UFC 183 Play: Thales Leites (-475) vs Tim Boetsch (+380)

Thales-LeitesUFC 183 Date: January 31, 2015 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Welterweight bout: Thales Leites (-475) vs Tim Boetsch (+380) Fight Breakdown: The UFC 183 main card will be featuring a middleweight contest between a pair of veterans in the form of Thales Leites and Tim Boetsch, with Leites being a -475 ($475 to win $100) betting favorite and Boetsch being a +380 ($100 to win $380) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Thales Leites (24-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) is coming off a second round knockout win over Francis Carmont, becoming the first fighter to finish the French-Canadian inside of the Octagon. He now rides an impressive seven fight winning streak, with four of those wins coming in the UFC. The Brazilian is a very talented grappler who has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and an incredible submission game, owning 13 of 31 professional mixed martial arts career victories by way of tapout. He works well in the clinch up against the cage, from where he searches for takedowns. Leites possesses fantastic body-lock and trip takedowns and is dominant on the mat from top position. He has a powerful top game and a solid and improved ground and pound attack. His transitions on the mat are excellent, as well; he does a great job of advancing from position to position, as well as submission attempt to submission attempt. He’s very good at taking his opponents’ backs and is phenomenal with his chokes, especially the head-and-arm choke, which is his go-to finisher, as six of his 13 submission victories come in that fashion. The 33-year old has been making big improvements in his striking, and it has been evident fight after fight. His best strike is probably his over-hand right, though he does not often land it. Training out of Nova Uniao in Brazil, Leites generally has a solid chin and decent conditioning to go with it. He will likely be at a cardio disadvantage against Boetsch, but I expect him to have enough in the tank to go the full round distance, should it be necessary. Tim Boetsch (20-8 MMA, 3-3 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 47 five months ago, where he scored a come from behind knockout over Brad Tavares in the second round of action. Now back in the win column following his first round submission loss to Luke Rockhold, “The Barbarian” will be looking to make it two in a row against the Brazilian on Saturday night. He is a well-conditioned athlete who is full of heart and has no quit in him, as has been evident with the Tavares win, as well as his come from behind knockout victory over Yushin Okami in the third round of their UFC 144 bout. Heading into this contest, he will likely have an edge in the cardio department. The Matt Hume product has solid wrestling skills, works good takedowns and implements an effective ground and pound attack. He isn’t very skilled on the feet, but he has a good chin and his striking is improving, as he continues to develop at AMC Pankration. He has certainly improved on his technique, footwork and head movement. Boetsch’s biggest asset on the feet is his power, as has been evident with his aforementioned knockout wins. Gabe’s Thoughts: I like Leites to get his hand raised and most likely inside the distance. I could see him putting Boetsch away with strikes or by submission. I think there is also a chance that Boetsch could pull off another surprise upset here, so for that reason I like the Under 2.5 rounds here at -110. I don’t see enough value in Leites at his current price of -475 to include him in a parlay, but I do think there’s enough value in the ‘under’ to warrant a small play. In fact, I prefer it over the Leites Inside the Distance prop at +100, in case of a potential Boetsch upset. Gabe’s Call: Leites by Submission (arm triangle choke, 4:05 round 2) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Under 2.5 rounds (-110) 1.43u to win 1.3u

Written by Gabe Killian

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