TUF21 Finale Analysis – Jorge Masvidal vs Cezar Ferreira

 

TUF 21 Finale
July 12th, 2015

Welterweight Matchup: Jorge Masvidal vs Cezar Ferreira

 

On Sunday many in Vegas will still be recovering from the aftermath of UFC 189, with potentially two new champions to toast at numerous after parties until the wee hours of the morning. And yet there are still more fights to watch in Vegas this weekend at The Ultimate Fighter Season 21 Finale. Among them is a strange matchup between a Lightweight going up a division, and a Middleweight who dropped down.

The No. 14 ranked Lightweight Jorge Masvidal will take on unranked, former TUF Brazil Middleweight winner Cezar Ferreira. Masvidal is currently the favorite at -260 over the underdog Ferreira at +220. Early action came in for the larger man, Ferreira, but has since stabilized. So let’s check the stat line to see if Masvidal is supported as the favorite.

 

Summary Stats:

UberTape TUF21 Masvidal-Ferreira
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Tale of Tape Matchup:

The traditional tale of the tape reveals a big advantage for the underdog. Ferreira, assuming he makes weight, will be a giant of a Welterweight. His nickname “Mutante” has never been more apt. The two men are similarly aged, but the reach and Southpaw stance of Ferreira gives him an upper hand out of the gates. But that’s not all there is to this matchup.

 

Striking Matchup:

The standing matchup is intriguing because of the size discrepancy, but also the styles contrast. Ferreira has been very much an instigator when he chooses to engage. He doesn’t operate at a high pace, but tends to outwork his opponents. He’s also swinging for the fences, putting power into 80% of his total head strikes, and hardly worrying about landing his jab. That type of aggression is impressive given that he’s landing his strikes with high accuracy, and has scored Knockdowns at a high rate. But it comes at a price.

Ferreira’s downfall has been his chin. He’s now been dropped three times, at an unusually high pace. His head strike defense is below average, and he’s now dropping to a frighteningly small weight class where he could be even less hydrated than before, potentially exacerbating his occasionally fragile grasp on consciousness.

Masvidal’s metrics are good, not amazing, but seemingly well-suited to handle the threat that Ferreira poses. Masvidal is more of a counter-striker, and given the range disadvantage here, will likely be the one circling the outside. After avoiding strikes, which he does well, Masvidal has very good accuracy in his own hands. Though he’s been dropped before, he recovers quickly and has rallied. He’ll need a lot of elusiveness and resiliency to counter Ferreira’s early onslaught, but Masvidal could weather the storm and return a damaging counter-strike against the much more fragile Ferreira.

If Ferreira tires, Masvidal’s higher average striking pace should take overtake Ferreira’s aggression. Even if Masvidal gives up a close, early round on the defensive, he should accelerate through the final two. Having recently been burned on a close decision, Masvidal should be better motivated not to leave doubt in the minds of the judges.

 

Grappling Matchup:

Neither man is especially assertive in attempting takedowns, but both have good takedowns success paired with great takedown defense to date, making both of their ground control stats unusually high. Still, Masvidal has definitely been tested more often by higher level competition, and is likely the better wrestler on the mat. The seasoned veteran Masvidal can also use his grappling as a backup should he get hurt at any point on the feet, a scenario that has happened three other times.

While Ferreira has the high level jiu jitsu credentials, we haven’t seen him use much of it. Should he have to fight off his back, Masvidal’s 37 pro fights of experience should protect him from risky openings, while his takedown defense should limit Ferreira’s time in top control.

 

Fightnomics Pick: Masvidal to Win (Click for latest MMA odds)

 

Fightnomics Recommended Play: 

The price on Masvidal is steep at -260, though he could be used in a two-way parlay. Masvidal has multiple paths to victory via decision or finish, assuming he doesn’t get caught with something big early in the fight while Ferreira is still dangerous, in which case it would be just the second time Masvidal has ever succumbed to strikes. Masvidal could use his wrestling to stifle Ferreira, and he should have the experience to stay out of submission trouble on the mat. That’s his low-risk path to a decision win. Masvidal also has decent potential for a TKO.

The Under of 1.5 rounds is currently a +175, which is a hefty return given all the finishing potential between the two. The tight limit is tricky however, as Masvidal could use his wrestling to wear down Ferreira early on. Still the finishing potential here makes “Fight Does Not Go the Distance” at -130 a worthwhile play. A TKO prop on Masvidal is perhaps the best route for a small play at +190.

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