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Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Moraes UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/1/18

Moraes vs. Rivera

UFC: Friday, June 1, 2018 (Adirondack Bank Center)

The Line: Moraes -105 / Rivera -115 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Jimmie Rivera and Marlon Moraes fight Friday during UFC Fight Night 131 at the Adirondack Bank Center.

Jimmie Rivera enters this fight with a 21-1 record and has won 71 percent of his fights by decision. Rivera has won each of his last 20 fights and is coming off a July win over Thomas Almeida. Rivera is averaging 4.55 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Rivera is averaging 1.22 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33.3 percent. Rivera continues to put together an impressive winning streak and is fresh off a fight in which he landed 75 strikes and produced two knockdowns. Rivera still hasn’t lost a fight since his 2008 bout with Jason McLean and has won his last four fights by decision. Rivera is an excellent grappler and wrestler who has yet to be taken down in five UFC fights and is landing 90 percent of his strikes standing up. Rivera isn’t much of a finisher, as he simply likes to control his opponent and wear them down round by round, but three of his last seven wins have been knockouts, so you certainly can’t sleep on his striking ability. This will be Rivera’s second career fight in New York, the state he’s fighting out of. 

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Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Moraes UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 6/1/18

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Marlon Moraes enters this fight with a 20-5-1 record and has won 45 percent of his fights by knockout. Moraes has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a December win over Aljamain Sterling. Moraes is averaging 3.09 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 32.5 percent. Moraes is averaging 0.48 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 25 percent. Moraes is coming off a quick and painless knockout victory that took just over a minute and earned performance of the night. Moraes has lost just one fight in the last six years and has improved to 2-1 under the UFC banner. Moraes is a balanced fighter who has raw striking power, a background in Thai boxing and uses his legs well. Four of Moraes’ last five victories have come by knockout, and the last two have come due to the use of his knees. Moraes has just one takedown on the UFC level, but he does have five submission victories on his resume and can hold his own on the canvas. However, Moraes is a knockout artist who can end fights rather quickly if given the chance. This will be Moraes’ second career fight in New York.

This is an amazing fight for a non-PPV event and should live up to the hype. Moraes has the clear advantage in raw striking power and his creativeness could pay off against the aggressive Rivera. However, El Terror is the more versatile fighter who can counter Moraes’ striking, but his aggressiveness takedowns and ability to prevent a constant stand up fight is where he has the edge for me. Rivera will be able to take Moraes out of his comfort zone and likely grind this thing out, where he has a recent history of doing his best work in the later rounds. Rivera also just faced a power fighter in Almeida and handled it rather well.

I like Rivera to win this bout.

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