1. Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson (-430)
(1 Unit Parlay (+152) - Thompson/Holloway/Pantoja)
(Holloway & Pantoja both fight on 4/13/19)
2. Bobby Moffett (-145)
Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson
Stephen Thompson is one of the best strikers on the entire UFC roster. He has ridiculous speed, and very sharp counter strikes once he gets a read on his opponents. His only downfall is that he has had some performances where he had trouble pulling the trigger in high profile fights. In those fights his opponents had massive power, and that was what made him take a cautious approach.
There is nothing about his fight with Anthony Pettis that concerns me, besides Thompson not being able to pull the trigger. Pettis is moving up a weight class for this fight, so he will be the smaller man in the cage. Usually when fighters move up a weight class they gain a major speed advantage against their opponents, but that is not the case with this fight. Stephen Thompson is sneakily fast with his karate blitz attacks. Pettis is known for his wild and flashy kicking attacks, but there is nothing that he will throw that Thompson has not seen before. What separates these two in the striking department is the boxing of both opponents. Anthony Pettis is very slow with his hands, and that’s where I see Thompson lighting him up. Thompson will use his speed to get in and out of range, as well as finding the right angles to counter Pettis with a sharp 1-2 combo.
Anthony Pettis has slick BJJ, but he does not have the wrestling to get this fight to the ground. So this fight should take place on the feet, and Thompson should be able to break Pettis by the 4th round. Whether that means that Pettis is finished by round 4, or it means that Pettis has no fight left in him to put out any decent offense of his own by that time in the fight.
Stephen Thompson is just better than Anthony Pettis, and the fact that Pettis is moving up 15 pounds to fight the #4 ranked Welterweight is absolutely insane to me. It’s a fun fight on paper due to the wild kicking skills of both fighters, but there is a huge difference in skill that separates these two.
Stephen Thompson by Decision.
Is my favorite pick of the night that has some value with his price tag. Moffett trains at the "MMA Lab" in Arizona which is known to be a great gym that produces very solid fighters. He is primarily a strong grappler that smothers his opponents until he can find a choke from a dominant position. He showed great composure in his last fight when he had his back taken by a guy that is very capable of choking out anyone in the 145lb division with that position. Moffett's striking shows improvements from fight to fight, and he has good fundamentals that keep him out of danger.
His opponent Bryce Mitchell is a very young talent that still needs a lot of development. He will attempt flashy kicks, and go for wild submission attempts off of his back, but he does not set anything up well. Because he doesn't set those things up, he loses his energy very fast. That's where I see Moffett drowning Mitchell.
The very beginning of the fight Mitchell will look like the favorite. He will be throwing at a higher volume, and he will attempt a lot of wild kicks. It will be Moffett's job to find a way to slow Mitchell down. I believe that Moffett will get this fight down to the ground by catching a kick, and from there Moffett will slowly suck the energy out of Mitchell. Eventually, Bobby Moffett will sink in a choke, and Mitchell will be forced to tap.
Bobby Moffett by Submission, Round 1.