UFC Fight Night 40 Play: Erik “New Breed” Koch (-425) vs Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank (+378)

Daron CruickshankUFC Fight Night 40 Date: May 10, 2014 Arena: US Bank Arena City: Cincinnati, OH Lightweight bout: Erik “New Breed” Koch (-425) vs Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank (+378) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC on FOX 40 will feature a Kickboxing vs Tae Kwon Do bout in the lightweight division between a pair of talented strikers in the form of Erik “New Breed” Koch and Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank. Koch is a heavy favorite heading into this match-up at -425 ($425 to win $100), with Cruickshank being a very big underdog at +378 ($100 to win $378) at Several Bookmakerss. Erik “New Breed” Koch (14-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) is set to make his second UFC appearance at 155 pounds, after going 2-2 as a featherweight. He is coming off an impressive first round TKO over Raphaello Oliveira at UFC 170 over two months ago. He now looks to make it two in a row as a lightweight, as he gets ready to take on the TUF: Live veteran in Cruickshank. Koch is a technical striker who hunts for the knockout and often finds it. He has a stiff jab and often leads with it. He has a solid 1-2 and an excellent left high kick, which he used to knock out Francisco Rivera, who is currently fighting at 135 pounds. The two other opponents Koch last beat were Raphael Assuncao and Jonathan Brookins. Assuncao is also currently fighting at 135 pounds, and Brookins has dropped all the way down to 125 pounds. Other than Oliveira, he does not own a recent victory over anyone who is currently above bantamweight, and he is now fighting at 155 pounds, so that is worth taking into consideration when breaking down this fight. He isn’t lost on the ground but always prefers to keep his fights standing; his fights rarely hit the mat due to his great takedown defense. The 28-year old is vicious with every limb he throws. He is a calculated kickboxer who goes into his fights with a game plan made by his Head Coach/Striking Coach Duke Roufus of Roufusport out of Milwaukee, WI. Roufus highlights Koch’s routes to knockouts, as opposed to some fighters who try to figure out ways to score points to take home decisions. Koch is far from being a point-fighter, he is definite a finisher as 11 of his 14 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of stoppage; seven by submission and four via T/KO. Daron “The Detroit Superstar” Cruickshank (14-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) returns for his seventh appearance inside the Octagon, following a second round TKO victory over fellow TUF: Live veteran Mike Rio. Cruickshank was an NCAA Division II wrestler at Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. He is a good wrestler, but does not always find success with his takedowns, especially when facing opponents who have solid defensive grappling skills. “The Detroit Superstar” is a black belt in taekwondo and is unorthodox with his striking. He displays great stand-up skills and has knockout power, as eight of his 14 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of T/KO. He mixes it up well on the feet; working great combinations, and scoring points with his hands, as well as with his kicks. He works solid kicks to the legs, body, and head, as was evident by his head-kick knockout victory over Henry Martinez. Cruickshank is well-disciplined and always in shape, so he will be ready to go all three rounds against Koch, should the battle find its way to the judges’ scorecards. Fight Prediction: I do not agree with these betting odds at all, as I think Cruickshank has a good chance at winning this fight, and lean with him to do so. Simply put, I think over the course of three rounds, he will play a point-scoring game and outpoint Koch on the feet, while mixing in some grappling. I could see him getting a takedown or two, though Koch would likely defend most of his attempts. I also see him pressing Koch up against the cage and getting a few shots in from that position. I think “The Detroit Superstar” is being counted out in this match-up, and I do think he gets his hand raised in Ohio tomorrow night. Gabe’s Call: “The Detroit Superstar” by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Daron Cruickshank (+378) 3.4u to win 12.85u

Written by Gabe Killian

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