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Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo - 2/17/19 UFC on ESPN 1 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Cortney Casey vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Date & Time Sunday February 17, 2019, 10:30 PM (EST)
Talking Stick Resort Arena
Phoenix, Arizona
The Line
The Line: Calvillo -274 / Casey +246 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Cortney Casey and Cynthia Calvillo fight Sunday during UFC on ESPN 1 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Cortney Casey enters this fight with a 8-6 record and has won 38 percent of her fights by knockout. Casey has split her last 10 fights and is coming off an August win over Angela Hill. Casey is averaging 4.8 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Casey is averaging 0.4 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 30 percent. Casey has seen each of her last three fights end in split decisions, and she has a shot to win back-to-back fights for the first time since 2016. Casey is a brawler in the purest form, as she throws a ton of strikes, is willing to trade punches and has a proven chin with her only being finished once in her career. Casey doesn’t have the best takedown defense in the world and could be better at avoiding strikes, but she’s as tough as nails and is going to get her shots in regardless of the result. You can also make a case Casey doesn’t have a bad loss on her resume, as all of her fights are competitive and she’s fought some notable opponents. Casey is a case of being a better fighter than the record suggests. This will be Casey’s second career fight in Arizona, her birthplace.

Cynthia Calvillo enters this fight with a 7-1 record and has won 33 percent of her fights by knockout. Calvillo has won five of her last six fights and is coming off a November win over Poliana Botelho. Calvillo is averaging 3.41 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Calvillo is averaging 2.02 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Calvillo bounced back nicely from the first loss of her career with a first round submission, becoming the first fighter to finish Botelho. Calvillo has produced finishes in five of her seven victories and really impresses with her takedown ability. Calvillo is a polished striker with some pop in her hands and good timing on her counters, but she mixes in her takedowns between strikes and has produced submissions in three of her last four wins. While Calvillo is capable of winning a stand up striking battle, she’s most effective when she taps into her ground game and gets the most out of her athleticism. This will be Calvillo’s first career fight in Arizona.

This is one of my favorite fights on the card, as both of these females are as tough as they come and clearly enjoy fighting. They can both take a punch with a smile, so this has the potential to be a bloodbath and earn fight of the night honors. As for who wins, I give the slight edge to Calvillo due to her advantage on the ground and her ability to grab leg kicks. Calvillo can take advantage of Casey’s aggressiveness and drag her into deep waters on the canvas, where she will have a clear edge. Casey as an underdog is intriguing, especially when you consider all of her fights are competitive and she’s only lost to good fighters, but Calvillo falls in that category and has one of the stinger wrestling games in the strawweight division.

A must-watch fight, but it’s one Calvillo should win.

Cynthia Calvillo -274

Randy Chambers has been with Sports Chat Place since 2014 and covers everything from the NFL to WNBA and tennis. Nobody works harder in this business in terms of content produced and amount of sports covered. Formerly a lead college football writer with Bleacher Report and has had his work featured at Fox Sports, CBS Sports and various other outlets.

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