|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|08-17-19||Raphael Assuncao v. Cory Sandhagen -210||Top||0-1||Win||100||11 h 34 m||Show|
6* Cory Sandhagen (9:00 ET): This fight takes place at bantamweight (135 lbs) and is scheduled for three rounds. You can watch for free as part of the prelims on ESPN. Honestly, I'm shocked that Rafael Assuncao is still around as his best days are clearly behind him. I'm apparently not alone in the sentiment as his opponent, Cory Sandhagen, has seen a huge odds move in his favor for this fight. Sanhagen seemingly has all the "momentum" (still hate that word!) coming into this one as he's 4-0 in UFC while Assuncao is off a loss to Marlon Moraes back in February. Sandhagen should win easily.
Sandhagen is 11-1 overall and like I just said, 4-0 since joining the UFC. He's shown clear improvement from fight to fight with a win over John Lineker, ironically a split decision, arguably being the most impressive. In that fight, Sandhagen remained aggressive, but was not as reckless as some perceived he was in previous bouts. He is a big bantamweight, which works to his advantage. That aggressiveness should also work to his advantage here against the often passive Assuncao.
Assuncao lost by submission in the first round of his last fight. It was his first time being stopped since 2011 and a clear sign that his best days are behind him. Now in the previous seven years, he'd lost only one time (to TJ Dillashaw), but virtually every win was by decision and three of those were split. I think Sadhagen dictates the style and pace of this fight and likely finishes Assuncao all is said and done. 6* Cory Sandhagen
|08-03-19||Gerald Meerschaert v. Trevin Giles -160||Top||1-0||Loss||-160||17 h 51 m||Show|
7* Trevin Giles (2:35 ET): Giles has garnered much buzz for this fight, which takes place at 185 lbs and is set for three rounds. He's off a disappointing loss his last time out, the first of his career, to Zak Cummings. It was Giles' first fight in over a year as he decided to take 2018 off in order to become a police officer. Noble cause, but Giles definitely looked sluggish in his return to the Octagon as he was eventually stopped in the third round, losing by submission (guillotine choke). Lest we forget the 11-0 start to his pro career however and I'll call for a bounce back here.
Gerald Meerschaert is a veteran of the fighting game as this will be his 40th pro fight! He enters w/ a 28-11 career record and it wasn't until his 34th fight that the UFC signed him. He's only 4-3 under the UFC banner and has dropped B2B fights, first losing to Jack Hermansson by submission in December of '18, then to Kevin Holland via split decision in March. Looking back through his resume, it becomes pretty obvious that Meerschaert struggles w/ "explosive" type fighters. Well, Giles happens to be pretty explosive.
No, Giles is not the greatest defensive fighter in the world. But that shouldn't matter here against a more plodding opponent that can't take advantage. I think Giles is going to be out to prove himself after tasting defeat for the 1st time and Meerschaert is in the wrong place, at the wrong time. 7* Trevin Giles
|07-20-19||Sam Alvey v. Klidson Abreu -165||Top||0-1||Win||100||20 h 3 m||Show|
8* Klidson de Abreu (7:35 ET): UFC on ESPN 4 eminates from San Antonio and this is a three-round fight on the undercard, at Light Heavyweight (205 lbs), which can be seen on ESPN. Both de Abreu and his opponent here, Sam Alvey, are former Middlweights. But the move up a weight class has not really panned out the way Alvey had hoped as he's still too low and not nearly strong enough to overpower his opponents. Back to back TKO losses hardly inspire any confidence at this point and thus I'm taking de Abreu to get his hand raised here.
Now Abreu isn't exactly on a hot streak either here. He lost his last time out, via unanimous decision, to Magomed Ankalaev. That was back in February, the same month that Alvey last fought. It was Abreu's UFC debut as he'd come into the promotion on a six-fight win streak. At this stage of the game, I think he's got far more left in the tank compared to Alvey, who has already tasted defeat 12 times in his career.
Abreu should try and get this fight on the ground where his BJJ background will give him the advantage. I think he does just that and earns his first victory inside the Octagon. 8* Klidson de Abreu
|07-13-19||Aspen Ladd -140 v. Germaine de Randamie||Top||0-1||Loss||-140||12 h 22 m||Show|
8* Aspen Ladd (11:59 ET): This is the main event of the evening, a women's bantamweight (145 lbs) fight scheduled for five rounds. Ladd comes in undefeated (8-0) and is poised to emerge as the top contender for the title at 145 lbs, a belt once held by her opponent, Germaine de Randamie. So far, the odds on Ladd have moved considerably and looking back at her last several fights, it's easy to understand why. Not only is she unbeaten, but six of her eight wins have come via stoppage. This one shouldn't make it to the cards either, but regardless if it does or not, I'm hitching my wagon to a Ladd win.
De Randamie was once the champ at 145 lbs and never actually lost the belt. After beating Holly Holm to win the title, de Randamie elected to vacate rather than fight Cris 'Cyborg' Santos as she was dealing w/ a hand injury at the time. Her only fight in the last 28 months came in November and was a decision victory over Raquel Pennington. While her last loss came all the way back in 2013 (Amanda Nunes), that's a little misleading seeing as she's fought all of six times in the last six years. I think it's fair to question just how motivated she is at this point to get back to top contender status.
Styles make fights and de Randamie doesn't exactly have the most exciting style. Ladd doesn't exactly have a defined style of fighting, but she has shown an aggressive side that should hopefully show here and lead to her controlling the fight from start to end. Ladd does probably take too much punishment at times, but unless she were to fall victim to some sort of shocking knockout here, she is likely to overpower her weaker opponent and grind out a ninth straight victory to open here pro career. 8* Aspen Ladd
|07-06-19||Jan Blachowicz v. Luke Rockhold -222||Top||1-0||Loss||-222||54 h 27 m||Show|
7* Luke Rockhold (10:35 ET): This is a Light Heavyweight bout (205 lbs), set for three rounds in Vegas Saturday night. It pits Rockhold, the former champion at 185 lbs (Middleweight), against the very inconsistent Polish fighter Jan Blachowicz. Rockhold's chin has become the center of debate since losing the MW title in shocking fashion to Michael Bisping three years ago. He was KO'd in his last fight, which took place some 18 months ago, by Yoel Romero. But in between the two losses, he did stop David Branch in a headline fight. I believe Rockhold still has a lot left in the tank.
At one point, Blachowicz had lost four of five fights in the UFC. He was able to turn things around w/ four straight victories, but finds himself off a loss to Thiago Santos, who will be headlining this card against Jon Jones. He was TKO'd by Santos back in February, which was just the third time he'd been stopped in 32 career fights and the first in almost eight years. It was also his first ever loss by TKO or KO. So maybe his chin is a concern here too.
This is Rockhold's debut at 205, so the former titlist will have something to prove. The change in weight class has been expected for awhile now. Rockhold was considered "big" for a MW, an advantage that's now gone at LHW, having been out for so long, he's had adequate time to prepare. I believe the price is selling Rockhold short, believe it or not, and will call for him to get his hand raised in this one. 7* Luke Rockhold
|06-29-19||Jussier Formiga v. Joseph Benavidez -150||Top||0-1||Win||100||15 h 15 m||Show|
10* Joseph Benavidez (11:05 ET): This line has been bet down and I don't have the foggiest idea why. Benavidez has already beaten Jussier Formiga and did so in impressive fashion, a 1st round TKO at UFC Fight Night 28. Granted, that was nearly six years ago. But it's not like Benavidez has slowed down. Other than Demetrious Johnson, who beat him twice, only one time since 2010 has Benavidez tasted defeat. That was early last year to Sergio Pettis, a split decision loss which he's recovered from w/ convincing B2B victories. Overall, Benavidez is 8-1 his L9 fights.
Formiga isn't a bad fighter by any means. He even beat the aforementioned Pettis during a current four-fight win streak. But "styles make fights" and this is a bad matchup for Formiga. He is not the superior fighter here either on the ground or standing. The first fight w/ Benavidez was one-sided and lasted only 3:07. Perhaps this one is destined to go longer, but I still can't see Formiga winning.
This is a flyweight matchup, by the way, set for three rounds. The winner is likely in line for a title shot against champ Henry Cejudo. For Benavidez, the scenario sets up quite well as not only has he previously beaten Formiga, he also holds a win over Cejudo (before him becoming champ obviously). Benavidez has basically been "second best" at 125 lbs throughout his UFC career. He now has a very viable path to the top. Expect him to take full advantage. 10* Joseph Benavidez
|05-18-19||Megan Anderson -199 v. Felicia Spencer||Top||0-1||Loss||-199||25 h 51 m||Show|
6* Megan Anderson (10:00 ET): When discussing the UFC's deepest divisions, Women's Featherweight (145 lbs) isn't likely to come up, nor should it. The division nearly became extinct when Bantamweight Champ Amanda Nunes stepped up a weight class and destroyed Cris Cyborg late last year. Nunes is a double champ now (holds title in two divisions) and w/ her next fight scheduled at 135 lbs vs. Holly Holm on July 6, featherweight almost became an afterthought. Enter Megan Anderson.
Now it's not as if Anderson is some prized prospect nor is she immune from defeat. But w/ Cyborg out of the picture, she was the one "true" featherweight left on the roster, until some recent signings. The major weakness in her game, takedown defense, was exposed badly by Holm in a loss last summer. Then she got a little lucky to be awarded a TKO victory over Cat Zigano (eye injury) in December (same card Nunes KO's Cyborg). But by being a true featherweight, she's going to have a pretty significant edge over most opponents moving forward, including this one.
Felicia Spencer is unbeaten at 6-0, but her getting this opportunity speaks to the dearth of talent in this division. This will be her UFC debut after, ironically enough, succeeding Anderson as Invicta's Featherweight Champ. While her last fight did show she's willing to go to the ground, I think it's going to be harder to do that here than she realizes, even w/ takedown defense admittedly being a weak spot in Anderson's game. I think there's a good chance Spencer gets caught here and this fight ends rather quickly. Anderson has three first round TKO's in her career in addition to a massive edge in height and reach. 6* Megan Anderson
|05-11-19||Luana Carolina -162 v. Priscila Cachoeira||Top||1-0||Win||100||30 h 19 m||Show|
8* Luana Carolina (6:00 ET): This is a three round women's fight at flyweight (125 lbs). The fight takes place as part of the "early prelims," available only on UFC's Fight Pass. Whether or not you are able to watch this one, rest assured it's a solid investment. While still somewhat untested, Carolina has drawn an easy foe here, one whose aggressive nature often makes for an entertaining fight, but also more often than not ends in defeat. Look for Carolina to take advantage and improve to 6-1 in her MMA career.
Priscila Cachoeira, like Carolina, is Brazilian born. So there will be no "home field advantage" here. However, in terms of the question of "momentum" (still a word I hate!), there's no denying which woman has it coming into this fight. Cachoeira is off B2B losses, one of them a terrible matchup w/ Valentina Shevchenko that ended in submission. The last time we saw her was March when she dropped a decision to Molly McCann. That was an exciting fight, but Cachoeira's poor defense is what cost her in the eyes of the judges. That should be a problem again here.
Carolina is stepping up to the "big time" here, fighting in front of a pay per view audience for the very first time. Her only previous fight under the UFC banner came as part of Dana White's Brazilian Contender Series back in August of last year. She won a unanimous decision for a fifth straight win. Her only career loss came via split decision in her very first professional fight. This is a total mismatch in my eyes with the up and coming Carolina looking to make a statement. 8* Luana Carolina
|05-04-19||Merab Dvalishvili -175 v. Brad Katona||Top||1-0||Win||100||24 h 0 m||Show|
6* Merab Dvalishavili (10:05 ET): This is a three round fight at bantamweight (135 lbs). After suffering B2B losses to open his UFC career, Dvalishavili finally broke through w/ a win his last time out. It came via unanimous decision over Terrion Ware back in September. Quite frankly, his 1-2 UFC mark (8-4 overall) is a little misleading in the sense that he easily could be 3-0. One of the losses was by split decision. The other was a highly questionable submission call by the referee as the final gun sounded.
Brad Katona is unbeaten (8-0) and won "The Ultimate Fighter" (Season 27), which wasn't exactly the strongest season of the reality show. Give him credit though as he deserved to win. He followed that up by winning another unanimous decision victory over Matthew Lopez in December. But with only eight professional fights under his belt and only three wins by stoppage (just one coming in the L6 fights), question marks still abound concerning "Superman."
Look for Dvalishavili to control the pace of this fight. Katona's last opponent did an okay job of that at the outset, before eventually gassing. That won't happen w/ Dvalishavili. Katona's wrestling will not be enough by itself to defeat this particular opponent. Look for him to lose for the very first time as Dvalishavili's luck continues to turn for the better. 6* Merab Dvalishavili
|05-04-19||Andrew Sanchez -169 v. Marc-Andre Barriault||Top||1-0||Win||100||23 h 2 m||Show|
6* Andrew Sanchez (9:05 ET): This is a three-round fight at 185 lbs (middleweight). Sanchez, the winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 23, has a lot to prove here. When he won the show (at 205 lbs), "El Dirte" looked like a top prospect. But stamina has been an issue for him. 2017 saw him "gas" late in a pair of losses to Anthony Smith and Ryan Janes, both coming via third round stoppage.
The loss to Smith now looks excusable, but the one to Janes was a downright embarrassing effort for a once-hyped prospect. Fortunately, Sanchez did bounce back in his lone fight of 2018, a decision win over Markus Perez. At middleweight, Sanchez's cardio should be less of an issue and I see him grinding out a victory here.
Barriault is from Canada (Quebec), so he'll likely have the crowd on his side here. But he'll need it as this is his UFC debut. He fought well at a lower level, going 11-1 w/ the lone loss coming via split decision. He's on an eight fight win streak. but this is a big step in class for Barriault. It's also not a great matchup. When Sanchez is at his best, he's controlling his opponent w/ wrestling. Barriault's weakness happens to be defending wrestling. 6* Andrew Sanchez
|04-27-19||Andrei Arlovski v. Augusto Sakai -139||Top||0-1||Win||100||9 h 49 m||Show|
8* Augusto Sakai (8:00 ET): I'm going w/ Sakai to win this three-round right as Andrei Arlovski's best days are obviously well behind him. The former UFC Heavyweight Champ is just 2-7-1 his L10 fights and you'd have to go all the way back to him defeating Travis Browne in May of 2015 (TKO) to find the last time he stopped anybody. Really, the opportunity to simply fade Arlovski at this point of his career is enough justification for a play here. But I also happen to like Sakai a lot as well!
Sakai is 27 years old (13 years younger than Arlovski) and is 12-1-1 w/ that lone loss coming via split decision to Cheick Kongo in Bellator. Sakai's UFC debut, which was September of last year, was quite impressive as he stopped Chase Sherman via Rd 3 TKO in a fight he was already dominating. That makes it three straight TKO victories for the Challenger Series alum. Ten of his 12 victories have come by TKO.
I seriously doubt this one will get to the cards either, which should be a theme throughout UFC Fight Night 150 here on ESPN. Sakai is just going to be too strong for Arlovski to overcome in any kind of wrestling or clinch situations and Arlovski simply doesn't have the ability to finish fights anymore. This is a really low price on a superior, up and coming fighter. 8* August Sakai
|04-14-19||Dustin Poirier v. Max Holloway -200||Top||1-0||Loss||-200||17 h 50 m||Show|
6* Max Holloway (11:59 ET): This is a five-round fight for the interim lightweight title (155 lbs). It should be an easy win for the favorite, Max Holloway, who is looking to avenge a loss in his first UFC fight ever. But, seven years later, it's pretty clear that he's the superior fighter now compared to Dustin Poirier. Holloway should win easy and a stoppage is quite likely.
Back in Feb 2012 (UFC 143), Poirier was able to defeat Holloway by dominating on the ground. But this is a much different Holloway as his takedown defense has improved exponentially. After losing to Conor McGregor in August of 2013, Holloway was just 3-3 in six UFC fights. But he hasn't lost since and brings a 13-fight win streak into tonight. All but three of those victories have come via stoppage and the last four have all been by TKO. He is the featherweight champion (145 lbs), so he's moving up a weight class here to compete for an interim title, but I feel it will be a seamless transition.
Poirier's best days are behind him. He too spent plenty of time fighting at featherweight, but has been competing at 155 since 2015. The irony of the win over Holloway back in 2012 is that Poirier demonstrated a kind of discipline you rarely see from him these days. With Holloway having much better takedown defense now, expect Poirier to get frustrated here, which will lead to mistakes. Standing, Holloway has a massive edge in this fight and that is where the majority of it will take place. 6* Max Holloway
|08-26-17||Conor McGregor v. Floyd Mayweather Jr||Top||3-5||Win||100||30 h 46 m||Show|
8* Floyd Mayweather (11:00 ET): Note that the bet here is for Mayweather to win inside of 12 rounds. This is one where I had to step in as a result of the ridiculous amt of public betting on the underdog McGregor. Yes, we're all constantly looking for that big "payday," but you might have had a better shot buying a bunch of Powerball tickets rather than firing on Conor McGregor here. This is a boxing match. Floyd Mayweather is arguably one of the greatest fighters in the history of that particular sport, certainly the best of his generation. McGregor has never boxed professionally in his career. He will not be able to employ any MMA tactics here. Rather, he's going to have to stand and attempt to trade punches w/ Mayweather. He doesn't stand a chance. I have Mayweather finishing McGregor inside of the 12 rounds, which is a far better value as opposed to simply taking him to win.
Reports are that McGregor's punching hardly would qualify him as a boxer. Yes, he's an accomplished mixed martial artist, but that's a totally different "game." I said earlier that Mayweather is the best of his generation and possibly all-time. You can't even say that about McGregor in MMA. He's an excellent hype man, the best ever possibly, but that's not going to help him once he gets in the ring. McGregor has lost three times in the Octagon, most recently to Nate Diaz in March of last year. Mayweather has never lost a boxing match in his career. The idea he would lose to a novice, even at 41 years of age, is just ludicrous.
Would you bet on a football team if Michael Jordan was the quarterback? I hope not. What I expect to see here is McGregor start disciplined, get frustrated, and then go swinging for the fences. That's not a winning strategy and will play right into the hands of Mayweather, who will be far more accurate here. Shockingly, McGregor is being priced lower than some of Mayweather's recent boxing opponents. That's ludicrous. Yes, his critics will point out that it's been a while since Floyd knocked out an opponent. But a KO isn't requred for a stoppage here, remember. He can simply pound McGregor into oblivion causing the referee to step in. That seems like a logical conclusion to a fight that I can't see going more than 10 rounds. With no kicking, no takedowns and no submissions, McGregor has no chance. 8* Floyd Mayweather
|05-03-15||Manny Pacquiao v. Floyd Mayweather Jr -175||Top||4-8||Win||100||15 h 8 m||Show|
6* Floyd Mayweather, Jr (11:55 ET): So here we are, the "Fight of the Century." Interest in Mayweather-Pacquiao will likely result in this being one of the biggest nights in Vegas history. I always intended to bet the fight, but the public's overwhelming support of the underdog Pacquiao has me all over Floyd Mayweather in this one. The price has now been driven below 2:1 on the favorite, which is a steal, in my opinion. My recommendation is to wait as long as possible to bet Mayweather to win here as the price will continue to go down before the two step in the ring late Saturday.
This just in: Floyd Mayweather has never lost a fight in his professional career. He comes in at 47-0 w/ 26 KO's. While most don't think of him as a knockout artist, his KO percentage of 55% is roughly equivalent to that of Pacquiao, who is at 59% in his career. Interestingly, Pacquiao has not won a fight via the knockout since 2009. Mayweather last knocked out a fighter (Victor Ortiz) back in 2011. Yes, Pacquiao is expected to be the more "active" fighter here, but Mayweather is the best defensive fighter of his generation. Mayweather's connect percentage of 43% is #1 amongst all active fighters (Pacquiao is at 35%, which ranks 11th). Mayweather is also #1 among all active fighters in terms of percentage of power punches landed at a whopping 50 percent.
While Mayweather comes in unbeaten, Pacquiao has five losses on his career resume, two of those coming since 2012. One of those was a highly controversial decision to Timothy Bradley, which he later avenged, but note he was also knocked out in the 6th round by Juan Manuel Marquez, who Mayweather easily beat three years earlier. There's a prevailing wisdom that this fight is going to go to the scorecards and if it does, then expect Mayweather to be the victor. He's lost on a judge's scorecard just once in his entire career (against De La Hoya and shame on that judge). The one time Mayweather suffered a "knockdown" in his career came all the way back in '01 & that was only b/c his glove touched the canvas. The line for this fight opened closer to 3:1 in favor of Mayweather, so there is value in betting the favorite in this situation. 6* Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
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