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A.J. McKee vs. Blair Tugman Bellator 182 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/25/17

Tugman vs. McKee

Bellator: Saturday, August 25, 2017 (Turning Stone Resort & Casino)

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

TV: Spike

A.J. McKee and Blair Tugman fight Friday in Bellator 182 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino. 

A.J. McKee enters this fight with a 8-0 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be McKee’s sixth fight since 2016 is coming off a April win over Dominic Mazzotta. McKee is quickly climbing the rankings at 22 years old and will fight for the third time this year. McKee is an elite athlete who is tough to contain due to his movement, speed and strength. McKee can produce a knockout at any moment with a variety of attacks, but he can also produce violent takedowns and get out of trouble on the canvas due to his craftiness. McKee is the complete package for such a young fighter and is only going to get better with more experience, which is scary for the rest of the competition regardless of where he ends up. This will be McKee’s first fight in New York.

A.J. McKee vs. Blair Tugman Bellator 182 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/25/17

USA TODAY Sports

Blair Tugman enters this fight with a 10-6 record and has won 60 percent of his fights by decision. Tugman has won five of his last six fights is coming off a April win over Tom English. Tugman is experiencing the best stretch of his MMA career and has a chance at possibly the biggest victory yet. Tugman truly has just one fighting style, as he’s a takedown artist who wants to clinch and wrestle his way to victory. Tugman has a very limited striking game and needs to get his opponent on the canvas in order to be successful. Not one of Tugman’s 16 fights have ended in knockout, and he’s been on the winning side in six of his 10 decisions. This will be Tugman’s first fight in New York. 

Tugman has the ability to wear down an energetic and athletic fighter like McKee if he can clinch and produce a few takedowns, making it a lot easier to win in the later rounds. The problem is McKee is too balanced to allow Tugman to get this fight where he wants it and has the creative defense to maneuver his way out of trouble if need be. I’m just not sure Tugman can keep up with McKee and do enough needed to win this fight.

I like McKee’s chances to win this fight.

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