Lightweight bout: Daron Cruickshank (-130) vs Yves Edwards (+120) Fight Breakdown: UFC on FOX 8’s preliminary card on FX features a lightweight match-up between TUF 15’s Daron Cruickshank and the veteran Yves Edwards. The odds are almost a coin-flip, as Cruickshank is the very slight favorite at -130 ($130 to win $100) and Edwards is the tiny underdog at +120. Daron Cruickshank (12-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) had a six fight win streak (that included wins over Mike Ricci and Henry Martinez) snapped when the Lebanese-Canadian Tristar Gym product John Makdessi defeated him by Unanimous Decision at UFC 158 in Montreal. Makdessi had complained post-fight that Cruickshank had scratched his back and Tweeted a photo that showed the damage. It was nasty. If he doesn’t cut his nails for this fight, it’s possible he could be the first UFC fighter to win “via TKO (scratches to the body).” Cruickshank takes this fight on short notice as he replaces an injured Spencer Fisher. Daron Cruickshank was an NCAA Division II wrestler at Olivet College in Olivet, MI. He is a good wrestler but not great; he has trouble getting takedowns on fighters with great takedown defense. He is a black belt in taekwondo and is unorthodox with his striking. He displays great stand-up skills and has knockout power, as 7 of his 12 wins have come via KO/TKO. Cruickshank’s cardio is usually never a concern, but since this fight is on such short notice, I can’t be sure. He is well disciplined and always in shape, so my best guess is it won’t be an issue. Yves Edwards (42-19-1 MMA, 10-7 UFC) is a 15 year veteran and there isn’t anything he hasn’t seen. His most notable victory came nine years ago against current UFC contender Josh Thomson. Edwards is talented, all around. Wherever the fight goes, he is comfortable; he has been there before. He is a southpaw who trains out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL along with fellow lighter weight fighters Cole Miller, Marcus Brimage, Nik Lentz, Brad Pickett, Dustin Poirier, George Sotiropoulos, and Jason High. For a lighter weight fighter, I think American Top Team and Team Alpha Male in Sacreamento, CA are the top two gyms to train at. Despite suffering a flush knockout at the hands of Sam Stout at UFC 131 two years ago, Yves Edwards has displayed a good chin; he has only been knocked out twice in the past ten years. Edwards enters this bout coming off a Split Decision loss to Isaac Vallie-Flagg at UFC 156 in Las Vegas; he looks to rebound and get back in the W column, especially since he’s never suffered back-to-back losses in his UFC career. Fight Prediction: Daron Cruickshank will probably get the better of Yves Edwards in the wrestling, if it comes down to it, but he will especially and expectedly take over in the striking. I expect him to find his rhythm and get his shots in on Edwards for three rounds, if not get the finish. Gabe’s Pick: Daron Cruickshank by KO (head-kick and punches) round 2, 1:41 Gabe’s Recommended Play: 3u on Daron Cruickshank -130, 1u on Cruickshank by TKO/KO +350, and .25u on Cruickshank wins Knockout of the Night +1500.