UFC Fight Night 105 Betting Breakdown: Travis Browne vs Derrick Lewis

Travis Browne vs. Fabricio WerdumPrior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the main event of UFC Fight Night 105 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, as Travis Browne takes on Derrick Lewis in a Top 15 heavyweight clash. Travis Browne (Record: 18-5, -110 Pickem, Power Ranking: C+) The Hawaiian heavyweight has trained at some of MMA’s best camps including Alliance MMA and Jackson’s. Most recently, he has been training at the home camp of girlfriend Ronda Rousey, Glendale Fight Club. Browne has lost his last two fights to Top 5 heavyweights Cain Velasquez and Fabricio Werdum. Previous to those losses, he had scored a TKO stoppage win over Matt Mitrione. The 6-foot-7 Travis Browne is one of the best athletes in MMA. He was a high school basketball standout, winning conference player of the year in his senior year. Browne has some of the best footwork at heavyweight and is stunningly light on his feet for a man his size. He uses a lot of leg kicks. Most notable of those kicks was the one he landed to knockout the legendary Alistair Overeem on the first-ever FOX Sports 1 Fight Night in 2013. His level of competition has been very high since he broke through into the Top 10 a few years back, and he has seen mixed results. His output is average for a heavyweight at just under three significant strikes per minute. He uses his length well to try to land from the outside. He has a surprisingly effective wrestling game, securing 1.25 takedowns per minutes in the Octagon at an excellent 71 percent success rate. He combines that with very good takedown defense defending takedowns at an 83 percent clip. Browne is most well-known for his elbows along the cage. He’s finished quite a few opponents attempting a takedown by elbowing them in the side of the head. Many other fighters have begun using this approach after seeing the success Browne had with the tactic. Derrick Lewis (Record: 17-4, -110 Pickem, Power Ranking: C+) The New Orleans-born heavyweight fighter relocated to Houston, Texas as a teenager. Lewis lived a mixed upbringing in which he served three-and-a-half years in prison after violating probation. Afterwards, he began training in martial arts and fighting professionally. Lewis enters his highest profile fight on the back of a five-fight winning streak, with four of those five victories coming by knockout. First and foremost, Lewis is a solid athlete. For a man his size, he’s got decent movement and balance. On top of that is power in his hands. Lewis is one of the most feared fighters in the division because of the dynamite he packs in his hands. He learned how to box from George Foreman, a legendary boxer who had some of the most powerful hands the sport ever saw. If Lewis is able to land clean, he can easily knock an opponent out with one punch. He was able to do this in against Gabriel Gonzaga. While Lewis is very good in stand-up boxing, where he does his best work is in ground-and-pound. He’s shown improvements in his offensive wrestling game throughout his MMA career. In top control, he’s absolutely ruthless and very likely to earn a knockout. Where Lewis can struggle is in the defensive wrestling. He can be taken down by opponents, and he doesn’t have much of an answer when he’s put on his back. Outside of his victory over Gonzaga, he’s struggled when tasked with a step up in competition, getting finished both by Shawn Jordan and Matt Mitrione. In his fight with Roy Nelson, he was taken to the mat on multiple occasions but landed well on the feet to earn a close decision win. Matchup The biggest test yet of Lewis’ career, as he headlines a card for the second straight time in taking on the ninth-ranked heavyweight Browne. This is an important fight for both fighters as they look to move their way into the top five of the division. Both fighters do their best work in the striking game. Lewis has very good hands with significant power. Meanwhile, Browne is more of a flashy striker that uses an array of kicks to do damage. Browne is the longer striker who will need to stay at range to avoid Lewis’ knockout power. He will need to do that for a decent amount of time in this fight as Lewis has shown to be a pretty durable fighter. If this fight ends early, I’d expect it would be Lewis who is the winner. However, both fighters have gone into the championship rounds before. Browne is the more well-conditioned and the more likely to win a fight that goes into the late rounds. I think grappling could prove to be the key moment in this bout. If any fighter has top control at any point in this fight, I expect that fighter to do significant damage in this bout. In that aspect, Browne is the much better offensive wrestler and has by far better takedown defense. It would be a surprise if Lewis is able to put Browne on his back in this fight. The more likely scenario is Browne taking Lewis to the mat and going to work in top control. Therefore, I give Browne the edge in this bout. However, Lewis’ knockout power cannot be taken for granted. Of Browne’s five career losses, three of them have come by knockout. So, there’s reason to be weary in this bout.

Written by Jay Primetown

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