UFC Fight Night 88 Play: Jorge Masvidal (+120) vs Lorenz Larkin (-140)

lorenz-larkin-750UFC Fight Night 88 Date: May 29, 2016 Arena: Mandalay Bay Evens Center City: Las Vegas, NV Welterweight bout: Jorge Masvidal (+120) vs Lorenz Larkin (-140) Fight Breakdown: The UFC Fight Night 88 main card on FOX Sports 1 will be featuring a welterweight showdown that is sure to produce fireworks! Action is expected when excellent strikers Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal and Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin square off inside the Octagon. “Gamebred” is a slight +120 ($100 to win $120) betting underdog heading into the contest, with “The Monsoon” being a slight favorite to win at -140 ($140 to win $100)Several Bookmakerss. Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (29-10 MMA, 6-3 UFC) last saw action six months ago, where he came up short in a split decision loss to Benson Henderson and will be looking to return to the column with a win over fellow Strikeforce veteran Larkin in Las Vegas this Saturday night. Masvida has great Muay Thai and is an excellent technical striker. He works solid kicks and puts some fantastic combinations together on the feet. His strikes can be both crisp and smothering. The Cuban has a nice jab and is generally effective with all of his punches, both in technique and power. He has the ability to outpoint opponents on the feet for three rounds of action, as well as the ability to put the pressure on and find the T/KO finish, all the while remaining accurate with his strikes. “Gamebred” developed his wrestling game late, but you couldn’t tell, as he is very skilled in both offensive and defensive wrestling. He has great takedown defense, solid submission defense, and he has a nice submission game of his own, as was evident with his d’arce choke victory over TUF season 15 winner Michael Chiesa. The Strikeforce and Bellator veteran has a decent chin, although Chiesa was able to hurt him for a moment, and he’s also been knocked out a couple of times throughout his career. That said, his chin generally holds up, and he recovers fairly well, too. Training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL, Masvidal is a well-conditioned fighter who will be ready for a full 15-minutes of action against Larkin, if necessary. Lorenz “The Monsoon” Larkin (18-5-1 NC, 3-5 UFC) is coming off his first loss as a welterweight, being a split decision against Albert Tumenov at UFC 195 nearly five months ago, and he is eager to return to the win column with an impressive vicory over Masvidal. Larkin is a talented striker who possesses solid striking defense, as he utilizes good head movement, excellent footwork and has nice counters. He has great balance and solid takedown defense, but when taken down, he is very active off his back. He moves around the cage really well and comes at his opponents from different angles. The Strikeforce veteran is fast and does a good job of changing speeds. He has solid kickboxing and boxing skills; it’s worth noting that he went 5-0 as an amateur boxer. The uppercut is one of Larkin’s favorite punches, and he uses it well. He even has a great lead uppercut, not to mention a heavy overhand right and a solid left hook. “The Monsoon” also has some nice flying attacks, including a flying knee and a flying roundhouse kick. He can be flashy with his style, but he is also very effective. He employs a spinning attack, as well, with which he often finds success. The former light heavyweight likes to use his jab, even his lead jab. He does damage with nearly every strike he connects with. Larkin has an excellent kicking game. He delivers beautiful, heavy kicks, and likes going to the head and body with them. He also works the inside and outside legs of his opponents really well, as he likes to mix it up and slow them down. The native of Riverside, CA works the Thai plum clinch well, and uses the position to put his knees and elbows to work. He puts great, effective combinations together, and while Larkin does not have excellent top control, he does employ a solid ground and pound attack, in which he does damage with heavy, vicious elbows. Training out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, NV, Larkin is a well-conditioned athlete who will be prepared for a full three rounds of battle, should this scrap see it’s way to the judges’ scorecards for a decision. Gabe’s Call: “The Monsoon” by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Gabe’s Thoughts: This is a match-up between two talented strikers and I expect this fight to play out on the feet. I think Larkin is the fighter with the better chance of both winning this fight inside the distance and on the judges’ scorecards. I think he should be a -250 betting favorite heading into this contest, so I really like him for a play at his curent offering price of -140. It is also worth noting that Larkin is the former Strikefoce middleweight champion and Masvidal is a former Strikeforce lightweight contender; one guy guy to the top at 185-pounds, and the other couldn’t quite reach it at 155-pounds– now they meet at 170-pounds, and I favor the one with the advantages in size and strength heading in. Gabe’s Recommended Play: Larkin (-140) parlayed with Sterling/Caraway Over 2.5 rounds (-190) at +161 3.25u to win 5.25u

Written by Gabe Killian

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