UFC Fight Night 45 Play: Edson Barboza (-260) vs Evan Dunham (+220)

ufc-162UFC Fight Night 45 Date: July 16, 2014 Arena: Revel Casino Hotel City: Atlantic City, NJ Lightweight bout: Edson Barboza (-260) vs Evan Dunham (+220) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event for UFC Fight Night 45 in Atlantic City will be a lightweight contest between Edson Barboza and Evan Dunham, and both 155-pounders will be looking to redeem themselves after their most recent performances, in which they were both finished by Donald Cerrone. Having that in common, they are both eager to get back on track and fireworks are expected when these two enter the Octagon. Barboza is the betting favorite heading into this fight at -260 ($260 to win $100) and Dunham is the underdog at +220 ($100 to win $220) at Several Bookmakerss. Edson Barboza, Jr. (13-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) is coming off a first round rear naked choke finish at the hands of top lightweight contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC on FOX 11 just three months ago. He was getting the better of “Cowboy” on the feet in the beginning of the round, but things took an immediate turn when Cerrone caught and dropped him to his knees with a short left hook, at which point he pounced on his back and within a blink of an eye had sunk in the choke. Barboza was stunned and had no choice but to tap, but the Brazilian went back to camp and is ready to get back into the win column with a quick turnaround in this match-up against Dunham. The Brazilian is a very talented Muay Thai striker who has developed excellent defensive wrestling skills. He has incredible takedown defense and prefers to strike, so we have yet to see him really implement any offensive submission attacks inside the Octagon, though he did display some solid submission defense in his come-from-behind victory over Danny Castillo. The biggest concern for Barboza at this point is his chin, considering the fact that he was dropped and finished by Jamie Varner, dropped and nearly finished by Castillo, then dropped again and submitted by Cerrone. That said, he did show good recovery against Castillo, as he did survive the onslaught to make a come-back and take home a majority decision on the judges’ scorecards. The 28-year old has an incredible kicking game and undoubtedly owns the hardest leg kicks in the lightweight division. He has scored three knockouts via leg kicks, with two of them coming inside the Octagon. The Brazilian has beautiful spinning kicks, as well, like the highlight-reel spinning heel kick he knocked out Terry Etim with. He often likes to use his spinning back kick, and also has a nice spinning roundhouse kick. The Muay Thai specialist mixes it up well on the feet, putting together some excellent and effective combinations. He has a good over-hand right, a solid left hook and a nice uppercut-left hook combination he likes to use. He uses his lead jab really well, and is great at working his range. Training in New Jersey with the likes of former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes, Barboza is well-conditioned and will be prepared for 15 minutes of action, should the fight go the distance. Evan “3D” Dunham (14-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC) is currently on a two-fight skid, coming off a first round submission loss to Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at UFC 167 eight months ago, which followed a unanimous decision defeat against Rafael dos Anjos six months prior. I personally felt Dunham deserved that decision, though the judges were not inclined to agree. Now after a lengthy layoff, the Oregon native is ready to return to action and get back to his winning ways. A talented southpaw training out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, NV, Dunham has a very good stand-up game and does a great job of mixing it up on the feet. He has decent footwork, counters well and puts together solid 1-2 combinations. He has a nice jab, as well as a nice double-jab, which he often likes to follow with a hard left. Dunham is an aggressive fighter who likes to move forward and looks to do damage. He works well from inside the clinch, from which position he loves to implement his knees. He generally does an excellent job of implementing knees and elbows in his offensive striking attack. The 32-year old has solid boxing skills and has really sharpened up his kickboxing under the tutelage of Ray Sefo. He does not go for many high kicks, but does possess some nice leg kicks. He is an effective technical striker, as well as an effective brawler; he is capable of outpointing his opponents, but also loves to stand and trade and can be very effective in doing so. Dunham is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under recent UFC light heavyweight victor Robert Drysdale, and works well on the mat both offensively and defensively. That said, he is coming off a submission loss against Cerrone, though it is worth noting that it is the lone submission loss in his 19 professional fight career and that being submitted by Cerrone is nothing to be ashamed of. The Oregon native has a good offensive submission game, though only one of his six submission victories have come inside the Octagon, that being an armbar against The Ultimate Fighter season 8 winner Efrain Escudero four and a half years ago. “3D” has good wrestling skills and works solid takedowns, including a good double leg and a nice body-lock takedown. He works well from top position on the mat and has a solid ground and pound attack. He is a very durable fighter with a great chin and better cardio; I expect him to be ready for three hard rounds against the Brazilian, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards. Gabe’s Thoughts: There is the possibility that Dunham could catch Barboza on the feet and follow up for a finish, but I believe more often than not Barboza will be able to get the better of Dunham on the feet and ultimately stop him with strikes. I think he can hurt and stop him early in the fight, as long as he is fighting for the finish and not the points. If hit hits the judges’ scorecards, I favor him to pick up the nod, but I feel he will be earning T/KO stoppage in this outing. Gabe’s Call: Barboza by TKO (strikes, 2:52 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Edson Barboza (-260) parlayed with Donald Cerrone (-270) for -112 4.85u to win 4.35u

Written by Gabe Killian

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