MMA: UFC 166-Melendez vs SanchezUFC 200 Date: July 9, 2016 Arena: T-Mobile Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Lightweight bout: Diego Sanchez (-110) vs Joe Lauzon (-110) Fight Breakdown: The featured bout for the UFC 200 Fight Pass prelims will be a lightweight contest between two fan favorite veterans in Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez and Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon, with both fighters being at an even -110 ($110 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez (26-8 MMA, 15-8 UFC) shocked many and dropped all the way down to the featherweight division, where he made his UFC 145-pound debut against former UFC featherweight title challenger Ricardo Lamas. Sanchez lost the bout via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards and opted to return to 155-pounds, where he took on Jim Miller at UFC 196 four months ago and took home a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards following three rounds of action. “The Nightmare” has been one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the promotion. He’s always fought with all his heart and has always left it all in the cage. He is not a technically sound striker but is capable of holding his own. Sanchez has one of the best chins in MMA, so he always stays in the fight and moves forward, keeping the pressure on, even if he is the one receiving the most punishment. He may get dropped, but he doesn’t get finished. The 34-year-old likes to take opponents down and punish them with his brutal ground and pound, eventually wearing them out with his relentless pressure. Training out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA at high-altitude in Albuquerque, Sanchez has always had tremendous conditioning and should have an advantage in that department over Lauzon. Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon (25-11 MMA, 12-9 UFC) last saw action at The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 Finale eight months ago, where he dropped a unanimous decision against fellow veteran Evan Dunham. In an effort to get back into the win column, he will take on another fellow veteran in Sanchez in what is a rare “winner vs loser” match-up in the UFC’s lightweight division, as Sanchez is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jim Miller. “J-Lau” trains out Lauzon MMA, his gym which he runs with his brother, former UFC fighter Dan Lauzon. His striking is not very good, but he has shown improvementsin the department. The Massachusetts native’s ground game is exceptional; he is both brilliant in offensive and defensive submission grappling. Lauzon is very capable of submitting opponents from any position, and loves going for submissions from any angle, often giving up position to do so. The 32-year-old had been notorious for his poor conditioning but has made improvement in the department, as well. That said, I believe he will be at a cardio disadvantage heading into this 15 minute affair against Albuquerque native. Gabe’s Thoughts: In short, I think Sanchez should be a -230 betting favorite heading into this match-up, so I really like him for a play at his current asking price of -110. I see him getting the better of Lauzon with his striking and wrestling en route to a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards, likely securing a finish along the way. Gabe’s Call: Sanchez by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Sanchez (-110) 4.4u to win 4u


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