Derek Brunson vs. Elias Theodorou
|Date & Time||Saturday May 4, 2019, 10:00 PM (EDT)|
Canadian Tire Centre
The Line: Theodorou -102 / Brunson -112 -- Over/Under:
Derek Brunson and Elias Theodorou fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 151 at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Derek Brunson enters this fight with a 18-7 record and has won 61 percent of his fights by knockout. Brunson has split his last eight fights and is coming off a November loss to Israel Adesanya. Brunson is averaging 3.12 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Brunson is averaging 2.35 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 24 percent. Brunson has now been knocked out in each of his last two fights and continues to leave himself exposed to head kicks and knees. Brunson has a boxing background and needs to close the distance to be effective, but seeing him get knocked out in three of his last six fights doesn’t provide much confidence moving forward. Brunson is an explosive fighter with a wrestling and boxing background, and he’s deadly when he’s able to apply pressure and control the pace. The problem is Brunson has struggled when fighters are able to slow things down and keep him at a distance. Brunson needs to be the aggressor and kind of be that wild fighter he was a couple of years ago when he was on an impressive winning streak. This will be Brunson’s first career fight in Canada.
Elias Theodorou enters this fight with a 16-2 record and has won 56 percent of his fights by decision. Theodorou has won five of his last six fights and is coming off a December win over Eryk Anders. Theodorou is averaging 4.17 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Theodorou is averaging 1.4 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 29 percent. Theodorou is coming off a split decision victory where he landed 204 strikes at a 46 percent clip. Theodorou has now won his last three fights and each of his last seven bouts have ended in decisions. Theodorou isn’t the sexiest fighter in the world, but he stays busy, controls distance well and is highly physical with his takedown attempts. Theodorou doesn’t have any knockout power that’s going to scare anybody, but he does use his legs well and has an above-average ground and pound if the bout goes to the canvas. Theodorou is a smart fighter who has never been finished and went the distance with Thiago Santos, so there’s nothing here that should scare him. Theodorou has fought most of his career in Canada, his birthplace.
Brunson is the more powerful, athletic fighter who also has a size advantage, so I can see why he’s the slight favorite. The problem is Brunson also has yet to put everything together and has become sloppy in his last several fights. Brunson has a weird habit of rushing in and thinking he’s going to end something, and it’s left him on the wrong side of some ugly losses. Theodorou is the smarter fighter and his style is probably going to frustrate Brunson, which leads to another mistake. The hype surrounding Brunson has really died these past few fights and I’m just not comfortable trusting him moving forward. Theodorou is also 12-0 as a pro when fighting his birthplace of Canada.
I like Theodorou and the cheaper price.