UFC 181 Play: Matt “The Crowbar” Hobar (+260) vs Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis (-320)

lfc-16UFC 181 Date: December 6, 2014 Arena: Mandalay Bay Events Center City: Las Vegas, NV Bantamweight bout: Matt “The Crowbar” Hobar (+260) vs Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis (-320) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 181 preliminary card on UFC Fight Pass will feature a bantamweight contest between Dallas’ Matt “The Crowbar” Hobar and Milwaukee’s Sergio “The Phenom” Pettis in a fight where they will both be looking to extend their UFC winning streaks to two. Hobar, the former Legacy FC bantamweight champion is the betting underdog heading into this contest at +260 ($100 to win $260), with his opponent Pettis being the favorite to win at -320 ($320 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Matt “The Crowbar” Hobar (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) picked up his first UFC win at UFC Fight Night 49 three months ago, defeating Aaron Philips via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, and he will now be looking to string two together when he steps into the Octagon to face Pettis on Saturday night. “The Crowbar” is a two-time high school wrestling champion who works excellent takedowns, including a powerful double-leg and a beautiful single-leg, which seems to be the takedown he favors most. When in top position on the mat, he possesses powerful top control and does not like to allow his opponents to rest. Hobar has solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, owning a purple belt in the sport, and is a threat when the fight hits the mat, owning nearly half of his career wins by way of tapout. To compliment his offensive submission game, he has excellent submission defense. On top of his purple belt in BJJ, the former Legacy FC bantamweight champion also owns a purple belt in Judo, which greatly benefits his defensive wrestling, as he does a very good job of defending takedowns and keeping the fight on the feet, when he wants it there. The Texas native has great cardio and keeps a good pace, being the type of fighter who likes to constantly put the pressure on his opponents. He is a talented, well-rounded mixed martial artist who is constantly improving. An extremely talented wrestler who took up jiu-jitsu and made it a big part of his game, “The Crowbar” has been working on his stand-up and adding tools to his striking arsenal. He is a naturally a southpaw but fought in the orthodox stance up ‘till his last bout against Phillips, so it goes without saying that he is capable in both stances. The former Legacy FC bantamweight champion is good inside the clinch, from which position he likes to employ his knees. Hobar does a very good job of listening to his coaches and following instructions. He is a fighter with high fight IQ and great heart, which are two tools he will be carrying with him to the Octagon. Sergio “The Phenon” Pettis (11-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Yaotzin Meza at UFC Fight Night 42 five months ago, and with the victory bounced back into the win column, following the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career, which came against Alex Caceres by third round rear naked choke submission. Though he picked up the win against Meza, he was very unhappy with his performance, and will be looking to make a bigger impression against Hobar in Las Vegas. “The Phenom” is a talented striker with exceptional kickboxing and Tae Kwon Do skills. He works hard leg kicks, and loves going for the high kick. Much like his brother, UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, Sergio has a wide range of kicks in his arsenal; including some beautiful spinning attacks, like his spinning heel kick and spinning roundhouse kick. Also like his brother, Pettis likes to improvise on the feet and often displays flashy maneuvers. He has good footwork, but does not always use it. He cuts the cage off really well, being very good at slicing angles and pressuring his opponents. He does not have good head movement, but he is fast and does possess a solid chin. “The Phenom” has a nice uppercut, and works some great combinations, including a solid 1-2, which he used to knock-out Dillard Pegg at RFA 8. He is a good counter-striker, but he has trouble getting on the inside of opponents who have a reach advantage over him. The 21 year olds takedown defense is not very good, but he is very comfortable off his back. He has an excellent guard, and remains very active from the bottom position. He makes great transitions on the mat and has an excellent submission game. Training out of Roufusport in Milwaukee, WI, under the tutelage of Duke Roufus, Pettis is a well-conditioned athlete who does not cut much weight to make the bantamweight limit, and I expect him to be prepared for a hard three rounds of action against “The Crowbar” on Saturday night. Gabe’s Thoughts: When this fight was first announced, I was confident in feeling that Pettis will certainly win this fight via T/KO, likely in the first round of action. However, upon doing my homework on the scrap, my feeling is that Hobar will make this a tough fight for Pettis and likely pick up the nod from the judges after three rounds of action. I think his wrestling will be the difference in this bout, as I see him scoring takedowns and successfully defending Pettis’ submission attempts, which will come in handfuls. When the betting odds for this fight were first released, I thought for sure Pettis was going to be a key parlay piece for me, but after really looking into the fight, I can’t help but feel there is real value in Hobar. It is also worth noting that Hobar is generally the much bigger fighter; in height, reach and pure physical size. Pettis has the edge on the feet here and Hobar has the edge in wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu, and I believe his grappling edge will factor into the fight, resulting in him getting his hand raised when Bruce Buffer reads the scorecards, or possibly even by submission. I predict Hobar picks up a unanimous 30-27 decision victory here, though the fight will be closer than those scorecards indicate. Gabe’s Call: “The Crowbar” by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Matt Hobar (+260) 2u to win 5.2u

Written by Gabe Killian

Leave a Reply

UFC 181 Fights to Avoid Betting

MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Yves Edwards’ Greatest Hits