UFC Fight Night 86 Play: Derrick Lewis (-145) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (+135)

Derrick-LewisUFC Fight Night 86 Date: April 10, 2016 Arena: Arena Zagreb City: Zagreb, Croatia Heavyweight bout: Derrick Lewis (-145) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (+135) Fight Breakdown: The co-main event of the evening for UFC Fight Night 86 in Croatia today will be a heavyweight contest between Louisiana’s Derrick Lewis and Brazil’s Gabriel Gonzaga, with Lewis being a betting favorite at -145 ($145 to win $100) and Gonzaga being an underdog at +135 ($100 to win $135) Several Bookmakerss. Derrick Lewis (14-4-1 NC MMA, 5-2 UFC) is currently riding an impressive two-fight winnings treak with TKO victories over Viktor Pesta and Damian Grabowski, respectively. He used his main weapon, being his incredibly brutal ground and pound attack, to earn the victories. In fact, all five of his victories inside of the Octagon have come via ground and pound stoppage. “The Black Beast” also likes to implement kicks into his striking attack, often attempting a variety of them. While powerful on the feet, he does most of his damage in the clinch and on the mat. The Bellator and RFA veteran has solid boxing, and more importantly, melon-busting, bone-smashing, fear-instilling knockout power. His hands are the equivalent of Edson Barboza’s kicks, as they are amongst the most dangerous weapons in the UFC. Training out of the Silverback Fight Club in Houston, TX, I think Lewis’ cardio will be in check for a full three rounds of action, should this fight reach the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Gabriel Gonzaga (17-10 MMA, 12-9 UFC) last saw action at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale, where he snapped his three fight losing streak with a unanimous decision victory over Konstantin Erokhin following three uneventful rounds of action. Heading into this co-main event contest against Lewis, he will aim to make it two in a row, while finding himself again playing the role of “gatekeeper” in the UFC’s heavyweight division. The Brazilian is a talented grappler who possesses solid takedowns and an excellent submission game. His top control is very good and he is quite effective from top position on the mat. Gonzaga also has a strong base and is himself tough to take down. This is a rare match-up for Gonzaga in which he may very likely be enjoying the striking advantage heading in. As far as his cardio is concerned, it is sometimes hit or miss, but I believe he will have enough in the tank for a full three rounds against Lewis, if necesary. Gabe’s Call: Gonzaga by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Thoughts: I think there’s a good chance Gonzaga outstrikes Lewis for the majority of three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision win on the judges’ scorecards. I do also believe he has a good chance of either submitting or knocking out Lewis. Long story short, I see more routes to victory for Gonzaga in this contest than I do Lewis, and at his current underdog tag of +135, I like him for a play here. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Nelson/Rosholt Over 1.5 rounds (-142) 4.26u to win 3u

Written by Gabe Killian

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