Aalon Cruz (+144) vs. Uros Medic (-172)
Weight Class: Lightweight (155 lbs)
Buried on the early prelims of the stacked UFC 259 card is a very intriguing bout between two relatively unknown lightweights.
Serbia’s Uros Medic will be making his UFC debut after a first round KO of Mikey Gonzalez on the Contender’s Series. Prior to punching his UFC ticket, the Novi Sad native had a perfect record on the Alaskan regional scene. Heading into the bout with Cruz, Medic is a perfect (6-0) at the professional level. The Serbian also has an extensive and successful kick-boxing record.
As for Cruz, he will be looking to get back on track following a knockout loss to Spike Carlyle in February, 2020. Carlyle has since been cut from the UFC, but his win over Cruz was a convincing walk off knockout.
Like Medic, Cruz punched his UFC ticket via Dana White’s Contender’s Series. He did so in wild fashion, landing a flying knee KO late in round three against Steven Nguyen. Given the popularity of Jorge Masvidal’s infamous flying knee KO of Ben Askren at the time, it was a massive boost for Cruz.
Physically, Cruz has a reach advantage but doesn’t really use it. On paper one would think Cruz could have a great jab that keeps his opponent at bay, but that isn’t usually the case. Both of these guys are rather big for the division, with Cruz moving up from Featherweight and Medic having fought as high as 185.
Stylistically, Cruz throws a-lot of kicks, and I mean a-lot. It’s totally possible that his game-plan is totally different after a year away, but that’s what he did before.
Ultimately, there isn’t much tape to go on for this fight, so some might find it risky. With that said, Medic has the tools to win this fight based on what I’ve seen from him. If he can employ a pressure game plan, he can win this fight with ease. Cruz has not fought well while backing up thus far. Before landing the flying knee, Aalon Cruz was arguably losing the fight to Nguyen. Nguyen was doing great with a pressure game plan and it felt like a path to victory against Cruz was exposed.
Neither fighter is a killer on the ground, but Medic has access to high level training partners at King’s MMA. I think if needed, Medic will have the ability to handle any take downs Cruz tries to throw his way. Medic held his own on the ground on the regional scene and was very active, though the completion level was obviously lower.
Ultimately, I’m willing to take some chances on this fight and am putting 2 units on it. I have 1.5 on Uros Medic moneyline and another .5u on a parlay of Medic moneyline and Aleksander Rakic moneyline. In addition to those bets, I’m using Uros Medic in a five-fight parlay. I’m only doing this thanks to a parlay insurance promotion via FanDuel Sportsbook, which may not be available in all states.
This particular five-leg parlay is a bit on the risky side, but if you were looking for a less risky option, you could sub out Kyler Phillips for Israel Adesanya.
Prediction and play: Uros Medic moneyline (-172)
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