UFC On FOX 15 Fight Breakdown: Tim Means vs. George Sullivan

Jorge-Masvidal One of the prelims at UFC on FOX 15 is a three-round welterweight bout between Tim Means and George Sullivan. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Means is a -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100) while Sullivan is a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Means at -155 and Sullivan at +115, and so far this fight is not generating a lot of action at the sportsbooks, although Means remains the favorite. I favor Means to win the matchup and agree with him being the favorite. Here’s why. Means (23-6-1) is 5-3 overall in the UFC with wins over Dhiego Lima, Marcio Alexandre, Hernani Perpetuo, Justin Salas and Bernardo Magalhaes with losses to Neil Magny, Danny Castillo and Jorge Masvidal — all by decision. The 31-year-old American is 3-1 since returning to the UFC and moving up to 170lbs, and he seems to finally have found the weight class for himself. Considering he is 6’2″, it makes you wonder how much weight he was cutting to make 155lbs, and how unhealthy that weight cut was for him. Since he hasn’t had to drain himself to make weight, Means has looked great. We already knew he was an extremely accurate, devastating striker on the feet, but his wrestling has been much more effective at 170lbs and he’s been difficult to get to the mat. If he gets put on his back, Means is constantly throwing up strikes from his back so even when opponents get him down he makes life miserable for them. But that’s not his game, his game is the standup, and he’s really good at it. He has 16 wins by T/KO in his career and he’s one of the few fighters in the division who legitimately has knockout power in every single one of his limbs. As long as Means can stop takedowns and keep his fights on the feet, it’s hard to see many people taking him out, as there simply aren’t many fighters more effective standing up than Means is. Sullivan (16-3) is 2-0 in the UFC with a decision win over Mike Rhodes and a KO win over Igor Araujo. The 34-year-old American has been competing in MMA since 2006 and has been training under former UFC lightweight Kurt Pellegrino for a long time. Sullivan is a tough, hard-nosed fighter who is currently riding an eight-fight win streak with five knockouts during his streak coming by way of T/KO. He has very heavy hands and has 11 wins by knockout in his career overall, along with another five by decision. With his combination of a grinding wrestling style to go along with his knockout ability, he’s a tough out for most in the 170lb division. The problem with Sullivan is that he doesn’t excel in any area. Yes, he hits hard, but it would be unfair to say he’s a skilled striker like Means is. However, he does have good wrestling and cardio and often those things are enough to win fights against mid-tier welterweights, which explains his win streak. Sullivan is no doubt a good fighter, but this matchup against Means is dangerous as he’s taking on a much better striker and if Sullivan can’t get the takedown, he could be in trouble. This is essentially a striker vs. grappler matchup as Means is going to look to keep this fight standing while Sullivan is going to look to take Means to the floor. Means has shown since moving back up to 170lbs that when he isn’t killing himself to make weight he’s actually got pretty good, underrated takedown defence, and while I do think Sullivan is a strong, underrated wrestler in his own right, I have a hard time seeing him taking Means down on a regular basis, and when this fight is on the feet there is no question that Means has a huge advantage in the striking department. Sullivan is a tough, durable veteran and he is fighting in front of his hometown, so I could see him surviving until the final bell, but either way I do believe Means will get his hand raised in this fight. The current price is not bad, but I would wait and see if it drops closer to a Pick ’em before making a straight play on “The Dirty Bird,” who I have high hopes for in the welterweight division.

Written by Adam Martin.

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