UFC 169 Play: Ali “Puncher King” Bagautinov (-140) vs John “Hands of Stone” Lineker (+120)

ali-bagautinov2UFC 169 Date: February 1, 2014 Arena: Prudential Center City: Newark, NJ Lightweight bout: Ali “Puncher” Bagautinov (-140) vs John “Hands of Stone” Lineker (+120) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 169 main card will feature a flyweight contest that is sure to produce fireworks when Ali “Puncher King” Bagautinov and John “Hands of Stone” Lineker square off inside the Octagon. Bagautinov is currently the slight favorite in this match-up at -140 ($140 to win $100), and Lineker is a slight underdog at +120 ($100 to win $120) at Several Bookmakerss. ALI “PUNCHER” BAGAUTINOV (12-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) will be making his third appearance inside the Octagon, coming off a unanimous decision victory over Tim Elliott at UFC 167 over two months ago. The win over Elliott followed an impressive promotional debut, where he knocked our Marcos Vinicius in the third round of action. Bagautinov is a highly skilled wrestler, both in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling. On top of his wrestling credentials, he holds championships in Sambo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Needless to say, he is a threat on the mat, and does not have trouble getting the fight there, as he possesses good takedowns. He is a real threat when he gets on top of his opponents, but is also dangerous when he is on the bottom. “Puncher King” is also a very solid striker, as displayed over the course of 15 minutes against Elliott. He possesses good boxing skills and is capable of keeping fights on the feet and beating opponents there. Bagautinov has great cardio and a lot of heart. He will be entering the Octagon looking very motivated to win, as he knows a title shot is on the line. He is well-conditioned, and will have the advantage in that department against Lineker. JOHN “HANDS OF STONE” LINEKER (23-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is riding an impressive four-fight winning streak, including TKO finishes in his last three. He has had an issue making weight in three out of his five Octagon appearances, yet his impressive performances have been enough to save his spot on the roster. The 24-year old is a heavy hitter who loves to stand and trade. He is a real brawler with a great chin who throws bombs and will take two just to land one. He packs power behind every punch and is always capable of ending the fight. He is a very aggressive fighter who likes to push the pace. The Brazilian has real killer instinct, as he looks for the kill from the opening bell ‘til the final bell. He likes to close the distance on his opponents, which where he does most of his damage. He has a nice spinning back-kick, throws the crescent kick from time to time, and likes to work the inside leg of his opponents. Unlike Sam Stout, Lineker earns his “Hands of Stone” nickname, as his hands really are dangerous weapons. Even when he does not finish his opponents, he still drops them with his punches throughout the fight. He is fast, but he is also flat-footed, and his timing often gets thrown off against fighters with great footwork. Lineker has solid takedown defense and great reversals on the mat. While he generally does not have very good cardio, I expect it to be somewhat improved this time out. Fight Prediction: I think if Bagautinov plays this smart and gameplans well, he could very well outstrike and outwrestle Lineker for at least two out of three rounds. I am expecting Bagautinov to use a lot of footwork and movement to try and throw Lineker off his game. Knowing he has the superior cardio, I think he might try to get Lineker tired by having him chase him around a bit in the first round. I think Bagautinov is going to keep this technical and he’s going to mix in takedowns to seal rounds on the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Pick: Ali Bagautinov by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Ali Bagautinov (-140) 2.1u to win 1.5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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