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Ulka Sasaki vs. Willie Gates UFC Fight Night 87 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 5/8/16

Willie Gates vs. Ulka Sasaki

UFC: Sunday, March 8, 2016 (Ahoy Rotterdam)

The Line: Ulka Sasaki +130 / Willie Gates -150 Over/Under: 1.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: UFC Fight Pass

Ulka Sasaki and Willie Gates fight Sunday at the Ahoy Rotterdam during UFC Fight Night 87.

Ulka Sasaki enters this fight with a 18-3-2 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by submission. Sasaki has split his last four fights and is coming off a June loss to Taylor Lapilus. Sasaki is averaging 1.73 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 42.6 percent. Sasaki is averaging 1.79 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 22.2 percent. Sasaki takes this fight on short notice after Patrick Holohan was forced to retire due to blood clots. Sasaki is a grappler who wins fights by either wearing down his opponent or finishing the fight on the canvas. Sasaki doesn’t have much of a striking game at all, so he’s going to need to get this fight on the mat in order to have any chance of pulling off the victory. This will be Sasaki’s first fight in the Netherlands.

Ulka Sasaki vs. Willie Gates UFC Fight Night 87 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 5/8/16

USA TODAY Sports

Willie Gates enters this fight with a 12-6 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Gates has split his last four fights and is coming off a August loss to Dustin Ortiz. Gates is averaging 1.88 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38.5 percent. Gates is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Gates needs this win after a shaky 1-2 record in his UFC career. Gates is a slippery fighter with extreme athletic ability and explosiveness. Gates is very strong and quick on his feet, and he also has four submission victories under his belt. Whoop Ass has all the potential in the world to be a rising star, he just needs to start putting everything together. This will be Gates’ first fight in the Netherlands.

The odds are stacked against Sasaki in this fight, as he’s not only fighting on short notice but is fighting under his usual weight class. On top of that, Gates is the better athlete here and has a massive advantage when both guys are on their feet. This could get very ugly for Sasaki if he’s not able to get the fight where he wants it.

I like Gates to get the big victory in rather convincing fashion.

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Willie Gates

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