UFC on Fox 15 Play: Luke Rockhold (-155) vs Lyoto Machida (+155)

Luke RockholdUFC on FOX 15 Date: April 18, 2015 Arena: Prudential Center City: Newark, NJ Fight Breakdown: The UFC on FOX 15 headliner will be a five round middleweight contest that sees former Strikeforce middleweight champion Luke Rockhold take on former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida in a match-up that could decide the next contender for the 185-pound title. Rockhold is a -155 ($155 to win $100) betting favorite in this contest, with Machida being a +145 ($100 to win $145) underdog at Several Bookmakerss. Luke Rockhold (13-2 MMA, 3-1 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 55 just over five months ago, where he submitted Michael Bisping with a guillotine choke in the second round of action. The win put him on a two fight winning streak and in position to earn a title shot with a victory over the former title contender Machida this evening on FOX. The former Strikeforce middleweight champion is a very talented grappler, both offensively and defensively. He has solid wrestling and a great submission game. Rockhold is good at scoring takedowns, as well as defending them. He has a solid base, thanks to his background in Judo, and he is hard to take down. To compliment his grappling, the California native is also tremendously talented on the feet. He is a very well-rounded fighter who excells in many areas of mixed martial arts. Rockhold generally dictates where his fights take place, and has Octagon control. His striking skills are excellent, especially the variety of kicks he dishes out. He has a nice flying knee, and works some beautiful spinning kicks. He throws some head kicks, but more-so likes to attack his opponents’ body with kicks and knees. The 30-year old works well against the cage, and he also likes to stand and trade with his opponents. He is always scoring points while looking for the finish. Rockhold is a fighter who competes with a lot of passion and heart, and he always carries it to the cage with him. Training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, the former Strikeforce middleweight champion is a very well-conditioned athlete who will be ready for 25-minutes of action, if necessary. Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC) is coming off a first round TKO victory over CB Dollaway at UFC Fight Night 58 nearly four months ago, which was a picture-perfect way to bounce back from his unanimous decision loss to UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman in his failed bid for the title. With another impresive win over the former Strikerforce champion, Machida hopes to earn a second crack at the gold. “The Dragon” is a very talented striker with a bit of an unorthodox Karate style that he has definitely made his own. He is a fighter who remains very calm and collected. He is patient on the feet, does not get over-aggressive, and looks for his opportunities to attack. Machida is very accurate and calculated with his striking, he does not waste any strikes. He is good when pushing the pace and being the aggressor, but he is also an incredible counter-striker. The Brazilian likes to bait opponents into his traps; he often frustrates his opponents into making mistakes he capitalizes on, which is how he has earned many of the knockouts in his professional mixed martial arts career. The former UFC light heavyweight champion has great striking defense and uses his distance really well. He likes working his knees, as well, especially the left knee to the body. Machida has tremendous takedown defense, as he has very strong hips and a solid base, thanks to time spent training as a sumo wrestler long before getting involved in mixed martial arts. The Brazilian works excellent kicks, including a solid front kick, and a variety of head and body kicks. Training out of Black House MMA in Los Angeles, CA, Machida is a well-conditioned fighter who will be ready for five rounds of action tonight against Rockhold. Gabe’s Thoughts: To put it simply, I am putting my money behind the guy who I think is the better athlete and more well-rounded mixed martial artist. Gabe’s Call: Rockhold by Submission (guillotine choke, 2:02 round 2) Gabe’s Recommended Play: Rockhold (-155) 3.1u to win 2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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