UFC 169 Date: February 1, 2014 Arena: Prudential Center City: Newark, NJ Lightweight bout: John “The Bull” Makdessi (-155) and Alan Patrick (+135) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 169 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will feature a lightweight contest between a Canadian and a Brazilian, when John “The Bull” Makdessi takes on the undefeated Alan Patrick. Makdessi is the favorite in this bout at -155 ($155 to win $100), and Patrick is the underdog at +135 ($100 to win $135) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. JOHN “THE BULL” MAKDESSI (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) is coming off of a very impressive first round knockout victory over Renee Forte at UFC 165 four months ago, and he now returns to the Octagon to take on another Brazilian in what will be his second career fight outside of Canada. Now with a knockout over Forte and convincing decisions over Sam Stout and Daron Cruickshank pieced together, Makdessi could make some real noise in the UFC’s lightweight division if he is able to pick up another win Saturday night. He is a talented striker who likes to finish fights, as eight of his twelve professional mixed martial arts career wins have come by way of knockout. He does not like to lose; when he is down two rounds in a fight, you can expect for him to spend every second of the final five minutes in the third round looking for that knockout finish to take home the win. He simply does not give up. The Lebanese-Canadian has virtually no ground game. Perhaps he has been improving it in the gym, we just haven’t seen it in his recent fights. That may likely be due to the fact that he’s also been improving his takedown defense. He prevented Forte, Stout and Cruickshank from taking him to the mat. Training out of TriStar MMA in Montreal, I expect Makdessi to have his conditioning in check for this bout, so he should be good for a 15 minute affair, should the fight go the distance. ALAN PATRICK (11-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be making his second appearance inside the Octagon coming off of an impressive first round TKO of Garrett Whiteley nearly four months ago. The Brazilian started his fighting career in capoeira, and at times likes to show off his wild kicks during his MMA bouts. He is a talented wrestler who doesn’t waste time going for the takedown, and is relentless in getting it. He is very aggressive with his wrestling, and does not give up the pursuit of the takedown. Patrick has great top control and transitions well on the mat. He also has solid submission defense, and is good at working submissions of his own, though he only has two victories by tapout on his professional mixed martial arts career resume. On the feet, he tends to keep his hands low, which could prove to be very dangerous against a talented, technical, and powerful striker like Makdessi. The 30-year old has good cardio, and should be looking to implement his grappling against Makdessi. I believe he will be prepared for a tough three rounds against the Lebanese-Canadian. Fight Prediction: Patrick should look to take the fight to the mat right from the get-go. I had been going back and forth trying to figure out whether Makdessi’s improving takedown defense will be good enough to fend off Patrick’s attempts, and I ended up landing on no. At first, perhaps he will, but Patrick is so aggressive and relentless, and I think he will eventually get the fight there. I think he knows where he has the advantage and will have a smart game plan going in. He has an easy route to victory, and he should take it. That said, Makdessi has his own clear route to victory, and that’s by keeping it on the feet long enough to knock Patrick out. He hits hard, and Patrick does not have good striking defense, so if it stays on the feet long enough, he very well could connect. Gabe’s Pick: Alan Patrick by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Plays: Alan Patrick (+135) 2u to win 2.7u, and I was thinking about hedging that with Makdessi in Round One (+450) but I’m just going to roll with it and hope Patrick fights a smart fight.