UFC Fight Night 76 Play: Norman Parke (-280) vs Reza Madadi (+240)

UFC-SwedenUFC Fight Night 76 Date: October 24, 2015 Arena: 3Arena City: Dublin, Ireland Lightweight bout: Norman Parke (-280) vs Reza Madadi (+240) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 76 co-main event of the evening comes in the 155-pound division and see’s Northern Ireland’s “Stormin'” Norman Parke take on Sweden’s most popular fighter, Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi. Both fighters have a lot riding on this one and are expected to leave it all inside the Octagon come Saturday. Parke is the betting favorite heading into this co-headliner at -280 ($280 to win $100) and Madada is the underdog to win at +240 ($100 to win $240) at Several Bookmakerss. Norman Parke (20-4-1 MMA, 4-2-1 UFC) finds himself on a two fight losing streak and with his back against the wall heading into this co-main event match-up. His first setback was a split decision loss against Gleison Tibau and the second defeat came against another Brazilian in Francisco Trinaldo via another split decision. Heading into Saturday night’s co-headliner, Parke is focused and ready to give it his all in an effort to get back into the win column. The Northern Irishman is a talented and well-rounded mixed martial artist who excels in many facets of the sport. His striking is sound and always improving, as is his ground game. He has solid wrestling, jiu-jitsu and judo skills, and he is a very good grinder on top of being a striker. Parke does a good job of grinding out opponents against the cage, as well as on the mat. Once he gets a hold of his opponents, it is hard to get him off, as he is a powerful lightweight who possesses great top control. The 28-year old works a heavy top game, has good submissions and displays a nice ground and pound attack. Being a student of Robert Drysdale’s, Parke has a solid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu game, owning 12 of his 20 professional mixed martial arts victories by way of tapout. To compliment his solid offensive wrestling, his defensive grappling skills are also excellent, as he has terrific takedown defense, as well as great submission defense. Still training out of Alliance MMA in San Diego, CA, Parke is a well-conditioned athlete who will be able to go hard for all three rounds of action this Saturday, if necessary. Reza Madadi (13-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) last saw action two and a half years ago, where he scored a third round D’Arce choke submission victory over lightweight contender Michael Johnson, and also took home the evening’s ‘Submission of the Night’ honors for his performance. Legal troubles behind him, “Mad Dog” his eager to get back in the Octagon and make a statement this Saturday. His only loss in the UFC came in a very controversial split decision against Cristiano Marcello, and many, including myself considered an ol’ fashioned hometown decision in favor of the Brazilian. The 37-year old is a Swedish freestyle wrestling champion who works great takedowns, including excellent single’s and doubles. He is very strong from top position on the mat and possesses a vicious ground and pound attack, a position from which he loves to employ his sharp elbows. He is quite dominant on the mat and is not afraid to take risks, fully willing to give up position in order to attack with a submission, being the type of fighter that he is; one who looks to finish fights. 10 of his 13 professional mixed martial arts victories have come by way of finish; two by T/KO and eight by submission. On top of his wrestling credentials, Madadi owns a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is a threat with his submissions on the mat, as was evident with his win over Johnson in his latest Octagon outing. Not only is he good from top position on the mat, but he is also quite effective off his back, as he likes to attack with submissions and has a solid rubber guard. The Iranian-born Swede’s striking has been getting better from fight to fight, so it will be interesting to see how far it’s come along since his last UFC appearance. He uses good footwork and is quite aggressive. He throws decent body-kicks, as well as an effective overhand right. Even when it doesn’t connect, it either gets his opponents attention, or allows him to close the distance and move in for the takedown. Madadi has solid defense on the feet, too, and he sports a great chin. He is a durable fighter who has good recovery and excellent conditioning, so even with the long layoff in mind, I expect him to be ready for a 15-minute war, should this co-main event scrap go the full three round distance. Gabe’s Call: Madadi by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Thoughts: I am in complete disagreement with the current betting lines for this bout, as I think they should be at a near coin-flip, with Madadi being a very slight favorite to win. Parke appears to be on a decline and the two previous opponents he lost to, in my opinion, are not as skilled as Madadi. The Iranian is more hungry now than he has ever been, so I believe he is going to fight this fight like his life is depending on it. I expect the same of Parke, as well, considering a loss will put him on a three fight skid and likely earn him a pink slip. I think it will come down to toughness and strength; both physical and mental, and those are departments in which I think Madadi has Parke beat. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Madadi (+240) 3u to win 7.2u

Written by Gabe Killian

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