UFC Fight Night 47 Play: Thiago Tavares (-140) vs Robbie “Problems” Peralta (+130)

Thiago TavaresUFC Fight Night 47 Date: August 16, 2014 Arena: Cross Insurance Center City: Bangor, Maine Featherweight bout: Thiago Tavares (-140) vs Robbie “Problems” Peralta (+130) Fight Breakdown: Getting the action started for the UFC Fight Night 47 main card on FOX Sports 1 is a featherweight scrap between the Brazilian veteran in Thiago Tavares and California’s Robbie “Problems” Peralta. Tavares is a favorite on the moneyline at -140 ($140 to win $100) and “Problems” is the underdog at +130 ($100 to win $130) at Several Bookmakerss. Thiago Tavares (18-5-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC) is coming off a very impressive first round rear naked choke submission victory over lightweight Justin Salas and after a nine-month layoff is now ready to make his return. He will be dropping down to the featherweight division for his return and will be looking to make a run in the new weight class. Tavares is a very talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and coach, owning a very impressive 12 of 18 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of submission; almost all of them via a form of choke. The Brazilian likes to pressure his opponents on the feet and does an excellent job of cutting angles. He has a decent jab and puts together some good 1-2 combinations. His striking has improved but still is not something to write home about. What is most worrisome for home in terms of striking is his chin, as it has become susceptible to shutting down. His last two losses inside the Octagon have been due to T/KO, and against a hard-hitting featherweight like Peralta, that should be his main concern going into this scrap. His game-plan should be to avoid the power-shots of “Problems” which very well could cause him problems, pun-intended, and use his superior grappling to take the fight to the mat and dominate there. Peralta’s submission defense will most likely hold up, but Tavares will be able to school him on the mat en route to a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I don’t expect it to be a concern, but another thing to keep an eye on in this bout is his cardio, especially considering the long layoff. Robbie “Problems” Peralta (17-5-1 NC MMA, 3-2-1 NC UFC) is coming off a closely contested split decision victory over Rony Jason at the TUF: Brazil 3 Finale just over a couple months ago and currently enjoys a two-fight winning streak. The nod over Jason follows a come-from-behind third round knockout of Estevan Payan, when he was down two rounds heading into the third. Against Tavares, he will be looking to extend his streak to three wins and hopefully get a top 10 opponent in his next outing. “Problems” is an aggressive fighter who likes to move forward and throw heavy punches. While he does not possess good footwork, he is a solid counter-striker who is good at catching opponents as they are coming in. He owns a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and likes to deliver vicious leg kicks, which he used to hurt and outpoint Mike Lullo in his promotional debut; a blueprint Edson Barboza had already laid out for him. Peralta is not a great wrestler, but he does have some decent wrestling skills. His takedown defense is not great and he is not very good off his back, but he does have good submission defense. His offensive grappling is certainly better than his defensive; he works a solid double-leg and can be dangerous on the mat from top position. Training out of Team Xplode in Escondido, CA, Peralta’s cardio generally differs fight to fight, but it should be in check for this bout, especially considering that it’s a quick turnaround. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think Tavares is going to use his superior grappling to get the better of Peralta on the mat for the majority of 15 minutes en route to picking up a unanimous nod from the judges. It will most likely be a 30-27, but I could see Peralta being able to win one round. Perhaps Tavares wins the first two, then gets hurt in the third but survives long enough to take home the W. In my opinion, Peralta’s best chance at securing a victory in this fight is by putting the Brazilian away. He has the hands to do it, but his power punches lack technique, so if Tavares is careful and watches out for them, the chances of Peralta landing become much lower. Gabe’s Call: Tavares by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 2.5 rounds (+140) 2u to win 2.8u

Written by Gabe Killian

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