UFC Fight 170- The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly + the Bet Pack

 Scott Johnson

 

For the third straight event the card was filled with 15 bouts in need of the judges to resolve the final outcome, but that trend took a drastic turn for the controversial once the main card arrived. Ronda Rousey still has the belt, Daniel Cormier pulled off the unthinkable, and ‘the Monster (?) is back. Plus, despite a 7-4 overall record the my bet pack paid off huge at just short of $2100, with the total from the last two events eclipsing $4200 in winnings. Lets get to it…

The Good

Zach Makovsky turned in a solid performance against a pretty solid opponent in Josh Sampo. It had its back and forth moments, but Makovsky was simply better in more scenarios. Zach is in the mix at 125 pounds.

Erik Koch put a stamp on what should be the end of Raffaello Oliveira’s UFC run, but I am still not sold on him at 155 until he beats someone of significance.

While he didn’t blow the roof of the place with his performance, Aljamain Sterling picked up gritty win in his debut against another fighter who showed potential in Cody Gibson.

With limited options other then the ex-champ, Renan Barao could be staring across the cage at Raphael Assuncao very soon. Assuncao fought a dangerous prospect in a high risk low reward fight and got the better of Pedro Munhoz at every turn.

Stephen Thompson certainly shutdown the critics finishing a young prospect in Robert Whittaker, but he will still need to fend off and beat a capable grappler before he can take that next step.

He may be closing in on 40 years of age, but Mike Pyle is still a tough test for most of the Welterweight division.

The Bad

Ernest Chavez won his fight, an upset in the first fight of the night (my theory at work), but how did a judge justify giving him the opening round when Yosdenis Cedeno clearly landed the better strikes through the opening 5 minutes. Minor, but still worth noting.

As much as I would like to see Alexis Davis challenge for the title, I just don’t think she is ready to go to that level. She struggled with the pace of Jessica Eye on the feet and had it not been for her leg kicks and top control she struggles to win that fight. Her performance wasn’t bad, but I just anticipate that she is headed for an eventual letdown despite her success here.

Jessica Eye’s looming suspension would keep her out of action for a prolonged period of time in a division that needs all the talent it can get and she is talented there is no denying that.

“The animal is back” or something to that effect was the post fight statement of Rory MacDonald after his win over Demian Maia. While Rory did look solid in rounds 2 and 3, a lot of it had to do with Maia badly gassing after a dominant first round. Had Maia not gassed or had he held onto the position in the third round he could have taken a decision and the ‘animal’ would have had nothing to say. MacDonald beat up a tired opponent, similar to his fight with BJ Penn, where he was also unable to finish. Rory is talented, but he still needs 1-2 solid wins to earn a shot at the title. Tarec Saffiedine would be a interesting bout.

The Ugly

TJ Waldburger needs to retire, which is a hard statement to make considering he is only 25 years old. He has been knocked out 7 times in 9 of his defeats. That is a brutal number for anyone, especially a grappler, for his own safety and well-being its time to quit.

The stoppage in the Pyle/Waldburger fight was brutally late, this won’t be the first time Herb Dean is mentioned either.

The UFC hype machine did the best it could to build up Patrick Cummins as someone of legitimate standing to face Daniel Cormier. The statement regarding over 40 fighters cancelling on Cummins, resulting in his paltry 4 (now 5) pro fights was ridiculous. Let’s make up a stat that is impossible to fact check and run with it. He was willing to fight Cormier on short notice and was never going to win the fight without some major mishap. They should have promoted it like it was and moved on, because the in cage action was showed it for what it truly was.

The stoppage in the McMann/Rousey fight was quick, and don’t argue it with me because its not worth your time. If you compare it to the Waldburger/Pyle finish that Herb Dean also officiated it wasn’t even close. I never want to see a fighter beaten down into oblivion, but after Sarah McMann dropped she took next to no damage and was getting up when Dean raced in to call it off. That was a title fight that Sarah may never get another chance to partake in, at least let her go out on her shield. This viewpoint has nothing to do with me picking McMann over Ronda Rousey, but if you look at 2 similar sequences it is hard to deny the early stoppage. When Alistair Overeem crumpled Brock Lesnar to the mat with shots to the body the official allowed Lesnar to take multiple big shots before even considering jumping into the fray. Again with Overeem, he folded up Travis Browne with a shot to the midsection and proceeded to unload on a downed opponent who was offering nothing more then an arm over his head and the official (not Herb) allowed the fight to continue. The point is Dean made up his mind the instance McMann dropped that he was ending the fight and didn’t give the challenger a chance to recover. Had the roles been reverse the MMA world would be up in arms over a champion losing her title because a bad decision by the ref.

I don’t anticipate an immediate rematch, but if Dana wants Cyborg to prove herself at 135, Cat Zingano to have a proper recovery, and to see more out of Alexis Davis then maybe they should rebook Rousey vs McMann with a stronger supporting cast to build the card around. It won’t happen, but if the UFC wants to avoid the image of favouring their ‘biggest superstar’ it needs to.

I continually take flack for picking upsets and I also continue to take flack for playing it safe with my predictions. I don’t know which is which, but ‘haters gonna hate’. Yes I picked upsets by Francis Carmont, Rafaello Oliveira, Demian Maia, and Sarah McMann that didn’t happen over the last 2 shows. If I was just giving you the winner then I would understand the protests, but I think I provide solid reasoning behind each pick. Additionally, the opening round of Maia’s fight and the second frame of Carmont’s defeat gave some justification to what I was preaching. I will continue to take upset picks of magnitude when I see fit and while I will lose some I will win others as you will be able to see in the soon to be made Top 10 Upsets page on the site.

The Awesome

For the second consecutive event my bet packs topped over $2000 in winnings and that makes over $4200 over the last 2 shows. That is a pretty solid payout, not to mention the prop bets and other bits of useful info that you can buy for just $10. Check it all out below. Thanks for reading.

On a side note- I won’t be putting together a video for the UFC Fight Night: Kim vs Hathaway event, nor a bet pack. With such a massive UFC schedule ahead of us and other non-MMA related matters on the horizon I need to take a break and this seems like an opportune time. I will however provide predictions for 6 of the 9 fights on the card, focusing more on the established UFC fighters over the TUF China combatants.


UFC 170

Big Money Bettor, Budget: $500

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Sarah McMann to Win by Decision $8.20
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Price: $8.20 x Bet: $50
Payout: $410
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1:
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Price: $3.57 x Bet: $75
Payout: $267.75
 
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Parlay #3
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Selection 1: Rafaello Oliveira $4.65
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Price: $4.65 x Bet: $75
Payout: $348.75
 
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Parlay #4
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Selection 1: Stephen Thompson $1.81
Selection 2: Alexis Davis $1.75
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Price: $3.17 x Bet: $100
Payout: $317
 
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Parlay #5
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Selection 1: Mike Pyle $1.53
Selection 2: Zach Makovsky $1.61
Selection 3: Raphael Assuncao $1.44
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Price: $3.55 x Bet: $100
Payout: $355
 
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Parlay #6
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Selection 1: Stephen Thompson $1.81
Selection 2: Zach Makovsky $1.61
Selection 3: Eye/ Davis Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.48
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Price: $4.32 x Bet: $100
Payout: $432

Recreational Bettor, Budget: $210

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1:
Selection 2: Rafaello Oliveira $4.65
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Price: $23.25 x Bet: $15
Payout: $348.75
 
Parlay #2
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Selection 1:
Selection 2:
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Price: $17.85 x Bet: $15
Payout: $267.75
 
Parlay #3
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Selection 1: Stephen Thompson $1.81
Selection 2: Zach Makovsky $1.61
Selection 3: Mike Pyle $1.53
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Price: $4.46 x Bet: $75
Payout: $334.50
 
Parlay #4
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Selection 1: Raphael Assuncao $1.44
Selection 2: Alexis Davis $1.75
Selection 3: Maia/ MacDonald Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.48
Selection 4: Sampo/ Makovsky Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.45
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Price: $5.41 x Bet: $75
Payout: $405.75
 
 

For Fun Bettor, Budget: $50

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1:
Selection 2: Stephen Thompson $1.81
Selection 3: Raphael Assuncao $1.44
Selection 4: Mike Pyle $1.53
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Price: $19.94 x Bet: $25
Payout: $498.50
 

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Parlay #2
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Selection 1:
Selection 2: Alexis Davis $1.75
Selection 3: Zach Makovsky $1.61
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Price: $10.06 x Bet: $25
Payout: $251.50
 
 

Individual Fight Betting Breakdowns

Ernest Chavez $3.57 vs

This is one of those fights that shares the characteristics of a fight that would fall into ‘Early Prelim Upset’ Theory, but I just don’t see it happening. Unless Cedeno gets tired or over aggressive to a fault he is more technically sound on the feet, throws a greater variety, and is faster then his opponent. If that isn’t enough he should be able to take it to the floor with great success. Considering that these are two debuting fighters and that anything can happen I would most likely layoff this bout, or at the very most keep Cedeno’s inclusion to a minimum on a parlay that isn’t crucial to your night’s bottom line.

Rafaello Oliveira $4.65 vs

I have taken some heat for this pick, but I still like it. Can Koch win? Yup. He has all the tools, but he simply hasn’t executed in such a long time. He didn’t look good against Brookins even though he won and for the most part was limited in his last 2 fights. Koch seems like the type of guy that struggles to pull the trigger, even more so when he is being pushed. I am not a huge fan of him moving up a weight class, unless the cut was horribly impacting his performance. I look for Oliveira to brawl and keep coming forward, limiting Koch’s ability to setup and land. In the grappling department I anticipate a mix of clinch control a long the cage and some decent top control time on the mat for the Brazilian. I think Koch is getting such a high number here because he was considered a contender at 145 and is facing a bottom wrung opponent from 155. I would think a medium single bet is the way to go with Raf. He has a good return number and you don’t need to overinvest to get a massive return.

Zach Makovsky $1.61 vs

Based on Makovsky’s debut performance I think he is a darkhorse in the division. Sure he needs a few more wins to challenge for the title, but unless he performed above his head vs Scotty, he will be in the conversation shortly. When I was breaking this fight down I found myself writing similar things about both men, but what it comes down to is that Makovsky has executed against better competition. Sampo lost position a few times against an average grappler in his debut and if that happens against Makovsky he will be in some serious trouble. I like the odds here, anything above $1.50 for Zach is a solid bet. I am not a fan of betting straight up with odds like this, but instead hammering a 2 fighter parlay. I will look for and pair him up with one of the better paying favs on the card like Thompson or Davis.

Cody Gibson $3.26 vs

My initial instinct here is to pass on this fight. Sterling comes in with a lot of potential, but Gibson is no slouch and has faced better competition along with more cage time. I might consider throwing Sterling in a small 3 fighter parlay, but it won’t be much. This fight fits the hold of a bout that normally comes early in the night with two prospects meeting for their first time on the big stage. It should be an entertaining scrap either way.

Raphael Assuncao $1.44 vs

A lot of interesting prospect debuting on this card and Munhoz is another one of them. This is a dangerous fight for Raf. If he losses it, he losses his claim as the next viable title challenger at 135. I would think that Assuncao is going to simply be better in all areas. For the most part Munhoz has feasted on less then competent opponents, especially on the mat and that won’t be the case here. I expect Assuncao will be too much for Munhoz too soon and that will frustrate the undefeated fighter. There is always a chance that Assuncao overlooks him or Pedro comes out and catches him by surprise but I doubt it. On the list of priorities to play this fight Assuncao ranks above Sterling and Cedeno and would fit in as a decent third part of a parlay bet.

Alexis Davis $1.75 vs

This should be a great scrap. I felt that Eye looked fantastic in the early half of the first fight, but faded which had a lot to do with Kaufman’s power starting to take its toll. Davis is a little more diverse in her attack the Kaufman. Sarah just kept coming forward and getting tagged with shots from a faster opponent that was able to stay out of range. I expect that the Davis will mix things up much better then Kaufman did. Leg kicks will play a big roll and when Davis closes the distance she will do a better job controlling Eye and most likely take this fight to the mat as well. Alexis could be inline for a single bet here as her value is climbing and could go higher. The other option is doubling her up with either Thompson or Makovsky.

Robert Whittaker $2.00 vs

I anticipate that Thompson will enjoy not having to fend off a takedown oriented opponent. Whittaker isn’t to be underestimated on the feet, but I don’t see him getting the better of Thompson, unless he lands a lucky shot or Stephen gets tired. If the price stays high that I would consider a large single bet on ‘Wonderboy’ or as previously mentioned pairing him up with Davis or Makovsky is another solid option.

Mike Pyle $1.53 vs

Pyle needs to avoid being overconfident with his grappling. He is a very good grappler, but if he allows Waldburger to work on the mat the submission opportunities will be there. The manner in which Waldburger’s winning percentage drops both after the first round and in fights that he can’t submit his opponent is concerning. Even more concerning is his ability to take a shot. He has been knocked out 6 times and while Pyle is known for his knockout power, he has been stopping guys in pretty impressive fashion of late. Pyle should be crafty enough to avoid the sub early and traditionally he has trouble with power grapplers and Waldburger is more of a finest guy. I like Pyle as a parlay fighter, 2 and 3 fighter parlays is easily the best option for him. There is a prop bet that works here too.

Rory MacDonald $1.38 vs

Rory is the most talented Lightweight from Canada that is currently active in the UFC. He is a well rounded and more then capable of winning this fight on the feet. I can’t see him outdueling Maia on the floor and he has struggled with pressure which is what Maia will bring. I have seen signs that would indicate Rory would struggle with a strong grappling oriented fighter and he has yet to face someone that is going to come as hard on the mat as Demian will. The odds are so massive because MacDonald has been anointed as the next one with GSP on the shelf, but I don’t see him struggling with Maia unless he can stick him at the end of a jab or hurt him early. I think the only way to play Maia here is a single bet. He is trending towards one of my bigger plays of the night, but probably won’t get to #1.

Daniel Cormier $1.09 vs

Nope, not even worth a look. This fight was put together to give Cormier a chance to fight at 205 and it actually works out quite well for the UFC because he can have a test run against a low level opponent. If this fight was made under normal circumstance the UFC would have taken some serious heat. Either way, the odds are there to consider playing it.

Ronda Rousey $1.22 vs

There is no doubt Rousey has been a dominant champion, but she has yet to face a grappler on her level and that is what we are in for here. In a lot of situations when 2 top level grapplers fight, their ground skills cancel each other out and we get a striking battle. If that is the case, then Rousey will be far from the massive favourite she is. If there are grappling exchanges (who are we kidding here), the fact that Ronda has been all offense and basically powered/techniqued her way through her opponents attacks is a concern against a fighter that will be able to match her move for move. When it comes down to it Rousey is the champ, she is dangerous and yes McMann is making a major step up but I like what Sarah brings and I think she takes it home. I will be making one of my bigger bets here on the challenger to pull this one out, straight up, that’s it.


Whole Event Confidence Bets Ranking (1- Most Confident to Win outright)

1. Daniel Cormier $1.09

2. Zach Makovsky $1.61

3. Stephen Thompson $1.81

4. Raphael Assuncao $1.44

5. Mike Pyle $1.53

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6.

7. Alexis Davis $1.75

8.

9.

10.

11. Rafaello Oliveira $4.65


Top Value Bets (1- Greatest Value based on Betting odds & Ability to Win)

# Price Explanation
1. Sarah McMann to Win by Decision $8.20 I don’t see her stopping Ronda unless she gets tired and these numbers are just way too good to pass on.
2. $3.57 People are either underestimating Maia or overvaluing Rory. Either way I think he is a solid threat to pull this one out.
3. Rafaello Oliveira $4.65 These numbers are simply massive, but I see Koch being viewed as bigger fav then he should be based on his status in the 145 pound division and Oliveira lack of success against guys like Edson Barboza and Glieson Tibau, go figure.
4. Stephen Thompson $1.81 Striking is his thing and unless Whittaker has developed a serviceable grappling game to distract him, Wonderboy takes it.
5. Alexis Davis $1.75 This is going to be a good scrap and it could be a close one, but Davis does enough to get her hand raised.

The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.

  • Even on a good night I don’t anticipate winning every fight on this list, realistically 2-3 correct picks would be considered a successful event.
  • I do not recommend backing every fighter listed, these are just suggestions where the greatest betting value on the card lies, it is up to you to make the decision where to invest your money.

Top Value Bets for non-Predicted Winners (1- Greatest Value based on Betting odds & Ability to Win)

# Price Explanation
1. Cody Gibson $3.26 While he is still young, I was impressed with what I saw in his pre-UFC fights and he could pull the upset against a touted prospect.
2. Ernest Chavez $3.57 I don’t see Chavez taking this fight if it plays out properly but anything can happen when 2 new guys meet on the big stage.
3. $9.20 Just kidding, well maybe if Cormier falls on the way to the cage or collides heads with the ref. This is MMA though and anything can happen. It most likely won’t don’t you dare press that ‘Bet’ button.
4.
5.

The Value Bet list for non-predicted winners is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win. These 5 fighters are the best betting options available of all of the fighters that I predicted to lose and although I fully endorse my own predicted winner I feel that giving this type of information is only fair to my followers as it gives them further insight into my opinion on each match-up.

Some people might question the use of one fighter in a parlay and the other (an underdog) in a straight up bet, but here is my logic.

Scenario: the Fav is in a 3 fighter parlay and it pays $5 x your bet of $30 and the dog pays $3.50 x your bet of $10.

The underdog single bet offers a nice safety net. If he wins then you bet a total of $40 and won $35, your losses are minimal. If your parlay wins then you bet $40 and won $150, so it is still a decent profit line.

There is the possibility that you might not win either bet, but having an “insurance” style bet can keep you from going broke a lot of nights.


Prop Bets-

Josh Sampo/ Zach Makovsky Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.45- Both guys have finishing capabilities, but I anticipate that this fight will play out as an entertaining series of exchanges on the mat, with the person on top focussing more on maintaining top position over attempting to finish. Play the Over.

Raphael Assuncao/ Pedro Munhoz Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.47- Like the fight previous fight the line isn’t that exciting, but if your book allows for a parlay it can add a some decent punch to the final payout. I think Assuncao recognizes how dangerous Munhoz is and fights accordingly; no big chances, just a win.

Jessica Eye/ Alexis Davis Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.48- Eye isn’t known for her finishing skills so if she wins its most likely by decision and if Davis wins I think Eye is more then capable of gutting out the full 3 rounds. Take the Over.

Stephen Thompson/ Robert Whittaker Total Rounds Over 2.5- We have had a record number of decisions over the last 2 shows and while that is not my reasoning for the pile of over bets, I could totally see it turning around on this night. For the prop section, lets hope not. Either way I think that this fight has the potential to end early, hence the better payout, but Thompson will focus on landing shots from a distance while staying away from Whittaker’s hands. Take the Over, again.

Mike Pyle/ TJ Waldburger Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.30- This will fight has potential to buck the trend. Pyle’s recent knockout success coupled with TJ’s chin, and TJ’s flash submission skills are all reasons to consider the under here.

Demian Maia/ Rory MacDonald Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.48- Here is another potential long one. Either Rory jabs his way to victory from the outside or Maia controls him on the mat for at least 2 rounds for the win, either way its going to the scorecards in most scenarios. See a trend here?

Ronda Rousey/ Sarah McMann Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.71- I think that Sarah has a great chance to win and as a result playing the over here works. If your book offers a higher total or a teaser option push it to 2.5 or even 3.5 if the money is there. Either way play the over.

Sarah McMann to Win by Decision $8.20- I don’t see her submitting Rondo or TKOing her unless she gasses, but a grinding and possibly close back and forth decision is a likely scenario for McMann to win in. These odds would suggest other wise, but they are hard to pass up.