UFC Fight Night 65 Fight Breakdown: Anthony Perosh vs. Sean O’Connell

Sean_OConnell One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 65 is a three-round light heavyweight bout between Anthony Perosh and Sean O’Connell. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Perosh is a -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while O’Connell is a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up O’Connell at -150 and Perosh at +110, and the public has flipped the line as Perosh is now favored to win. I believe the public is on the wrong side here as I favor O’Connell to win this fight. Here’s why. Perosh (15-8) is 5-5 in the UFC with wins over Guto Inocente, Vinny Magalhaes, Nick Penner, Cyrille Diabate and Tom Blackledge with losses to Mirko Cro Cop, Ryan Bader, Ryan Jimmo, Jeff Monson and Christian Wellisch. The 42-year-old Aussie is one of the oldest fighters in MMA but he has looked solid as of late, going 4-2 in his last six fights since moving down to 205lbs. He has one of the best ground games in the division and has 15 career wins by submission to back that claim up. His striking has improved as well in recent years and he has five T/KO wins to his credit. However, defensively Perosh is a mess, as he’s been knocked out five times in his career. He simply does not have a good chin and it’s been his ability to get fights to the ground that has helped him achieve such a solid record in the UFC. Don’t get me wrong, he has power, but fighting on the feet at this point of his career is outright dangerous considering his age and the state of his chin. He will have to take O’Connell to the ground to beat him, and while that’s of course possible, it seems like a difficult matchup for Perosh at this point of his career, making the line movement in this bout perplexing to me. O’Connell (16-6) is 1-2 in the UFC with a TKO win over Matt Van Buren and a decision loss to Gian Villante and a KO loss to Ryan Jimmo. The 31-year-old American is just a very solid light heavyweight who can hang with the division’s mid-tier fighters. He will never win the title, but he can make a career for himself in MMA. He is a very solid striker on the feet who constantly walks forward throwing strikes. He also has a very good chance that allows him to absorb punishment and keep on ticking. His striking defence is atrocious, but at least he has a solid chin to fall back on. O’Connell is also a very good grinder. He’s good at pushing his opponents up against the fence and wearing them out, taking over in the later rounds as he has very good cardio for a big man. But make no mistake about it, O’Connell is a striker at heart, and with eight career wins by T/KO and facing a fighter with a questionable chin, you know his gameplan is to keep this fight standing and look for the finishing blow. I actually really like O’Connell here as the underdog for a bet. I feel like the odds were opened correctly and I feel like the betting public is making a mistake backing Perosh. Yes, Perosh has exceeded expectations as of late, but at some point the old Perosh with a bad chin will show up, and I feel like this is the fight where that Perosh makes a return. Obviously the betting public thinks Perosh is going to take O’Connell down and submit him, but I don’t see it. I feel like this fight will stay on the feet and I really think O’Connell can land some hard punches on Perosh’s chin and finish him, maybe even in the first round. At the current odds, I feel like O’Connell offers some good value for a straight underdog play.

Written by Adam Martin.

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