UFC Fight Night 46: McGregor vs Brandao- Post Fight Breakdown & the Bet Pack

Scott Johnson

UFC Fight Night 46 was by far one of the loudest events in recent memory. From start to finish the crowd was rocking in support of both their fellow countrymen and just about anyone else willing to throw down inside the Octagon. Following on the heels of an awesome night of fights at UFN 45, UFN 46 did not disappoint- unfortunately it was on Fight Pass and wasn’t available to anyone who isn’t a subscriber.

Speaking of the Irish, they did incredibly well opening the card with an upset win and ending the night in the fashion that pretty much everyone in attendance came out to see. Let’s break it down.

Patrick Holohan return from 2 year absence and pulled of a impressive one round upset of Josh Sampo. Holohan got it rolling by dropping his opponent with a nasty counter, surviving armbar attempts, and then shutting it down via RNC.

In another one round war, Nikita Krylov leveled his UFC record at 2-2 by stopping Cody Donovan. Both men had their moments of success in an incredibly action packed 5 minutes, but it was the Ukrianian who landed the final unanswered blows ending the contest with just 3 seconds on the clock.

Tor Troeng and Trevor Smith got the judges involved, with Smith taking a 3 round decision largely based on superior counter wrestling and top control.

In a tale of two rounds, Mike King floored Cathal Pendred with a big right hand, nearly finished him with strikes, then looked for multiple submissions but couldn’t seal the deal. Pendred then brought his country to their feet in round two when he took control of an exhausted King and picked up the first submission of his career.

The luck of the Irish rolled on for Neil Seery has he took a relatively one-sided decision over Phil Harris, avenging his 2010 defeat to the Brit.

Capping the undercard, Ilir Latifi picked up his second first round victory inside the Octagon. The Swede used a series of thunderous leg kicks to take away Chris Dempsey’s base and then sent the American tumbling to the mat with some well placed leather.

Latifi’s win improved my record to a dismal 3-3 after the prelim portion of the event.

The main card opened with Northern Ireland’s Norman Parke dispatching the returning Naoyuki Kotani. Parke turned the fight in his favour in the second of the opening round and never slowed until the referee pulled him off his fallen foe. Parke then called out Diego Sanchez in his post fight interview.

In the most important fight as far as title contention is concerned, Ian McCall proved too quick for Brad Pickett. Pickett may have landed the more impactful strikes, but they were far and few between compared to McCall’s output, who also had the edge in wrestling department. McCall proceeded to call out Demetrious Johnson and has now been tied to a follow-up bout with UFN 45 winner John Lineker.

Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson took home another UFC victory, his fourth, with a second round submission of Zak Cummings. Cummings put up a decent fight in the first round, but the grappling prodigy took control in round 2, took his back, and took the fight via submission.

Finally, the moment the crowd had been waiting for. Conor McGregor took to the cage amidst a thunderous ovation from the crowd. Equally as caught up in the moment, Diego Brandao chopped at the bit to engage. After an intense sequence of exchanges the Notorious one began to take control and the Brazilian fell under the pressure of his attack before the first round could conclude. A result most expected, but it was clear that a new UFC start had taken another massive step forward. It would appear that Ireland’s fighting son may return to action soon as a fight with Dustin Poirier could be PPV bound in the not too distant future.

With a 3-1 main card record (8-2 over the last 2 shows) I concluded my afternoon of predictions with a barely palatable 6-4 record. An early upset and a missed opportunity to pull off another upset were my undoing. The bet pack is posted below and the winner of this card’s Sprawl N Brawl will be posted shortly if it hasn’t already been.


UFC Fight Night 46

GOLD- Bets posted in this section will have a solid payout, involve moderate risk, but my confidence level will be high. Single bets and 2-3 fight parlays, potentially the odd prop bet.

SILVER- Bets posted in this section will have a solid to slightly higher payout, but will involved a little more risk and while I am confident enough to post these bets, I do see where we could go wrong. Single bets, 3-4 fight parlays and prop bets. More Underdogs involved.

BRONZE- Bets posted in this section will normally have the highest payouts, but also involve the most risk. Major Underdogs, larger parlays, and higher risk prop bets.

WILDCARD- This section will include bets only to be made if you have some extra cash. Most posts in this section will be long shots to hit or at least have a lot of working parts involved, but if they do win the payout will be significant.

Gold Plays

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: JOSH SAMPO $1.50
Selection 2: NEIL SEERY $1.69
Selection 3: ILIR LATIFI $1.49
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Price: $3.78 x Bet: $100
Payout: $378
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: CONOR MCGREGOR TO WIN BY KO/TKO/DQ $1.74
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Price: $1.74 x Bet: $100
Payout: $174
 
Silver Plays
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: TOR TROENG $1.61
Selection 2: NIKITA KRYLOV $2.00
Selection 3: NEIL SEERY $1.69
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Price: $5.45 x Bet: $100
Payout: $545
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: BRAD PICKETT $2.50
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Price: $2.50 x Bet: $75
Payout: $187.50
 
Bronze Plays
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: MIKE KING $2.56
Selection 2: ILIR LATIFI/ CHRIS DEMPSEY TOTAL ROUNDS UNDER 1.5 $2.55
Selection 3: JOSH SAMPO $1.50
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Price: $9.80 x Bet: $100
Payout: $980
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: GUNNAR NELSON/ ZAK CUMMINGS TOTAL ROUNDS OVER 1.5 $1.75
Selection 2: NIKITA KRYLOV $2.00
Selection 3: BRAD PICKETT $2.50
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Price: $8.75 x Bet: $100
Payout: $875
 
WILDCARD
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: MIKE KING $2.56
Selection 2: NEIL SEERY $1.69
Selection 3: BRAD PICKETT $2.50
Selection 4: NIKITA KRYLOV $2.00
Selection 5: CONOR MCGREGOR TO WIN BY KO/TKO/DQ $1.74
Selection 6: GUNNAR NELSON/ ZAK CUMMINGS TOTAL ROUNDS OVER 1.5 $1.75
===================================================
Price: $65.87 x Bet: $50
Payout: $3287.50
 

Individual Fight Betting Breakdowns

JOSH SAMPO $1.50 vs PATRICK HOLOHAN $2.95

With the event so close at hand I am going to get right to the hard ‘facts’ for each fight. Sampo is simply the better fighter here. He is stronger on the ground and does everything that Holohan can do only better and he can do more. Holohan has never faced a wrestler on his level. Sampo did miss weight on his first try but by just .5 of a pound- that won’t be an issues. I think Sampo is a steal at $1.50 and will certainly fit the bill as a parlay anchor.

NIKITA KRYLOV $2.00 vs CODY DONOVAN $1.93

This fight has been fluctuating back and forth which tells me that the odds makers are more importantly the public is split on who they think takes this one home. Donovan has looked good at times, but his chin is a MASSIVE concern. He has been knocked out 4 times overall, twice in the UFC, and was dropped twice in the first round vs Penner before rebounding to get his own finish. Krylov is young and aggressive and while he leaves a lot to be desired his his kicking game is solid and his hands are serviceable. I expect that at some point either from distance or in furious rush he is going to land one on Donovan’s chin. Nikita is aggressive off his back so even if Donovan looks to avoid striking and ground him he will have trouble keeping him there. At $2.00 there is some promise here and I will most likely consider Krylov a valid single bet or as part of a 2 fighter parlay under the SILVER heading.

TOR TROENG $1.61 vs TREVOR SMITH $2.55

I like Smith, I liked him in Strikeforce but outside of his back and forth battle with a shot out Ed Herman I am just not sold on him. His grappling is good, but he is too slow on the feet and tires out way too quickly. Nonetheless this still has the potential to be a fun fight. Tor’s eyes rolled back twice versus Natal, but he recovered. Still not something you want to have happen to your fighter. He is good on the ground and if he is capable of hanging with Natal on the mat he should be able to do the same versus Smith. Watch for Smith to attempt a guillotine and Tor to counter the move and move into top position in the process. If the first fight is a grind, not matter who wins, Smith will be considerably slower in rounds 2 and 3 giving Tor the ability to take control of the bout. If Tor gets off to a good star, Smith won’t be able to recover short of landing something huge- not his forte. Tor is still a bit of an unproven quantity at this level. I still like what he brings more then what Smith offers and at $1.61 he fits into your parlays, but certainly not to the extend of the previously mentioned Sampo.

CATHAL PENDRED $1.63 vs MIKE KING $2.56

Colour me unimpressed with Cathal. He didn’t look good on the show and he didn’t show me that much in his fights prior to that. Even against the likes of Che Mills he was far from impressive, despite getting the win. Logic would suggest that the UFC would be looking to bring in an opponent for the Cathal to bowl over at home and add to the Conor McGregor generating excitement in Ireland. I don’t think Mike King is that man. King is big, strong, and aggressive. His size and durability alone will be a lot for Cathal to overcome, especially if this fight goes beyond round 1. Cathal appears the type that starts strong and then fades. That will cost him here. King is still very raw which prevents him from being a massive play, but I think there is still significant value here because the hype of Cathal is impacting this price. I’ll take a shot on King here straight up, probably as a Silver play.

NEIL SEERY $1.69 vs PHIL HARRIS $2.35

I was impressed with Seery in his very short notice debut against a far more skilled opponent then he is faced with here. Yes, Phil Harris beat Neil a couple of years ago, but they have taken different trajectory since that bout. On a side note I was reading a breakdown for this fight on one of the big MMA sites and the writer noted in the comments that he had no idea these two had previously fought after someone else mentioned it. Seriously? How much research are you doing for your picks then? That is one of the first things I look for- it can tell you so much, especially if it was fairly recent. Harris is chinny and is also vulnerable to getting submitted. I really struggled to believe that he has the ground skills to consistently gain top position and even with a takedown here or there Seery will badly out work him on the feet and potentially crack that chin. I really like Seery’s value here and he will be a part of my Gold plays for sure, almost certainly on a parlay, but potentially as a single bet as well.

ILIR LATIFI $1.49 vs CHRIS DEMPSEY $3.15

I am really surprised that the hulking Swede is getting this good of a price. I fully anticipate it dropping down into the $1.30’s by fight time. There is a plethora of outside factors that Dempsey will need to overcome before the door even closes. I covered these in the breakdown, no need to waste ink. Latifi’s physicality is a lot to deal with and he has shown a pretty good submission game on top. Other then an early career defeat, he has only been bested by Gegard Mousasi and Emanuel Newton- no shame in that. I see Latifi being too much for the new guy- both on the mat or on the feet. Most likely we see Latifi get on top, drop some shots and either overwhelm him or work his way into a submission. This fight is a solid parlay play, event as low as $1.40 I would still utilize him there- probably with 2 other picks.

NAOYUKI KOTANI $4.51 vs NORMAN PARKE $1.29

Parke didn’t fair all that well in his last fight or at least not as well as many had expected him to. It was a pretty bland performance and the ridiculous point deduction on the shorts grab was just that- ridiculous. He will be the more technical and active striker and as long as he doesn’t turn down his volume because of the threat being taken down, he will be fine. He seemed to a have a little bit of trouble navigating the long reach and jab of his opponent last time out, that won’t be an issue here. For betting purposes I am not that excited about this play. He pays pretty poorly on the straight up bet and the combo of Parke’s recent struggles to finish opponents and Kotani’s knockout numbers has me leery on a prop bet. I will most likely pass on this fight all together.

BRAD PICKETT $2.50 vs IAN MCCALL $1.63

Here is the most interesting fight on the card. We have something interesting and important fighters (Nelson and McGregor) but this fight has me very intrigued. I am no Pickett and while he look okay in his 125 pound debut I expect him to look even better here now that he know how his body will respond. I was not impressed with McCall versus Benavidez. He looked really out of sorts every time Joe landed and I think it had a lot to do with the power factor. McCall made a nice run for himself outside the UFC prior to the start of their Flyweight division and even looked good enough to beat MJ in their first meeting. Unfortunately, I think against guys on the next level he just isn’t there. His fight with Iliarde Santos was very competitive, more then it should have been for a guy ranked close to the top of the division. The question is- where does Pickett rank in? I like his power to really have an impact and I think he will drag McCall into a brawl and make him a far less effective fighter. Until McCall beats a fighter at this level I am just not sold on him as this heavy of a favourite. I will take Pickett straight up and see how the Brit fares in what could be his last chance at relevancy.

GUNNAR NELSON $1.19 vs ZAK CUMMINGS $5.65

Can the ‘Zak Attack’ do it again? He just took out one grappling ace that was suppose to roll over him, but a win over Gunnar would be monumentally more impressive. I will not be betting this fight straight up. Gunnar should take it, but I am not counting Cummings out of it just yet and the price is too small anyway. I will be taking a look at the Over/ Under though. Cummings is pretty tough and crafty and depending on where the line sits it might be worth it to grab the Over. Other than that I will most likely pass.

CONOR MCGREGOR $1.21 vs DIEGO BRANDAO $5.45

Unless Conor goes on to win the title there is going to be a point or level of competition that will be too much for him- that is the way it works for pretty much all fighters. Does Diego Brandao represent that level? I don’t think so and I am assuming the UFC doesn’t either as they recognize what they have in McGregor and don’t want to squander it just yet. Brandao represents an new level of competition, even though I am a big fan of Max Holloway, the wrestling/ submission game of DB could create some issues. That is of course if he is able to get something done in the first round or 2. Diego’s cardio is pretty darn bad and combo that with a wonky chin and he will be in tough against a higher volume striker with power like Conor. Price wise I won’t be betting on anyone here straight up. Like the last fight I will look at a prop bet for the best option and go from there.


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

1. CONOR MCGREGOR $1.21

2. JOSH SAMPO $1.50

3. ILIR LATIFI $1.49

4. GUNNAR NELSON $1.19

5. NEIL SEERY $1.69

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6. NORMAN PARKE $1.29

7. TOR TROENG $1.61

8. NIKITA KRYLOV $2.00

9. BRAD PICKETT $2.50

10. MIKE KING $2.56


 

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

# Price Explanation
1. NEIL SEERY $1.69 Sure, he doesn’t have the big numbers that other fighters have had sitting at #1 but I simply feel that anything above $1.60 is a steal here. Seery is simply a better fighter and gives you a pretty solid risk/reward trade off.
2. BRAD PICKETT $2.50 McCall is 1-2-1 since joining the UFC with his only win coming against an unranked opponent. Yes, I know he lost and fought to a draw against the champ and Joe B after. He seemed to have trouble with the power and striking of Benavidez and I put Pickett in that same category.
3. MIKE KING $2.56 I have yet to watch a Pendred fight (TUF or prior) where he impressed me. King is far from a finished product himself, but I really think he has the raw talent to take home the ‘W’.
4. NIKITA KRYLOV $2.00 Yeah, I can’t trust Cody Donovan’s chin. Especially against a guy that is willing to come forward and throw.
5. JOSH SAMPO $1.50 I am trying to stick with just fighter picks and not props in this list and Sampo gets the call. Unless he gasses out, he should handle everything that Holohan can toss at him with relative ease. Solid value for your parlay bets.

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. N/A
2.
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-

NIKITA KRYLOV/ CODY DONOVAN TOTAL ROUNDS OVER 1.5 $2.55- Yes there is a fantastic chance that this fight could end inside the first round or with the first strike. I have had success of late picking up Overs on fights that looked like guaranteed Unders- White/Martins comes to mind. At this value it is certainly worth a look.

TOR TROENG/ TREVOR SMITH TOTAL ROUNDER OVER 1.5 $1.63- Not the same value as the prop listed above, but I feel this fight should advance its way into the second round quite nicely and has a very good chance of going to the scorecards. The majority of their combined finishes (15 of 22) have come on the mat and I think that they are each skilled enough on the ground to avoid getting tapped.

ILIR LATIFI/ CHRIS DEMPSEY TOTAL ROUNDS UNDER 1.5 $2.55- I have watched a number of Dempsey’s fights and I think that he is simply going to be overmatched here. He is a natural MW taking on a physically hulking and powerful LHW. The way he reacts to getting hit tells me that if Latifi can land a big one that could be enough or putting the wrestling on his back should open up plenty of submission opportunities. There is some risk involved here and I could easily see the 7:30 passing by without a finish, but I think at this price it is worth a play.

GUNNAR NELSON/ ZAK CUMMINGS TOTAL ROUNDS OVER 1.5 $1.75- The last time Gunnar faced a solid vet he went the distance with Jorge Santiago. Cummings isn’t a big name but he is a tough out and should be good enough on the mat to survive the first round and a half.

CONOR MCGREGOR TO WIN BY KO/TKO/DQ $1.74- This line varies depending on what site you are on, but I don’t see this fight lasting a full 5 rounds with Diego’s cardio and unless he is so tired that Conor opts to lock in a sub instead of pounding him out- this is how Conor wins by knockout. If Diego wins this bet is clearly spoiled, but I think this is a pretty solid play even if it slips as low as a $1.60.