Thales-LeitesUFC Fight Night 72 Date: July 18, 2015 Arena: The SSE Hydro City: Glasgow, Scotland, UK Middleweight bout: Michael Bisping (-115) vs Thales Leites (-105) Fight Breakdown: The main event for UFC Fight Night 72 in Glasgow will be a five round middleweight contest between England’s Michael “The Count” Bisping and Brazil’s Thales Leites. Bisping is currently a small favorite heading into this contest at -115 ($115 to win $100), and Leites is barely an underdog at -105 ($105 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Michael “The Count” Bisping (26-7 MMA, 16-6 UFC) last saw action nearly three months ago, where he recovered from first round trouble against CB Dollaway to come back and win the last two rounds for a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. Now back in the win column, he hopes to make it two in a row against Leites on his road towards a shot at UFC gold. “The Count” is a talented kickboxer with excellent footwork and a variety of tools in his striking arsenal. He was always a good striker, but he really began to hone his skills ever since teaming up with Jason Parillo several years back. The TUF Season Three winner works nice inside leg kicks and has a hard right hand he uses when presented with an opening. He has great takedown defense, and when taken down, does a tremendous job of getting back to his feet. He is very tough to keep down, even for a decorated wrestler. His offensive wrestling is solid, as well. Bisping works good takedowns, and has a good top game, being brutal and effective with his ground and pound whenever he does find himself in such a position. The 36-year old has tremendous conditioning. While he only been a full five rounds once in his professional mixed martial arts career, I have no doubt he will have enough in the tank to go the distance, should the fight find its way to the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Thales Leites (25-4 MMA, 9-3 UFC) made it five in a row inside the Octagon a few months back at UFC 183, where he defeated Tim Boetsch via his famed arm-triangle-choke submission in the second round of action. A win over Bisping will put him one step closer to reaching his goal of second a second crack at the UFC Middleweight title. The Brazilian is a very talented grappler who has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and an incredible submission game, owning 14 of 25 professional mixed martial arts career victories by way of tapout. He works well in the clinch up against the cage, from where he searches for takedowns. Leites possesses fantastic body-lock and trip takedowns and is dominant on the mat from top position. He has a powerful top game and a solid and improved ground and pound attack. His transitions on the mat are excellent, as well; he does a great job of advancing from position to position, as well as submission attempt to submission attempt. He’s very good at taking his opponents’ backs and is phenomenal with his chokes, especially the head-and-arm choke, which is his go-to finisher, as six of his 13 submission victories come in that fashion. The 33-year old has been making big improvements in his striking, and it has been evident fight after fight. His best strike is probably his over-hand right, though he does not often land it. Training out of Nova Uniao in Brazil, Leites generally has a solid chin and decent conditioning to go with it. He will be at a cardio disadvantage against Bisping in this contest, but I expect him to have enough in the tank to go the full round distance, if necesarry. Gabe’s Call: Leites by Unanimous Decision (49-46, 50-45, 50-45) Gabe’s Thoughts: Bisping has great takedown defense but I don’t think it will be enough. I think Leites will find success taking this fight to the mat and grinding the Brit out, possibly securing a submission for the tapout finish. I also would not be surprised to see Leites hurt Bisping with his hands and possibly end the fight in that manner. I think Leites should be a -180 favorite in this contest, so I like him for a play at -105. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Leites (-105) 3.15u to win 3u.