UFC 169 Play: Abel “Killa” Trujillo (+125) vs Jamie Varner (-145)

truljo-pUFC 169 Date: February 1, 2014 Arena: Prudential Center City: Newark, NJ Lightweight bout: Abel “Killa” Trujillo (+125) vs Jamie Varner (-145) Fight Breakdown: Kicking things off for the UFC 169 main card will be a lightweight contest between the Blackzillian Abel “Killa” Trujillo and the MMA Lab’s Jamie Varner. Trujillo is an underdog heading into this match-up at +125 ($100 to win $125), while Varner is the favorite at -145 ($145 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. ABEL “KILLA” TRUJILLO (11-5-1 NC MMA, 2-1-1 NC UFC) is coming off a very impressive knockout victory over Roger Bowling in their rematch less than two months ago. He now makes a quick turnaround and looks to build on his winning streak, as he takes on the veteran Jamie Varner. In the short time between the first Bowling fight and the rematch, Trujillo’s striking game improved drastically, thanks to the hours he puts in with coach Henri Hooft over at the Blackzillians camp in Boca Raton, FL. While Bowling was more or less the same fighter, Trujillo had improved significantly. “Killa” is a decent wrestler who loves to throw leather. He generally enjoys taking opponents down and beating them in a merciless ground and pound, but more recently has been using his wrestling defensively to keep the fights on the feet, where he puts all of his limbs to use. He is a strong athlete, and he hits hard. His takedown defense was not great, but has been improving. When taken down, he is nearly impossible to keep down, as he is very good at quickly finding his back to his feet. Trujillo is well-conditioned and will be ready for a three round war against Varner, should the fight go the distance. JAMIE VARNER (22-7-1-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) returns to the Octagon following a split decision victory over Gleison Tibau at UFC 164 nearly five months ago. He is a skilled boxer who likes to connect with his hooks. He caught Edson Barboza with it in his UFC debut and followed up with a barrage that forced the referee to step in. Varner is also a talented wrestler. He has never wrestled for a college wrestling team but you wouldn’t be able to tell when you watch him grapple, especially when you compare him with lightweights who actually did wrestle in college. He has heavy hands on the feet, and when on the mat, he is excellent with his chokes. Varner trains out of The MMA Lab in Glendale, AZ with notable training partners Yaotzin Meza, Efrain Escudero and former WEC/UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who he lost his lightweight title to in the WEC. Varner has had a full training camp at “The Lab” to prepare for this bout, I don’t expect his conditioning to be an issue. Fight Prediction: I think Trujillo is going to continue to show improvements in his all-around game, most especially his striking. I think he will defend takedowns, and while Varner is the superior boxer and technical striker, I think Trujillo will get the better of him on the feet and hurt him with some shots. I’m not sure if this fight will go the distance, or if Trujillo will manage to stop Varner. Considering how much he has been improving, I would not be surprised if he gets the stoppage, however I think more often than not, he walks away with the judges’ decision. I feel like this fight is as much Henri Hooft vs John Crouch, as much as it is Abel Trujillo vs Jamie Varner, and I think Hooft is going to come out on top. I feel like Trujillo is going to either TKO Varner or convincingly win a decision, then do something stupid like volunteer for a rematch with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is supposedly having trouble booking a fight. Gabe’s Pick: Abel “The Killa” Trujillo by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Abel Trujillo (+125) 4u to win 5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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