UFC Vegas 15 Is Sketchy By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

by Pub Sports Radio

UFC Vegas 15 Is Sketchy

By; Clint MacLean (@DieHardMMAPod)

Saturday’s UFC card sure will be something. To a Die Hard like myself, as long as people are punching each other in the face, you can guarantee that I will be watching and likely bet on it, but to the casual viewer… this card is sketchy. It doesn’t take much to get me excited about MMA, but this is one of the lowest level cards of the year. It almost seems like the UFC is looking to clear the roster on one single card. All the fighters who are leftover with contracts who need fights that they couldn’t find good matchups for earlier in the year are right here! Luckily, even though some of the fights will be lower, the matchmaking is pretty good, and we should have some entertaining fights.

Starting the night off is Luke Sanders taking on 12-1 Nate Maness in a fight that potentially could produce a prospect. The clock is ticking on Luke Sanders, who is coming off the best performance of his career but is 34 years old and coming off of a year-long layoff. Luke is improving but can be out-grappled and is just 2-3 in the UFC. Nate Maness is 12-1, but he is only one fight into his UFC run and did not overly impress in his fight against Johnny Munoz Jr. This one will be interesting to see who really belongs and might send one of these two men back to the regional scene.

The 2nd fight of the night might be the best matchmaking on the entire card. Su Mudaerji is a legitimate prospect, and the young fighter from China has so much potential it’s scary. He faces Malcolm Gordon, who seems to have peaked as a fighter, but has a skill set that will cause certain people problems. Both men are 12-4, with all four of Su’s losses coming by submission and three of Gordon’s four losses coming by KO. This is a classic striker vs. grappler match up, and while I do side with the heavy favorite in Su Mudaerji you cannot deny that the grappling prowess of Malcolm provides a legitimate threat. I would look to play Mudaerji Inside the Distance or by KO to avoid that chalk price tag.

On the main card we finally get to see the return of the Alpha Ginger who has already carved out a solid fan base for himself just by being the wild man that he is. In Spike Carlyle’s last fight he blew the brakes off of Billy Q in the first round only to blow his load and not be able to put the young fighter away. Billy has a never ending gas tank and that ended up winning the fight for him when he turned the tables on Carlyle in the 2nd and 3rd. Carlyle is an impressive wrestler with a nasty submission game and he is explosive on the feet. If Spike is able to mind his gas tank better he can be a real problem. The issue for Spike is he is basically getting the same match up he had last time again on Saturday against Bill Algeo. Bill is a decorated grappler with a long frame and a high output. Bill can cause Spike the exact same issues that Billy Q did, but maybe to a slightly lesser degree. This fight is close and I feel like it will either be Spike early or Bill by decision.

Possibly my favorite fight on the card is Miguel Baeza taking on Takashi Sato. Now I have a weird soft spot for Takashi. He is super happy and friendly and I just want to see the guy win, but for some reason he is the public dog this week. If you do any betting on the major sports you know that public underdogs do not have a tendency of coming through and Sato opened up as a +175 underdog, but is sitting around +130 and he is still getting money. 9-0 undefeated Miguel Baeza is a fighter who has yet to taste defeat and while it eventually happens to everybody I just dont think that this is the spot. Baeza is a better technical striker than Sato, he is a better grappler than Sato, and he wil enjoy a height and reach advantage. Sato has crushing power, but is extremely limited in his arsenal and you basically just have to watch out for his cross. Baeza is a threat from everywhere and Caramel Thunder averages nearly a full significant strike per minute landed than Sato. I don’t understand the money on Sato for this fight and now that the line is cheaper I will be jumping on Baeza.

The Co-Main Event is a strange crossroads fight where Anthony Smith is basically fighting to legitimize himself again in the UFC. Devin Clark is on a 2 fight win streak and impressed in his win over Alonzo Menifield while Smith is on a 2 fight skid and was wrecked by both Glover and Rakic. The public impression right now is that Clark is hot and Smith is cold, but that provides and interesting situation where Smith should be a -300 favorite, but is only -140. I am rolling the dice on Smith to come back and be the fighter we think he really is this week and crush the can that is Devin Clark. Smith has been facing the absolute elite of 205 where Clark has been duking it out with bottom feeders most of whom have been cut from the organization. I’m not quite ready to count Lionheart out just yet. Give the guy one more chance.

While UFC Vegas 15 may be surrounded by questions and the fighters competition level may be a bit low what we do have is a possible #1 contender eliminator for the main event against 2 of the biggest and baddest men on the planet. Curtis Blaydes is taking on fan favorite Derrick Lewis and the winner will likely get the victor of Ngannou vs Stipe 2 unless an immediate rematch is allowed when Ngannou sends Stipe’s head into the 5th row. Blaydes is a true grappler and one who makes no bones about laying on his opponents for a full fight to do what he has to to get the win. The Black Beast is a striker who is a physical freak and can knock any man out with a single bomb if they let their guard down. Blaydes is rightfully a big favorite in this fight because Lewis simply cannot stop a takedown, but where this fight gets interesting is that Lewis is very hard to hold down. Lewis is the comeback kid and has stolen more than one fight late with big power shots and even highlight reel knockouts. We have seen the grappling take its toll on the legendary gas tank of Blaydes when he fights an opponent who can make him work for 15+ minutes. If Lewis is able to get up and keep getting up this fight will get very hairy and I can absolutely see him landing a shot late that closes the show. Likewise, if Blaydes gets Lewis on his back then he needs to go to work to make sure the Black Beast doesn’t have the opportunity to get back to his feet.

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