UFC Fight Night 31: Fight for the Troops 3 Date: November 6, 2013 Arena: Fort Campbell City: Fort Campbell, K.Y. Lightweight bout: Colton Smith (+145) vs Michael “Maverick” Chiesa -165 Fight Breakdown: The main card for Fight for the Troops 3 will be a lightweight battle between two winners of The Ultimate Fighter reality series, when TUF season 16 winner Colton Smith takes on TUF season 15 winner Michael Chiesa. Smith is currently the underdog heading into this match-up at +145 ($100 to win $145), with Chiesa being the favorite at -165 ($165 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. COLTON SMITH (3-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is coming off a third round knockout loss at the hands of The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes winner Robert Whitaker. In my opinion, it was a bad stoppage by the ref, as Smith still seemed to have his wits about him. The loss was following a three round domination of Mike Ricci, which won him the title of Ultimate Fighter. Smith now drops a weight class, as he will be making his debut at lightweight in this bout against Chiesa. They are both wrestlers, but it is Smith who will have the advantage in this bout, as I believe he is the superior wrestler of the two. He works takedowns very well and is an incredible grinder. Despite the fact that both his losses in only five career fights come by way of knockout, I think he has a decent chin. Somebody looking at that statistic would think otherwise, but I think the guy can take some serious shots and survive. He’s an extremely talented wrestler who has a good submission game, as he owns a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Smith has excellent conditioning, and as an active member of the US Army, he will have a home advantage heading into this bout, as he will be fighting in front of a great many of his friends, colleagues, and students. MICHAEL “MAVERICK” CHIESA (9-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will be making his fourth appearance inside the Octagon, coming off a submission loss to Jorge Masvidal at UFC on FOX 8 just a little over three months ago. He performed surprisingly well against Masvidal, getting the better of him in the early going of the fight and winning the first round. In fact, he hurt Masvidal on the feet, but Masvidal recovered. In the second round, Masvidal made a comeback and secured a win with a D’arce choke, as Chiesa tapped with only one second left in the round. The sour defeat left a very bad taste in Chiesa’s mouth, as he was quick to storm out of the cage and head to the locker room. The loss snapped his 9-0 undefeated streak/record, and he now looks to rebound with a victory over a fellow TUF winner in Colton Smith. Chiesa has average wrestling skills and works decent takedowns. He is very good at securing rear naked chokes, as that is the fashion he has finished most of his victories, both in his career and on The Ultimate Fighter. Chiesa has a very good chin, but his striking is not great, although it is improving, and we saw evidence of that against Masvidal. “The Maverick” is a fighter who is very tough and has a lot of heart, witch goes along well with his tremendous cardio, and the aforementioned traits have played big roles in getting his hand raised throughout his career. Fight Prediction: Both fighters are coming off a loss and are in need of a win here, though neither are in danger of being cut with a loss. Smith needs a win to get a good start going at 155, and Chiesa needs one badly to get rid of the bad taste the Masvidal fight left in his mouth. He came close to finishing him then tapped out with one second remaining in the round, and all in front of his hometown crowd, including all his family and friends. What I think happens in this fight is Smith uses his superior wrestling to control Chiesa en route to a unanimous decision, thus having a solid start in the lightweight division. Gabe’s Pick: Colton Smith by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Colton Smith +145 for a big play, as I think he should be a -200 favorite.