UFC 157 Preliminary Card Preview

Caros-Fodor UFC 157 is coming to us from Honda Center in sunny Anaheim, California, for a night of paradigm-shifting fights that could leave a big mark on the MMA world as we know it. The preliminary card features a trio of interesting fights, including Strikeforce import Caros Fodor (9-2) taking on long-time UFC vet Sam Stout (18-8-1) in a lightweight bout. Fodor last fought nearly a year ago in Strikeforce in a disappointing loss to Pat Healy, but hopes to bounce back in a big way against Stout, who is always down for an exciting fight (5 FOTN bonuses). Fodor is looking to stand in this bout, and Stout will surely oblige him. Stout has nine knockouts over his career and one Knockout of the Night bonus and will have his hands full with the quick and athletic Fodor, who has two knockouts to his name. This is an extremely close fight with the young up-and-comer Fodor, who opened at -135 (bet $135 to win $100) and the power-punching Sam Stout -105 (bet $105 to win $100). Featherweights are up next, with Dennis Bermudez (9-3) looking to extend his two-fight winning streak after losing in the Ultimate Fighter 14 Finale against well-rounded veteran Matt Grice (15-4). Grice brings NCAA Division I wrestling to the table, along with some fairly-heavy fists. Bermudez combats Grice’s strengths with an extremely solid ground game, so he is comfortable off his back. Grice is currently 1-1 in the featherweight division after spending his entire career and lightweight. He is a big featherweight, but aren’t they all now? Bermudez has a slightly questionable chin, but it probably won’t be tested by Grice. Grice however, better make sure his submission defence and fighting off his back is up to par, because Bermudez has looked supremely motivated since losing in the TUF finals to Diego Brandao. Matt Grice opens as the dog at +250 while Dennis Bermudez is the favorite at -350. In the lightweight division, Ultimate Fighter: Live winner Michael Chiesa (8-0) takes on Finland’s Anton Kuivanen (17-5). Chiesa uses his 6’1″ frame well, enveloping his opponent and imposing his will with a hybrid wrestling/BJJ style that’s a joy to watch in MMA. He has six submission wins in his eight pro fights, including the “Submission of the Nigh”t in his UFC debut at The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale with a rear naked choke applied around Al Iaquinta’s throat. He isn’t just a one-trick pony, however. In TUF he finished two of his three fights via TKO, one impressively over highly-touted Black House member Justin Lawrence. Kuivanen, on the other hand, is an American Top Team prospect who has eight submission wins and four knockouts to his name. At 5’8” he’ll be giving up a five-inch height advantage to Chiesa. ATT is one of the best camps in the world, so the well-rounded Kuivanen should be prepared wherever the fight goes, but Chiesa should be able to handle Kuivanen fairly easily. We have Mike Chiesa as a -215 favorite to Anton Kuivanen at +165.

Written by Jason Nawara

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