UFC Fight Night 49 Play: Francis “Limitless” Carmont (-167) vs Thales Leites (+157)

Francis CarmontUFC Fight Night 49 Date: August 23, 2014 Arena: BOK Center City: Tulsa, Oklahoma Middleweight bout: Francis “Limitless” Carmont (-167) vs Thales Leites (+157) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 49 main card on FOX Sports 1 will be featuring a middleweight tilt between TriStar’s Francis “Limitless” Carmont and the veteran Thales Leites, with Carmont being the betting favorite at -167 ($167 to win $100) and Leites being the underdog at +157 ($100 to win $157) at Several Bookmakerss. Francis “Limitless” Carmont (22-9 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since 2005; first, he dropped a unanimous decision to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, though it is worth noting that going the distance with “Jacare” is a personal win for any middleweight in the division, as he is one of the most dangerous submission artists in the game. Carmont’s submission defense proved to be stellar against the Brazilian, though he came up on the losing end of the judges’ scorecards. He followed that up with another unanimous decision defeat, this time against CB “The Doberman” Dollaway. I personally scored that bout for Carmont, but the judge’s unanimously awarded it to Dollaway. That was a winner vs loser match-up, as Carmont was coming off the “Jacare” loss and Dollaway was coming off a knockout win over Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira. Now, after back-to-back losses, Carmont follows that winner vs loser match-up with another winner vs loser match-up against Thales Leites, who is coming off a first round knockout win over Trevor Smith. The TriStar product is a well-rounded mixed martial artist with good cardio who is very good at grinding his opponents en route to earning decisions, if not finding the submission finish. He is very big for the middleweight division, and that serves him well when he uses his offensive grappling. He often relies on his grappling in bouts when he finds himself at a striking disadvantage. He is generally a good striker, but also has good fight IQ, so he’s always aware of the best possible gameplan to use for securing a victory. Training out of the TriStar Gym in Montreal, Carmont is a well-conditioned athlete who will be ready for a full three rounds against the Brazilian, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards. Thales Leites (23-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is enjoying a solid three-fight winning streak since making his return to the Octagon, including unanimous decision victories over Tom Watson and Ed Herman, and most recently scoring a TKO of Trevor Smith at only 0:45 seconds of the very first round four months ago in Abu Dhabi. He currently enjoys a six-fight winning streak that includes victories in the regional circuit over UFC veterans Matt Horwich and Jeremy Horn, and a second round rear naked choke submission victory over current UFC middleweight Tor Troeng. The Brazilian will be looking to extend his streak to seven in a row and get one step closer to what he has his sights set on; the division’s gold. The Brazilian is a very talented grappler who owns a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and an incredible submission game, owning 13 of 30 professional mixed martial arts career victories by way of tapout. He works well in the clinch up against the cage, from where he searches for takedowns. Leites possesses fantastic body-lock and trip takedowns and is dominant on the mat from top position. He has a powerful top game and a solid and improved ground and pound attack. His transitions on the mat are excellent, as well; he does a great job of advancing from position to position, as well as submission attempt to submission attempt. He’s very good at taking his opponents’ backs and is phenomenal with his chokes, especially the head-and-arm choke, which is his go-to finisher, as six of his 13 submission victories come in that fashion. The 32 year old is a rudimentary striking who has been showing improvements in the department, as was evident with his knockout of Smith in his last outing. His best strike is probably his over-hand right, though he does not often land it. Training out of Nova Uniao in Brazil, Leites generally has a solid chin and decent conditioning to go with it, though I expect him to be at a cardio disadvantage in this bout against the French-Canadian. Gabe’s Thoughts: I see this bout playing out for all three rounds of action and I slightly favor Leites to do enough to earn the nod from the judge’s. I think this will be a closely contested match-up that takes place mostly in the clinch and on the mat. Leites being the superior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, I expect him to get the better of Carmont in the exchanges on the mat. I don’t think his chances of submitting Carmont are great, especially considering the fact that “Jacare” was unable to submit him. Both of these middleweights are durable and I think they will be able to go the distance. I think Leites should be a slight favorite, so I like him for a play at the current underdog odds of +157. Gabe’s Call: Leites by Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Leites (+157) 2u to win 3.14u

Written by Gabe Killian

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