TUF China Finale Play: Nam Phan (-150) vs Vaughan Lee (+130)

Nam PhanThe Ultimate Fighter: China Finale The Ultimate Fighter: China Finale Date: March 1, 2014 Arena: The Venetian at Macao’s CoitaiArena City: Macau, China

Bantamweight bout: Nam Phan (-150) vs Vaughan Lee (+130) Fight Breakdown: The TUF China finale main card on UFC Fight Pass will feature a scrap between a pair of tough bantamweights in Nam Phan and Vaughan Lee. Phan is currently the favorite heading into this bout at -150 ($150 to win $100), and Lee is the underdog at +130 ($100 to win $130) at Several Bookmakerss. NAM PHAN (18-12 MMA, 2-5 UFC) will be making his eighth appearance inside the Octagon, and his second in the bantamweight division. He travels to China to take on a Brit with his back against the wall, as he is on a two-fight skid that includes a three round domination by Denis Siver at 145 pounds. In his debut at bantamweight, he came up short against Takeya Mizugaki, losing the first two rounds and coming back to take the third. The Ultimate Fighter season 12 veteran has displayed a great chin throughout his Octagon career, but against Mizugaki, he also showed that he has incredible recovery. Mizugaki had him badly hurt in the first round of action, but Phan recovered very well. Phan is well-versed in the submission game, as he owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but he prefers to stand and trade. His boxing and Muay Thai skills are solid, and while he lacks the knockout power, he makes up for it in IQ and technique. The 30 year old is also one of the best at mixing in solid and effective body shots during exchanges. In fact, he stopped fellow TUF season 12 veteran and current UFC lightweight Cody McKenzie with a body shot during their time on the reality series. Phan lands a high percentage of his strikes, and diversifies his attack well. He is very active on the feet, even if he is just scoring points with his solid jab. The former lightweight is a tough fighter with a ton of heart who is hard to put away. He is tremendous conditioning and will be ready to go the distance against Lee, as he is looking to pick up his first W at 135 pounds. VAUGHAN LEE (13-9-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) returns to the Octagon for his sixth appearance, coming off a second round armbar submission loss to Raphael Assuncao on the Brazilian’s run towards a potential upcoming title shot. Lee was slated to take on Sergio Pettis in the Roufusport product’s promotional debut, but was forced to pull out from the bout a week before the fight due to injury. Coming off the injury and a nine-month layoff, ring rust may be a concern with the eleven year veteran. Lee is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who is decent on the feet, but is best when on the mat. He works a nice hook, and likes to look for the uppercut. Possessing solid wrestling skills, the Brit likes to take his opponents down to the mat, where he employs his dangerous ground and pound attack. He drops heavy fists from inside the guard of his opponents, and follows them with devastating elbows. The 31-year old is a talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, having given Japanese veteran “Kid” Yamamoto the first submission loss of his professional mixed martial arts career, while simultaneously silencing a Japanese crowd in Saitama. Lee is generally well-conditioned, and I expect him to be ready for a three round war heading into this contest against Phan. Fight Prediction: Lee needs to secure takedowns if he plans on taking this on the judges’ scorecards. That said, I don’t think he will be successful in continuously taking Phan down and keeping him down long enough to win rounds. I think Phan will find success in keeping the fight on the feet where his volume of significant strikes landed will win him rounds, and ultimately a nod from the judges. Gabe’s Pick: Nam Phan by Split Decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Nam Phan (-150) .75u to win .5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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