Get in the Cage: UFC 209 Picks and Analysis

Welcome to another segment of Get in the Cage for DFS Datalytics. UFC 209 is this weekend and we have two title bouts for you. In the main event, UFC Welterweight Champion, Tyron Woodley will fight Stephen Thompson once more in a rematch from UFC 205 back in November. That fight was one for the history books and unfortunately ended in a majority draw. Also on the card. undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov will at long last get his title opportunity and will fight Tony Ferguson for the Interim Lightweight Championship Saturday night. With multiple heavyweight bouts on the card, this should be a fantastic night of fights all around. It’s time to Get in the Cage. Good luck to everyone.

Under Card:

Albert Morales (6-0-1) vs Andre Soukhamthath (11-3) – Bantamweight (135 lbs)

DK Salaries: Morales – $8,500 / Soukhamthath – $7,700

Vegas Odds: Morales -135 / Soukhamthath +115

Odds to Finish: -170 (o 1 ½)

Albert Morales will be participating in his third UFC fight since he debuted last September. He is 0-1-1 with a draw in his first bout. Morales then got knocked out by Thomas Almeida. Not surprising. Once he loosens up, he likes to throw punches in bunches, however, he has not been accurate in terms of striking. In his last bout, Morales appeared to have solid wrestling skills and was even able to take the back att one point of Almeida. One certainly cannot deny  the heart of Morales. With both of these fighters styles, this fight could steal the show for the prelims. I expect a lot of action. Morales will need to pace himself more than he did in his last bout.

Andre Soukhamthath will be making his octagon debut here at UFC 209. Soukhamthath has managed to finish all but one of his professional victories to date. They include seven KO/TKO wins. He has now won three straight by KO/TKO and looking to make an impact with the UFC. It is also worth noting that Soukhamthath has yet to be finished in his MMA career. He left CES MMA as the champion of the bantamweight division and he does possess some serious skills. He should not be taken lightly like many other debuting fighters you may see. He is a very well conditioned fighter with solid striking prowess. This could be a close one. I expect Morales to fade in the later rounds, giving the opportunity for Soukhamthath to take the decision.

Fight Prediction: Soukhamthath – Split Decision

Amanda Cooper (3-2) vs Cynthia Calvillo (3-0) – Women’s Strawweight (115 lbs)

DK Salaries: Cooper – $8,100 / Calvillo – $8,100

Vegas Odds: Cooper -110 / Calvillo -110

Odds to Finish: -265 (o 2 ½)

Amanda Cooper is a fighter who produces fantastic and crisp combinations. The key for her is to find her range. She remains active and puts together her combinations quite frequently. She throws a lot of 1-2’s with an occasional kick thrown in there. Cooper lands over three significant strikes per minute roughly inside the octagon. She, like most straw weights, is very well conditioned. In her two professional defeats, Cooper was on the wrong side of submissions. However, she exhibited solid grappling skills in her last bout, where she was able to land two take downs (5 pts) and transition five times (3 pts), multiple times to the mount position.

Cynthia Calvillo will be making her UFC debut this weekend at 209. She currently has a perfect MMA record which stands at 3-0. She has finished two of her opponents via TKO in the later rounds. She has wasted little time to get to the big stage that is the UFC. Her first professional fight was back in August of last year. Since, she has fought twice more, including in January. From the tape I have gathered from those fights, Calvillo is an elite grappler, and probably one of the best I’ve seen in the straw weight division. She is constantly looking to improve her position and wastes no time to engage. She often times is either throwing fists or looking for a submission.

Grappling appears to be Calvillo’s bread and butter, so I will side with the rookie here this weekend. Expect lots of take downs and transitions. She will likely be a solid draft pick. Cooper has shown to be vulnerable against submissions in the past, so we could certainly see a finish here at UFC 209. I predict a submission in the later rounds.

Fight Prediction: Calvillo – Rd 3 Submission

Tyson Pedro (5-0) vs Paul Craig (9-0) – Light Heavyweight (205 lbs)

DK Salaries: Pedro – $8,200 / Craig – $8,000

Vegas Odds: Pedro -110 / Craig -110

Odds to Finish: -185 (u 1 ½)

Tyson Pedro recorded his fourth straight submission victory via choke and his fifth consecutive finish in the first round in his last bout. Pedro is a very strong and capable wrestler inside the cage. His conditioning however, could be in question here this weekend as he has not even fought for 15 minutes yet inside the cage. You cannot deny his submission skills, though. After an early knockdown, Pedro looked great taking down Khalil Rountree twice and choking him out. Rountree is nothing special, however. He will have a much tougher opponent this time around, so we will see how he fairs. Look for him to utilize his grappling game if he feels endangered on the feet. Both Vegas and Draft Kings view this as a fairy even contest.

Paul Craig, much like his opponent, won his UFC debut in impressive fashion. Craig is an undefeated fighter with eight submission victories to his name. He looked fantastic in his debut fight against Henrique da Silva. Craig proved to be very accurate with his striking. He bloodied up his opponent badly while on top last time around. I believe Pedro will have a noticeable strength advantage here. However, it is Craig that I think possesses the better all-around MMA skills. He should have the better ground game as well. It could be a close one, but I expect Pedro to gas hard in this one if it enters the later rounds. Pedro has never fought for more than four minutes at a time. I expect Craig to win the majority of the grappling exchanges, which will ultimately win him the fight.

Fight Prediction: Craig – Unanimous Decision

Daniel Spitz (5-0) vs Mark Godbeer (11-3) – Heavyweight (265 lbs)

DK Salaries: Spitz – $7,500 / Godbeer – $8,700

Vegas Odds: Spitz +130 / Godbeer -150

Odds to Finish: -165 (u 1 ½)

Daniel Spitz will be making his UFC debut this weekend, filling in for Todd Duffee on short notice. Spitz is an undefeated fighter who has made quick work of the majority of his opponents thus far. He has finished four of his opponents in the first round, three of which ended before a minute and half into the fight. His last actually ended in six seconds, just to show what he is capable of. He is most well-known for his striking ability, however he has submitted three of his five opponents. Spitz has proven to be fairly well-rounded, however he has not faced a UFC fighter just yet. Luckily for him, his opponent this week is rather inexperienced himself and lost his UFC debut in the first round. Spitz needs more experience under his belt before I trust him.

Mark Godbeer is another fighter that often makes quick work of his opponents. He has nine wins by KO/TKO in his career as well as two submissions. He has finished all of his professional victories. On the other hand, Godbeer too, has been finished in all three of his losses as well. That makes me worry somewhat here. Godbeer also looked terrible in his UFC debut back in November. He did not defend well, got taken down with ease and was subsequently finished by rear-naked choke after doing nothing on the ground. Spitz certainly can pull off a victory here this Saturday night, especially with it being a heavyweight fight. Godbeer looked so bad in that fight, that I will hesitantly take Spitz here. It should be an early finish from one or the other.

Fight Prediction: Spitz – Rd 1 Submission

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Rob McGeorge

Lead MMA / NFL Analyst for DFS Datalytics. I have been watching MMA since 2008 and playing fantasy sports since 2012. Follow me on Twitter @CornontheRob12

rob-mcgeorge has 35 posts and counting.See all posts by rob-mcgeorge

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