Legacy FC 32 Play: Caio Machado (+325) vs Thomas Almeida (-475)

Legacy FC 32 BannerLegacy FC 32 Date: June 20, 2014 Arena: Horseshoe Bossier City Hotel City: Bossier City, LA Bantamweight title bout: Caio Machado (+325) vs Thomas Almeida (-475) Fight Breakdown: The main event for Legacy FC will be a match-up for the promotion’s vacant bantamweight title, and it will be between a pair of undefeated Brazilian’s in the form of Caio Machado and Thomas Almeida. Machado is the betting underdog in this contest at +325 ($100 to win $325), with Almedia being the favorite to win at -475 ($475 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Caio Machado (4-0 MMA, 1-0 Legacy FC) is coming off a come-from-behind unanimous decision victory against Domingo Pilarte in what was his promotional debut, giving Pilarte his first taste of defeat. Machado’s heart and cardio proved to be the difference in that bout, as he survived Pilarte’s onslaught in the first round, to come back and win the second and third on the judges’ scorecards. Now with over three months away from the cage, he is ready to make it 2-0 inside the Legacy FC cage, while simultaneously capturing the promotion’s vacant 135-pound gold. The Brazilian has a solid ground game, both offensively and defensively. He works great submissions, and does an excellent job of defending them. He has an excellent guard and works well off his back. He is good at working sweeps and scoring reversals. The 21-year olds’ striking is decent and improving. He has pretty good striking defense, is fast and generally moves well on his feet. He puts together some nice combinations and likes to implement knees and elbows in his offensive attack. Machado has an excellent chin, great cardio, and is generally very durable. I think he will have enough gas in the tank for five rounds of action, should the fight hit the judges’ scorecards. Thomas Almeida (16-0 MMA, 2-0 Legacy FC) is an undefeated Brazilian prospect who will likely earn a call from Sean Shelby and the UFC with a win over Machado tonight, especially if it comes via finish. He is coming off a fourth round TKO victory in the regional circuit, which was the first time he has been outside of the second round in a fight. His cardio was a question mark before that bout, as he had only seen the second round once, but he proved that conditioning is not a hole in his game. Now, with three months away from action, the Brazilian looks to put another impressive win on his resume on his way to the big show. Almeida is an exceptional striker who works solid kicks to the legs and body, possessing great Muay Thai skills, as he owns a 29-2 professional record in Muay Thai bouts, with the majority of his wins coming by way of knockout. It has been the case in his professional mixed martial arts career, as well. Since making the transition from Muay Thai to mixed martial arts in 2011, in only three years, he amassed a 16-0 record with 100% finishes; 10 knockouts, and four submissions. He hunts his opponents and his fighting style seems to be moving forward, looking for the finish. Unsurprisingly, 14 of his 16 finishes have come within the first round of action. Gabe’s Prediction: Almeida is the far superior striker and I think there is a decent chance he will stop Machado in this fight. That said, Machado is no slouch and not easy to finish, so should the fight hit the judges’ scorecards, I could see him having done enough to pick up a decision. I favor Almeida to earn a TKO victory en route to getting a call from Sean Shelby and being signed to the UFC’s constantly growing bantamweight division. That said, I had Machado handicapped at +280 in this bout, so at +325, I am going to take a tiny stab. I think Almeida wins, but I don’t fully agree with the -475 line. If he is unable to score the finish, there’s a chance he can lose a decision. I can see Machado doing enough to win rounds three, four, and five, but I think it will be all Almeida in the first two. Should he get past the first two rounds, I think his chances of winning will increase. Not via finish, but by grinding out the final three rounds. Gabe’s Call: Almeida by TKO (strikes, 4:33 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Machado (+325) .2u to win .65u

Written by Gabe Killian

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