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Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza UFC 197 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 4/23/16

Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Pettis

UFC: Saturday, April 23, 2016 (MGM Grand Garden Arena)

The Line: Anthony Pettis -175 / Edson Barboza +155 Over/Under: 2.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Anthony Pettis and Edson Barboza fight Saturday night during UFC 197 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Anthony Pettis enters this fight with a 18-4 record and has won 56 percent of his fights by knockout. Pettis split his last four fights and is coming off a January loss to Eddie Alvarez. Pettis is averaging 2.32 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43.1 percent. Pettis is averaging 0.99 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 71.4 percent. Pettis needs a bounce back win after losing his last two fights in decisions. Pettis was on a tear just a couple of years ago and has shown terrific balance, as he has knockout power in his strikes but also can fight from his back and end fights on the canvas. Pettis simply needs to be the aggressor in this fight and get back to being the Showtime we’ve seen in the past. This will be Pettis’ fifth fight in Las Vegas.

Anthony Pettis vs. Edson Barboza UFC 197 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 4/23/16

USA TODAY Sports

Edson Barboza enters this fight with a 16-4 record and has won 63 percent of his fights by knockout. Barboza has split his last six fights and is coming off a December loss to Tony Ferguson. Barboza is averaging 3.93 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Barboza is averaging 0.65 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Barboza is one of the better and most vicious strikers you’ll find in all of MMA, as his knockout power is real and he’s defending nearly 65 percent of strikes as well. It’s also really tough to takedown Barboza, almost forcing his opponent to fight his fight. However, as we’ve seen twice since 2014, you can end a fight if able to get Barboza on the canvas. This will be Barboza’s fourth fight in Las Vegas.

This should be a solid fight between two proven fighters looking for a big victory after some recent hiccups. And while Pettis is probably the more balanced fighter, I always find it hard to bet against Barboza due to his striking game and ability to end a fight with one swing. Not to mention Pettis is in poor form with back-to-back losses.

I like Barboza for the upset.

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Edson Barboza

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