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Justin Gaethje vs. James Vick UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/25/18

James Vick vs. Justin Gaethje

UFC: Saturday, August 25, 2018 (Pinnacle Bank Arena)

The Line: Gaethje +150 / Vick -170 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1

Justin Gaethje and James Vick fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 135 at the Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Justin Gaethje enters this fight with a 18-2 record and has won 83 percent of his fights by knockout. Gaethje has won six of his last eight fights and is coming off a April loss to Dustin Poirier. Gaethje is averaging 8.67 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 54.7 percent. Gaethje is averaging zero takedowns with an accuracy percentage of zero percent. Gaethje went from being an undefeated fighter at the top of the world to a guy looking to snap a two-fight losing streak. Gaethje is coming off a fourth round knockout loss in which he ate 179 total strikes and just couldn’t keep up with the constant shots traded from both fighters. Gaethje is now 1-1 in the UFC and he’s lived up to his reputation of being a striker at heart, as he throws a ton of punches, lands at a high percentage and 12 of his last 13 wins have been knockouts. Gaethje is now just 1-2 since coming over from the WSOF, but both of his losses earned fight of the night honors, so he’s held his own despite being on the wrong side. Gaethje is a polished wrestler dating back to his college days, but he’s more than proven himself as a striker his last two fights and all but two of his bouts have ended in a finish. Gaethje is exciting, win or lose. This will be Gaethje’s first career fight in Nebraska.

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Justin Gaethje vs. James Vick UFC Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 8/25/18

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

James Vick enters this fight with a 13-1 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by submission. Vick has won each of his last four fights and is coming off a February win over Francisco Trinaldo. Vick is averaging 4.11 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38.3 percent. Vick is averaging 0.32 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33.3 percent. Vick is coming off a fight in which he pretty much dominated, landing 72 total strikes and producing one takedown, winning in a rather easy decision. Vick has now won every fight since his 2016 loss to Beneil Dariush. Vick is a massive lightweight at 6’3” with a 76-inch reach and is able to use his size to bully opponents in the clinch and on the canvas. Vick is very well conditioned and has a boxing background that allows him to be very effective standing up and has helped him win two of his last three fights by knockout. Needless to say, it’s tough to fight a guy as lengthy as Vick and with his balance. This will be Vick’s first career fight in Nebraska.

Vick obviously has a clear size advantage, is well conditioned for the long haul and is the more balanced fighter due to his clinching ability. Vick could wear down the smaller Gaethje, taking his power striking away by just hanging on him and draining that energy. However, Gaethje is probably the better pure fighter with a much more accurate striking ability and a clear power advantage. There’s also pressure on Gaethje to get the job done here, as while the fans enjoy watching him fight, he can’t afford to lose three straight UFC fights with the hype he had leaving the WSOF.

For this price, Gaethje has to be the play.

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