UFC Fight Night 44 Play: “Brutal” Johnny Bedford (-240) vs Cody “The Renegade” Gibson (+200)

cody gibsonUFC Fight Night 44 Date: June 28, 2014 Arena: AT&T Center City: San Antonio, TX Bantamweight bout: “Brutal” Johnny Bedford (-240) vs Cody “The Renegade” Gibson (+200) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 44 preliminary card on FOX Sports 1 will be featuring a bantamweight scrap between The Ultimate Fighter 14 semifinalist “Brutal” Johnny Bedford and 15-fight veteran Cody “The Renegade” Gibson. Texas’ Bedford is the favorite heading into this contest at -240 ($240 to win $100), while the California native Gibson is the betting underdog at +200 ($100 to win $200) at Several Bookmakerss. “Brutal” Johnny Bedford (19-10-1-1 NC MMA, 2-1-1 NC UFC) faced Yani Yahya in Abu Dhabi just over a couple of months and was under the impression he has earned a TKO victory until Bruce Buffer announced the bout a no contest, at which point Bedford lost his cool. The referee ruled it a no contest because it was a headbutt that initially hurt Yahya, and after watching replays, Bedford apologized and a rematch was made. However, Yahya suffered an injury in training and was forced to be removed from the card, and Gibson has stepped up on short notice. The 31-year old is a brawler who loves to wrestle. He likes to bully his opponents on the mat with his vicious ground and pound. Bedford loves to use his knees and does a lot of damage when implementing them in his offensive attack. His chin is not bad, but it is not good, either. He has been knocked out twice; once by former UFC bantamweight Edwin Figureoa on the regional circuit, and once by current flyweight contender John Dodson in the semifinals for season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter reality series. The biggest hole in Bedford’s game would be his submission defense, which has been improving, but he still leaves holes, largely in part due to his bad habit of making mental errors in fights. “Brutal” does not have very good takedown defense, but when put on his back, he is very active in guard, constantly attacking with elbows and submission attempts of his own. His cardio is not the best, but the Ohio native will likely have enough in the tank for a full three rounds against Gibson in front of his adopted hometown crowd. Cody “The Renegade” Gibson (11-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) made his promotional debut in a very short notice fight against Aljamain Sterling, replacing an injured Lucas Martins. Though coming up short on the judges’ scorecards and losing the bout via a 29-28 unanimous decision, Gibson impressed in his debut and won over many fans. Now four months since that loss, he prepares for another short notice outing, this time replacing an injured Rani Yahya against Johnny Bedford in Bedford’s adopted home-state of Texas. “The Renegade” is a talented wrestler who possesses great takedown skills and works well in top position on the mat, as well as in the clinch up against the cage. He has a nice bodylock takedown he likes to use against the cage, but also likes to just stand there and do damage with his fists and knees. The 26-year-old’s striking is rudimentary, but he has pretty good striking defense, and a solid chin to go with it. He is a very tough athlete with great durability and a ton of heart. He has no quit in him and has never been knocked out in his professional mixed martial arts career. Gibson does not have many tools on the feet, but he does have an overhand right which he favors. He also has an excellent guillotine choke, which he has used to finish two opponents. Considering he has had more time to prepare for this short notice bout than he did his last, and keeping in mind that his last fight was his Octagon debut, I think it is safe to say that Gibson’s conditioning will be good enough for a hard 15 minutes of action against The Ultimate Fighter season 14 veteran. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this is a good match-up for Gibson. I don’t think Bedford can over-power him and control him en route to a TKO stoppage like he has other opponents. I think Gibson is too tough for that, and being a talented grappler in his own right, will find himself on the offensive end of the action quite a bit. I don’t think Bedford will manage to finish Gibson, be it by T/KO or submission. I feel the only way he wins this fight is via decision, so if you’re backing Bedford in this bout, I would recommend playing him by Decision at +105, rather than the current ridiculously mispriced money-line of -240. While I think Bedford’s likely only route to victory is via decision, I think Gibson can take a decision, too, as well as finish him. I can see Gibson stopping Bedford via T/KO, but more realistically I think he can catch him in a submission; most likely a guillotine or rear naked choke. Gabe’s Call: Gibson by Submission (some type of choke, 4:48 round 2) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Gibson (+200) 2.5u to win 5u

Written by Gabe Killian

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