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Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal UFC 217 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 11/4/17

Masvidal vs. Thompson

UFC: Saturday, November 4, 2017 (Madison Square Garden)

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

TV: PPV

Stephen Thompson and Jorge Masvidal fight Saturday during UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden.

Stephen Thompson enters this fight with a 13-1-1 record and has won 54 percent of his fights by knockout. Thompson has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a March loss to Tyron Woodley. Thompson is averaging 3.72 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43.9 percent. Thompson is averaging 0.53 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Thompson is coming off a loss in the UFC Welterweight Championship and looks for his first victory since his 2016 bout with Rory MacDonald. Thompson is a strong striker who works quickly, as three of his last five victories have been first round knockouts. Thompson is a highly decorated kick boxer with long legs, but there’s power in those punches as well, making him highly effective with his standup attack. Thompson also has the cardio to be effective in later rounds, and he’s a tough fighter who has never been finished and has a high takedown defense. This will be Thompson’s second fight in New York.

Stephen Thompson vs. Jorge Masvidal UFC 217 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 11/4/17

USA TODAY Sports

Jorge Masvidal enters this fight with a 32-12 record and has won 53 percent of his fights by decision. Masvidal has split his last eight fights and is coming off a May loss to Demian Maia. Masvidal is averaging 4.23 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 47.6 percent. Masvidal is averaging 1.83 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 61.1 percent. Masvidal will fight for the third time this year and hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the second time in his career. Masvidal is one of the tougher fighters within the division, as this is somebody who grew up in the streets of Miami fighting, and he’s only been knocked out once in 12 career losses. Masvidal is a brawler who is going to land powerful, accurate strikes standing up, but he’s also athletic and quick enough to succeed with his takedowns and do some grappling as well. Masvidal is simply a fighter who is going to lay it all on the line and allow the chips to fall where they may. This will be Masvidal’s first fight in New York. 

Even on a loaded card, this may be the fight I’m most excited to see, as everybody knows what Thompson is capable of, but Masvidal has been quietly climbing the rankings and improving his game along the way. Masvidal also didn’t lose to Maia in my opinion, as he outworked him and did more than enough to get the nod. Anyway, I’m going to side with Masvidal for the upset here. He’s a fighter who has been growing on me lately, and he has the athleticism and grappling ability to change things up, forcing Thompson to go the distance and do things other than strike standing up. Masvidal has been waiting for a chance to prove he’s the real deal and he has that chance here.

I’ll side with Masvidal to get the victory.

CLICK HERE to See Who The EXPERTS Pick In This Game

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