Thursday, July 09, 2009

Performify's Picks for UFC 100 preliminary card

Originally posted on

Jon Jones (-500) vs. Jake O'Brien (+300)

Jon "Bones" Jones (8-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC), has made a splash since his UFC debut in August 2008. After posting a 6-0 record (with six finishes) in a variety of Northeast shows, Jones has picked up back-to-back decision victories over Andre Gusmao (UFC 87) and Stephan Bonnar (UFC 94) in the UFC. His stand-up style, which includes flashy strikes and kicks from all angles, and an effective sprawl have earned the 21-year-old former JUCO national wrestling champion a quick following.

Jake O'Brien (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC), a former heavyweight, fights here for the second time as a light heavyweight. After amassing a 3-2 record as a heavyweight, which included TKO losses to Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velasquez in the final two bouts, the former Purdue University wrestler made the drop to 205 pounds and defeated Christian Wellisch via split decision in January at UFC 94.

O'Brien is primarily a wrestler with good power in his standup game. While Jones' flashy striking skills have earned him a quick following, he should not be such a significant favorite here in my opinion. Most likely, we'll see O'Brien frustrated by Jones' unorthodox striking techniques en route to another unanimous decision victory for the 21-year-old prospect.

However, as such a significant underdog, I think O'Brien is worth a small bet as he has the power to finish the fight on the feet if he can connect, and his wrestling skills and size could put Jones on his back. We've yet to see if the former JUCO champion fights effectively from his back, but it's typical for young wrestlers to be extremely uncomfortable there, and as such it's a possible path to victory for O'Brien, in the same way he was able to utilize his wrestling and top control to defeat Heath Herring at UFC Fight Night 8. O'Brien by unanimous decision victory in the longshot upset.

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