UFC 165 Sneak Peek: Matt Mitrione (-120) vs. Brendan Schaub (+100)

Matt Mitrione One of two heavyweight bouts scheduled to take place at next week’s UFC 165 card is a matchup between former NFL players and TUF 10 housemates as Matt Mitrione takes on Brendan Schaub in a fight that more than likely will not go the full 15 minutes. The bout is currently close to a Pick ’em at Several Bookmakers, as Mitrione is a -120 favorite (bet $120 to win $100) and Schaub is a +100 underdog (bet $100 to win $100). The line opened at Mitrione -130 and Schaub -110, meaning there has been minimal line movement from the betting public thus far as they seem to be split on who wins this fight. Personally, I’m surprised that Mitrione isn’t a bigger favorite, and at -120 I’m quite liking him for a straight bet next weekend. Here’s why. Although Schaub is younger, faster, and possesses better wrestling than Mitrione, “Meathead” is an extremely powerful man — Phil de Fries literally got knocked out running into him — and we all know that Schaub’s chin isn’t the greatest. In 12 career pro MMA fights, Schaub sports a 9-3 record and all three of those losses have come via KO. That means he gets knocked out 25 percent of the time he fights, and that’s why “The Hybrid” just isn’t a guy I can back next weekend against someone as big and strong as Mitrione is. Sure, Mitrione’s chin isn’t the best in the world either as we saw in the fight with Roy Nelson, but it’s definitely better than Schaub’s, and in a heavyweight fight that I see playing out on the feet for the most part, I definitely have to favor the guy with the heavier strikes and the better chin, and that’s absolutely Mitrione. I also want to point out that Mitrione will have a four-inch reach advantage in this fight (82 inches to Schaub’s 78 inches) and he will also have about 20 pounds of weight on Schaub. And, as we saw recently in the fight between Ben Rothwell and Brandon Vera, size matters. Now, if Schaub can get the takedowns and control Mitirone on the ground like he did to Lavar Johnson, he absolutely can win a decision. And, as Mitrione showed in his loss to Cheick Kongo, wrestling is one of his weaknesses.┬áBut that fight against Kongo was two years ago and Mitrione has been training at the Blackzilians since then with stud wrestlers like Rashad Evans and strikers who have good wrestling like Alistair Overeem, and I’d be shocked if he hasn’t improved in that department since. I really think Schaub is going to have problems taking Mitrione down and even though he does have solid boxing and heavy hands himself, I just can’t trust his chin if this turns into a fire fight, and that’s honestly how I see the fight playing out. Ever since this fight was announced I can only picture it ending in one way: With Mitrione getting the KO win in the first round. And that’s why, at the Pick ’em price of -120, I think he has some serious value next weekend.

Written by Adam Martin.

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