Before UFC Fight Night 146 on Saturday I’ll be tuned in to Cage Warriors 103, taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Most of the fights on the main card look like mismatches (and the odds reflect this), but I’m very interested in the main event. Here is my breakdown from a betting perspective.
After a disappointing run of results in the UFC, Denmark’s most renowned MMA fighter, Nicolas Dalby, is back to winning ways since returning to Cage Warriors. In his last contest, the Dane scored a TKO victory over smothering Irish grappler, Philip Mulpeter, and previously submitted a lesser known Italian fighter in Roberto Allegretti. Two finishes in a row is impressive, but Dalby faces a much stiffer test in explosive French striker, Alex Lohore.
Coming from a karate background, Dalby’s striking is his forté. He’s light on his feet, in and out with his movement and has a diverse arsenal of attacks. As you’d expect, his kicks are his most impressive weapons, although he has sharp hands and can throw a clean 1-2. Dalby can grapple too, and could look to put Lohore on his back (where he hasn’t looked great in past performances).
Dalby does get tagged a bit – but to his credit, seems to have a fantastic chin. Like his opponent, the Dane’s cardio is one of his best assets. I’m not sure who will be the fresher fighter if we see the championship rounds.
Unlike the clean, methodical striking approach of Nicolas Dalby, Alex Lohore is more like a shotgun: blasting out a variety of techniques and seeing what lands. The Frenchman can appear reckless as he throws crazy looping shots, but he’s effective due to his power, speed and athleticism. His last opponent, Tim Barnett, looked to have the cleaner boxing – yet he was the one lying battered on the canvas at the end of the contest.
In the past, Lohore’s weakness has been his takedown defense. Getting suffocated by the grappling onslaught of Terry Brazier and Ion Pascu in consecutive fights, Lohore seemed to be in for more of the same as he traveled to Finland to take on grinding wrestler, Olli Santalahti. Lohore performed a lot better in this contest, reversing positions and landing his own takedowns in order to secure a dominant decision victory.
Lohore has powerful kicks (that he doesn’t always set up with his hands). His kicks to the lead leg are some of his best attacks and this could be useful against Dalby – who stands with a wide stance. If he can take away the Dane’s movement, this will be beneficial as the fight progresses.
On paper this looks like a highly competitive fight. Dalby is cleaner with his technique and seems more durable, whereas Lohore is faster and more explosive. I don’t think we’ll see too much grappling, although I’d assume Dalby would be the first one to shoot a takedown.
It’s tough to envision how this fight will play out. From a betting perspective, I’d expect pick ‘em odds – which is not what we have. I don’t know who is going to win, but Alex Lohore feels like the right side as a moderate underdog.
Pick: 1 unit on Alex Lohore at +150 (2.5)
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