UFC Fight Night 64 Fight Breakdown: Sheldon Westcott vs. Pawel Pawlak

sheldon-westscott One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 64 is a three-round welterweight bout between Sheldon Westcott and Pawel Pawlak. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Westcott is a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Pawlak is a +165 underdog (bet $100 to win $165). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Westcott at -160 and Pawlak at +120, and so far the action is coming in on Westcott. I like Westcott in the matchup and agree with him being the favorite. Here’s why. Westcott (8-2-1) was a cast member on TUF Nations and made it to the finals of the show in the middleweight division, eventually losing to top prospect Elias Theodorou at the finale. The 30-year-old Canadian is dropping down to welterweight for this fight and at 170lbs his wrestling should be even more effective than it was at 185. Westcott has a very underrated wrestling attack and he’s able to take him opponents down to the ground in most cases and finish them by either submission or T/KO. He has six stoppage wins in his career as a pro plus his finishes in the house, and overall he is very dangerous. He has been competing since 2007 and seems to finally be clicking on all cylinders. There are some question marks surrounding his cardio and his weight cut, but otherwise he’s a very solid fighter and going against a guy who was unimpressive in his UFC debut in Pawlak, it makes sense he is the favorite in this fight. Pawlak (10-1) is 0-1 in the UFC with a lopsided decision loss to Peter Sobotta in his UFC debut. The The 26-year-old native of Poland had racked up a 10-fight undefeated streak on the regional circuit to get the call to the UFC, but he looked terrible in his debut. His takedown defence was atrocious, and going up against a strong grappler like Westcott, that is huge cause for concern. With six knockouts, there’s no doubt Pawlak is a dangerous fighter with his hands, especially when he gets top control on the ground and can land his ground and pound, but if he’s on the bottom he is basically useless. If he’s made improvements since his UFC debut he can win this fight, but if he shows up like he did against Sobotta he will lose — and probably get finished. We saw in Pawlak’s UFC debut that he has horrendous takedown defence and Westcott is an extremely underrated grappler, and I expect him grappling to be even more effective now that he’s at 170lbs. I believe he will be able to get Pawlak to the ground on a consistent basis and either submit him on the mat or grind him out for a decision win. I am a bit concerned with Westcott making his UFC welterweight debut in a foreign country, and I’m a bit worried we might see huge improvements from Pawlak here, so I don’t know if there’s enough value at the current line of 2-to-1 for a bet. So as of now I don’t recommend a play on Westcott, although if the line drops back down to near the opener I will consider it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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