UFC Fight Night 87 Play: Francimar Barroso (+135) vs Nikita Krylov (-155)

Francimar-BarrosoUFC Fight Night 87 Date: May 8, 2016 Arena: Ahoy Rotterdam City: Rotterdam, Netherlands Light Heavyweight bout: Francimar Barroso (+135) vs Nikita Krylov (-155) Fight Breakdown: The main card for UFC Fight Night 87 will be featuring a light heavyweight contest between Brazil’s 36-year-old Francimar Barroso and the Ukraine’s 24-year-old Nikita “The Al Capone” Krylov, with Barroso being a +135 ($100 to win $135) underdog and Krylov being a -155 ($155 to win $100) betting favorite to win at Several Bookmakerss. Francimar Barroso (40-14-1 NC MMA, 5-3 UFC) is on a two-fight winning streak inside the Octagon with unanimous decision victories over Ryan Jimmo and most recently promotional newcomer Elvis Mutapcic. The only blemish in his 3-1 UFC career is a controversial split decision loss to Dutchman Hans Stringer. Training out of Nova Uniao, Barroso showed great improvements in the Mutapcic bout, on the feet and with his cardio. I think he will have enough in the tank for a full three rounds of action against the Ukrainian, should the fight reach the judges’ scorecards for a decision, which I think it very likely could, considering this stylistic match-up. Barroso’s fight IQ has always been solid and I think that is an advantage he has over Krylov, who is not exactly a high-IQ light heavyweight. The 36-year-old has a solid base, which benefits his takedown defense. He has a great ground game, as he does damage with intense ground and pound and is a threat with his submissions. The Shooto veteran is great off his back, as well, though he often takes chances; giving up position to go for submissions. He is also very good at transitioning on the ground, from one submission attempt to another. I think he looked the best he has ever looked in his last Octagon outing against Mutapcic and I expect to see an even more improved Barroso this weekend. Nikita Krylov (19-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is on a very impressive three fight winning streak inside the Octagon that includes three first round finishes of Cody Donovan, Stanislav Nedkov and Marcos Rogderio De Lima, and he will be aiming to make it four in a row against Barroso in Rotterdam this weekend. The 24-year-oldis a talented submission artist and his resume reflects that sentiment, as 12 of his 19 career victories have come by way of tapout. While he has a solid offensive submission game, his defensive grappling could use a lot of work. His submission defense certainly is not poor, but it clearly is not great. The Ukrainian has a solid kicking game and he likes to push forward. He has great takedowns and good top control, not to mention excellent transitions. Krylov is known mainly for his submission game, but he began his martial arts career with Karate and was initially a pure striker. After learning all the different aspects of mixed martial arts and developing a solid all-around game, including his aforementioned submission game, he went on a tear on the European regional circuit and made enough noise to earn himself a call from Joe Silva. Not having been out of the first round since his promotional debut where he ran out of gas after a few minutes of action, his cardio will certainly be something to keep an eye on heading into this contest. Gabe’s Call: Barroso by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Thoughts: If Krylov fails to score an early finish, I think he’s going to be in trouble, as I see Barroso either finishing him late or getting the better of him to pick up a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I believe this is Barroso’s fight to lose and think he should be a -250 betting favorite into the contest, so I see a lot of value in him at his current offering underdog price of +135. Gabe’s Recommended Plays: 1) Barroso/Krylov Over 1.5 rounds (-120) and Overeem (-225) at +164 for 3.1u to win 5.1u, and 2) Barroso (+135) 3u to win 4.05u

Written by Gabe Killian

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