UFC Fight Night 63The next time we see the Octagon it will be a rare matinee event, as UFC Fight Night 63 from Fairfax, virginia begins at 11am EST, and should conclude around 4pm in the afternoon. The change in time slot is due to the pair of final four games taking place later on that day, and it will be a nice treat for fans on the East Coast used to staying up past 1am for Fox Sports 1 cards. The event itself is quite intriguing as well, with a fantastic featherweight headliner between a pair of former title challengers. Chad Mendes and Ricardo Lamas are both extremely well-rounded fighters who have dominated and finished a host of quality opponents. Mendes finds himself in a bit of limbo after dropping his second title shot to Jose Aldo (albeit in a very competitive fight that was one of the best of 2014), but a win over Lamas would get him in title contention very quickly. For Lamas, he could be on the verge of another title shot with a win. There is also the spectre of Conor McGregor, who one of these men is likely to fight next, regardless of the outcome of this bout and McGregor’s title shot against Aldo. The co-main event should be fantastic as well, with talented lightweights Jorge Masvidal and Al Iaquinta looking to climb the ladder towards a suddenly open title picture. Masvidal has a grappling advantage in this bout, but may choose (or be forced) to stand and trade with Iaquinta, which would probably produce the most entertaining bout. Continuing down the main card, two men who have bested Iaquinta square off in a fun grappling match. Michael Chiesa and Mitch Clarke both surprised the New Yorker with submissions in their respective bouts, but Chiesa has been the more successful UFC fighter aside from those individual performances. Their styles should result in an interesting bout however, as both do have solid submission skills. The first female TUF winner, Julianna Pena, returns to action for the first time since a knee injury forced her out of action. Her last appearance was in November 2013, when she captured the TUF crown. Her opponent is Milana Dudieva, who got her hand raised in semi-controversial fashion in her UFC debut. Rounding out the main card are a pair of fights which could produce some entertaining moments, as Clay Guida faces Robbie Peralta in the featherweight division, and Dustin Poirier moves up to 155 to take on Carlos Diego Ferreira. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for UFC Fight Night 63 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 1pm ET)

Moneyline Total
Chad Mendes -400 Over 3.5 -130
Ricardo Lamas +280 Under 3.5 -110
Jorge Masvidal -190 Over 2.5 -230
Al Iaquinta +150 Under 2.5 +170
Michael Chiesa -350 Over 2.5 -180
Mitch Clarke +250 Under 2.5 +140
Julianna Pena -305 Over 2.5 -215
Milana Dudieva +225 Under 2.5 +165
Clay Guida -230 Over 2.5 -135
Robbie Peralta +170 Under 2.5 -105
Dustin Poirier -150 Over 2.5 -135
Carlos Diego Ferreira +110 Under 2.5 -105

PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 11am ET)

Moneyline Total
Liz Carmouche -155 Over 2.5 -245
Lauren Murphy +115 Under 2.5 +175
Gray Maynard -170 Over 2.5 -170
Alexander Yakovlev +130 Under 2.5 +130
Shamil Abdurahimov -270 Over 1.5 -145
Timothy Johnson +190 Under 1.5 +105
Justin Jones -170 Over 1.5 -190
Ron Stallings +130 Under 1.5 +150

Brad’s Analysis: Ricardo Lamas is constantly underrated, but I do think he’s a bit outmatched in this fight. Mendes has all the skills Lamas has, and I think his physical attributes are superior. Mendes should be quicker in the striking, have more power, and be able to control where the fight goes. He may be able to get a stoppage here as Lamas doesn’t have the greatest chin, but I lean a bit towards a decision. I think Jorge Masvidal is a more complete MMA fighter than Al Iaquinta, and if he fights to his capabilities he should be able to back Iaquinta up and make him uncomfortable on the feet. Masvidal is also the better wrestler, and a far superior submission artist. Masvidal does have a tendency to get caught on the feet, and Iaquinta has big power, but I think the former Strikeforce title challenger can avoid the big shots en route to a decision here. Michael Chiesa and Mitch Clarke are both primarily grapplers, but Chiesa is the more effective grappler. Unfortunately for Clarke, Chiesa is also the better striker with better cardio and wrestling. I really don’t see this fight going well for Clarke, and even though he showed durability against Iaquinta, it’s hard to imagine him pulling out a submission against Chiesa. I didn’t think Milana Dudieva won her bout against Elizabeth Phillips, and now she’s facing a better fighter in pretty much every aspect. The concern with Pena is obviously how she’ll look coming off of a 17-month layoff, but assuming she returns to form, this will be an excellent re-introduction for her to the women’s bantamweight division. Robbie Peralta hits hard, but beyond that he has mediocre takedown defense and poor submission defense. Clay Guida is still durable, tenacious with his takedowns, and has excellent control. Guida may even be able to find a submission once he gets Peralta to the ground, but even if he doesn’t he should control all three rounds en route to a decision. Dustin Poirier will probably get most of the attention coming into his fight with Diego Ferreira, especially with how poor Ferreira looked in his last appearance, but I think people may be overlooking the Brazilian too much. Poirier is the more dynamic offensive fighter here, but so porous defensively that it may not matter. I expect this to be one of the better fights on the card, but I’ll probably pass on a bet here.


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