Saturday, June 18th, 2016 in Ottawa Ontario for UFC Fight Night 89: “Macdonald vs. Thompson” by Daniel Tom

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Elias Theodorou (11-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 28 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Thiago Santos (12-10-15)
  • Camp: Mecha MMA (Canada)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   TUF Nations Middleweight Winner
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   6 KO victories
+   1 Submission win
+   2 first round finishes
+   Consistent pace & pressure
+   Shows in-fight IQ
+   Strong clinch against fence
^   Favors takedown attempts
+   Solid transitional game
^   Positional grappling/phase changes
+   Dynamic  kicking attacks
+   Accurate & off-beat jab
^   Often follows behind kicks
–    Sometimes exits range w/low hands


Sam Alvey (26-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 30 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Derek Brunson (8-8-15)
  • Camp: Team Quest (Temecula, CA)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 16 Alum
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   16 KO victories
+   2 Submission wins
+   12 first round finishes
+   KO Power
+   Devastating left hand
+   Accurate check right hook
^   Dangerous off the counter
+   Underrated wrestling ability
^   Solid hips & base
+   Strong inside the clinch
+   Good pressure on top
+/-Often fights flat footed
^   Looks to draw & counter

Serving as the headliner for UFC Fight Pass is a fantastic pairing at middleweight as Canadian prospect Elias “The Spartan” Theodorou takes on fan favorite “Smile’N” Sam Alvey.

Winner of TUF Nations, Elias has shown much promise and potential since entering the UFC. Coming off of the first loss of his professional career, Theodorou will have plenty of motivation behind him as he attempts to get back on the winning track in front of his fellow Canadians. No stranger to fighting behind enemy lines, Smile’N Sam Alvey will look to spoil Elias’ homecoming. Coming off a tough loss to #11-ranked Derek Brunson, Sam will also be looking to make his way back up the rankings.

This matchup is truly a meeting of two different fighters stylistically. Despite both men starting their careers in 2011, Alvey has managed to stack up more fights at a higher level of competition in the subsequent years. That said, Elias has arguably shown more improvements fight-to-fight, as his natural athletic abilities suggest a high ceiling. A constant mover, Theodorou has been steadily sharpening his pressure fighting applications. Playing all the way in or all the way out, Elias is heavily reliant on his kicks to dictate the range of action.

Demonstrating a diverse array of kicks, Theodorou will follow up attacks with an off-beat jab that he scores with on a regular basis. Although it may not appear like much, these unorthodox jabs often disrupt the perceived rhythm of strikes and allow for Elias to either exit safely, or change the direction of exchanges. Despite Theodorou’s shown improvements of entering & exiting off angles, the Canadian tends to do so with his hands low. As we saw in his last fight with Thiago Santos, Elias struggled with a dangerous clinch fighter who could defend his takedowns.

No slouch when it comes to clinch fighting, Team Quest’s Sam Alvey could make it a short night at the office if he can capitalize on Theodorou’s habits off the break. As we saw in Alvey’s fight with Dylan Andrews, Sam’s underrated wrestling ability & knockout power can quickly turn the tide, even if he is the one with his back to the fence. Although Sam has ridiculous power in his hands, he relies heavily on his ability to counter. Possessing two of the best weapons a southpaw can have, Alvey accurately wields a check right hook coupled with a devastating left hand.

Sam also displays deceptive hand speed on his blitzes but often resigns himself to countering on the outside. Although Sam’s flatfooted style garners criticism, it allows him to counter with conviction in regards to his draw & return stylings. However, committing to the outside in this fashion often allows Sam’s opposition to stick him against said fence, or outpoint him on the scorecards. Whether he is sticking & moving or cage pressing, Theodorou could conceivably do either en route to a victory. That said, Alvey’s solid takedown defense & get-up ability could pose problems if Elias tires from unsuccessful attempts.

Despite cardio being a point of pride for Theodorou, we saw strike adversity and takedown defense take a lot out of the Canadian in his last outing. Not only does Alvey have those similar intangibles, but he also has an underrated gas tank of his own. Regardless of the odds for this fight, I suggest strong caution in playing it as I feel this is closer to a pick’em fight. Either Elias will successfully out-fight against Alvey while engaging in clinches when necessary, or Sam will catch the Canadian transitioning through the boxing range where the American should have the advantage. Although I completely agree with the oddsmakers in making Theodorou the favorite, this particular matchup smells like a trap fight.

Official Pick: Alvey – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Theodorou – Decision

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Saggo def. Silva
  • Cirkunov def. Cutelaba
  • McCrory def. Jotko
  • Soto def. Beal
  • Alvey def. Theodorou
  • Jones-Lybarger def. Markos
  • Covington def. Meunier
  • Herrera def. Bagautinov

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