One of the prelims at UFC 189 is a three-round welterweight bout between Matt Brown and Tim Means. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Brown is a -185 favorite (bet $185 to win $100) while Means is a +160 underdog (bet $100 to win $160). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Brown at -190 and Means at +150, and there hasn’t been much betting action on this fight as the lines have tightened. This is a tough fight to pick but given the odds I have to side with the underdog Means. Here’s why. Brown (19-13) is one of the top-ranked welterweights in the game today. The 34-year-old American is 12-7 overall in the UFC with wins over the likes of Stephen Thompson, Erick Silva, Mike Pyle and Jordan Mein. At one point in time Brown had lost three fights in a row but he has really turned his career around and is now one of the best welterweights out there. He is coming off of two-straight losses, but they were decision defeats to two incredible fighters in Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks. Brown is an extremely aggressive, dangerous fighter. He is extremely powerful on the feet with 12 knockouts. He uses all of his limbs to hurt his opponents and beat them down. He also has an underrated submission game and his wrestling is sold too. He has fantastic cardio and is capable of pushing a high pace for 25 minutes, and he has a great chin, having not once been knocked out despite an aggressive fighting style. Historically the knock on Brown has been his takedown defence and submission defence, as he’s lost nine times by tapout, but he has lost by submission only once in the last four years, showing he’s improved in that area. Brown is a very good offensive fighter but overall his defence is lacking. He gets hit in every fight, and while he hasn’t been knocked out yet, he has been badly hurt to the body multiple times. Going up against a hungry fighter like Means, to me this is a dangerous fight for Brown, and while I understand him opening as the favorite, I don’t necessarily agree with it, as I think this is a very difficult matchup for him. Means (24-6-1) is one of the top up-and-coming welterweights in the UFC. The 31-year-old American is 6-3 overall in the UFC, including a 4-1 record as a welterweight with wins over George Sullivan, Hernani Perpetuo, Dhiego Lima and Marcio Alexandre. Jr, with his lone loss in the UFC at 170lbs against Neil Magny. Means is a dangerous fighter anywhere the fight goes. On the feet he has incredible striking, some of the best in the UFC. He is technical, calculated, and powerful, and with 16 knockout wins it’s always a risk standing with him. He is also very dangerous on the ground with his submissions as well. He also has great cardio, a solid chin, and seems to be improving with every fight. At 155lbs he was drained and gassed as fights went on which allowed him to be grinded, but at 170lbs he seems to be a lot stronger and able to defend the takedowns. With his striking attack and improved grappling, Means looks like a guy who could soon jump into the top 15 of the division, and with a win over the No. 5-ranked Brown, he’ll surely be in the mix among the contenders at 170lbs. This is a great fight. Both men are extremely aggressive, durable fighters who always bring it, and I’m expecting a Fight of the Night contender. Most are expecting Brown to win, but I’m not so sure. I actually think he’s already peaked and is on a slight decline, whereas I believe Means is still improving and getting better as a fighter. If Brown wants to win, the best way for him to do so is to take Means down and wrestle him, but with Means’ improvements in his takedown defence I don’t think that’s very likely. If this fight stays on the feet I do think Brown can get some shots in, but I think Means is the superior technical striker and I think he will have success in the standup if it does indeed stay on the feet. I actually think this is a really close fight, so given the odds I do see some value in Means here to get the win, although I’ll wait until closer to fight day before laying the bet as I think money may come in on Brown. The pick is Means to win a decision and I’ll be playing him in some capacity as the underdog.