UFC 159 Picks: Light Heavyweights Phil Davis (-335) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (+275)

UFC-159 UFC 159 Prudential Center, Newark, New Jersey Saturday, April 27, 2013 Light Heavyweight Fight: Phil Davis (-335) vs. Vinny Magalhaes (+275) Fight Breakdown: Light heavyweight rivals meet in a three-round bout on the main card of UFC 159 as Phil Davis takes on Vinny Magalhaes. Davis is a -335 favorite (bet $335 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, while Magalhaes  is a +275 underdog (bet $100 to win $275). Davis (10-1, 1 NC) was a dominant collegiate wrestler and his skills on the mat have transferred over to MMA, where he’s gone 6-1, 1 NC in his UFC career with the only loss coming to former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. The 28-year-old Davis is a stud on the mat and his top-notch wrestling/submission style has allowed him to defeat opponents such as Alexander Gustafsson, Tim Boetsch, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, and Brian Stann. However, his striking is still very much a work in progress and his wrestling defence was poor against Evans. Davis is getting an interesting matchup here in the form of Magalhaes, who called Davis out on Twitter, as Magalhaes is an exceptional grappler and if Davis’ plan is to take him down to the ground, he could get in a lot of trouble with Magalhaes’ deadly submission attack. And if the fight stays standing, it could really go either way. Magalhaes (10-5, 1 NC) is one of the most dangerous ground fighters in the entire UFC, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who can submit his opponents from any position. The 28-year-old recently returned to the UFC and scored a slick submission victory over Igor Pokrajac, and he’s won his last six fights overall including a notable knockout win over Bellator standout Mikhail Zayats in M-1, where he was their light heavyweight champion. Magalhaes has eight career wins via tapout and he most certainly can win this fight if he takes it takes place on the floor, but he also has better standup than Davis and can make things interesting if it stays on the feet. The one knock against Magalhaes is his cardio, which has been questionable at times, but if he doesn’t gas out against Davis he has a good shot of pulling off the upset. Fight Prediction: In a fight between two grapplers, I think this fight is going to hit the floor, and, if he gets enough opportunities, Magalhaes is going to find a submission, lock it in, and tap out Davis for the upset win. And I think he has a much better chance of doing that than the odds indicate. Adam’s Pick: Magalhaes via submission (click for latest UFC 158 odds) Adam’s Recommended Play: At the odds, I recommend a straight play on Magalhaes. Davis absolutely should be the favorite but the spread is a little too far and, at +275, I’ll be making a one-unit play on Magalhaes to come through for the upset, likely with a submission since the fight probably hits the ground, but I wouldn’t rule out any method of victory here.

Written by Adam Martin.

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