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Edson Barboza vs. Dan Hooker UFC on Fox 31 Pick, Preview, Odds, Prediction - 12/15/18

Game
Dan Hooker vs. Edson Barboza
Date & Time Saturday December 15, 2018, 10:00 PM (EST)
Location Unknown Location Unknown Address
The Line
The Line: Edson Barboza -102 / Dan Hooker -112 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
FOX
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Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Edson Barboza and Dan Hooker fight Saturday during UFC on Fox 31 at the Fiserv Forum.

Edson Barboza enters this fight with a 19-5 record and has won 58 percent of his fights by knockout. Barboza has split his last eight fights and is coming off a April loss to Kevin Lee. Barboza is averaging 3.64 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 41 percent. Barboza is averaging 0.49 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. Barboza has now lost his last two fights and is coming off his second career knockout loss, which can’t help his confidence. The good news for Barboza is that losing to Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov is nothing to be disappointed about, as they’re both respectable opponents, and he hung in there with both of them despite the results. We know what we’re getting with Barboza, as he’s a quality striker who is possibly the most dangerous fighter in the sport when it comes to his legs. Barboza is aggressive with his leg kicks and has ended five fights in his career that way. This will be Barboza’s first career fight in Wisconsin. 

Dan Hooker enters this fight with a 18-7 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Hooker has won his last four fights and is coming off a July win over Gilbert Burns. Hooker is averaging 4.02 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Hooker is averaging 0.54 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 42 percent. Hooker has a chance to end 2018 with three victories, as he hasn’t lost since his 2016 bout against Jason Knight, and each of his last 12 victories have ended in a stoppage. Hooker has become one of the more exciting fighters as of late because of his finishes, and he’s one of the best volume strikers in the lightweight division overall. Hooker lands 81 percent of his strikes standing up, but he’s also dangerous in the clinch and has shown flashes of a quality ground and pound attack. As long as Hooker can stay on his feet, he should like his chances against anybody in this division. This will be Hooker’s first career fight in Wisconsin.

This may be the most exciting fight on the main card because of the quality striking and the way both guys can finish a fight. The difference for me is the conditioning of Barboza and his defense both striking wise and defending the takedown. While we’re not going to see much ground game for either guy, Barboza is the better defender overall and is a smart fighter who plays the long game and does some of his best work late. Hooker is aggressive and looks for the quick attack, but he’s lost three of his last six fights that have made it out of the first round.

I give Barboza the edge here, and it doesn’t hurt we’re getting a slightly cheaper price with him as well.

Pick:
Edson Barboza

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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