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Jose Alberto Quinonez vs. Diego Rivas UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/5/17

Rivas vs. Quinonez

UFC: Saturday, August 5, 2017 (Arena Ciudad de Mexico)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Jose Alberto Quinonez and Diego Rivas fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 114 at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

Jose Alberto Quinonez enters this fight with a 6-2 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by decision. Quinonez has split last six fights and is coming off a September win over Joey Gomez. Quinonez is averaging 2.95 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 39.1 percent. Quinonez is averaging 4.15 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 69.2 percent. Quinonez is coming off back-to-back victories, but he’s fighting for just the second time in over two years. Quinonez is most known for his striking ability, but he’s been a takedown machine in his three UFC fights and has shown he can hold his own on the canvas that includes a submission win over Leonardo Morales. El Teco is all of a sudden showing more variety to his game and will be tough to deal with if he keeps getting those takedowns. This will be Quinonez’s sixth fight in Mexico, his birthplace.  

Jose Alberto Quinonez vs. Diego Rivas UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/5/17

USA TODAY Sports

Diego Rivas enters this fight with a 7-0 record and has won 43 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be Rivas’ second fight since 2016 and is coming off a February (2016) win over Noad Lahat. Rivas is averaging 0.98 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40.8 percent. Rivas is averaging 2.21 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 75 percent. Rivas will fight for the second time in nearly three years and is coming off a bout in which he landed a flying knee and earned performance of the night honors. Of course, Rivas had a short battle with cancer, which explains his absence from the sport. Rivas is known for his striking power and has two knockout victories, but he’s also an aggressive takedown artist who has three in two UFC fights and has produced three submission victories. Rivas showed in his last fight that he’s able to overcome trouble on the canvas and can get the fight back to where he wants it. This will be Rivas’ first fight in Mexico. 

This is a tough fight to pick when you consider Rivas is fresh off his battle with cancer after doctors told him he only had a month to live due to the aggressiveness of the disease. Who knows how much rust there is and how his body even looks, as treatment is brutal and can severely impact an athlete. When both in top form, both of these guys have similar fighting styles, but Rivas is obviously the more polished fighter with far more upside. But the unknowns make it tough to pick him.

Either way, I’m picking Rivas in this fight. I don’t think he would have accepted it if he didn’t think he was ready for a return and after overcoming the odds already, you know he wants to make the most of it.

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