Titan FC 29 Fight Breakdown: Mike Ricci (-255) vs. George Sotiropoulos (+235)

Mike Ricci The main event of Titan FC 29 is a three-round lightweight bout between Mike Ricci and George Sotiropoulos. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Ricci as a -255 favorite (bet $255 to win $100) while Sotiropoulos is a +235 underdog (bet $100 to win $235). Ricci opened at -315 and Sotiropoulos opened at +235, meaning overall action has been in Sotiropoulos’ direction as the line has tightened. I don’t understand the line movement personally and think at the current line Ricci could have some value for a bet. Here’s why. Ricci (9-4) is 1-0 so far in Titan FC with a TKO victory over Jorge Gurgel. The 28-year-old member of TriStar Gym is a tall and long lightweight with excellent striking and decent wrestling. He went 1-2 in the UFC with a win over Colin Fletcher and losses to Myles Jury and Colton Smith and was cut, but could return to the Octagon with a few big wins in Titan FC. Ricci is someone who Titan seems to be building their brand around — this is the second time he has headlined one of their cards — and the promotion is giving him a winnable fight in Sotiropoulos for his sophomore Titan FC effort. Although Sotiropoulos is a dangerous submission fighter, he is almost 10 years older than Ricci and is coming off a long layoff. Additionally, his chin is very questionable. Ricci has a lot of advantages in this fight and that’s why he entrenched as the favorite heading into it. Sotiropoulos (14-6) was once a top contender at 155lbs in the UFC, but after dropping four fights in a row he was cut by the promotion last year and hasn’t fought since his release last October. Now 37 years of age, Sotiropoulos has shown serious signs of decline in recent years, and he’s a far cry from the fighter who was at one point on a seven-fight win streak in the UFC and making a run for the lightweight title. He still has excellent submissions, but with a declining chin and mediocre wresting Sotiropoulos is going to have a really hard time winning fights against younger and hungrier fighters at this point, especially ones with the wrestling to keep the fight with Sotiropoulos standing. Ricci is exactly like the last few guys who have given Sotiropoulos issues, mainly Pearson and Noons, so as long as he’s aggressive Ricci should be able to win this fight and that’s why Sotiropoulos is a deserved underdog. Sotiropoulos is dangerous on the ground but at his advanced age and with declining skills I think he will have a hard time getting Ricci, who has improving takedown defence, to the ground. And on the feet there’s no question Ricci is the better striker with a better chin, and I see him winning the fight via knockout from strikes. As far as a bet goes, Sotiropoulos is on a decline and this is a good spot to fade him, and I actually see some solid value in Ricci at -255 and think he’s worth playing with some UFC fights this weekend.

Written by Adam Martin.

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