UFC 166 Date: Octber 19, 2013 Arena: Toyota Center City: Houston TX Lightweight bout: Mike Rio (+365) vs Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (-410) Fight Breakdown: The Facebook prelims portion of UFC 166 will feature a lightweight contest between TUF: Live contestant Mike Rio and TUF 13 winner Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson. Rio is the underdog in this match-up at +365 ($100 to win $365), while Ferguson is the favorite at -410 ($410 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. MIKE RIO (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) will be making his third Octagon appearance, coming off a first round submission defeat at the hands of the Brazilian Francisco Trinaldo five months ago. Being a four-time All American wrestler in college, Rio possesses solid wrestling skills and good takedows. However his takedowns could use work, as he does not find success with them inside a cage as often as he’d like. Rio does not have very good skills on the feet, but he has been working on improving his boxing, and will likely be looking to showcase it against Ferguson, who will be the superior boxer of the two. From what I’ve observed, Rio is not a fighter who has a lot of heart. In fact, if put in a bad position, he will likely wilt and look for a way out. He does not seem to be able to handle too much pressure, especially once he starts to get tired. Speaking of which, his cardio is not very good, and he will certainly be at a disadvantage in that department, as he heads into this bout against Ferguson. TONY “EL CUCUY” FERGUSON (13-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is making his return to the Octagon after a 17-month layoff. In his last Octagon appearance, he dropped a unanimous decision loss to Michael Johnson and broke his hand in the process, thus blaming it for his poor performance against “The Menace”. The loss snapped a three fight win streak he had built with knockout victories over Ramsey Nijem and Aaron Riley, followed by a unanimous decision over the veteran Yves Edwards. Ferguson has solid wrestling skills but prefers to keep fights on the feet where he implements his boxing, which is also very solid. He is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who can be a threat, regardless of where the fight goes. His submission game needs work, but it will get there in time. Ferguson is a tough fighter who has an excellent chin, so he is hard to put away. Putting work in at the Reign training center in California, Ferguson is a well-conditioned athlete who will be capable of going hard for all three rounds without breaking a sweat. Fight Prediction: I see Ferguson getting the better of Rio on the feet and ultimately touching him on the button. Gabe’s Pick: “El Cucuy” by KO (3:39, round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Tony Ferguson -410 for a MAX BET, Tony Ferguson -3.5 -255 for a big play, and Tony Ferguson ITD -105 for a moderate play.