UFC Fight Night 55 Fight Breakdown: Marcus Brimage vs. Jumabieke Tuerxun

Marcus-Brimage One of the preliminary bouts at UFC Fight Night 55 is a three-round bantamweight bout between Marcus Brimage and Jumabieke Tuerxun. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Brimage is a -485 favorite (bet $485 to win $100) while Tuerxun is a +350 underdog (bet $100 to win $350). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened up Brimage at -380 and Tuerxun at +260, and so far there has been a ton of action in Brimages’ direction. I agree with the line movement in Brimage’s favor as I believe he is a very likely winner. Here’s why. Brimage (6-3) was a competitor on TUF 14, ultimately losing to Bryan Caraway in the house and not winning the competition. Since the end of the show, the 29-year-old American has gone 3-2 in the UFC with wins over Jimy Hettes, Maximo Blanco and Stephen Bass and losses to Russell Doane and Conor McGregor. Most of his career was spent at 145, but he moved down to 135 for his last fight and, despite losing a narrow decision to Doane, looked much better at his proper weight class. At only 5’4″, Brimage was one of the smallest featherweights in the UFC and yet even still, his only loss was to McGregor, one of the top-10 fighters in the division. Brimage is a solid all-around fighter. He has decent wrestling and decent striking, although his submission game is lacking. He prefers to use his wrestling in reverse to keep the fight standing and outstrike his opponents, and we saw him do that to a T when he upset Hettes two years ago. Brimage had a long layoff going into the Doane fight and still looked good. Training at ATT, Brimage is constantly improving and he showed an evolved striking arsenal in that matchup. He was originally set to fight Erik Perez at UFC 180 but after an injury to Perez was matched up with Tuerxun, and in a fight that favors him stylistically, he will enter the cage as a big favorite. Tuerxun (14-2) is one of the top fighters from China. Sure, that might not be saying much, but it’s something. Tuerxun, who is 28, is 0-2 in the UFC and overall has been a disappointment. In his UFC debut earlier this year, he was a huge favorite against Mark Eddiva and yet was easily outwrestled en route to a decision loss. He then dropped down to 135lbs and despite winning a Fight of the Night award for his bout against Leandro Issa, he was submitted in the third round. He is now in a must-win position, and facing arguably the best fighter he has stepped into the cage to date in the form of “The Bama Beast.” He was originally set to face Patrick Williams, and I would have picked Tuerxun there, but Brimage is a tough stylistic matchup for “The Mongolian Wolf.” Tuerxun’s early career success came against cans in the China regional circuit and he has given no one a reason to think he’s improved since then with his two performances in the UFC, and that’s why he’s a big underdog heading into this scrap with Brimage. I believe that Brimage can keep this fight on the feet and sprawl-and-brawl his way to a victory. His leg kicks, which he showed against Doane, will be one of his keys to victories here, and I believe he will use his kicks to slow down Tuerxun for the entirety of the fight. Brimage could possibly stop Tuerxun, but more likely than not I believe he will outpoint him en route to a clear-cut unanimous decision. The line is high at -485, but Brimage should still be worth parlaying as a very likely winner on the UFC FN 55 card.

Written by Adam Martin.

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