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Thiago Alves vs. Max Griffin - 2/2/19 UFC Fight Night 144 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Game
Thiago Alves vs. Max Griffin
Date & Time Saturday February 2, 2019, 5:00 PM (EST)
Location
Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste
Fortaleza, Brazil
The Line
The Line: Griffin -229 / Alves +201 -- Over/Under:
TV Channel
ESPN+
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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Thiago Alves and Max Griffin fight Saturday during UFC Fight Night 144 at the Centro de Formação Olímpica do Nordeste.

Thiago Alves enters this fight with a 27-13 record and has won 48 percent of his fights by knockout. Alves has lost four his last five fights and is coming off a September loss to Alexey Kunchenko. Alves is averaging 3.61 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 40 percent. Alves is averaging 0.74 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 68 percent. Alves is really going through a rough patch of his career right now, as he’s won just one fight since the knockout win over Jordan Mein that earned him performance of the night. While the losses are piling up, it’s never wise to count out Alves, who still has impressive striking power and is dangerous standing up, in the clinch or on the ground. Alves is a creative striker who is dangerous with his legs and at one point was on a knockout spree that made him an intriguing fighter on the rise. Alves is 35 years old now and doesn’t bring the same flair he once did, but he shouldn’t be slept on, especially when fighting on his home soil. This will be Alves’ seventh career fight in Brazil, his birthplace.

Max Griffin enters this fight with a 14-5 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. Griffin has split his last eight fights and is coming off a July loss to Curtis Millender. Griffin is averaging 3.45 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 43 percent. Griffin is averaging 0.26 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 25 percent. Griffin is coming off a frustrating decision loss, but the good news for him is that he has yet to lose back-to-back fights in his career. Griffin has seen each of his last three fights end in decision, but it’s important to note that that he’s one clean strike from ending things, as his raw power is some of the best in the welterweight division. Griffin has a brawler feel to his style, as he’s more than willing to trade punches standing up, and he has an impressive ground and pound game as well. Griffin can hold his own on the canvas and has never been submitted, but he’s at his best when able to let his hands go and putting that power to good use. This will be Griffin’s second career fight in Brazil.

This should be a fun fight between two guys who are no strangers to producing knockouts and kind of want to do the same thing in the octagon. The difference is Griffin has had far more recent success and has never lost two fights in a row. That’s key, as it shows Griffin gets back in the lab and corrects his mistakes from his previous fights. Alves has the home crowd on his side and should be desperate, but backing the more desperate fighter in the past hasn’t done me much good.

I’ll take the guy who is producing and has the higher probability of producing a clean knockout. Griffin has the potential to be scary good when allowed to fight his style, something he should get here.

Pick:
Max Griffin

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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