Yves Jabouin vs Felipe Arantes Preview and Analysis – UFC Fight Night 74

UFC 147: Arantes v VieiraUFC Fight Night 74 takes place this Sunday night in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. The preliminary card, which airs on Fox Sports 1, features a bantamweight contest between Yves Jabouin and Felipe Arantes. Arantes is dropping down from the featherweight division for the first time, while Jabouin returns to the cage after a knockout loss to top prospect Thomas Almeida in April.   Yves Jabouin (20-10 MMA, 5-4 UFC, +170 underdog) The 36 year old Jabouin has had an up and down UFC career. All five of his UFC wins have been by decision, while all four of his losses have come by stoppage. That is a testament to his lack of finishing ability and shaky defense and chin. Further, all five of his wins have come against fighters that are no longer in the UFC. That is not exactly a very appealing resume, even if his record in the UFC is above .500. He enters this contest the loser of two out of his last three and three out of his last five. Jabouin is a very technical striker that does an excellent job of cutting angles and mixing in takedowns to keep his opponent off balance. Fighting out of an orthodox stance, Yves works a stiff jab and crisp straight right, which he follows up nicely with hard left kicks to the body and head. He does a great job of not telegraphing his left kick, as he fires it quickly without much of a windup. Further, he works at a quick pace, especially when he gets into a rhythm. Durability has been a problem for Jabouin, especially over the last few years. He has been knocked out three times in the UFC, including two of his last three fights. Known mostly as a kickboxer, Jabouin has done a good job of implementing takedowns into his fights. He has a decent double-leg that he times nicely, often ducking under his opponent’s strikes and taking them to the mat. However, that is where his progression has stopped. He does very little from top position, as he often just sits in his opponent’s guard with no real attempts to pass or land hard strikes. Additionally, he has gotten into trouble on the mat several times when laying in his opponent’s guard. Yves has done a commendable job of escaping trouble on the mat, but that was against low-level opponents. From a defensive standpoint, Yves does not have great takedown defense and has little to offer from his back.   Felipe Arantes (16-7-1 (2 NC) MMA, 3-3-1 UFC, -200 favorite) Like Jabouin, Arantes has had an up and down career in the UFC. After starting out with a loss against Yuri Alcantara in 2011, he was able to go undefeated in his next three contests. However, the Brazilian enters this contest as the loser of two out of his last three fights, with both of those losses coming by hard fought decision. Felipe holds notable wins over Maximo Blanco, Godofredo Pepey, and John Lineker. Arantes is a well-rounded fighter, but he is mostly known for his kickboxing and ground and pound. Felipe throws hard one-two combinations on the feet, which he combines nicely with hard kicks from his rear leg. While he does not throw a ton of volume, Arantes is still an effective striker. As I mentioned above, he is dropping down to the bantamweight division for the first time. This could be problematic because Felipe has had conditioning issues in the past, and a tough weight cut would only make the problem worse. If he manages to get his cardio under control he will be able to enjoy a size and strength advantage that he did not have as a featherweight. The most underrated aspect of the Brazilian’s game is his offensive wrestling. He is adept at hitting double-leg takedowns when he gets his opponent pressed up against the fence. From top position Felipe has very strong ground and pound, even from inside the guard. Further, he is also a submission threat, both from top position and off his back. While Arantes’ offensive wrestling is pretty good, his defensive wrestling is a tad suspect. However, he has sneaky sweeps from his back and scrambles back to his feet well.   Thoughts I am going to side with Arantes to get the job done, but I am not as confident as I would like. Fighters dropping a weight class for the first time often have trouble, especially with their conditioning. This is quite problematic because Arantes had shaky cardio to begin with. However, I really like his chances of winning this fight if he shows up in good shape and has a good weight cut. He is nine years younger, bigger, and more durable than Jabouin. Additionally, Jabouin has been knocked out in two of his last three contests and he can be placed on his back. Arantes will get this fight to the ground and work Jabouin over with hard ground and pound, ultimately stopping him before the final bell.   The Prediction: Felipe Arantes defeats Yves Jabouin by technical knockout (second round)

Written by Mike James

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