UFC Fight Night 51 Play: George Sullivan (+150) vs Igor Araujo (-170)

SullivanUFC Fight Night 51 Date: September 13, 2014 Arena: Nilson Nelson Gymnasium City: Brasilia, Brazil Welterweight bout: George Sullivan (+150) vs Igor Araujo (-170) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 51 preliminary card on UFC Fight Pass will be featuring a welterweight contest between George Sullivan and Igor Araujo, with Sullivan being an underdog at +150 ($100 to win $150) and Araujo being the favorite to win at -170 ($170 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. George Sullivan (15-3-1 NC MMA, 1-0 UFC) made his promotional debut at UFC on FOX 10 back in January, picking up a decision victory over fellow newcomer and Roufusport product, Mike “Biggie” Rhodes. Now nearly nine months away from action, he will be looking to go 2-0 in the Octagon against the Brazilian. Sullivan works well inside the clinch, and is a great dirty boxer. He has a good left jab, a hard right hand and puts together an excellent one-two combination. He likes to work the body, especially with his knees, and he puts power behind everything he throws. Sullivan circles well, has good striking defense, but he has a bad habit of keeping his chin up when backing away from his opponents, which could spell trouble against another heavy hitter, but that is not a serious concern against Araujo. Sullivan has decent leg kicks, however, he does not use his kicks much against talented wrestlers for fear of being taken down. He is not easy to take down, having strong hips and a very good base. He is good at sprawling and defending takedowns, and when taken down, is good at finding his way back to his feet. Sullivan also has a good offensive grappling game, as he often scores the takedown whenever he goes for it. He is powerful from the top position, and works a heavy ground and pound attack where he likes to implement devastating elbows. The Pellegrino MMA product has decent conditioning and should be ready for a three round affair. Igor Araujo (25-6 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was a contestant on season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter, where he lost a unanimous decision to eventual winner Colton Smith. He made his promotional debut after picking up a couple of wins on the regional circuit and it came against fellow Brazilian Ildemar Alcantara at UFC Fight Night 29 in Barueri, Brazil back in October of 2013. Araujo dominated Alcantara en route to picking up his first Octagon victory via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. He followed that up with another impressive outing against Danny Mitchell at UFC Fight Night 37 back in March, also dominating the Brit for 15-minutes of action en route to picking up a unanimous decision victory. The Brazilian now enjoys a six-fight winning streak that includes two finishes. He has certainly improved his all-around game, and even his conditioning, since moving to Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, NM, and calling it home. I believe he will have enough in the tank to go hard for all three rounds of action against Sullivan, should the fight hit the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Araujo is a very slick submission artist and the fact that 14 of his 25 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of tapout certainly reflects that sentiment. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this is going to be a closely contested bout with Sullivan getting the better of Araujo, mostly in the stand-up and in the clinch up against the cage. I think Sullivan should be the favorite here, so I see plenty of value in him at the current betting line of +150 and favor it for a wager. Gabe’s Call: Sullivan by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: George Sullivan (+150) 3.5u to win 5.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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