UFC 212: Aldo vs Holloway- “All Must Fall”

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The UFC second trip to Brazil featured the crowning of a new Featherweight champion, some questionable judging, a 7-4 record for the locals, and a couple of big upset. While the crowd might have been rendered speechless at the end of the night, I’ve got lots to say on who the big names from Saturday should be matched up with next. Let’s take a look!

Max Holloway vs Frankie Edgar

What a victory! Arguably the biggest fan of Max Holloway outside of his friends and family could be the former Lightweight champion. Edgar was sitting in Featherweight purgatory, 0-2 and coming off the lesser of his two performances. I struggled to see how Holloway won’t get paired up Frankie for his first title defense. If he can get by “The Answer”, and Aldo wins the next fight on our list- we could see the UFC head to Hawaii for big rematch in front of Max’s people.

Jose Aldo vs Ricardo Lamas

Aldo needs a break from the rigors of being a champion. Yes, he beat Edgar to win the “title”, but honestly I didn’t see him as the champion. Holloway confirmed that and now maybe we can move on from the black mark that a certain Irishman left on the division. Lamas just lost his fight with KZ and while he probably won’t want to wait around to face Aldo, regardless of the outcome of his next fight, this rematch would be a decent Fight Night headliner. Don’t be shocked if Jose opts to walk away for a prolonged period of time. Non-championship Reebok sponsor money is going to be tough to swallow.

Claudia Gadelha vs Carla Esparza

Claudia looked impressive and if she is going to win the title, that is how she has to do it. Is she ready for another shot? Not in my books, but there seems to be some heat between her and the former champion. Claudia needs to take a page out of Frankie’s book and string some wins together waiting for her next shot.

Vitor Belfort & Nate Marquardt

This was not a good fight and unless it ended in spectacular knockout early on, it wasn’t going to be a good fight. Belfort said he has 5 more fights on his contract. I’m not interested in seeing him compete anymore. I don’t believe he won this fight and I don’t see him winning many more fights.

Nate looked ok, but suffering another “defeat” will make it a hard sell to keep him around. I could see him being used as a stepping stone for an up and coming fighter, but I think he should take the opportunity to walk away off of a non-knockout defeat.

Paulo Borrachinha vs Trevor Smith

Borrachinha can crack, but it is time to match him with a wrestler who will test his heart. Smith’s chin is vulnerable enough to be an issue but his ground game is good enough to figure out where the young Brazilian is defensively.

Yancy Medeiros vs Omari Akhmedov

The timeline works and both guys are looking for an opportunity to face Top 15 competition. The winner gets there.

Raphael Assuncao vs Dominick Cruz

I didn’t see Assuncao as the winner when everything was said and done, but I did predict that the fight would head to the judges with a lot of uncertainty. Regardless, it’s a big win for him and he should be rewarded accordingly. I’m sure Cruz will be getting a shot at the title the next time he enters the cage, but if not, a fight with Assuncao would be the perfect test for him. If they aren’t ready to insert the Brazilian into the title picture, let him take on the winner of Rivera/Almeida.

Marlon Moraes vs Joe Soto

Talk about getting a raw deal. I had Marlon winning round 1 and Assuncao ahead in the middle frame. I felt Moraes was fading, but he came out strong in the final round and in my opinion, he won the fight. Regardless, it was a strong first performance for the former WSOF champion. He will probably get a spot in the rankings despite the defeat, but let’s take a step back and have him fight an opponent ranked near the bottom of the Top 15. Soto is a tough opponent, but I think Moraes could look good beating him and get that first UFC victory.

Final Thoughts

Was this the real passing of the torch from Aldo to the next Featherweight champ? McGregor’s rein was snuffed out by his own ambition and will eventually be a footnote when other champions have come and gone. Max has a difficult road ahead of him with the likes of Frankie Edgar, Chad Mendes, the Korean Zombie all licking their lips at an opportunity to fight for the belt again. All hail the new champion!

I already mentioned my thoughts on the Moraes/Assuncao fight and to be brutally honest there wasn’t a lot of other big moments that came out of the UFC 212. My performance was marred by some questionable judging, but at 7-5 it is a slight improvement. The Bet Packs were serviceable, but not great. June is a busy month and the clock is ticking.

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Draftkings Line up

Fighter 1: Antonio Carlos Junior $8900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Vitor Belfort $8400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Paulo Borrachinha $9200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Erick Silva $8000 
Fighter 5: Johnny Eduardo $7600 
Fighter 6: Marco Beltran $7700 
Salary Remaining:
Fighter 1: Iuri Alcantara $9100 
Fighter 2: Max Holloway $8100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: 
Fighter 4: 

Jose Aldo -141 vs Max Holloway +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

All champions must fall…again. Aldo looked good against Edgar, but Holloway is a different animal. Max has the striking arsenal to keep up with Aldo, but more importantly he has the desire/ momentum to overcome a champion who has been at the top for a while but appears to be losing focus. The line has been all over the place, so expect more movement heading into fight night. Max was temporarily the favourite, hitting -110 mark earlier in the week. I like Max to take it home and he comes in as a Silver Play.


Max draws a play as a sub. Could he finish Aldo? Possibly. Could he compile a decent striking total over 5-rounds. Yup. That is the more likely of the 2 scenarios. Consider the quality of opposition, I don’t have Max in my #1 play, but he could make it into a couple of auxiliary lineups.

Claudia Gadelha -321 vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz +295 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m going to pass on a straight up bet here. Gadelha should win this fight, but KK is no slouch and will have her moments. She’s a bit of a slow starter which will cost her in a 3 round fight against an opponent that usually starts strong. Pass on a side, looking for a prop option might be the way to go.


Nothing here.

Vitor Belfort -152 vs Nate Marquardt +147 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Belfort is clearly at the end, but so is Marquardt. The biggest difference is that Vitor has been taking on higher level opponents, fighters close to fighting for a title. Marquardt has been battling it out with fringe top 15 opponents. Nate hesitates too much for my liking and Vitor should be able capitalize with an early flurry. Look for the Brazilian crowd to have Vitor aggressive early which is his key to victory. Belfort is a Silver play.


At $8400, Vitor is affordable for a fighter that is basically a knockout or bust competitor. He ends this fight in round 1, early round 2 at worst if he wins at all. Play him.

Paulo Borrachinha -269 vs Oluwale Bamgbose +241 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The numbers suggest this will be a fun fight or really sloppy if we get into the second half of round 2. I like Borrachinha, but with a pair of fighters with power and short average fight times- anything can happen. Pass.


Borrachinha is a big hitter and I like his style to pair up well with Bamgbose’s approach. Paulo is more linear and will push forward lookng for the KO against a fighter that moves around trying to find openings to engage. Big knockout numbers, almost entirely in the opening round. Sign him up.

Erick Silva +128 vs Yancy Medeiros -135 

Silva’s line is on the move in a significant way. He opened around the -150 mark and is now reaching heights close to +135 on some books. Silva has the submission advantage and I give him the power edge on the feet. I don’t believe Medeiros is as durable as people believe. He can be hurt and while he might not go down right away, he will still be in significant trouble. I like Silva to blast away with something significant, potentially to the body to score the finish. Silva was slipping to a Bronze play on my cards, but as his value grows I’ve got him up a spot.


Silva makes the cut on my Fantasy team. Much like Belfort, he either stops his opponent or he loses. The Chagas fight was his first UFC win not to come in the opening round. If Silva wins, it will be by stoppage as posted above and it will be early. Currently sitting at $8000 makes him another affordable fighter with a high percentage of finishes on his record.

Raphael Assuncao +145 vs Marlon Moraes -152 

This should be a great fight and will probably come down to a close decision. The forward motion of Moraes combined with Assuncao’s style of countering could be the deciding factor. The pressure of making a debut as a champion from another organization can be significant, but I think Marlon edges this one out as the superior striker. I remember picking Moraes to upset Torres in his first WSOF fight. Memories. Gold Play.


Assuncao has been stopped before and Moraes is dangerous, but I think there are other options worth looking at where we can save a little bit of cash.

Antonio Carlos Junior -211 vs Eric Spicely +201 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like ACJ here as long as his gas tank holds up. His cardio cost him against Kelly, but I don’t see a fight with Spicely being as physically draining. Spicely’s is a grappling reliant fighter and I just don’t see him getting the better of Junior over 3 rounds or via submission. ACJ is the better wrestling and better striker. Either he wins on the feet or he grinds it out from top position. Gold Play.


We saw Spicely get desperate against Alvey and get subbed. That could be an issue here again. ACJ is going to force Spicely to get aggressive if he is going to pull this fight off and if he can’t lock down a sub, he is going to find himself in some tough spots. ACJ can finish, especially if he gets Eric’s back. A submission victory or takedown-heavy decision are our keys here. Add him.

Johnny Eduardo +160 vs Matthew Lopez -162 

Rolling with the dog here in Brazil. Eduardo hits hard and I was impressed with how he shut down Gamburyan’s takedown. Lopez is a better wrestler, but he can be drawn into a brawl and that is going to put him right in the line of fire for Eduardo’s stopping power. I already mentioned the southpaw stance of Lopez which will open him up further to Eduardo’s striking. Bronze Play.


Eduardo is cheap and can finish both on the feet and on the mat. Lopez isn’t an easy out, but anytime you can grab an underdog Brazilian at home with proven stopping skills- do it. Add him

Iuri Alcantara -309 vs Brian Kelleher +279 

No Play here. There is limited video on Kelleher and Alcantara is known to periodically lay an egg from time to time. I might take a prop shot on Iuri, but this isn’t the bet to make.


Alcantara is dangerous everywhere- when he is on. The wrestling attack of Kelleher could short circuit him, but I think he is a decent back up plan.

Viviane Pereira -135 vs Jamie Moyle +138 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

One of my biggest plays on the card is Pereira. I think she is being undervalued here because of her debut performance. Letourneau is a tough out and Pereira was debuting on short notice. Moyle doesn’t have the reach to shut her down and tends to slow down. The aggression of the Brazilian will carry well with lesser experienced opponent. In a close fight, I like the judges to give the local the nod. Gold Play.


I don’t anticipate a finish here even though Pereira has shown she can finish. Pass.

Luan Chagas -249 vs Jim Wallhead +221 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No play here. Wallhead underperformed in his debut and Chagas has a pretty questionable gas tank. Your money is spent better elsewhere.


Chagas has power and has scored knockdowns in both his fights, but at $8800 I’m going to look elsewhere.

Marco Beltran +125 vs Deiveson Figueiredo -137

We are opening the card with an upset pick. Beltran’s key to success is limiting his opponent’s offensive opportunities. Figueiredo is a fighter that thrives in wild brawls where he can deploy his power. Once the initial exchanges are over, look for Figueiredo’s offensive and defensive techniques to degenerate and his chin isn’t that great despite his undefeated record. Beltran will capitalize. Still some x-factors here, Bronze play.


Based on the cash available to me and Figueiredo’s questionable chin, I’ll give my last spot on the team to Beltran. Look for him to hold a strong defensive front and capitalize on the Brazilian’s hands down approach. Add him.


1. Antonio Carlos Junior -211 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Viviane Pereira -135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Claudia Gadelha -321 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Iuri Alcantara -309 

5. Paulo Borrachinha -269 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med


6. Marlon Moraes -152 

7. Luan Chagas -249 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Vitor Belfort -152 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Max Holloway +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Erick Silva +128 

11. Johnny Eduardo +160 

12. Marco Beltran +125 

1. Johnny Eduardo +160 

2. Erick Silva +128 

3. Max Holloway +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Marco Beltran +125 

5. Viviane Pereira to Win by Decision +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. N/A






See Betting Scenario Section.

Prop Bets

Claudia Gadelha to Win by Decision -142 

KK proved she is a tough out against the Champ and Gadelha has gone the distance in 5 consecutive fights- her entire UFC career. Her last finish came in 2013. I like Gadelha to hold top position early and keep KK backing up for the duration. They go the distance with the Brazilian pulling off the win on the cards.

Vitor Belfort Wins by TKO/KO/DQ -105 

The last time Belfort won a fight that didn’t end with a stoppage I was still in school. Seriously. Since that fight, he has won 9-times, 8 by knockout. Nate has been knocked out 5-times with 4 of his last 6 defeats ending by knockout. I wanted to keep Nate’s stopping power in play, but the value just isn’t there. Vitor wins big in Brazil.

Paulo Borrachinha to Win Inside Round 1 -125 

Borrachinha has never seen a second round. I have him winning and the Under 1.5 is sitting around -250, which isn’t worth our attention. Bamgbose is vulnerable on the mat and looked like he quit under pressure from Hall. Borrachinha will do the same and do it early.

Erick Silva/Yancy Medeiros Total Rounds Under 1.5 +145 

I seemed to be saying this a lot, but Silva is another fighter that has had limited success outside of round 1. That tells me if he is going to win this fight, its going to be early. Medeiros has shown he can finish and be finished. The same goes for Silva. Play the Under.

Raphael Assuncao/Marlon Moraes 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Antonio Carlos Junior to Win by Decision +197 

ACJ has shown he can finish and Spicely has been subbed in his only career loss. All that considered, if a pair of grappling centric fighters meet we could very well get fight where the advantages are there, but just not enough to scoop up the finish. If they opt to keep it standing, neither guy is known for picking up finishes on the feet. I like the fight to got the distance with Junior’s hand raised at the end.

Iuri Alcantara Wins Inside the Distance +145 

I am a little surprised that Iuri is getting plus money to end this fight via any method. He has power in his hands and a capable submission game. His opponent is debuting on short notice and has been subbed on multiple occasions. I like my chances here, bet accordingly.

Viviane Pereira to Win by Decision +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Fighters that show stopping power on the regional scene usually hit a wall in their early UFC days. I think that applies to Pereira here. Moyle is tough and will hang around, but this is a play you need to make. Viviane takes on the cards, potentially in a close one, but I like it.

Luan Chagas/Jim Wallhead

See Betting Scenario Section.

Marco Beltran/Deiveson Figueiredo 

See Betting Scenario Section.