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Paul Felder vs. James Vick - 2/17/19 UFC on ESPN 1 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Paul Felder vs. James Vick
Date & Time Sunday February 17, 2019, 11:00 PM (EST)
Talking Stick Resort Arena
Phoenix, Arizona
The Line
The Line: Felder -150 / Vick +125 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Felder and James Vick fight Sunday during UFC on ESPN 1 at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Paul Felder enters this fight with a 15-4 record and has won 67 percent of his fights by knockout. Felder has won five his last seven fights and is coming off a July loss to Mike Perry. Felder is averaging 3.52 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Felder is averaging 0.36 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Felder is coming off a tough split decision in which he landed 128 strikes and had his moments, but he was taken down four times. Regardless of the result, Felder held his own and provided entertainment, something The Irish Dragon is doing on a consistent basis. Felder is what he is, as he's a striker at heart who is creative and six of has last nine wins have come by knockout. Felder lands 62 percent of his strikes standing up and has good variety  to his strikes. Felder is a pressure fighter who likes to dictate pace and keep his opponent uncomfortable. Whether he's standing up, in the clinch or executing ground and pound, Felder usually outworks his opponent and has been finished just once in four career losses. This will be Felder’s first career fight in Arizona.

James Vick enters this fight with a 13-2 record and has won 38 percent of his fights by submission. Vick has won four of his last five fights and is coming off a August loss to Justin Gaethje. Vick is averaging 4.16 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 38 percent. Vick is averaging 0.32 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 33 percent. Vick is coming off a brutal knockout loss in the first round in which he ate one shot to the chin and tasted the canvas. Vick now hopes to avoid back-to-back losses for the first time in his career. 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 to where he lands 89 percent of his strikes. Vick has a wild striking attack and his length gives opponents serious issues, especially in this division where you don’t see guys his size. This will be Vick’s first career fight in Arizona.

I sided with Vick when these two were supposed to fight at UFC Fight Night 133, but his knockout loss certainly changes things. When guys get knocked out cold, they tend to come back different fighters and can be a bit passive at times. They switch their approach a bit. There’s a good chance Vick isn’t the same fighter entering the octagon this time around. Felder is obviously giving up a lot of size here, but his pressure style and ability to land the haymakers could very well make Vick uncomfortable, and I’m not sure I like the longer, slower fighter in a stand up fight.

I like Felder to get the best of this bout.

Paul Felder -150

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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