UFC 207 Play: TJ Dillashaw (-245) vs John Lineker (+205) Dec 27, 2016

John LinekerUFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey
Date: December 30, 2016
Arena: T-Mobile Arena
City: Las Vegas, NV

Bantamweight bout: TJ Dillashaw (-245) vs. John Lineker (+205)

Fight Breakdown:
The UFC 207 main card on Pay-Per-View will be featuring what many believe is a bantamweight title eliminator between the division’s former champion TJ Dillashaw and surging contender John Lineker. Dillashaw is a -245 ($245 to win $100) betting favorite heading into the contest, with Lineker sitting as a +205 ($100 to win $205) underdog to win at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

TJ Dillashaw
(12-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) last saw action at UFC 200 back in July, where he earned a one-sided unanimous-decision win over Raphael Assuncao in what was a rematch of a bout he had previously lost by split decision. Now back in the win column since losing his bantamweight title to current champ Dominick Cruz, Dillashaw aims to go 2-0 with a win over Lineker in this contest and put himself in line for another title shot. The Duane Ludwig-trained fighter is an excellent striker with nice hands and solid kicks; not to mention, he is incredibly quick on the feet with all limbs. Dillashaw has great footwork and head movement, does a very good job of moving around the Octagon and pushing the pace, as well as counter-striking. His timing is excellent, so his counters are often precise. His striking has been constantly improving ever since teaming up with the aforementioned Ludwig. The Elevation Fight Team product works a solid jab, has a great uppercut and does a good job of finding a home for his straight-right. He is a well-rounded fighter who excels at everything. Dillashaw is not just good in every area — he is great in every area. He is well-versed both on the feet and on the mat, as he is an excellent wrestler and has a solid submission game, both offensively and defensively. The Ultimate Fighter 14 finalist is very dangerous with his chokes too, especially his guillotine. He is an athlete with tremendous conditioning, so he will undoubtedly be ready for three round rounds of action against the Brazilian, if necessary.

John Lineker
(29-7 MMA, 10-2 UFC) is coming off a split-decision victory over John Dodson at UFC Fight Night 96 just a couple of months ago, and the win put him at six straight inside the Octagon, including 4-0 since moving up from flyweight to the UFC’s bantamweight division. He will be aiming to make it five straight at 135-pounds with a win over Dillashaw, which would put him next in line to contend for the division’s gold. Lineker is a heavy hitter who loves to stand and trade. He is a real brawler with a great chin who throws bombs and is always willing to take two just to land one, as he is very confident in his hands and chin. The Brazilian packs power behind every punch and is always capable of ending the fight with any one of them. He is a very aggressive fighter who likes to push the pace. The 26-year-old has real killer instinct, as he looks for the kill from the opening bell until the final bell. He likes to close the distance on his opponents and looks to do damage with his heavy hands. To compliment his hands, Lineker has a solid kicking game as well. He has a nice spinning back-kick, throws the crescent kick from time to time and likes to work the inside leg of his opponents. The Brazilian’s hands really are dangerous weapons. Even when he does not finish his opponents, he still drops them with his punches throughout the fight. He is fast, but he is also flat-footed, and his timing often gets thrown off against fighters with great footwork, which could spell for trouble against Dillashaw. Lineker has solid takedown defense and great reversals on the mat. His cardio used to be an issue, however, he has looked better in that department, especially since making the move up to the 135-pound division.

Gabe’s Thoughts:
In short, I think this fight has a decent chance of ending inside the distance. I could see a T/KO finish by either fighter, and I could also see Dillashaw submitting Lineker. I think the Under 2.5 rounds at +160 is worth a stab here. If Lineker does manage to get his hand raised in this contest, it will most likely come by way of finish within the first two rounds of action.

Gabe’s Call: Dillashaw by Submission (guillotine choke, 3:02 round 2)

Gabe’s Recommended Play: Under 2.5 rounds (+160) 1u to win 1.6u

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Written by Gabe Killian

Gabe Killian is a mixed martial arts journalist and handicapper, as well as a stand-up comedian and writer.

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