UFC on FOX 11 Fight Breakdown: Thiago Alves (-400) vs. Seth Baczynski (+325)

727713-thiago_alves One of the prelims at UFC on FOX 11 that I’m most excited for is a three-round welterweight bout between Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves and Seth “The Polish Pistola” Baczynski. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Alves as a -400 favorite (bet $400 to win $100) while Baczynski is a +325 underdog (bet $100 to win $325). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Alves at -350 and Baczynski at +250, meaning there has been some action on the favorite Alves. I can see why Alves has been bet up to 4-to-1 as I’m picking him to win this fight. Here’s why. Alves (19-9) was one of the top welterweights in the sport but a series of injuries has left him on the sidelines for over the past two years. Finally healthy again, the 30-year-old American Top Team product returns to the Octagon in his home base of Florida for this fight against Baczynski. A devastating striker with knockout power in all of his limbs, Alves is 11-6 in his UFC career and holds notable wins over Matt Hughes, Josh Koscheck, Chris Lytle and John Howard and he also fought for the title against former champ Georges St-Pierre in the main event of UFC 100. Armed with lethal knockout power, Alves is a serious beast of a fighter and now that GSP is gone he has the chance to make another run for the title. Although he is coming off a long layoff and although he lost his last fight against Martin Kampmann and has lost four of his last six overall, I still believe in Alves and think he gets the job done on Saturday night. Baczynski (19-10) is one of the most underrated welterweights in the UFC and the owner of 17 career wins inside the distance. The 32-year-old veteran of TUF season 11 is 5-2 overall in the promotion with notable victories over Neil Magny and Matt Brown. He also has a recent knockout win over Alex Garcia A huge welterweight blessed with a long reach, I think Baczynski is a really good, well-rounded fighter with an excellent submission game, good striking, knockout power, and in general a good chin. But he’s getting up there in age now and he was brutally knocked out by Brian Melancon last year at UFC 162, one of those scary knockouts that makes you wonder how much left he has in the tank. Obviously he did beat Magny in his next fight by using his underrated wrestling, but Alves is on another level and I have a feeling the UFC is setting Baczynski to lose in devastating fashion, and although it would be a nice story to see Baczynski pull off the upset, I really doubt it happens. I believe the UFC gave Alves a very winnable matchup in his return to the Octagon, and I think he’s going to look like the Alves of old here as he shows off his vintage striking attack and knocks out Baczynski in brutal fashion. The long layoff is a huge red flag at because of that, I can’t really recommend betting Alves at -400 even though I really think he rolls here. However, there is a prop play I like here, and it’s on the fight not going the three-round distance at only -160. I definitely think there is going to be a finish in this fight either way and I see good value in that prop line so I have to recommend a bet on it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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