UFC 179 Play: Darren “The Damage” Elkins (-175) vs Lucas Martins (+155)

Chad-mendesUFC 179 Date: October 25, 2014 Arena: Maracanazinho Gymnasium City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Featherweight bout: Darren “The Damage” Elkins (-175) vs Lucas Martins (+155) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC 179 on Pay Per View will feature a featherweight match-up between Indiana native Darren “The Damage” Elkins and Brazilia’s own Lucas Martins. Elkins is the favorite at the sportsbooks heading into this 145-pound scrap at -175 ($175 to win $100), with the return on the hometown underdog Martins being +155 ($100 to win $155) at 5Dimes Sportsbooks. Darren “The Damage” Elkins (17-4 NC, 7-3 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Jeremy Stephens at UFC on FOX 10 eight months ago and will be looking to bounce back into the win column this Saturday night against Martins. The Indiana native doesn’t have great footwork or head movement, but his boxing skills are decent and improving. He is a triathlete with incredible cardio and is always game for a hard three rounds of action. Aside from his knockout loss to Chad Mendes, he has displayed a solid chin and the ability to take serious punishment, as was evident in the first round of his bout against Diego Brandao, in which he got lit up very badly and survived to come back and win the second and third rounds for a unanimous decision victory. Elkins’ bread and butter is his relentlessly smothering wrestling which he usually uses to control opponents, and I believe that will be his game-plan against the Brazilian. Lucas Martins (15-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is coming off a third round knockout of Alex White at UFC Fight Night 45 three months ago and currently rides an impressive three fight winning with all wins coming inside the distance. The lone blemish on the Brazilian’s professional mixed martial arts resume came against top lightweight Edson Barboza in what was Martins’ promotional debut. He was a late injury replacement in the match-up and lost via tapout due to strikes in the first round of action. The 25 year old is a talented striker who uses some flashy moves and scores highlight-reel knockouts. In fact, 11 of his 15 professional mixed martial arts career victories have come by way of T/KO. As soon as the first round bell sounds, Martins moves forward, looking for the finish. While his offensive striking is good, his defensive striking leaves something to be desired. The biggest weakness for the Brazilian has been his conditioning, but he showed improvement in that department in his last outing. In any case, he will be at a disadvantage in that area in this bout against the cardio machine that is Indiana’s Darren Elkins. Gabe’s Thoughts: I think, much like with Elkins’ bout against another Brazilian in Diego Brandao, he will survive a first round onslaught to come back and grind out rounds two and three for a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I believe this fight will hit the judges’ scorecards much more often than not, so rather than make a straight play on Elkins at -175, I find more comfort in playing the Over 2.5 rounds here, which is also at -175. I think Elkins should be a -200 favorite, while the Over 2.5 rounds should be at -240, so I see more value in playing the total than in taking “The Damage” straight up. Gabe’s Call: “The Damage” by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Over 2.5 rounds (-175) 2.8u to win 1.6u

Written by Gabe Killian

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