Alex Caceres vs. Kron Gracie
|Date & Time||Sunday February 17, 2019, 10:00 PM (EST)|
Talking Stick Resort Arena
The Line: Gracie -341 / Caceres +299 -- Over/Under:
Alex Caceres and Kron Gracie fight Sunday during UFC on ESPN 1 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.
Alex Caceres enters this fight with a 14-11 record and has won 43 percent of his fights by decision. Caceres has split his last eight fights and is coming off a July win over Martin Bravo. Caceres is averaging 3.86 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 49 percent. Caceres is averaging 0.57 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 75 percent. Caceres is coming off a fight of the night split decision victory and has a chance to win back-to-back fights for the first time since 2016. Caceres is an athletic, creative striker who attacks in many different ways and is highly effective with his leg kicks. Caceres has a southpaw stance and lands 85 percent of his strikes standing up. Caceres does have five submission victories, but only one of those have come in the last five years, and he’s also been submitted six times himself. Caceres is most effective as a stand up striker where he can put his awkward stance and creativity go to work. This will be Caceres’ first career fight in Arizona.
Kron Gracie enters this fight with a 4-0 record and has won 100 percent of his fights by submission. Gracie hasn’t fought since 2016, and he’s coming off a submission win over Tatsuya Kawajiri. Gracie will make his highly anticipated UFC debut in this bout and hopes to build on the legacy of the Gracie family. It’s no secret what Gracie wants to do, as he’s a highly decorated grappler and is the son of legend and hall of famer Rickson Gracie. Gracie is so smooth with his transitions on the canvas and is a master at finding submission holds. Once a fight goes to the canvas, it’s pretty much over for the opponent. The concerns obviously is Gracie is a bit limited in his striking attack and does have a history of taking too many shots when trying to close the distance for a takedown. There’s zero worries with Gracie on the canvas, it’s everything before the fight gets there. Still, it’s going to be a treat to have one of the best grapplers in the world fighting on the UFC level for the first time. This will be Gracie’s first career MMA fight outside of Japan.
You can make a case for Caceres as an underdog given that he’s the better striker and has a variety of strikes that throw off any opponent. You always need to be on high alert when fighting Caceres, as he can land at any moment, especially with his legs or an elbow when breaking away. With that said, it’s hard to bet against Gracie knowing that if this fight goes to the canvas, it’s all but finished. As long as Gracie avoids a clean shot and gets the fight where he wants it, he’ll end this thing in submission, especially when you consider Caceres has been submitted six times in his career, and none of those opponents were as accomplished as the guy he’s about to fight.
I’ll take Gracie by submission.