UFC 182 Fight Breakdown: Alexis Dufresne vs. Marion Reneau

Alexis-Dufresne One of the prelims at UFC 182 is a three-round women’s bantamweight bout between Alexis Dufresne and Marion Reneau. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Dufresne is a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Reneau is a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Dufresne at -185 and Reneau at +145, and overall there has been little betting action on this bout as the lines have tightened. This isn’t a popular fight to bet on because both fighters are fairly unknown, but from what I have seen Dufresne deserves to be the favorite heading into the bout. Here’s why. Dufresne (5-1) made her UFC debut at the TUF 19 Finale, losing a close and controversial split decision to Sarah Moras. The 24-year-old American badly missed weight for the fight and not surprisingly had major cardio issues in the bout, being barely able to survive the full 15 minutes. Still, she was able to land takedowns throughout the fight and stay in top position, and most thought should have been enough for her to get the decision nod. However, her workrate was extremely poor, with very few submission attempts and not enough ground and pound delivered, and that’s what allowed Moras to get the victory, as she did more work off her back. Still, the fact Dufresne was able to stay on top is going to be key for her heading into the future, as most judges will award the fighter on top the decision in a close fight. In saying that, I want Dufresne to not coast and much in her next fight, and I hope she works on her cardio as well. Fortunately for her, she’s very young in the sport and has time to turn things around and improve in rapid fashion, especially training with a good camp at Team Quest. And before the Moras fight, she looked very good on the regional circuit, finishing all five of her opponents including Kim Couture in the first round. I am not sold on Dufresne yet, but she does have a good skillset, and if she can begin to implement her BJJ and ground and pound from the top, she could be a dangerous out at 135lbs. Reneau (4-1) is making her UFC debut at age 37 after compiling a 4-1 record on the regional circuit. In her last fight, the American defeated highly-touted Maureen Riordon via submission in RFA to earn her shot in the UFC. Reneau comes from a grappling background and is a BJJ purple belt but she has also shown stopping power with her fists in MMA as she’s earned three stoppages stemming from strikes. From what I have seen she has a strong wrestling base so she’s able to get her fights to the ground, although getting on top of Dufresne in this particular fight won’t be easy. Her offensive striking is passable as she has a nice right hand with power, but defensively she leaves holes open and her chin doesn’t seem to be the sturdiest. Reneau seems like she has talent but the fact she is coming into the UFC at 37 is definitely not a good thing, and the fact she is a full-time teacher and isn’t a full-time fighter isn’t a good thing either. Perhaps I am selling her too short, and again there isn’t much to go by as far as tape goes, but Reneau doesn’t seem like a great prospect and I don’t think she’s going to be successful in her UFC debut because, stylistically, Dufresne isn’t an easy fight at all. I think Dufresne gets the takedowns and gets on top of Reneau and lands ground and pound to get the TKO or possibly even get a submission, but at the very least I think she wins a decision. Her cardio and workrate are real concerns, but I think this is a good fight for her to get back on track and get her first UFC win. For me, the key is the age difference, which is 13 years in Dufresne’s favor. That’s hard to ignore, as is the fact she is a full-time fighter while Reneau isn’t. At -170 I think there’s some betting value on Dufresne, although I wouldn’t go big on it just because she does have some flaws in her game. But I definitely think this is a favorite-or-pass situation.

Written by Adam Martin.

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