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Leslie Smith vs. Rin Nakai UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 3/19/16

Rin Nakai vs. Leslie Smith

UFC: Saturday, March 19, 2016 (Brisbane Entertainment Centre)

The Line: Rin Nakai +140 / Leslie Smith -160 Over/Under: 2.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Leslie Smith and Rin Nakai square off Saturday night at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Leslie Smith enters this fight with a 7-6-1 record and has won four of her fights by knockout. Smith has lost four of her last six fights and is coming off a November 2014 loss to Jessica Eye. Smith is averaging 5.98 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 35.7 percent. Smith is coming off a rough loss in 2014 in which her cauliflower ear was split open. Smith is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Smith is an aggressive striker who throws volume strikes and four of her last seven wins have come by knockout, so the power is clearly there. The concern with Smith is that her ground game isn’t as up to par as it should be at this point. This will be Smith’s first fight in Australia.

Leslie Smith vs. Rin Nakai UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 3/19/16

USA TODAY Sports

Rin Nakai enters this fight with a 16-1-1 record and has won 38 percent of her fights by submission. Nakai has won five of her last six fights and is coming off a November 2014 loss to Miesha Tate. Nakai is averaging 1.07 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 34 percent. Nakai is averaging three takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 15.7 percent. Nakai is a relentless takedown artist who wears down her opponent and finds ways to win somewhat ugly bouts. Nakai is a frustrating fight due to her constant movement and grappling game always going to work. The concern with Nakai is that she’s a very below average striker and has just one knockout since 2011. This will be Nakai’s first fight in Australia.

Smith hasn’t proven she can hold her own on the canvas, and that’s not a good thing when going up against a fighter such as Nakai, who is a queen at getting fights where she wants it. I’m not sure what oddsmakers are seeing in this fight, but I disagree in a big way.

Look for Nakai to get a usual ugly victory by wearing out Smith over the course of the match.

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Rin Nakai

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