الإثنين ١٦ سبتمبر ٢٠١٩
From a fan’s perspective, UFC 231 is a fantastic event. In terms of betting opportunities, I’m feeling lukewarm. But here are my breakdowns of the fights I’m trying to play. Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Decorated jiu-jitsu champion and second degree black belt, Gilbert Burns, was working on his striking in the past several decades. Training under famed Dutch kickboxer, Henri Hooft, Burns is currently comfortable wherever the battle takes place.
Together with his newfound striking skills, Burns scored strong knockout victories over Jason Saggo and Dan Moret. Regrettably, preferring to bang with Dan Hooker was disastrous and Burns was violently finished in his last fight. I dropped money thinking Burns would grapple — oh well!
Even though a good striker, Burns takes dangers defensively and loads on his own shots. Dan Hooker is the type of fighter that can capitalize on defensive lapses — but I’m unsure Olivier Aubin-Mercier is.
Coming out of a judo history, Aubin-Mercier is exceptionally strong in the clinch and heavy from top position. While he’s much more proficient on the feet than he used to be, Aubin-Mercier still lacks the fluidity of someone that’s a natural striker. He’s light on his feet, in and out with his movement and somewhat tentative — but is accurate when he flames.
While Aubin-Mercier is a jiu-jitsu brown belt, I doubt he would like to go to the mat with Burns. Even the muscle-bound human blanket, Michel Prazeres, refused to dive to the guard of Gilbert Burns — which speaks volumes.
In his last fight, Aubin-Mercier looked a step behind in the scrambles against Alexander Hernandez and I would anticipate a master of body manipulation such as Gilbert Burns to dominate on the mat as well (although I wish there was more footage of Burns fighting his back to create a better assessment).
I believe that the striking trades will be competitive, but I provide Burns a slight edge. Stylistically, this looks tricky for Aubin-Mercier and that I can’t predict his approach. Maybe the Canadian will try and control his competitor against the weapon, but without shooting takedowns?
I do believe Aubin-Mercier is the better athlete and has the superior cardio. However, I’ll take my chances of Gilbert Burns as a +120 underdog as I believe he must be a small favorite.
Elias Theodorou vs. Eryk Anders
In a middleweight showdown between two fighters with contrasting designs (and characters ), Eryk Anders takes on Elias Theodorou.
A great athletic, Anders is volatile yet has great cardio. Fighting out of the southpaw stance, Anders packs huge power in his left hand but in my view, goes head hunting a little too much. In his final bout, Thiago Santos was prepared for the primary weapon of Anders — which restricted his offensive victory.
Read more: sixthdaysoccer.com