Saturday, March 19th, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia for UFC Fight Night 85: “Hunt vs. Mir” by Daniel Tom

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Ross Pearson (18-10)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 31 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 69″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Francisco Trinaldo (1-17-16)
  • Camp: Alliance MMA (San Diego, CA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 9 Lightweight Winner
+   Black Belt Tae Kwon Do
+   Brown Belt Judo
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   7 KO victories
+   6 First round finishes
+   5 Submission wins
+   Good feints & head movement
^   Looks to slip & counter
+   Accurate left hook
+   Improved takedown defense
^   Shows good get-up initiative & technique
+   Excellent pocket awareness
+/-Dips heavily to right side


Chad Laprise (10-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’10” Age: 29 Weight: 155 lbs Reach: 71″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Francrisco Trinaldo (8-23-15)
  • Camp: Tristar Gym (Canada)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   TUF Nations Welterweight Winner
+   5 KO victories
+   1 Submission win
+   KO Power
+   5 First round finishes
+   Excellent footwork
^   Cuts angles well offensively & defensively
+   High volume & variety striker
^   Disciplined & fluid approach
+   Rarely throws self out of position
+   Improved takedown defense
^   Good get-up urgency & technique
+/-Style requires stamina
+   Manages distance well


Despite injuries and withdrawals forcing musical chairs upon Brisbane’s undercard, UFC Fight Pass still comes strong with a solid featured bout as Ross “The Real Deal” Pearson meets Chad “The Disciple” Laprise. With visa issues forcing Abel Trujillo to withdraw from this fight, Laprise(who was originally slated to face Alan Patrick later in the evening) will now step in against the biggest name of his career as he attempts to get back on the winning track. Although Ross Pearson has usually based his training camps out of Alliance MMA, he has moved shop to his adopted home of Australia in preparation for this fight. With the given changes of training camp and residence, it will be interesting to see Pearson’s approach to fending off Laprise, as this will be the Canadian’s first professional fight outside of his home country.

Training rigorously under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi at Tristar, we have seen Laprise demonstrate consistent technical application & improvements to his striking game. Wielding a fundamentally strong, but varied kickboxing attack, Chad will seldom throw himself out of position. Disciplined footwork is largely the key to Laprise’s game, as he will intelligently angle-off in exchanges while still maintaining offensive range. In fact, I believe Chad’s ability to manage the distance will be a key factor in this fight.

Ross Pearson is a very competent kickboxer offensively and off the counter, but largely makes his money by punching inside the pocket. Primarily operating his offense from the crouch position, Ross will lean heavily to his right as he favors right uppercut-left hook combinations. Although defensively this technique fuels Pearson’s beautiful “slip & rip” counters, it has also opened him up to knees as his head will often swing dangerously low. Despite not being particularly known for his knees, Laprise wields a wide enough variety of attack that should keep Ross honest at the very least.

Pearson’s striking is sometimes underrated as he carries more on paper credentials than his opponent. However, Ross seems to have two patterns that he falls into while inside the Octagon. One: He will often come forward with strong offensive momentum(which I feel would serve him best in this fight), however, his aggression is what also has consistently got him countered in his past losses. Two: Ross will tend to revert to counter striking as he circles along the outside range. I feel this will feed into Chad’s game as the Canadian excels when his opposition plays along the outside Octagon lines.

With both men bearing equally competent takedown defense and a similar urgency to turtle out & stand, I expect most of this match to contest standing. However, Laprise has shown more of taste to mix in double-leg attempts with this attack. Although he may fail more than he succeeds, sprinkled shot threats may be enough to stifle the Englishmen’s offense and win close rounds. Ultimately, I feel Laprise’s ability to dictate the terms of offense will make the difference in a tight decision.

Official Pick: Laprise – Decision

Official Outcome: Pearson – Split decision

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Jouban def. O’Reilly
  • Hooker def. Eddiva
  • Smith def. Nakai
  • Andrade def. Walsh
  • Laprise def. Pearson
  • Patrick def. Brown

Recommended Plays

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Mark Hunt
-Antonio Carlos Jr.
-Alan Jouban

Low Tier Picks:

-Hector Lombard
-Johnny Case
-Frank Mir

Pieces for your parlay:

-Johnny Case
-Alan Jouban
-Daniel Hooker

Props worth looking at(5Dimes):

-Case – by Decision +250
-Te Huna/Bosse – Under -190
-Hooker – inside the distance +158

Fights to avoid:

-Rawlings vs Ham
-Andrade vs Walsh
-Magny vs Lombard

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