UFC Fight Night 43 Date: June 28, 2014 Arena: Vector Arena City: Auckland, New Zealand Featherweight bout: Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira (-190) vs Hatsu Hioki (+165) Fight Breakdown: UFC Fight Night 43 in New Zealand will be featuring a featherweight scrap on it’s UFC Fight Pass and it is all but guaranteed to produce fireworks. Action is expected when elite grapplers Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira” and Hatsu Hioki square off against each other inside the Octagon. The Brazilian is the betting favorite in this contest at -190 ($190 to win $100), while the Japanese veteran is an underdog of +165 ($100 to win $165) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Charles “Do Bronx” Oliveira (17-4-1 NC MMA, 5-4-1 NC UFC) is set to make his 11th appearance inside the UFC’s Octagon, coming off a third round triangle-choke submission victory over Andy Ogle in his native Brazil just over four months ago. The victory put him back in the win column, following back to back defeats at the hands of Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar, respectively. The 24-year old is now ready to make it two in a row and make a run at 145. “Do Bronx” is a decent striker who has been showing improved skills on the meet, as he has been working on his Muay Thai. He is an elite black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and his ground game is just on another level. His submission game is excellent, both offensively and defensively, though it is worth noting that he was submitted by another elite black-belt in Jim Miller when competing in the 155-pound division. Oliveira has good conditioning and I think he will be ready for a three round fight against Hioki, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards. Hatsu Hioki (27-7-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) will be making his seventh UFC appearance, coming off a unanimous decision victory over the veteran Ivan Menjivar in Macau, China just over three months ago. He got the better of the El Salvadorian for the first two rounds of action, but failed to do much in the third, losing the round on all three judges’ scorecards, but winning the bout via a unanimous 29-28 nod. With the win, Hioki snapped a three fight losing streak, and will be looking to put a winning streak together, as he gets ready to take on the Brazilian in New Zealand. The 30-year old is a very talented grappler and submission artist, as he holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and owns 12 victories by way of tapout. He likes to use his offensive grappling to smother his opponents and wear them down. While on the mat, he is constantly looking for submission opportunities, and does not allow his opponents to rest. Hioki’s conditioning is generally not a major concern, but it may have affected him in the third round of his last performance, so it is something to keep an out for in this bout, if the action manages to get past the first two frames. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this bout has a great chance of being entertaining, regardless of how long it lasts. I would give the edge on the feet to Hioki and the edge in Jiu-Jitsu to Oliveira. Oliveira can keep it competitive on the feet, and when taken down, I feel there is a decent chance he can catch the Japanese veteran with a submission. Even if he doesn’t, I think he can be active enough off his back with both strikes and submission attempts to cancel out Hioki’s top game and earn him the rounds. Of course, that would depend on who is scoring the fight, and with MMA judges, you just never know. With that said, I do like the Brazilian’s chances of both scoring the submission and picking up a decision, if it hits the scorecards. Gabe’s Call: “Do Bronx” by Submission (triangle-armbar, 1:45, round 2) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Oliveira (-190) 2.75u to win 1.45u
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