Clint’s MMA picks record: 9-10-0 (-0.23 units)
Saturday, 11:35 p.m. ET
Free UFC Pick: Maia ML
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
The UFC returns to Brazil on Saturday with a card stacked and some of the country’s best fighters ready to put on a show. The main event is a title-shot eliminator between two Brazilians at 135 where Raphael Assuncao will try to repeat his last performance against the heavy-hitting Marlon Moraes. The co-main event features Jose Aldo looking to continue his return to the winner’s circle after crushing perennial contender Jeremy Stephens in July. And finally, world Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Demian Maia returns against Lyman Good and will try to snap the first three-fight losing stream of his career.
Maia has faced nothing but the best of the best at 170 for his last five fights; he has gone 2-3. This is the first time in his career he has lost three in a row. Maia faced champion Tyrone Woodley in July 2017, Colby Covington in October 2017, and Kamaru Usman in May 2018; he lost all three fights by decision. Maia is on the wrong side of 40, but prior to those three losses he was on a seven-fight win streak. In addition, his last three losses came against incredibly strong wrestling specialists who are without a doubt numbers 1, 2, and 3 in the world at 170 pounds.
Lyman Good appears to be aware that Maia’s key to victory is his ground game. Good is prepping accordingly.
Good (20-4) is a very talented fighter with 13 finishes and 10 of those coming by way of knockout. Good does have three submission wins but those came in the CFFC, a smaller promotion where you cannot expect to have the stiffest competition. His ground credentials cannot get anywhere near those of Maia and a few months of training is not enough to overcome the mountain that is Maia’s lifetime of BJJ. There are levels to this sport and when it comes to BJJ, Maia is unmatched in the UFC. To neutralize Maia’s martial arts skills, you have to have an extremely high level of wrestling, which we have not seen from Good.
With our UFC picks we are going to take Maia to get back on the horse and prove that his BJJ is still unmatched in the UFC against an opponent who cannot be overlooked but is not top three in the division. Lay the wood with Maia, who should outclass Good on the ground.