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Ulysses Gome, a veteran of the Tachi Palace fight scene, makes his debut against fellow UFC newcomer John Moraga. Gomez has a record of nine wins and two losses. Moraga comes in with a solid wrestling base, while Gomez posts a heavy background in brazilian jiu-jitsu. Gomez has submitted all but four of his opponents only losing to Rambaa Somdet (if you have not heard of this guy look him up now), and Darrell Montague. He lost both fights by decision. Moraga posts only one loss and its by decision to none other than The Ultimate Fighter fourteen winner John Dodson.
Pick: Gomez. Both Gomez and Moraga have similar records with similar outcomes, but outside of Dodson very few of Moraga's opponents have winning records. The only guys with positive records Moraga has fought: Freddie Lux (five wins, one loss), John Dodson (13 wins, 5 losses), Travis Halverson (two wins, one loss). Only one opponent of Gomez has a negative record, that being Greg Mcdowell (one win, two losses). With all that said this fight is still very close. Do not bet heavy this is almost a pick'em fight. Finishing rates: Gomez sits high at 78%, while Moraga has a respectable 50%. Even though many think small guys do not finish, this is a good bet to stay under 2 and 1/2 rounds.
Both featherweights have had problems hitting the win column as of late, but neither man has had an easy path lately. In Gamburyan's last four fights he went three wins, one loss: KO win over former champ Mike Brown; KO loss to current champ Jose Aldo; Decision (majority) loss to Tyson Griffin; and Unanimous Decision loss to Diego Nunes. Omigawa to has won only one of his last four: Unanimous Decision loss to Chad Mendes, Unanimous Decision Loss to Darren Elkins (many feel Omigawa was robbed), Unanimous Decision win over Jason Young, and a Unanimous Decision loss to Yuri Alacantara. Stylistically Manny is typically very hard to take down and has tons of power but is pretty wild. Omigawa has power of his own, keeps his hands low, and has a more varied and stronger ground game than Manny's.
Pick: Omigawa. Manny has all the tools to win, but Omigawa never seems phased by his opponents. It has been seven years since Omigawa has been finished, and it was at lightweight. Omigawa can gas or get outworked, but I think his technique and unpredictability will stump Gamburyan. This one is pretty close to a pick'em as well, but I feel Omigawa is being underrated. Finishing rates: Omigawa has a 46% finishing rate, while Gamburyan has a 73% finishing rate. But as of late neither man has been finishing anyone. I would pick this to see the judges score cards.
In one of the more underrated match ups of the evening, Cole Miller squares off against Nam Phan. Both men are among the scrappiest of their weight class. Phan has garnered a record of one win, three losses in his last four, while Miller has earned a record of two wins, and two losses in his last four. HIt should be acknowledged that Phan was clearly robbed in his first fight against Leonard Garcia. Either way, neither man has been super impressive as of late. Nam has a high volume technical boxing style. That is not to say he lacks power, but he tends to break his opponents with volume rather than power shots. Miller, while he has power and pretty technical boxing, seems to be the much slower man. Both men are high level grapplers, with Phan holding black belts in Judo, and BJJ, while Miller is a BJJ brown belt, with skills far beyond that of most browns.
Pick: Phan. Again another close fight, but with reports of Miller having a tough weight cut and naturally being the slower guy, it would seem Phan will have some serious advantages. Unless Phan gets caught or taken down, he will likely out box Miller. Finishing rates: Miller is sitting pretty at a 89% finishing rate, while Phan has a 71% finishing rate. This fight will likely not go all three rounds: both men are in the upper 30% of finishing. A great bet to end before 2 and 1/2 rounds.