UFC Fight Night 78 Play: Diego Sanchez (+500) vs Ricardo Lamas (-700)

Diego SanchezUFC Fight Night 78 Date: November 21, 2015 Arena: Arena Monterrey City: Monterrey, Mexico Featherweight bout: Diego Sanchez (+500) vs Ricardo Lamas (-700) Fight Breakdown: The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 2 Finale main card on FOX Sports 1 will be featuring a featherweight contest between TUF 1 winner Diego “The Nightmare” Sanchez and WEC veteran Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas. Sanchez is a +500 ($100 to win $500) betting underdog heading into this 145-pound scrap and Lamas is the favorite to win at -700 ($700 to win $100) at Several Bookmakerss. Diego Sanchez (25-7 MMA, 14-7 UFC) last saw action at UFC Fight Night 42 nearly a year and a half ago, where he took a controversial split decision against Ross Pearson. Now after having taken time off to heal from injuries and surgeries, he has opted to make the move down to the UFC’s featherweight division, where he will be greeted by fellow Mexican Ricardo Lamas. This will be his first fight in Mexico, which is something he has always hoped to do someday, and he is ready to put on a show for the Mexican crowd. Nobody doubts that, as Sanchez has been one of the most exciting fighters in the history of the promotion. He’s always fought with all his heart and has always left it all in the cage. His skills on the feet are not brilliant by any means, but he is capable of holding his own. “The Nightmare” has one of the best chins in MMA, so he always stays in the fight and moves forward, keeping the pressure on, even if he is the one receiving the most punishment. He may get dropped, but he doesn’t get finished. Sanchez likes to take opponents down and punish them with his brutal ground and pound, eventually wearing them out with his relentless pressure. Training out of Jackson-Winklejohn MMA at high-altitude in Albuquerque, Sanchez has always had tremendous conditioning. I expect him to be able to go hard for all three rounds against Lamas, should this scrap see its way to the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Ricardo Lamas (15-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) is coming off a first round TKO defeat at the hands off Chad Mendes seven months ago and hopes for a return to the win column with a dominant performance over a long-time Octagon veteran. “The Bully” is a well-rounded mixed martial artist who comes from a wrestling background. Being an NCAA Division II All-American wrestler and owning a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with four submission victories to his name, it is safe to say that Lamas is a talented grappler. He is good at taking the fight to the mat, as well as controlling his opponents there while working a brutal ground and pound attack and ultimately searching for either a T/KO or submission finish. On top of his four wins by submission, he owns four by T/KO. He is definitely a finisher, but he is also capable of grinding opponents out with his superior grappling, as was evident with his victory over Nova Uniao’s Hacran Dias last year. Lamas is a well conditioned and durable fighter who possesses an above average chin and will have enough in his tank for a full 15 minutes of action, if necessary. Gabe’s Call: Sanchez by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Gabe’s Thoughts: I think this fight is a lot closer than the betting odds currently suggest. Yes, Sanchez has more miles on him, but Lamas is no spring chicken and his wars may be catching up with him, as well. They are both 33 years of age and Sanchez possesses a height, reach and physical size advantage over Lamas heading into this featherweight contest. Contrary to popular opinion, I think Sanchez has a decent chance at getting his hand raised in this fight. I’m going to take him for a value play, and hell, I’m going to pick him to win the fight straight up too. I would not be the least bit surprised if Sanchez takes a decision here, though a lot of people I know will be. I think Lamas is being way over-valued here, especially coming off a stoppage loss. Sanchez’s confidence is riding high right how, coming off the controversial Pearson win and debuting in a new division. I’m going to ride with him to pick up the win in Mexico. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Sanchez (+500) 3u to win 15u

Written by Gabe Killian

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