UFC Fight Night 70 Fight Breakdown: Leandro Silva vs. Lewis Gonzalez

lewis-gonzalez One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 70 is a three-round welterweight bout between Leandro Silva and Lewis Gonzalez. Both fighters are fighting up one weight class as this fight was booked on extremely short notice. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Silva is a -150 favorite (bet $150 to win $100) while Gonzalez is a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Silva at -160 and Gonzalez at +120, and there hasn’t been much betting action on this fight as the lines have tightened. This is a competitive fight but I do lean towards the dog Gonzalez to get the job done. Here’s why. Silva (17-2-1, 1 NC) typically fights in the lightweight division but will go back to his old weight class of 170 for this fight. The 29-year-old Brazilian is 1-2, 1 NC in the UFC with a submission win over Charlie Brenneman, decision losses to Ildemar Alcantara and Francisco Trinaldo, and a controversial No Contest against Drew Dober. Silva is a pretty well-rounded fighter and is showing improvements in his fights. He has pretty decent wrestling, and if he gets his opponent on the ground he can get submissions (10 career tapout wins). However, he is much more useful on top than on bottom. As far as his striking goes, he only has one knockout so he doesn’t have much power, but he does come from a muay Thai background and he throws with accuracy. However, he is very inactive at times on the feet, and he can be pressured and bullied by more tenacious fighters. Silva is definitely a talented guy, but to me he’s stuck in mid-level purgatory, and is nothing more than a gatekeeper for the UFC at this point. Gonzalez (10-1) has been an underrated lightweight fighting in the smaller shows the last few years. The 27-year-old American is coming off of a nice upset win over UFC vet Justin Buchholz in WSOF to earn his shot in the big show. Prior to that, he also picked up a notable decision win over veteran Antonio McKee in WSOF, with his only loss coming to top WSOF contender Luis Palomino. Gonzalez is primarily a grinder and relies on his wrestling to win fights. He is very good at getting in close with his opponents and then taking them to the mat and controlling them on the ground. Of his ten wins, five have come via submission, so he is not just laying and praying, he is tying to finish his opponents on the mat. The issue with Gonzalez is his striking. He’s still new to the sport and his striking just hasn’t really come around yet. He has to improve that aspect of his game if he wants to move up the ladder, or he risks getting knocked out by guys like Palomino. Still, with his wrestling ability he has the chance to beat most mid-tier fighters in his division, and is getting a winnable fight in his UFC debut to get back on track with. I do like Gonzalez in this fight and I think the only reason he’s the dog is because UFC bettors aren’t too familiar with him. He has a very good wrestling background and we’ve see Silva be controlled by better wrestlers before. I think Gonzalez is going to have success getting takedowns in this fight and I think he’ll win the decision if it hits the judges’ cards like I expect. At plus money, I think you have to take a small shot on the dog here to get the win, although with the short notice I don’t recommend going too crazy. Editor’s note: Lewis Gonzalez just came in three pounds heavy at the UFC Fight Night 70 weigh-ins and Adam has since changed his pick to Leandro Silva

Written by Adam Martin.

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