UFC Fight Night 38 Date: March 23, 2014 Arena: Ginasio Nelio Dias City: Natal, Brazil Featherweight bout: Diego Brandao (-285) vs Will “The Kill” Chope (+210) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 38 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be headlined by a featherweight scrap between Diego Brandao and Will “The Kill” Chope. Brandao is the betting favorite in this match-up at -285 ($285 to win $100), with Chope being the underdog at +210 ($100 to win $210) at Several Bookmakerss. Diego Brandao (18-9 MMA, 4-2 UFC) just had his three fight winning streak snapped by Dustin Poirier at UFC 168 less than three months ago. Brandao came in overweight for the bout, and later blamed it on a car accident he was in. He said he was unable to cut weight properly, and couldn’t prepare for the fight the way he needed to. A lesson learned, says the Brazilian, adding that if he were to suffer a pre-fight injury in the future, he would surely withdraw from the fight rather than risking another loss on his record. Brandao is a very explosive striker who loves to go for the knockout, as is evident by the fact that he has won 50 percent of his total fights via T/KO. The Ultimate Fighter season 14 winner is equally as explosive on the mat with his submission game. He is a very talented grappler who owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, half of his wins inside the Octagon have come by way of submission and both of them in the first round. The 26-year old is most dangerous in the first round, having won 11 of his 18 professional mixed martial arts bouts within the first period of action. He is undoubtedly a finisher, and is always eagerly looking for the stoppage, be it by knockout or submission. Training out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, Brandao has had a full training camp, and believes he is ready to put away Chope. Will “The Kill” Chope (19-5 MMA, 0-0 UFC) had his 14-fight winning streak snapped by Max Holloway a couple of months ago, losing via TKO in the second round of action. Chope was doing well early in the first round, but once the Hawaiian found his range, it was downhill for the lanky Californian. He displayed a lack of heart in the fight, practically quitting in the second round when he felt he could no longer handle the strikes Holloway was dishing out. The Hawaiian was the toughest test of Chope’s career, and he came up very short. Now, coming off the loss, he looks at an equally tough test in the form of Diego Brandao. “The Kill” is a physical monster at featherweight, standing at 6’4” and holding an incredible reach advantage over all of his opponents. However, it is worth noting that he has not yet learned how to use his reach to his full advantage, like a Jon Jones, per se. Chope is a Muay Thai striker who works the clinch well. He loves applying the Thai plum clinch, and delivering devastating knees. The California native works decent leg kicks, and likes to use his front kick. While he has not yet mastered his range, he is good at closing the distance and employing his dirty boxing. Chope works decent takedowns, and can be relentless with them. He is very dangerous from the top position, as he likes to rain down heavy fists and elbows. He transitions well on the mat, and tends to find the finish soon after getting the mount. He attacks with fists, elbows, and all sorts of submissions. Chope’s takedown defense is not very good, but when taken down, he is good at getting back to his feet. He works a good submission game, as well, both offensively and defensively. “The Kill” is definitely a finisher, having finished 16 of his 19 professional mixed martial arts victories. Training out of Thailand, and Team Buffett in the Philippines, Chope is still very raw but is improving. Fight Prediction: I think Brandao is going to look to take this fight to the mat as soon as possible, where he will initiate his jiu-jitsu, and take home a submission victory. Gabe’s Pick: Diego Brandao by Submission (arm triangle choke, 2:21 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Diego Brandao (-285) parlayed with Mairbek Taisumov (-280) for -120 4.8u to win 4u Note: Since posting the first half of this article, the line for this fight has changed to Brandao (-350) and Chope (+260), so hopefully you got to that article before this one.