UFC 168 Bet: Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (-225) vs Diego Brandao (+185)

PoirierUFC 168 Date: December 28, 2013 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, N.V. Featherweight bout: Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (-225) vs Diego Brandao (+185) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC 168 on Pay Per View will feature a featherweight contest between American Top Team product Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier and Jackson-Winklejohn MMA’s Diego Brandao. Poirier is the favorite heading into this bout at -225 ($225 to win $100), with Brandao being the underdog at +185 ($100 to win $185) at Several Bookmakerss. DUSTIN “THE DIAMOND” POIRIER (14-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) makes his return to the Octagon coming off a very impressive unanimous decision victory over Erik Koch. He is now back on the winning column, after suffering a decision loss to Cub Swanson earlier this year. Poirier’s striking is average at best, but he has shown improvement in the department in his last couple of fights. He is a southpaw who has a nice straight left, and likes to look for his power punch, the over-hand left. The holes in his striking were seriously exposed in previous match-ups that he won anyways. Max Halloway and Jonathan Brookins were both getting the better of Poirier on the feet, until he used his superior jiu-jitsu to submit them. Many thought Koch would beat Poirier, simply because he is the superior striker, but that was not the case. While Koch appeared to be the better and more technical fighter on the feet, it was Poirier who landed the more damaging blows, and even rocked Koch. “The Diamond” showed incredible heart and great submission defense in the Koch fight, as he survived a tight triangle choke in the first round, and returned to dominate the next two rounds of action. Poirier is a talented grappler, as he holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He is a fighter who always looks for the finish, and his resume reflects that sentiment, as 11 of his 14 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come inside the distance; six by submission and five by TKO/KO. Training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, F.L., Poirier is a rising and ever-improving prospect in the UFC’s featherweight division, and should never be counted out of a fight. He is a very durable fighter with a solid chin and great conditioning, and will undoubtedly have the edge in cardio heading into this bout. DIEGO BRANDAO (18-8 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is currently riding an impressive three fight win streak as he gets ready to make his sixth appearance inside the Octagon. Brandao won the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter with a first round submission victory over Dennis Bermudez, and followed that up with a loss, the only one in his UFC career. It came via unanimous decision at the hands of talented wrestler and grinder, Darren “The Damage” Elkins. Brandao badly hurt Elkins early in the first round, and blew his gas tank trying to finish him. The second and third rounds were dominated by Elkins, who had fully recovered and was in full-on grind mode. Brandao had been known to go for the finish early in his fights, and gas out whenever he would not be successful in getting them. After the loss, he worked a lot more on his conditioning, and it showed in his next bout, as he dominated Joey Gambino for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision win. That said, he again showed cardio issues in his last outing against Daniel Pineda, but lucky for him, Pineda’s gas tank was even worse. Brandao survived an early onslaught from Pineda, and came back to edge the next two rounds. Kind of like the opposite of what happened in his fight against Elkins. He now looks to make it four in a row inside the Octagon, and get his name in title talks. A win over a highly ranked fighter like Poirier will surely do that, especially if done so in impressive fashion. Brandao is a very explosive striker who loves to go for the knockout, as is evident by the fact that he has won 50 percent of his total fights via that method. He is equally as explosive on the mat with his submission game. He is a very talented grappler who owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, 50 percent of his wins inside the Octagon have come by way of submission and both of them in the first round. As evident in appearance inside the Octagon, Brandao is most dangerous in the first round, having won 11 of his 19 professional mixed martial arts bouts within the first period of action. He is undoubtedly a finisher, and is always eagerly looking for the stoppage, be it by knockout or submission. Training out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, N.M, Brandao has had a full training camp, and believes he is ready to upset “The Diamond” in front of the Las Vegas crowd.   Fight Prediction: I don’t know how the first round will play out, but I think as long as it makes it out of the first round, Poirier will have the advantage, so as long as he doesn’t get finished early, I think he could pull away with a 29-28. That said, he could be the one to finish the fight early, or even dominate the first round, as well as the second and third. This fight could play out several different ways, but more often than not, I think Poirier manages to win at least two out of three rounds. I’m not confident enough to make a play on the -3.5 prop, because I could see Brandao winning one round. I’m avoiding the props altogether on this fight, as I’m not confident in either a finish or decision, and don’t see value in any of the lines that are offered. Gabe’s Pick: Dustin Poirier by Unanimous Decision (30-28, 30-27, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Dustin Poirier (-225) parlayed with Rousey/Tate won’t start round three (-376) for -121 3.63u to win 3u, Poirier (-225) parlayed with Josh Barnett (-190) for +120 2u to win 2.4u, and Poirier (-225) parlayed with Estevan Payan (+160) for +275 1u to win 2.75u

Written by Gabe Killian

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