UFC 205 Play: Miesha Tate (-185) vs Raquel Pennington (+160)

Raquel PenningtonUFC 205 Date: November 12, 2016 Arena: Madison Square Garden City: New York City, NY Women’s Bantamweight bout: Miesha Tate (-185) vs Raquel Pennington (+160) Fight Breakdown: Getting the Pay-Per-View action started at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time in promotional and mixed martial arts history at UFC 205, women bantamweights will take center stage, with former UFC women’s 135-pound champion Miesha “Cupcake” Tate returning to action following the loss of her title a few months back. She will aim to return to her winning ways in this rare “winner vs. loser” matchup when she takes on Raquel “Rocky” Pennington, a fighter she previously coached on The Ultimate Fighter. “Cupcake” is a -185 ($185 to win $100) betting favorite heading into this contest, with “Rocky” being a +160 ($100 to win $160) underdog at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Miesha “Cupcake” Tate (18-6 MMA, 5-3 UFC) is coming off a first-round submission loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 200, where she lost her UFC Women’s Bantamweight title. She will be looking to get back into the win column by defeating a fighter she has previously coached in Pennington. Tate is a talented wrestler who works solid takedowns, as her former nickname “Takedown” would suggest. She owns two ‘Female Fighter of the Year’ awards and two ‘Submission of the Year’ awards. Tate is a talented submission artist who has earned seven of her 18 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of tapout. To compliment her excellent offensive submission game is her solid submission defense. However, her takedown defense is not as good, although she has made improvements in the department. “Cupcake” is not a world beater on the feet either, though she has made improvements in that department as well. Tate has a nice jab and likes to follow it with an uppercut, but she also likes to lead with her uppercut. On the feet, she favors body shots and throws some decent kicks too, including a switch kick and a front kick. She also likes to employ her knees and elbows, especially when up against the cage. In addition, “Cupcake” has made improvements in the cardio department, and it’s now safe to say that she is a well-conditioned athlete. I believe she will have enough in the tank for a full 15 minutes of action against Pennington, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Raquel “Rocky” Pennington (8-5 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is coming off a unanimous-decision win over Elizabeth Phillips at UFC 202 just over two months ago and currently enjoys a three-fight winning streak heading into this contest, where she will look to make it four straight by defeating her former coach on The Ultimate Fighter reality television series. The 28-year-old has solid wrestling skills. She is very strong and good at taking her opponents down once she gets ahold of them, though she is not always quite as effective at keeping them down there and doing damage. Pennington fights well on her feet, as she possesses real power in her hands. Her boxing is good and improving. She is also generally a well-conditioned fighter, so I expect her to have her gas tank prepared for a full three rounds of action, if necessary. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this is a close fight, and I believe Pennington has the tools to defeat Tate. Contrary to the betting line, I think Pennington should be a slight -130 betting favorite heading into this contest, so I favor her for a value play at her current offering underdog price of +160. Gabe’s Call: Pennington by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Rocky (+160) 2u to win 3.2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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