UFC Fight Night 35 Play: Justin “Fast Eddy” Edwards (125) vs Ramsey Nijem (-135)

ramse-njiemUFC Fight Night 35 Date: January 15, 2013 Arena: Arena at Gwinnett Center City: Duluth, GA Lightweight bout: Justin “Fast Eddy” Edwards (125) vs Ramsey Nijem (-135) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 35 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be headlined by a welterweight scrap between two former team-mates of The Ultimate Fighter season 13, on Team Dos Santos. In a likely “loser goes home” match-up, Justin “Fast Eddy” Edwards will be squaring off against Ramsey Nijem. “Fast Eddy” is currently the underdog at +125 ($100 to win $125), while Nijem is the favorite at -135 ($135 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. JUSTIN EDWARDS (8-3 MMA, 2-3 UFC) is coming off a brutal first round TKO at the hands of rising undefeated welterweight prospect Brandon Thatch. He now looks to rebound from that loss and wipe it from peoples’ memories, as he gets ready to take on his former Ultimate Fighter season 13 teammate in a drop down to the lightweight division. Edwards fights out of JG MMA in Bellafontaine, OH and holds the rank of brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has decent boxing skills, and possesses a very good chin. His conditioning is average at best, and he will certainly be at a disadvantage in that department against Nijem, though I don’t expect him to be completely gassed in the third round. “Fast Eddy” has a ton of heart, heavy hands and a dangerous guillotine choke, as he was able to put Josh Neer to sleep with it, which was very impressive considering Neer’s submission prowess. Win or lose, Edwards has his back against the wall here, so I expect him to leave it all in the cage. RAMSEY NIJEM (7-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is coming off of a first round submission loss against James Vick nearly four months ago. Vick caught Nijem in a front-choke, and earned the tap less than a minute into the fight. That makes it back to back losses inside the Octagon for The Ultimate Fighter season 13 finalist, and he has his back against the wall heading into this one. Nijem is a former High School Wrestler of the Year who uses his wrestling to control opponents. His striking is very poor, as is his striking defense. He tends to wing some wild punches, and always leaves his chin open. He does not possess a good chin, either, so you would expect him to work on his striking defense, which he has yet to do. His wrestling and drive to win are really his two biggest assets. Nijem also has very good cardio, and is always capable of going hard for three full rounds. Fight Prediction: I think there is a decent chance that Edwards could catch Nijem with a punch or choke, but I have a feeling these two are going to go at it for three full rounds. While I think Nijem will most likely take the call if it goes to the judges’ scorecards, due to his wrestling advantage, but I think Edwards will make it a close and competitive fight, and it may be a toss-up when awaiting the final score. Heck, I won’t be surprised if “Fast Eddy” convincingly takes a decision. I can see him hurtind and almost finishing Nijem in round 1, doing enough to win round 2, and Nijem taking over and winning the third round. After being finished in two consecutive fights, I think Nijem is going to be extra careful in this one. Maybe more reserved than he should be, which would allow Edwards to score points, and perhaps dictate Octagon control. Last but not least; of course a finish by Nijem is a possibility, but I think it’s a pretty small possibility, and I don’t think it will happen. Even considering this is Edwards’ first cut to 155 pounds, I don’t think he will fade to the point where he will give up a choke to Nijem. While I can see it happening, I will still be surprised if it does. Gabe’s Pick: Ramsey Nijem by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: 1) Not Nijem Inside Distance (-300) 1.5u to win .5u, and Justin Edwards by Decision (+630) .5u to win 3.15u – As I already mentioned, I think Edwards is more likely to finish than win a decision, and Nijem would take a decision here more often than not, but I think there is a decent shot that Edwards could get the call if it goes all 15 minutes. I think the line should be +400, so at +630, I have to recommend a small play.

Written by Gabe Killian

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