UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey- “Bantamweight Bombshells”

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The Bantamweight divisions were on display on Friday night for the final UFC show of the year. One former champion failed to reclaim her title and another long-time champion relinquished his title in surprising fashion. We also saw a former Bantamweight champion pick up an impressive win that more than likely cemented his shot at the gold. UFC 207 was also the end of an era for longtime UFC commentator Mike Goldberg. Unfortunately, the powers-that-be opted not to acknowledge this sizeable change, which is disappointing. Let’s take a look at who some of the winners and losers from Friday Night should face next.

Amanda Nunes vs winner of Pena/Shevchenko

Nunes picked up the biggest win of her career and looked great doing it. The fight lasted just 48-seconds, which still leaves a question regarding the champs ability to win a fight that doesn’t end early. Shevchenko rallied in the third round against Nunes and could have won a 5-round fight. Pena showed that she could overcome a rough start in the Zingano fight and come on strong. Either girl would be a great next challenge.

Ronda Rousey vs Liz Carmouche

We have most likely seen the end of Rousey, but if not, we need to start rebuilding her. A rematch with her first UFC opponent from the first ever Women’s title fight in UFC history is a good start. Carmouche can strike, but she isn’t nearly the threat that Nunes or Holm represented. This is a winnable fight for Ronda, but not the type that would be seen as a gift. She also needs to make a camp change ASAP.

Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw

I know Garbrandt said he would offer Cruz an immediate rematch and Dominick’s track record warrants it, but I will go a difference direction. This fight already has built-in storylines. The post-fight shot that Dillashaw threw Cody’s way was a great start. The TJ and Bang Ludwig versus Team Alpha Male rivalry will sell itself. Finally, this is just a great fight. Any bout that I look at and don’t have an initial lean is a fight that really excites me! Let’s do it.

Dominick Cruz vs Raphael Assuncao

Cruz looked figured out. Dominick fought his fight and it simply was not enough. He is just 31-years old and hasn’t lost since 2007, so rebuilding towards a title run won’t take long. Assuncao is coming off a loss to Dillashaw and stuck in limbo. He won’t be getting a title shot anytime soon, but a win over Cruz makes some serious noise. For Cruz, the Brazilian is a highly ranked opponent that he can right the ship against and build towards a shot at either Dillashaw or Garbrandt.

TJ Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt

See Above.

John Lineker vs Aljamain Sterling

Lineker’s one-dimensional approach was exposed. He landed some decent shots, but Dillashaw’s more varied attack was too much for him to overcome. Sterling is another contender coming off a loss and the winner gets back in the mix.

Dong Hyun Kim vs Robbie Lawler

I picked Kim, but after the final bell, I felt he had lost. His pressure was the only thing he had going for him and clearly took its toll on Saffiedine who was landing the better shots. Lawler needs a return fight and should get a chance to take a step back from the upper echelon. This bout has fireworks written all over it.

Tarec Saffiedine vs Matt Brown

Saffiedine was the more effective fighter, but faded. Brown’s aggression combined with counter striking of Tarec would make for a good scrap on a Fight Night card.

Ray Borg vs Brandon Moreno

Borg has missed weight twice. That could be enough to force him up to Bantamweight. Unfortunately, the 125-pound division isn’t deep enough to keep losing fighters. Lineker and Scoggins were pretty sizeable losses, not to mention John Dodson’s choice to leave. Borg needs another chance at 125, but that’s it.

Louis Smolka vs Tim Elliott

Smolka tweeted post-fight about having a tough week leading up to the fight and how he was disappointed with Borg missing weight. Can’t blame the guy. He did get thoroughly dominated from start to finish. Elliott is coming off a title fight and would matchup with Louis to great some very entertaining grappling exchanges.

Neil Magny vs Gunnar Nelson

Magny won the fight based on his activity off his back, but Hendrick’s lack of top position output was equally as crucial to Neil’s success. If he is going to crack the upper echelon of the division, he needs to prove he can handle an elite level ground fighter. Gunnar provides that test.

Johny Hendricks vs Thales Leites

Hendricks didn’t look good and found out top position and nothing else isn’t good enough to win a fight. He seems like a fighter without a division, probably best suited for a 175-pound division. Unfortunately, that doesn’t exist. If he intends to keep competing, he might have to go to Middleweight for at least one fight. Leites is a Top 15 Middleweight who would give Johny a good test.

Tim Means vs Lorenz Larkin

Means was winning the fight before landing the illegal blows. They were illegal, but I think the No Contest over DQ was the correct call. Means needs a shot at the Top 15 and if Larkin resigns with the UFC that would be a great fight.

Alex Oliveira vs Bryan Baberena

Oliveira might have been playing it up a little, but he did get cracked with a pair of hard knees. I can’t wait for 2017 and the rule changes. “Cowboy” should not get a step up after that fight, but a bout with Barberena would be a lot of fun.

Final Thoughts

The end of 2016 brought about some major changes to the UFC landscape. The Rousey shadow looming over the Bantamweight title is gone. No longer do we wonder, what happens when she comes back. She came back and it wasn’t good. I hope she moves to a proper camp and makes a return at some point in 2017.

We also have a new champ in the Men’s Bantamweight division. It isn’t the first time someone other than Cruz has worn the title, but it is the first time they did it at Dominick’s expense. The year ahead looks fantastic at 135.

Cruz lit a flame to my Bet Packs. My Big Risk Bundle made just over a 10 unit profit, but with a Cruz win that numbers jumps to almost 50 units in profits. For my Big Bank Roll Bundle, we returned 28.76 units, 11 short of what we invested. Again with a Cruz victory, we add another 62 units to our total.

On a related note, I was disappointed with the lack of attention the UFC gave to the final night of service from Mike Goldberg. Love him or hate him, Goldie has been at the forefront of the UFC product for 20-years. There should have been some degree of recognition given to Goldberg for his years of service to the company.

That brings 2016 to an end. I finish the year 280 wins and 180 losses. Not bad, but it could have been better. Onward and upward to 2017. All the best!

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Depending on your betting style, you can select the Big Bank Roll Parlays which employs a betting strategy focussed on straight and 2-leg parlays that limit the risk and offer a decent return based on your financial commitment. If you are willing to take a little more risk and aren’t interested in putting as much cash in play, but still want a shot at a big return- then the Big Risk/ Big Reward Parlays are for you. Playing both of these strategies together is not recommended.

 

 

 

Draftkings Line up

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Fighter 1: Tim Means $8400 
Fighter 2: Antonio Carlos Junior $8100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Dominick Cruz $8700 
Fighter 4: Ray Borg $7900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Neil Magny $8200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 6: Alex Garcia $8600 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Subs
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Fighter 1: Amanda Nunes $8000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: John Lineker $7400 
Fighter 3: Dong Hyun Kim $8500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: 
 
 
 

Amanda Nunes +123 vs Ronda Rousey -135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

She is back, but for how long? Ronda was completely unhinged after her loss to Holm and I have seen nothing to indicate that she has recovered. Nunes has her own issues, but she has the type of physical strength and punching power to put doubt in Ronda’s mind and eventually put her away. This should be a fun scrap for however long it lasts. As I mentioned in my breakdown, Ronda could be best served by dragging this bout into round 2 and beyond to capitalize on a Nunes slowdown. That isn’t Rousey’s style and when the best path to victory forces a fighter out of their normal routine, I pick against them. Nunes is far from perfect and Rousey is still dangerous, so I drop this fight to a Silver play.

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I’ve got Nunes in my Sub list. If she wins, it will most likely come by finish inside the first round or 2. That being said, she will be a popular pick and if Rousey takes her out in round 1, it will probably equate to a big goose egg for the Brazilian. If Rousey does win, that will almost certainly knockout you way down the standings as many people will be on the former champ here, making the point swing sizeable.

Dominick Cruz -199 vs Cody Garbrandt +180 

As Cruz himself said, Garbrandt’s success centers on his ability to land impactful strikes. If he can’t do that, he can’t win. Cruz’s style revolves around being allusive and in the process shutting down his opponents offense while landing his own- a 2-pronged attack. That is what the key difference will be here. I am not saying Cody couldn’t land a find ending strike early in this bout, but the chances are low and get lower as the fight advances. We also have to take into account the wrestling of Cruz and his experience (along with Cody’s lack thereof) in longer fights. Cruz does what he does best and outworks Garbrandt from start to finish. Cruz is part of my Gold section plays.

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While a quick finish is still a big point producer, we are seeing bigger point totals being scored by fighters that go the distance. That is what Cruz will do for us here. He will have 25 minutes to hit Garbrandt as often as he and score as many takedowns as he can. We could easily see Dom put up 95-115 points in a fight like this. The nice thing about this play is that many will stay away from Cruz based on his history of decisions. I like the play and he is affordable. Put him in the lineup.

TJ Dillashaw -225 vs John Lineker +221 

Upset alert! Dillashaw is focused, but focused on the wrong man. He is doing interviews about Cruz avoiding him and how he should be fighting for the title. He should be talking about his fight with Lineker. Dillashaw isn’t nearly as elusive as Cruz. He does a lot of lateral movement, but once he commits to his attack he moves straight forward. He relies on his speed to protect his chin, which is often left exposed. Lineker is pretty quick, hits harder, and has the same reach. He will have to punch up a little, but its not as big a difference as it has been in other fights. TJ can also be drawn into exchanges where he will take 3-4 shots before disengaging. That is a huge problem against a guy with a better chin and more power. If Dillashaw goes to his wrestling or can stay completely out of range without spending the entire fight back-pedaling, he wins- but I don’t see that happening. It’s another step up for Lineker against the best opponent he has faced to date. Bronze play.

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Lineker is cheap and I am banking on him winning by finish. If that is the case, he will score a lot, but my guess is he will be popular. If he gets shutout, that will hurt those that banked on him. I am looking for unique points here and while John is tempting- he is just a sub for me.

Louis Smolka +118 vs Ray Borg -125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I am really looking forward to this fight. Both guys are fantastic on the mat, but the key is going to be positional control. That favours Borg. He is the better wrestler, with the better takedown game, and the superior control skills. Smolka has struggled with fighters that take him down, but once his work rate starts to kick in, they tire and he takes over. Borg is equally as good a scrambler and won’t wear down. We saw how Smolka’s willingness to give up position can cost him against Moreno. When you go back to the Holohan fight, Paddy was leading the dance until he tired. I like Borg to get the better of the floor action and make Louis pay for his mistakes. Good line here, Borg is a Gold Play.

Update:Borg missed weight as well, but I feel he will bounce back better than Hendricks and he won’t be effected. Stay the course.

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Borg is also a solid fantasy option and will be in my starting lineup. He is a double threat to score- he will either put up points with takedowns and advances on the mat or with a finish. He could also score points with a combo of the 2. He is also cheap at $7900. Plug him in.

Dong Hyun Kim -135 vs Tarec Saffiedine +128 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both fighters have distinct styles and if this was a 5-round fight I might favour Tarec, but I don’t here. Saffiedine has trouble with pressure and while his TDD is good, he gets stuck in the clinch way too much. Those are 2 areas that Kim builds his attack around. If Saffiedine can’t find a way to turn Dong back, Dong is going to Dong. Kim might even get the stoppage, but at the least he will hold superior position on the wall and be the more active striker. With Kim have some cardio issues and trending toward the reckless side of things, I dropped him to a Silver play.

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I have Kim as a sub, but he was originally in my lineup. He has stopped his foe in each of his last 4 fights and could here as well. His clinch fighting and heavy striking barrage could have mixed results if he can’t get the finish, but he has averaged just over 88 points per fight in his last 4 victories. The fact that Dong goes for the finish right from the start and won’t stop until the ref halts the fight is a positive for your team. With only 10 fights to pick from I think Kim as a lot to offer, but if Saffiedine is strong defensively this bout has the potential to be a low scoring affair even with a win.

Neil Magny -110 vs Johnny Hendricks +103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The line is moving against Hendricks here, which isn’t surprising considering his recent performances. Magny needs to rebound from a pretty rough loss. The last time he lost such a one-sided fight, he went on a pretty solid run. Magny’s reach is going to create a lot of issues for Hendricks to do what he does well. Whether it be wrestling or landing volume/power- Hendricks has to get on the inside with consistency. Magny is going to pump the jab and circle away. This could be a close fight, but Johny’s lack of consistency activity and questionable cardio are a pair of big drawbacks. Magny is a top play for me. Keep an eye on Hendrick’s after round 1, if he starts strong but looks like he might be a little winded, Live Bet Magny. Neil tends to rally well and take over fights after a slow start.

Update:Hendricks missed weight, get in on Magny ASAP as the line should start to change and he will probably hit the cage around -135 or lower.

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Magny is another fighter capable of scoring a finish, but will probably see a decision in this fight. I still like him on my team. Prior to the Larkin loss, he put up totals of 139, 102, 93, 125, 104, and 100 points over his last 6 wins. Those are pretty solid totals, especially considering 2 of those went the distance. Hendricks should be there to hit as he tends to stay in the pocket. I am not banking on a lot of takedown points from Magny, but the volume should produce.

Marvin Vettori +128 vs Antonio Carlos Junior -137 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The fans are really on Vettori and anytime the public is backing a dog in heavy fashion, that fighter is a great fade. Unless Carlos Junior gasses like he did against Kelly, I don’t see Vettori winning this fight. He beat a couple of BJJ Black belts by submission, impressive, but the combined skills and size/strength of “Shoe face” is going to be a lot to overcome. Vettori gives up position too much and Junior is not the type you want to gift top position too. Not my favourite play on the card, but still worth a bet in the Bronze section.

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I do have the big Brazilian in my DK lineup. He has finished 5 of his 6 career wins, including 2 in the UFC. In his last bout, he scored an impressive 116 points and had a similar output against Gordon. Whether through an early finish or a fight dominated by top position and advances, Junior will score. Based on the Public Picks section, there is a lot of support for Vettori, which should magnify the value of the points that Junior scores.

Alex Garcia -164 vs Mike Pyle +158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The outcome is based more on what Pyle can’t do than what Garcia can do. Pyle simply can’t take a punch anymore. If Garcia touches his chin once, it will be all downhill. Garcia’s lack of strong cardio prevents this pick from being a top play, but similar to the fight posted above, the odds are decent enough to warrant a play. Bronze play.

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Garcia’s finishes have dried up since coming to the UFC. Pyle has been knocked out in 5 of his last 6 defeat. Those numbers suggest that the hard-hitting Dominican will be able to get back on track in this bout most, likely with a first round stoppage. Add him to the club.

Brandon Thatch -172 vs Niko Price +170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This fight is looking more and more like a pass to me. I might take a shot at a prop bet, but Thatch has struggled too much of late to risk a lot of cash on. There isn’t a tonne of footage on Price out there either so we are flying a little blind.

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Pass here.

Tim Means +100 vs Alex Oliveira -102 

A lot of people are favouring Oliveira here. His ugly brand of clinch fighting could steal the win, but I like the more technically skilled fighter to get the job done. Oliveira’s attack is built around clinch control and takedowns. Means can be taken down, but it isn’t easy to do that or to hold him down if he gets on top. The bigger factor here will be the damage that Oliveira takes when he is in the clinch as Means can really put it on a fighter with short elbows and knees. If they do hit the mat, Alex takes chances that can result in loss of position and Means will capitalize. At distance, the Brazilian is way too reckless for my liking. He comes forward behind wide punches which will open him up to counters. Means keeps things tight and hurts Oliveira for the finish. Close fight, Silver play.

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I bumped Kim from my lineup in favour of Tim. Means has picked up 4 consecutive finishes and will recognize that a win in this bout should put him in line to fight at top 15 opponent. Unless Oliveira can take Means down at will, he is going to spend a lot of time in the clinch getting pounded on. If he opts to stay away from the clinch, he will get eaten up at distance. Either a finish or compilation of strikes over 15-minutes will produce points. If as many players are on Oliveira as I feel they will be, then I like Means that much more.

1. Dominick Cruz -199 

2. Neil Magny -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Ray Borg -125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Dong Hyun Kim -135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Tim Means +100 

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6. Alex Garcia -164 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Antonio Carlos Junior -137 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Brandon Thatch -172 

9. Amanda Nunes +123 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. John Lineker +221 

 

1. Amanda Nunes +123 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. John Lineker +221 

3. Tim Means +100 

4. Neil Magny -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Alex Garcia to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. N/A

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Amanda Nunes/Ronda Rousey Total Rounds Over 1.5 +193 

While this fight could easily be done inside the first 200 seconds, I am going to fade conventional wisdom and jump on the value here. Nunes has been defeated 3-times, all in the second half of the fight. Her earliest loss came in the final seconds of round 2. She is a lot to handle from a physical standpoint and her power will make Rousey think twice about rushing into the clinch. She has also become a more patient fighter of late and should try to avoid the mistakes of other Rosuey opponents by rushing in to attack. On the flipside, it took a lot for Holm to finish Rousey. Nunes might have to pile up the damage for Ronda is done. I’m am no way in love with this play, but it is worth a small play.

Dominick Cruz to Win by Decision +135 

Cruz has gone the distance in 6 of his last 7 wins, with the only stoppage coming against the fading Mizugaki. Garbrandt has never been knocked out as a pro, but Cruz has been flaunting the footage of Cody getting KOed as an amateur. Cruz will play matador for the entire fight and while he could land a counter that puts the challenger down, I expect that he takes this on the scorecards. Very solid plus money play.

Ray Borg to Win by Submission +400 

Way too much value to pass on here. Of Borg’s 9 career wins, 6 have come by submission, including 2 in the UFC. Smolka is coming off the first submission loss of his career, but I feel it wasn’t as much a fluke as it was the product of his fighting style. One fight earlier, he ran over Ben Ngyuen. Despite his perceived dominance, he put himself in some bad spots during the fight that he was able to counter out of. Moreno found himself in a similar advantageous position and finished Louis. Borg is a dangerous fighter and will make Smolka pay for his mistakes. I love this play.

Neil Magny/Johny Hendricks 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Marvin Vettori/Antonio Carlos Junior Total Rounds Under 2.5 +100 

Both men finish and both tend to finish on the mat. This fight should be contested in both fighter’s area of strength and the 2.5 rounds at plus money is too enticing to pass up. Junior has gone the distance just once in victory and counting his 3 TUF wins that is a ratio of 8:1. Vettori has 10 first round stoppages and has also seen the cards in victory just once over 10 victories. I had this fight set at 1.5 rounds, so I will eat up the additional round willingly.

Alex Garcia to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I actually had to go back and look at the line again after typing it in. This is a must play. Pyle has been knocked out in 5 of his last 6 defeats and at 41 his ability to take a punch won’t be getting better anytime soon. Garcia is a flawed fighter, but he hits hard, lands his strikes, and works out of a good camp. If Sean Spencer was able to hurt Pyle, so can Garcia. Include this play somewhere on your card.

Tim Means/Alex Oliveira 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Brandon Thatch/Niko Price 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

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