Saturday's main card clash between Alan Jouban and Niko Price at UFC Fight Night Mexico City looks set to deliver an exciting fight - and a little value on the underdog.
Jouban (15-5) is a seasoned technician at welterweight, sitting just outside the ranked positions in the UFC’s 170 lb division. He prefers to stand and trade strikes with his opponents and as a result has found himself in a number of back-and-forth battles in his UFC career.
However, I think the signs are beginning to show of a man who’s perhaps engaged in a few too many striking battles. Jouban may look like a million dollars (he models for Versace between fights), but his punch resistance may be starting to wane.
He stood and traded with heavy-handed welterweights Belal Muhammad and Mike Perry, coming out victorious on the scorecards on each occasion. But before those bouts he was viciously stopped by Albert Tumenov, and in his last outing he was badly rocked by Gunnar Nelson before eventually being finished by submission. If the cracks in his ability to take a shot are starting to show, Price is in the perfect position to capitalize.
Price (9-0, 1 NC) goes into the fight undefeated, and he’s a bona-fide finisher. Eight of his nine career bouts have finished inside the distance, with six KOs and two submissions.
His two UFC appearances have been very impressive, and while his most recent outing - a second-round knockout of Alex Morono at UFC Fight Night 104 - was scrubbed from his record and instead ruled a no contest due to Price failing an anti-doping test for marijuana, his performances have already highlighted his potential at the sport’s highest level.
I’m a big believer of momentum in MMA, and this fight could see one established campaigner’s run halted by a young, undefeated knockout artist.
With Price a +145 underdog (Bovada), he could be worth a small interest if you're looking for a value pick on Saturday night. For added value, take him to win the fight by KO/TKO.
Price to win
Price by KO/TKO