UFC 191: Johnson vs Dodson 2- ‘…the More they Stay the Same’

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Demetrious Johnson is still the only Flyweight champion in the history of the UFC. In the UFC 191 main event he proved once again that he is better than anyone the division has to offer and it’s not even close. UFC 191 was another night where the dogs were barking with 6 of 11 fights ending with upsets, including several large ones on the undercard. I finished with a very respectable 8-3 record considering the preceding sentence and the Bet Pack was quite profitable. Let’s take a look at everything that went down on Saturday night…

Notes from the Prelims
  • I missed too much of the opening fight to give a proper assessment.
  • Joe Riggs earned his first win since returning to the UFC in unconventional fashion. After an early jab from Ron Stallings damaged the eye of Riggs, a second round illegal kick to a grounded Riggs brought about a doctor stoppage and DQ for Stallings. The opening round was close, but Riggs nearly knocked out Stallings to start round 2 and was in control when the untimely end came about. Record: 1-1
  • In a closely contested bout, Tiago Trator earned a split decision win over the unorthodox Clay Collard. Trator’s tighter technique, both on the mat and during the striking exchanges proved the difference despite the output of his counterpart. Record: 2-1
  • Not wanting to leave it to the judges, Raquel Pennington and Jessica Andrade picked up where they left off throwing heat and not taking a step back. Andrade was getting the better of the exchanges, but Pennington was starting to land at range before taking her opponent’s back and locking in the fight ending RNC at the end of Round 2. This is a huge win for Pennington who seems intent on getting revenge for several of her previous losses. Record 3-1
  • Locking up the FOTN bonus early, former Flyweight John Lineker earned a submission victory over Top 15 ranked Francisco Rivera. Both men came out and started to unload with violent intentions before, Lineker hurt Rivera and after an attempt to finish via GNP, he locked up a Guillotine that brought about the quick tap. Lineker makes his mark at 135 and most likely jumps into the rankings. He would be better served to try and show he can make the Flyweight limit as a title shot in that division would be much closer than at 135 pounds. Record: 3-2
  • In another close fight, Ross Pearson eked out tight split decision win over Paul Felder. The action was back and forth, with neither man clearly distancing himself from his opponent. It is a tough defeat for Felder, dropping back to back contests to veterans- the first 2 losses of his career. Pearson earns a much needed win will hold his place as a steady Lightweight gatekeeper. Record: 3-3
Main Card PVZ for the Win

The odds makers had her as a huge favourite and Paige Vanzant did not disappoint. She came out very aggressive pushing the pace and controlling Alex Chambers in the clinch while landing a persistent onslaught of elbows, knees, and foot stomps. Paige had little to gain, but a tonne to lose in this bout, but she made good on the expectations and finished Chambers with a 3rd round armbar finish. Paige is still a work in progress, but she continues to show promise. What’s Next: Winner of Waterson/Torres Record: 4-3

Embrace the Grind

After suffering the first loss of his career, Corey Anderson put in a workman like effort to grind out a 3-round decision win over tough Polish bruiser Jan Blachowicz. It wasn’t the most fan friendly of performances, but Anderson was in need of a win and executed to his strengths. What’s Next: Sean O’Connell Record: 5-3

Royally Rumbled

It lasted much longer than most expected it to, but Anthony Johnson showcased his face melting power just 30 seconds into the middle frame, knocking out Jimi Manuwa. Johnson utilized his wresting in the opening round to ground his foe, showcasing a lesser known aspect of his offense. While many expected Johnson to smash through Manuwa, it was clear that ‘Rumble’ respected the power of the Brit and wasn’t about to fight recklessly.What’s Next: Ramage Jackson or Winner of Teixeira/Cummins Record: 6-3

Finish Not Required

While most prognosticated a first round finish, this clash of former Heavyweight champions surprisingly required the assistance of the judges. Andrei Arlovski ultimately got his hand raised and continues his quest for a shot at the title, but the lackluster nature of the fight could dissuade the UFC from granting the ‘Pitbull’ from fighting for the title next time out. Frank Mir had his moments, but could mount enough consistent offense to earn the judges’ nod. The fight certainly did not live up to expectation considering the wins they had compiled leading up to this bout. The added pressure of a potential title shot could have impacted their willingness to push the pace and run the risk of getting knocked out.What’s Next: Winner of Werdum/Velasquez Record: 7-3

Mightier Than Thou

In similar fashion to their first engagement, Demetrious Johnson dominated the vast majority of the action from the start of the fight to the final bell. Unlike their first meeting, John Dodson was unable to trouble the champion with his power an as a result never appeared to have a legit chance to upending ‘Mighty Mouse’. While Dodson was coined the toughest challenge of Johnson’s career, he easily breezed past him and has arguably eliminated all legit title challengers in the division. A couple of fighters remain who will most likely tabbed as the next “major threat”, but none with the credibility of those that have already failed against Johnson. In fact, Johnson might be best suited to look towards a future title fight at 135 pounds in a fight that would probably draw a lot more attention than anything left at Flyweight. Dodson is now in a tough spot with 2 losses to the champion. He might also be best suited to take a few fights at 135 pounds and see how he fares in a division where he owns a knockout over the current champion.What’s Next: Winner of Cejudo/Formiga Record: 8-3

Final Thoughts…

The main card had a lot of potential and ended with mixed results. PVZ and Rumble came through with finishes, but the Arlovski/Mir fight fell short of expectations. The main event played out as many expected, which is not a knock on either man as Johnson is just that good. For the second straight card there were more underdogs getting their hands raised then favourites, with 6 of 11 dogs barking. From a prediction and betting standpoint it was a solid night. I went 8-3, calling many of those upsets including picking Pennington to finish Andrade, despite correctly backing Andrade in their first meeting. The Bet Pack produce just short of 80 units in winnings and had Rivera fought smart the incoming value could have been tripled. It was a very good night and very strong package of information, take a look below

For the first time in a long time we get 3 weeks off between UFC events and the schedule through October is pretty light, follow by a big push to round out 2015. Fuel up folk, it soon will be fight time again!

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1- WINNER 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: VanZant/
Selection 2: Andrei Arlovski $1.67 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Joe Riggs $2.49 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $7.49 x Bet: 9 units
Payout: 67.41
 
 
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Parlay #1- WINNER 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: Raquel Pennington $3.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $3.00 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 12 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Corey Anderson $2.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Francisco Rivera $2.18
Selection 3: Tiago Trator $2.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $11.18 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 55.9 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Johnson/ Dodson Under 4.5 Rounds $2.65
Selection 2: VanZant/
Selection 3: Corey Anderson $2.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Johnson/
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Price: $26.68 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 106.72 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Andrei Arlovski $1.67 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Joe Riggs $2.49 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Raquel Pennington $3.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Francisco Rivera $2.18
===================================================
Price: $27.20 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 136 units
 

Joaquim Silva $2.30 vs

This fight has a lot of red flags that will keep us away, for the most part. Both guys are debuting and both are coming off long layoffs. Silva is undefeated as a pro with all of his win coming inside the first round and he only has 7 total fights. Additionally, considering his MMA career is still relatively young and the layoff since TUF he could be a drastically better fighter than we last saw. I intend to stay away from this fight with the vast majority of my plays. I may consider a including Malegarie on a fringe bet simply because he adds a little diversity to my plays at a good price, but a No Play is equally as plausible. 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4 STARS

Joe Riggs $2.49 vs

The mileage on Riggs is massive and by itself it is concerning. I do like him at MW, with less of a strain on his body to help a little with his durability. It is interesting to note that Stallings was an underdog in his last outing against a guy with 3 pro fights and now he is a favourite over a much more experience, battled tested, and capable opponent in Riggs. If Stallings can hurt him on the feet, especially with his kicks, that is his key to success. Unfortunately for him, his defensive wrestling will prevent him from executing. He was routinely getting stuck in the cage and on his back against Jones and Riggs is a far better wrestler/grappler. I like Riggs here without the weight cut and with the grappling advantage. He might make the cut in Gold parlay, but if not he will be a central play on my Silver bets. Strong play here.

4 STARS

Clay Collard $1.76 vs

I really don’t know what to make of Collard. He has that type of “No F*cks Given” attitude that can help to make up for his lack of overall technical skill. Trator is a better overall striker with more weapons. He hits harder and could find success with a few intermittent takedowns. Collard got outclassed in his last fight quite badly and could be in for something similar. The line on Trator is probably getting a bit of a bump considering how badly he got KOed in his last outing. This is Trator’s second cut to 145 which is an x-factor simply because we didn’t get to see how he faired in a long fight first time around. Collard could exhaust him by continually coming forward and that is my biggest concern. I think Trator could work as a Silver Parlay leg, but he could slip to Bronze.4 STARS

Jessica Andrade $1.49 vs

This pick might have a few of you scratching your heads considering I correctly picked Andrade in their first meeting. I will justify my change of heart. My first concern with Jessica is the short notice/ short camp time. It is a quick turnaround from her last fight, but I don’t think she will have enough time to get back to her physical peak. She is aggressive and expends a lot of energy, even with a full camp she slowed vs Pennington and against Moras last time out. I could see her exhausting herself after just a round battling with the bigger Pennington. Secondly, I was impressed with the adjustments that Pennington made in the first fight. She started to defend the throws of Andrade who landed 2 of 4 TDAs in round 1, but only 1 of 4 attempts over the next 2 rounds along with getting taken down twice. She also got out-struck in the final 2 frames, with Pennington using more footwork and angles to diffuse her aggression. Pennington should not be this heavy of an underdog and while it is understandable on the surface why she is not the favourite- I like her here. At this price I may consider backing her as a single bet, or a strong contributor in the Silver section.

4 STARS

Francisco Rivera $2.18 vs

Four dogs in a row- yikes! Lineker is coming up to BW, but not by choice. Usually, I like guys moving up because they are fighting with less of draining cut and will often have a speed advantage. On the flip side here, Lineker is very short for the division. At 5’3″ he is giving up a lot of height (5″) and while the reach difference is only 3″ when you consider the height factor it makes the distance even bigger. He will also be punching up which can take away the impact of those strikes. River is a sharp striker. He takes a quicker/short path to his target then Lineker who tends to toss wide looping hooks. Lineker is also quite hittable which may work at 125, but against bigger/ harder hitting opponents that isn’t a good approach. Don’t be surprised to see Rivera shoot either. It will serve to drain Lineker and give him a second defensive front to worry about. The impact of Lineker not cutting weight is still a big enough factor to give me pause, but I still think a strong bet on Rivera is warranted. Possible Gold Parlay leg.4 STARS

Ross Pearson $4.63 vs

Felder had a good showing against Barboza. He didn’t win, but for his first pro loss it was a good learning experience. Pearson appears to be on the downward end of his recent run of success. If you look at his wins though, they were against guys on their way out. Maynard, Stout, Sotiropoulos, and the non-win win against Sanchez. Felder does not fall into that category and the odds reflect that. Unfortunately, I don’t see him as a worthwhile investment at this price, but the Total is worth a look for sure. No Play. 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4 STARS

Paige VanZant $1.08 vs

PVZ getting some Ronda Rousey type love here from the lines makers. She is a serious favourite and while arguments can be made that it shouldn’t be this high- I understand why it is. Outside of Chambers catching her with a sub off her back, I struggle to see her winning this fight. While PVZ is clearly a ‘No Play’, I can’t help but want to hammer the total here. That is where your money should be at.

4 STARS

Jan Blachowicz $1.77 vs

This is my fifth and final upset pick of the weekend and I really like this play. Anderson is still a work in progress, but I believe that he already has the elements in place to pull the upset off. His wrestling and striking volume will be key. Blachowicz’s two UFC bouts have seen a similar trend- he waits on his opponent to engage first. When he does fire back he lacks a lot of consistency in his attack. Conversely, Anderson keeps pumping the jab and engaging. He also has the clinch game and wrestling to control Jan on the cage in a similar fashion to what Manuwa did. Corey is coming off the first loss of his career and I think it serves him well here. He regroups and addresses some of the issues that cost him against Villante and comes out strong against Blachowicz. Anderson is another potential Gold parlay leg or at the very least strong Silver contributor.4 STARS

Anthony Johnson $1.20 vs

Manuwa isn’t predisposed to losing this fight because he already got napped by Gus and Gust got obliterated by Rumble. All things considered, short of knocking him out or Rumble gassing horribly I don’t see how Manuwa wins this fight. Rumble’ power striking and wrestling is going to be too much for him. At this line it is not worth our money. Instead I will look at the total if I plan to invest in this contest.

4 STARS

Andrei Arlovski $1.67 vs

Is it hard to believe that these 2 could possibly be fighting for a shot at the title in 2015/2016? It is and it isn’t. The division is very shallow and the right sequence of fighters can produce a 2-4 fight winning streak and result in a possible title shot for anyone. Arlovski has been on a far more impressive run over a longer period of time, but all of that is for naught if Frank takes him out here. Mir has back to back wins over 2 fighters, both of whom have suspect chins that he was able to exploit. Bigfoot off TRT is not he same fighter he was before and Duffee clearly needs to focus more on his defense considering that he has been knocked out 3 times in his short career. Arlovski’s chin is a suspect as well, but if you look back at his knockout losses- most anyone who gets hit by those shots goes down. He has done a nice job of tightening up his defense and it has shown over his current streak. He won’t present the same opportunities that Frank has capitalized on in his last 2 fights and he will be the better striker start to finish. Andrei is going to be a clear Gold Parlay leg for me and I think the total is also worth examining here.

4 STARS

Demetrious Johnson $1.20 vs

Dodson is really the only fighter to have any legit success against DJ since he took the title. Despite that, Johnson still pulled away from him late and is a pretty hefty favourite coming into the bout. I don’t foresee Dodson having much more success this time around and potentially having less. DJ is the type of fighter that will study and exploit what he learned the first time around to the utmost. Look back the Johnson/Benavidez, close fight the first time around, MJ blew him up in the rematch. The same can be said for McCall, with Ian arguably winning the first fight before Johnson outdueled him un fight #2. Even at this low a price I feel good enough in Johnson to add him to a parlay for a little extra boost and I will take a long look at the total and/or method bet.

1. Paige VanZant $1.08 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Demetrious Johnson $1.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Anthony Johnson $1.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Paul Felder $1.28

5. Andrei Arlovski $1.67 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Joe Riggs $2.49 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Corey Anderson $2.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Francisco Rivera $2.18

9. Tiago Trator $2.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Raquel Pennington $3.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Nazareno Malegarie $1.77

1. Paige VanZant/ 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med This might not be the highest paying pick of the night but I think it is an extremely solid bet with PVZ potentially finishing Chambers inside the opening round.

2. Joe Riggs $2.49- 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Moving up a division should be a good thing for Riggs against a fighter with a clear area of vulnerability.

3. Corey Anderson $2.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Coming off the first loss of his career he rebounds against a fighter that I haven’t been all that impressed with.

4. Andrei Arlovski $1.67 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Not a flashy play, but Mir’s value is overblown here considering who he has beat to ‘rejuvenate’ his career. Arlovski is better defensively and will crack Mir’s chin for another time.

5. Francisco Rivera $2.18-  Lineker’s size disadvantage shows up here along with his lack of diversity in his offense.

1. N/A

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Joaquim Silva/

See Betting Scenario Section.

Joe Riggs/

See Betting Scenario Section.

Jessica Andrade/

See Betting Scenario Section.

Francisco Rivera/

While I can understand why the Under might seem enticing here, I prefer the over. Both guys have massive knockout power, but each are equally difficult to finish. Don’t be shocked to see Rivera trying to clinch and grapple with Lineker at times to utilize his size and exhaust him in the process. They have lost a combined 1 time by knockout in 49 fights and while they have both been submitted on multiple occasions, neither man is known for their high level grappling game. Play the Over.

Ross Pearson/

See Betting Scenario Section.

Paige VanZant/

It baffles my mind that this fight isn’t set at 1.5 rounds. PVZ is a massive Rousey-esque favourite which would indicate she should smash Chambers with relative ease. Curran fights a similar style to PVZ and she had Chambers in trouble with her pace and aggressive GNP. PVS carries a heavier pace and should be relentless to point of exhausting the Aussie by the end of the opening round- if it gets that far. If Chambers were to catch PVZ in a sub off her back like she did to Curran, that will also play into the under. This is the only reasonably sound play involving this fight. Hit it hard.

Jan Blachowicz/

At LHW there is always a chance to see a finish. Both guys have finished multiple opponents, but they have only been stopped a combined 3 times in 28 fights and have gone the distance in 10 total bouts. Additionally, Jan has gone a full 15 minutes in 5 of his last 6 fights. Play the Over.

Anthony Johnson/

Both men are stone cold killers with a laundry list of knockout victims. So why the Over? It is hard to believe that a fighter as dangerous as Rumble has just 6 1st round finishes in his last 14 fights. It is almost 50%, but I’m guessing the average fan would have pegged him closer to 80-85%. You also have to figure in the fact that Manuwa has only been finished once. On top of all that, I expect Rumble to incorporate more wrestling into his attack, taking Manuwa out of his comfort zone and showing another dimension. Good price, high expectations for a finish. Play the Over.

Andrei Arlovski/

I put a lot of thought into playing the over, but considering the recent history of both guys and their long term issues with getting knocked out I couldn’t pull the trigger. I expect to see this fight get very aggressive, very quickly and when the leather starts flying someone is going down. I will take the Under here.

Demetrious Johnson/

See Betting Scenario Section.

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