UFC 181 Play: Abel “Killa” Trujillo (+210) vs Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (-250)

ferguson032911UFC 181 Date: December 6, 2014 Arena: Mandalay Bay Events Center City: Las Vegas, NV Lightweight bout: Abel “Killa” Trujillo (+210) vs Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (-250) Fight Breakdown: Getting the fireworks started for UFC 181 on Pay Per View will be barn-burner in the lightweight division between 31 year old Blackzilian Abel “Killa” Trujillo and 30 year old winner of The Ultimate Fighter Season 17, Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson. “Killa” is the underdog at the sportsbooks heading into this 155 pound contest at +210 ($100 to win $210), with “El Cucuy” being the favorite to win at -250 ($250 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Abel “Killa” Trujillo (12-5-1 MMA, 3-1-1 NC UFC) lived up to his nickname 10 months ago at UFC 169, where he knocked veteran Jamie Varner out cold with single punch in the second round of action to pick up his second straight Octagon victory. Heading into this 155 pound contest against The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner, “Killa” again finds himself as an underdog looking to upset. After the 10 month layoff, he is eager to return to the cage and hopes to extend his winning streak to three in a row against the Californian. The 31 year old comes from a wrestling background but has evolved into a solid striker. Having always been a heavy hitter, he began to add technique to his striking arsenal when he made the move to the Blackzilian’s camp in Boca Raton, FL. Trujillo first went over there when he was brought in to be a temporary training partner for one of their fighters, but he ended up making it his home; a home in which he has honed and greatly improved his striking under the tutelage of Blackzilian’s head striking coach Henri Hooft. The North Carolina native is very aggressive fighter who possesses a good chin and a lot of heart. He packs serious power in both hands, has nice counter hooks and throws some brutal knees, including a beautiful jumping knee to the body. He has been showing drastic improvement in his striking from fight to fight, so it will be interesting to see how much further he has come along during his 10 months away from the cage. “Killa” has decent takedowns and when in top position on the mat, he works a merciless ground and pound attack, putting all his strength behind all of his shots. That said, since his move to the Blackzilian’s camp, he has more so been using his wrestling defensively, so he can keep his fights on the feet and look for the knockout finish, which is what he goes for with every attempted strike. His takedown defense is not the best, but when taken down, he is near impossible to keep down, as he does a tremendous job of finding his way back to his feet. Trujillo’s conditioning is generally pretty good, and while I expect him to be at a slight disadvantage in that department in this contest, I think he will have enough in the tank for three rounds of action, should the fight go the distance. Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson (16-3 MMA, 6-1 UFC) last saw action at UFC 170 three months ago, where he defeated Team Alpha Male product Danny Castillo via split decision on the judges’ scorecards in front of Castillo’s hometown crowd. The win put him on a three fight winning streak and earned him another Pay Per View main card slot, which he is looking to use to earn another finish and extend the streak from three wins to four. “El Cucuy” is an aggressive fighter who possesses solid boxing skills and packs a lot of power behind his punches. He is flat footed, but also very fast with his movement on the feet. He works solid 1-2 combinations and also does a good job of throwing a barrage of effective punches. Possessing serious power in both hands, Ferguson works solid jabs, nice hooks and brutal uppercuts. The 30 year old is a pressure-oriented fighter, constantly moving forward and looking to hurt his opponents, not giving them a moment to rest. Despite having an incredible chin, his striking defense is very good, as he does a good job of blocking shots and firing off a few of his own. Having always been solid with his hands, the California native has recently added an effective kicking game to his striking arsenal, including noteworthy leg kicks, which he implemented well in his last outing against Castillo. On top of the leg kicks, he also throws some powerful kicks to the body, and loves to implement his knees in his offensive striking attack. To compliment his skills on the feet, “El Cucuy” is an exceptional wrestler and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. He is good at scoring takedowns, as well as rolling for submissions, such leg locks, kneebars, kimuras, etc. He is definitely a risk taker, often giving up position to go for the finish, which is something that nearly cost him in his last bout against Castillo. He was unable to secure the finish and kept finding himself in bottom position to close out the rounds. Ferguson is a great top game, being effective both with his ground and pound and submissions. He is well-versed in the submission game, but favors the d’arce choke, owning the fastest d’arce choke victory in UFC history. He is also effective from the bottom position, as he has a solid guard and constantly attacks with strikes and submission attempts. Splitting time between multiple gyms in Southern California, including Reign, Knuckleheadz and 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, the 30 year old is well-conditioned and ready to go the full 15 minutes, if necessary. Gabe’s Thoughts: Ferguson will enter this bout with a slight edge in cardio over Trujillo, as well as a three inch height advantage and a six-and-a-half inch reach advantage. Trujillo could keep things competitive on the feet here, despite having a big disadvantage in reach, and while Ferguson sports a granite chin, I can see the Blackzilian putting his lights out. That said, I do give the advantage on the feet to Ferguson, and his aforementioned reach advantage is a big reason for that. I think he will find success with his jab, but he needs to avoid getting too aggressive with his offensive striking, as he could potentially get caught with a “Killa” counter. My best guess is that these lightweights start off trading and the fight eventually hits the mat, where “El Cucuy” quickly locks up a submission and secures the tapout to earn his fourth straight victory inside the Octagon. I was really hoping to get Ferguson at -200 or better in this fight, but I think he still holds value at the current betting line of -250. I think he should be a -320 or -330 favorite in this contest, so I will be making a play at the current price. However, if I were getting him at -200 or better, I would be risking double the amount I am now. Gabe’s Call: “El Cucuy” by Submission (d’arce choke, 2:13 round 1) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Tony Ferguson (-250) 5u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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