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UFC Fight Night 47

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Event: UFC Fight Night 47
Date: Aug. 16, 2014
TV/Time: (FS2/FS1, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Venue: Cross Insurance Center
City:Bangor, Maine

Light Heavyweight Bout: Ryan Bader (18-4) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (16-5)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Bader -170, Saint Preux +140

Ryan Bader and Ovince Saint Preux look to make some noise in the light heavyweight class as they face each on Saturday in Bangor, ME.

"Darth" Bader enters this match on a 5-2 surge, which includes a two-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming against Rafael Cavalcante on June 14. In that match, Bader was able to win by decision with a dominating performance, holding sizable advantages in both significant strikes (53-10) and takedowns (7-0). The winning streak comes after Bader was knocked out in the first round by Glover Teixeira on September 4, 2013. Bader has taken on some of the best fighters in the sport, but has been unable to get victories against opponents like Lyoto Machida, Tito Ortiz and Jon Jones.

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The 31-year-old from Tempe is currently ranked No. 8 in the light heavyweight class, and has a big chance to move up the rankings in the class. However, that will not be an easy challenge as he faces an opponent in Saint Preux, who is currently ranked No. 10 in the class. Saint Preux enters this match on absolute fire, winning his past five fights. In his last bout against Ryan Jimmo on June 14, he showed how talented he is with a second-round submission by way of Kimura. During Saint Preux's winning streak, he has shown the versatility to win a fight in many different ways, winning by knockout, as well as by submission and technical decision. Hailing from Knoxville, the 31-year-old has a big chance to make some serious noise in the class.

Saint Preux has 16 victories in his career, with half of them coming by way of knockout. However, he has shown the ability to win in other ways, posting four wins by both submission and decision. Ten of his victories have been first-round finishes, and he has won 13 of his past 14 matches. Both of these fighters are nearly identical when it comes to landing significant strikes (2.95 for Bader, 2.94 for Saint Preux), but Saint Preux is much more accurate when attempting those strikes (56%), compared to 44% for Bader. However, he must be careful to avoid taking shots from his opponent, as he defends against only 49% of his opponent’s attempts, while Bader defends 71% of his opponent’s attempts. If he is able to keep this fight on the ground, he has the striking to compete against Bader.

Bader has 18 victories in his career, with eight of them coming by decision. He also has seven wins by knockout and three by way of submission, and eight of his victories have been first-round finishes. Bader’s biggest advantage in this match will be his ability to do work on the ground, as he owns a takedown average of 3.54, compared to 1.94 for Saint Preux. However, he does have a struggle when it comes to landing his takedown attempts, completing only 45% of his attempts (Saint Preux converts on 60%). If Bader is able to take this fight to the ground, he must be able to capitalize. Both of these guys are in tremendous shape, so whichever fighter will be able to gain momentum early in this matchup should be able to get the win. Both of these fighters weigh 205 pounds with Saint Preux holding a slim one-inch height advantage.

Lightweight Bout: Gray Maynard (12-4-1) vs. Ross Pearson (17-7)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Pearson -140, Maynard +110

Two of the most electric fighters in MMA, Gray Maynard and Ross Pearson, will square off for what should be an exciting fight in Bangor, ME on Saturday night.

Maynard comes into this lightweight match having prevailed in just one of his past five fights. This includes falling in both of his past two bouts by way of first-round knockout, to TJ Grant and Nate Diaz. But before this slide, he had won eight straight fights from 2007 to 2010, but the last seven of those victories all came by way of decision. Maynard is the type of fighter that starts the fight with a lot of emotion, but that energy has gotten him into trouble in his career. While his opponent, Ross Pearson, is all the type of fighter that sets the tone early, Maynard can ill-afford to let Pearson get things going early. Pearson also comes into this match off a loss, as he fell to Diego Sanchez on June 7. However, that match ended by way of split decision, with Pearson holding a 51-33 advantage in significant strikes. He is an explosive athlete that does a great job of bringing his fight to his opponents. At 29 years old, Pearson is in the prime of his career. A win in this match could be what Pearson needs to jumpstart his career and make a run in this weight class.

"The Real Deal" Pearson has 17 victories in his career, with six of his wins coming by knockout, four by submission and seven by way of decision. Pearson will have a big advantage when it comes to significant strikes, landing nearly double the amount (4.04 per minute that Maynard does (2.09). Not only does he land more punches than Maynard, but Pearson is much more accurate when throwing those strikes at 42% compared to 31% for Maynard. For the England native to get the victory, Pearson must keep this fight on his feet.

The 35-year-old Maynard has 12 victories in his career, with 10 of them coming by way of decision. He also has two wins by knockout. His biggest advantage in this fight will be his grappling game, where he has a significant advantage when it comes to takedowns (2.6 for Maynard, compared to 1.1 for Pearson). He is also much more accurate when it comes to landing the takedown, succeeding on 49% of his attempts (33% for Pearson). Wrestling has always been the strength for this veteran who wrestled at Michigan State University with MMA legend Rashad Evans. For Maynard, too many times in his career he has gotten away from his game plan, and left himself susceptible to getting hit. If he does that again on Saturday, Maynard will once again find himself on the losing end. Both fighters are 5-foot-8 and 155 pounds.

Other UFC Fight Night 47 Bouts

Odds provided by Sportsbook.ag:

Welterweight Matchup
Seth Baczynski -165
Alan Jouban +135

Bantamweight Matchup
Frankie Saenz -180
Nolan Ticman +147

Featherweight Matchup
Thiago Tavares -170
Robbie Peralta +140

Middleweight Matchup
Tom Watson -140
Sam Alvey +110

Heavyweight Matchup
Shawn Jordan -200
Jack May +165

Flyweight Matchup
Zach Makovsky -380
Jussier da Silva +290

Bantamweight Matchup
Sara McMann -475
Lauren Murphy +350

Middleweight Matchup
Brad Tavares -280
Tim Boetsch +217

  
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