UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs Pena Date: January 28, 2016 Arena: Pepsi Center City: Denver, CO The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is back in Denver, CO for the sixth time in promotional historyw with UFC on FOX 23: Shevchenko vs Pena. The 12-fight card is set to kick off with preliminary action on UFC Fight Pass at 4pm ET. Prelims will continue on FOX Sports 1 at 5pm and the main card get underway at 8pm on FOX. If interested in wagering on any bouts for this fight card, all betting lines will be made available to you at Several Bookmakers. Here are my live dogs: Bantamweight bout: Raphael Assuncao (-145) vs Aljamain Sterling (+125) Gabe’s Thoughts: Assuncao is coming off a unanimous decision loss to TJ Dillashaw at UFC 200, while Sterling is coming off an extended layoff following a majority decision loss to Bryan Caraway, in a fight I had personally scored a draw. His cardio, or lack thereof, cost him that fight, as he had made the mistake of doing too much to warm up for the fight on fight day. He learned from his mistakes and has shown up in high altitude Colorado three weeks before the fight to get acclimated. Contrary to popular opinion, I think Sterling may have the cardio advantage heading into this 135-pound contest, as I am not sure how long Assuncao has been in Denver. If he flew out from Atlanta to Denver on fight week, he will be in trouble on Saturday night. I see Sterling being competitive on the feet here and won’t be surprised to see him get the better of the Brazilian. I expect “Funkmaster” to secure takedowns, where I will like his chances of submitting Brazilian Jiu-JItsu black-belt Assuncao. A T/KO finish would not surprise me, either, as I could see Sterling catching Assuncao, especially with a head-kick. I think Sterling should be a -150 betting favorite heading into this match-up, so I like him for a play at his current underdog price-tag of +125. Gabe’s Call: Sterling by Submission (modified anaconda choke, 2:33 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Sterling (+125) 4u to win 5u Light Heavyweight bout: Marcos Rogerio de Lima (-175) vs Jeremy Kimball (+155) Gabe’s Thoughts: Kimball is replacing an injured John Phillips on short notice to take on the Brazilian in his backyard of Colorado, where the promotional newcomer will be enjoying a home advantage. I think Kimball is the superior fighter of the two heading into this 205-pound contest and feel he should be a slight betting favorite heading in, so I like him for a play at his current underdog price of +155. I think there is a good chance he finishes this fight and I can see the fight coming by either T/KO or submission, but I do favor a finish via strikes. I don’t expect the short notice nature of the bout to play to big a factor, as I think he will have the cardio advantage, despite de Lima having a full training camp for the bout. The Brazilian is traveling from Brazil, while Kimball lives and trains in high altitude Colorado. As long as he wasn’t sitting arond on his couch eating pizza all day, he should be the fresher fighter heading into the second stanza. However, I am not completely confident in saying that, as potential Octagon jitters and adrenaline dump could play a factor with Kimball’s conditioning, as well. Gabe’s Call: Kimball by T/KO (punches, 1:55 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Kimball (+135) 2.55u to win 3.95u All of my content and plays are free. Your support is greatly appreciated.