UFC Fight Night 58 Date: December 20, 2014 Arena: Jose Correa Arena City: Barueri, Brazil Welterweight bout: Erick Silva (-310) vs Mike “Biggie” Rhodes (+280) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 58 in Barueri, Brazil main card will feature a welterweight affair between a pair of talented fighters in the form of Brazil’s Erick Silva and Roufusport MMA’s Mike “Biggie” Rhodes. Silva is the betting favorite headed into this 170 pound contest at -310 ($310 to win $100), with Rhodes being the underdog at +280 ($100 to win $280) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Erick Silva (16-5 MMA, 4-4 UFC) is coming off a third round TKO loss against Matt Brown seven months ago and is eager to get back into the win column. The Brazilian is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who excels in every aspect of the sport. He is dangerous everywhere, both on the feet and on the mat. His striking is lethal, as are his submissions. Silva is an excellent grappler, owning black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. On the feet, he is very fast and possesses solid Muay Thai skills. He has heavy hands and throws vicious kicks. The 30-year old is undoubtedly a finisher, owning 13 of his 16 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of stoppage. His main and possibly only weakness would have to be his cardio, which is what cost him in his last outing against Brown, after he spent his entire gas tank trying to finish the first early on in the first round when he had Brown hurt. Heading into this 170 pound scrap against Rhodes in front of his fellow Brazilian crowd, I expect to see some improvements in cardio in his seven months away from the cage. Mike “Biggie” Rhodes (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC) stepped into enemy territory at UFC Fight Night 43 in Australia, where he took on Robert Whittaker and lost the bout via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. The defeat put him on a two-fight losing streak following his unanimous decision loss to George Sullivan in what was his promotional debut. Now with his back surely against the wall, Rhodes will be stepping onto enemy territory again to take on the Brazilian. “Biggie” is a durable fighter who has great footwork and excellent counters. He is fast, powerful and very athletic. He is a talented striker who works great knees and some nice kicks, including a beautiful side kick. While he started off as a striker, he has begun to hone his wrestling game, thanks to all the hours he has put in the gym with OneFC welterweight champion Ben Askren. Rhodes works the top position well on the mat, but he is not very active with his ground and pound, especially when his opponent is being active from the bottom. He feints well, and uses the threat of his takedowns to take advantage of his opponents on the feet. Training out of Roufusport in Milwaukee, WI under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, Rhodes trains with some of the best strikers and wrestlers in all of mixed martial arts. He is generally well-conditioned and will likely have an edge in cardio headed into this one. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this fight plays out for three rounds of action, ending up Silva getting his hand raised, receiving his first decision victory in the UFC. Silva is definitely a finisher, so I would not be surprised to see him put Rhodes away, but Rhodes is very tough and durable so I think he will survive more often than not. The total for this fight is set at a near coin-flip at 1.5 rounds, and I think this fight goes all three rounds more often than not, so I see a lot of value on that. This fight could be very close or Silva could take it convincingly, but either way I think he takes it, and I think he takes it on the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Call: Silva by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 1.5 rounds (-105) 4.2u to win 4u
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