UFC 120: John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle Prediction

UFC Welterweight bout:  John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle

Odds:  (-500 Hathaway / +300 Pyle )

Betting Pick:  John Hathaway

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In the third bout, undefeated British star John “The Hitman” Hathaway, fresh off a commanding performance against Diego Sanchez, faces another tough test in the form of prolific grappler Mike “Quicksand” Pyle. Hathaway has looked like a monster so far, but Pyle brings a submission game he has never had to deal with, so this is a good test of just how ready for prime time Hathaway really is.

Mike Pyle, a veteran of over 10 years in the sport who trains in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture, is one of the most accomplished submission fighters in the history of Mixed Martial Arts. In 19 professional wins, Pyle has won a ridiculous 17 times by submission, a rate that is pretty much unprecedented. He doesn’t bring a lot else to the table, but when you are that good at submitting opponents you don’t really need to have a well-rounded game. It’s obvious that his strategy against Hathaway is going to be to drag the fight to the ground at all costs and try to exploit a mistake for the submission.

Hathaway, unbeated as a professional and coming off a dominant performance against top competitor Diego Sanchez, is a very well-rounded and effective fighter who continues to improve with each appearance. He has never had to deal with anyone who has submissions on Pyle’s level, so he is going to have to be very careful if and when this fight makes it to the ground, but he should have a clear edge in both the striking and wrestling, which is going to be invaluable.

Pyle is phenomenal on the ground, but Hathaway is going to be too much for him. Pyle can’t depend on being able to take Hathaway down by any stretch of the imagination, and if he resorts to pulling guard he is going to get his face mashed up. On the feet, Hathaway will manhandle him with relative ease and earn the T/KO victory. Still, with a submission artist as dangerous as Kyle sitting at +300 or more and Hathaway’s relative inexperience against top-level grapplers, a bet on Pyle might just be worth it.

Prediction:  John Hathaway via second round TKO.

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