UFC Fight Night 57 Play: Bobby “King” Green (+105) vs Edson Barboza (-125)

Bobby-GreenUFC Fight Night 57 Date: November 22, 2014 Arena: Frank Erwin Center City: Austin, TX Lightweight bout: Bobby “King” Green (+105) vs Edson Barboza (-125) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event for UFC Fight Night 57 in Austin will be a lightweight tilt between a pair of talented strikers. Action is expected when Strikeforce veteran Bobby “King” Green enters the Octagon to square off against Brazilian Muay Thai specialist Edson Barboza. The betting odds for this bout are currently at a near coin-flip, with Green barely having underdog status at +105 ($100 to win $105) and Barboza being a slight favorite at -125 ($125 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Bobby “King” Green (23-5 MMA, 4-0 UFC) jumped into the mixed martial arts pool with both feet nearly seven years ago. At 21 years old, he saw it as an avenue to support his baby son. He won his first fight via knockout in the third round, and never looked back. Now, 28 fights later, he rides an impressive eight fight winning streak, four of which came inside the Octagon, the latest being a split decision over fellow Strikeforce import Josh “The Punk” Thomson at UFC on FOX 12 four months ago. Green, while a little flat-footed in his stand-up, has many tools in his striking arsenal. He also has a very good chin, and excellent defense on the feet. Though he leaves his hands down, he manages to easily get out of the way of punches. He is great with the shoulder-roll, and has some Anderson Silva-esque moves, in that sense. However, that could only work for so long, as was evident with Chris Weidman’s knockout of Silva. “King” is very active on the feet and mixes things up quite well, as he likes to dish out a heavy volume of strong kicks and punches from all angles. He is a fast athlete who likes to move quickly and put the pressure on his opponents, as he is confident in his gas tank and will undoubtedly be able to go the three round distance without fading. I think Green will look to be the aggressor in this match-up, attempting to make Barboza move backwards, as he believes the Brazilian’s kicking game is the only thing he has. Moving him back will shut it down, so I expect a lot of forward pressure by Green in this match-up, and he may likely throw caution to the wind and go for a finish, considering he said this could be his last fight as a professional mixed martial artist. Mentally, he is clearly not in the best place heading into this bout, but he possesses all the tools to get him through it and to get his hand raised. Edson Barboza (25-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) bounced back into the win column four months ago at UFC Fight Night 45 with a first round TKO over veteran lightweight Evan Dunham, and he will be looking to make it two in a row against Green on Saturday night. The Brazilian is a very talented Muay Thai striker who has developed excellent defensive wrestling skills. He has incredible takedown defense and prefers to strike, so we have yet to see him really implement any offensive submission attacks inside the Octagon, though he did display some solid submission defense in his come-from-behind victory over Danny Castillo. The biggest concern for Barboza at this point is his chin, considering the fact that he was dropped and finished by Jamie Varner, dropped and nearly finished by Castillo, then dropped again and submitted by Cerrone. That said, he did show good recovery against Castillo, as he did survive the onslaught to make a come-back and take home a majority decision on the judges’ scorecards. The 28-year old has an incredible kicking game and undoubtedly owns the hardest leg kicks in the lightweight division. He has scored three knockouts via leg kicks, with two of them coming inside the Octagon. The Brazilian has beautiful spinning kicks, as well, like the highlight-reel spinning heel kick he knocked out Terry Etim with. He often likes to use his spinning back kick, and also has a nice spinning roundhouse kick. The Muay Thai specialist mixes it up well on the feet, putting together some excellent and effective combinations. He has a good over-hand right, a solid left hook and a nice uppercut-left hook combination he likes to use. He uses his lead jab really well, and is great at working his range. Training in New Jersey with the likes of former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes, Barboza is well-conditioned and will be ready for three rounds of action against Green, if necessary. Gabe’s Thoughts: Barboza is a knockout artist but I think Green is going to be a tough opponent for him to put away, as I see Green applying forward pressure, which will ultimately shut Barboza’s kicking game down. Though it is worth mentioning that Barboza has an underrated vicious counter-hook and with Green keeping his hands down, could catch him with it. However, I think that is unlikely, and even if it did happen, I think Green could survive. I would have made a bigger play on Green, had he not been thinking about retirement, but I feel like he should be a -140 favorite here, so at +105, I still have to throw something down. Gabe’s Call: Green by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Bobby “King” Green (+105) 2u to win 2.1u

Written by Gabe Killian

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