UFC 183 Play: Thiago Santos (-170) vs Andy Enz (+150)

thiago-marreta-santos-ufc-fight-night-38UFC 183 Date: January 31, 2015 Arena: MGM Grand Garden Arena City: Las Vegas, NV Middleweight bout: Thiago Santos (-170) vs Andy Enz (+150) Fight Breakdown: The very first card of the evening on the UFC Fight Pass preliminary card will be a middleweight scrap between 31-year old Thiago Santos and 23-year old Andy Enz, with Santos being favored to win at -170 ($170 to win $100) and Enz being a +150 ($100 to win $150) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Thiago “Marreta” Santos (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) is naturally a welterweight, but when the UFC came calling, he stepped up to 185 pounds to make his short notice debut against a very game Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira. He was undersized and outclassed against the fellow Brazilian, who quickly dismantled him in the first round of action, submitting him with a guillotine choke. Santos stayed at middleweight for his next outing, where he took on another fellow Brazilian in Ronny Markes. Another very early finish was in the making, but this time it ended with Santos getting his hand raised; he hurt Markes with a liver kick just moments after the fight started, dropping him, then followed up with some ground and pound to get the stoppage from the referee. The 31-year old stayed at 185 pounds for his next outing, where he took on Urijah Hall and lost by unanimous decision after three rounds of action. Now 1-2 inside the Octagon, he prepares to make his fourth appearance at middleweight, though this is the only time he is taking a step down in competition, as all of his previous UFC opponents presented bigger threats. Training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL, the Brazilian is well-conditioned and prepared for a hard 15 minutes of action against Enz, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards for a decision. “Marreta” is skilled on the feet, coming from a background of Muay Thai and capoeira, both of which he uses inside the cage. He is all-around good on the feet; he has solid offensive striking, counter striking and striking defense. Santos’ striking is fluid, in both southpaw and orthodox stances. He likes to push the pace and be the aggressor. He is quick, has good movement and works solid kicks, including a body-kick and a switch-kick. He has a nice uppercut and likes to employ his knees when he presses opponents against the cage. The Brazilian has decent takedown defense, and when taken down, he is generally not easy to keep down. His offensive wrestling is a bit of a question mark, but his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game is excellent. Andy “Tank Mode” Enz (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has his back against the wall heading into this bout against Santos, as he is coming off back-to-back decision losses to Clint Hester and Marcelo Guimaraes, respectively. He took on Hester in his promotional debut, and after nearly being finished in the first round, he displayed full heart and great recovery, making it all the way to the judges. He dropped a unanimous decision there, and then a split decision in a closely contested match-up against Guimaraes. Hoping to save his UFC contract, he should be looking to leave it all inside the Octagon. “Tank Mode” works a nice jab and puts together some solid 1-2 combinations on the feet. He does a good job of using his range, as well as working and creating angles. He has good footwork and decent head movement, though his overall striking defense is not very good. Enz is a fighter who is not afraid to take one to land one. He has a good chin, and as already mentioned, excellent recovery. The 23-year old trains out of the MMA Lab in Glendale, AZ, and is currently a work in progress, making improvements from fight to fight. However, at the moment, I don’t believe his fight IQ is where it needs to be, and I think he lacks killer instinct. His conditioning is not great, either. Not only does he get physically weaker as the fight goes on, but also mentally. The more tired Enz gets, the less technique he uses in his striking and he eventually loses all footwork, becoming completely flat-footed. The native of Alaska has a solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, owning five of his seven professional mixed martial arts victories by way of submission. He has good takedown defense, and when taken down, does a good job of working his way back to his feet. With the MMA Lab’s John Crouch in his corner, as well as former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, he will be looking to save his spot on the UFC’s middleweight roster when he steps foot inside the Octagon tomorrow night. Gabe’s Thoughts: Simply put, I think Santos is the superior mixed martial artist heading into this match-up, and over the course of three rounds, I see him outpointing Enz for a unanimous decision victory. If the fight should end inside the distance, I think more than likely, it will be Santos getting his hand raised. I see value in him at his current betting price of -170, as I think he should be a -250 favorite over Enz heading into this match-up. Despite being at a physical size disadvantange, I think Santos has all the tools to get the job done and bounce back into the win column. Gabe’s Call: “Marreta” by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Thiago Santos (-170) parlayed with Ian McCall (-230) at +127 for 3.25u to win 4.15u

Written by Gabe Killian

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