Former Ultimate Fighter contestant, Tresean “Mr. Vicious” Gore is 28 years old and has a 3-1 professional MMA record. He lost his UFC debut via decision to fellow former TUF contestant Bryan Battle. Cody Brundage, also 28, is 7-2 as a professional and is 1-1 in the UFC. His loss was a decision and his sole win was a first-round submission.
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Gore vs. Brundage will feature on the UFC Vegas 58 preliminary card this weekend.
Gore and Brundage opened at pick’em odds, but money has steadily come in on Gore, making him a slight favorite.
Gore has all the natural striking talent in the world, but, likely because he is still so young and inexperienced, he has noticeable flaws in his overall game. “Mr. Vicious” has vicious speed and power while kickboxing. He typically stands orthodox but will, at times, switch stances. Regardless of the stance, Gore has devastating power from his straight cross, and his kicks are not telegraphed shots that can land in the blink of an eye. He is typically a forward-moving counter striker who likes to stand with a tall Muay Thai stance, slowly walk forward to pin his opponent against the cage, then unload an explosive power shot.
This is where Gore’s issues begin. Blindly walking forward without striking leaves him vulnerable to shots coming back his way or opponents wrestling. He does keep a high guard, has basic but athletic footwork, and has solid takedown defense that relies on his natural strength but is still effective. Once Gore gets the fight where he wants it, he can end it instantaneously; however, he typically only throws 1 or 2 shots at a time and then doesn’t have a follow-up approach if his opponent remains standing. Gore’s unwillingness to throw in combination was most evident in his last fight and sole loss, when his opponent, Bryan Battle, was able to withstand the single power shots and return in combination. Gore seemed almost surprised at times when Battle didn’t hit the canvas after Gore landed cleanly. Bottom line, Gore is supremely talented but equally inexperienced. Assuming he continues to grow, Gore’s striking, coupled with his natural speed and strength, make him a dangerous matchup for many.
Brundage is an ex-collegiate wrestler who brings a similar style and mentality into the octagon. When he’s at his best, Brundage is shooting takedown after takedown, overwhelming opponents with aggression and persistence. Brundage has excellent cardio and a true one-track mindset that is helpful in wrestling: get the takedown. The issue, for Brundage, has been actually securing the takedown. He has the ability to shoot several times in a fight, but actually finishing the takedown has proven challenging. He has a 25% takedown accuracy, and more concerning is the positions he ends up in while shooting for takedowns.
On Dana White’s Contender Series, Brundage landed a takedown and racked up a couple of minutes of control time. Then, when his opponent stood up, he went for another takedown. Like many wrestlers turned mixed martial artists, Brundage stayed in too long on his takedown attempt; his opponent was able to stuff the shot and rain down elbows to Brundage’s exposed head. A similar situation happened in his only UFC win. Brundage was getting outwrestled, was put in a compromising position, and pulled guard into a guillotine. The move worked for a submission win, but Brundage took a massive risk that could have gone poorly. These two examples demonstrate that Brundage’s wrestling has yet to translate into the octagon.
Gore is bigger, faster, stronger, and lightyears ahead of Brundage on the feet. Furthermore, Brundage likes to take liberties while striking and often leaves his chin exposed. Then, if he tries to wrestle, Gore has the athleticism and strength to stuff Brundage’s shots. I like Gore a lot here, to win and to win quickly.
Prediction: Gore by knockout (+225 odds at MyBookie)
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.