UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs Brunson- ”In a Hurry to Get Knocked Out”

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Quick Hits from the Prelims
  • Opening the card, Jenel Lausa outclasses Zhikui on the feet to take a wide decision. Zhikui is probably done in the Octagon after the loss.
  • The fight appeared to be slipping away from Marlon Vera in the middle round as Ning Guangyouwas chewing up his legs with low kicks. Vera rallied in the third to win a competitive decision.
  • Capping off the Fight Pass prelims, Dan Hooker came out loose and confident, but struggle to find an answer for the early pressure and takedowns of Jason Knight. For the second straight fight, Knight faded in the 3rd round, but was far enough ahead to hold on for the win.
  • Attempting to earn the first finish of the night, Geane Herrera launched himself across the cage at his opponent, but it was all downhill from there. Ben Nguyen outpaced Herrera for the majority of the action, landing accurate and impactful combinations over a 3-round decision win.
  • Canadian Jonathan Meunier snared his first UFC triumph, showcasing a strong kickboxing attack and decent TDD for the duration of the fight. The loss for TUF Nation’s alumni Rich Walsh could mean the end of the UFC-line and a return to the Aussie regional circuit.
  • After an early knockdown and dominant opening round, Jon Tuck slowed down and allowed the double-tough Damien Brown back into the fight. Brown was bloody, but kept moving forward and attacking. In the eyes of many, Tuck could have been given a 10-8 for the first round and probably deserved the nod, but the judges opted to award the contest to Brown instead.
  • Continuing to defy the odds, Dan Kelly picked up another upset win to further his improbable UFC career. Similar to other fighters on the prelims, the fight started well for Chris Camozzi, but Kelly continued to push forward, utilized his Judo, and took the fight to the floor to seal a contentious decision win.
Quick Hits from the Main Card
  • The eighth straight decision on the card was easily the most controversial. Most of the media scored the contest for Seo Hee Ham 29-28, feeling she outclassed her opponent in rounds 1 and 2. Unfortunately, the cage side judges continued their questionable decision making by awarding Danielle Taylor a split decision on the strength of two 30-27s.
  • Looking to avoid a dance with the judges, Khalil Rountree sent UFC newcomer Tyson Pedro tumbling to the canvas with a thunderous right hand. Pedro quickly turned the flow of offense in his favour, countering with a takedown and eventually working his way to a fight ending RNC. Pedro is still green, but he adds another new face to the LHW division.
  • In a fight that epitomizes the dangers of attempting leg attacks, Alex Volkanovski utilized violent ground and pound to end the night of Yusuke Kasuya via second round TKO. Kasuya’s pursuit of a leg based submission came out of desperation and opened him up to further damage that the referee was forced to stop.
  • In a battle of Welterweights in need of a victory, Kyle Noke simply failed to get out of the starting blocks. Once Omari Akhmedov established his wrestling he was in the driver’s seat. Noke failed to mount much of a push back and he looked the worse of the two competitors, with some sizeable battle damage on his face. Noke could very well be on his way out of the promotion after a 3rd consecutive defeat and just a pair of wins over his last 5-fights.
  • Punctuating a night of upsets, the biggest underdog of the night came through in the co-main event. Andrew Holbrook out-grappled crowd favourite Jake Matthews, attempting multiple submission from top and bottom and capitalizing every time Matthews opted to go to the floor.
  • In the main event of the evening, Derek Brunson fought like he had somewhere to be. The Strikeforce alumni threw himself at his opponent, looking to close the show as quickly as possible. While Brunson was landing, Robert Whittaker weathered the storm and eventually landed a well-placed counter that stopped the forward motion of the American. Once Whittaker backed Brunson off, he started to set up his strikes and eventually landed a head kick and finishing ground and pound. Whittaker further cements himself as top contender at 185 pounds and will most likely get an opportunity to take on the elite of the division. Gegard Mousasi versus Robert Whittaker would be an excellent next scrap as a possible title eliminator.
Final Thoughts

The main event was a firefight, but Brunson’s performance is certainly going to come under some scrutiny. Whittaker’s composure was impressive, to say the least. I was on the wrong end of that performance, along with a trio of split decision defeats which hurt. I did score three solid upsets on the night, but the final record is pretty tough to swallow. I won on my Gold Parlay, which keeps a streak going. Look for changed in my parlay plays going forward to accommodate various types of bettors and bankrolls. That’s all for now, time to get to work on the TUF 24 finale.

 

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Jon Tuck -135 
Selection 2: Seo Hee Ham -125 
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Price: +213 Bet: 7 units
Payout: 14.93 units
 
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Parlay #2 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: Alex Volkanovski -170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Jason Knight +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +313 Bet: 5 units
Payout: 21.91 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Derek Brunson -134 
Selection 2: Geane Herrera -112 
Selection 3: Jenel Lausa -118 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +511  x Bet: 6 units 
Payout: 30.64 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Richard Walsh +120 
Selection 2: Marlon Vera +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +351 Bet: 3 units
Payout: 10.53 units
 
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Kyle Noke +150 
Selection 2: Tyson Pedro +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Jake Matthews Wins Inside the Distance -110 
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Price: +974  x Bet: 3 units
Payout: 29.22 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Jon Tuck to Win By Submission +450 
Selection 2: Ben Nguyen/Geane Herrera Total Rounds Under 2.5 +100 
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Price: +1000 Bet: 2 units
Payout: 20 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Seo Hee Ham Wins by Decision +120 
Selection 2: Chris Camozzi to Win By Decision +200 
Selection 3: Alex Volkanovski -170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +948  x Bet:  3 units
Payout: 28.45 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Jon Tuck -135 
Selection 2: Jason Knight +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Derek Brunson -134 
Selection 4: Khalil Roundtree/Tyson Pedro Total Rounds Under 1.5 -103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +1458  x Bet: 3 units 
Payout: 43.73 units

Draftkings Line up

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Kamikaze
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Fighter 1: Derek Brunson $8800 
Fighter 2: Jake Matthews $9300 
Fighter 3: Kyle Noke $7600 
Fighter 4: Tyson Pedro $7500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Jon Tuck $9000 
Fighter 6: Geane Herrera $7700 
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Subs
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Fighter 1: Jason Knight $7700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Marlon Vera $8000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: 
Fighter 4: 
 
 
 

 

Derek Brunson -134 vs Robert Whittaker +140 

This is very good fight. Both guys have won 5 in a row and both are on the cusp of cracking the top 5 in the division. Brunson’s cardio and overaggression are his 2 biggest down falls. Conversely, his wrestling, power, and speed are all sizeable offensive weapons to open up more avenues for him to win this bout. Whittaker could capitalize on Brunson’s recklessness, but I fully expect to see the American try to establish his wrestling early like he did against Larkin. The speed of Brunson could also be a key aspect of the fight that catches Robert off guard. I’ve got Brunson in my Silver section.

Draft-Kings-Logo

At  $8800, Brunson is expensive. He has picked up 4 consecutive knockouts and he could repeat that feat against a fighter that was finished not that long ago at WW. If he can’t score the stoppage, look for Brunson to pile up the takedown numbers over a 5 round bout. Add him.

 

Andrew Holbrook +400 vs Jake Matthews -370 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No play here. Matthews should win this fight, but the risk/reward factor isn’t there.

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I do have Matthews on my Fantasy team. He has finished 9 of his 10 wins, including all 4 of his UFC fights. Holbrook got smashed in his last fight and was getting cracked by Nijem 1-fight prior. Matthews hits hard and knows how to finish. He will here.

 

Kyle Noke +150 vs Omari Akhmedov -155 

I read on another website that I frequent that Noke has lost 5 of his last 6 fights where he was the favourite and each of the last 2 contests where he was the underdog. That bodes well for us here, but really means nothing. I’m not impressed with Akhmedov and unless he can stop Noke or ground him for the entire duration, I feel Kyle will weather the storm early and take over as Omari slows down. Akhmedov was knocked out my Sergio Moraes, partially because of a weak chin and partially because of a subpar gas tank. Noke can be hit or miss, but I feel this is a very winnable fight with a solid return for the Aussie at home. I’ve got him in my Bronze play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Noke also gets the call for my DK team. He is a very cheap $7600 and has finished in 16 of his 22 wins. Akhmedov has also been stopped in each of his last 2 fights, fading in both. I can’t imagine he will feel overly comfortable in Australia and if that is the case look for him to start to slow down a little earlier with Noke taking over then.

Alex Volkanovski -170 vs Yusuke Kasuya +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

A pair of lesser knowns that could easily steal the show. This fight should come down to output and top control. Kasuya tends to let the action unfold in front of him and Volkanovski is a pretty heavy striker with a solid top game. Unless Kasuya can catch him off his back, the ground exchanges will favour AV. On the feet, he is more active and hits harder. Kasuya will most likely need to hurt him in order to change the flow of traffic in his favour. Volkanovski is debuting, but I feel confident he takes this fight. He gets a spot in my Gold section.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Kasuya is a tough out, so no matter Volkanovski’s finishing skills- only one-half of the equation is here. I’ll pass here.

Khalil Roundtree -135 vs Tyson Pedro +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Roundtree is coming off of TUF where he looked real good in a couple of fights and looked extremely overwhelmed in a couple of others. In those fights, his opponent utilized a ground-heavy attack. That is what Pedro is expected to do. Watch for a quick level change when Khalil tries to push forward aggressively. Pedro also has a background in boxing, which makes him the more multi-faceted fighter. Pedro needs to avoid the early attack from Roundtree, establish his ground attack, and it will either lead to a finish or exhaust Roundtree and that will lead to a finish. I like the stylistic matchup here, but we are looking at a Bronze play considering Pedro is still pretty green and debuting. PS- This fight shares a lot of similarities with an EPU, except it is on the main card.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Pedro is a bargain at $7500. He has finished all 4 of his pro fights and do so in the opening round. Roundtree’s clear susceptibility to aggressive ground-based fighters will give Tyson plenty of opportunities to  finish this fight.

Danielle Taylor +115 vs Seo Hee Ham -125 

This is a battle of diminutive Strawweights, potentially 2 of the smallest fighters on the roster. Ham is far more battle tested and while she doesn’t have finishing power, she has a good chin. Taylor can crack, but I struggle to see her matching the output of the South Korean. That big right will certainly be in play, but she will need to land it a lot. Ham will benefit just as much, if not more from not being at a physical deficiet. She will actually have the height and reach advantage. I like the more proven Ham at a pretty respectable price. Gold play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

I don’t expect to see Ham finishing this fight as she has gone the distance in almost every one of her pro appearances.

Chris Camozzi -260 vs Daniel Kelly +240 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No play here on the side bet. Kelly has been a consistent parlay buster and could very well do it again here. A counter bet on Dan might be an option, as might a prop bet on Camozzi.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Nothing here, the chance of a finish is low and Camozzi is pretty darn expensive.

Damien Brown +125 vs Jon Tuck -135 

Tuck is the better fighter here, by a far margin based on my assessment. Brown picked up a win over pretty darn horrid fighter in his last fight. I took him to win by knockout, not because of what he offer, but because of what his adversary did not. Brown can wrestle, but the majority of his success came on the Aussie regional scene. His striking is pretty basic and is probably getting more credit than it deserves from his knockout win. Tuck hits hard and showed a better approach in his last fight. I expect him to find success with his wrestling here and eventually tap out an opponent with a clear submission defense issue. I had Tuck closer to -200, so we are getting a lot of value- Gold play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

On the DK boards, Tuck is going to cost you $9000 which is far more indicative of where I felt the betting line should be. Still, at that price Tuck is in my lineup. He is a finisher, with submission skills against an opponent that has been finished 5-times- mainly by sub.

Jonathan Meunier -130 vs Richard Walsh +120 

Walsh is the dog here and I have read on several boards that Meunier should be the favourite based on his regional performances. He was badly out-gunned in his debut, but against a high-level opponent. Walsh hasn’t looked good when he has taken a step up in competition, but I feel Meunier is in the same category as the guys that he has defeated as opposed to those that beat him. Even in his losses, he was competitive. Walsh’s TDD is pretty iffy, but Meunier’s willingness to let his opponent set the pace on the feet is what does it for me. Walsh will out work him, using volume to overcome any TDs that the Canadian lands. Silver play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Nothing here.

Ben Nguyen +110 vs Geane Herrera -112 

The line has been moving here and a lot of good posts have been made across the boards in favour of both men. I like to go with the superior chin in close fights and that is Herrera. He has never been finished and Bagautinov hit him with some absolute massive shots. Conversely, Nguyen has been knocked out 5-times, finished in all 6 of his losses- all after the opening round. He gets hit a lot and the left side counter is something that Herrera should have a lot of success with. Geane might have to crack him a couple of times, but Geane eventually puts him down. Gold Play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Continuing the pattern of playing fighters with capable finishing skills taking on opponents that have been finished on multiple occasions- Herrera is our guy. The guy showed against Sanchez that he can crack and he can finish.

Dan Hooker -160 vs Jason Knight +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I love Knight in this spot. He is aggressive and willing to press forward to get on the inside of Hooker’s reach. Additionally, Hooker’s lack of distance management and willingness to let his foe close the gap will further increase Knight’s connection rate. Hooker’s TDD has been a point of focus in his defeats and Knight is pretty solid on the mat so if he gets on top, Hooker won’t be catching him. Knight’s willingness to absorb damage is concerning, but he outworks an opponent with a pretty poor track record in longer fights. I’ve got Knight in 1 of my Gold plays.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Hooker is pretty durable and while Knight could snatch up the finish, I expect to see this contest going the distance. I do feel we are getting a deal with Knight at $7700, so he is a serviceable alternative.

Marlon Vera +105 vs Ning Guangyou -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Vera is the longer fighter and more aggressive on the mat. I don’t trust Ning’s ability to consistently get on the inside and land strikes and or takedowns. Even if he does get the fight to the floor, he has a tendency to hang his lead low which makes it hard for him to score offense and opens him up for a triangle. It is worth noting that he has been subbed via triangle and Vera has multiple finishes off his back. Vera can be a little reckless at times, so he is currently sitting on the border of a Silver or Bronze play. We’ll see how things add up before making a final call.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Vera’s finishing skills and aggressiveness makes him a playable option. He nearly made my top 6, but I’ve got him in as a sub.

Jenel Lausa -118 vs Yao Zhikui +115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Zhikui is on his last legs in the UFC and loss here is curtains. He likes to press forward, but his lack of setup for pretty much any of his offense makes him very ineffective. Lausa is a boxer and that should lead to him getting the better of the exchanges while Yao chases him around the cage. Silver, possibly a Bronze play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Nothing here.

 

1. Jake Matthews -370 

2. Jon Tuck -135  

3. Seo Hee Ham -125 

4. Derek Brunson -134 

5. Alex Volkanovski -170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Chris Camozzi -260 

7. Geane Herrera -112 

8. Jason Knight +160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Marlon Vera +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Richard Walsh +120 

11. Jenel Lausa -118 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Tyson Pedro +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

13. Kyle Noke +150 

1. Kyle Noke +150 

2. Tyson Pedro +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Marlon Vera +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Richard Walsh +120 

5. Seo Hee Ham -125 

1. Daniel Kelly +240: 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med It is hard to root against this guy and he routinely defies the odds. It is just what he does. Camozzi is far from a dynamic fighter, so Kelly is certainly worth a small look.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

 

Jake Matthews Wins Inside the Distance -110 

Matthews has finished his opponent in all of his UFC wins and he has the tools to repeat the feat here. If you want to play or have to play a specific method, then Matthews by knockout at +255 is a good bet. Holbrook is pretty decent on the mat, but I don’t like the way he deals with getting punched in the face. He got shut down pretty quickly in his last fight and Nijem hurt him several times. Matthews puts him away before the final bell.

Alex Volkanovski/Yusuke Kasuya Total Rounds Over 2.5 -102 

Volkanovski has good finishing skills, but taking a step up in competition can lead a drop off in finishes. Putting the stamp on guys on the big stage doesn’t come as easy, at least early in your UFC run. Kasuya has been finished just once and his style of sitting on the outside is going to slow this fight down a push it into the second half. Play the Over.

Khalil Roundtree/Tyson Pedro Total Rounds Under 1.5 -103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

They have a combined 6 first round finishes in 8 total wins. More importantly, the fighter I have winning had never gone beyond the opening round. Roundtree is aggressive on the feet which will either lead to a knockout or him walking into a takedown and submission loss. Play the Under.

Seo Hee Ham Wins by Decision +120 

Ham has 14 career decision wins, accounting for all but 2 of her pro wins. The Over is currently sitting as high as -350 on some sites, which tells us they are expecting this bout to go deep. I have Ham winning and she has a decent track record on the cards and a sizeable experience advantage. There is some solid value here.

Chris Camozzi/ Daniel Kelly 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Jon Tuck to Win By Submission +450 

I am simply playing the numbers here. I see Tuck as the superior fighter, which a legit chance of finishing Brown. Brown has 4 submission losses on his recording, including 1 to the aforementioned Kasuya. Tuck has 5 submission wins, including each of his last 2 victories. At +450 this is a must play.

Ben Nguyen/Geane Herrera Total Rounds Under 2.5 +100

This is a gift. Both of these guys can finish and one of them has been finished a number of times. I fully expected this fight to be set at 1.5 rounds, but Flyweights don’t always get the respect they deserve for their finishing skills. Herrera as a 7:2 ratio of stoppage victories to decision wins. Nguyen’s numbers are even loftier at 12:2. These guys are going to trade early and often until one relents. Play the Under.

Marlon Vera/Ning Guangyou 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Jenel Lausa/Yao Zhikui

See the Betting Scenario Section.

 

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