UFC Fight Night 52 September 20, 2014 Lightweight Matchup: Myles Jury vs Takanori Gomi By @fightnomics Big Picture: One of the newer additions to the UFC’s lightweight elite ranks is taking on a legend on his home turf when Myles Jury takes on Takanori Gomi. Jury is an undefeated product of the Ultimate Fighter Season 15, while Gomi is veteran champion of numerous Japanese promotions. Ranked #9 in the lightweight division, Jury is a huge favorite coming in this matchup at -550. The comeback on Gomi is +425. It’s odd to put such a heavy favorite against a locally loved underdog, but certainly an upset would blow the roof off of the Saitama Super Arena. A loss for Gomi could possibly represent a passing of the torch and a retirement. Let’s look at the number to see if Gomi has a chance to do the unlikely. Summary Stats:
To see more Uber Tales of the Tape for this UFC fight card, check out MMA Oddsbreaker Premium.
Tale of Tape Matchup: The traditional metrics on the Tale of the Tape are very revealing here. The “Fireball Kid” Gomi is no longer a kid at all, and at age 36 he’s actually one of the older men on the UFC’s roster. In addition to giving up a 10-year Youth Advantage to Jury, he also gives up three inches of reach. Gomi’s lone advantage on the tale of the tape is his Southpaw stance, which historically does cause a slight degradation in performance by opponents. Overall though, the age and size of Jury give him big advantages right out of the gate. Striking Matchup: While Gomi has a slight advantage is striking accuracy while on their feet, that’s about all he’ll have here. Jury’s extra reach may even the accuracy out, while his pace and defense will win the rounds. Gomi used be known for his power, but hitting Jury has proved to be a difficult task for many prior fighters. Jury’s head strike defense at 91% is among the best in the UFC, and ranks 6th all-time in UFC history. He’s just extremely hard to hit. He also has a young, fresh chin that has never been damaged, so even if he is caught, he should have a better than average chance to survive a punch. Overall, Jury will do what he does best in striking and evading. He generally slows the pace of his fights down, which can be frustrating for a higher pace striker like Gomi. But round to round, there’s not much you can do against such evasive skill, and if they stay standing long Jury will likely win the rounds. Grappling Matchup: So what about the ground game? Here’s where things get tricky. Jury has only faced two takedowns in his prior five fights, both of which landed. Still, that wasn’t enough to offset his high pace of takedown attempts (approximately once every 30 seconds while standing) and high success rate of 71%. When it comes to grappling, he has normally been on the offensive. That may remain the case here. Despite Gomi’s wrestling credentials, he has been hesitant to use grappling in the UFC, attempting only four takedowns in his eight-fight promotional career. Of those takedowns, he landed just one. Think about that: through eight fights in the UFC Gomi has landed just one takedown. So despite Jury’s unknown takedown defense, it will likely be him on top when this goes to the mat, furthering the likelihood that he will win rounds. But there is another factor in the submission game. Jury boasts a Black Belt in BJJ and has four wins by submission. While Gomi has won by submission six times, he’s also been submitted six times. It would seem that top control and history is on Jury’s side when it comes to submissions, although Gomi may benefit from his long experience – the one upside of being an old man in MMA. Reed’s Pick: Jury by late submission or decision (click for latest MMA odds) Reed’s Recommended Play: Jury has a lot of advantages here supporting him as a heavy favorite, but that’s a bit too much juice to lay on a single play given the uncertainties of fighting overseas and Gomi’s experience. Injuries do happen, and an early broken hand has derailed heavy favorites in the past. It’s less likely at lightweight, but unless you have a big bankroll, the current price may be above your pain threshold. Expect the price to stay high as Jury is put into parlays, and then look for additional value in alternative angles. The Over of 1.5 rounds is -205, the Under +165. The limit is tight at just 7.5 minutes of fight time, and the unlikely finish of Jury coupled with the experience of Gomi makes the Over a more likely play. Closer to fight time, look for other props like Jury by decision for a more even bet to mix in with other angles. “Fightnomics” the book is now available on Amazon! Follow along on Twitter for the latest UFC stats and MMA analysis, or on Facebook, if you prefer.