UFC 159 Post Fight Results, Review, & Bet Pack

Dillon Collins

The final UFC event in a busy April that saw the promotion host four straight fight cards saw the ending of the longstanding feud between light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and the enigmatic Chael Sonnen. The rest of the main card was composed of a number of intriguing scraps with serious title implications.

Kicking off the pay-per-view portion of the card was a fan-friendly scrap between longtime contender Jim Miller and Strikeforce mainstay Pat Healy. The opening round saw both men willing to engage on the feet. Once Miller got the fight to the mat Healy immediately shot for submissions, but Miller proved a crafty veteran, defending each attempt. A armbar attempt by Miller nearly closed the night early for Healy, but he rebounded and scored a takedown of his own in the dying moments of the round. Miller reveresd and landed a barrage of ground and pound that saw Healy visibly shaken heading to his corner. The second saw Healy go back to his roots, grinding down Miller with a methodical attack, scoring takedowns and threatening with a  rear naked choke, before closing the round with punches of his own. The third round would seemingly decide the fight in the eyes of the judges, but Healy saw to it that the scorecards would not be necessary. A knee to the midsection and subsequent takedown saw Healy again working for a rear naked choke, but this time Miller was not able to fight it off. Miller, showing heart and determination, refused to tap, but went briefly unconscious, promoting a referee stoppage and a submission win for Healy. Healy makes a successful UFC debut, positioning himself amongst the division’s elite, while Miller must go back to the drawing board with this recent loss.

A light heavyweight bout between Phil Davis and Vinny Magalhaes was the next fight to grace the octagon. Months of verbal sparring between the two ensured that the loser of this fight would suffer a blow to his ego aside from the loss on his record. This fight was all Davis, who managed to easily shrug off Magalhaes’s attempts to take the fight to the ground. Davis showed much improved standup, peppering his foe with a constant barrage of jabs and combinations. Magalhaes’s best moment came in the first when he came close to taking Davis’s back, but once the fight hit the feet Vinny seemed unable to deal with the size and speed of the all-American wrestler. All three judges scored the bout for Davis, who wins his second straight fight since a decision loss to Rashad Evans, while Magalhaes sees a six fight win streak come to an end.

Two heavyweights with serious knockout power squared off as Roy “Big Country” Nelson faced off against veteran Cheick Kongo. Given both men’s pension for standing and knocking out opponents it was widely believed this fight would not go the distance, and that one man would hit the canvas before long. It took little over two minutes but the popular vote held out. After a brief feeling out process and with Nelson backing up Kongo against the cage, “Big Country” uncorked a crushing right hand that put the lights out for the Frenchman. A follow up shot was unnecessary landed, as Kongo was out on the first shot, with the referee waving off the fight early in the first round. Nelson nears closer to the ever coveted title shot with his third straight knockout, adding to recent stoppages over Matt Mitrione and Dave Herman. Kongo goes back to square one after a decision victory over Shawn Jordan, with two of his last losses coming by knockout.

The co-main event featured two rival middleweights, as trash-talkers Michael “The Count” Bisping clashed with Alan “The Talent” Belcher. The two have been trading insults for the last two years, leading to a very real animosity on fight night. Over the course of three rounds Bisping battered Belcher on the feet, utilizing superior footwork and aptly timed combinations to pick apart his foe. Belcher never seemed to be able to find his rhythm, as Bisping was able to easily stump his takedown attempts and out strike the American in each round. In the third round Bisping inadvertently pokes Belcher in the eye, leaving him unable to see and bringing the contest to an abrupt end. The judges went to the scorecards for a technical decision due to the accidental foul, with all three seeing the contest the same, awarding the victory to “The Count” Michael Bisping. Bisping rights the ship following a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort, while Belcher loses his second straight decision to go with a December loss to Yushin Okami.

The main event of the evening featured one of the most anticipated matchups for the light heavyweight title in recent memory. Months of trash talk and verbal jousting made for a very intriguing title bout come fight night, with the champion visibly annoyed by the antics of the challenger. The consensus was that if Jon Jones could block out the mental barrage of Chael Sonnen and manage to solve his crafty, wrestling based attack, then it would be a long night for the self-made superstar. This proved to be the reality. The opening bell rang and within fifteen seconds Jones surprisingly shot in and took the challenger down. Once on the feet Jones initiated the clinch, enacting a smothering attack that mirrored that of Sonnen’s former fights, perhaps a deliberate insult to injury by the young champion. It wasn’t long before Jones got back to his roots and began to unleash a barrage of punches and elbows, bloodying the brash challenger. Once again planting his foe on the canvas, Jones reigned down with punches, knees and elbows, before the referee mercifully halted the bout in the final seconds of the first round. The bout wasn’t even remotely competitive; all the more impressive when in the post-fight interview it was revealed Jones had suffered a gruesome toe injury during the bout. Jones moves to five straight title defenses, while Sonnen hinted at a possible retirement in his post-fight speech.

UFC 159 was a great night of fights, but may ultimately be remembered for a series of freak accidents and injuries. Aside from Jones’s toe injury and Belchers eye, both Yancy Medeiros and Gian Vilante had their contests stopped due to injuries, with Medeiros suffering a dislocated thumb while Vilante lost a technical decision after an accidental eye poke. Though a night filled with bizarre finishes, UFC 159 provided matchups full of excitement and some destined to become classics. Prospects emerged as contenders and a champion cemented himself as a legitimate superstar.


UFC 159

**The Change in the parlay format is to focus more winning smaller amounts more frequently

Parlay Doubles

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Kurt Holobaugh $2.20
Selection 2: Michael Bisping $1.63
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Price: $3.59
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Michael Bisping $1.63
Selection 2: Johnny Bedford $1.72
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Price: $2.80
 
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Parlay #3
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Selection 1: Gian Villante $2.75
Selection 2: Leonard Garcia $1.59
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Price: $4.37
 
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Parlay #4
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Selection 1: Leonard Garcia $1.59
Selection 2: Michael Bisping $1.63
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Price: $2.59

Parlay Triples

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Parlay #5
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Selection 1: Johnny Bedford $1.72
Selection 2: Michael Bisping $1.63
Selection 3: Roy Nelson $1.45
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Price: $4.07

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Parlay #6
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Selection 1: Gian Villante $2.75
Selection 2: Jim Miller $1.34
Selection 3: Phil Davis $1.33
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Price: $4.90
 

Parlay Double-Double

Parlay #7
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Selection 1: Johnny Bedford $1.72
Selection 2: Michael Bisping $1.63
Selection 3: Roy Nelson $1.45
Selection 4: Leonard Garcia $1.59
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Price: $6.46
 

Individual Fight Betting Breakdowns

Steven Siler $1.71 vs Kurt Holobaugh $2.20

Holobaugh opened as the favourite which I found interesting considering he is debuting against a guy who is 3-1 inside the Octagon already. Siler is a tough guy, very feisty, and despite his high number of finishes from early in his career he is no easy out. Elkins put an absolute beating on him last time out and Siler was still attacking in the final seconds of that battle. Holobaugh turned some heads in his short notice debut against Pat Healy and although he was clearly defeated, he put up a valiant effort against a very durable veteran. Holobaugh showed some decent skills on the ground against Bam Bam and had he not be facing one of the biggest LWs around I think he would have faired much better. Every time that Kurt got something going Healy was able to use his size and strength to power out of the position. That won’t be the case here against Siler. Siler is a long and lean 145er with decent size for the division, but he shouldn’t be able to overmatch and bully Holobaugh around the cage. What this fight comes down to his that Holobaugh is going to get the better of most situations and if he doesn’t get the finish he will at least take it on the judge’s cards. I would suggest a mid-range single bet on this fight and/or doubling Holobaugh up with one of the mid level favourites on the card like Leonard Garcia, James Head, or Michael Bisping.

James Head $1.68 vs Nick Catone $2.33- Cancelled

Head actually opened this fight as the slight dog, paying under $2.00 still, but unfortunately with all the time and effort I put into both my predictions and bet packs the timeframe just wasn’t right to capitalize on that scenario. Fortunately he hasn’t slid all that far down and has actually been moving up in recent days. Head is simply the more dynamic fighter. He is the better striker and although Catone comes from a better wrestling background Head is no slouch on the ground and has the tools to defend Catone’s takedowns and completely remove his biggest weapon from the fight equation. Looking at their recent bouts, even though this fight is taking place WW, Catone’s last MW bout against Chris Camozzi played out very similar to how I expect this one to. Catone will most likely land the odd takedown, but he will do little damage from the position and struggle to control the bigger man all while getting out landed on the feet. I like Heads value and he is a decent mid-range favourite as far as betting returns are concerned. A single bet wouldn’t bet wouldn’t be out of the question, but more likely I would considering investing in Head as part of a 2 or 3 fight parlay.

Leonard Garcia $1.59 vs

If this isn’t the Pink Slip Bowl I don’t know what it is. The loser of this fight will almost certainly get their walking papers which adds that element of desperation into the mix. Even so, Garcia is the more well rounded fight. Most fight fans, and probably Leonard himself have completely forgot that Garcia is a BJJ Brown belt with most of his wins coming by way of submission. I know right. I don’t expect to see him taking Cody down in this fight, in fact I hope he doesn’t but what I do anticipate is that he Garcia would be able to hold his own should they go to the ground. Garcia’s power is overstated, there is no question about that. Joe Rogan tries every single fight to convince us otherwise, but the guy only has 3 wins by knockout and none in recent memory. For both Rogan and Leo’s sake this fight will give him the chance to add a little fuel to the “Garcie has knockout power” campaign. McKenzie has a glass body, he has been stopped recently by Mendes with one punch to the midsection and going back to TUF Nam Phan blitz him with some quick stiff shots to the same region and put him on the mat for the win. Garcia has been known to go to the body and training with the master of game planning- Greg Jackson, this one is pretty straight forward. I don’t expect to see Cody crumple after just one shot, but I can see him being slowed down when Garcia gets in close and then eventually finished. Could McKenzie land a guillotine choke, which appears to be his only way to win fights, yes he could, but it is a submission fighter’s variation of a puncher’s chance. Take Garcia in this one and working him into your parlays with the likes of Bisping, Head, and Bedford for so low risk but decent returning bets.

Rustam Khabilov $1.34 vs Yancy Medeiros $3.42

It is hard to predict a fight when the information about one half of the match up is far and few between. What my prediction came down to was a) what we know bout Khabilov + b) the circumstances that surround Medeiros heading into this fight. A UFC debut, a return after 3 years out of action, and cutting down not one but two weightclasses is what is on the table for the former Strikeforce fighter. That is way too much for a fighter to overcome and if he does happen to pull off the upset, it is still way to much for a predictor or bettor to consider backing him. I was impressed with Khabilov’s debut performance and it wasn’t a fluke he has suplexed his way to victory before. I will consider using him on a larger parlay with a smaller amount of cash on the line, but the fact of the matter is I would suggest leaving this fight out of your big investments because of a lack of knowledge and overall value.

Sara McMann $1.18 vs Sheila Gaff $5.30

The odds are too steep to even bother betting this one. If Gaff can blast Sara before she can get her wrestling going then she has a chance, but its a long one. Gaff has never faced anyone on this level of wrestling before and it will show. I would love to bet a prop with McMann by submission but it most likely won’t be offered. McMann wins this fight, but I won’t be risking anything for such a small return.

Ovince St. Preux $1.43 vs Gian Villante $2.75

This fight should be headlining the prelims now that Perez/ Bedford is no more, but with both guys coming out of Strikeforce they have the ability to put on a good scrap, but not the fan following to draw in the final fight before the big card. I like both guys, but I think that OSP is being overvalued here. He is still working on developing his skills and is quite raw. He sometimes will appear stiff in his movement and it seemed like he was fighting with a lot of doubt against Mousasi which is never a good thing. Villante showed some significant strides in his last fight and his near year away from the cage could create some ring rust but could also produce an improved fighter with a more diverse repertoire that OSP will have no basis to prepare for. The same could be said for OSP who has been out for nearly 9 months, but to me he hasn’t shown the fight by fight improvement that Villante has. This is a big fight for both men as the winner gets a push up the ladder into the competitive list of guys trying to the fill the void left by current champion Jon Jones destroying all challengers that have come calling to date. OSP certainly has the physical strength and raw ability to win this fight, but I think outside of Mousasi, Gian offers him a very competitive opponent something he hasn’t really had much to do with in recent memory. I could see this ending early or going the distance and being very close, lots of scenarios at play here. I like Villante to pull it out and would suggest a decent sized single bet on him. I feel he is being undervalued here and is certainly worth a shot. If you don’t want to invest a lot on him but would still like to have a good payout up for grabs consider a 3-way parlay with Villante, Holobaugh, James Head or Johnny Bedford.

Johnny Bedford $1.72 vs Bryan Caraway $2.11

I can’t blame Caraway for wanting to get right back into the cage and try to erase the memory of his last fight. When Miesha Tate told him between rounds 2 and 3 that he was up and could coast I almost fell of my chair. He had done much better then I expect, but by no means was in a position to take it easy. I expect he will be motivated in this fight because of that, but how long he can sustain a high level of performance is going to play a major role in his success. Taking a fight on short notice can lead to guys having conditioning issues. They may feel in great shape, but in all reality they aren’t conditioned the same way as if they had a full camp. Johnny B. Bad likes to push a high pace and if Caraway can’t keep up he will be in some serious trouble and quickly. The only real cause for concern is how good Caraway is on the ground vs how many times that Bedford has been tapped out. But if we look at some of the specifics it should ease some of those concerns. First Bedford hasn’t been tapped out since 2009 which is 9 fights plus his TUF bouts (but he could be overdue). Secondly, Caraway is dominant position (top control/ back mount) type of fighter with 11 of his 15 submission coming by rear naked choke. I struggle to see him getting too many dominant position on Bedford with his type of wrestling and many of Johnny’s submission have come with him in top position. I think Bedford has a tonne of value here. I would consider making a decent sized single bet on him and also using him as a key part of my parlay bets for the event. For Caraway I think that his striking will cost him and if he is unable to have any grappling success he will be up against big time.

Jim Miller $1.34 vs

Jim Miller was a man on a mission last fight and obliterated Joe Lauzon just about as bad as you can without finishing someone. Miller recognizes that if he has any chance to remain in title contention for a future shot this is another must win. With his already one-sided loss to the Champion in the books he’ll need to put together a big run. Healy had his chance to fight for the SF title taken away from him by injury, but he can get right back into the mix with a win here. Healy is a big/ physical wrestling based fighter and those type of opponents have given J-Mills some trouble before. If Bam Bam can get on top of Miller and grind him down then he has a great chance to take the win away, but the speed and aggression of Jimmy is going to make this tough. Healy has been knocked out a number of times in his career and that is something I am focussing on with this fight. It has been a while since he was KOed and it took place at WW but both Maximo Blanco (now at FW) and Caros Fodor clearly hurt him in the early exchanges of their fights. If Miller blitzs Healy like he did to Lauzon landing those brutal elbows I think Healy will go down. Miller at $1.34 isn’t a great bet, but he might be worth inclusion on one of your larger parlays where u play more and bet less. What I really like is Healy by KO/TKO/DQ paying in the neighborhood of $6.80. Even a small bet makes this one a big return and I think it is far more likely then this odd would indicate.

Phil Davis $1.33 vs

BJJ vs wrestling. One of the most talented wrestlers in the UFC vs one of the most talented BJJ guys. Can Magalhaes either catch Davis with a submission or use his grappling to ground and grind out Davis for a decision? Of the two I think the first is more likely. I just don’t see Vinny being able to take Davis down or reverse him if Davis scores the TD, so he is going to have to catch him. If Vinny can get an arm that is his best opportunity to finish. Davis is so strong on the ground that the likelihood of a RNC or Guillotine is low, but if his arm gets locked up its going to be tap or snap. That all being said I don’t think Vinny has that great a chance to pull off the submission win either. Davis is a very strong man and his heavy top game is going to make it hard to lock up a submission and as they get sweaty and Magalhaes gets tired it will become more and more difficult. Davis, like Miller above doesn’t offer a tonne as far as a straight up win is concern and taking him by decision only bumps him up to the $1.75 range. I think the play here is Davis by submission. He is a talented submission fighter in his own right and at $6.10 you can’t go wrong with that bet. When Magalhaes gets tired he will be a primed candidate for Mr. Wonderful to start running submission. I don’t expect it to happen early as Davis will want to mind his P’s and Q’s to avoid getting caught, but once he feels his opponent slowing down then he will open up.

Roy Nelson $1.45 vs

Nelson pays a little bit better then the two previous favourites and in the public picks section he is currently sitting in the 80-84% range where fighters are 14-4 which is encouraging. Nelson doesn’t do a whole lot with his striking, but he is still effective. He uses a quick lead left that sometimes is just tossed out as a “hey look at this before I blast you with my right hand” type punch. Kongo should be able to keep him off with kicks and a more diverse striking repertoire, but he won’t. Nelson’s chin, which against HWs could go at any time, is impressive and seems to be the difference in most of his fights. He gets outlanded almost 2-1 in a lot of his bouts but his ability to walk through and hurt guys is pretty impressive and makes betting against him a nightmare. His style has cost him before- Mir, JDS, and Werdum (all of whom I picked to win), but it won’t against Kongo. Kongo is at his best when he can get inside and outmuscle his opponents. Yes he can fight on the fringe, but he needs that clinch game at his disposal to be at his best. Every time he closes the distance to set that up he will just be aiding Nelson’s ability to land that big OHR. Nelson shouldn’t need much help though as I expect he will get in fine on his own and do the damage needed. You could consider adding Big Country to a parlay bet but just like the last 2 I think a prop play is just what the doctor ordered playing Nelson to win by KO/TKO/DQ @ $2.20.

Michael Bisping $1.63 vs

Both guys are needing a win here big time. Belcher has never beaten a top level opponent and back to back losses against Okami and Bisping would make him almost irrelevant for the time being. For Bisping he was so close to being the next top contender, but got smacked back down by Captain TRT. Belcher has power and striking skill and that could be enough to pull this one out, especially if Bisping the Brit comes out as tentative as he did last time. For me his striking volume and improving wrestling will be the difference maker. Belcher likes to sit down on his punches which can generate power, but also makes him an easier target to hit for a guy using a more mobile approach. Additionally, Belcher has had a world of trouble defending takedowns even against guys like Patrick Cote who isn’t known for his ground game. If Bisping mixes up his ground game he should find some success against Belcher and keep him guessing leading to a decision win. My play here is Bisping to win this fight outright. While a Prop bet on him by decision pays pretty well at $2.35 and might be worth a look, the Count does have the ability to pile up the damage with his high output striking and score a knockout late so I’ll just take him to win this fight and not care how he gets it done. For Belcher a win by knockout at $5.20 is worth a look and potentially a small bet as I don’t see him winning this fight any other way.

Jon Jones $1.10 vs

The odds for this fight are all over the place, but the overarching trend is that Jones pays too little to even consider a bet. Jones by submission pays much better and is the play right at $2.45. Jones has submitted a number of his recent opponents-Vitor, Machida, Bader, and Jackson and Chael as a well documented history of getting submitted. I won’t be shocked if Sonnen is able to score a couple of takedowns and make Jones’s fans nervous, but I expect that eventually Jones will get in a position to finish this fight via tapout. As far as Chael’s chances of winning this fight are concern- don’t write him off. Many people are giving him less then 0% chance of taking the title, but that is short sighted and just plain silly. Sonnen is a big strong man with a high level wrestling background, something that Jones has yet to deal with in his career. Look for Chael to come forward aggressively and look to get in on Jon-Jon’s legs ASAP. The chances of Sonnen finishing the fight are minimal and although him grinding out a 3 round decision is going to be a tall order, he is capable. Sonnen by decision at $11.50 or higher is worth a look, it won’t cost much for a decent return and is probably the most likely way that Sonnen wins this fight. Otherwise Jones by submission is the play here.


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

1. Sara McMann $1.18

2. Jim Miller $1.34

3. Jon Jones $1.10

4. Roy Nelson $1.45

5. Rustam Khabilov $1.34

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6. Phil Davis $1.33

7. James Head $1.68

8. Leonard Garcia $1.59

9. Johnny Bedford $1.72

10. Michael Bisping $1.63

11. Gian Villante $2.75

12. Kurt Holobaugh $2.20

-Purchase the $5 Bet Pack to get my rankings for the entire event + my non-predicted Top 5 Value Plays


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

# Price Explanation
1. Gian Villante $2.75 The biggest paying fighter of my 12 predictions, I think this fight is going to be much closer then these odds indicate and as a result Gian is the play.
2. Johnny Bedford $1.72 He was the dog against Perez and I was still leaning his way then, but at anything over $1.65 you are getting a bargain here.
3. Leonard Garcia $1.59 With Head scratched Garcia jumps on to the list and the more and more I think about this fight the more I like it.
4. Kurt Holobaugh $2.20 I wasn’t happy when he opened as the favourite, but like the way the line moved against him making Kurt a much more worthwhile investment.
5. Michael Bisping $1.63 Bisping is too proud a fighters to not rebound from his later performance, but Belcher does off enough of a resistance to make it a tough fight and knock him down to #5.

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. Alan Belcher by KO $5.00 I don’t think that Belcher can win this fight any other way unless Bisping lays an egg. Belcher has power and is a skilled striker and at $5.00 to win by KO he is worth a look.
2. $2.97 Kongo has the ability to win this fight, but it is going to be a tough one. There aren’t a lot of guys that I picked against that I feel have a good chance to win. If Kongo can do what so many have failed to do in the past and avoid the big shots of Big Country then he has a shot to win.
3. Chael Sonnen by decision $11.50 Chael won’t be tapping or pounding out the Champ, but if his wrestling proves too much for him Jones to handle a decision win could be in the cards and at anything over $9.00 it is worth a look.
4. No Play
5. No Play

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.


Prop Bets-

Johnny Bedford/ Bryan Caraway Total Rounds Under 2.5- Bedford is a finisher there is no denying that and if Caraway can get this fight into a good position on the ground he could add another tally to Johnny’s submission losses column. Play the Under.

Nick Catone/ James Head Total Rounds Over 2.5- Not a lot of stats to back this one up, but I think that Head will be cautious to avoiding making a mistake and this will force the fight long and probably to the scorecards. Play the Over.

Sara McMann/ Sheila Gaff Total Rounds Under 2.5- 2 WMMA fights in the UFC and 2 finishes. McMann is a strong wrestler on a level that Gaff has never faced and it will show once the fight hits the ground. Gaff also has the ability to end fights quickly and has done it a number of times so if she pulls the upset you won’t be let down by backing McMann.Play the Under instead of the favourite.

Jim Miller to Win by KO/TKO/DQ $6.20- I love this play and I think it has a real possibility of hitting with how aggressive Miller came out in his last fight. Statement time for the New Jersey native!

Roy Nelson to Win by KO/TKO/DQ $1.91- The value here is dropping but it is still worth a look as it is a likely scenario.

Roy Nelson/ Cheick Kongo Total Rounds Under 1.5- This will be 1.5 not 2.5 as it is a HW bout. Nelson most likely takes this via KO but if we get a French connection of epic perportions Nelson’s granite chin could be cracked. Play the Under.

Phil Davis to Win by Submission $8.00- A longer shot prop as the value would indicate, but still worth a look. A lot can be gained for Mr. Wonderful if he taps a decorated BJJ guys like Vinny. Vinny gets tired and the wrestler moves in for the kill.

Michael Bisping/ Alan Belcher Total Rounds Over 2.5- Both guys have the ability to finish, but it is going to be tough to shut this fight down early for either man. Play the Over.

Jon Jones to Win by Submission $2.45– Tonnes of value here, Jones is picking up the submission wins frequently of late and Chael seems to fall victim to the tap tap tap with regularity.