UFC Fight Night 38 Play: Mairbek Taisumov (-280) vs Michel Prazeres (+200)

TaisumovUFC Fight Night 38 Date: March 23, 2014 Arena: Ginasio Nelio Dias City: Natal, Brazil Lightweight bout: Mairbek Taisumov (-280) vs Michel Prazeres (+200) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 28 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will feature a lightweight contest between a Chechnyan and a Brazilian, when Mairbek Taisumov heads to Brazil to take on the country’s own Michel Prazeres. Taisumov is the favorite in this match-up at -280 ($280 to win $100), while Prazeres is the underdog at +200 ($100 to win $200) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Mairbek Taisumov (21-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) will be making his return to the Octagon following a unanimous decision victory over Tae Hyun Bang in the Philippines over three months ago. The win puts him on a four fight winning streak that includes three finishes. Taisumov is a talented striker who possesses powerful leg kicks, and has a variety of them in his arsenal. His striking, especially kicks, are beautiful and diverse. He circles well, has good head movement, and he is also very good with his faints. The 25-year old Chechnyan has solid striking defense, and generally speaking, he likes to keep his opponents guessing. Taisumov is a very quick athlete who shoots for powerful takedowns, and is good at finishing them. He prefers taking fights to the ground either with the double leg or with a body-lock. The Tiger Muay Thai fighter likes to remain active, push the pace, and be the aggressor in his fights, so I expect him to dictate Octagon control against the Brazilian, especially considering he will be the far superior striker. The 25-year old likes to work the top position on the mat, and employs a vicious ground and pound attack that often results in a TKO, or creates openings for him to sink in his favorite finishing move, the rear naked choke. Taisumov has decent conditioning, and knows how to pace himself. His cardio is a work in progress that is improving, and I expect him to have an advantage in that department, as he heads to Brazil to take on the Brazilian in Prazeres. Michel Prazeres (17-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) is set to make his third appearance in the Octagon, coming off a unanimous decision victory over the Canadian Jesse Ronson on enemy territory in Toronto. He rebounded well from the lone loss in his professional mixed martial arts career which came against Paulo Thiago in his Octagon debut, in a welterweight bout he was undersized in. Settling back down at 155 pounds, the Brazilian got past Ronson and now looks to make it 2-0 in the UFC’s lightweight division. The 30 year old does not have good cardio. In fact, it was the main factor in his loss to Thiago, and also the reason he lost the third round in his last outing against Ronson. I believe he will be at a cardio disadvantage, as he heads into this contest against the 25 year old Chechnyan. Prazeres is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, and is very skilled in the submission game. He works pretty good takedowns, especially his single leg and body lock takedowns. He really goes after the takedowns, and is relentless in his efforts to cash in on them. The Brazilian is not a skilled striker by any stretch of the imagination, so he relies on his grappling to win fights. He has a decent over-hand right, and does pack power in his hands, but he has a lot of holes in his striking, which could spell for trouble against a talented striker like Taisumov. Prazeres will surely be looking to take this fight to the mat from the get-go, where he will look to initiate his offensive submission game. He is very strong and likes to control opponents on the mat, using his high level jiu-jitsu and incredible strength. The Brazilian remains active on the mat, as he constantly searches for submission opportunities, especially chokes. While he has never been finished in his professional mixed martial arts career, his chin remains a question mark for me. That said, he is very tough and has great heart, so I would not expect him to quit, if he were to get in trouble. Fight Prediction: I am expecting Taisumov to get the better of Prazeres in every area, regardless of where the fight goes. I believe he will outclass the Brazilian on the feet, and if the fight hits the mat, I think it will be on his terms. Prazeres is the more decorated grappler, but I think the Chechnyan will be successful in working him from the top position without falling into a submission. That said, I think Taisumov will keep this fight on the feet and ultimately stop Prazeres, if not cruise to a 30-27 unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Pick: Mairbek Taisumov by TKO (strikes, 3:10 round 3) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Mairbek Taisumov (-280) parlayed with Diego Brandao (-285) for -120 4.8u to win 4u

Written by Gabe Killian

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