UFC on FOX 13 Play: Gabriel Gonzaga (+115) vs Matt Mitrione (-125)

Gabriel GonzagaUFC on FOX 13 Date: December 13, 2014 Arena: US Airways Center City: Phoenix, AZ Heavyweight bout: Gabriel Gonzaga (+115) vs Matt Mitrione (-125) Fight Breakdown: Getting the action started for the UFC on FOX 13 main card will be a heavyweight contest that sees Brazilian veteran Gabriel Gonzaga take on The Ultimate Fighter Season 10’s Matt Mitrione, with Gonzaga being a slight underdog at +115 ($100 to win $115) and Mitrione being the slight betting favorite at -125 ($125 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Gabriel Gonzaga (16-8 MMA, 11-7 UFC) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Stipe Miocic nearly eleven months ago and will be looking to seize this opportunity tonight to bounce back into the win column. “Napao” is a talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner with an ever-improving game on the feet. He throws decent hands and excellent kicks. The kicks go without saying, as he owns a headkick knockout over Mirko Cro Cop on his professional mixed martial arts career resume. The 35 year old is a definite finisher. Every time he enters the Octagon, his goal is to stop the fight. He has only made it to the judges’ scorecards just twice in his 24-fight career, and the result of both of those fights were losses, coming against Brendan Schaub and Miocic, respectively. That brings me to my next point; the Brazilian’s conditioning is not very good. He generally gasses in the second half of the fight, so if he doesn’t get an early finish, his chances of winning diminishes, especially if his opponent has good cardio, as was the case with Schaub and Miocic. Gonzaga will definitely be at a cardio disadvantage heading into this bout against the former NFL player Mitrione, as well, so he should have his regular game play of looking for the early finish, and he will likely be looking to take the fight to the mat to earn it, where he figures to own a massive advantage. Matt Mitrione (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) is coming off a first round knockout victory over Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 50 just over three months ago and currently rides a two-fight winning streak, with the other win also being a first round knockout, coming against Strikeforce import Shawn Jordan. He will be looking to extend that streak to three tonight when he enters the Octagon to take on the Brazilian veteran, who will potentially be his biggest career win to date, should he succeed in securing the victory. The former football player is very fast and athletic, and he packs a lot of power behind his strikes, especially his right hand, as was evident by his one-punch, walk-off knockout of Christian Morecraft, not to mention the fact that Phil De Fries got knocked out just running into him. He has constantly been improving his striking, especially now that he is working with the great Henri Hooft at the Blackzilians camp in Boca Raton, FL. The 36-year old is technical and effective with his strikes, but does not always have the best fight IQ. Sometimes he starts out fighting smart, but then makes errors that cost him. “Meathead” lacks in the grappling department and has major holes in his submission defense, so he will be looking to keep this fight on the feet at all costs, as a submission is his opponent’s most favorable route to victory. A tremendously well-conditioned athlete, Mitrione will no doubt have the cardio advantage heading into this heavyweight scrap. Gabe’s Thoughts: Simply put, I think Mitrione will find success in keeping this fight on the feet and will ultimately stop Gonzaga via T/KO or oustrike his way towards a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I slightly favor a T/KO over a decision, but I think a decision is almost as likely an outcome in this contest. Gabe’s Call: Mitrione by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Matt Mitrione (-125) 2.5u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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