UFC Fight Night 37- The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly + the Bet Pack

 Scott Johnson

 

UFC Fight Night 37 saw the #1 ranked Light Heavyweight on the planet affirm his position and overall produced some decently entertaining scraps. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly from today’s action.

The Good

Luke Barnatt exposed the wrinkle in the game of Mat Nilsson, he doesn’t like getting hit in the face and that showed up in the end result. Barnatt should be a mainstay on future European cards.

Would the real Ilir Latifi please stand up. He put Cyrille Diabate on the mat and then squeezed the fight to the finish in short order.

On a related note, this would appear to be the final time we will see Diabate inside the Octagon. Thanks for the memories ‘Snake’.

Gunnar Nelson keeps climbing the ranks unfettered by whomever the UFC lines him up with. I think it’s time for a step up in competition against a top 15 ranked Welterweight.

Brad Pickett won his Flyweight debut, it wasn’t a barn burner of a performance but he took home the ‘W’ and will probably look better in his second bout at his new weight. Neil Seery certainly needs a full camp and a second opportunity after a decent performance with little prep time.

Alexander Gustafsson is clearly the best Light Heavyweight in the UFC not wearing a title belt. He came out and established his ground game successfully in the first. He followed that up with a dominant performance in the second round and put away Jimi Manuwa with a beautiful barrage.

Dana White stated in the post-fight that Gus gets the shot at the winner of Jones vs Teixeira, hopefully that holds up because he clearly deserves it.

The Bad

Phil Harris kept his head in danger the entire time he was looking to take Louis Gaudinot down and before he knew it the fight was over.

The final GNP barrage between Igor Araujo and Danny Mitchell was entertaining, but I feel it cheapens the technical aspect of the fight and makes MMA look like less of a sport and more of a bar room brawl.

There is just something about Michael Johnson that rubs me the wrong way. He has a level of arrogance or contempt for his opponent that doesn’t belong in the sport. The image I can’t get out of my head is Johnson shoving the ref and trying to get at Joe Lauzon as he stands up. Melvin Guillard looked hesitant and unwilling to engage which cost him the fight. He had some success, but just not enough of it.

The Ugly

Claudio Silva has a UFC win and that shouldn’t be. I can see how the judges gave him 2 rounds, but the method was the real issue. Brad Scott was clearly turning the fight in his favour in round 2 and Silva was badly gassed. The THIRD eye poke of the fight by Silva lead to a stoppage in round and 3 and offered him enough time to catch his breath and score a massive takedown on the restart which seal him the final frame and the win. The ref should have taken a point after the third infraction, which most likely leads to a draw, but not an undeserved win.

Overall, I finished the night 6-3, which is a bit of a disappointment.  I could have easily been 7-2 with the aforementioned Scott fight going my way and it would have put a little more money in my and your pockets. Either way it was a smaller event, with some decent action and hopefully leads us to Bones/Mauler II. Check out the bet pack posted below.


UFC Fight Night 37

Big Money Bettor, Budget: $550

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Submission
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Price: $3.75 x Bet: $125
Payout: $468.75
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Phil Harris $2.50
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Price: $2.50 x Bet: $75
Payout: $187.50
 
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Parlay #3
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Selection 1: Melvin Guillard $2.25
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Price: $2.25 x Bet: $75
Payout: $168.75
 
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Parlay #4
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Selection 1:
Selection 2: Bradley Scott $1.56
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Price: $2.98 x Bet: $100
Payout: $298
 
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Parlay #5
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Selection 1: Igor Araujo $1.62
Selection 2: Luke Barnatt/
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Price: $3.24 x Bet: $100
Payout: $324
 
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Parlay #6
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Selection 1: Igor Araujo $1.62
Selection 2: Gunnar Nelson $1.35
Selection 3: Brad Pickett /
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Price: $3.70 x Bet: $75
Payout: $277.50

Recreational Bettor, Budget: $200

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Submission $3.75
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Price: $3.75 x Bet: $50
Payout: $187.50
 
Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Bradley Scott $1.56
Selection 2: Igor Araujo $1.62
Selection 3: Gunnar Nelson $1.35
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Price: $3.41 x Bet: $75
Payout: $255.75
 
Parlay #3
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Selection 1: Phil Harris $2.50
Selection 2: Melvin Guillard $2.25
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Price: $5.63 x Bet: $35
Payout: $197.05
 
Parlay #4
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Selection 1:
Selection 2: Brad Pickett /
Selection 3: Gunnar Nelson $1.35
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Price: $4.36 x Bet: $40
Payout: $174.40
 

For Fun Bettor, Budget: $50

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Submission $3.75
Selection 2: Igor Araujo $1.62
Selection 3: Brad Pickett /
Selection 2: Gunnar Nelson $1.35
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Price: $13.87 x Bet: $25
Payout: $346.75
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Phil Harris $2.50
Selection 2: Melvin Guillard $2.25
Selection 3:
Selection 4: Bradley Scott $1.56
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Price: $16.76 x Bet: $25
Payout: $419
 

Individual Fight Betting Breakdowns

Phil Harris $2.50 vs

I don’t see what Gaudinot has done that differently compared to Harris to be considered this big of a dog. Yes Harris lost to Lineker and Gaudinot beat him, but MMA math doesn’t work. Gaudinot has been blown out of the barn twice against Bedford and Elliot and for the most part was getting pounded by Lineker in the Brazilian’s debut before he gassed and got submitted. Harris is a decent grappler and Gaudinot has struggled with that aspect of the game. I expect Gaudinot to get taken down when he tries to push forward. Obviously if Harris opts to forgo his grappling skills that changes the complexion of this fight, but that one is hard to call. I would lean towards him using his Judo/ BJJ simply because he knows his UFC career is on the line and he wants the win at home. I think a mid-range single bet on Harris is the play here. I have a few other plays in mind for this card so I will be spreading the bankroll out accordingly. This fight also falls under my Opening Prelim upset theory (I need a better name for that, hmmmm maybe OPUT, I will work on it).

Igor Araujo $1.62 vs

Mitchell is an entertaining fighter and he does have a path to victory here along with an interesting nickname. He has to outwork Araujo from the start, keep working his butt off, and hope that the Brazilian fades midway through the second round and the judges give him frames 2 and 3. This is a possibility and as a result the value of Igor is up a little higher then I expected. In the end, Araujo is the better grappler and should be able to use positional control to win out here against a guy known for giving up position to try and hit a sub. I think that Igor can be used as a solid parlay anchor with him and another decent paying fav or slight dog to put together a decent paying bet.

David Grant $1.88 vs

This fight is floating around even or with Delorme as the slight dog and I just don’t get it. Delorme is a harden vet with some solid wins on his resume and Grant built his career on beating fighters with brutal records who were prone to submissions (I mean brutal, check them out). He took advantage of his TUF semi-final opponent dropping out and then got tapped in the finals by an opponent with talent, but minimal experience. Delorme’s cardio concerns me, but I think he has enough on the feet to keep the exchanges even or be slightly ahead. When it goes horizontal, he gets the better of the ground exchanges for either the decision or a sub, especially if he gets back control. I think Delorme could be used as a single bet if you want to or consider him as a 2 fighter parlay. Teaming Delorme up with Araujo would make for a solid payout.

Bradley Scott $1.56 vs

I was not impressed with the Brazilian in action and was equally unimpressed with the odds on this fight. I was hoping that the Brit versus a BJJ based grappler scenario would give us an underdog or at the least some more value to play with. Either way Scott’s size and strength should hold up here against a very raw striker with below average wrestling skills. The way I look at it, is that da Silva has been getting by based on his opponent’s below average skills and now is stepping up the big leagues where guys have the ability to defend what he has to offer. Scott has to be carefull early, but unless he lays an egg this is his fight to win. I like him being used in a similar way to Araujo, as a parlay anchor with a better paying fav or near pick’em play.

Luke Barnatt $1.37 vs

I took Barnatt here and he has the skills that should equate to a victory, but I took a long look at Mats. The Swede offers some interesting problems for Barnatt and if he can’t defend the grappling attack of Nilsson he could be in for a long night. I still don’t like the way Mats deals with punches to the face, which is something he will encounter here and that helped me make my mind up in favour of Bigslow. As far as betting, Barnatt should serve on a 3-fight parlay, nothing more. There are at least 8 fights on this card that offer more interest for betting then this one, so tread lightly and sparingly.

Cyrille Diabate $2.05 vs

Many are writing of Latifi here because of his debut performance, but clearly not the line makers. Latifi debuted on extremely short notice, with a very taxing weightcut and he did it against a very talented fighter in Gegard Mousasi. Diabate is a good striker, but he is not nearly as well-rounded as Mousasi and has one glaring weakness. It would appear that whenever a fighter wants to take him down they can. Manuwa did, DeBlass did, Perosh did and Cyrille had minimal to offer off his back. Latifi has a decent shot and his low stature should allow him to get in with relative ease. Both men have the skills to take it home, but in the end I’ll take the wrestler over the aging and retiring fighter. I think Latifi works in 2 different situations you can put a decent amount on him for a single bet or bet a little less and double him up with another fighter with some decent pop.

Gunnar Nelson $1.35 vs

The first of my notes that I came across when prepping for this fight looked like this “Omari- TDD?”. Basically, I felt that in previous footage that Omari’s TDD looked weak and exploitable. In most scenarios where he was taken down he was able to counter with his ground game, but against such a good top game player like Nelson I just don’t see going to his back as beneficial. My one concern is Gunnar’s willingness to hang his hands catches up to him and he gets smack with a big shot or two leading to either a stoppage or enough damage to take him off his game. I think that Gunnar should take this, probably by submission and he should be used as part of a 3 fight parlay. Its the same role as ‘Bigslow’ but I rank the need to include Nelson above Barnatt.

Brad Pickett $1.17 vs

Nope. Debuting in a new weightclass against a late notice opponent and at a terribly low paying odd is never good for anyone. Not even worth a look. Could still be an entertaining scrap though.

Michael Johnson $1.77 vs

Straight up, I was on MJ when I started my breakdown. The undeniable fact that I kept looking at was that all of Guillard’s UFC losses came against opponents with double digit submission wins. I am not saying that ground game played a key role in each of those fights, but the threat of the ground game certainly did. Melvin’s mental stability is an issue in most of his fight, but I believe that the knowledge that a takedown could lead to the end really weighs on his mind in those type of fights. When he knows he can throw and attack without dealing with a submission ace on the mat he is far more effective. That will be the case vs Johnson. Johnson has looked like a world beater in his last 2 fights, but he had a significant and it should up, not the case here. If Guillard gets caught coming in his chin could falter, but I expect to see him mix his wrestling into the equation which will put Johnson in a position he isn’t use to. If Johnson can get caught and nearly KOed by Danny Castillo, Guillard should be able to find the mark as well. Either way, through wrestling or striking, I like the dog here. I think that despite Guillard’s inconsistencies I would be willing to go bigger with him and take a shot especially as he appears to be climbing higher.

Alexander Gustafsson $1.26 vs

I don’t know if I feel comfortable playing Gus here. He should win this, but if he opts to fight a striking based battle versus Manuwa these odds shouldn’t be so far apart. I’m looking forward to this fight, but will probably layoff the straight up bet. I’ll look for a prop instead.


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

1. Gunnar Nelson $1.35

2. Brad Pickett $1.17

3. Igor Araujo $1.62

4. Alexander Gustafsson $1.26

5. Bradley Scott $1.56

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6. Luke Barnatt $1.37

7.

8. Phil Harris $2.50

9. Melvin Guillard $2.25


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

# Price Explanation
1. Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Submission $3.75 With Delorme gone from the card this fight creeps up in significance and has potential, especially considering he has 5 rounds to do it in.
2. Phil Harris $2.50 The more I look at this play the more I like it, Harris has to watch the big shot but I think he grinds this one out.
3. Barnatt/ $2.00 With 2.5 rounds to get the job done in, I think Barnatt can land that fight changing shot and capitalize on it. If Nilsson lands a sub, you’re a winner too.
4. Melvin Guillard $2.25 Johnson has looked so good of late, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was looking so bad. Guillard is a hard guy to beat on the feet and has looked more focussed of late.
5. $1.91 I am hoping to hold off on this and see his value increase against a more well known fighter, but as long as it doesn’t go down we are good to go for #5 on the list.

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. $3.41 If Nilsson gets this fight to the floor with regularity he takes it home.
2. $4.48 I don’t recommend playing Gus straight up, but maybe a small play on Manuwa might be a interesting play here.
3.
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-

Phil Harris/

Bradley Scott /C

Luke Barnatt/

Cyrille Diabate/

Gunnar Nelson /

Brad Pickett /

Michael Johnson /

Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Submission $3.75- I can’t resist taking a stab here. Gus has the edge on the mat and I would hope that he works to exploit that. If he stands the risk is there that he gets caught, but on the mat I think he can pull off the submission win and the odds are too good to pass up.