UFC 185: Pettis vs dos Anjos- “MMA Giveth, & MMA Taketh Away”

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While the main event was lauded for its high profile fights, it was the undercard competitors that brought the action early with all 7 fights ending inside the distance. That action set the table for a pair of jaw dropping performances in the co-main and main events by the underdog title challengers. The KOMMA Draftkings Fantasy tournament also crowned a new champion and the Bet Pack went through its first negative return in a number of shows despite an 8-4 prediction record on my part. Let’s take a look.

Prospect Setback

Sergio Pettis looked great for the first round and it was clear that Joe Rogan and company were going to make sure the masses where aware of it. Unfortunately, Ryan Benoit had other plans flooring and finishing the younger Pettis in the second round. This is the second UFC loss of Sergio’s career and a major setback considering he was cutting down to Flyweight where he was expected to start climbing the ranks. Fortunately, Pettis is still young and will have plenty of opportunities to rebound, but an abrupt loss like this one can weigh heavy on a fighter’s mind and impact his future performance.

I Have Somewhere to be

The undercard did not require the judges’ input on a single fight, with 6 knockouts and 1 submission victory. Joseph Duffy’s knockout of Jake Lindsey was the only bout to conclude before end of the first round and Jared Rosholt’s TKO of Josh Copeland took just over 2.5 rounds to transpire- the rest of the finishes came in the middle frame.

Future Title Challengers

Henry Cejudo picked up an impressive three round decision over former title challenger Chris Cariaso. Cejudo’s first victory came before the fight when he met the Flyweight weight requirement, which he had struggled to before. In a division looking for fresh title challengers, Cejudo has put himself on the radar with a win that demonstrated his multi-faceted approach. He still needs to show he can consistently make weight and defeat higher ranked opposition, but look for him to be knocking on the door in late 2015 or early 2016.

In another division craving new fighters to battle for the belt, Alistair Overeem picked up his second consecutive win besting Roy Nelson via decision. Outside of a late knock down, Overeem dominated the action from start to finish- displaying a well executed striking attack that tested the durability of his robust opponent. The shine has faded significantly, but the former Strikeforce champion will most likely earn himself a future shot at the gold with just one more win of significance.

Moving ever so closer to another shot at the title, Johny Hendricks put together a dominant performance against the double tough Matt Brown. Hendricks maintained an upbeat pace from start to finish and very effective with his wrestling when he needed to be. The victory for the former champion almost certainly aligns himself with the winner of Lawler/MacDonald in the next UFC title fight. For Brown it is a difficult defeat, a second straight, after an impressive run. It would appear that he has hit a ceiling, as he has struggled against the elite of the division. He may never fight for a title, but he has secured his position as a high level gatekeeper.

Joanna Champion

Carla Esparza we hardly knew you. Welcome to champions’ row Joanna Jedrzejczyk. In a battering performance reminiscent of Jon Jones’s title win over Shogun Rua; the challenger defended the takedowns and exploited a wide striking advantage on route to a 2nd round stoppage victory. Carla hinted at some type of outside distraction that impacted her performance, but it was clear after the initial exchanges that she was up against a wall and spamming takedown attempts was not going to hold water. With the win, the new champion has now bested arguably the top 2 ranked fighters in the division and has opened the door wide open for future challengers.

Joanne Calderwood could represent an interesting challenge for the new champ, if she can get by her next opponent. It is interesting to note that Calderwood’s next bout is in Jedrzejczyk’s homeland of Poland in just over a month and then the UFC is headed to Calderwood’s homeland of Scotland 3 months later.

WEC who?

A feeling out process there was not. Rafael dos Anjos brought the fight to the Anthony Pettis from the onset; keeping ‘Showtime’ on the defensive early during the striking exchanges and then mixing in a late takedown to seal the opening round. The second round was more of the same, with a little more focus on the ground attack from RDA. More followed in round 3 and while the champion had his moments, it was clear he was getting second best. A dominant 4th and 5th round resulted in a second UFC title heading back to Brazil as RDA’s hand was raised following an impressive performance.

With the win, dos Anjos completes an incredibly remarkable run from a low level undercard fighter to champion- even with a couple setbacks along the way. Now, look for one of those setbacks to come calling as Khabib Nurmagomedov will most definitely be challenging for the title next if he can get by Donald Cerrone. RDA has now completed the WEC trifecta besting Donald Cerrone, Benson Henderson, and now Anthony Pettis.

Congratulations are also in order for our very own Brent Pearce, who took home a cool $225 by the winning the Draftkings Fantasy Tournament put on by Kamikaze Overdrive. Our resident Bellator and WSOF expert makes it 2 in a row for members of the KOMMA writing team after Prediction Panel member Mitchell Davies won $180 in the UFC 184 contest. Mitchell had a strong showing finishing 9th this time around and I placed a dismal 24 of 25. Ouch, but congrats guys!

That’s a wrap folks, UFC 185 is in the books and we have crowned two new champions and really turned those divisions on their head while creating a tonne of interesting potential title fights moving forward. We get a quick turnaround for UFC Fight Night 62 in Rio, the clock is ticking.

Information will be posted closer to the event when the official odds are available

The compilation of betting information listed below is meant to be used as a guideline only.

eVENT PASSWORD copyUFC 185: Pettis vs dos Anjos

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Daron Cruickshank $1.73
Selection 2: Ross Pearson $1.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $2.35 x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 16.47 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Carla Esparza $1.67
Selection 2: Elias Theodorou $1.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Johny Hendricks $1.35 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $3.00 x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 21 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Germaine de Randamie $2.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $2.44 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 9.76 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Pettis/  
Selection 2: Carla Esparza $1.67
Selection 3: Jared Rosholt $1.42 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $6.41 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 32.05 units
 
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Nelson/
Selection 2: Daron Cruickshank $1.73
Selection 3: Carla Esparza $1.67
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Price: $6.07 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 30.35 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Roy Nelson $2.70
Selection 2: Daron Cruickshank $1.73
Selection 3: Johny Hendricks $1.35 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $6.31 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 25.24 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Germaine de Randamie $2.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Pettis/
Selection 3: Stout/ Pearson Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.63
Selection 4: Lindsey/ Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.30 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $24.70 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 98.8 units
 

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Larissa Pacheco $1.65 vs

de Randamie has one really good skill set and one that is a liability. If she can keep this fight standing she should be the vastly superior fighter. Pacheco is a brawler and that has worked against far lesser competition and although GdR has a limited record numerically she has faced quality opposition. GdR is a big Bantamweight and showed decent TDD against another big BW in Nunes. I think she will have success remaining vertical here and exploit the openings that Pacheco offers. There aren’t a tonne of underdogs/ profitable favourites that I have backed on this card, but I think a single bet potentially in the Silver pack is the best option here considering where this fight sits on the card.

4 STARS

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Jake Lindsey $4.36 vs

The odds aren’t great on this one and they are getting worse. Lindsey has struggled in his 2 fights to offer anything of consequence and Duffy looks like an even more difficult opponent then his previous 2. Duffy has a sound grappling game and dangerous striking attack. Lindsey’s struggles have come on the mat and although the Irishman will showcase his striking, he will ultimately get the job done on the ground. A bet on Duffy doesn’t offer much, but it will pump up a parlay by a little and the risk is low here. The total is worth considering as well.

4 STARS

 Sergio Pettis $1.25 vs

This is Sergio’s return to the Flyweight division and while I think he wins this bout, I am in “wait and see” mode. Benoit is no pushover and will give Sergio a run at least early in the contest. No side bet for me, but I will consider a play on the total.4 STARS

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Jared Rosholt $1.42 vs

Copeland has to capitalize on the few chances he will have on the feet to get the job done. Rosholt got knocked out by an opponent not known for big power, but keep in mind this is the Heavyweight division. I don’t see Copeland having the skill set to defend the wrestling attack of Rosholt and it is hard to comfortably bank on a fighter with a puncher’s chance of taking home the ‘W’. A parlay leg in the Silver section is probably the best option here.

4 STARS

 Daron Cruickshank $1.73 vs

This is probably my favourite side bet of the card. Cruickshank’s striking is vastly superior to anything that Dariush can offer and while he may have tightened up his D, the unique front that Daron offers will be hard for him to deal with. Dariush’s last 2 opponents gassed hard and allowed him to take control and eventually earn the win. His opening round versus Tony Martin wasn’t going his way and had Martin be able to carry his performance through the next couple of rounds he probably gets the W. It was a couple of fights ago, but getting know knocked out by Ramsey Nijem suggests some major holes in his defensive game. I am thinking a single bet here is an option or pairing him up with a lower level favourite will post your return.

4 STARS

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Elias Theodorou $1.33 vs

I have been very impressed with what I have seen from Elias so far. Yes he had moments of difficulty in both fights, but his ability to remain calm, defend, and still win tells us more about him then if he had dominated start to finish. Keep in mind here that Narvaez is fighting at home and Brazil isn’t the only place that gives out hometown decisions. I felt Narvaez won his last fight, but it had just as much to do with his opponent’s lack of output then it did with what Roger did. That would be the case with Theodorou who is aggressive and multi-faceted in his attack. Look for him to vary his assault and keep Narvaez backing up. A finish is a possibility. a Gold parlay leg, possibly pairing him up with Cruickshank is my play here.

4 STARS

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Sam Stout $3.73 vs Ross Pearson $1.36

I was originally on Stout, I even went as far as picking him and posting the prediction. About 2 minutes later I changed my mind and changed my pick. Honestly, the vast majority of what  I looked at favoured Pearson. I would love to see Stout win this fight and while there are avenues for him to do so, Pearson has the greater opportunity to get his hand raised. I look back at Stout’s in ability to change gears against Makdessi when he was getting countered and expect to see something similar here. My biggest concern is that Pearson won’t be as active as he needs to be and will allow Stout to routinely engage first. That frequently makes a fighter look more successful then they actually are. Pearson is the superior striker and will defend the TDAs of Stout when he does try and change gears. Pearson in a Gold parlay makes sense to me.

4 STARS
12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Chris Cariaso $5.44 vs

Under proper conditions, Cejudo wins this fight. If the cut is difficult, which it has been in almost every single fight where he has attempted it, then he could flame out after a round- maybe less. For that reason, Cejudo is a no play. The total might be worth looking at and I will probably revisit the option of a counter bet on Cariaso after the weigh-ins.

4 STARS

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Roy Nelson $2.70 vs

Big Country has made a career out of landing that one big shot that either ends the bout entirely or swings things in his favour. That has been the Achilles heal of Overeem- he has the skill advantage over his opponent and might be well on his way to a win (Bigfoot), but they land something significant and its all down hill from there. So why pick against Roy Nelson? He has a limit window for victory. An 1-8 record in recent bouts lasting longer then the first round is a major red flag. We have seen him struggle against guys that can keep him from hitting that one hitter-quitter- Werdum, Mir, JDS, and Stipe all come to mind. They avoided Nelson’s power using a superior striking arsenal and as the fight drags on Roy becomes less and less of a threat. I expect to see Overeem take a page from Mir’s book and put Nelson on his back to beat him up there. Overeem is far from invulnerable, that is laughable, and if Nelson knocks him out I won’t be the least bit shocked. Using him as a parlay leg is workable, potentially in the Silver pack. The total is also worth a look.

4 STARS

12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Johny Hendricks $1.35 vs

Johny has made lifestyle changes to help him stay at 170 pounds. Not ballooning up to 200+ pounds is a good start. He is an elite level talent and will most likely challenge for the belt again in the not too distant future. Matt Brown on the other hand is a fantastic story. He was on the verge of getting cut and his record was drawing close to .500, then something clicked. He started winning fights and gaining momentum to the point that he was 1 win away from a title shot. He ran into Robbie Lawler and was pushed back. That is what this fight comes down to in the end. What makes Brown so good, his pressure and ability to break fighters- isn’t nearly as effective against top level opposition. They can deal with the pressure, they know how to counter the aggression, they can keep calm under fire. I think Hendricks will do just that as he looks to get back in title contention. Many felt he wont the second fight with Lawler and that will keep hi motivated knowing he has beat the current champ and can do it again. Look for more wrestling from Hendricks to help diffuse Brown’s pressure- something similar to his bout with Condit. Hendricks in the Gold pack on a parlay is my play.

4 STARS

 Carla Esparza $1.67 vs

JJ earn this shot at the title in a hard fought against a fighter that many had ranked above even the new division’s current champ. Unfortunately, I thought she lost. JJ had great moments, with the knockdown at the end of round 1 being one of them. That being said, I didn’t think it was enough to give her the round. With her opponent controlling most of the round and JJ landing something big at the end, I felt that it was best scored 10-10. That so infrequently happens though. Carla Esparza also beat someone that was expected to beat her and she did it in dominant fashion, beating back a young upstart that tore through the TUF tournament like wild fire. I feel that Esparza is a better wrestler then JJ’s last opponent and that will show up. She won’t get tired either which was a partial key to Joanna’s success. If the challenger keeps this fight standing she will showcase her striking and while Esparza is a capable striker, it is not her ideal scenario. At this price I will take the champ who I feel is being underappreciated again, either as part of a parlay leg or pairing her up with just one other fighter in the Gold pack.4 STARS

 Anthony Pettis $1.25 vs

RDA is a nice follow-up challenger for Pettis and offers him a chance to continue to improve heading to a possible bout with the ‘Eagle’. That is if Pettis still has the gold after this encounter. Pettis impressed me against a very tough challenger in Melendez. I had Gil for the win and he was looking good in round 1 but I got the sense that it was only a matter of time before ‘Showtime’ took over. Any time Melendez game him the slightest amount of space Pettis capitalize and landing something significant. That is a tough thing to deal with as a challenger, knowing one mistake can bring your quest for the title crashing down around you. RDA has improved immensely, but I think Pettis is better where he needs to be. The odds skew RDA’s chance of winning too much as he is more likely to get the W then the line would suggest. As a result I will most likely take a pass on a side bet and look more at the total.

1. Ross Pearson $1.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Elias Theodorou $1.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Joseph Duffy $1.27 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Anthony Pettis $1.25

5. Johny Hendricks $1.35 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Carla Esparza $1.67

7. Daron Cruickshank $1.73

8. Henry Cejudo $1.

9. Sergio Pettis $1.25

10. Jared Rosholt $1.42 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Alistair Overeem $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Germaine de Randamie $2.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

 

1. Daron Cruickshank $1.73  // He might not offer the biggest price of previous #1s on this list but he has a superior striking repertoire and the grappling chops to keep his opponent from taking him down. We are getting some solid value here.

2. Carla Esparza $1.67  // Anytime you can get a champion at this type of a price take it. Esparza is proven; she won the Invicta title, beat back 4 of the top fighters in her division to win the TUF tournament, and in the finals she soundly bested an opponent that was dominating the opposition on route to her finals birth. I’ll take her over an opponent still relatively new to top level comp in spite of her last win.

3. Germaine de Randamie $2.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // Her opponent has a much better record at face value, but GdR has faced better competition in MMA and is a very accomplished kickboxer. I will take the fighter with the superior skill set and value.

4. Anthony Pettis/  // I just don’t see this fight going the distance and submitting a BJJ Black belt, while not impossible is hard. I think Pettis wins and he catches RDA with something. Solid return.

5. Roy Nelson/

1. Roy Nelson $2.70  // I expect this line could would up some before bell time so wait if you can. I have already talked about how to bet this fight along with the Over so I won’t go into any more detail.

2. Chris Cariaso $5.44  // The weigh-ins happen a few hours from writing this. If Cejudo makes weight and looks good then I would most likely layoff this play, but if he fails to make weight or looks horribly drawn out but still makes it then consider a small bet here. He will be desperate to get to 125 which he has had a tonne of trouble doing.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Content.

Prop Bets

Larissa Pacheco/

See Betting Scenarios Section.

Jake Lindsey/

See Betting Scenarios Section.

Sergio Pettis/

Pettis has yet to finish an opponent in the UFC. Prior to making the jump he finished 6 opponents- 5 in the first round and 1 before the midway mark of the fight. Returning to Flyweight should help increase the impact of his strikes and make it less likely to get outmuscled on the mat. All 7 of Benoit’s wins have come inside the distance, 6 by knockout and he was tapped late in the middle frame in his only UFC bout. Benoit’s tendency to gas will give Pettis plenty of opportunities to finish. Play the Under.

Sam Stout/ Ross Pearson

See Betting Scenarios Section.

Roy Nelson/

Clearly this play is based on Overeem winning and Nelson enduring a beating for the first half. I am expecting Overeem to take Nelson down and keep him there to take Nelson’s power out of the equation. This should lead the fight into the second round where Nelson has a horrible record. I think the best bet is the Over and Nelson to win, you will most likely win 1  for sure.

Anthony Pettis/

I considered playing the Under here, but I think the knockout is the better option. It pays more and doesn’t have the time restraints on it. Pettis has been finishing opponents with regularity and while there is a chance he could catch RDA off his back, its not that likely. Instead I look for him to catch him during an exchange, possibly with a head kick.

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