Pearson v Brooks:
Another fighter making his third appearance of the year is Sunderland’s own Ross Pearson. Pearson flattered to deceive in a very narrow win over Chad Laprise in Australia after losing to Francisco Trinaldo in January. Both fights kept a run going for Pearson that has stretched back to a No Contest against Melvin Guillard in Manchester, England; he alternates wins and losses and has done so now for 8 consecutive fights. If the record is to be believed then he will lose this fight.
Former Bellator Lightweight Champion, Will Brooks, couldn’t have been given a tougher assignment on his debut fight if he had stood up and asked for it. Brooks received an uncontested waiver for his contract earlier this year after speaking up about fighter pay in the rival promotion. His belt was vacated and he was gone, with many predicting that he would be ostracised in a similar manner to Ben Askren. A late call up and the opportunity to face Pearson meant that he was signed.
On face value this is a fight for Brooks to win, impressing against a true UFC veteran. Pearson can win, he has the tools to do so but he remains hittable and Brooks has good movement which could be the deciding factor. At the odds quoted for Brooks to win I’d rather take a small punt on Pearson since it’s the better value, but as someone who analyses patterns I don’t like the win/loss streak. If I was Brooks I’d be going all out to impress and he can do that by ending the fight early. Under 2.5 rounds is a decent play at these odds.
Recommendation: Under 2.5 Rounds – 2 units at +165 (13/8) @ 5Dimes
Jedrzejczyk v Gadelha:
Unbeaten Women’s 115lb champion, Joanna Jedrzejczyk puts her title on the line against the woman that many feel beat her in their 2014 encounter. The history books will show Joanna Champion taking the split decision and with it, the opportunity to challenge for, win and defend her belt. Against Penne and Esparza she was at her brutal best, but Valerie Letourneau made her really work for the win.
Claudia Gadelha has only fought once since losing to Joanna, but that shouldn’t mean that she should be discounted. That one fight was a convincing win against the previously undefeated and former WSoF Women’s Champion, Jessica Aguilar. That performance was enough to secure her a spot on the latest TUF series, and with it a shot at Jedrzejczyk’s belt.
There is absolutely no love lost between these fighters as the TUF cameras have shown us on a weekly basis. Joanna will forever have the spectre of her opponent hanging over her until she gains a decisive win and Gadelha will know that she arguably beat the champion once and a repeat performance will see her get the richest of spoils. Gadelha will not leave it in the hands of the judges and Joanna will be looking to win convincingly. Oddsmakers say it will, but I say it won’t go the distance.
Recommendation: Fight won’t go 5 round distance – 2 units at +190 (19/10) @ 5Dimes