UFC Fight Night 60: Thompson vs. Thatch Date: February 14, 2015 Location: Broomfield, Colorado Venue: 1stBank Center Broadcast: FS1 UFC Welterweight Contender Brandon Thatch Thatch (11-1) was rising through the UFC welterweight ranks with huge wins over Justin Edwards and Paulo Thiago in 2013, but he was forced to take all of 2014 off to deal with nagging injuries. The 29-year-old American is an extremely dangerous fighter both standing and on the mat and all of his wins have come by stoppage. He has shown incredible muay Thai skills and not surprisingly has seven knockouts to his credit. However, he also has an underrated ground game and has four submission wins as well. Thatch is riding a 10-fight win streak dating back to 2009 and his lone loss came all the way back in 2008 in Strikeforce. Thatch has the looks and the skills to be a future champ, and with a win over Thompson will surely be included in the welterweight title talks going forward. UFC Welterweight Contender Stephen Thompson Thompson (10-1) was a highly-decorated kickboxer before turning to MMA in 2010, and the results so far have been tremendous. The 31-year-old American is 5-1 in the UFC with wins over Robert Whittaker, Patrick Cote, Chris Clements, Dan Stittgen and Nah-Shon Burrell and he has only lost to top-ranked Matt Brown in his career. He has absolutely wicked striking with big-time knockout power in both his hands and feet and overall he has some of the most unique standup in MMA. He is improving is wrestling by training with UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman and if he can implement that facet of his game in his fights, he could be a hard out for anyone at 170lbs. Thompson showed some flaws in the Brown fight, namely in his cardio and takedown defence, but that fight was three years ago, and if he’s made the improvements and adjustments in those parts of his game, he could pull off the upset against Thatch. Opening Fight Night 60 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Thatch a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Thompson opened as a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130) at 5Dimes Sportsbook.This is an excellent matchup between two welterweights who favor striking. Thatch is 2-0 in the UFC and was looking like a future champ after his wins over Edwards and Thiago, but injuries have kept him out of the cage for over a year and it’s unknown how the layoff will affect him. Thompson, on the other hand, is 5-1 in the UFC with wins over Cote, Whittaker, Stittgen, Clements and Burrell and is currently riding a four-fight win streak since suffering his lone career defeat to Matt Brown at UFC 145. Most thought Thompson was overrated after losing to Brown, but seeing what Brown has done in the last three years since that fight proves that losing to him doesn’t make Thompson a bad fighter at all. However, while he is a great striker, he hasn’t really displayed a full MMA game, while Thatch has at least shown in the past his prowess on the mat. This is a good fight and the five rounds makes it interesting, but Thatch is likely the more well-rounded mixed martial artist and he deserves to be favored heading into this contest, which is why the line opened the way it did.