UFC on FOX 24: Johnson vs Reis- “And Still…”

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Demetrious Johnson tied the record for most title defenses and became the first to submit BJJ Black belt, Wilson Reis. He has finished 6 of his last 9 opponents, all with his title on the line and has defended his belt at least twice a year since he won it back in 2012. What does this guy have to do to gain some respect? The headlining act of UFC on FOX 24 featured the continued dominance of the only Flyweight champ the UFC has known to go along with big wins by Rose Namajunas and Robert Whittaker. Let’s take a look at who the winners a couple of losers should face in their next trip to the Octagon.

Demetrious Johnson vs Winner of Cody Garbrandt/TJ Dillashaw

The herd is getting thinner when it comes to “legit” challengers for DJ’ crown. While I would like to see DJ set the record for consecutive title defenses, let’s give the man his due. A shot at the winner of the upcoming Bantamweight title fight would be an excellent next outing and give Johnson the high profile fight he deserves.

Rose Namajunas vs the Champion

You can’t keep a good woman down. Rose keeps rebounding from tough losses and putting herself right back in the mix. The Joanna Champion and Jessica Andrade are set to beat the holy hell out of each other, but I want to see Namajunas back in a title fight against the winner.

Robert Whittaker vs Gegard Mousasi

What a win for Whittaker. The guy is 7-0 since moving to Middleweight and has overcome an escalating level of competition in impressive fashion. Is it time for a title shot? Under normal circumstances, it would be, but Yoel Romero should be up next. That leaves Whittaker with another dance partner that is on his own role. Put Whittaker and Mousasi in a Fight Night main event with a shot at the title on the line. I would love to see these two go at it for 5 rounds or less. (The UFC needs to get Gegard signed ASAP before Bellator makes him the centerpiece of their Middleweight division.)

Ronaldo Souza vs Derek Brunson

That is tough luck for Jacare. He has been a top contender for a long time and well deserved of a shot at the title. Unfortunately, he is pushing 40 and could be out of the mix if he doesn’t get back in the win column quickly. I initially considered a Rockhold rematch, but the loser would take a sizeable step back. Let’s have him run it back with Brunson. Either Jacare gets the win he needs to re-establish himself or Derek rebounds from the Silva loss and gains some retribution from their first encounter.

Renato Moicano vs Chan Sung Jung

Moicano looked better than I expected, but he was taking on an opponent that is a bit of a one-trick pony. Beating the #5 ranked fight in the division is a big win, but a fighter like TKZ would be a much better test to see where Moicano really stacks up against the division’s best.

Alexander Volkov vs Stefan Struve

The UFC is trying to promote new faces in their heaviest weight class and Alexander Volkov is just that. Getting by a tough, but aging gatekeeper like “Big Country” is a big win, but now he’ll need to take a step up. Let’s square up two of the tallest men in the division and see which one takes a tumble.

Roy Nelson vs Viktor Pesta

Roy is getting close to the end and could walk away at any point now. If he elects to continue fighting, the UFC should throw the guy a bone against some lower level competition. If Pesta is still with the promotion, either Nelson gets a chance to get back in the win column or a younger fighter picks up a big name win.

Tom Duquesnoy vs Jose Quinonez

It was a bit of a rough start, but the Frenchman eventually got the ship righted. Let’s not push him too quickly. Quinonez has won a couple of fights and would be a solid next test for Tommy.

Rashid Magomedov vs Gilbert Melendez

It was a close fight, far closer than the odds suggested, but I think most people expected it to play out like this. Magomedov keeps winning, but can’t gain any traction without a dominant performance. The former Strikeforce champion would give him a big name and a big test to either help him get over or knock him back down the ladder.

Tim Elliott vs Ian McCall

Even if they book this fight it probably won’t happen. Elliott picked up an entertaining win over a dangerous, but flawed opponent. McCall needs a fight to test if he still belongs in the top 10, Elliott would give him that.

Aljamain Sterling vs Winner of Eddie Wineland/ John Dodson

I thought about Sterling/ Almeida, but I’m not in a hurry to see either man lose another fight so soon. I really don’t see either Dodson or Eddie fighting for the title in the near future, but the winner will gain some decent traction. Sterling needs to rebuild some momentum and the name value of either of these men would go a long way to doing that.

Devin Clark vs Saparbek Safarov

It was a pretty gritty fight and a nice win for Clark. I want to see him continue to improve without exposing him to the higher end of the division too quickly. In all reality, Collier was a blown up Middleweight, so I’ll pair him with a bottom of the barrel Light Heavyweight for his next fight. Clark should steamroll Safarov to further add to his momentum.

Anthony Smith vs Winner of Trevor Smith/ Chris Camozzi

Smith has a lot of tools and I really like him as a fighter. I would really like to see him build some momentum and put a run together before entering a fight for a spot in the rankings. Camozzi is tough as nails and Trevor Smith is a pretty hardnosed fighter in his own right. Either man would be a good next fight for “Lionheart”.

Zak Cummings vs Ryan LaFlare

Cummings continues to take out the lower end of the division but has come up short twice against opponents who are currently ranked. While he might look like your friend’s dad, he always puts on entertaining fights and he knows how to finish. I would like to see him get a shot at a ranked opponent and LaFlare is a perfect stylistic matchup for him.

Ketlen Vieira vs Marion Reneau

The 135-pound division needs new blood and Vieira looks like she could make some waves if allowed to develop properly. The improvements in her striking from her last fight were noticeable and she can work on the mat too. Reneau is ranked just ahead of AES and would be a good test in all areas without being too much too soon for the Brazilian.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, my slump continues. I had a couple of winners, but just way too many plays with one leg wrong. When you are hot you are hot and when you are not, it can be hard to watch. Back to the drawing board, I guess. We get another Fight Night event in less than a week. The clock is ticking.

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Depending on your betting style, you can select the Big Bank Roll Parlays which employs a betting strategy focussed on straight and 2-leg parlays that limit the risk and offer a decent return based on your financial commitment. If you are willing to take a little more risk and aren’t interested in putting as much cash in play, but still want a shot at a big return- then the Big Risk/ Big Reward Parlays are for you. Playing both of these strategies together is not recommended.

 

 

 

Draftkings Line up

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DraftKings
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Fighter 1: Rose Namajunas $8200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Jeremy Stephens $8600 
Fighter 3: Roy Nelson $8100 
Fighter 4: Devin Clark $8300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Augusto Mendes $7400 
Fighter 6: Zak Cummings $9400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Subs
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Fighter 1: Ronaldo Souza $8700 
Fighter 2: Ashlee Evans-Smith $8500 
Fighter 3: Tom Duquesnoy $9300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: 
 
 
 

 

Demetrious Johnson -700 vs Wilson Reis +660 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No play here. Clearly the juice is not worth the squeeze. I will take a look at a prop bet though.

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Johnson is tempting until you see he is just short of $10000. You are going to have to hit a lot of dogs in order to make him work. Pass.

Michelle Waterson +115 vs Rose Namajunas -124 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like Rose here. Waterson looked good against PVZ, but the combo of Page being overvalued and away from the fight game for a while is going to blow that win up more than its worth. Rose will have the distance striking skills to win this fight and if she wants to keep it there, Waterson will struggle. At close range, Waterson can hold her own but what out for that head and arm throw. If Rose blocks it and gets her back she will be in trouble. Watch for some cash to come in on Waterson late to increase the value of Namajunas. Silver play.

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Rose is in. She is fairly affordable at $8200 and Waterson has been submitted on a couple of occasions. Look for Rose to eventually grab a position and then grab an arm or throat. Sign her.

Robert Whittaker +205 vs Ronaldo Souza -170 

A lot of people are picking Whittaker and I can understand why. Souza is simply too good on the mat and that will force Whittaker to hesitate on the feet. I expect a lot of late money to come in on Jacare at anything under -200 or even a little higher. Act accordingly. Gold Play.

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Souza is a sub. He is affordable, but facing a tough opponent. He will be a popular pick which makes him a little less desirable.

Jeremy Stephens -170 vs Renato Moicano +130 

I picked Moicano to pick up a slight upset in his last fight, but I wasn’t that impressed. Stephen’s aggression will pay off here. Moicano likes to counter and that will allows Stephens to routinely push the pace and attack. That is what he wants and his power is the type you can’t play with too long. Moicano’s doesn’t have the wrestling to take him down. Stephens take a decision via aggression or scores the upset. Expect Stephen’s value to drop. Gold Play.

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Stephens is affordable is power should carry well here. I’ve got him in my starting lineup, but I will switch him out with AES in a couple of spots.

Alexander Volkov -140 vs Roy Nelson +130 

I like the dog here. I didn’t think Volkov won his last fight against a lesser striker. Johnson’s striking looked pretty good against a much longer fighter that should have been about to keep him on the outside. Nelson has made a career out of knocking out guys like Volkov. If he can’t KO him, look for Roy’s new wrestling factor to come up big. He is fighting smarter and his result are better, maybe not as exciting, but I think he takes it. I was close to pulling the trigger on a Gold Play, but I will settle for Silver here. Try to read the fight if Volkov is the dog coming out of the opening round, take a shot on Roy. Nelson could still win a longer fight, but his track record after the opening round is worth betting against for plus money.

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Nelson is also in the lineup. He isn’t going to cost you much and he has multiple avenues to score points. If he can score the knockout, that obviously will produce. If he lands multiple takedowns, that will also score. A combo of the 2 will be decent as well. Play him. 

Patrick Williams +660 vs Tom Duquesnoy -714 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Nothing doing here. I have heard/ seen great things regarding Duquesnoy, but he is debut at -700 or higher. Please don’t bet this fight. I will look at the prop options to see if the line there is worth playing.

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I expect that a lot of people will be on Tommy here. I have him as a sub, move him in for Cummings to create some diversity. I don’t think this fight goes the distance, but I think Cummings is the less popular and therefore more popular option.

Bobby Green +300 vs Rashid Magomedov -330 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I don’t want to play Mags straight up. He let me down in his last fight and while I think he wins this fight, it’s not worth the play.

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A finish could materialize, but I expect this fight goes the distance. Pass.

Louis Smolka +210 vs Tim Elliott -195 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Elliott’s line is moving and getting a little nicer for us. Smolka, like Whittaker, is a trendy pick on this card. I don’t like his grappling style. He gives up position way too much and Elliott will feast on that. A lot of people are telling you not to judge him by the Borg fight. I am not. He did it against Moreno, Holohan, and Ben Nguyen. He went 2-1, but Elliott is too strong. The post title fight letdown scenario is concerning, but I think Elliott can overcome it base on the road he took to get there. Silver play.

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Nothing here. I expect a decision.

Aljamain Sterling -385 vs Augusto Mendes +365 

After backing down on the Oliveria over Brooks pick I am going with my gut here. I felt Mendes has what it takes to continue Sterling’s struggles. Mendes is too good on the mat for Sterling to take down and keep down. If he does, he could get in trouble. On the meet Mendes is aggressive and Sterling’s punching game isn’t that strong. I like Dog money here, Bronze Play.

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Backing Mendes will free up cash for other plays. Can he finish Sterling on the feet? Probably not. Can he finish him on the floor? Yup. I am looking for somewhere in the 55-70 point range which is huge for this price.

Devin Clark -137 vs Jake Collier +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Collier gets hurt a lot, even in victory. Not cutting to 185 might help him, but Clark is pretty quick and hits darn hard. If the MWs were busting him up, Clark will as well. I was impressed with Clark’s last fight and I expect a similar approach against a less durable opponent. I had Devin around -175, so there is value here. Gold.

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Collier has been finished multiple times in his career, which is a direct result of his style. Clark will hurt him and put him away here. He isn’t a big name and has yet to score a finish in the UFC, so he won’t be on the top of most people’s lists. Play him.

Andrew Sanchez -330 vs Anthony Smith +305 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m not going to spend much time here. Sanchez should win, but Smith is dangerous. Pass.

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Smith has been finished a lot, so Sanchez will garner some plays. Not from me.

Nathan Coy +420 vs Zak Cummings -400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m going to pass here as well, although I think Cummings wins this fight in almost every scenario. I will look at a prop bet.

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Despite his heavy price tag, Cummings is in my lineup. He isn’t a big name, but when he is the better fighter in a fight, it is usually by a wide margin. Coy is pretty hittable and can be finished. Cummings will get the job done and his lack of name recognition and big price tag will scare most away.

Ashlee Evans-Smith -187 vs Ketlen Vieira +185 

AES is improving, but she still needs to fight to her strengths. Her wrestling and clinch attack are pretty solid. She imposes her physicality and that can really break opponent’s down. Vieira had a decent debut, but it was nothing special. She is still untested, but that changes quickly with this fight. AES is a solid Silver play. If AES gets it going with her wrestling early, consider jumping on the finish prop. AES is known for breaking girls over the duration of the fight and finishing in the final round.

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Takedowns, ground strikes, and a potential finish all make AES a solid play. I have her listed as a sub, but she will make an appearance in my lineups. She knows how to break opponents and will do so here.

 

1. Demetrious Johnson -700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Zak Cummings -400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Ronaldo Souza -170 

4. Tom Duquesnoy -714 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Tim Elliott -195 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Devin Clark -137 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Andrew Sanchez -330 

8. Jeremy Stephens -170 

9. Ashlee Evans-Smith -187 

10. Rose Namajunas -124 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Roy Nelson +130 

12. Rashid Magomedov -330 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

13. Augusto Mendes +365 

1. Augusto Mendes +365 

2. Roy Nelson +130 

3. Rose Namajunas -124 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Demetrious Johnson to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +170 

5. Tom Duquesnoy to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. N/A

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Demetrious Johnson to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +170 

Reis is a BJJ Black belt, so DJ probably won’t sub him. It would be a big feather in his cap if he did. Reis has been hurt in multiple fights and knocked out in 2. Johnson has undervalued power and has put the stamp on multiple opponents. Reis cardio isn’t that great either and if he starts to slow the Champ will put it on him.

Ronaldo Souza to Win by Submission +130 

Jacare is on a mission to get the MW gold. He is one of the best BJJ Players in MMA and combines his technique with brutal power and ferocity on the mat. He has subbed his opponent in 5 of his last 8 wins and finished Vitor on the mat with strikes before he needed to start looking for a submission. If he gets Whittaker down, plus money is hard to look past on a sub bet.

Jeremy Stephens to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +225  

Stephens hasn’t been scoring knockouts like he used to, but he has also been facing some pretty high-level talent. Over his last 3 fights, he has faced 2 former champions and the current interim-Featherweight champ. Moicano is a step back from that level of competition. Stephens likes when he leads the exchanges, Moicano will allow him to do that, and Jeremy will find his mark. Lots of value for a guy with 17 career knockouts.

Alexander Volkov/Roy Nelson

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Tom Duquesnoy to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

A massive favourite like Duquesnoy should blow the doors off his opponent. Williams has been out of action for a while and has a lot of gaps in his striking. I was a little surprised that this line wasn’t considerably lower.

Tim Elliott to Win by Decision +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I weighed my options between Elliott or Magomedov by decision. I went with Elliott because I feel he is less likely to get the finish and the money is better. Elliott grinds this fight out from top position and holds off Smolka’s attempts to attack off his back.

Devin Clark/Jake Collier Total Rounds Under 1.5 +145 

Both guys can finish and both are aggressive. I considered backing Clark by finish, but Collier is capable of scoring a stoppage and we have already seen Clark put down inside 5-minutes. Let’s keep both guys finishing skills on our side.

Nathan Coy/Zak Cummings 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Ashlee Evans-Smith/Ketlen Vieira 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

 

 

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