TUF China Finale Play: Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (-125) vs Matt Mitrione (+105)

tuf-16-finaleThe Ultimate Fighter: China Finale Date: March 1, 2014 Arena: The Venetian at Macao’s CoitaiArena City: Macau, China Heavyweight bout: Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (-125) vs Matt Mitrione (+105) Fight Breakdown: The TUF China finale main card on UFC Fight Pass will feature a fight between a pair of heavyweights who are coming off first round defeats, when Louisiana State University’s Shawn “The Savage” Jordan takes on Purdue University’s Matt Mitrione. This fight is at a near-coin flip, with Jordan being a slight favorite at -125 ($125 to win $100) and Mitrione barely an underdog at +105 ($100 to win $105) at Several Bookmakerss. SHAWN “THE SAVAGE” JORDAN (15-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is coming off a first round knockout loss at the hands of Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 166. The loss snapped a two-fight winning streak that included TKO finishes over Mike Russow and Pat Barry, respectively. Jordan is very athletic, as he is a former football player and is very fast for a heavyweight; he might very well be the fastest and most athletic heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. His opponent, Mitrione, is also an ex-football player and very quick for a heavyweight, but Jordan will have the advantage over him in that department. “The Savage” has a solid submission game, and will likely looking to take Mitrione down in this fight, as that is where he will have the biggest advantage. Jordan possesses serious power in his hands, but considering that he is coming off a knockout loss and that Mitrione hits very hard, the 20-fight veteran may not be looking to stand and trade, and will instead look to put Mitrione against the cage and try to get him down to the mat. Training out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuequrque, NM, the 29 year old’s striking improves fight to fight. Having his camp at altitude certainly benefits his cardio, as well, and plays a role in his tremendous conditioning. I expect him to be able to go a full 15 minutes of action with Mitrione without a sweat, should the fight go the distance. MATT MITRIONE (6-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) is the first fighter I’m doing an article on who has had all the fights in his professional mixed martial arts career inside the UFC. After starting his career at 5-0 inside the Octagon, he has gone 1-3 in his last four fights, and may have his back against the wall heading into this bout against Jordan. “Meathead” is coming off a first round submission loss to Brendan Schaub, which was the first d’arce choke submission victory in UFC heavyweight history. He was getting the better of Schaub on the feet, but as soon as the fight hit the mat, Mitrione became a fish out of water. Schaub secured the choke, “Meathead” refused to tap, and eventually went to sleep with less than a minute remaining in the frame. The former football player is very fast and athletic, and he packs a lot of power behind his strikes, especially his right hand, as was evident by his one-punch, walk-off knockout of Christian Morecraft, not to mention the fact that Phil De Fries got knocked out just running into him. Mitrione lacks a ground game, but he has constantly been improving his striking, especially now that he is working with the great Henri Hooft at the Blackzilians camp in Boca Raton, FL. The 35 year old is technical and effective with his strikes, but he has a problem when it comes to fight IQ. He seems to start his fights smart, with a high fight IQ, but the IQ often drops as the fight progresses, as evident by the Schaub loss, and especially his knockout at the hands of Roy Nelson. The Ultimate Fighter season 10 veteran was doing well against Nelson, until he stopped using his footwork and head movement and began to just stand in front of Nelson. Training out of the Blackzillians camp Boca Raton, FL, Mitrione is always in great shape, and I expect him to be ready for a three round battle against the Strikeforce and Bellator veteran. Fight Prediction: If there is a submission in this fight, of course Mitrione will be the receiving end of it. Unless Jordan taps to strikes, which I could actually see happening. But as far as “Meathead” getting tapped goes, it’s certainly a possibility, but I don’t think it will happen, as Jordan is not as good of a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner as Brendan Schaub. Mitrione will likely be able to keep himself from getting into such a position against Jordan. I think “The Savage” will push Mitrione up against the cage and look to implement the takedown, while peppering him against the cage. The TUF season 10 veteran will defend takedowns, though I think he will spend quite a bit of time with his back against the cage. That said, I think he may be able to stop Jordan on the feet, but if he doesn’t, I think he will land the more damaging blows throughout the fight, and the judges would reward him with the nod. Gabe’s Pick: Matt Mitrione by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 1.5 rounds (+130) .5u to win .65u

Written by Gabe Killian

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