We're back with our coverage of action from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas as we see another UFC Fight Night hit the entertainment capital of the world. This next Prelim bout takes place in the Middleweight (185) Division as England's Christian Leroy Duncan will take on Brazil's Claudio Ribeiro. Check out our UFC odds series for our Duncan-Ribeiro prediction and pick.

Christian Leroy Duncan (9-1) comes into this fight with a 2-1 record in the UFC. After a tough unanimous decision loss to Armen Petrosyan, Duncan bounced back with a good win over Denis Tiuliulin as he stopped him in Round 2. We'll see if he can continue to build his prospect as he takes on another dangerous finisher. Duncan stands 6'2″ with a 79-inch reach.

Claudio Ribeiro (11-4) comes in with a 1-2 record in the UFC. After a stunning finish on Dana White's Contender Series, Ribeiro has won one fight by knockout and lost his other two the same way. Seeing a KO/TKO in each one of his fights so far, he'll be hoping to be on the right end of this one as a sizable betting underdog. Ribeiro stands 6'1″ with a 77-inch reach.

Here are the UFC Odds, courtesy of BetOnline. 

UFC Vegas 87 Odds: Christian Leroy Duncan-Claudio Ribeiro Odds

Christian Leroy Duncan: -305

Claudio Ribeiro: +255

Over 1.5 rounds: -115

Under 1.5 rounds: -115

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Why Christian Leroy Duncan Will Win

Christian Leroy Duncan was fed an extremely tough Armen Petrosyan in just his second UFC fight and it was clear why he suffered his first loss so early into his stint. The bad luck continued as his last opponent, Cesar Almeida pulled out of their last fight, forcing Duncan to face an even tougher fighter in Denis Tiuliulin. He adapted well and showed a very improved striking game in the cage. While he comes from a kickboxing background, he was really able to dial-in his distance control and land shots accurately throughout his last fight.

The biggest key for Duncan here will be to avoid the barrage of strikes out of Ribeiro. He tends to load up his energy and bursts at opponents with a flurry of combinations, so Duncan will have to weather an initial storm to eventually break Ribeiro. His opponent has also never seen a decision in the UFC, so Duncan could see success from wearing him down with body strikes and being the fresher, more active fighter should we see a third round.

Why Claudio Ribeiro Will Win

Claudio Ribeiro fights like a mad man and of his 15 career fights, just one has seen the distance in a fight he lost. He also has one submission loss on his record with no submission wins. So, that means just about all of his fights end in knockout and as far as the UFC goes, he's been on the wrong side of most of them. His defense will need to see improvement if he wants to save his chin and extend this fight, but expect Claudio Ribeiro to fight the only way he knows how to as he tries to finish this one on the feet.

Ribeiro has tremendous power in his punches and can easily knock out Duncan if he finds his chin clean. However, he tends to swing big and over-extend himself when he misses. To have success against a precise kickboxer like Duncan, Ribeiro will have to keep his shots tight and he defensive guard constantly up. He'll only have a chance here if we see a more patient version of himself on Saturday.

Final Christian Leroy Duncan-Claudio Ribeiro Prediction & Pick

This fight is an exciting one to have so early on the Prelims and given the striking skills of both fighters, we should see a fun back-and-forth exchange on the feet. 14 of Claudio Ribeiro's 15 fights have ended in KO/TKO – it's safe to assume this fight will end in similar fashion whether he's on the right side of it or not.

Christian Leroy Duncan will certainly be the better striker during this fight and while he'll only have a small advantage in height and reach, he fights in a much taller stance and has more leverage behind his shots. His jab has been working wonders for him in the UFC, so expect him to stick Ribeiro with it as he tries to close the distance.

Claudio Ribeiro will have a puncher's chance throughout this whole fight and while he's the bigger underdog, he still packs the bigger punch of the two. His defense isn't anything special and it's gotten him caught in previous fights – he'll need to tighten things up and focus more on his guard as he looks for counter shots to win this fight.

Ultimately, I think Christian Leroy Duncan will win this fight as long as he can keep Ribeiro at distance and find his strikes. He's the much more accurate striker and he should be able to find a knockout win here.

Click here for more betting news and predictions

Final Christian Leroy Duncan-Claudio Ribeiro Prediction & Pick: Christian Leroy Duncan (-305); Wins by KO/TKO (-120)