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UFC on FOX 31: Edson Barboza vs Dan Hooker Betting Prediction

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Dan Hooker will look to extend his winning streak to five straight when he takes on perennial contender Edson Barboza. Hooker’s winning streak includes finishes over veterans Ross Pearson and Jim Miller as well as over up-and-coming prospects Marc Diakeise and Gilbert Burns. Meanwhile, Barboza will be looking to return to the winning column after dropping two straight to current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee.

X-Factors

As previously mentioned, Barboza is on a two-fight skid and has taken a lot of damage in both fights. He did demonstrate his toughness and the ability to stay in the fight even if it’s not going his way. Barboza has joined American Top Team in preparation for his fight against Dan Hooker and will perhaps get new looks in.

Since moving up to lightweight in 2017, Hooker has looked like a completely new fighter. Despite being a former featherweight, Hooker is not undersized in his new weight class and carries a rather large frame at 6ft with a 75-inch reach.

Paths to Victory

After having to face two of the divisions most dominant wrestlers, Barboza is likely to finally get the fight he wants. Barboza is famed for his kicks and thus likes to operate at kicking range. His boxing has also improved under the tutelage of Mark Henry. In this fight Barboza will have to utilise his full arsenal of kicks, especially focusing on the leg kicks which will slow Hooker down as the fight goes on.

Hooker is an interesting fighter as he does not put much emphasis on scoring points and instead tends to look for the finish. This may sometimes lead to him being outworked by his opponents or the fights being fought at a slow pace. However, Hooker is great at spotting openings and taking advantage of them. Most of Barboza’s losses come as a result of his opponents using a pressure-heavy game plan. Although Hooker is not a natural pressure fighter, he will be smart to utilise pressure in order to limit the space in which Barboza can work his kicking game.

Conclusion

Overall, I believe that Barboza’s striking skills will shine through and he will pick up a decision victory. However, Dan Hooker has shown that he is able to finish fights at any moment and thus Edson has to vary of The Hangman's dangerous and creative striking. I believe that the odds are a bit skewed because Barboza is on a losing streak, however, it is important to know that those two losses came to the division’s elite and were stylistically difficult fights for Barboza.

Recommended Play: Edson Barboza @ +110 at BookMaker

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Vladimir K

Vladimir has followed combat sports for the majority of his life and loves breaking down fights to help other people win money. He also runs his own website where he focuses on providing spotlight for up-and-coming fighters through interviews and prospect reports. You can see more of this work at his website MMAScout.com

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