Fri, Oct 6, 10:50am by Head Editor
Another Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) interim belt will be on the line on Sunday afternoon AEDST when Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee battle for lightweight glory and potentially a future chance at fighting reigning kingpin Conor McGregor.
In two other key bouts on the night, Ray Borg challenges Demetrious Johnson and Fabricio Werdum and Derrick Lewis battle it out in the heavyweight division on UFC 216’s main card.
Tony Ferguson versus Kevin Lee
Both fighters come into this bout with form. The nine-fight win streak with six finishes of Ferguson against the five-fight, four finishes win streak of Lee.
Ferguson prefers to spend the majority of each round at distance, with over 60 per cent of his fights spent at distance and just over a minute on the ground.
Lee tends to favour a ground-style fight, spending nearly 2 minutes of each round on the ground.
If the fight stays at distance, Ferguson has the advantage, throwing 45 per cent more volume than a typical lightweight, with better than average accuracy at 40 per cent.
Lee’s fight style isn’t terrible at distance, although his poor cranial accuracy means he tends to land more power to the body than the head.
Both of these fighters have statistical advantages in their preferred fight style, but with Lee the better fighter on the ground he has this advantage in this match-up.
Prediction: Kevin Lee to win at $2.75 (Sportsbet)
Demetrious Johnson versus Ray Borg
UFC 215 was supposed to play host to Demetrious Jackson’s attempt at breaking the record for the most UFC title defences.
Ray Borg’s illness forced the fight to be re-scheduled and UFC 216 is the beneficiary.
Equalling Anderson Silva’s record of ten title defences, Johnson will be looking to take the outright record for most UFC title defences on Sunday.
Borg looks to spoil the party, having defeated Louis Smolka and Jussier Formiga, building confidence and driving himself to the top of the list of contenders in the division.
Borg’s wrestling will be his key to victory, as he must unsettle Johnson if he intends to win.
Johnson’s motivation will be at an all-time high and this will be an opportunity for the 24-year-old Borg to build some confidence and experience on the biggest of stages.
All of the key statistical areas favour Jackson, including accuracy, defence and grappling accuracy and defence.
Prediction: Demetrious Jackson to win at $1.07 (Sportsbet)
Fabricio Werdum versus Derrick Lewis
Both Fabricio Werdum and Derrick Lewis have had patchy form ahead of their clash before the main events at UFC 216.
After winning the heavyweight title against Cain Velasquez, Werdum earned victories against Stipe Miocic and Travis Browne, before losing via decision to Alistair Overeem.
Lewis will be hunting for the knockout blow on Werdum and will want no part in a grappling fight.
Werdum’s superior skills in Muay Thai and use of leg kicks and knees will be risky, as Lewis only needs one chance to connect with Werdum to knock him out.
Werdum has twice the power volume of an average heavyweight and lands 80 per cent more.
Against the best grappler ever in the heavyweight MMA division, all of the statistics favour a Werdum victory.
Prediction: Fabricio Werdum to win at $1.38 (Sportsbet)
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