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Anderson Silva (33-6)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 40 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 77.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Nick Diaz (1-31-15)
  • Camp: Blackhouse MMA (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   Former UFC Middleweight Champion
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   BJJ Black Belt
+   22 KO victories
+   4 Submission wins
+   18 first round finishes
+   KO power
+   Superb offensive & defensive instincts
^   Deceptive counters & setups
+   Precise striker (68% accuracy)
^   Intercepts & anticipates
+/-Heavily reliant on head movement
+/-Hands often held low
^   Uses to entice opposition
+   Underrated wrestling ability
+   Strong clinch / Thai clinch
^   Deadly knees / good base
+   Crafty & composed ground game
+   Good triangles & guard retention
+/-Willingness to fight from bottom

UFC Fight Night: Bisping vs. Le

Michael Bisping (27-7)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 36 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 75.5″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Thales Leites (7-18-15)
  • Camp: RVCA Gym (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Excellent

Supplemental info:
+   TUF 3 Champion
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   17 KO victories
+   3 Submission wins
+   11 first round finishes
+   Consistent cardio & conditioning
+   Excellent footwork
^   Active & fundamentally sound
+   Intelligent clinch breaks & exits
+   Manages distance well
+   High volume striker
^   Output & momentum gains w/fight
+   Good kick catching counters
+   68% stirking defense rate
–    Right-hand often drops in exchanges
^   Shown left hook & kick availabilities
+   Underrated wrestling ability
+   Solid grappling & submission defense
^   Effectively gets back to feet


With no title on the line or network broadcast needed, the UFC will award it’s Fight Pass subscribers with the long awaited match up between Anderson “The Spider” Silva and Michael “The Count” Bisping. London is undoubtedly the most appropriate place to host this event given both fighters history in the United Kingdom. Dazzling English fans as the former Cage Rage Champion, Silva will attempt a return to the old form that brought him glory. Whereas being one of England’s finest products, Bisping is more motivated than ever to accomplish his long time goal of fighting the best. The obvious intangibles for this match will be each man’s physical & mental state after overcoming injury adversities. In this breakdown I will attempt to give my take on how this may effect each fighter, and how these injury intangibles could be stylistically symbiotic.

From a bizarre to brutal last three years, Anderson has had a lot to overcome physically and mentally. At this advanced stage of Silva’s career, it will be interesting to see if he can regain his step in a style that required the highest level of physical & mental acuity. From the psychological warfare of low-handed taunts to his accurate & intercepting counter strikes, Anderson has made his money by confidently coordinating high-risk situations. With this being his second fight back from a career ending injury, we should get a better gauge of where Silva is. In his last fight, we saw a hesitant Anderson that struggled to fire and react to the bullying of Nick Diaz. Despite kicking more with his injured leg as the fight progressed, Silva still showed an underlying lack of commitment and confidence. Given his horrific injury, these issues are understandable, but his left kick will certainly be the key factor in this fight.

Being no stranger to adversity, Michael Bisping has largely spent the last three years fighting with one good eye. Despite holding the best striking defense in UFC Middleweight history(at a current rate of 68%), the Englishmen has shown a tendency to drop his right hand. From preemptive parrying to clocking out early in exchanges, this has traditionally exposed Bisping to left hooks and high kicks. Unfortunately, this scenario cost Michael greatly in his match with Vitor Belfort as he suffered a detached retina. Although this has added to Bisping’s right side vulnerabilities(as seen in his subsequent fights), the ever-improving martial artist has shown to make intelligent adjustments. Demonstrating clean exits away from these trouble areas, Bisping avoidance of Anderson’s power side will be a must for victory.

If this match were five years ago, I would favor Silva’s chances in countering the stick & move stylist. However, I feel Bisping’s footwork and momentous pacing may actually trouble Anderson should he not find the Englishmen early. Silva’s synchronicity in top form is unrivaled, but we haven’t seen it since October of 2012. Unless the Spider finds himself by mid fight, the increasing output & accuracy of Bisping could further peel back the curtain of the Spider’s current state. As an analyst, I generally try and stick to mathematically tangible in-fight evidence for my predictions. Which in this case would lead me to believe Anderson’s left shin will find it’s home to Bisping’s body or head. That being said, we must be careful not to base our arguments too strongly off old information as I fear we may be looking at a different Anderson Silva. I suspect Bisping’s ability to dictate the terms of a technical dogfight to make the difference here. I recommend betting cautiously and enjoying heavily as we may not see either man for much longer.

Official Pick: Bisping – Decision

Official Outcome: Bisping – Decision.


Gegard Mousasi (37-6-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’2″ Age: 30 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 76″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Uriah Hall (9-26-15)
  • Camp: Red Devil International (Netherlands)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good

Supplemental info:
+   Former Strikeforce & Dream Champion
+   Amateur Boxing Champion (12-1)
+   8-0 as a Pro Kickboxer
+   Black Belt Judo
+   29 first round finishes
+   21 KO victories
+   10 Submission wins
+   Manages distance well
+   Active & accurate long jab
+   Solid defensive instincts & fundamentals
+   Underrated takedown game
+   Strong strikes & submissions from top
+   Crafty guard retention/sweeps


Thales Leites (25-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’1″ Age: 34 Weight: 185 lbs Reach: 78″
  • Last Fight: Decision loss / Michael Bisping (7-18-15)
  • Camp: Nova Uniao (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Regional MMA Titles
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   14 Submission wins
+   4 KO victories
+   10 first round finishes
+   Improved striking
+   Heavy right hand – left hook
+   Hard leg kicks
+   Strong body lock trips & takedowns
^   Favored from/against fence
+   Excellent back take ability
^   Dangerous Arm-Triangle/Arm-bars


London’s co-main event features two of the middleweight division’s dark horse talents as Gegard Mousasi takes on Thales Leites. Despite applying their trades against the world’s best for almost a decade, the mainstream audience has been slow to get behind either man. Each fighter will surely be looking to make a statement and get back in the win column with an impressive performance here.

Starting off on the feet, both men apply effective but different styles of approach. Coming out of the renown Nova Uniao camp, Thales has shown a dramatic improvement to his striking in this later chapter of his career. Stalking in a similar Muay Thai stance to his stablemates, Leites will subtly gauge and close the distance. Using improved technique and committed combinations, Thales will punch his way inside with ligament force to accompany his purpose. Demonstrating an accurate & effective left hook, the Brazilian has shown to get consistent respect on his right-hand follow-ups.

Although not wielding an electrifying arsenal, Leites has more than enough tools to earn Mousasi’s respect standing. However, I do give a the technical edge to Gegard, as he has shown to be as fundamentally sound as he is deadly. With displaying little flash or knockout power, Mousasi has largely scored his stoppages through accurate placements and technical superiority. Despite appearing unenthusiastic, Gegard is secretly searching for defensive openings to exploit. Wielding one the best jabs in the division, Mousasi’s ability to manage distance will certainly be the key factor in this fight. If Gegard can find a home for his jab, then he will likely dictate the distance and terms of striking stanzas. If Thales fails to establish himself or hurt Mousasi early, he could be in for frustrating three rounds.

I feel Leites best chance for victory will be by forcing grappling exchanges. Despite still being hittable on his way in, Thales will effectively punch his way into a clinch position. Utilizing body-lock takedowns and outside trips, Leites will look to take down his opposition when against the fence. Although Mousasi has underrated wrestling ability, he has shown to struggle defending takedowns from the cage(as seen in his most recent bout with Jacare Souza).Even though Leites does not possess the same style or athletic abilities as Souza, he is a world class grappler that can give Gegard a run for his money if on top.

This story, however, can also be told from the other side should Mousasi exercise his offensive wrestling first. Known for his defensive instincts, Gegard has parlayed this skill into a fantastic reactive shot that could see the light of day. Regardless of the ground positioning, I highly suspect their skill-sets will cancel each other out. Especially when you consider the fact that both men are aggressive transition technicians who will work toward similar finish points(back mount chains to arm triangles, etc.). Were this match to contest in the small Octagon, I would be a little more optimistic in Leites’ chances of corralling this fight to his terms. However, I feel that Mousasi will be able to safely navigate the cage and apply his technical advantages where needed.

Official Pick: Mousasi – Decision

Official Outcome: Mousasi – Decision.


Tom Breese (9-0)

Staple info:

  • Height: 6’3″ Age: 24 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73.5″
  • Last Fight: TKO win / Cathal Pendred (10-24-15)
  • Camp: Tristar Gym (Canada/UK)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Southpaw / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Jr. Freestyle Wrestling Champ(UK)
+   Purple Belt BJJ
+   6 Submission wins
+   3 KO victories
+   6 first fight finishes
+   Continual striking improvement
+   Effective straight puncher
^   Long jab-cross
+   Hard left Thai kick
+   Strong inside the clinch
^   Favors knees & trips
+   Good transitional submissions
+   Dangerous guard game
^   Superb hips & leg dexterity


Keita Nakamura (31-6-2)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’11” Age: 31 Weight: 170 lbs Reach: 73″
  • Last Fight: Submission win / Jing Lian Li (9-26-15)
  • Camp: K-Taro Dojo (Japan)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Switch-stance / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate

Supplemental info:
+   Former Deep Welterweight Champion
+   Multiple Grappling Accolades
+   15 Submission wins (14 RNC)
+   7 KO victories
+   17 first round finishes
+   Manages distance well
+   Solid combination puncher
+   Accurate knees
+/-Competent takedown ability
^   Lacks in aggressive finishes
+   Dangerous in the scramble
^   Excellent submissions/positional awareness
–    Lacks head movement/often shells
^   Gets hit but recovers well


In an interesting crossroads matchup, rising prospect Tom Breese will be tested against the never say die veteran, Keita Nakamura. Originally from England and now training at Tristar Gym in Canada, Breese will undoubtedly be looking to showcase his fight-to-fight improvements. Coming off a successful short notice appearance in Japan, Nakamura will look to parlay his momentum into a second run in the promotion. Despite his original UFC stint taking place nearly a decade ago, the 31-year-old Samurai will look to disrupt the Englishmen’s ascension.

As one of the more underrated fighters to come out of Japan, Nakamura is also one of the most well-rounded. Possessing a dangerous but expected submission prowess, Keita also wields a technical kickboxing game. What he lacks in traditional knockout power, Nakamura compensates in volume as he will put together punches off pressure(similarly to Nick Diaz). Displaying strike competency from both stances, Keita will heavily rely on foot placements to manage the striking distance.

The glaring hole in Nakamura’s striking game is his lack of head movement. With the former lightweight facing his largest opposition to date, Keita’s head-on-center habits could cost him if exiled to fight at range(as we saw Breese do to his last opponent). When Nakamura does demonstrate conscious efforts of defense, he will often revert to a shell guard. Given Tom’s shown kicking repertoire from the left side, this could be problematic for the Japanese fighter as it may expose his liver or make him a standing target at the very least.

Nakamura will have his best chance to turn the tables by forcing grappling exchanges. He shows the shot competency to enter space but often lacks the athleticism & aggressiveness to finish the bulk of his attempts. However, Keita may have pockets of opportunity against Breese inside the clinch. Demonstrating a base & balance carried over from his wrestling days, Tom shows solid takedown defense for a fighter with his frame. Primarily utilizing a strong over-hook, Breese will use his natural height to execute sharp knees & trips. Although the Englishman looks to be technically strong here, the over-hook naturally gives way to the body lock. A position that Nakamura is crafty from, this could inadvertently give enough play for the Japanese fighter to find the back.

With 14 of his 15 submission victories coming by rear-naked choke, I am sure that Tom will look to keep Keita from his back at all costs. But with Breese being an excellent transitional grappler himself, I give him the overall submission edge. Using said strong over-hooks, Tom translates it beautifully into ground exchanges. Whether he is utilizing it to belly down and get up, or isolate shoulder leverage and attack from the bottom, Breese’s leg dexterity & hip awareness make him deadly with his frame. Nakamura’s miraculous comeback in his last fight against Li was a reminder of why we watch this sport. Although possible, a repeat performance is not probable as I feel Breese will have the right-of-way in this crossroads match.

Official Pick: Breese – Inside the distance

Official Outcome: Breese – Decision.


Francisco Rivera (11-5)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’8″ Age:34 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Submission loss / John Lineker (9-5-15)
  • Camp: All In MMA/CSW (California)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Muay Thai
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   8 KO victories
+   11 first round finishes
+   KO power / Heavy hands
+   High strike output
^   3rd highest at bantamweight
+   Hard Thai kicks
^   Well timed leg kicks
–    Head often upright
^   Counter availabilities
+   Underrated wrestling
^   74% takedown defense
+/-Propensity to brawl
+/-Aggressive action fighter
^   Gas tank bares watching

Brad Pickett (24-11)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’6″ Age: 37 Weight: 135 lbs Reach: 68″
  • Last Fight: KO loss / Thomas Almeida (7-11-15)
  • Camp: American Top Team (Florida/UK)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Boxing
  • Risk Management: Fair

Supplemental info:
+   7 KO victories
+   6 first round finishes
+   10 Submission wins
+   Volume puncher
+   Excellent Boxing technique
+   Accurate left hook
^   Often rips off slips
+   Dangerous in pocket
^   Strikes well of the break
+   Underrate wrestling/takedowns
^   Good entries/reactive shots
+   Solid scrambling ability
+/-Willingness to exchange
^   Gets hit/recovers well


Kicking off the main card on UFC Fight Pass is a fantastic matchup as Francisco Rivera steps in against Brad Pickett. Originally slated to face Henry Briones, Francisco will be taking this bout on just a few weeks notice. Claiming to have already been in training and seeking a fight, Rivera is excited about his first match outside of North America. No stranger to the United Kingdom, Brad Pickett will surely be looking to right his ship after coming off three consecutive losses. If not for a couple close scorecards & technical miscalculations, Brad could very well be coming off victories instead. Regardless, I doubt these circumstances will stop either fan favorite from giving us a show.

Rarely taking a back step, Rivera will plot forward maintaining a constant state of offensive readiness. Dangerous & accurate with both hands, Francisco also wields an underrated kicking game. Although Rivera has made solid improvements to his takedown defense, he may be selective in his kicks given Pickett’s ability to catch & counter. Francisco should have a firepower advantage which is often valuable in matchups of toe-to-toe fighters. Despite their crowd-pleasing propensities to brawl, each fighter’s willingness to trade has also served as the culprit for their defeats.

I suspect their scrapping second-nature will come at a high cost in London as I will be siding with the more technically sound fighter. Despite being a constant participant in wars and sporting a crooked nose to show for it, Brad Pickett demonstrates solid fundamental footwork and head movement. Whether he is changing the angles of attack or slipping & returning, Pickett moves with a constant purpose. I feel Brad’s ability to counter & technically free-flow inside the chaos will make the difference. Rivera, who is not necessarily known as a counter fighter, will often leave his head upright in exchanges. We have seen this head-on-center habit give Franciso problems when facing technically competent strikers like Mizugaki, Koch, and Figueroa.

Another point that cautions a Rivera pick for me is his shown issues of staying technical in exchanges. Often when tagged or aggressively engaged, Francisco will throw his technique out the window and rely on his chin & power. Although both men have only been officially stopped once, they have both been significantly hit and dropped over the past few years. Luckily for Pickett, he has a proven plan B in his wrestling ability. As one of the most effective Englishmen to develop an MMA wrestling game, Pickett should be able to stifle Rivera’s offense. Even if Brad fails to ground Francisco, I feel the threat of grappling pressure will open up Pickett’s punches. However, Brad’s natural aggressiveness often negates his defenses and opens him for interceptions. With each men sharing similar stories of defensive caveats, I will be treating this as a heavyweight bout despite what the scales say. Coming off a string of losses at 37 years of age can certainly be troubling, but I feel that Brad is a more technical fighter with more ways to win.

Official Pick: Pickett – Decision

Official Outcome: Pickett – Decision .

Preliminary Card Predictions

  • Amirkhani def. Wilkinson
  • Grant def. Vera
  • Askham def. Dempsey
  • Allen def. Meza
  • Jotko def. Scott
  • Parke def. Khabilov
  • Danho def. Omielanczuk
  • Packalen def. Gouti
  • Teymur def. Svensson

Recommended Plays

Pieces for your parlay:

-Gegard Mousasi
-Arnold Allen
-Makwan Amirkhani

Props worth looking at(@5Dimes):

-Gegard Mousasi – by Decision +105
-Jarjis Danho- by KO/TKO +250
-Makwan Amirkhani – by Submission +230

Fights to avoid:

-Packalen vs Gouti
-Rivera vs Pickett
-Jotko vs Scott

Fantasy MMA Picks

High Tier Picks:

-Makwan Amikhani
-Tom Breese
-Anderson Silva

Low Tier Picks:

-Michael Bisping
-Brad Pickett
-Jarjis Danho

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

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