One of the televised prelims at UFC on FOX 12 is a three-round welterweight bout between Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means and Hernani Perpetuo. The current betting line for the fight at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Means as a -225 favorite (bet $225 to win $100) while Perpetuo is a +205 underdog (bet $100 to win $205). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Means at -305 and Perpetuo at +225, and so far the action has come in on the dog Perpetuo. I like Means in this fight and I’m surprised the line has dipped so low. Here’s why. Means (20-6-1) is one of the better strikers in the UFC welterweight division. The 30-year-old American is 2-3 overall in the UFC with wins over Justin Salas and Anton Kuivanen and with losses to Neil Magny, Jorge Masvidal and Danny Castillo, although many felt he deserved the nod over Magny in his last outing. His first UFC run came at lightweight where he was taller than most fighters but too weak to stop their takedowns, and since moving back to 170lbs he’s looked a lot sharper and less drained from a brutal weight cut. He is a striker who mixes in punches, kicks, knees and elbows with authority, and he also has a very underrated submission game off his back. However, he has problems with his takedown defence and if his opponent can get him to the ground he has trouble getting back up. With 18 wins by stoppage in 20 career victories, Means is definitely a finisher and he’s an exciting fighter to watch when he’s doing what he’s best at, which is striking. Most feel he has the edge in the striking over Perpetuo this weekend so he’s the favorite, but if he gets taken down he could be in trouble. Perpetuo (17-4,1 NC) made his UFC debut earlier this year, losing a split decision to Jordan Mein. The 29-year-old Brazilian has decent striking and submission ability but it seems like it’s his wrestling and cardio that are his strongest assets. Against Mein, he started off very slow but came on strong later in the fight and nearly stole a decision on the scorecards. He will likely look to replicate a similar gameplan against Means, hoping to survive Means’ early onslaught and take the fight deep and try to grind it out there. That will be tough to do against a fighter like Means who has proven time and time again he can go three strong rounds, which is why Perpetuo is the underdog this weekend, and perhaps his best chance to win is if the judges award him a bad decision. Although his takedown defence is poor, I do believe that Means should be able to keep this fight standing and on the feet there’s no question he is the better striker. Look for Means to use his boxing and muay Thai skills to win either a decision on the cards or possibly even get a stoppage on Perpetuo. At -225 there looks to be some value on Means as a parlay piece.
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