Bantamweight bout: John Albert (-235) vs Yaotzin Meza (+215) Fight Breakdown: Kicking things off on the Facebook prelims portion of UFC on FOX 8 in Seattle is a bantamweight contest between TUF season 14’s John “Prince” Albert and MMA Lab product Yaotzin Meza. Albert has risen to be the big favorite at -235 ($235 to win $100), while Meza has grown to big underdog status at +215 ($100 to win $215) at Several Bookmakerss. John Albert (7-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC) returns to the Octagon for his fifth appearance and second in his home-state of Washington. Albert is coming off three consecutive losses and I am surprised he has not yet been cut. The UFC brass must really love him or maybe it’s because he’s the only Jewish fighter on the UFC roster and they don’t want to lose the six Jews who tune in to Facebook just to see him fight. — John Albert is an exciting fighter; he is a brawler who likes to finish fights. He admittedly said he prefers to be finished than to hear the judges scorecards. He is a heavy hitter who packs a lot of power in his punches, and he posesses a good submission game, as he earned first place in a grappling tournament less than two months ago. Albert is an average striker who has learned to be technical, a talented grappler who has continued to improve his submission game, but unfortunately, he is also a fighter whose cardio has gotten worse and worse, fight after fight. That might have to do with the fact that he cuts a lot of weight to make the bantamweight limit; Albert himself admits featherweight is his future. Considering he missed weight for this bout, it’s possible he’ll fight at 145 his next time out; almost surely, if he loses and gets cut. Yaotzin Meza (19-8 MMA, 0-1 UFC) makes his second UFC appearance after taking a fight against top featherweight Chad Mendes on less than one weeks notice and losing by first round knockout. Meza is one of the main training partners of UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson and Ultimate Fighter season 8 winner Efrain Escudero at the MMA Lab in Glendale, AZ. — Yaotzin Meza started off as a wrestler in high school and is still at said high school, only now he’s the coach. Meza has a suspect chin and he is not specifically excellent in any aspect of mixed martial arts, in fact I think Albert is better than him nearly everywhere, but one weapon he does have going for him is his cardio; I believe if he makes it through the first round, his odds will improve drastically. This is Yaotzin Meza’s first fight at bantamweight and the weight-cut could affect his cardio, but I can’t imagine it being any worse than Albert’s. Meza has more will and a bigger drive than Albert; if he can’t get the finish, I feel he will fight on ’til the final bell. Fight Prediction: John Albert missed weight by one pound and therefore will be giving up 20% of his fight purse to Yaotzin Meza. Albert will likely start off strong, defending takedowns and using his striking to notch the first round, if he makes it through without getting submitted. Meza should be able to survive the early onslaught in the first round to find success with his takedowns in the second, as Albert starts gassing out. Meza will use his wrestling to beat up Albert en route to a decision, if not submit him. If he looks for submissions, he will likely find one, since Albert is prone to quitting and would rather get submitted than go to a Decision. I hate to say this about him ‘cos he seems like a really nice guy, but Albert has absolutely no heart. As soon as he gets tired, he breaks and looks for a way out. (Note: It’s possible Albert could show up to the fight with improved cardio. It happens often, for example; I was really surprised when Cristiano Marcelo showed improved cardio against Reza Madadi. That said, given Albert’s fight-finishing style and muscular built, plus the fact that he missed weight, I’m betting he gasses.) Gabe’s Pick: Yaotzin Meza by Submission (guillotine choke, 3:26 round 1). Gabe’s Recommended Play: Yaotzin Meza +215, since I think the odds will favor him heavily after the first round. This is less of a bet on Meza and more of a bet against Albert; not to mention a value play, as I think Meza should be a -135 favorite. (He opened at +135, money coming in on Albert has brought him up to +215. Hashtag: Value.) This fight is gonna come down to Meza’s chin, submission defense, and cardio. The MMA Lab should have him well prepared for anything Albert has to throw at him. Albert isn’t an unpredictable fighter, they know what to expect and how to gameplan for it.