UFC 180 Werdum vs Hunt Post-Fight & Bet Pack Review
UFC 180 wasn’t stacked top to bottom, but still produced a pretty decent night of action with only 1 of he main card bouts making it out of the first frame. We have a new interim-Heavyweight champion- the fighter that most expected it to be, but in a manner that few anticipated. We also saw the passing of the guard in the Welterweight division and a former title challenger holding onto his spot in the upper echelon of the division. Mexico City’s first UFC experience can be deemed a success and overall there was a tonne of MMA outside of the Octagon that we will take a quick look at too.
Marco Beltran’s hometown decision
Marco Beltran took a unanimous decision to start the card in an upset of Marlon Vera. Beltran took the first round, but was clearly in the greater danger during the second frame, getting his back taken followed by a couple close RNC attempts. Beltran rallied and got the better position for the final 2 minutes of the frame, but did far less with it. Vera clearly took round 3, but was unable to finish and lost the decision. We have heard so many times “don’t leave it to the judges”, but honestly they have a job to do and fighters, fans, and everyone else involved should be able to rely on them to get it right. Unfortunately they got it wrong here.
TUF Latin American Finals
The Bantamweight final had its moments with Alejandro Perez taking the title, but was marred by the intentional head butt delivered by José Alberto Quiñonez in the third frame that cost him 2 points.* It appeared he was on his way to defeat prior to foul, but this clearly sealed the outcome.
*Joe made the comment that he had never seen 2 points deducted at one time, but at UFC 143 Alex Caceres was stripped of a pair of points by Herb Dean after landing multiple low blows against Edwin Figueroa.
Yair Rodríguez took the Featherweight TUF title wining a clear decision over Leandro Morales by melding a nice mix of striking and grappling. Both men showed promise, especially Rodriguez, but until they start competing outside the real of their season of TUF its hard to get a legit feel for where they can go from here.
Eyes and Ears
Jessica Eye’s first official UFC win came via gruesome doctor stoppage TKO. After landing a shot to the ear of Leslie Smith that sent blood spurting into the air, Eye continued to target the injury into the second round appearing to tear open the cauliflowered ear. Herb Dean called for the doctor and the bout was eventually stopped much to the dismay of Smith. Eye picks up a big win in fight that was shaping up to be an entertaining one. It looked like Eye was winning the fight and will probably move on to another opponent but a rematch would be a fun affair.
For the fourth time in his career Dennis Bermudez was defeated by submission. For the first time in his UFC career an early knockdown cost him a fight. Bermudez has had a history of getting hurt early but rallying to take back the win. Ricardo Lamas had other ideas. After landing a stiff jab, Lamas sprung on Bermudez’s neck and forced the tap shortly thereafter. Lamas is now 2-0 since failing to dethrone Jose Aldo. He may never get another shot at the Brazilian, but if he can continue to pick up wins like this one and Aldo’s title run comes to an end he could find himself in the conversation again. For Bermudez, it is back to the drawing board after his bid to legitimize his title shot aspirations get quickly snuffed out.
Changing of the Guard
In my Bet Pack breakdown I likened Jake Ellenberger to Jim Miller. He has been at the top of the division or at least close to it for a significant amount of time, but both Jake and Miller have been unable to get that signature win that translated to a shot at the title. With this loss Jake can unfortunately put those hopes to bed.
On the flip side Kelvin Gastelum looked very good. He landed some big shots, ate some big ones in return, and took Ellenberger down. The finishing sequence was well played out as Kelvin simply continued to work and turned a bad position into a good one. With this win his stock rises significantly and a shot at another top 10 opponent is on the horizon for this very young and improving fighter.
A Champion is crowned…sort of
Frabricio Werdum by knockout!?!??!? Who would pick that finish? In my prediction I took the obvious route of Werdum by sub, but in the pack posted below I promoted betting on Werdum by knockout. It paid well and I felt there was real potential for it to come through in a multitude of different ways. Werdum didn’t look great, until the finish, but the end result is that he will eventually battle Cain Velasquez to unify the titles. If Cain can’t return we could see Werdum defend his interim-title before that happens, potentially against the winner of Stipe Miocic/JDS. If JDS wins that bout, the UFC main go in a different direction considering JDS already has a win over Fabricio and JDS vs Velasquez IV needs a lot more time before we see that again, if ever.
The Cinderella story for Mark Hunt came to an abrupt end after a very strong round 1. Hunt connected on some nice shots and took Werdum down, which considering how willing Fabricio is to work off is back, isn’t all that impressive. If Hunt could have landed a few more big shots in the opening frame we could have had a different story, but it wasn’t mean to be. With the division so shallow a few wins for the Big Samoan will get him right back into the conversation.
Outside the Octagon
There were two other events going on during this very busy Saturday night in MMA.
WSOF of Fighting tried to headline their card with a triple header of title fights. Unfortunately Melvin Guillard failed to make weight which relegated his fight with Justin Gaethje to a 3 round non-title contest. Gaethje took a 3 round split decision, but the damage he did in the final round to Guillard’s lead leg was a clear indication that he was on route to victory if it was a championship bout. In the main event, David Branch pulled off a significant upset with a stoppage win over Yushin Okami. Okami, was a heavy favourite but Branch was able to retain his title after a fairly close fight.
Bellator 131 also went down featuring Tito Ortiz defeating Stephan Bonnar by split decision. The bout wasn’t that great, but both have names and will probably continue to fight at the top of future cards. Tito will fight for the title soon, mark my words.
Will Brooks removed the interim heading and became the promotion’s undisputed champ with a odd TKO finish. Both looked good, it is time for some new blood to enter the title picture.
Melvin Manhoef nearly won and then he didn’t.
Mike Richman looked impressive in a very quick starching of Nam Phan.
King Mo took home an expected win, don’t be shocked to see Lawal vs Bonnar if Stephan opts to stick around.
I liked the intros, WWE style, it brings a new element that the UFC doesn’t use.
The British invasion card looks fun.
Overall, I finished 7-4 on the fight, but I probably should have been 8-3 with the opening fight’s questionable decision working against me. This was a tough card to be with all of the debuting fighters, hence the 50% discount, but I did pick up some cash on the Werdum knockout and had a number of near misses. Take a look at the pack below for the full details.
=================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: DENNIS BERMUDEZ to Win by Decision $2.50 =================================================== Price: $2.50 x Bet: $100 Payout: $250 =================================================== Parlay #2 =================================================== Selection 1: JESSICA EYE $1.43 Selection 2: DENNIS BERMUDEZ $1.59 Selection 3: KELVIN GASTELUM $1.52 Selection 4: JOSE QUINONEZ $1.46 =================================================== Price: $5.05 x Bet: $100 Payout: $505 =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: FABRICIO WERDUM to Win by TKO/KO/DQ $5.50 =================================================== Price: $5.50 x Bet: $100 Payout: $550 =================================================== Parlay #2 =================================================== Selection 1: KELVIN GASTELUM to Win by Decision $2.63 Selection 2: HENRY BRIONES $1.87 Selection 3: EDGAR GARCIA $1.53 Selection 4: JESSICA EYE $1.43 =================================================== Price: $10.77 x Bet: $100 Payout: $1077 =================================================== Parlay #3 =================================================== Selection 1: YAIR RODRIGUEZ $1.62 Selection 2: AUGUSTO MONTANO $1.48 Selection 3: JOSE QUINONEZ $1.46 Selection 4: GUIDO CANNETTI/ HENRY BRIONES Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.81 =================================================== Price: $6.34 x Bet: $100 Payout: $634 =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: EDGAR GARCIA/ HECTOR URBINA Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.78 Selection 2: HENRY BRIONES $1.87 Selection 3: DENNIS BERMUDEZ to Win by Decision $2.50 Selection 4: LEONARDO MORALES/ YAIR RODRIGUEZ Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.71 =================================================== Price: $14.23 Bet: $100 Payout: $1423 =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: FABRICIO WERDUM to Win by TKO/KO/DQ $5.50 Selection 2: KELVIN GASTELUM to Win by Decision $2.63 Selection 3: DENNIS BERMUDEZ to Win by Decision $2.50 Selection 4: JESSICA EYE $1.43 =================================================== Price: $51.72 x Bet: $100 Payout: $5172
Individual Fight Betting Breakdowns
MARLON VERA $1.40 vs MARCO BELTRAN $3.35
If you are a regular follower of my work you can probably predict how these early fight breakdowns are going to go. Vera seems like the more accomplished and capable fighter, but honestly I can’t promote betting on a favourite who is debuting out of such uncertainty.
GUIDO CANNETTI $2.08 vs HENRY BRIONES $1.87
This is much more workable as far as the odds are concerned. Guido could catch Briones in an early rush, but his defensive liabilities are too great. I expect he will either get countered and knocked out as he was in the semis or he will routinely be put on his back and spend too much time there to take a decision. Additionally, his aggressive style of pushing the pace will be tough to continue under the conditions and I expect him to gas out if the bout goes beyond the opening round and a half. Both guys are debuting and it is awful difficult to anticipate how they will perform, so I think a parlay leg in the Silver section best suits Briones.
GABRIEL BENITEZ $1.29 vs HUMBERTO BROWN $4.25
I am on Benitez, but there is just no incentive here to play the money line. I will take a look at the Over/Under and see where it stands.
ALEJANDRO PEREZ $3.00 vs JOSE QUINONEZ $1.46
These two have already fought once and recently. The stage is bigger and the stakes far greater but I still like Quinonez to take the ‘W’. I actually didn’t realize that these two had fought prior to finalizing my prediction and it was quite rewarding to see that the bout played out very similar to what I expected. Quinonez was carrying the action and mixing up his wrestling and striking effectively to outwork Perez on route to a decision. While this could change and improvements have been made on both sides I still like Jose. Keep in mind he was fighting in just his 2nd pro bout when they first met and has now doubled his experience not to mention the time spent on the show. Quinonez takes it again and I feel good enough about him to slip him into a Gold parlay.
LEONARDO MORALES $2.53 vs YAIR RODRIGUEZ $1.62
I have seen mixed reviews on this fight with predictors on both side of the fence. I like Rodriguez here, but I see Morales having some upside here. Either way this should be a very entertaining fight. Price-wise Yair is playable. He is a capable striker and will have the crowd behind him which helps. I would love to see this line creep a little bit closer, but I will take Yair to keep Mexico dominant. I think a Silver parlay is the way to go.
JESSICA EYE $1.43 vs LESLIE SMITH $3.17
I took Smith to upend Duke and that played nicely. I have been on the opposite side of Eye in each of her two bouts. The loss to Kaufman was brutal because a) I felt that Kaufman won rounds 2 & 3 handily, b) it was one of my key bets on that card and cost me some significant cash and c) the fight was overturned after the fact which doesn’t hold water with the books. Smith had trouble with the work rate of Kaufman. While Eye doesn’t have the power, her hand speed and equally as rapid pace will create similar issues. At $1.43 ‘Evil’ is playable and makes the cut for a Gold Parlay bet.
EDGAR GARCIA $1.53 vs HECTOR URBINA $2.74
Urbina didn’t look very strong on the show and Garcia struggled to an 0-2 record in his first UFC run. While many felt he won his debut and he is 7-1 since getting cut (against some questionable comp) being of Mexican descent is what got both guys a shot at the show. Garcia looks to be the more capable striker and Urbina’s wild style will cost him his cardio at this altitude. I also expect to see Garcia score a few takedowns which will further tire out Urbina. I will play Garcia in a parlay in he Gold package. These two fighters have a little more air of certainty surrounding them the pretty much the entire TUF cast so I like the play.
AUGUSTO MONTANO $1.48 vs CHRIS HEATHERLY $2.92
Montano will be the crowd favourite here and I simply not sold on Heatherly. He has some workable attributes, but I don’t see him fairing well in this environment. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him score a couple early takedowns and even win the first round, but after that he will slow down and his more acclimatized opponent will take over the fight. I have made a lot of the altitude and how it will impact these fights but Mexico City is 520m higher then Denver. I have read that it can take more then a year for your body to properly adjust to the thinner air and most foreigners will struggle once the action picks up. Additionally, with the UFC looking to expand into Mexico they won’t be too eager to line up Mexican fighters with bouts that they can’t win. Locals roll, so does Montano. I will play him in the Silver section though as he is making his debut and there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding how he will fair.
DENNIS BERMUDEZ $1.59 vs RICARDO LAMAS $2.67
I took Lamas to upset Erik Koch and took him again to defeat Hacran Dias but to be honest I didn’t feel that he looked that good in either fight. Until Koch slipped and gave up the first takedown Lamas was really struggling to mount much offense. He was getting the worst of it in the first round versus Cub and didn’t show me that much in a very close battle with Dias. Bermudez has been rolling and is building to an opportunity that has already passed Lamas by. Not too many people are clamouring to see Aldo/ Lamas 2 and unless someone upsets the champ and Ricardo goes on a serious tear we won’t. That makes it very hard to stay motivated, especially in the face of someone who is still looking for their shot. The post-title fight letdown is a real thing. Bermudez has the wrestling to trouble Lamas or at the very least shut him down and the striking to control the fight on the feet. I am concerned with DB’s proclivity to getting hurt, but I can’t bank on that enough to back Lamas. I will take Bermudez here, play him as a Gold parlay leg.
JAKE ELLENBERGER $2.77 vs KELVIN GASTELUM $1.52
Another big step for Gastelum. It is crazy how quickly he climbed the ranks moving from TUF underdog and I believe the last pick of the litter to favourite over the likes of Rick Story and Jake Ellenberger. For Jake, he seems like the Jim Miller of the Welterweights. He has been near the top of the division for a long time now. He strings some wins together, but just can’t get over the hump and grabbed that elusive title shot. Neither man probably ever get there now. Its commendable how long fighters like Jake and Jim have held on, but now they are starting to slip and younger fighters are starting to pass them by. We have seen ‘rising stars’ get halted (at least temporarily) Story over Nelson comes to mind. I think Ellenberger can give him a good fight, but his difficulties with pressure, tendency to freeze up and not pull the trigger, and finally a potentially faltering chin are all exploitable by KG. I am looking at a prop bet here for this fight, but I like Gastelum to get his hand raised here. With a lack of familiarity with the majority of the card I will use this as a parlay leg.
FABRICIO WERDUM $1.26 vs MARK HUNT $4.65
What a wonderful story Mark Hunt is. Unfortunately, it will come to a crashing end in Mexico City. You can’t blame a guy for taking the opportunity as he is only 2 consecutive losses away from being an afterthought, especially at his age. Werdum is a more winnable fight for him then Cain represents. If Fabricio can’t get this fight to the mat throws these odds out the window. Werdum is dominant on the mat if he gets it there. Hunt is a massive threat on the feet, but the talent gap striking is significantly closer then then on the mat. All things consider, this fight will be decided by conditioning, specifically Hunts. Yes he is still dangerous when tired, but considering how much weight he had to cut for the Nelson fight, the short notice he took this fight on, and the even higher altitude that this bout will be contested at then the one he fought at UFC 135 in Denver where he gassed incredibly hard he is going to be hard pressed to win this fight if it goes beyond the opening frame. I’m not to excited to play this fight straight up, but Werdum by submission could work. Werdum by knockout might also be a possibility if the odds are right.
Whole Event Confidence Bets Ranking (1- Most Confident to Win outright)
1. FABRICIO WERDUM $1.26
2. JESSICA EYE $1.43
3. DENNIS BERMUDEZ $1.59
4. KELVIN GASTELUM $1.52
5. JOSE QUINONEZ $1.46
6. EDGAR GARCIA $1.53
7. MARLON VERA $1.40
8. GABRIEL BENITEZ $1.29
9. AUGUSTO MONTANO $1.48
10. HENRY BRIONES $1.87
11. YAIR RODRIGUEZ $1.62
Top Value Bets (1- Greatest Value based on Betting odds & Ability to Win)
|1.||DENNIS BERMUDEZ to Win by Decision||$2.50||This is the first card in a while that I haven’t taken an upset and the favourites aren’t exactly paying out in spades. Bermudez pushes the pace, Lamas hangs on, judges are needed.|
|2.||FABRICIO WERDUM to Win by TKO/KO/DQ||$5.50||Werdum locking on a submission is likely, that is what pushes this one so high.|
|3.||KELVIN GASTELUM to Win by Decision||$2.63||I nearly took this fight to end via knockout, but I think Ellenberger is more then capable of surviving the full 3 rounds as long as he doesn’t get too confident.|
|4.||HENRY BRIONES||$1.87||The highest paying of all my straight up picks, I have a few concerns here, but I think he has the skills to exploit the shortcomings of his opponent.|
The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.
- Even on a good night I don’t anticipate winning every fight on this list, realistically 2-3 correct picks would be considered a successful event.
- I do not recommend backing every fighter listed, these are just suggestions where the greatest betting value on the card lies, it is up to you to make the decision where to invest your money.
Top Counter Bets (1- Greatest Value based on Betting odds & Ability to Win)
|1.||JAKE ELLENBERGER||$2.77||If the TUF champ doesn’t show up here or isn’t ready for this level of comp then Jake will exploit it. I could consider a small bet here if you are not sold of Kelvin.|
The Value list for Counter Bets is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win. These 5 fighters are the best betting options available of all of the fighters that I predicted to lose and although I fully endorse my own predicted winner I feel that giving this type of information is only fair to my followers as it gives them further insight into my opinion on each match-up.
Some people might question the use of one fighter in a parlay and the other (an underdog) in a straight up bet, but here is my logic.
Scenario: the Fav is in a 3 fighter parlay and it pays $5 x your bet of $30 and the dog pays $3.50 x your bet of $10.
The underdog single bet offers a nice safety net. If he wins then you bet a total of $40 and won $35, your losses are minimal. If your parlay wins then you bet $40 and won $150, so it is still a decent profit line.
There is the possibility that you might not win either bet, but having an “insurance” style bet can keep you from going broke a lot of nights.
MARLON VERA/ MARCO BELTRAN Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.69- Beltran has been finished in each of his last 3 fights. There is always the potential that these guys take a conservative approach but I think that atmosphere is conducive to the unders.
GUIDO CANNETTI/ HENRY BRIONES Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.81- Either Cannetti catches him with his hands down or Briones drops him with a well timed counter. I think that this fight has great potential to go under.
GABRIEL BENITEZ/ HUMBERTO BROWN Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.63- This bout could very well go under based on their previous win totals, but the focus of both men on taking this fight to the mat will send it into the second round and the over.
JESSICA EYE/ LESLIE SMITH Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.45- Both girls have seen the majority of their fights go to the scorecards. Smith is the more likely of the two to pull off the finish, but I think Eye takes it on the cards.
LEONARDO MORALES/ YAIR RODRIGUEZ Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.71- This fight isn’t your typical Undecard main event that usually goes the distance as the fight was decided by the tournament not the match makers. I will still take the over here with a little pop to.
EDGAR GARCIA/ HECTOR URBINA Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.78- 14 of Garcia’s 17 career bouts have ended inside the first half of the fight and 20 of Urbina’s 25 fall into the same category. Both realize the importance of this fight to their futures and will fight in such a manner.
DENNIS BERMUDEZ to Win by Decision $2.50- Bermudez has gone to decision in 7 of his 14 victories and Lamas has identical numbers coupled with a single defeat on the scorecards. Both guys are hard to finish, but not impossible, so there is always the potential that it doesn’t go the distance. I’ve got Bermudez winning and in a card devoid of any real underdog options I like this play a lot.
KELVIN GASTELUM to Win by Decision $2.63- Lots of value here even though I initially picked Gastelum by knockout. This should be a good back and forth fight and Ellenberger is a nice step up, similar to what Story presented. This fight could very end early, but I will recant on my first suggestion and play the decision here.
FABRICIO WERDUM to Win by TKO/KO/DQ $5.50- The submission finish is the obvious route and that is why it pays sub $2.00. What I am looking at here is Werdum securing top position and instead of looking to lock a sub in, mounting an exhausted Hunt and land shots until the ref stops the fight. There is also the possibility that Werdum puts it on him late after Hunt starts to slow down and finished him like JDS did. Werdum striking is advancing significantly.