UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs Johnson- Retrospective & Bet Pack Review
In the largest UFC event ever held in Europe, the action didn’t disappoint- even if the outcome of the main event was not the one that most in attendance wanted. The 12 fight event was riddled with upsets (7) and finishes (7) and outside of the opening 3 fights and a slightly underwhelming Davis/ Bader bout the action was fantastic. Most importantly, we have a brand new #1 contender in the Light Heavyweight division and a future title fight that will have the fans buzzing.
From a prediction stand point; sometimes you are the hammer (UFN 59: 11-1) and sometimes you are the nail (UFC on FOX 14: 4-8). Tonight I was clearly the latter, but with the current UFC schedule I get a chance to redeem myself just 7 days from now. It can’t come soon enough, but let’s take a look at fights one by one.
Neil Seery def. Chris Beal via Unanimous Decision
As stated in the bet pack, backing Beal was a mistake and instead the most reliable play was the Over. Seery had the perfect style to test the impact of the cut on the new Flyweight and simply carried a pace too much for Beal to handle. An EPU at its finest. Predictions: 0-1 Props: 1-0
Viktor Pesta def. Konstantin Erokhin via Unanimous Decision
In another ‘Early Prelim Upset’, Pesta survived the early flurry and pushed through the initial attempted by Erokhin to keep the fight standing and took the Russian to the ground. Surprisingly, the bout went the distance with both men clearly exhausted by the second half. Neither looked overly impressive, but both are still early in their pro careers. Predictions: 0-2 Props: 1-1
Mirsad Bektic def. Paul Redmond via Unanimous Decision
Bektic took it to the short notice Irishman from start to finish and never relented with a heavy handed top game. He appeared to be close to finishing the fight late in round 2, but ultimately was unable to put away his opponent. Joe Rogan was little over the top with his description of Bektic’s efforts, disregarding his 10 month layoff, limited overall experience, and that this was just his 2nd UFC bout. Not to mention that Redmond show a lot of hear by not looking for a way out. Predictions: 1-2 Props: 1-2
Mairbek Taisumov def. Anthony Christodoulou via KO | Rnd.2
In arguably the biggest mismatch of the card, Mairbek Taisumov batter Christodoulou for the entirety of the first round, thwarted a TDA to start the second, and divided him from his consciousness shortly thereafter with brutal ground and pound. Taisumov moves to 3-1 in the UFC, but a win over an opponent of this calibre does not warrant a massive step up in competition next time out. Predictions: 2-2 Props 1-3
Nikita Krylov def. Stanislav Nedkov via Sub (Guillotine) | Rnd. 1
The Ukrainian Krylov made quick work of Nedkov after eating a couple of right hands, he looked for a d’arce choke, but ultimately got the job done with a standing guillotine. Nikita is now 3-2 in the UFC and 2-1 as a LHW, he is young and still developing but clearly has tools to build on. A bout with Gian Villante would be a good next fight. On a personal note, it would appear that betting on props tonight was a mistake. Predictions: 3-2 Props: 1-4
Makwan Amirkhani def. Andy Ogle via TKO | Rnd. 1
In the quickest finish of the night (8 seconds), Amirkhani sprung across the cage to land a flying knee and follow-up barrage that lead the referee to step in a save Ogle. The stoppage appeared to be a little quick and like a dog on a bone Joe brought this up several times in the post-fight interview. It would have been nice to see the ref let the fight go a little longer, but Ogle was hurt, maybe not finished, but certainly hurt. It is interesting to note that Maximo Blanco attempted a similar move to against Ogle off the opening bell, but with far less success. Predictions: 3-3 Props: 1-4
Kenny Robertson def. Sultan Aliev via TKO | Rnd. 1
Continuing the trend of sudden finishes, the American caught Aliev square on jaw after a failed spinning back kick. After a quick follow-up strike, the bout was over and Robertson’s winning streak was attended. It was a tough start to his UFC for the former Bellator competitor, but for Robertson who lost his first 2 UFC bouts- he is now 4-1 in his last 5 and rising quickly from obscurity. Predictions: 3-4 Props: 1-5.
Albert Tumenov def. Nico Musoke via Decision
The Swede got off to a strong start and took the first round on most cards, but as the bout progressed Tumenov appeared to land the more impactful strikes and it was piling up on Musoke’s face. The Russian was far from unblemished, but the final blow came when the scorecards were read the Tumenov’s hand was raised. Predictions: 3-5 Props: 2-5
With the prelims in the books, there were a few bright spots but for the most part it was a steady stream of disappointment from a prediction/ betting standpoint. The action was pretty solid after we got off Fight Pass. There were 4 upsets on the undercard and multiple fights that I was on the fence on at some point during the prediction process (Seery, Robertson, Tumenov, and Amirkhani) that ended with my guys hand still hanging low.
Sam Sicilia def. Akira Corassani via KO | Rnd. 1
The Swede started out strong moving in and out, but he always seemed to be just on the edge of danger. Eventually, Sicilia found his range and planted Akira on the mat for good. With the loss, Swedish fighters are now 0-2 on the card and the pressure was planted firmly on the shoulders of Alex Gustafsson to get the home crowd a win. Predictions: 3-6 Props: 2-6
Ryan Bader def. Phil Davis via Split Decision
In a closely contested bout Ryan Bader edges out Phil Davis for the 6th upset of the night. Neither man did anything of create significance to pull away from their opponent, but it appeared that Bader was getting the better of most of the exchanges. With the win, Bader continues his climb up the rankings and a bout with Rashad Evans could be on the horizon. For Davis, it appears that his wrestling-centric attack isn’t enough to consistently earn wins at the top of the division and development in his striking is needed before he will can be consider a legit top contender. Predictions: 3-7 Props: 2-7
Gegard Mousasi def. Dan Henderson via TKO | Rnd. 1
In another controversial outcome, Gegard Mousasi notched a big win by stopping Dan Henderson in the first round. After landing a grazing shot across the top of the head, Mousasi followed the clearly compromised Henderson to the mat for a series of secondary blows that appeared to slump Henderson against the cage before he came back to protest the stoppage. Mousasi picks up a nice win, but still needs to show he can defeat the elite of the division to reach the expectations that many had prior to his debut. For Dan, it appears that his iron-clad chin is no more and retirement could be on the horizon. Too little, too late, but Mousasi by knockout was a solid paying prop. Predictions: 4-7 Props: 3-7
Anthony Johnson def. Alexander Gustafsson via TKO | Rnd. 1
It didn’t last long, but boy was it exciting. Both men exchanges big shots early with Gus trying to work the outside and Rumble staying right with him. After a eye poke to Rumble halted the action (and the heartbeats of pretty much everyone watching) the fighters got back at it. The lack of separation following the glove touch was the beginning of the end for Gustafsson. Alex tossed out a kick and Johnson countered with a punch that sent him stumbling backwards. Marc Goddard made sure to avoid an early stoppage and gave Gus a significant amount of time to recover, which he never did. Possibly too much time. Johnson is now firmly entrenched as the #1 contender and the next challenger to Jon Jones. That fight will do big business. Gustafsson will now need to return to the ranks and rebuild his case for a title shot, which shouldn’t be that difficult. A fight with Ryan Bader or Glover Texeiria would be a good starting point.
We can’t win them all, but it would be nice to win more then we lose. That wasn’t the case tonight, but at least from a fans perspective it was a solid night of fights. My customers and Podcast followers have every right to steal a line from ‘My Cousin Vinny’ regarding what I had to say about this card…
Onward and upward, Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz are next- that should be fun.
Information will be posted closer to the event when the official odds are available
The compilation of betting information listed below is meant to be used as a guideline only.
UFC on FOX 14: Gustafsson vs Johnson=================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: Nikita Krylov $1.83 Selection 2: Sultan Aliev $1.83 Selection 3: Phil Davis to Win by Decision $1.93 =================================================== Price: $6.47 x Bet: $100 Payout: $647 =================================================== Parlay #2 =================================================== Selection 1: Andy Ogle $1.79 Selection 2: Akira Corassani $1.83 Selection 3: Erokhin/ Pesta Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.56 Selection 4: Tumenov/ Musoke Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.58 =================================================== Price: $8.08 x Bet: $100 Payout: $808 =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: Gegard Mousasi to Win by KO/TKO $4.20 Selection 2: Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Decision $4.02 Selection 3: Phil Davis to Win by Decision $1.93 =================================================== Price: $32.59 x Bet: $100 Payout: $3259 =================================================== Parlay #2 =================================================== Selection 1: Nikita Krylov $1.83 Selection 2: Sultan Aliev $1.83 Selection 3: Andy Ogle $1.79 Selection 4: Akira Corassani $1.83 =================================================== Price: $10.97 x Bet: $100 Payout: $1097 =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Decision $4.02 Selection 2: Nikita Krylov $1.83 Selection 3: Sultan Aliev $1.83 Selection 4: Nico Musoke $2.18 Selection 5: Phil Davis to Win by Decision $1.93 =================================================== Price: $56.65 x Bet: $100 Payout: $5665
Chris Beal $1.54 vs Neil Seery $2.74
This is a fight that I am very leery of. I felt Beal had a tougher time with his last opponent then it appeared, but at the same time we need to avoid overvaluing Seery’s performance vs Brad Pickett. Seery was debuting and took the fight on short notice, but Pickett was just so drawn out at 125 and simply wasn’t the same fighter as he was at 135. I feel Beal is more well rounded, but he is going to be a big 125er and that cut can be hard for the smaller guys to make considering how much of a percentage of their total weight that the additional 10 pounds represents. Beal should be able to incorporate his wrestling into the fight and that will be a big difference maker. Seery has the type of style that could bring out issues with the cut for Beal by pushing him, so I am thinking that this fight fits in on Silver pack parlay at most.
Konstantin Erokhin $1.33 vs Viktor Pesta $3.90
Erokhin is debuting, Pesta is on fight #2, and we are all clamouring for the next big thing at HW to start his accent up the rankings. We don’t care who it is, just that it is someone to inject a little life into the division. Pesta didn’t look great in his debut. He had his moments, but also got hurt badly a couple of times. Erokhin has appeared to be a killer and against very respectable opposition, but question marks still exist. Mainly with his defensive wrestling. Pesta has the ability test that, potentially. I am not a huge fan of playing a side here, but I am looking very hard at the total.
Mirsad Bektic $1.20 vs Paul Redmond $5.81
Redmond is coming in on short notice to make his debut against a highly touted prospect who has fought just one time in the UFC, has 8 total fights, and has been out of action for the better part of 10 months. I expect that Bektic will win, but there is nothing more to see here as far as financially backing a side is concerned. I will take a look at the total, but for now this is a No Play.
Mairbek Taisumov $1.17 vs Anthony Christodoulou $6.39
Mairbek found his winning ways again in his last fight, but at this price against a relative unknown coming in as an injury replacement were going to pass. No value on the side and to be quite frank I think Christodoulou is a warm body more then anything else as I have not be impressed with anything I have seen out of him. The total is worth looking at, but that will wait until later.
Nikita Krylov $1.83 vs Stanislav Nedkov $2.18
This bout won’t be a demonstration of artistic violence at its best, but there will for sure be violence. I like Krylov to win this one outside of Nedkov landing something huge. Nedkov’s cardio was pretty poor 2 years ago and I can’t image such a long hiatus will do much to improve that situation. Ring rust is real, people. Krylov isn’t pretty with his striking, but he is far more diverse with his kicking arsenal and doesn’t just put his head down and wing heavy hooks like Nedkov does. Additionally he is 4″ taller and will have a 6″ reach advantage. While his height does leave him open for an OHR or left, it will also make it hard for Nedkov to land with consistency. Stanislav’s best chance is to bully Krylov into the cage, pin him there, and on the break start unloading. Unfortunately, Krylov is pretty crafty in close and will use the Thai clinch much in the same way that Kong Watson did to break down Nedkov. Addtionally, that type of a fight won’t be kind to Nedkov’s gas tank. Watch for Krylov to go high with a kick as well, probably more then once if needed. This is a fence bet, he is either a fringe Gold Parlay play or a strong Silver parlay leg.
Andy Ogle $1.79 vs Makwan Amirkhani $2.20
I have come across a wide variety of opinions on this fight. Many are not sold Amirkhani’s ability to fight at this level feeling he is too one-dimensional, but other are feel that Ogle is the perfect fight for his debut. I feel the Fin is a capable grappler, but Ogle has faced better in the UFC- mainly Oliveira and Miller. Ogle put up a respectable fight in both and feel he has the striking skills to swing the exchanges in his favour and score big with the judges. Additionally, making the move to Alpha Male will go a long way to shoring up his wrestling and that could be the ticket to ride here. I am on the fence here, I wish Ogle had a little more momentum coming into this fight- but I will probably end up including him in a Silver parlay.
Kenny Robertson $2.15 vs Sultan Aliev $1.83
I went back and forth on this fight, I was on Robertson, then Aliev, and then no one and then Sultan got the nod for me. I had a hard time overlooking Kenny’s poor striking technique and sloppy manner in which he closes the distance. He gets hit regularly and as we saw in the Pierson fight if he can’t score takedowns he has trouble convincing the judges he is winning. Aliev isn’t flashy and can be downright boring, but against Mikkel Parlo he really frustrated his opponent with his defensive front and made it hard for him to close the gap. If he does that hear and times Robertson as he does push forward he can land with power and possible end this fight. At this price I am look at Aliev as a Silver leg because he is debuting and as far as I can tell fighting at WW for the first time.
Albert Tumenov $1.83 vs Nico Musoke $2.18
Tumenov has looked like a destroyer of worlds in his last 2 fights. Both of which ended ugly for his opponents. If you investigate further you will be underwhelmed by his opposition. Lapsely had a bad weight cut and was clearly fighting scared, keeping his back on the wall while waiting to get hit. Dwyer was debuting and I had seen in previous footage that he had a pension for getting hit hard and that is what Tumenov did. Can he knockout out Musoke? Absolutely. But, the Swede is a solid striker in his own right and his grappling game has looked very good. Better then that of Ildemar Alcantara’s who planted Tumenov on the mat and upset him. I will take the value here on Nico and say he grinds this one out. One of my Betting Scenarios regarding the total favours Nico to come out on top. I will play Nico as either a Gold Single bet or play him together with another fighter in a 2 fight parlay.
Akira Corassani $1.83 vs Sam Sicilia $2.10
Akira by no stretch is a fav. fighter of mine, but I really like him here. His chin isn’t good and those big numbers are hard to overlook, but Sicilia isn’t exactly the knockout artist that most would peg him as. He throws hard, but lacks the technical refinement to routinely land. His knockout wins came over Godofredo Pepey from top position and Cristiano Marcello who striking defense is simply put- horo-awful. Corassani did a nice job of boxing Robbie Peralta up, a far superior power striker then Sicilia. He did get hurt in that fight, but still held on to win. I am not saying Sammy can’t clip him, I am saying its a low percentage scenario. Akira’s footwork and better technique will routinely give him the edge during the exchanges. Don’t be shocked to see some TDs from the Swede too. I plan on playing Akira in the Gold package, remember his 2 UFC knockouts came against elite level fighters.
Phil Davis $1.43 vs Ryan Bader $3.21
Big fight here for the lower half of the top 10. I have the rankings right now- Jones, Gus, Cormier, Evans, Johnson, Davis, Tex, Bader. There are still some good fights out there, but a lot of these guys have faced each other already. I think the winner of this fight should face DC next, but that’s not important right now. Bader is improving his striking, but he will need to really be on his game with Davis and I just don’t see him having success consistently enough to take this bout. If Davis was able to survive Rumble on the feet, I don’t see Bader KOing him. I expect to see the striking exchanges fairly close, but the speed and length of Davis getting the better of it. I also anticipate that Davis will be able to take him down a couple of times and impose his wrestling on a guy that he has already beat at the Collegiate level. Davis works for me as a Gold Parlay participant and the Total might be playable.
Dan Henderson $5.00 vs Gegard Mousasi $1.23
These odds are on the fringe of unplayable, but they might add a small kick to your parlay because I feel very strongly that Mousasi gets the win here. Henderson is going back to 185 for the first time in a long time. His chin is clearly not what it use to be to and that further complicates the concerns over his cardio. As he slows down he will become much easier to hit and I think Gegard will do just that. A possible inclusion in a Gold Parlay could be the play here and the total is worth looking at.
Alexander Gustafsson $1.39 vs Anthony Johnson $3.46
I was really hoping that this fight wouldn’t actually happen. I wanted to see Gus vs Bader to get him primed for the rematch with Jones and Rumble vs Glover to further build him up as the next contender. Gus vs Jones in the Summer, and the winner vs Rumble in the last quarter of the year maybe after he takes out someone like OSP. The LHW division lacks the depth to let its top contenders beat each other out of contention. Johnson has the ability to pull this one off. He is incredibly dangerous, but I think Gus is a tough matchup for him. His striking style should short circuit Rumble’s power. Keep him on the outside, keep him chasing, and tire him out. I was really hoping the line would be closer then this, but we can only work with what we are give. I will play Gus in the Gold section, probably as a third wheel on a parlay.
1. Gegard Mousasi $1.23
2. Mairbek Taisumov $1.17
3. Mirsad Bektic $1.20
4. Alexander Gustafsson $1.39
5. Phil Davis $1.43
6. Akira Corassani $1.83
7. Nico Musoke $2.18
8. Nikita Krylov $1.83
9. Konstantin Erokhin $1.33
10.Sultan Aliev $1.83
11. Chris Beal $1.54
12. Andy Ogle $1.79
1. Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Decision $4.02 // The value is too great to pass up. While a finish on either side is a possibility, I don’t think a Decision is as unlikely as the odds would suggest. There is significant value here.
2. Akira Corassani $1.83 // I wasn’t sure where Akira would fall on the list here, but I have him as my top non-prop play. His technical striking skills will be too much for Sicilia who has a puncher’s chance and nothing more.
3. Nico Musoke $2.18 // He is the more well rounded fighter and better then the opponent that layed the blueprint to beat Tumenov. Plus he is fighting at home. It might not be pretty, but I will take the value and run.
4. Nikita Krylov $1.83 // I don’t think this much time away will be a positive thing for Nedkov, and while Krylov’s wild style of aggression could get him knocked out, I think it does the Bulgarian in.
5. Gegard Mousasi to Win by KO/TKO $4.20 // I was on the fence here. I had Davis by Dec. pencilled in as #5, but the price here is too good. I don’t think the likelihood of Mousasi knocking Hendo out is that outrageous. My bigger concern is that he scores a knock down and either locks up a RNC or possibly Guillotine. It is still a solid play.
1. Anthony Johnson $3.46 // I think the Over is a less risky play then Rumble, but he is incredibly dangerous and if anyone can spoil Jones/ Gus 2 its him. I think Gus takes it but if you have a parlay that comes down to just needing the Swede, possibly hedging your bet with AJ is worth looking at.
2. Ryan Bader $3.21 // Pretty similar to my assessment above. I don’t think Bader wins, but it is not out of the question. Hedge your bets where needed.
Exclusive Bet Pack Content
Chris Beal/ Neil Seery
See the Betting Scenario’s Section
Konstantin Erokhin/Viktor Pesta
See the Betting Scenario’s Section
Mirsad Bektic/ Paul Redmond Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.86
Bektic had finished all of his fights prior to his UFC debut- 4 in the first, 1 in the second, and 1 in the third. All 4 of his amateur bouts also hit the Under 2.5 mark. Redmond is tough, but all of his defeats (1 KO, 3 subs) have come early in his fights and his last was only 2 fights ago. The late notice won’t help either if he can’t match Bektic’s pace. Play the Under.
Mairbek Taisumov/ Anthony Christodoulou Total Rounds Over 2.5 $2.05
I initially was leaning towards the Under in this fight, but changed my mind. Christodoulou hasn’t suffered a loss inside the distance since the first 2 fights of his career. Conversely, until his last bout Taisumov had gone into the 3rd round in 3 straight fights and 4 of his last 6. Taisumov’s output tends to wane at times and while he should carry the flow of the action I expect the judge’s to be required or at least a stoppage that comes late in the third. Play the Over.
Nikita Krylov/ Stanislav Nedkov Total Rounds Over 1.5 $2.25
This is one of those fights that screams ‘Under’, but I think fading the popular opinion is the way to go here. Krylov’s last 3 bouts have ended inside the first round and he has built his career on early finishes with 20 of 21 outcomes being decided before the 5 minute mark. Scary, I know. Nedkov has stopping power, but he has gone into the third round in 3 of his last 6 fights and gone over 1.5 rounds in 4 of 6. I have Krylov winning, but I think he will need to wear down Nedkov and that should take at least 5 minutes. Play the Over.
Kenny Robertson/ Sultan Aliev Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.54
Not a really flashy play based on the price, but I like the total here at 1.5 and the value can serve to augment a parlay that needs a little boost. Aliev has recorded 10 of his 13 wins by knockout, but his 2 fights in Bellator against better competition both went the distance. Robertson has just 4 decisions on record but he has gone into the 2nd round 8 times in 17 fights, with 3 decisions in his UFC run. Play the Over.
Albert Tumenov/ Nico Musoke
See the Betting Scenario’s Section
Akira Corassani/ Sam Sicilia Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.54
Corassani’s chin and Sicilia’s knockout wins have move the total to 1.5. I don’t have Sicilia winning this fight which is my first pull to the Over. Secondly, 6 of Sam’s last 7 bouts (all in the UFC) have gone into the 2nd frame, 4 going over 1.5 and the other 2 coming close. Corassani has gone to the judges 7 times in 12 wins. Play the Over.
Phil Davis to Win by Decision $1.93
For the sake of all involved I will keep this short. I have Davis winning and unless he catches a sub, it is going the distance. 7 of his 13 wins have come by decision, 6 in the UFC. It adds a solid bump to your parlay if your book offers ‘Win Method’ betting on more then just the main event.
Gegard Mousasi to Win by KO/TKO $4.20
Simply put, I think Dan’s chin is gone. Vitor cracked it and Shogun showed us it wasn’t a fluke. He didn’t finish him, but he hurt him a couple of times. My biggest concern is that Mousasi tends to let his output drop off at times and that could allow Hendo to espcape. Either Gegard cracks him early or breaks him down a little later one when he gassed.
Alexander Gustafsson to Win by Decision $4.02
This is a 5 round fight which gives both guys a tonne of time to finish the bout and these guys are killers. But honestly, this price is too good to pass up. Shogun and Thiago Silva both went the distance with Gus. Phil Davis was able to survive with Rumble for a full 3 rounds. They have 0 legit knockout defeats between the two, with the only significant number of losses being Johnson’s 3 submission. I like the price, can’t pass it up.
Alexander Gustafsson/ Anthony Johnson Over 2.5 Rounds $1.71
Pretty much for the same reason I made the above play. Both guys know what is on the line and I don’t expect them to be reckless, especially early on. A finish is a real possibly, but I will stand by the Over.