UFC Fight Night 57 Fight Breakdown: James Vick vs. Nick Hein

James-Vick One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 57 is a three-round lightweight bout between James Vick and Nick Hein. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Vick is a -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100) while Hein is a +175 underdog (bet $100 to win $175). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Vick at -280 and Hein at +200, and the bettors are on the dog Hein. I disagree with the action in Hein’s favor as I like Vick in the matchup. Here’s why. Vick (6-0) is a top lightweight prospect whose career has unfortunately been stalled by injuries. Just 27 years of age, Vick, a TUF 15 alum, is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Ramsey Nijem and Walmir Lazaro. He is incredibly tall for the weight class at 6’3″ and he uses his length really very effectively in his fights, not just as far as striking goes, but also with submissions as he is able to latch around his opponents’ necks and choke them out with his guillotine. He is well-rounded as well, with good wrestling, striking, and submission skills. I have been very high on Vick and so far he’s looked fantastic in the sport save for a KO loss to Michael Chiesa in the TUF house. But other than that, he’s looked great. In this fight he will look to stop Hein’s takedowns and keep the fight standing, and if he can do that, he should have a great chance to win in his home state of Texas. Hein (11-1) is an up-and-comer in the UFC lightweight division. The 30-year-old native of Germany is 1-0 in the UFC with a decision win over Drew Dober. In that fight he showed he has good wrestling and also a good chin, although his striking defence needs a lot of work. He doesn’t seem to have much power in his strikes — only one career T/KO win — but he does have decent submissions, with four tapout wins to his credit. He is really just a grinder, though, and at 5’8″ his best chance to beat a tall guy like Vick will be to press him up against the fence and look for the takedown. That seems easier said that done against a guy like Vick, although it’s not impossible. On paper this looks like a bad matchup for the German as it’s the best opponent he’s ever fought, but we’ll see how he deals with it this weekend when he fights for the first time in the U.S. against the talented Vick. I think Vick is going to use his reach and length to stay on the outside and batter Hein with punches and kicks. I think there is a very real chance that Vick gets a finish here by T/KO, although Hein is a tough guy so I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to decision. I also think it’s possible Vick could snatch a guillotine choke if Hein goes for a takedowns. Regardless, I just see the size difference being way too massive for the German Hein to overcome, and I definitely see the American Vick winning this fight. I’m very surprised the line has dropped on Vick, and at -210 I say fire away for a bet.

Written by Adam Martin.

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