UFC 186: Johnson vs Horiguchi- ‘Not the Biggest Dog in the Fight’

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He might not be the most popular champion and he certainly isn’t the biggest champion, but he is almost certainly the most dominant. Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson closed out UFC 186 with a submission win over Kyoji Horiguchi in the final second of the final round of their Flyweight title fight. It was a decent card top to bottom with some interesting fights, so let’s take a look at the 5 of my takeaways from the night’s happenings.

A Good Night for TUF

Just one card removed from seeing a pair of recent Ultimate Fighter winners come up short, the TUF boys got back on track in the form Chad Laprise and the man he beat in the finals Olivier Aubin-Mercier picking up wins. It is also worth noting that TUF 4 finalist Patrick Cote and TUF 3 Winner Michael Bisping were also victorious. Laprise looked good early on, but slowed a bit and let his opponent back into the fight. He will need to work on his ability to fight bell to bell if he intends to move to the next level of competition. For OAM, he started strong, remained persistent and eventually secured the fight ending submission. He is talented on the ground, but working on the fluidity of his striking and the overall effectiveness of his initial shot will make him a far more dangerous fighter.

Third Time is the Charm

It didn’t look too promising after the first round, but Alexis Davis’s opportunistic grappling paved the way to victory over fellow Canadian and former Strikeforce Champ Sarah Kaufman. An early mistake in round 2 by Kaufman resulted in Davis taking the fight to the mat, moving quickly to mount, and eventually securing the fight ending armbar. The referee was unable to see the initial tap due to his positioning, but hopefully no long term damage was sustained. With both girls having already been obliterated by the champ, especially Davis, and Kaufman holding a 2-1 edge over Alexis this pairing could be rebooked for another fun installment. With Davis having lost the first two encounters you would think out of pure respect and for competition’s sake she would be open to another fight. Make it happen Dana.

I’m Still Here

There were a few tense moments, but everyone’s favourite British Middleweight Michael Bisping picked up a big win, bettering the unheralded CB Dollaway. It was a pretty decent back and forth early on, but the Brit’s cardio eventually proved too much for CB and he pulled away in the second half of the fight. With the win, Bisping maintains his position as a gatekeeper to the elite of the division. He would be wise to take a few more lower level fights before jumping back into the elite of the division. Fights with Tim Boetsch and or Costa Philippou could be interesting future fights.

On again, Off again, On again

After the dust from the legal proceeding had settled, Rampage Jackson was back fighting inside the Octagon and earned his first UFC win since a 2011 victory over Matt Hamill. Fabio Maldonado stood with Jackson and exchanged as promised, and while the fight seemed to be lacking based on the pre-fight anticipation- it was still pretty decent. Jackson was quite grateful to be back in the promotion that he had spurned in favour of an opportunity to compete under the Bellator banner. At the post-fight press conference, he even went as far as to say that Bellator offered no threat to the UFC and that he was back where he belonged.

Jackson’s days of battling for a title are behind him, but there are plenty of intriguing fights for the former champion. The winner of Little Nog/ Shogun has potential, while Jimi Manuwa, OSP, or Rafael Cavalcante could be options as well.

And Still…

Kyoji Horiguchi put up a better fight then others before him, but it wasn’t enough to dethrone the reining and only UFC Flyweight champion. Demetrious Johnson’s speed and ultimately his superior grappling set him above the challenger. Horiguchi landed a few hard shots, but DJ was simply too much and finished the fight at the last possible moment with an excellently executed armbar finish.

The champion moves on to his next challenge and that will most likely be in the form of a John Dodson rematch if he can get by his next opponent. Johnson/Dodson II has the potential to be the best Flyweight title fight in history, but it still might not be enough to turn the champion into a ‘needle mover’. There are still a few other possible fights in the division with Jussier Formiga, Henry Cejudo, and (if he doesn’t go to Bantamweight) John Lineker waiting for the call. A big fight versus the Bantamweight champion could also be an interesting future fight.

Final Thoughts

It is too bad that Johnson isn’t getting more credit/ recognition for what he is doing in the Flyweight division. As much as the embattled Jon Jones or Ronda Rousey have dominated their opposition, DJ is matching them stride for stride. Unfortunately, he may need to make a successful challenge for the Bantamweight title and become a 2-division champion to start gaining the accolades he deserves.

The bet pack had some decent value, but the loss by Kaufman was crippling- in all 170 units or $1700 at $10 a unit was what was missed out on. My 9-3 record is tolerable, but the guys on the prediction panel far out did me with their predictions. We get an extra week off before the next card, but the Jon Jones fiasco and the upcoming Mayweather/Pacquiao super fight will give us plenty to focus on until then.

 

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Patrick Cote $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Nordine Taleb $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Sarah Kaufman $1.52
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Price: $3.28 x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 22.96 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Quinton Jackson $1.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: John Makdessi $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Michael Bisping $1.70 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $3.70 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 22.2 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Yves Jabouin $4.73
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Price: $4.73 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 18.92 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Jessica Rakoczy $2.50
Selection 2: Maldonado/
Selection 3: Nordine Taleb $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $6.09 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 30.45
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Sarah Kaufman $1.52
Selection 2: Michael Bisping $1.70 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Makdessi/
Selection 4: Cote/ Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.91
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Price: $8.35 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 41.75 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Demetrious Johnson to Win by Submission $2.15 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Fabio Maldonado/
Selection 3: Sarah Kaufman $1.52
Selection 4: Nordine Taleb $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 5: Patrick Cote $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 6: John Makdessi $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $19.62 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 98.1 units
 

Aisling Daly $3.10 vs

Daly is the tried and tested veteran, but Markos seems to be really coming into her own. It is a little surprising that Randa is actually 2 years older than Aisling, but she doesn’t have the wear and tear of a long career like her Irish counterpart has. There is a bit of a short notice factor involved in this fight and with Daly her inability to make weight last time around could play a factor here. I am tempted to play Markos here in a Silver parlay leg, but a No Play might be the better alternative. I would like to see her pick up a win in UFC proper, before she is this heavy of a favourite, especially over a vet like Daly.

4 STARS

Jessica Rakoczy $2.50 vs

The impact of 1 fighter cutting down a division can be tough to call. Two fighters both making divisional debuts is even harder. But 2 fighters cutting down 2 weight classes, with both girls having taken significant time off is insane. Who’s camp is spent more on cutting then prepping? Who’s body responds better to the cut during the camp? Who is physically able to execute on fight day? Who ate my lunch out of the fridge at work? It was me. What we do know is that Rakoczy had a pretty impressive boxing career, which should overshadow her paltry MMA record. A record that the odds makers are most likely counting on the general public to look at and make a snap judgement on her actual skill. She has faced some pretty solid comp- Pena, Herrig, and Gurgel so far and her wins on TUF are solid- but don’t count. Letourneau got busted up in her debut and took some serious facial damage which I expect to see again. I don’t think she has the grappling chops to take Jessica down, so I will count on the dog’s volume and technique to carry the day. With all of the unknowns, this bout slips to a Silver single bet or paired with 1 other play for me.

4 STARS

Nordine Taleb $1.40 vs

Clements has keep this fight vertical and most likely needs the knockout to get the win. That has been his MO for pretty much his entire career, minus his UFC debut. Taleb should be able to counter that with a takedown heavy game and big volume from the top position. He will be able to handle himself when striking, but why not exploit the biggest talent gap. Let’s hope he brings that mentality to the cage. I like Clements, I have met him a couple of times, but stylistically this isn’t a good fight for him. I feel confident in Nordine’s ability to win, so he gets the nod as a Gold section parlay leg.

4 STARS

Olivier Aubin-Mercier $1.29 vs

Most people favour OAM significantly in this fight, but I am not one of them. In the end, I did pick him to get the victory- but it wasn’t that clear cut. Michaud is scrappy and if he can use his wrestling in reverse to keep this fight standing the striking exchanges could be closer than most anticipate. What the American lacks in polish, he makes up for scrappiness. All things considered, I will look at the total, but at this point in time I feel like this fight doesn’t make it to the betting card in any form.

4 STARS

Chad Laprise $1.29 vs

Laprise looks better in all key aspects of this fight. He is the tighter striker both offensively and defensively, his cardio is solid, and his wrestling looks superior on both fronts. Barberena does have power which can be concerning and I give him more than just a puncher’s chance of pulling this one out. The odds are slanted too heavily in the Canadian’s favour so I will once again pass on this fight.

4 STARS

Alexis Davis $2.77 vs

I have seen some people taking about this fight as pointless and something they will most likely pass on. I disagree. There second fight was awesome and considering how early in their respective careers the first bout occurred, this fight is the real rematch. Especially when you consider the improvements that Davis has made. Are they enough to get the win? No, I don’t think so. Karufman beat Eye and is really one of the most dangerous fighters in the division. She isn’t going to beat Rousey, but she could easily be the Intercontinental champ if this was the WWE/F. Her volume and power carries her to the victory against a less impactful, less busy Davis who will struggle to bring her grappling to the table. At this price and few big bets that jump off the page here I will hit Kuafman hard and play her in a Gold parlay leg.

4 STARS

Patrick Cote $1.54 vs

In similar fashion to the fight above, I really like the favourite here and will play him accordingly. Cote is on the upswing as a Welterweight as long as he stays away from the upper 20 of the division. Riggs got a return opportunity in the UFC off a sequence of lower level wins and (I would guess) the UFC’s wanted to snatch him away from Bellator rendering their only season of Fighter Master pointless. Riggs is shot out after a long and harsh career. His durability is a major question mark. Actually it’s not that big of a question mark, because it is pretty evident that he will break down under the appropriate force. While Cote has shown a few cracks in his granite chin, it should hold up better then what Riggs brings to the table. I will take Cote to bust him up and either get the nod from the judges or put him away prior to their involvement. Gold Parlay leg, possibly alongside Kaufman.4 STARS

Yves Jabouin $4.73 vs

So few underdog picks and then I take this one! Almeida brings a hefty unblemished record into the cage and a significant amount of relatively warranted hype. He looked good in his debut, but did fail to put the stamp on his overmatched opponent and took some damage in the process. Yves is far from a perfect fighter and is certainly vulnerable to the type of attack that Almeida brings to the table. Jabouin represents the biggest test of his career. What I do like is Jabouin’s improved focus on his wrestling. He took Easton down several times and that isn’t an easy feat, despite his recent departure from the company. Almeida knocking out Yves is a real possibility, but I think Yves works his striking with his wrestling and edges this one out on the cards. This is a big line and Almeida is a young talent that is taking his first real test, so I will knock this bet down to the Silver and most likely bet it alone.4 STARS

John Makdessi $1.60 vs

It appears that this fight is taking place at 160 pounds, most likely because Campbell took the fight on short notice and is normally a WW. I have had success of late keying on fighters that I think will struggle when moving down a division. The negatives simply outweigh the positives. I think this one comes down to speed and pace. Makdessi should be quicker and he should be able to maintain his pace to the end of the fight. I don’t think he scores the knockout, but he gets the better of the exchanges like he did against Stout and Cruickshank. The Njokuani fight jumps to mind as a bout where he lost on the feet, but he came in over weight there and clearly was not at his peek physical condition. The short notice will be tough on Campbell and Makdessi presents a difficult front to attack. With the Bull not having to worry about his TDD I have him as a Golden parlay leg.

4 STARS

Michael Bisping $1.70 vs

Bisping won’t ever fight for the title, that time has passed. Now he faces a tenure in his career where his significance as an elite level gatekeeper is on the line. If he can’t beat CB it will lead to a massive drop down the rankings certainly to the 12-15 range, possibly out of the top 15. Dollaway is a decent fighter with a strong wrestling game and improving striking attack. I nearly went with him here, but I feel he fits in the category of fighters that Bisping usually beats, then beats him. Bisping has trouble with aggressive power punchers that can back him down. Dollaway isn’t the type of fighter that will be able to intimidate him. Additionally, he doesn’t carry the type of strong wrestling heavy attack that Kennedy or Sonnen offered Bisping. He can score takedowns, but if he tries to carry a high pace with his wrestling he will wear out. Bisping thrives when his foe starts to slow down and that is what CB usually starts to do in the second half. If he can outwork him early, look for Bisping to really stretch his lead in rounds 2 and 3. I think a Gold parlay bet is where this fight belongs, if not it will serve as a strong Silver parlay leg.

4 STARS

Fabio Maldonado $3.57 vs

On, off, On again- there is still time for this fight to get cancelled. I am assuming what happened was the UFC told Rampage to train and get ready to fight and they would work to get the injunction overturned. Bosse was simply a place holder in the event they couldn’t make things work out from a legal standpoint. This should be a good bout for entertainment’s sake as both guys ‘just wanna bang’. That being said, do not be surprised if Rampage works his wrestling into this fight. Fabio’s TDD is pretty darn weak and if Jackson wants to with this fight in clear cut manner, doing it from top position might be his best bet. I think he takes it either way, unless he gasses out. I am leaning towards a Gold parlay leg here, simply do not think Fabio has a tonne to offer guys in the top 10-12 of the division.4 STARS

Demetrious Johnson $1.15 vs

I think Horiguchi could surprise us and this turns out to be a better fight then most expect. Clearly we can’t bet on the champ with this line and I don’t really like Horiguchi enough to allocate some of my bankroll to a bet on him. I might look at a prop bet, but I won’t be backing a side here.

1. Demetrious Johnson $1.15 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Sarah Kaufman $1.52

3. Nordine Taleb $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Patrick Cote $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Quinton Jackson $1.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Chad Laprise $1.29 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Olivier Aubin-Mercier $1.29 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Randa Markos $1.39 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. John Makdessi $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Michael Bisping $1.70 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Jessica Rakoczy $2.50

12. Yves Jabouin $4.73

1. Michael Bisping $1.70 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– Both he and his opponent are more known commodities than some of the other bouts on this card which is why he gets the push to the top of the list.

2. Patrick Cote $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– Not a flashy price for the #2 spot, but I feel there is some serious value here and hope that the line doesn’t drop too much on fight day.

3. Jessica Rakoczy $2.50 – The first Underdog on this list- too much unknown prevented her from making the cut in the top 2, but she has some nice bang for her buck.

4. John Makdessi $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– Again, not a big number but I think he gives his opponent a lot of trouble and the late notice/debut/weight cut factors that is opponent is dealing with are positives for Makdessi.

5. Yves Jabouin $4.73 – The price is massive, but his opponent is skilled and quite capable of bringing out the past issues that have plagued Yves. He is a big test for Almeida, I think he makes it much closer than the line would suggest and sneaks out a decision.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Content

Prop Bets

Aisling Daly/

See Betting Scenario’s Section.

See Betting Scenario’s Section.

At first glance this comes off as the type that should hit the under. I will fade it and play the Over. I expect a heavy takedown oriented attack from Nordine and while he could finish from top position it isn’t likely. He has zero submission wins, which account for 3/5s of Clements’s defeats. Nordine has gone the distance in 4 of his last 5 and all 5 hit the Over 1.5. Clements has only had one fight end inside the first 5 minutes over his last 8 bouts. He will be on the defensive on the mat, but look for him to survive into the second half.

Olivier Aubin-Mercier/

I know I said I was considering not playing this fight and this still isn’t a rock solid play that I am really excited bout, but I think it is worth a look. First I was a little bit surprised to see that we are getting 2.5 rounds. Second, OAM has finished 4 of his 5 wins inside the first round and the fifth came before the end of round 2. I could see Michaud surviving to the finish, but if he gets put on his back, as a wrestler he will be in some trouble. I will play the under, but it is not one of my favourite plays.

Alexis Davis/

See the Betting Scenario Section.

See the Betting Scenario Section.

John Makdessi/

I am a little surprised we are getting this good of a line on the Over. Makdessi has gone to decision 6 times in 15 fights, but 4 came in the UFC and all 6 have fallen within his last 9 fights. Campbell has finished 6 straight opponents, but he also has 5 decisions on record. Quite frequently fighters who are known for finishing opponents at a lower level start to pick up decisions when they first start facing better opposition. Neither man has been knocked out and while that could change here, the juice is worth the squeeze- hit the Over.

Fabio Maldonado/

We know where this fight will be contested and as a result the ever present threat of a knockout will loom over the action if you are on the Over like I will be. Both guys have an average fight time just under the 12 minute mark, which puts them just short of Over 2.5 rounds, but considering they have such hefty knockout totals a double digit average fight time is pretty encouraging. They have a combined 26 decisions, 9 of Rampage’s last 13 have gone to decision (10 of 13 hit the Over), and 5 of Fabio’s 9 UFC bouts have gone the distance. Look for a little wrestling from Rampage as well to help drag this one deep into the final frame. Play the Over.

Demetrious Johnson to Win by Submission $2.15 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

DJ continues to burn me with these plays, but I will keep at it. He has finished 2 of his last 3 opponents- 2 by submission. He is an incredibly technical fighter, but more importantly he brings a solid game plan where he focusses on exploiting his opponent’s weaknesses. Horiguchi’s weakness is his grappling. We have seen a few flashes of this, mostly in his debut, but now he is facing an opponent capable of exploiting this. I would also give strong consideration to playing DJ to Win inside the distance, but this type of prop is used more frequently across more books. Either would work.

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