30-Year-Old UFC Middleweight 17-5-0
June 13, 2018 Brad Tavares News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Despite reports last week that Tavares was in danger of pulling out of his TUF 27 Finale middleweight matchup against Israel Adesanya, the fight remains in line to go on as planned, MMAFighting.com reports.
UFC President Dana White even told TMZ that Tavares had a broken foot and intended to withdraw, but that was later denied by Tavares, who said the fight is "100 percent on." There had been rumblings of Tavares getting a second opinion on the foot, which given his statement, must have had favorable results. The UFC won't be taking any chances with this main event, however, as they have lined up fellow middleweight contender Thiago Santos to be in Las Vegas during fight week in the event the scheduled bout has a late withdrawal. Should Tavares remain on the card leading up to fight week, he may be a bit of a fantasy gamble given that he's unlikely to be at 100 percent. Betting odds for the matchup have been tough to come by, as sportsbooks are likely standing by, waiting to see how the situation plays out.
Brad Tavares: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisTavares will enter July's middleweight bout having won four straight fights. Most recently, Tavares took down Krzysztof Jotko via TKO in Round 3 of their fight at UFC on FOX 29 in Arizona, and the 30-year-old is going through one of the more impressive runs of his UFC career, His opponent, Adesanya, comes in having only taken part in two UFC fights in his career, but the 28-year-old won both of them.
Fantasy AnalysisWhile it is Tavares' fourth victory in a row, it is his first stoppage win in more than seven years. His last came against Phil Baroni at UFC 125 on New Year's Day 2011. Tavares was in complete control of this one throughout. He landed seemingly everything that he threw and the finish came after a vicious right hand smashed Jotko and sent him crumbling to the canvas. The fight could have been stopped a good five seconds earlier had referee Al Guinee been doing his job properly. Despite this hot streak, there's little reason to believe that Tavares can compete against the best 185 pounders that the UFC's middleweight division has to offer. That being said, he has put himself in position to earn a big time opponent his next time out. He called out Michael Bisping during the post-fight interview, which seems unlikely to happen.
Fantasy AnalysisTavares had no issues whatsoever landing all kinds of significant strikes against the older, slower Leites. He ended up winning the total strike battle by a count of 80-50 and he stuffed all seven of Leites' takedown attempts. A win over the Brazilian doesn't mean what it once did, but it was another impressive effort for Tavares. He is currently riding a three-fight winning streak and his last setback came in May 2015 against current UFC Interim Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker.
Fantasy AnalysisTavares came away with a unanimous decision victory over Elias Theodorou at TUF 25 Finale and is back on track after what some thought was an inactive streak. He has won his last two fights and is looking to add a third over the course of 11 months. He lands a decent amount of significant strikes on average (3.03 per minute) and shows a high level of takedown defense (73 percent) compared to Leites but hasn't ended a fight in stoppage since 2011.
Fantasy AnalysisA much needed, if not clear cut, win for Tavares. The Hawaiian has been inconsistent of late but he put together a decent enough showing on Friday. He got off to a quick start before Theodorou began to find his range over the final two rounds. Tavares did a nice job of scrambling on the mat although he struggled in some of the striking exchanges between the two men. Tavares, who has been criticized for his inactivity in the past, now has two wins in the past nine months.
Fantasy AnalysisTavares is 2-3 in his last five bouts but the losses came against respectable opponents such as Robert Whittaker, Tim Boetsch and Yoel Romero. Statistically, Tavares may be the one with the advantage in this fight. While he absorbs more strikes per minute (2.49 to 1.68), his takedown defense of 75 percent far exceeds Theodorou (44 percent), while the two sport near-identical marks in takedown accuracy (32 to 28 percent). This bout is one to keep an eye on as both fighters are closely matched.
Fantasy AnalysisIt wasn't pretty to watch at times, but Tavares was able to secure the win in his first fight in more than 16 months. Tavares was able to stuff six of seven takedown attempts from his opponent and he won the total strike battle by a count of 58-39. It was a better effort than the "split decision" result would lead you to believe. Still, if Tavares wants to make any headway moving forward, he can't wait a year and half to fight again.
Fantasy AnalysisTavares always has had a lot of hype behind him but it's seems to be unjustified. He won five in a row against weak competition from May 2012 - January 2014 but he has lost three of four since then. However Tavares has always proved to be extremely durable which makes Saturday's KO a bit of a surprise. He is currently ranked as the #14 middleweight by UFC.com and it's entirely possible that will be Tavares' high water mark in the promotion.