UFC 185 Fight Breakdown: Elias Theodorou vs. Roger Narvaez

elias-theodorou One of the prelims at UFC 185 is a three-round middleweight bout between Elias Theodorou and Roger Narvaez. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Theodorou is a -320 favorite (bet $320 to win $100) while Narvaez is a +260 underdog (bet $100 to win $260). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Theodorou at -315 and Narvaez at +235, and action is coming in on the Greek-Canadian Theodorou. I agree with the high line on Theodorou here as I see him as a very confident pick this weekend. Here’s why. Theodorou (10-0) won the TUF Nations middleweight tournament and has since gone on to post a 2-0 record inside the UFC with wins over Bruno Santos and Sheldon Westcott. The 27-year-old Greek-Canadian is undefeated in his MMA career at 10-0 and will be banging on the door of the top 15 with a few more notable wins. A real student of the game, Theodorou has excellent wrestling, great cardio, finishing ability, and he is improving fight to fight. For this camp, Theodorou travelled down to Brazil to train at Team Nogueira. I believe Theodorou is taking his career very seriously, and I like what I’ve seen from his camp on social media. I especially like the fact he has watched tape on his opponent, Narvaez. Theodorou is someone I have been high on ever since his time in the Score Fighting Series and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue his progression through the UFC middleweight division, and it all starts wit a win over Narvaez at UFC 185. Narvaez (7-1) is 1-1 in the UFC so far with a win over Luke Barnatt and a loss to Patrick Cummins. The 31-year-old Texan is a veteran of Legacy Fighting Championship and continues to improve every fight. After being dominated in the wrestling department to Cummins in his UFC debut, Narvaez fought Barnatt in his sophomore Octagon effort and despite coming into the fight as a big underdog, was able to hurt Barnatt badly late with a head kick and take home a close split decision. Narvaez is just a solid all-around fighter and a tough test for the mid-tier fighters at 185lbs. He has good striking, a good chin, he has some submission ability and his wrestling decent. However, he doesn’t have as much potential as Theodorou, and while I expect Narvaez to put up a tough fight, I have a hard time seeing him winning here. This is Theodorou’s toughest test to date, but it’s a test I believe he passes, although I don’t expect it to be easy. Narvaez, like Theodorou, is a very big middleweight but so was Santos and Theodorou found a way to outwrestle him over three rounds, although he wasn’t able to get the finish. I believe Narvaez’ size and striking ability is going to make this a harder fight for Theodorou than it needs to be, but I still think Theodorou’s wrestling, his high pace, and his ability to dictate where the fight takes place is going to lead him to a decision win over the Texan. There is some concern about hometown judging in Narvaez’ favor if this is a close fight, but at the current line, I do think overall there is value and I will be betting on Theodorou this weekend in a parlay to continue his undefeated streak.

Written by Adam Martin.

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