UFC 198: Werdum vs Miocic- ‘Stiped in Gold’

I wrote this...

We have a brand new man wearing the Heavyweight gold and the silence that followed amongst the Brazilian crowd told the whole story. Miocic remained calm under pressure and delivered the definitive blow while moving backward and then erupted into fantastic celebration. The debut of Cyborg certainly did not disappoint, the next title contender at Middleweight was crowned, and handful of veteran Brazilians picked up big wins at home. Let’s take a look at my Top 10 Fights to make after UFC 198.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs Alexander Gustafsson

Nogueira showed that he still has some fight left in him while capitalizing on a poorly executed game plan on Cummins’s part. I’m going to buck the trend of winner/winner and loser/loser that the UFC usually sticks to and pair up Little Nog with Gus, if the big Swede decides he wants to compete again. Gus has fought a litany of top-ranked opponents, so this is a nice step back for him and if the Brazilian pulls it out then it opens up some big fights that were long thought off the table at this stage of his career.

John Lineker vs John Dodson

The failed Flyweight continues to impress as a 135 pounder, but it is time for him to start facing some next level competition. Dodson is fresh of his return to the division and would present some interesting challengers for Lineker in a must-see fight. Make it happen.

Francisco Trinaldo vs Evan Dunham

It is time for Trinaldo to get a crack at an opponent ranked in the Top 15. Evan Dunham is sitting just on the edge, but represents a very tough challenge for the veteran Brazilian. If he intends to make a run he has to start facing top-ranked competition now, Dunham is a perfect gatekeeper to determine where Trinaldo belongs.

Matt Brown vs Lorenz Larkin

It was a tough loss for Brown and overall a pretty rough weekend. Nonetheless, he is still an entertaining fighter, capable of giving 90% of the division trouble.  He has fought the Champ, and #2, #5, #6, and #9 ranked fighters in the division. That is a tough run. I considered pairing him up with Dong Hyun Kim for a rematch from a controversial bout from much earlier in their careers, but I think Brown needs to take a slight step back. Larkin is by no means an easy fight, but stylistically it works better for Brown and has a tonne of potential for the fans.

Demian Maia vs winner of Stephen Thompson/Rory MacDonald

Maia is looking for a shot at the title, but he’ll have to get in line. There are potential matchups that could work against Condit and Hendricks, but wins in those fights probably wouldn’t be enough on their own to vault him to the front of the line for a shot at the gold. ‘Wonderboy’ is facing Rory next and could earn himself a fight with the winner of Lawler/Woodley if he wins. If not, I wouldn’t mind seeing Maia and Thompson square off to see who could impose their style on the other, leaving the winner to be the clear #1 contender. If Rory beats Thompson then a rematch with Maia could also work considering Rory is already 0-2 against Lawler and probably won’t be rushed into another title fight for a bit.

Mauricio Rua vs Jimi Manuwa

This fight had been previously booked and Manuwa pulled out, leading to ‘Shogun’ getting starched by OSP. I didn’t feel that Rua won the fight and instead road the strength of decent finishes to rounds one and two. Neither guy will ever come close to the title (again for Rua), but this pairing offers some solid fireworks whether it goes down in the UK or Brazil.

Cristiane Justino vs Germaine de Randamie

How many people are going to line-up to fight ‘Cyborg’. Not many and those that do are instantly regretting it once the first punch lands. Cris hit the scale at 139, only 3 pounds away from the non-title fight limit for Bantamweight. If she feels she can get rid of those 3 pounds safely, then GdR could be one of the few fighters willing to stand and trade with her. That fight would bring serious attention to the division and build another future contender. If de Randamie pulls off the upset suddenly a dangerous fighter that has struggled to establish herself gets a massive push. Great scrap!

Ronaldo Souza vs Winner of Rockhold/Weidman

This one is pretty straight forward. The Romero loss aside, Souza needs to fight for the title. If it’s against Rockhold then there is already a strong background to build around for the rematch. If Weidman regains the title, he has a history of facing and beating  the best Brazil has to offer which is certainly an angle that can be exploited.

Fabricio Werdum vs Ben Rothwell

That was a tough loss for Fabricio, but the Heavyweight division is made for rebounding. Considering the nature of the loss, Werdum will need to get back in line to earn a shot at the title. We will most likely see the fight listed below next, but Werdum could start his road back with a win over Rothwell. I also wouldn’t be opposed to a Werdum versus Arlovski rematch either. One of those 3 fighters gets a big win to re-establish their position in the title picture.

Stipe Miocic vs Alistair Overeem

Despite definitively stopping  Werdum, Miocic still has a ways to go to prove he is the best Heavyweight in the division. He dropped a close decision to JDS and holds wins over just 3 other top 10 fighters- #6, 8, and 10. Overeem is on a role of his own and is a fantastic next fight for Stipe. Additionally, that pairing really helps the division to diversify and showcase the talent in the division- we have been stuck in the JDS/Velasquez merry-go-round for so long. While I think this is the fight that should happen next, the door is open for a number of different options down the road. The winner of Browne/Velasquez will be in prime position. Dos Santos could be a win away for calling for a title fight, and the aforementioned triumvirate of Werdum, Rothwell, and Arlovski are certainly in the mix with a couple of wins.

Final Thoughts

I really question the decisions made by Werdum. He got tagged with a right early while chasing Stipe and opted to continue that pursuit to his undoing. After masterful performances against Hunt and Velasquez along with his previous triumphs, it is possible that he let the success get to his head. A humbling defeat like this could bring him back to a better place as a fighter.

Cyborg is an absolute monster and if the UFC allows to her slowly progress to making the Bantamweight limit properly, they could have another major star on their hands. Not because she is good on the mic or looks good on the cover a magazine, but because she is a hellacious fighter bent. The potential matchups are exciting; Tate, Holm, Rousey, Zigano, and Nunes just to name a few.

After a strong run I certainly came back to earth this weekend at 6-5, but we can’t win them all or else it wouldn’t be any fun- right? No, it would be awesome! The Bet Pack didn’t produce like its predecessors, but there was still some solid info included- check it out below. We get an extra week before we head to UFN 88 and then into June!

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Fabricio Werdum -155 
Selection 2: Patrick Cummins -219 
Selection 3: Francisco Trinaldo -215 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Corey Anderson -145 
===================================================
Price: +493  Bet: 12
Payout: 59.19 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Demian Maia -280 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Rob Font +145 
Selection 3: Ronaldo Souza -265 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Corey Anderson -145 
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Price: +674  x Bet: 10 units 
Payout: 67.38 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Renato Moicano +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Ronaldo Souza/Vitor Belfort Total Rounds Over 1.5 +135 
Selection 3: John Lineker/Rob Font Total Rounds Over 1.5 -132 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Francisco Trinaldo -215 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +1473  x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 103.14 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Fabricio Werdum to Win by Submission +270 
Selection 2: Thiago Santos to Win by TKO/KO/DQ -155 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Corey Anderson/Mauricio Rua Total Rounds Under 2.5 +160 
Selection 4: Demian Maia/Matt Brown Total Rounds Under 1.5 +155 
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Price: +3936  x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 275.5 units

 

Draftkings Line up

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Kamikaze
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Fighter 1: Fabcricio Werdum $10300 
Fighter 2: Corey Anderson $10200 
Fighter 3: Rob Font $9700 
Fighter 4: Francisco Trinaldo $10000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Patrick Cummins $9800 
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Overdrive
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Fighter 1: Ronaldo Souza $10600 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Demian Maia $10500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Patrick Cummins $9800 
Fighter 4: Francisco Trinaldo $10000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Renato Moicano $9000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining: 
 
 
 

 

Fabricio Werdum -155 vs Stipe Miocic +145 

I have a lot of thought to picking Stipe. One of my favourite upset picks was his win over Nelson, it paid so well and was so obvious. Looking back at his history Miocic has two clear cut approaches. He either uses a boxing based assualt or switches it up and looks for the takedown and ground and pound. I like his striking here, but Werdum is a little more varied and should be able to push him. Stipe will slow and while Werdum’s cardio isn’t perfect- it will be good enough. Once Fabricio starts to land, especially with his kicks, look for Stipe to switch gears and look for the takedown- that will be a mistake. Werdum will invite it and take advantage of the panic wrestling for submission. At -155, Werdum has a decent return considering there are 9 fights on this card with heavy dogs at over -200. The champ sits in my Gold parlay.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Creating competitive DK lineups will also be difficult for this card, so we will have to get a little creative. At $10300, Werdum gives us a solid play without breaking the bank. There are two ways to look at this option. He either puts up 80 to 90 points with a 5-round decision win through volume and some possible ground work or he scores the stoppage somewhere between rounds 2 and 4 when a tired Stipe gets desperate. Either way, I have him on Team Kamikaze.

 

Ronaldo Souza -265 vs Vitor Belfort +269 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Under normal circumstances, this fight is a candidate to be left off the board. That isn’t the case on this night. Belfort is going to look to get him out of there quickly, if he can’t, it will be all Jacare. In fights where Belfort’s opponents have looked to take him down, they have. Jacare is too good for Vitor to catch off his back and once the strikes begin to pile up Belfort will shell up like he did against Weidman. I am a little concerned with that first burst from Vitor so I am cutting Jacare to the Silver section.

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Jacare wasn’t originally in my lineup, but I did some recalculating and instead of using a fighter I picked against I doubled up Trinaldo and swapped out Thiago Santos for Souza. The takedowns should be there for Souza and once on the mat look for him to score with GNP and positional advances. I can’t see Belfort surviving a full 3-rounds with Jacare on top of him- the finish should eventually materialize. Team Overdrive.

 

Cris Cyborg -1100 vs Leslie Smith +1190 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Clearly we won’t be betting this and the prop bets will only be marginally better. I will take a look, but I struggle to see where we will find value here. I gave a little thought to Cyborg by decision, but I don’t think Smith will be able to endure a full 3-rounds based on her style.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Too expensive and too popular a pick. If you do back Cyborg you will be stuck with at least 3 dogs on your card.

Corey Anderson -145 vs Mauricio Rua +216

Beggars can’t be choosers and unless you want to ride on a bunch of dogs, go heavy on the props, or leave your money in the bank for this card- we need to make lemonade with the Lemons. Anderson at -200 works for me here in my Gold play. I just don’t see Shogun having anything more than a punchers chance and it would have to go down early. After the impact of takedowns and accumulated damage begin to…accumulate Rua will be hard-pressed to land that finishing blow. Anderson’s striking is getting better, but I anticipate that he will work his wrestling here and put Rua on his butt. Additionally, the ability of Shogun to take damage has diminished and Anderson could very well get the finish. Gold Play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

I also have Corey on Team Kamikaze. He has a lot of potential avenues to score points and is pretty playable at $10200. He isn’t known for his finishing ability, but with Shogun’s recent history with getting finished and the progression that Corey has made I could see a stoppage coming at any point in this fight. If we do go the full 3-rounds, Anderson averages over 5 strikes per minute, had 111 against Villante, and Shogun will be there to be hit. He also completes just 4 takedowns per fight so if you the math that gives him the potential to put up a decent total even without the finish. Strong fantasy recommendation here.

Warlley Alves -471 vs Bryan Barberena +484 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No Play here. Barberena is a tough dude and if he can survive that early onslaught he could turn the fight in his favour if Alves slows down. I’ll stay away.

Draft-Kings-Logo

At $10800, Alves is too limiting on the rest of the lineup to invest in. An early submission would score nicely, but Barberena is a pretty tough dude. Pass.

Demian Maia -280 vs Matt Brown +281 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I looked at Brown as a potential upset pick and there is certainly a path to victory for him. I might consider him as an option for a small counter bet. Maia has been running over fighters with the type of approach that Brown as struggled with; takedowns and submission. He should be able to continue that trend here. Still, if Brown can survive the early onslaught and start to land I could see something similar to Maia/MacDonald where Demian gets the opening round and nothing more. I will play him in Silver section and of course look at the prop bet.

Draft-Kings-Logo

At $10500, Maia is one of the more expensive investments I will make for this card. The points will be there either via an early finish or constant takedowns and movement on the mat. Hard to resist considering the history on both side, he is far better investment than other higher paying options.

Thiago Santos -345 vs Nate Marquardt +348 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No Play here, the risk/reward is not there. If Marquardt gets this fight to the mat or catches him with a big right-hand everything could be gone for so little.

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As mentioned above I had Santos in my lineup, but opted to go with the more affordable Jacare. Pass.

John Lineker -147 vs Rob Font +145

Oh boy, this should be good. Font is heading into enemy territory to take on a hurricane of destruction. He needs to use that against Lineker and avoid getting drawn into a firefight. Linker is a wild brawler and a much better boxer than many give him credit for, but he can also be quite predictable. Font needs to use his length and his head to pick away at Linker and out-point him. I liked his approach against Gomez and I see him using it here. The Rivera fight did nothing to show me Lineker can overcome the physical disadvantages at BW. Still hard to pick Americans in Brazil and a decision has to be clearly in Font’s favour to get it. Silver play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

I do have Font on Team Kamikaze. At $9700, he is a must have simply because he is one of the few underdogs that I think can win. It is interesting to note that the Fantasy line is even, suggesting they feel this fight is much closer than the odds makers. The big issues isn’t Font’s stopping power, it is Lineker’s ability to take damage and keep going. Font has power and has a nice collection of stoppages so it’s not impossible, but I am counting on him picking up points with volume and possibly a couple of takedowns. He will most likely be an unpopular pick amongst most players and if he does top the 85 point mark the money saved and spent elsewhere will be further magnified. On cards like these we need solid dog plays- Font is just that.

Patrick Cummins -219 vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira +221 

Cummins is going to wrestling Little Nog. There I said it! Even though Nogueira knows what is coming, I don’t see him being able to stop it. Glover kept getting up and doing damage in between attempts. I don’t see Nog have the power or consistency to do that and eventually he will slow down and stop getting off the mat. I love that Cummins has fought in Brazil 3-times already. He knows what he is getting into which is huge. The confidence of having won twice in Brazil is also important. Cummins striking is also improving and he should be athletic enough to at least keep it close on the feet between shots. I have Cummins in my Gold parlay.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Cummins joins both teams as I feel I would rather back a fighter twice that can win a fight and roll the dice with one I picked against. He is cheap, $9800 is a bargain. Look for points to come in the form of takedowns and continue GNP. He has put up some big takedowns numbers in his last handful of fights and he is figuring out how to pair his top control together with volume. I don’t think a stoppage is that far away either, especially if he can keep piling up the damage.

Francisco Trinaldo -215 vs Yancy Medeiros +211 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

We aren’t doing anything fancy here. Trinaldo is the final play of my 4-leg Gold parlay. Medeiros isn’t the volume striker that some would think he is and he doesn’t use his reach all that well. Trinaldo hits harder, is more active, and will get on the inside and go to work. Additionally, Yancy lacks the wrestling attack to change gears and put the Brazilian down. If anything, Trinaldo will be the one scoring the TDs. Gold play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Here is my swing many. Trinaldo is the fighter I am opting to double up- use on both teams. At $10000 he is very cheap and has the ability to finish Medeiros and/or mount up points with takedowns and volume. Medeiros is incredibly hittable and the numbers will show that. Look for Trinaldo to continue to roll here and with all the big names on this card he will fly under the radar a bit. Capitalize.

Sergio Moraes -400 vs Luan Chagas +379 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Pass here. Not worth it.

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Here as well.

Zubaira Tukhugov -147 vs Renato Moicano +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Moicano is returning after a long layoff, but his debut was pretty impressive. Conversely, Tukhugov has quietly put together a solid run in the UFC, but his last fight was much closer than many expected. There are a couple of reasons I like Renato here. First, he is in Brazil. That is huge, especially if this fight goes the distance. In a close fight, we normally see the Brazilian fighter get the nod. Not always, but it is nice to have in our back pocket. I also like the reach/ height of Moicano to aid him during the striking exchanges and his ground game will also show up. Tukhugov is dangerous, but I feel at times he holds back enough to let his opponent remain competitive. I’ll take the local in a close one. Silver Parlay.

Draft-Kings-Logo

This pick won’t be a popular one which is a good start. He knows how to finish, will score on the mat, and can hold his own on the feet.  In the end, his low price and lack of options makes him the owner of the final spot on Team Overdrive.

 

1. Cris Cyborg -1100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Francisco Trinaldo -215 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Warlley Alves -471 

4. Corey Anderson -145 

5. Thiago Santos -345 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Patrick Cummins -219 

7. Fabricio Werdum -155 

8. Ronaldo Souza -265 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Demian Maia -280 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Rob Font +145 

11. Sergio Moraes -400

12. Renato Moicano +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Rob Font +145 

2. Fabricio Werdum to Win by Submission +270 

3. Corey Anderson/Mauricio Rua Total Rounds Under 2.5 +160 

4. Renato Moicano +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Ronaldo Souza/Vitor Belfort Total Rounds Over 1.5 +135 

1. Matt Brown +281-  Brown has defied the odds and moved himself from the edge of unemployment back to relevancy. He is entering Brazil with both fingers in the air and that is the type of attitude you need to avoid getting beat in Brazil before the fight starts. If he can remain vertical longer than expected or start quick he has the skills to finish the job. A small hedge bet wouldn’t be a terrible idea.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information

 

Prop Bets

 

Fabricio Werdum to Win by Submission +270 

It is hard not to like this pick. Miocic is tough and durable, but he relies too heavily on his wrestling when things are going south. That is exactly what Werdum wants. It might not come on the first exchange, but once Miocic commits himself to his wrestling- Werdum will figure it out and catch him. He tends to get a bit sloppy on his shot and will leave his head out if he can’t complete it with his early efforts.

Ronaldo Souza/Vitor Belfort Total Rounds Over 1.5 +135 

Belfort is a first round killing machine, but I don’t see him dictating the pace. Jacare will focus heavily on holding the position once he takes Vitor down, so submissions and GNP will be secondary to control. Of Souza’s last 4 fights, 3 have lasted into the third round. I expect that Belfort will have enough gas to defend off his back for a round and get us close to the 1.5. With the finishing potential on both sides, it is a bit of risk, but I like the odds.

Cris Cyborg /Leslie Smith Total Rounds Over 1.5 +240 

Cyborg looked very good at the weigh-ins and at 139 pounds, the Bantamweight limit is not that far away. Can she finish Smith in the opening round? Absolutely, but Smith is a pretty tough kid and won’t go away easy. Additionally, Cyborg might look to come out cautiously and try to avoid gassing out if she can’t finish Smith early. The number of willing fighters that wanted to fight Justino at 145 was wearing thin, the talent pool is much deeper at 135. Smith guts it out just long enough.

Corey Anderson/Mauricio Rua Total Rounds Under 2.5 +160 

Shogun has been finished in 3 of his last 4 fights- all under the 2.5 mark. He also has finished his opponent in 3 of his last 4 wins. Anderson has gone to the 3rd round in 5 consecutive bouts, with zero wins by finish. That isn’t encouraging, but he is improving as a striker and has decent power. Shogun is simply not as durable as he use to be and he has become much more hittable, Nog almost finished him early and didn’t really catch him all that hard. I like the Under.

Warlley Alves/Bryan Barberena Total Rounds Over 1.5 -132 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Barberena has been finished just once in his career. He is durable and not going to be intimidated by the hostile environment. Alves is coming off of a first-round finish, but prior to that he hit the Over 1.5 in 3 straight bouts and went to the 3rd in 2 of those. In his submission wins over Covington and Taleb, they were looking to engage him on the mat and got caught- I don’t see Barberena following that pattern and keeping the fight in the striking realm where Alves isn’t nearly as lethal (still dangerous).

Demian Maia/Matt Brown 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Thiago Santos to Win by TKO/KO/DQ -155 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Marquardt’s body just isn’t built to take punishment like it use to and Santos can dish out the punishment. I considered the under which would keep Nate’s power and submission skills in play, but I think I would like to give Santos that extra time to pile up the damage. Nate’s chin is a major question mark, but unless Santos cracks him with a head kick I think he will need to pile of the damage to get the stop. Marquardt stuck around a long time against Gastelum despite the beating, he could do the same here and spoil the under.

John Lineker/Rob Font Total Rounds Over 1.5 -132 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Neither man has been finished by knockout, which is a key component to playing the Under. There is always a first which could easily be the case for either man with the power that their opponent has. Font has to avoid doing what Rivera did and I think he will. He uses a calculated approach and that will push this fight deep.

Sergio Moraes/Luan Chagas

See Betting Scenario Section.

Zubaira Tukhugov/ Renato Moicano

See Betting Scenario Section.

KAMIKAZE OVERDRIVE LOGO White