UFC Fight Night 71 Fight Breakdown: Kevin Lee vs. James Moontasri

Kevin-Lee One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 71 is a three-round lightweight bout between Kevin Lee and James Moontasri. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Lee is a -260 favorite (bet $260 to win $100) while Moontasri is a +220 underdog (bet $100 to win $220). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Lee at -175 and Moontasri at +135, and action so far has come in on the favorite Lee. I agree with the action coming in on Lee as I fully expect him to here this fight. Here’s why. Lee (10-1) is one of the top lightweight prospects in the UFC. The 22-year-old American is 3-1 in the UFC with wins over Michel Prazeres, Jon Tuck and Jesse Ronson, with a close decision loss to top-ranked Al Iaquinta. Lee is a very good wrestler. He is able to take down almost all of his opponents and control them on the mat. He is more of a decision-type fighter who will look to outpoint his opponent, but he does have some submissions from his pre-UFC career. His striking isn’t anything special, but he uses his hands to set up his takedowns, and he is very effective with his wrestling. Lee is young, constantly improving, and is very talented. I think he has a bright future in the UFC and with a win over Moontasri, he could get a step up to that next level of competition in this next fight. Moontasri (8-2) is a solid young prospect in the UFC lightweight division. The 27-year-old German-American is 1-1 in the UFC with a submission win over Cody Pfister and a split decision loss to Joe Ellenberger. Moontasri is a striker, and he has excellent striking. He is extremely technical and he packs a big punch for someone his weight. He also has underrated submissions on the ground. As far as his wrestling goes, he is working on his takedown defence but overall it’s a weakness, as his cardio, which just isn’t there. He’s definitely a skilled fighter and is young enough that he can improve, but with the problems he has in his takedown defence, it’s very hard to pick him against a great wrestler like Lee, which is why you see the line the way it is. Lee has been undervalued throughout his UFC career and even though the public has bet him up here, I still really like him to win the matchup. I just feel like if Moontasri can’t get a first-round knockout he’s going to gas badly and Lee is the king of decision wins. I feel like the first round will be a bit scary but as long as he survives he should be able to take the second and third rounds for a clear decision win. I think Lee at -260 is parlay material, and I think the prop on Lee by decision at plus money is something to consider as well.

Written by Adam Martin.

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