UFC Fight Night 35 Play: TJ Dillashaw (-280) vs Mike “The Hulk” Easton (+240)

T.J. DillashawUFC Fight Night 35 Date: January 15, 2013 Arena: Arena at Gwinnett Center City: Duluth, GA Bantamweight bout: TJ Dillashaw (-280) vs Mike “The Hulk” Easton (+240) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 35 main card will feature a bantamweight scrap that will almost but surely produce fireworks. Sharing a loss to Raphael Assuncai in common, Northern California’s TJ Dillashaw will take on Southern California’s Mike “The Hulk” Easton. Dillashaw is the favorite in this match-up at -280 ($280 to win $100), while Easton is the underdog at +240 ($100 to win $240) at Several Bookmakerss. TJ DILLASHAW (8-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) had his impressive four fight winning streak halted by Raphael Assuncao three months ago in what was a controversial split decision on Assuncao’s home turf in Brazil. It was the first time in four fights that he allowed the fight to be decided by the judges, and he paid for it dearly. Dillawshaw is a good striker with solid hands who has been showing constant improvement in his stand-up ever since Duane Ludwig took over as striking/head coach at Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. He works a solid jab, has a great uppercut, and often connects with his straight right hand. Dillashaw is a well-rounded fighter who excels at everything. He is not just good in every area, he is great in every area. He is well-versed both on the feet and on the mat, as he is an excellent wrestler and has a solid submission game, both offensive and defensive. He is very dangerous with his chokes, especially his guillotine. The Team Alpha Male product is an athlete with tremendous conditioning who will be able to keep up with the speedy Mike Easton for all three rounds of action. MIKE “THE HULK” EASTON (13-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) had been riding an eight fight win streak, including four in the UFC, until it was snapped by Raphael Assuncao over a year ago. Easton did not seem to show up for that fight, as he was unable to pull the trigger against the Brazilian. Assuncao handed him a unanimous decision loss, and that was followed by a split decision loss to Brad Pickett just a few months later. “The Hulk” now returns for his sixth Octagon appearance, coming off the first back-to-back losses for the first time in his professional mixed martial arts career. He is a Lloyd Irvin black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with exceptional skills on the mat, though he likes to use his grappling more defensively, to keep the fight standing. He loves to strike, and he hits hard when he connects, putting together some excellent combinations. He throws solid punches, and works his kicks really well; mostly leg kicks, as he rarely goes high with them. Easton has good footwork, and is really fast. However, he tends to slow down after the first round, and his footwork adjusts to his pace. He has great takedown defense, and when taken down, is great at working his way back to his feet. He is not easy to keep down on the mat, and is active off his back. Training out of Alliance MMA in San Diego, “The Hulk” is coming off a ten month layoff, but I expect him to have his conditioning in check for a 15 minute affair. Fight Prediction: Dillashaw is the superior wrestler, and over three rounds, he is the better mixed martial artist. I see this fight being competitive, but I think Dillashaw will be able to win at least two out of three rounds on the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Pick: TJ Dillashaw by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: TJ Dillashaw (-280) parlayed with Luke Rockhold (-390) for -142 4.4u to win 3.1u, and Dillashaw (-280) parlayed with Yoel Romero (-230) for -106 2.75u to win 2.6u

Written by Gabe Killian

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