Ryan LaFlare (13-1) vs. Alex Oliveira (16-3-1)
This, to me, is one of the best fights of the night. In fact, I have it at #3 on my personal best fights of the night list. If Ryan LaFlare can remain active in the coming years during his mid-thirties, he may possibly be the biggest dark horse in the welterweight division. In this fight, LaFlare has a strength advantage and is a better grappler in my opinion. His only loss came at the hands of the viper himself…no, not Randy Orton, but Demian Maia. If you watch this guy, he is very, very tough to beat and he is among the best at grinding his way to a victory. LaFlare deserves to be ranked higher than #14, and with a victory over Cowboy Oliveira, he will be.
Oliveira holds the striking advantage in this fight, and will probably be the aggressor. It will be interesting to see if LaFlare’s conditioning and defense neutralizes Oliveira and if he will end up outpacing him in a fight I expect to go the distance. Although with two fighters of this caliber, a finish would not be surprising. Worth noting, though, is that LaFlare has fought seven times in the UFC, and all seven fights have gone to decisions. Meanwhile, only two of Oliveira’s seven UFC victories have gone to a decision….but if you watch Laflare’s fights, he is extremely tough to finish and as his record indicates, isn’t much of a finisher, either. So odds would still have it that this will go the distance, and that conditioning and volume will determine the winner. This is an extremely interesting and underrated matchup that I will have a close eye on.
I think LaFlare is a bit too game and intelligent and will score the victory, and it would make sense to put ducats on him at -200….but I’m not.
Like our Brand New Page and Follow Us on Twitter @MMAAnonymouscom