UFC Fight Night 33 Fight Breakdown: Justin Scoggins (-215) vs. Richie Vaculik (+165)

Justin-Scoggins The preliminary fight at UFC Fight Night 33 that I am most looking forward to is a three-round flyweight bout between top prospect Justin Scoggins and TUF Smashes vet Richie Vaculik. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers sees Scoggins as a -215 favorite (bet $215 to win $100), while Vaculik is a +165 betting underdog (bet $100 to win $165). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened Scoggins as a -150 favorite and Vaculik as a +110 dog, meaning the betting public has so far been backing the American Scoggins. I agree with the early line movement as I am picking Scoggins to win this fight, and to do so in highlight-reel fashion. Here’s why. Scoggins (7-0) is a top flyweight prospect who trains out of American Top Team. He is making his UFC debut at only 21 years of age, so he must definitely be something special if Sean Shelby already has plans for him. And if you watch his tape, you will know that’s very true. Scoggins is an extremely talented striker in the vein of Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, and it makes sense as both have karate backgrounds and both use their unorthodox leg kicks to great results inside the cage. In Scoggins’ case, he has seven pro MMA wins so far and five of them have come by way of knockout, including two stemming from head kicks. Scoggins is nasty, and I think he’s about to show the world just how talented he is this Friday night when he takes on Vaculik. Vaculik (9-1) is the hometown hero fighting out of Australia. Vaculik has been competing on-and-off in the sport since 2006 and was a member of George Sotiropoulos’ Team Australia on TUF Smashes. The reason he hasn’t been fighting more is because he is also a professional surfer. The 30-year-old is currently riding a five-fight win streak, although he lost his last two fights on TUF Smashes, and that was over a year ago, meaning he is coming into this fight off a long layoff, and that’s definitely not a good thing against a fighter who has been competing often like Scoggins has. If Vaculik is able to fight to his potential, he could either use his solid boxing to find a KO blow on Scoggins, or possibly use his above average ground game to get the fight to the floor and lock in the submission. But against a fighter with solid takedown defense like Scoggins, I don’t think that’s likely to be the case. I think this fight is going to play out on the feet, and I don’t see it lasting the full three rounds. At some point, Scoggins is going to connect on Vaculik with some hard strikes and finish him, and I think he’s going to do it in highlight-reel fashion with a crazy head kick that may garner him the “Knockout of the Night” award. When the line opened at -150, I would have likely recommended a straight bet on Scoggins, but now at -215, I can’t do that. However, I do think Scoggins still has some value at the current line as a leg of a two- or three-team parlay. I also like the UNDER 2.5 rounds total at -160 as I see a finish in this fight either way.

Written by Adam Martin.

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