UFC Fight Night 55 Fight Breakdown: Vik Grujic vs. Chris Clements

Vic-Grujic One of the preliminary card bouts at UFC Fight Night 55 is a three-round welterweight bout between Vik Grujic and Chris Clements. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Grujic is a -145 favorite (bet $145 to win $100) while Clements is a +125 underdog (bet $100 to win $125). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Clements at -125 and Grujic at -115, and the line has flipped as Grujic is now the favorite. I agree with the line flipping as I believe Grujic will win this fight. Here’s why. Grujic (7-3) was a competitor on TUF Nations, where he defeated Luke Harris by TKO in the first round and then lost to eventual finalist Sheldon Westcott by submission in the semi-finals. Since the show, the 37-year-old Aussie moved his camp to Alliance MMA in San Diego, California, and the move appears to have worked wonders for him as he is coming off of a brutal knockout over Chris Indich in his last outing this past June. He was grinded out by Nordine Taleb in his UFC debut back in April, but Taleb is a massive welterweight and that was just a bad matchup for him. Grujic has a lot of power, he has some submissions, and his takedown defence is improving. He’s not going to be contending for a title anytime soon, but he definitely has what it takes to stick around the UFC for a little while longer, and a win over Clements would be huge for him at this point of his career. Clements (11-5, 1 NC) he hasn’t fought in over a year since a brutal knockout loss to Stephen Thompson at UFC 165. While warming up to that fight, Clements tore his ACL and he’s taken over a year off in order to heal and recover from his injuries. Now 38, though, it remains to be seen what Clements has left in the tank. He is overall 1-1, 1 NC in the UFC with a win over Keith Wisniewski, a loss to Thompson and a No Contest against Matt Riddle (originally a loss by submission; Riddle failed a post-fight drug test). He has very solid striking and has knockout power in all of his limbs — he holds the MMA record for quickest knockout at 3 seconds (back in 2006) — and in his career he has 10 wins by knockout. His own chin is somewhat questionable, as he’s been knocked out twice in his career, but overall he’s a tough fighter. However, outside of his striking he doesn’t have much in the way of skills, as his wrestling is mediocre and his submission game is non-existent. I like Clements and think he’s a good guy to have on the roster to test up-and-comers, and while I wouldn’t classify the 37-year-old Grujic as “up-and-coming,” I do think this is a fight the UFC booked in order to test Grujic’s game, and I think it’s a test he will pass. Grujic is old, but so is Clements, so I think the age factor cancels each other out. Despite the age, Grujic is improving fight to fight, while I believe Clements is on a severe decline. It just doesn’t seem like Clements cares about the sport much anymore, while Grujic moved to Alliance MMA to up his skills after TUF Nations. I believe the improvement factor of Grujic will once again show in this fight, as I see him getting the best of Clements on both the feet and on the ground in order to grind out a decision victory in front of his homecrowd. I would have definitely bet Grujic at the opener of -115, but even at -145 I do see slight value in the Aussie, and still think this is a favorite or pass situation. Still, I’m going to wait and see if the line drops down to a Pick ’em, and at that point I think there’s a play to be made on Grujic.

Written by Adam Martin.

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