UFC 165 Bet: John “The Bull” Makdessi (-180) vs Renee Forte (+170)

John MakdessiUFC 165 Date: September 21, 2013 Arena: Air Canada Centre City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Lightweight bout: John “The Bull” Makdessi (-180) vs Renee Forte (+170) Fight Breakdown: Headlining the Facebook preliminary portion of UFC 165 is a classic striker vs grappler match-up when the Lebanese-Canadian, John “The Bull” Makdessi takes on TUF: Brazil season one contestant Renee Forte. Makdessi is currently the favorite at -180 ($180 to win $100), with the kickback on the underdog Forte being +170 ($100 to win $170) Several Bookmakerss. JOHN “THE BULL” MAKDESSI (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is coming off back-to-back Unanimous Decision victories over Sam Stout at UFC 154 and Daron Cruickshank at UFC 158. Makdessi is a talented striker who likes to finish fights, as seven of his eleven professional career wins have come by way of knockout. He does not like to lose; when he is down two rounds in a fight, you can expect for him to spend every second of the final five minutes in the third round looking for that knockout finish to take home the win. He simply does not give up. The Lebanese-Canadian has virtually no ground game. Perhaps he has been improving it in the gym, we just haven’t seen it in his recent fights. That may likely be due to the fact that he’s also been improving his takedown defense. He prevented both Stout and Cruickshank from taking him to the mat. Training out of TriStar MMA in Montreal, I expect Makdessi to be well-conditioned and ready to make it three in a row in the UFC lightweight division. RENEE FORTE (8-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is coming off a very impressive unanimous decision upset over Terry Etim in England seven months ago. Forte came through as the biggest underdog on the entire card. His UFC career officially started on season one of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil series, where he competed at middleweight, which is two weight classes above his natural weight class of lightweight. In the semifinals on the show, Forte was submitted by the larger Daniel Sarafian. He made his Octagon debut at welterweight against another contestant on the series in Sergio Moraes; Forte won the first round against Moraes but had his back taken in the second frame, at which point Moraes sunk in the rear naked choke and called it a night. The 26-year old Brazilian fights with a lot of heart and leaves it all in the cage; he will be heading into enemy territory in Toronto, hoping to make it two hometown upsets in a row. Forte is skilled both on the feet and on the mat. He is not tremendously talented in any aspect, but enough so to hold his own, and even dominate certain opponents, especially with his aggressive, forward-moving style. His cardio at 155 seemed better than it was at 170, so I expect him to be in decent shape again this time around, as he heads into battle versus the Lebanese-Canadian. Fight Prediction: I foresee this being a close, back-and-forth brawl that ultimately leaves it in the hands of the judges. I give the grappling advantage to Forte and could actually see him securing a submission here, so considering the odds, I think the value sides with him. Gabe’s Pick: John Makdessi by controversial Split-Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Forte +3.5 -160. Also, small on Forte +170 and Forte ITD +485 (Recommended for ‘Submission of the Night’ prop bet at +1650 in my SOTN article)

Written by Gabe Killian

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