Bellator 128 Play: Robert “Bubba” McDaniel (-170) vs Emiliano Sordi (+160)

Bubba-McDanielBellator 128 Date: October 10, 2014 Arena: WinStar World Casino and Resort City: Thackerville, OK Middleweight bout: Robert “Bubba” McDaniel (-170) vs Emiliano Sordi (+160) Fight Breakdown: Kicking off the Bellator main card on Spike TV tonight will be a middleweight contest between The Ultimate Fighter season 8 veteran Robert “Bubba” McDaniel and Argentina’s Emiliano Sordi. “Bubba” is the favorite at the sportsbooks at -170 ($170 to win $100), with the return on the underdog Sordi being +160 ($100 to win $160) at Several Bookmakerss. Robert “Bubba” McDaniel (23-8 MMA, 1-0 Bellator) was released from the UFC after going 1-2 with the promotion and dropping two in a row, but he is since on a two fight winning streak, with one victory coming in the Bellator cage. “Bubba” is a talented Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who displays some solid kickboxing when he is focused and on top of his game. When in top position on the mat, he does a good job of staying heavy and grinding out his opponents, as was evident in the third round of his bout against Brad Tavares in the UFC. Conditioning is not an issue for McDaniel, he could go all three rounds and is well trained to do so in high altitude at Jackson-Winklejohn MMA in Albuquerque, NM. He has had mental issues in the past when performing under the spotlight, but I think he feels a lot more relaxed under the Bellator lights than he did in the UFC. Emiliano Sordi (12-4 MMA, 0-0 Bellator) is set to make his Bellator debut in what will be the toughest test of his professional mixed martial arts career. He will be entering this bout with a disadvantage in every aspect of the sport, though he probably has a bigger heart and will to win than McDaniel does, and sometimes that can be enough to get your hand raised. The Argentinian has decent grappling skills, though his takedown defense is not good. He sometimes does a good job of working reversals on the mat and finding his way back to his feet, but I don’t think that will happen in this bout against McDaniel, as I think “Bubba” will be too powerful for him when on top. His striking is rudimentary; he has an OK uppercut and a nice left high kick, though his leg kicks could use a lot of work. Sordi’s conditioning will be a question mark heading into this middleweight contest, but I am confident he will be at a disadvantage in that department against McDaniel, as this is his first fight both in the United States and in a big promotion, so jitters and an adrenaline dump are likely to play a factor. Not to mention, “Bubba” himself has very good cardio. For the Argentinian, this may be a case in which he needs a first round finish. Gabe’s Thoughts: Sordi is taking a big step up in competition for this fight, but I think it is one he can win. However, I think the chances of him getting his hand raised are slim, and at his current underdog price of +160, I don’t think there is any value to make a play. I think there is value in “Bubba” at -170, as I think he should be a -230 favorite here. I expect him to get the better of Sordi on the feet and to dominate him in top control on the mat. I think it is 50/50 whether he finishes the fight or takes home a decision. I was hoping to fade McDaniel and make a play on the underdog here, but after doing my homework on this fight, I can’t help but feel it is one McDaniel could comfortably win. Gabe’s Call: “Bubba” by Submission (rear naked choke, 1:11 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Robert McDaniel (-170) 3.4u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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