UFC 177 Fight Breakdown: Tony Ferguson vs. Danny Castillo

Paul-Sass The co-main event of UFC 177 is a three-round lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Ferguson is a -250 favorite (bet $250 to win $100) while Castillo is a +230 underdog (bet $230 to win $100). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened Castillo at +185 and Ferguson at -265, and generally the betting action has gone in the direction of the favorite Ferguson. I believe the line is about right and I expect Ferguson to win this fight in impressive fashion. Here’s why. Ferguson (15-3) won season 13 of The Ultimate Fighter and has continually made improvements since then to become a darkhorse contender in the lightweight division. Only 30 years of age, Ferguson is 5-1 in the UFC overall with victories over Katsunori Kikuno, Mike Rio, Yves Edwards, Aaron Riley and Ramsey Nijem and his only loss coming to Michael Johnson. He is very well rounded with excellent boxing, slick BJJ on the mat (he trains under Eddie Bravo), and the wrestling to dictate where the fight takes place. He has looked amazing since returning from a broken arm last year at UFC 166, submitting Rio with a choke and knocking out Kikuno at UFC 174 to rebound from the loss to Johnson and start to make a name for himself again at 155. With a well-rounded skillset and with constant improvements fight to fight, Ferguson is destined for stardom if he keeps it up, and it all starts with another big with over Castillo at UFC 177. Castillo (17-6) is definitely one of the more underrated fighters at lightweight. Overall he is 7-3 in the UFC with notable wins over Charlie Brenneman, Tim Means, Paul Sass, Anthony Njokunai and Joe Stevenson, and with the only losses coming to Edson Barboza, Michael Johnson and Jacob Volkmann. Castillo trains at Team Alpha Male and like his other stablemates, he uses a well-rounded mixed martial arts attack to claim his victories. He has good boxing, good knockout power, solid wrestling, and decent submission defence. His cardio is also a strongpoint. His chin isn’t great though, and he’s 35, so there are some knocks against Castillo heading into this matchup against the younger Ferguson, who also has a five-inch read advantage on “Last Call.” So while Castillo is a solid fighter and a live dog on paper, the more you look at it the more it makes sense he is the underdog here against Ferguson, who has more ways of winning the fight. You can’t count Castillo out here, but at the same time, it would be surprising if he won. This is the first UFC co-main event for both guys and I think both will look to stand and trade and put on a show for the fans. Castillo certainly has power in his fists, but as Ferguson showed in his last fight he does too. Ferguson also has the length and reach on Castillo and in a striking match his reach advantage will be key. I also think Ferguson has a more proven chin. Fighting in front of his hometown, Castillo will no doubt be motivated to pick up the W, but Ferguson I believe is going to be too much for him. I think the fight will be entertaining for as long as it lasts, but ultimately look for Ferguson to hurt Castillo with punches and put him away with strikes to continue moving towards a lightweight title shot. At -250, I think Ferguson is worthy of his pricetag and makes sense as the first leg of a two-team parlay.

Written by Adam Martin.

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