| Fri 06/10/2017 - 20:05 EDT

UFC 216 Predictions

UFC 216 Predictions

Ferguson vs Lee UFC 216 Fight Card

After a brief weigh-in scare courtesy of Lee, the fights are on!

The #7 ranked lightweight originally weigh in one pound over the limit.

He successfully made weight on his second attempt and UFC 216 keeps its main event.

Ferguson (-265) and Lee (+195) have combined for 14 consecutive victories and are the two hottest fighters in the division but Lee's flub in the weigh-ins could be this fight's x-factor.

Tony Ferguson vs Kevin Lee UFC 216 Sports Interaction (SIA)
 UFC 216 Predictions: Ferguson vs Lee Fight Card & Picks

As far as rankings and strength of schedule are concerned, this should be a mismatch.

Ferguson has defeated two former champions and at least three ranked fighters.

Lee's last win over Michael Chiesa is his only win over a ranked fighter. But it's all about the stylistic matchup. It will be a striker versus grappler match-up with a twist: Ferguson has a wrestling background and Lee's striking is shaping up.

Ferguson may have the wrestling background but he primarily fights on his feet. "El Cucuy" barely attempts takedowns only averaging 0.71 in his UFC career. He likes to pull guard and is notorious for his chokes, which he has used to end five of his last nine fights. Lee is also fond of chokes having all but one of his submission victories coming via this method.

Their grappling statistics are identical with both fighters attempting a submission 1.53 times per fight. With all their submission victories, it indicates both are efficient in implementing the subs. Lee shoots for takedowns more at 3.48 per fight. Should the fight go to the mat, it will be a scramble with both fighters fighting to secure submissions.

On their feet, Ferguson has his biggest advantage and justifies why he's a decided favourite. Ferguson's pace is relentless with 5.23 significant strikes landed per minute versus Lee's 3.6. 

His defense, at 65.48% is also more significant than Lee's at 53.06% and this is considering Ferguson has fought the likes of Rafael dos Anjos and Edson Barboza, two prolific Muay Thai strikers. Ferguson's best path to victory is to keep the fight on its feet and test Lee's chin and durability.

Lee has been TKO'd in the past and his striking is his weakest attribute. His only TKO victory came via ground-and-pound. While Ferguson has been dropped in some of his fights, he has shown solid defense and durability. His unpredictable striking, experience, and endurance will lead him to victory as he should finish Lee by strikes just before the championship rounds.

UFC 216 Predictions - October 7, 2017

The flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson (-920) and Ray Borg (+595) are back following a cancellation from UFC 215 due to Borg's botched weight cut. The "Tazmexican Devil" made amends coming in on weight but will still be a massive underdog. Johnson at under -1000 is generous considering he holds the advantage in every aspect of the fight. His victory is a foregone conclusion and while it's ludicrous to bet him straight, he'll make a fine parlay addition.

A heavyweight tilt between former champion Fabricio Werdum (-250) against Derrick Lewis (+185) rounds out the notable fights. Werdum is the superior striker and grappler but Lewis is massive and has used his size and brute force to climb the rankings. Werdum is agiler and should use his speed to keep Lewis at bay and score a decision.

Any parlay combination of Ferguson, Johnson, and Werdum should cash. Check out any of the top online sportsbooks to avail of the signup bonuses and find the right book for your strategy. 

Main Card (PPV, 10 PM ET)

Preliminary Card (TSN 5, 8 PM ET)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 PM ET)

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