UFC on FOX 16: Dillashaw vs Barao 2- ‘Without a Doubt’

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UFC on FOX 16 is in the book and the Bantamweight champion still calls Team Alpha Male home. We have a new-old Women’s Bantamweight #1 contender, a Pride legend falls, and the judges make some questionable calls. Let’s take a look…

Prelim Notes

  • Zak Cummings made quick work of short notice replacement Dominique Steele, landing a hard straight left and swarming him for the finish early in the first round.
  • Elizabeth Phillips got off to a strong start winning the first two rounds against Jessamyn Duke. Duke dug deep against her exhausted counterpart, attempting a tight armbar that could have won her the fight if she had 10 more seconds.
  • In a bout that I had at 30-27, at worst 29-28 for Ramsey Nijem, Andrew Holbrook managed to get the nod on the judges’ scorecards. Nijem did damage on the feet and controlled the majority of the action on the mat, fending off multiple submission attempts. The outcome certainly was a head scratcher.
  • To finish the Fight Pass Prelims, James Krause made quick work of Daron Cruickshank, capitalizing on a scramble to take his opponent’s back and sink in a fight ending RNC. That loss continues a tough run for Cruickshank and could be enough to show him the door.
  • The typical Eddie Wineland movement and footwork was there, but the output was not. Bryan Caraway was the busier fighter and although he didn’t find much success with his grappling, he did more than enough to take the decision.
  • In another questionable decision, Ben Saunders ‘earned’ a split decision win over Kenny Robertson. Robertson dropped Saunders early in the fight and appeared to carry the majority of the action for the opening 10 minutes. Saunders rallied in the third and held a prolonged triangle choke, but ultimately he didn’t need the finish to get his hand raised. My Betting site had Saunders as a Live Bet at over 5-1 to win heading into the third round.
  • In another contestable decision, Jim Miller did just enough to win a split decision over slight underdog Danny Castillo. Miller’s win wasn’t nearly as bad as some earlier decisions, but the 30-27 was certainly off the mark. Following along with the scoring provided on a major MMA site, this was the third fight on the undercard where we went to the judges with my fighter ahead on the scorecards based on their analysis and came away with a loss. Tough night
  • Gian Villante appeared to find his grove early in the first round, battering his opponent’s legs and headed into the middle frame with confidence. It didn’t take long for Tom Lawlor to turn the fight in his direction, landing a hard counter strike that dropped Villante and brought the referee in for the TKO stoppage. 

You’ve Had Enough

Sometimes enough is just enough. Joe Lauzon didn’t take long to finish the former Pride champion once the fight hit the mat. After taking his back, the submission ace opened up with some nasty ground and pound on Takanori Gomi and before the referee could call the fight Lauzon vacated the position and walked away. It was evident that Gomi was finished and he has now suffered knockouts in back to back fights- the first two of his career. It may be time for Gomi to walk away and with a loss in this fashion, the UFC may help him with his decision. Lauzon picks up a big win and will parlay it into another noteworthy fight or two, potentially soon considering he took limited damage.

Kicks, Kicks, and More Kicks

Both men put on a kicking clinic, showcasing a variety of flashy and dangerous striking techniques from start of the first round to the conclusion of the final round. Edson Barboza appeared to have a clear speed advantage and he had success beating up the body and legs of his opponent. Paul Felder was not without his own success, damaging the eye of the Brazilian, but it was not enough. The loss is the first of Felder’s career, but considering his performance he has a bright future ahead of him. For Barboza, it was a much needed win that keeps him in the top 10 and will open him for bigger opportunities has he tries to earn himself a shot at the title.

Let’s Run It Back Again

Tate vs Rousey 3 is 50% set after Miesha Tate emerged victorious in a hard fought 3 round decision. Jessica Eye looked good early, landing some solid punches and fending off the early attempts by Tate to take the fight to the floor. Everything changed when ‘Cup Cake’ floored Eye with a massive punch and then took over on the floor. Tate gained confidence from her early success and rode it to victory and potential trilogy bout with the champion. Tate showed marked improvement in her second fight with Ronda when compared to their meeting in Strikeforce, will the third time be the charm. Eye has now fought some of the best fighters in the division, Tate, Davis, Kaufman but doesn’t have an official win on her record to show for her efforts. She can rebound from this loss and start rebuilding towards a title shot because the division is so shallow. A fight with Cat Zingano would be a good starting point.

Never in Doubt

TJ Dillashaw is the UFC Bantamweight champion and there is no doubt about it after he smashed the former champion Renan Barao. Barao’s excuses that follow the first fight had some believing that he could and would return to his Bantamweight throne. Dillashaw had other plans. After a competitive opening round, TJ began to showcase the footwork and movement that won him the first fight as he pulled away for his adversary. The fight came to an end in the 4th round with a massive combination unleashed by the champion with the challenger pinned along the cage. The referee was forced to intervene and despite some protest from the Brazilian, the outcome was definitive.

The loss for Barao precludes him from challenging for the title again for however long TJ is the champion. This could mean he heads to 145 pounds to avoid such a dramatic weight cut or he could try to wait for a new champion to open up an opportunity for another shot at the gold.

If anyone had any doubt about their first fight, Dillashaw put that to rest. He still has challenges ahead of him though, which makes the Bantamweight title picture very interesting going forward. Raphael Assuncao, the last man to beat the champ, is waiting for his opportunity at the belt. That is a loss that ‘the Viper’ will want to strike from his record. More importantly, the former and never unseated champion Dominick Cruz is also a possible future opponent. Cruz has to stay healthy, but that fight has a tonne of potential and gets my vote if the stars align.

Final Thoughts

Dillashaw is a monster and no fluke. He did appear a little over confident early on, but he ultimately earned that badge with his performance. Tate was in tough, but came out on top and will stir things up against with Rousey very soon.

My prediction record wasn’t the way I wanted to end the month, but I felt I deserved a little better than 6-6. Losing 3 split decisions- 2 of which I felt I won and then seeing Villante go down after looking very strong in the opening round were tough pills to swallow. That is the MMA game though. The Bet pack can be view below. UFC 190 and Ronda Rousey heading to Brazil is on deck to kick off August, let’s go!

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Edson Barboza $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Daron Cruickshank $1.67
Selection 3: TJ Dillashaw $1.47 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $4.42 x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 35.36 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Zak Cummings $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Eddie Wineland $1.78
Selection 3: Kenny Robertson $1.98
Selection 4: Ramsey Nijem $1.74
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Price: $8.59 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 51.54 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Elizabeth Phillips $1.61 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Danny Castillo $2.13
Selection 3: Miesha Tate to Win by Decision $1.95 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $6.69 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 33.45 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Edson Barboza $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Kenny Robertson $1.98
Selection 3: Danny Castillo $2.13
Selection 4: TJ Dillashaw Wins Inside the Distance $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $17.09 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 85.45 units
 

Zak Cummings $1.40 vs

Several big concerns stand out with this fight. Cumming has had issues with weight cutting and while he appears to have got in under control, he has been out a year. Ring rust becomes a possible issue and making weight for the first time in long time can be hard. For Steele he is coming in on just 2 weeks notice and making a pretty big step up in competition. Stylistically, Cummings should have this all day. He is big man with a vastly superior ground game and Steele has had major issues with being put on his back. I don’t like making big moves early on a card, but if the cut goes well and the weigh-ins will tell us a lot- Cummings offers a decent parlay bump at this price. I would think somewhere in the Silver section is a good place for him.

4 STARS

Jessamyn Duke $2.53 vs

Duke is not good, but she has potential to be better. She has the physical advantages to work with, comes from a solid camp, and has a few skills that could be fleshed out into something workable at the lower end of the division. Phillips lost a tough debut, short notice, did some damage, but her cardio didn’t hold up. In her second fight she appeared to be the victor, but got the short end of the stick from the judges. She has the more well-rounded skillset and as long as she can get inside and her cardio holds up this is her fight to win. Phillips needs to work on distancing herself from her opponent in the eyes of the judges, which most likely knocks her down to a Bronze play.4 STARS

Ramsey Nijem $1.74 vs

Another solid paying favourite, but like Phillips there are concerns. Nijem’s chin and willingness to push forward with a Swiss cheese like defense make him a prime candidate to get knocked out by anyone. Even a fighter with all of his wins coming by submission. Nonetheless, I’m still a little surprised that the line is so darn close. I think Nijem defends early on and Holbrook who is coming in on short notice and normally ends his fights in round 1 will fade. I still don’t feel comfortable using Nijem on my main investment, but in the Silver section he makes for a serviceable parlay leg.

4 STARS

Daron Cruickshank $1.67 vs

Neither guys is cracking the top 15 any time soon. Cruickshank made a run, but his last performance put a bow on his position in the ranks. The funny thing here is that both guys tends to let their opponents be the aggressor and will give ground during exchanges. If they both try and take that role here it could be a dreadfully awful fight. For me, Cruickshank hits a little harder and his wrestling will be a key asset. Krause is capable on the mat, but if he can’t lock up a sub Cruickshank will be ahead based on superior position. As of right now Cruickshank is borderline between a strong silver play or making the cut on the Gold parlay play.

4 STARS

Eddie Wineland $1.78 vs

Here is another fight where I like a fighter and his price line, but there is an a key factor that makes me hesitate to go all in. Wineland has been out roughly a year and is returning from a broken jaw. He is a striker by trade and if the injury serves as a distraction it will diminish his ability to win fights. If Caraway can take him down he could lock up a sub, he is a far better fighter than most give him credit for. Something has to give in this matchup as Caraway has scored at least 1 takedown in all of his UFC fights and Wineland hasn’t given up one since his debut. If Wineland can stuff all the TDs, he wins. If he can get back up quickly he should be in-line for a win as well. I like Eddie’s striking to carry the day here, but it could be a close fight and possibly come down to a split. Without the layoff he is probably a Gold contributor, but I think he serves better on the Silver parlay until he shows he is old form.

4 STARS

Kenny Robertson $1.98 vs

This is going to be a tough fight. Saunders is dangerous in the clinch and dangerous off his back. That being said, he is too willing to go to his back. Roberston is a talent grappler and will invite the opportunity to work from top position. There is the potential he gets caught, but as the fight progresses it becomes more and more less likely. It might not be a pretty fight, but I like Robertson to take this one on the scorecards. Ben is a quality opponent and as a result Robertson slips to the Silver parlay.

4 STARS

Jim Miller $1.87 vs

Another closely lined fight, but I like the dog here. Miller has slipped from the realm of the top 15 in a fringe gatekeeper. He has struggled with next level competition and now finds himself in a must win situation if he is going to remain on the fringe of the top level guys. One common trend I have seen in several of his fight is his willingness to give up position for submission. He did it against Dariush, against Henderson, and against Healy. If he does it against Castillo, Danny will hold top position and eat up some serious clock time. I think Miller’s striking has taken a big enough step back that Danny will be able to hold his own on the feet and combined with his positional advantage I like him to pull off the minor upset. Quality of opponent has me leaning towards a Silver parlay leg, but he could fall to the Bronze section.

4 STARS

Gian Villante $1.50 vs

Villante is a classic under performer, yet he has still won 3 of his last 4 and worked his way into the top 15. He has a solid wrestling background, knockout power, he is a good athlete, and he trains alongside the Middleweight champ. Yet he something just isn’t clicking. Lawlor has been out of action for nearly 28 months and is moving back up to 205. He had some trouble with the bigger MWs and that won’t get any easier at 205. A lot of other predictors are backing Lawlor here and in my experience, when an underdog becomes a real popular pick it is usually time to fade him. Not always, but I think that is the case here. There are a lot of much more playable fighters on this card so either a low level investment or nothing at all is the way to go here.

4 STARS

Joe Lauzon $1.34 vs

Lauzon’s line is slipping and some sites have him in the mid $1.20 range. Lauzon should take this fight, but at this price he is too much of a risk. Gomi does throw heat and if he can hurt Lauzon or at the very least keep this fight on the feet gap in ability to win does not reflect the gap is price. No Play.

4 STARS

Edson Barboza $1.80 vs

Is this it for Barboza? Is his shot at contending over with a loss in this fight? Quite possibly yes. Is he going to lose this fight? Not based on what I have seen. Felder is a solid prospect, but he is still early in his MMA career. He brings a similar game plan to Barboza and beating the Brazilian at his own game is not easy. Kicks, kicks, and more kicks. Both guys will be throwing them, I like the impact of Edson’s strikes to be the difference. The key to beating him is pressure. That is how Varner knocked him out and that is how Johnson beat him. Felder might bring a different approach, but from what he has shown he likes to stand at range. Edson’s chin is a concern, but at this price and in this matchup I like Junior as a Gold parlay leg.

4 STARS

Miesha Tate $1.53 vs

I gave a lot of consideration to taking Eye here. She is a talented striker and should get the better of the striking exchanges. The defining issue in this fight will be whether or not she can remain in a position to use her striking. She spent almost the entire 5 minutes of round 2 vs Davis on her back. She had no answer for her top game and that will be the case here again if she gets taken down. Tate is quite good on the ground, as she showed in her last fight. This fight could be close and a split decision is possible. I think a prop bet on Tate to win by decision will add some value and make her a little more playable. Silver or Bronze parlay leg is doable. If your card is starting to fill up, you would be totally justified in leaving this one off all together.

4 STARS

TJ Dillashaw $1.47 vs

Rematches are always fun because there has to be a reason for a rematch. In some cases it is because the first fight was incredibly close or the judging was bad/ controversial, or it was just a darn entertaining scrap. In this case, we have a rematch because Barao was the champion and isn’t now. It wasn’t a close fight and it wasn’t controversial- it was as definitive as you can get. TJ beat him pillar to post. Renan has made claims of a bad camp or other excuse to impede his performance. Frankly I was not impressed with his performance against Gagnon and saw nothing to suggest he can take TJ out. Many will point to Dillashaw/ Soto as evidence that TJ over performed to win the title. I disagree. He took that fight on 24 hours notice against a veteran opponent that really did nothing for him with a win and could have cost him everything. Gearing up for a massive rematch only to have it taken away can really mess with a fighter’s head. He countered by fighting his fight, not under estimating his opponent, and ultimately getting his hand raised. TJ is too fast, too diverse, and too confident for Barao. I will put my money where my mouth is and play him in my top parlay and will also look at a prop bet here.

1. TJ Dillashaw $1.47 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Edson Barboza $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Zak Cummings $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Daron Cruickshank $1.67

5. Joe Lauzon $1.34 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Miesha Tate $1.53 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Ramsey Nijem $1.74

8. Eddie Wineland $1.78

9. Elizabeth Phillips $1.61 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Gian Villante $1.50

11. Kenny Robertson $1.98

12. Danny Castillo $2.13

1. Edson Barboza $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– This fight plays directly into his strength. If he is still elite he should win it. Solid price against a talent, but unproven prospect.

2. Kenny Robertson $1.98 – He flies under the radar and should arguably be on a 4 fight winning streak. Top position control is the key to this fight.

3. Danny Castillo $2.13 – He slips to #3 because of who he is fighting. If Miller can regain his form or prove that he might not be elite but his removal from the top 15 was premature he could smash Danny. I see Miller’s willingness to give up position becoming a costly mistake against a strong wrestler.

4. Eddie Wineland $1.78 – The layoff is most likely why we are getting this price, it is also why he slipped to #4.

5. Daron Cruickshank $1.67 – He beats out Nijem because of Ramsey’s chin and porous defensive game. Wrestling and more impactful striking guides him to victory here.

1. Tom Lawlor $2.96 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– He is the trendy upset pick here which I why I am fading him, but I do understand why he could win this fight. Consider Live betting him if Gian wins the opening round but appears to be fading. The price should increase further.

2. Bryan Caraway $2.37 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– He doesn’t get enough credit for his skills. We have seen instances where Wineland gets off to a strong start and then lets his opponent back into the fight. The Picket and Faber fights come to mind. Similar to Lawlor a small live bet on him after the opening round if the price rises could be worth a look.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Zak Cummings/

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Jessamyn Duke/

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Daron Cruickshank/

Both guys certainly have the ability to finish this fight before the final bell. Krause most likely by submission and Cruickshank by knockout. They have only combined for 14 total decisions in 51 fights. But, Cruickshank has had 5 of his 8 decisions come in the UFC and has only had 1 fight in his last 8 end inside the 1st round. Krause has gone the distance in 2 straight fights and has had 50% of his decisions occur in his last 6 outings. Add in his sub win of Sam Stout in the final moments of their fight and 4 of his last 6 hit the over 2.5 with the other 2 bouts ending in unusual ways.

Gian Villante/

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Joe Lauzon/

Both guys have finishing capabilities and are also quite capable of being finished, but the numbers point to this fight making it into the second half. Lauzon has gone into the second round or beyond in 6 straight fights; 3 decisions, 4 third rounders, and 5 over 1.5 rounds. The only fight that didn’t go over 1.5 missed by 16 seconds. Gomi is coming off a first round finish, but prior to the loss he had gone to decisions in 3 straight fights. I would be much more cautious if this was 2.5, but at 1.5 rounds and this price it is certainly worth a play.

Edson Barboza/

Similar to the fight above, both guys have the ability to end this one early but I am betting against it. Their track records are the reason we get just 1.5 rounds- but lets look closer. Edson has gone a full 15 in 2 straight fights, 3 of his last 5, and in 5 of his 15 pro bouts. Felder has seen a distinct increase in total fight time since increasing his level competition. In his last 6 fights he has gone the distance 3 times, the first 3 of his career. He has also gone over 1.5 in 5 of 6, missing the Over in his last bout by 21 seconds. Stylistically, I see these guys trading technique and navigating around the outside of the cage looking for openings. Play the Over.

Miesha Tate to Win by Decision $1.95 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I was looking at the Over, but the value is pretty limited. Tate and Eye have 16 decisions between them in a combined 35 fights so there is a good chance the judges are getting involved here. Tate is 7-1 on the scorecards, with 3 straight decision wins and all 5 of her UFC bouts going into the final round. Eye has gone the distance in 8 of her last 10 fights. She is 7-1 as well on the cards, but her only loss came in the UFC against Davis and she should probably have a second from the Kaufman fight. Miesha will want to ensure she keeps Eye down once she gets her down. Risking a positional advancement or sub will be a secondary option. Take Tate on the cards.

TJ Dillashaw/

See the Betting Scenario Section.

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