Thursday, December 10th, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada for UFC Fight Night 80 “Namajunas vs. Vanzant” by Daniel Tom

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John Howard (23-11)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 32 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 72″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Cathal Pendred (7-11-15)
  • Camp: Wai Kru MMA (Boston, MA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   9 KO victories
+   6 Submission wins
+   7 first round finishes
+   KO power/heavy hands
+   Active clinch striking
^   Knees & body shots
+   Dangerous left hook
+   Hard & Accurate leg kicks
–    Takes knees consistently
+   Good TD’s against the cage
+   Strong top game
+   Competent TD defense
–    Gas tank bares watching
+   Physically strong & durable


Tim Means (24-7-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 31 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 75″
  • Last Fight: Submission loss / Matt Brown (7-11-15)
  • Camp: Fit NHB (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Switch-stance / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: B-

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   83% finish rate
+   16 KO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   13 first round finishes
+   Good volume & pressure
+   Dangerous knees
^   Times/closes distance well
+   Excellent elbows
^   Effective from all angles
+   Accurate straight left
^   Counters & measures well
+   Solid footwork & movement
–    TD susceptible  against cage
–    Will succeed bottom
+   Good chin/never stopped


In a Welterweight showdown of Muay-Thai gunslingers, John “Doomsday” Howard faces off against Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means. With both men being tough & durable fighters who rely heavily on their Thai boxing, this potential “Fight of the Night” sleeper should stay standing. With a more classic Thai approach, Doomsday will steadily march forward as he’ll plot and explode to establish his range. Tim Means is light on his feet as he employs a more movement-based style, where he’ll create angles and plant on his counter strikes. I believe the key factor in this fight will be distance management which is a game Means excels at, while it’s something Howard has spent his career countering(as consistently the shorter man).

Menacingly marching toward opposition, Doomsday favors a leaping left hook(ala Mike Tyson) to close range. He also posseses good head movement which he’ll use to set up his counters, that usually come in the form of a leg kick. As you watch Howard counter balance off a slip, his hips will whip out hard kicks that change the face of opponents in one shot. Though facing Means who primarily operates out of the Southpaw stance, Doomsday does not discriminate in attack as he’s effective with inside leg-kick adjustments(as seen in his fight against Brian Ebersolevanother experienced Southpaw). This is something that will be key to Howard’s victory and to combat Tim’s natural/on-paper length & movement advantage. Though not as forward moving, Means is arguably the more aggressive fighter in volume & variety as he uses it to pressure and deliver action.

The Dirty Bird will utilize his kicks in a less impactful way than Howard, and instead use to them to measure distance & set up traps. Often throwing and feinting to draw out counters, Tim will consistently angle-off looking for openings as he’ll plant when feels his accurate left hand has it’s mark. This punch in particularly will be Means best chances of catching Howard. Movement for Tim will also be key as his consistent footwork should limit the leg kick availability of Howard. The thing to look for to change the momentum standing will be knees. Though Doomsday possesses good knees from the body-lock clinch, he’s shown to consistently get knee’d repetitively in fights without adjusting. Howard’s durability has allowed him to take it and power forward, but trends like this are concerning as they tend not to last.

Especially when facing dangerous specialists like Means, who shows superb timing as he’ll counter and close distances with his knees. Doomsday may find his best success by eliminating this distance into closed clinch-space. There he’ll generally pressure his opposition into the cage and look to secure body-lock TD’s. Though possessing good balance and improved counter wrestling, Means has shown take-down susceptibility defending against the cage. On the floor, I give the overall advantage to Doomsday given his strong positional top-game and Tim’s propensity to close his guard as he’ll fight from his back. John has shown to be a bit slow in the scramble however, and should Tim continue to display improved counter wrestling, it could make all the difference in the ground exchanges.

Doomsday’s veteran experience, durability, and heart keeps him game in fights as his KO power keeps him live. But given that Tim Means has never been stopped to strikes(as he shows a hell of a chin) and has more paths to expose Howard, I see him having the edge in this fight. Not to mention Howards tendency to slow late in fights-Means volume, variety, and pressure could make for big sways in momentum and possibly provide a finish. I’ve always been a fan of watching Doomsday, but Tim Means is a well-deserved dark horse of the division as I expect him to make a statement here. From his output to finish rate, his style is worth the price of a dog or favorite.

Official Pick: Means – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Means – KO – round 1.

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Tim Means def. John Howard
  • Omari Akhmedov def. Sergio Moraes
  • Kevin Casey def. Antonio Carlos Junior
  • Aljamain Sterling def. Johnny Eduardo
  • Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Andreas Stahl
  • Danny Roberts def. Nathan Coy
  • Zubaira Tukhugov def. Phillipe Nover
  • Kailin Curran def. Emily Kagan

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Sage Northcutt
-Tim Means
-Page Vanzant

Low Tier Picks:

-Jim Miller
-Thiago Santos
-Rose Namajunas

Pieces for your parlay:

-Tim Means
-Elias Theodorou
-Santiago Ponzinibbio

Props worth looking at:

-Tim Means – Inside the distance
-Jim Miller – by Submission
-Sage Northcutt – Inside the distance

Fights to avoid:

-Kevin Casey vs Antonio Carlos Junior
-Michael Chiesa vs Jim Miller
-Paige Vanzant vs Rose Namajunas

For the complete undercard analysis & past UFC events visit and for future breakdowns & your latest in world-wide MMA news, stay tuned & follow @MMALatestnws

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