UFC Lincoln AKA UFC Fight Night 135 headlines the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska this Saturday (August 25th, 2018) and features a violent lightweight matchup between rising contender James Vick and former WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje.
There are a few props on this card which I have found some value in so let’s dive in.
James Vick vs Justin Gaethje
A fantastic lightweight scrap headlines fight night 135. James Vick has really flown under the radar these past few years as the former ‘TUF Live’ alumni finds himself in the main event spotlight for the first time opposite his toughest fight to date in one of the most exciting fighters today, Justin Gaethje. I think this fight comes down to if Vick can keep Gaethje at range with his reach advantage and not get dragged into a brawl where Gaethje can shine. Gaethje will look to implore his leg kicks to get up close and deliver damage hoping to finish Vick inside five. I think Gaethje is a live dog here and too many people are counting him out based off his last two losses which comes to some of the divisions best in Eddie Alvarez & Dustin Poirier. I’m picking Gaethje to win by TKO around the third or fourth round.
Prop: Justin Gaethje wins by TKO/KO (+174)
Andre Fili vs Michael Johnson
This is a pretty tricky matchup to call for starters. I think Michael Johnson can still have a better stint at 155, but due to the losses he has suffered in his past several fights I can understand the drop to 145. Fili is no slouch and I actually think he should outpoint Johnson to a decision here. Johnson has slick hands coupled with great speed behind them, but he tends to always slow down the longer the fight progresses. If Fili can avoid the dangerous shots and pick Johnson apart then he can be on the good side of a unanimous decision victory.
Prop: Andre Fili wins by decision (+297)
Jake Ellenberger vs Bryan Barberena
I can’t write off anyone completely when they pack considerate power behind their hands like Jake Ellenberger does. He isn’t the same Ellenberger of old who was on his way to possibly challenging for the title, but he still has power behind his hands and lost to the elite of the 170 lb. division. Barberena is good himself, but he isn’t close to the echelon of fighters like Perry, Masvidal, Lawler, or Thompson who have all starched Ellenberger. I think Barberena wins most likely, but I can’t ignore the possibility of Ellenberger catching him to win by (T)KO.
Prop: Jake Ellenberger wins by TKO/KO (+750)
Eryk Anders vs. Tim Williams
Unfortunately for Tim Williams, this is a horrible matchup for him. Anders was on the wrong-side of a split-decision loss to Machida in a lot of people’s eyes last February and I believe the UFC want to get him back on track with an easy win. While it’s hard to find good value on a -1000, Anders finishing in the first round has great potential. I don’t see Williams surviving a decision and Anders has the technique and talent to end this inside one.
Prop: Eryk Anders wins in round 1 (+100)
Thanks for reading and best of luck this Saturday!