UFC 172 Play: Joseph Benavidez (-380) vs Tim Elliott (+315)

benavidezUFC 172 Date: April 26, 2014 Arena: Baltimore Arena City: Baltimore, MD Flyweight bout: Joseph Benavidez (-380) vs Tim Elliott (+315) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 172 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be headlined by a flyweight war between Team Alpha Male’s Joseph Benavidez and Grindhouse MMA’s Tim Elliott. Benavidez is the favorite in this scrap at -380 ($380 to win $100), with Elliott the underdog at +315 ($100 to win $315) at Several Bookmakerss. Joseph Benavidez (19-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is coming off the first knockout loss of his professional mixed martial arts career, occurring in the first round of his flyweight title fight against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. It was the second flyweight title bout he has lost to Johnson, as he previously been defeated in a five right split decision for the promotion’s inaugural 125-pound belt. The Team Alpha Male product is a beast of an athlete, all-around. He is a solid striker who has been consistently showing improvements in the department. The 29-year old has fast and heavy hands, which is the reason is he able to score so many knockouts at 125 pounds. He owns a vicious cross, and likes to throw powerful hooks. He likes going for the uppercut any time he sees an opening for it. Benavidez is an extremely talented wrestler who possesses great takedowns. His submission game is excellent, and he has a guillotine choke that could force just about anyone to tap. Training out of Team Alpha Male in Sacramento, CA, the WEC veteran is a well-conditioned athlete who will be ready for a 15 minute fight against Elliott. Tim Elliott (10-4-1 MMA, 2-2 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to current flyweight title challenger Ali “Puncher King” Bagautinov. Now after five months away from the cage, he is eager to get back in the win column, and has an arguably bigger task ahead of him in Benavidez. Elliott is a very athletic southpaw who has a great chin and a wild, unorthodox style of fighting. He is a talented wrestler who prefers the single leg and is good at landing it. His elbows are razor sharp, and he is quite effective with them in his ground and pound attack. His takedown defense isn’t very good, but he is great at quickly getting back to his feet. The RFA veteran has a solid submission game, both offensively and defensively. He is dangerous off his back, as he constantly threatens with submissions. Not to mention, he makes excellent transitions on the mat. Elliott likes to remain active and keep the pressure on his opponents. He has great footwork, and is very quick. He likes to implement his knees and elbows in his striking attack, and has a nice flying knee he loves to use. He dishes out a lot of kicks, and has a variety of them in his arsenal. The 27-year old puts together some effective, high-volume combinations on the feet, and he never gets tired. Training out of Grindhouse MMA in Lee’s Summit, MO, I have no doubt he’ll have enough in the gas tank for arguably the toughest 15 minutes of his professional mixed martial arts career. Gabe’s Prediction: I think Benavidez has a great chance of winning this bout because of his superior grappling and striking. The only question mark would be his chin and if he could take a knee from Elliott without his lights going out. The only way I could see Benavidez losing this fight is his chin really is gone and he gets caught on the button, or if he completely freezes and gets outstruck. I don’t think the odds of either of those are too great, and I favor Benavidez to win this fight much more often than not. I expect the Team Alpha Male fighter to be very motivated heading into this match-up, and as long as he avoids getting caught, he should walk away with the victory, more than likely via decision. Gabe’s Call: Benavidez by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Benavidez (-380) parlayed with Luke Rockhold (-800) for -248 4.85u to win 1.95u

Written by Gabe Killian

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