Yvel vs. dos Santos
One of the featured bouts of Saturday’s UFC 108 is a heavyweight contest between Gilbert Yvel and Junior dos Santos.
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Dos Santos has been on a rampage since joining the UFC, as he has won three fights by TKO. He enters the fight as the favorite with a money line of -340 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Yvel has been given a line of +245. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Junior dos Santos (9-1):
Strengths: dos Santos is a very powerful striker despite training with the Nogueira brothers. He is a big heavyweight that is hard to get to the ground and in order to take him down, opponents have to eat one of his big fists. One would have to assume that dos Santos would be very good on the ground, having trained with two of the best jiu-jitsu fighters in the world.
Weaknesses: dos Santos’ only real question mark may come in his chin. In three UFC fights, dos Santos has not been paired up with a striker like Yvel. Mirko CroCop is certainly a top level striker, but he never pulled the trigger in the fight with dos Santos. Yvel should not have that problem.
Last Five Fights:
Third round TKO win over Mirko CroCop at UFC 103 on Sept. 19, 2009
First round TKO win over Stefan Struve at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009
First round TKO win over Fabricio Werdum at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008
First round TKO win over Geronimo dos Sanots at DF3 on May 24, 2008
First round submission loss to Joaquim Ferreira at MTL Final on Nov. 10, 2007
Gilbert Yvel (36-13-1):
Strengths: Yvel likes to bring it to each fight, as he has never won a decision. He has 31 wins by TKO and five wins by submission. Only four fights in his career have went to decision. Yvel has heavy hands and powerful kicks, and he likes to throw them with ruthless aggression.
Weaknesses: Yvel has struggled on the ground and he can leave himself open when he gets into slugfests. Dos Santos may look to take this fight to the ground because Yvel could be the better striker and Yvel has to do his best to avoid having this fight go to the ground.
Last Five Fights:
First round KO win over Pedro Rizzo at FFI Ultimate Chaos on June 27, 2009
Third round submission loss to Josh Barnett at Affliction 2 on Jan. 24, 2009
First round TKO win over Alexander Timonov at M-1 Challenge 9 on Nov. 21, 2008
First round submission win over Sergey Shemetov at KOE on Oct. 5, 2008
Second round KO win over Michal Kita at GFN on May 24, 2008
Who will win: This fight has the potential to be a classic as both fighters probably feel that they are the better striker and want to let their hands fly. The key in this fight may be which fighter is better on the ground, and you have to assume dos Santos is well versed in submission fighting due to his training team. If dos Santos stays composed and fights a smart fight, he should earn the victory in the later rounds. We feel he will, as he will win with ground and pound in the third round.
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Posted: 1/1/10 9:38PM ET