UFC on Fox 15: Machida vs Rockhold- ‘The Torch is Passed’

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UFC on FOX 15 is in the books and in recent memory there hasn’t been another card that represented a passing of the torch as much as this one did. Top to bottom, 8 of the 11 fights ended without the assistance of the judges and 5 of those came via submission. When all of the dust settles, there are potentially new #1 contenders in both the Middleweight and Women’s Strawweight divisions, a few new faces debuting in the top 10 of their respective divisions, and the legitimacy of TUF takes another hit. Let’s get at it…

Quick Notes

  • The heavily favoured Eddie Gordon dropped a split decision to Chris Dempsey. It wasn’t a pretty fight, but Gordon wasn’t able to get his offense going with consistency and has now dropped 2 in a row since winning TUF.
  • Jimy Hettes got the short end of the stick with a questionable Doctor stoppage. Diego Brandao got his hand raised, but it would be nice to see that one rebooked.
  • Tim Means continues his push towards the Welterweight ranks with a nice submission win late.
  • A much needed win for Gian Villante gives him his first winning streak inside the Octagon. He landed some solid leg kicks early on the TUF winner and sealed the deal late with his hands.
  • Ovince St. Preux put a big dent in the momentum of Patrick Cummins with a well timed uppercut.

Aljamain Sterling def. Takeya Mizugaki via Submission | Rnd. 3

In just his third bout in the UFC, Sterling finished off a top 10 ranked opponent and clearly thrust himself into the upper echelon of the division. He still needs a couple more big wins before entering title contention, but the future appears bright for the Serra-Longo product.

Beneil Dariush def. Jim Miller via Decision

Dariush continues to add bigger and bigger names to his list of victims, picking up a solid 3 round decision victory over an opponent who has been consistently ranked in the top of the division for a number of year. The loss is a significant setback for Miller who will most likely slide to the out edge of the division’s top 15. There are several options for Dariush to consider, but a bout with another streaking Lightweight prospect like Al Iaquinta could further solidify Beneil as one to watch in the division.

Paige VanZant def. Felice Herrig via Decision

It was a back and forth affair early on, but the pace of PVZ clearly got the better of Herrig and as the fight progressed she pulled away. She wasn’t able to finish the fight, but it was clear that Herrig was in full defensive mode. With the win VanZant has firmly positioned herself a legit contender in the division and she could easily find herself fighting for the Strawweight title in the not too distant future.

Max Holloway def. Cub Swanson via Submission | Rnd. 3

In the best performance of his young career, Holloway defeated an opponent who himself was only 1 win away from a potential title shot one fight prior. Holloway entered as the underdog, but left with his sixth straight win and fifth finish during that span. He carried the action on the feet, offering an incredibly accurate and impactful attack that had Swanson befuddled from start to finish. The end of the bout exemplifies the continued growth of Holloway as he should be headed towards a spot in the top 10.

Ronaldo Souza def. Chris Camozzi via Submission | Rnd. 1

The fight ended the way most expected it to, but unfortunately through no fault of his own it would appear that Souza could be on the verge of losing his #1 ranking in the Middleweight division. With Rockhold’s dominant performance in the main event, Rockhold/Weidman would appear to be the fight in demand and as a result Souza will be forced to wait his turn. A lot can happen before the next Middlweight title fight is set, including a rescheduling of Jacare/ Romero- only time will tell.

Luke Rockhold def. Lyoto Machida via Submission | Rnd. 2

Machida got off to a decent start, landing several big shots that Rockhold appeared to absorb with little concern. Midway through the opening round Rockhold was able to capitalize on either a slip or trip that sent Machida to the canvas. Once on top, Rockhold was dominant. He landed several big shots and threatened with submissions before the round concluded. The damage was clearly done and once the fight hit the mat in round two, Rockhold quickly locked in the fight ending RNC.

Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but Weidman vs Rockhold has the potential to be a massive draw and would be a fantastic main event for a possible New York card at MSG. Let’s hope that the pesky Vitor Belfort doesn’t wreck the party.

This is a tough loss for Machida and could very well spell the end of his hopes for another title shot. He has come back strong from tough defeats in the past and will still prove to be a tough test for the vast majority of the division, but this loss is a big one.

Closing Thoughts…

I went 6-5 on the night and picked up several wins in closely lined fights. Some of the losses (Gordon and Anderson) were fights that I suggested that we should steer clear of, but it is still disappointing to be on the wrong end of the final outcome.

The bet pack is posted below for your viewing pleasure. As mentioned above I dissuaded you from betting on a couple of fights that ultimately didn’t win which is a positive. While the pack only produced 1 winning parlay, there were 4 that had just a single wrong leg (I know, horseshoes and hand grenades) that total roughly 152 units. Ouch.

The DraftKings contested failed to meet the required number of competitors. I will probably look to make a few changes to hopefully avoid this for future cards. I did finish tied for 1st in another DraftKings’ contest and took home $100 with the team of Rockhold, Jacare, Holloway, VanZant and Miller.

UFC 186, or at least what is left of it is less than a week away and we are headed to Montreal for a Flyweight title fight. Au revoir for now.

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Jim Miller $2.64
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Price: $2.64 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 13.2 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Diego Brandao $1.63 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Tim Means $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $2.74 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 16.44 units
 
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Parlay #3
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Selection 1: Paige Vanzant $1.82 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Cub Swanson $1.68
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Price: $3.06 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 18.36 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Luke Rockhold $1.65 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Patrick Cummins $1.83
Selection 3: Tim Means $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $5.08 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 25.4 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Gordon/ Dempsey Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.32
Selection 2: Means/ Sullivan Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.51 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Paige Vanzant $1.82 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Camozzi/ Souza Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.51 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $9.64 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 48.2 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Diego Brandao $1.63 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Tim Means $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Cub Swanson $1.68
Selection 4: Patrick Cummins $1.83
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Price: $8.42 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 42.1 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Jim Miller $2.64
Selection 2: Luke Rockhold $1.65 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Paige Vanzant $1.82 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Camozzi/ Souza Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.51 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $11.98 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 59.9 units
 

Eddie Gordon $1.26 vs Chris Dempsey $5.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I have Gordon winning this bout handily, but the line is simply not worth your money. I will consider a play on the total, but need to take a more in-depth look before finalizing my pick. 4 STARS

Diego Brandao $1.63 vs Jimy Hettes $2.55 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Brandao appears to have hit his ceiling- against the likes of McGregor, Poirier and even Darren Elkins he is simply overmatched. The Elkins fight could have gone his way, but it didn’t. Against opposition not ranked in the top 10 or so, he has had great success. He is still a flawed fighter, but I have him getting by Hettes. It would appear that if Jimy can’t bring his grappling game to bear on his opponent he is drastically outgunned. If Hettes can force Diego to work hard he could compromise his questionable cardio and sneak this bout out in the second half. That is going to be a taller order. Brandao’s defensive grappling will keep Hettes vertical and his superior striking attack will take over. I like the price here, I am leaning towards a Gold parlay leg. 4 STARS

Tim Means $1.68 vs George Sullivan $2.38 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Means’s success rises and falls largely on the effectiveness of his defensive grappling. His 3 UFC losses were based almost entirely on his inability to stay vertical at key moments of each fight. When he does stay on his feet, he brings the violence and has yet to taste defeat. Will Sullivan try to wrestling him? Possibly? Will he be effective? That is a good question. He has landed a few takedowns, but I don’t see him being able to do it with enough consistency to beat Means. Sullivan will most likely want to test his striking against Means and that could be a costly mistake. Sullivan is a tough nut to crack, but I see Means simply being more effective. At this price he warrants an inclusion in a Gold parlay as well. 4 STARS

Aljamain Sterling $1.32 vs Takeya Mizugaki $4.09 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like Sterling and I picked him to win the fight, but I can’t advocate a bet on him here. Mizugaki is an incredibly difficult opponent, the stiffest test of Sterling’s young career and the line doesn’t reflect that. So much so, that a bet on Mizugaki is warranted. I will look at the total here, but its either Mizugaki on a single bet or nothing when it comes to betting a side. 4 STARS

Corey Anderson $1.29 vs Gian Villante $4.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I have this hope that something is going to click for Villante and everything will come together. He is a good athlete and is talented, but time and time again he can’t execute. Even in victory, he has struggled to look good. I would like to see him rematch Maldonado in a building not akin to a kiln and see if the results differ, but that is not our focus here. Anderson’s aggression will bring out Gian’s struggles that should result in another lackluster effort from the Strikeforce vet. All that said, this is a no play for me from all perspectives- a side or the total.

4 STARS

Ovince St. Preux $2.10 vs Patrick Cummins $1.83

I went back and forth on this one. OSP is the better MMA fighter, but Cummins’s wrestling is the superior single skill set. I think that makes the difference. OSP has improved his defensive wrestling, but Cummins should be able to break through it. One of my biggest concerns is that OSP continues to train at his home camp. He would most likely benefit from going out and working at other locations and experience things that staying at his home base will not. If OSP stays vertical this is his fight to win, but if Cummins gets him down early, he will grind him into the mat and tire him out. Cummins will most likely slip to a Silver play simply because he still quite green an trying to improve his striking attack.

4 STARS Beneil Dariush $1.60 vs Jim Miller $2.64

At last check this was my only underdog pick on the card. I have lost a couple of fights now picking against Dariush, so here we go again. Miller is an extremely tough test and the short notice won’t help Beneil. I am a little surprised at how heavy a fav BD has become. He has looked very good of late, but against far less accomplished competition then Miller. Also keep in mind that Jimmy is fighting at home. If Dariush pulls this one out he makes a huge jump, but I think it is too much, too soon. Play Miller as a single bet, most likely in the Gold section.

4 STARS Paige Vanzant $1.82 vs Felice Herrig $2.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This fight has a tonne of potential and could very well steal the show. Both girls are aggressive, unrelenting, and know what is on the line- a possible shot at the Strawweight title. The opinions appear to be split down the middle between the people who feel Paige is all hype and is ready to compete at Herrig’s level and the ones that think Herrig will fold up under the momentum of the next big thing in the division. I took Vanzant, but I wouldn’t be shocked I she lost. Both girls love to work in the clinch and will look to take this fight horizontal when the opportunity presents itself. The difference will be PV’s pace; she will make more out of her opportunities and simply wear Herrig down. The price is solid, but I am still a little on the fence here- either a fringe Gold parlay leg or a strong Silver bet.

4 STARS Cub Swanson $1.68 vs Max Holloway $2.35

I like Holloway and have followed him since his start in the UFC. I am 10-1 when predicting his fights. That is pretty decent. From what I have seen he has trouble when he isn’t dictating the pace. More importantly, he struggles when he is the one backing up. Swanson’s major vulnerably is his defensive wrestling, something that Max hasn’t appeared capable of exploiting. I would expect Holloway will have his moments, but he is going to struggle to land consistently. Swanson is quick and utilizes excellent footwork which will help him to avoid the pressure that Max will try to bring. My biggest concern is that Cub comes in over confident and lets Max outwork him. Don’t be shocked if Swanson brings his grappling skills into the fight as well. He will have learned from the beating he took from Edgar. I have had good success betting for and against Max, so a Gold parlay is where this fight belongs.

4 STARS Chris Camozzi $11.75 vs Ronaldo Souza $1.07 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Do you believe in miracles? Not enough to bet Camozzi that is for sure. He got put to sleep pretty quickly in there first fight that a sequel was not needed, but as Dana said no one wanted to fight Jacare on a week’s notice. Balls, huge ones. Good for Camozzi it got him back into the UFC and will get him another shot. Maybe a gift opponent to get back on the winning track. There is not bet to be made here unless its the total. I haven’t looked yet, but I am guessing it is low.

4 STARS

Luke Rockhold $1.65 vs Lyoto Machida $2.50 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

There are always tough fights to predict, some more then others, but this one is right up there as easily one of the hardest fights I have had to predict. I watched the footage, I looked at my fact sheets, analysed the stats, and read other people’s insight into the fight and still wasn’t sure where to go with this one. I even had Machida by decision written down at the end of my breakdown, but ultimately made a change. I like Machida, really like him. I’m 7-3 predicting his fights and I am 6-1 with Rockhold- a combined 13-4, better then 76%. I have had success- the fights I got wrong were Machida’s contestable decisions vs Rampage and Davis and his title fight loss to Weidman. For Rockhold, it was his upset of Jacare. All of that aside, what this fight came down to was Rockhold’s age and aggression. I was impressed with Machida versus Weidman, but I think Rockhold will be able to come forward and duplicate the type of pressure that the champ put on the dragon, while limiting the damage. I wouldn’t be shocked if Machida comes away with this one, but I saw a few things from the Mousasi fight that pushed me to Rockhold. Overall, I felt that the shortcomings that allowed Machida to beat Gegard won’t be there with Rockhold. I know that is pretty general, but honestly this was a razor tight prediction. Maybe a split decision as Machida tends to be in close fights when they go the distance. I am a little disappointed that the line has dropped so much, to the point that Rockhold might be at a lower price then he really should be. I am thinking about playing Rockhold in the Gold package to round out a parlay if needed, but the quality of his opponent could very well push him to the Silver package.

1. Ronaldo Souza $1.07 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Eddie Gordon $1.26

3. Diego Brandao $1.63 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Tim Means $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Corey Anderson $1.29

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6. Aljamain Sterling $1.32 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Cub Swanson $1.68

8. Paige Vanzant $1.82 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Jim Miller $2.64

10. Patrick Cummins $1.83

11. Luke Rockhold $1.65 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Jim Miller $2.64  // Miller has had mixed results fighting at home, but his position in the division is on the line. He has only lost to the elite of the division, Dariush is on the rise, but the late notice is going to be too much. Close fight, play the dog.

2. Paige Vanzant $1.82 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // Big fight, very early in her career. Her pace carries her to a win against a fighter that will test her but ultimately not be able to keep up.

3. Patrick Cummins $1.83  // OSP knows exactly what is coming for him, can he stop it though? I am betting not.

4. Tim Means $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med  // Means has yet to lose a fight where he was dominated on the mat and Sullivan isn’t a ground specialist.

5. Diego Brandao $1.63 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med  // His opponent is fairly one dimensional and while Diego is far from perfect, he has enough to get the win here.

1. Takeya Mizugaki $4.09  // A far stiffer test then the line would suggest, take the value.

2. Lyoto Machida $2.50  // I the line continues to climb, he is worth a play. I think he is being undervalued here so a single bet on him if your parlay comes to down Rockhold or the Over is workable.

3.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Betting Pack Information

Prop Bets

Eddie Gordon/ Chris Dempsey

See the Betting Pack Scenario.

Diego Brandao/ Jimy Hettes 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Pack Scenario.

Tim Means/ George Sullivan Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.51 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

These guys have significant knockout numbers, both in the double digits. But they have also proven themselves difficult to finish. They have a combined 13 decisions and Means has gone the distance in 5 of his 7 UFC bouts. Additionally, they both have an average fight times of over 11 minutes, which isn’t quite putting them in the Over 2.5 range, but it does take the edge of their lofty knockout totals. Submissions have accounted for 4 of their combined 5 defeats inside the distance- an area that neither man excels in. Means does damage, but Sullivan sticks around and gets the Over.

Ovince St. Preux/ Patrick Cummins Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.59

Of the two, OSP has been the finisher, but I don’t have him winning this one. Cummins has been criticized a bit for not finishing, but that is a partial product of still being early on in his development. The effort might not be pretty, but he uses his top position for the win and the Over.

Beneil Dariush/ Jim Miller 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Chris Camozzi/ Ronaldo Souza 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Luke Rockhold/ Lyoto Machida Total Rounds Over 3.5 $1.70

Both guys are finishers, but are very difficult to put away. Not impossible, but difficult. With Rockhold’s value dropping lower then I feel it should be, this might be the ideal play. I think this bout is a close one and could be decided in the final round, but if you play this prop your money will already be accounted for by then. Play the Over.

 

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