UFC 172 Fight Breakdown: Danny Castillo (-270) vs. Charlie Brenneman (+230)

Paul-Sass One of the Fight Pass prelims at UFC 172 is a three-round lightweight bout between Danny “Last Call” Castillo and Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Castillo a -270 favorite (bet $270 to win $100) while Brenneman is a +230 underdog (bet $100 to win $230). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Castillo at -260 and Brenneman at +180, meaning there has been some slight action on the favorite Castillo. I agree with the slight action on Castillo as I’m also picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. Castillo (16-6) is a solid wrestler with knockout power who trains out of the Team Alpha Male camp in Sacramento, California. Since the folding of the WEC, the 34-year-old has carved out a solid career for himself inside the UFC as he has attained a 6-3 overall record inside the Octagon with wins over Tim Means, Paul Sass, John Cholish, Anthony Njokuani, Shamar Bailey and Joe Stevenson. As well, he has notable victories over top featherweights Ricardo Lamas and Dustin Poirier from his WEC days. In his last fight, Castillo took on Edson Barboza as a huge underdog and managed to lose by majority decision in a fight most observers scored as a draw as Castillo hurt Barboza badly in the first round and should have been given a 10-8 for his efforts. However, two judges only gave him a 10-9 and he lost a controversial majority decision. I believe that loss will motivate Castillo to get back on the winning path, especially since he fell all the way to the Fight Pass card after the loss while Barboza was given a main-card slot on FOX. Against Brenneman, Castillo has a favorable matchup as his wrestling should match up with Brenneman’s and he’s the better striker of the two. So as long as he can keep the fight standing, he has a good chance of picking up his seventh UFC victory. Brenneman (19-6) is in his second stint in the UFC, as he recently returned as a lightweight and lost via submission to Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 35. Prior to this stint, Brenneman had a run as a welterweight and went 4-4 overall that included a huge upset win over Rick Story at UFC Live 4, a victory which is still the best of his career. However, since that win over Story, Brenneman just hasn’t been the same, going a disappointing 1-4 over his next five UFC fights. After being cut following a TKO loss to Kyle Noke at UFC 152, Brenneman made the drop to 155 and he won four fights on the regional circuit to get back into the UFC. However, he faltered as a favorite against Dariush and now most are off his bandwagon again. A gifted grappler with solid submissions, the 33-year-old Brenneman is in a must-win situation against Castillo this weekend at UFC 172, but unless he’s made significant improvements in the striking department or his wrestling is better than I think it is, this is going to be a hard fight for him to win. I believe Castillo and Brenneman’s wrestling will cancel each others’ out and this fight will stay standing. On the feet, I think Castillo has a sizeable edge in both technique and power and we’ve seen Brenneman get dropped by strikes numerous times. Look for Castillo to get the job done here with a TKO victory to vindicate himself after the loss to Barboza. I like Castillo a lot in this fight and at -270 I think there’s some value to putting him into a parlay. I just think he beats Brenneman everywhere so unless he has a letdown performance this really should be his fight for the taking and he should be a fine addition to parlays. I’m also considering Castillo wins inside the distance at +120, but waiting for it to get to a higher number before making a play.

Written by Adam Martin.

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