UFC 170 Play: Demian Maia (+240) vs Rory “Ares” MacDonald (-280)

Rory MacDonald JabUFC 170 Date: February 22, 2014 Arena: Mandalay Bay Events Center City: Las Vegas, NV Welterweight bout: Demian Maia (+240) vs Rory “Ares” MacDonald (-280) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 170 main card in Pay Per View will be featuring a welterweight contest between a Brazilian and a Canadian, when fourth degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia takes on the well-dressed assassin in Rory “Ares” MacDonald. Maia is the underdog heading into this bout at +240 ($100 to win $240), while MacDonald is the favorite at -280 ($280 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. DEMIAN MAIA (18-5 MMA, 12-5 UFC) is coming off a split decision loss to Jake Shields in his home country of Brazil at UFC Fight Night 29 nearly five months ago. It was a bit strange that Shields took the decision, since it was in Brazil and the fight was close. That said, he is the only one to blame for his loss, as he admitted to coasting in the fifth round. Aside from the fifth round, he just did not look as good as he has normally looked at 170 pounds. He looked a lot more like the Demian Maia who fought Chris Weidman than the Demian Maia who fought Jon Fitch. The 36-year old veteran is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace who is an absolute beast on the ground, as half of his career wins have come by way of submission. His striking was very poor not too long ago but has since improved and keeps improving. He went from being terrible on the feet to being able to hold his own. That said, he is going to be at a striking disadvantage against the polished technical striker in MacDonald. I expect Maia to have his cardio in check for a hard three rounds against the Canadian, should the fight go the distance. RORY “ARES” MacDONALD (15-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) will be making his ninth appearance inside the Octagon, coming off a split decision loss against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 three months ago. Post-fight, MacDonald admitted that he did not have his head in the fight, and has not really been passionate about fighting lately, but the loss woke him up. He claims to be hungrier than ever and ready to kill. Now with Georges St Pierre out of his way in the welterweight division, but still in the gym helping him out, MacDonald is very serious about making a run for the 170 pound gold. “Ares” is a very well-rounded mixed martial artist who is a fast learner and excels in every aspect of the sport. He is a solid grappler who has decent takedowns and works a very vicious ground and pound attack. The TriStar product likes to be technical on the feet, and is an excellent striker. His punches are very crisp, and he works a beautiful jab. He will have a four and a half inch reach advantage over Maia heading into this bout, so I expect that to be a weapon he will employ. He incorporates kicks well into his offensive striking attack. The Canadian is best when he is being the aggressor, and can have problems when he is moving backwards. Since his loss to Condit in his second Octagon appearance, MacDonald has really focused on improving his cardio, and has not really had a problem in that department ever since. I believe he will be able to go a full three rounds without breaking a sweat, even considering the fact that he did not have any time off between his last fight and this one. Immediately following the Lawler loss, he got back in the gym, and is looking to get back on track with a win on Saturday night. Fight Prediction: I think MacDonald is going to batter Maia on the feet. If the fight hits the mat, I think it will be on Rory’s terms, and his strength and submission defense will hold up, while he gets his ground and pound in en route to a possible TKO stoppage. He probably doesn’t want to go to the mat with Maia, but he’s the type of guy who would be confident enough to, and I think he has the kind of ego that would make him want to finish a BJJ ace on the mat. His ground and pound is so dangerous, that if he really does have his head together, I don’t think Maia will be able to do much off his back while he’s eating those elbows. Gabe’s Pick: Rory MacDonald by TKO (3:33, round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Rory MacDonald (-280) 3.5u to win 1.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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