedowns. He is very good at securing rear naked chokes, as that is the fashion he has finished most of his victories, both in his career and on The Ultimate Fighter: Live reality series. The Washington native has a very good chin, but his striking is not great, though it has been constantly improving from fight to fight. He even managed to hurt Jorge Masvidal on the feet in that bout, which is something that is definitely worth noting, considering how excellent of a striker Masvidal is. “Maverick” is a fighter who is very tough and has a lot of heart, which goes along well with his tremendous cardio. These traits have played big roles in getting his hand raised throughout his career, and against Trinaldo, I feel it’s a great recipe for getting it raised one more time. Gabe’s Prediction: Chiesa is the younger fighter who is developing faster and has the brighter future. At this point in their careers, I think Chiesa is the better fighter, and on Saturday night, I believe he will emerge as the winner. I am expecting his heart, toughness, and cardio to play a factor. I won’t be surprised to see him hurt the Brazilian on the feet, either. Worst case scenario, I think he squeaks out a close decision, but I am feeling confident that he will win at least two out of three rounds, if not stop Trinaldo. Gabe’s Call: Chiesa by Submission (rear naked choke, 3:22 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Michael Chiesa (-150) 6u to win 4u
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