Sunday, February 21st, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for UFC Fight Night 83: “Cowboy vs. Cowboy” by Daniel Tom

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Marion Reneau (6-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 38 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 68″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Holly Holm (7-15-15)
  • Camp: Elite Team (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   IBJJF World Title(Purple Belt)
+   Brown Belt BJJ
+   3 KO victories
+   2 Submission wins
+   4 first round finishes
+   Good footwork
^   Moves well laterally
+   Fast hand speed
^   Hard right hand
+   Heavy right Thai kicks
+   Shows competent takedown defense
^   Displays awareness of hips
+   Active submissions from guard


Ashlee Evans-Smith (3-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age: 28 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 67.5″
  • Last Fight: Sub loss / Raquel Pennington (12-6-14)
  • Camp: Classic Fight Team (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   4x All-American Wrestler
+   Amateur MMA Titles
+   Blue Belt BJJ
+   2 KO victories
+   3x State Wrestling Champ
+   Transitions well on top
^   Active & effective ground strikes
+   Excellent from side control
^   Establishes/controls from crucifix
+   Strong pressure against cage
^   Works for takedowns
+   Favors straight jab-crosses
+   Hard right Thai kicks


Headlining the UFC Fight Pass prelims is an excellent matchup of Bantamweight contenders as Marion Reneau takes on Ashlee Evans-Smith. Coming off a loss to now-champion Holly Holm, Marion will look to rebound back into contention. Also coming off a loss, Evans-Smith will look to establish herself in the division after a year out of the Octagon.

Despite their differences in age, this fight should be very competitive in regards to the skill & athleticism of each woman. In fact, I believe that Reneau should have a distinct speed advantage in regards to hand speed. Although Marion carries an underrated guard game with her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt, I suspect she will look to keep up her trend of striking for this matchup. Wielding one of the quickest and hardest jab-crosses in the division, Marion could create havoc for Ashlee should she reinstate her aggressive ways. Although we saw Reneau thrown off to the point of hesitancy in her last bout, she was in her defense, facing Holly Holm who has a movement that gives fits to most in the world.

Marion should have a footwork advantage in this matchup, particularly in the lateral movement department. Showing to consistently move and change angles, Reneau could make herself a hard target for wrestling shots while opening up counters of her own. Though Evans-Smith will be one of Marion’s most well-rounded opponents to date, Ashlee has shown to struggle when aggressively pressured standing. That being said, Ashlee’s fight-to-fight improvements will be this fights key intangibles given that she is a young fighter who has had time to improve.

Displaying said improvements, Ashlee has developed nice straight punches accompanied by hard Thai kicks on the feet. But make no mistake, on the ground abusing opposition in transition is where Evans-Smith makes her money. A ground fight is exactly what she will need to engage in to maximize her chances for victory. We have yet to see Reneau subjected to a competitive grappler or “grappling style” fight. Although Marion shows competent hip awareness in defending shots, it will be interesting to see her defend Ashlee’s attempts.

However, Evans-Smith’s takedown game is largely predicated off the fence. This means that in order to employ her game, she will need to effectively corral and contain the active Reneau. I have been a big fan of Evans-Smith since watching her compete in Tuff-N-Uff, but unless Ashlee can demonstrate different tools to safely close the distance, then I slightly favor the chances of Marion. Regardless of the odds, I assure you that this is a close match as I advocate extreme caution. Instead, enjoy what should be another fight of the night gem in the Fight Pass fold.

Official Pick: Reneau – Decision

Official Outcome: Evans-Smith – Decision.

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Strickland def. Garcia
  • Sarafian def. Bamgbose
  • Webb def. Coy
  • Smith def. Leleco
  • Reneau def. Evans-Smith
  • Murphy def. Faszholz
  • Hamilton def. Abdurakhimov

Recommended Plays

Pieces for your parlay:

-Chris Camozzi
-Cody Garbrandt
-Dennis Bermudez

Props worth looking at:

-Shane Campbell – Inside the distance
-Cody Garbrandt- by KO/TKO
-Dennis Bermudez – by Decision

Fights to avoid:

-Derek Brunson vs Roan Carneiro
-Daniel Sarafian vs Oluwale Bamgbose
-Alex Garcia vs Sean Strickland

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Donald Cerrone
-Cody Garbrandt
-Chris Camozzi

Low Tier Picks:

-Alex Oliveira
-Shane Campbell
-Roan Carneiro

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

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