UFC 179 Fox Sports 1 and Fight Pass Prelim Preview

UFC 179All those who have complained about oversaturation in the UFC in recent years have had their mettle tested over the past couple of weeks, with no UFC card since October 4th. Comments about missing the UFC, and anticipating fights once again have become louder especially in light of some lacklustre offerings from Bellator recently. That general feeling could indicate a couple things. First, it could point to a three week break being slightly too long between events. On the contrary, the break has also allowed anticipation for an otherwise two-fight card to build, so more breaks could be warranted. My personal opinion: If the UFC can’t put on a deeper card than this following their longest break of the year, that’s a bit discouraging for the quality of the product moving forward. Perhaps the Fox Sports 1 main event is a good indication of just that, as welterweights Neil Magny (12-3) and William Macario (7-1) find themselves in that spot. There’s nothing wrong with Magny or Macario, but it’s hard to see them in such a high profile spot. Yes, Magny is on a four-fight winning streak, and both men have shown solid improvement over the past year, but Magny isn’t the most exciting fighter to watch, and ‘Patolino’ is still extremely green. The betting lines lean towards Magny, as he is a-200 favorite (bet $200 to win $100) at 5Dimes Sportsbook currently. Macario sits at +185 (bet $100 to win $185). This fight should come down to Magny’s wrestling against Macario’s striking, as despite having a significant reach advantage, most would agree that the Brazilian is more dangerous on the feet. A former welterweight drops down to 155lbs for the first time in his career, as grappling ace Yan Cabral (11-1) looks to rebound from his first loss against Japanese veteran Naoyuki Kotani (33-11-7). This booking hearkens back to some of the early bouts in Brazil, as Kotani simply seems outmatched. Cabral is the better striker, better wrestler, and vastly superior grappler. The only thing that is worrying about Cabral is the weight cut and the cardio issues that plagued him in his loss to Zak Cummings. If that doesn’t come into play again here, Cabral should roll. Oddsmakers agree as Cabral is the biggest favorite on the card at -675. In the flyweight division, a pair of veterans look to use each other as stepping stones to get into contention. Wilson Reis (18-5) and Scott Jorgensen (15-9) are both fairly recent converts to the UFC’s smallest division, with Reis having just one bout at 125, with Jorgensen sporting three bouts. Each fighter won his most recent fight and could certainly use the added momentum of a second consecutive victory. Wrestling will be key in this bout, as both fighters do their best work in the grappling game. Reis has the jiu-jitsu advantage, but Jorgensen is the more decorated wrestler, which will create an interesting dynamic. Jorgensen did miss weight for this bout, and it seems to have pushed the public slightly more in Reis’ favour, as the Brazilian is now a -185 favorite to Jorgensen’s +170. Perhaps the most intriguing of all the undercard bouts is a featherweight bout between prospect Andre Fili (13-2) and Felipe Arantes (16-6-1, 2 NC). Fili has shown flashes of excellence in his young career – most notably taking the first round off of Max Holloway in his last bout – but he’s also inconsistent. That’s almost the exact opposite of Arantes, who is very steady but rarely spectacular. Fili is the more talented striker, but Arantes is more efficient. Fili is the better wrestler in spurts, but Arantes is excellent at maintaining control when he gets it. Will Fili’s moments be enough to overcome the consistency of Arantes, or will the Brazilian be spurred on to victory by the home crowd? With one of the closest lines on the card, Fili -130 and Arantes +120, everyone is split on this bout. Moving to UFC Fight Pass for a pair of bouts, Gilbert Burns (8-0) will be making his UFC lightweight debut on this card after first appearing as a welterweight. He was successful in that bout against a stiff test in Andreas Stahl, and faces another solid opponent in the debuting Christos Giagos (10-2). Burns is rounding out his game nicely, as his jiu-jitsu base is now accompanied by solid wrestling and striking. Giagos started as a wrestler, but his most dangerous skill set is certainly his striking. He is very aggressive, which can overwhelm opponents or leave openings for them to capitalize on, and it seems expected that Burns will take advantage. The line seems steep for Burns at -370, but he is seen as one of the better prospects in the game today, which feeds into that number. The first fight of the night will likely be the last UFC bout for either Fabricio Camoes (14-8-1) or Tony Martin (8-2). Each is on a two-fight losing streak in the UFC, and rarely does someone get to stick around if they drop that third contest. The unfortunate part is that both of these fighters have solid skills in almost every area, they just can’t seem to put it together. Camoes was submitted from top position in his last bout despite being a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, while Martin has started strong in each of his UFC bouts only to fade badly and end up losing. If Martin can get his cardio together he could be a solid fighter in the UFC, but until we see that, it can’t be assumed he’s made that improvement. Currently, this is the single closest line on UFC 179 as a dead pick em at -105 on either side. The UFC Fight Pass prelims begin at 7pm ET on Saturday night, while things switch over to Fox Sports 1 at 8pm ET.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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