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Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder UFC 223 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 4/7/18

Felder vs. Iaquinta

UFC: Saturday, April 7, 2018 (Barclays Center)

The Line: Iaquinta -120 / Felder +100 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: PPV

Al Iaquinta and Paul Felder fight Saturday during UFC 223 at the Barclays Center.

Al Iaquinta enters this fight with a 13-3-1 record and has won 54 percent of his fights by knockout. Iaquinta has won each of his last five fights and is coming off a April win over Diego Sanchez. Iaquinta is averaging 4.95 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41.4 percent. Iaquinta is averaging 1.22 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 29.6 percent. Iaquinta has just one fight under his belt over the last three years, but he’s coming off a first round knockout where he just needed to land 12 strikes. Iaquinta has now produced knockouts in four of his last five victories and has become one of the more dangerous stand up fighters in the lightweight division. Iaquinta lands a lot of strikes over the course of a fight, but he’s also a solid grappler who can grind his way to a win if needed. The concern with Iaquinta is his ground game, as all three of his losses have come by submission. Iaquinta hasn’t lost a fight since his 2014 bout with Mitch Clarke. This will be Iaquinta’s first career fight in New York, his birthplace. 

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Al Iaquinta vs. Paul Felder UFC 223 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 4/7/18

USA TODAY Sports

Paul Felder enters this fight with a 15-3 record and has won 67 percent of his fights by knockout. Felder has won five his last six fights and is coming off a December win over Charles Oliveira. Felder is averaging 3.49 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43.2 percent. Felder is averaging 0.4 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 37.5 percent. Felder has put together three straight victories, two of which have eared performance of the night honors, and he’s coming off a second round knockout in which he landed 37 strikes despite being taken down twice. Felder is what he is, as he's a striker at heart who is creative and can produce a knockout at any point. Felder is a pressure fighter who likes to dictate pace and keep his opponent uncomfortable. Whether he's standing up, in the clinch or executing ground and pound, Felder is a guy who can change things at any moment, which we saw in his last bout. Six of Felder’s last nine wins have ended in knockout. This will be Felder’s first career fight in New York.

This is an interesting fight between two guys who have similar builds and styles. Iaquinta may have the advantage in the clinch and on the canvas, but both of these guys want to be the aggressor and land a lot of powerful strikes with the hopes of knocking out the next man. The concern I have is that Iaquinta has just one fight under his belt the last three years, so while his resume is proven and he’s only 30 years old, there is sure to be rust and there are unknowns about his overall form. Felder has been really busy over the years and has been really consistent recently, with his only loss in over two years coming against Francisco Trinaldo, somebody who was on a tear back then. I don’t like unknowns heading into fights, and it’s hard for me to trust somebody who has been away from the sport for so long.

I like the value of Felder and the even money.

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