UFN 105: Lewis vs Browne- “Feed the Beast!”

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Oh Canada! The Octagon returned to the Great White North, touching down in Halifax, Nova Scotia last Sunday night. With it came a heavyweight showdown, the Middleweight debut of a former Welterweight champion, and the continued resurgence of a former Women’s title challenger. The locals went 4-3 overall and I continued my strong run to start 2017 with a 8-3 prediction record. The productive results of the UFN 105 Bet Pack are posted below along with my fights to make next for the several of the big names from the card.

Derrick Lewis vs Hunt/Overeem Winner

A performance like that certainly helped to rebuild some of the hype that Lewis had lost after the previous two fights. With his type of power and ability to overwhelm his foes it would seem that Derrick is never out of a fight. He looked lost in round 1 and close to being finished, but turned the tables quickly. His post-fight comments further developed his profile amongst fans and he is clearly in position to take his shot at the top of the heap. Does he beat the likes of JDS, Velasquez, Werdum, or Miocic? I don’t know yet, but the logical next step from Browne would be the winner of Overeem/ Hunt. Both are dangerous fighters that would present Lewis with the next level of opponent, but still a step below the guys at the very top.

Travis Browne vs Alexander Volkov

Browne looked good early, but couldn’t close. This was a big loss as Travis had previously only been defeated by top ranked competition with ties to the title. Not the case anymore. Is he still relevant as a gatekeeper to the upper echelon of the division? This fight would go a long way to prove it.

Johny Hendricks vs Brad Tavares

Lombard didn’t present the height or reach issues that Johny will encounter with most Middleweights. Hendricks looked good in a decent fight, but his future at 185 pounds is still up in the air. Tavares is a more accurate physical representation of Middleweight fighter, but still as enough areas of vulnerability for Johny to compete. If he can’t win this fight, his ceiling is pretty clear.

Hector Lombard vs Chris Camozzi

Lombard is a washout at this point. At the rate that they have been cutting relevant fighters, Hector getting the axe wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Camozzi can’t crack through the upper echelon of competition, but beating Lombard and sending him on his way would be a nice feather in his cap. If Hector picks up the win, he gets to stick around for a bit longer.

Gavin Tucker vs Marlon Vera

With an impressive debut, Tucker certainly turned some heads. At the same time, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Vera is another young fighter that is still relatively early in his UFC career. He presents some different challenges for Tucker, but he is an appropriate next step him.

Elias Theodorou vs Tim Boetsch

The performance didn’t overwhelm me, but Elias has put in the work and should be given a shot at a next level opponent. Boetsch is a perfect gatekeeper to determine where the Canadian belongs in the division.

Sara McMann vs Raquel Pennington

The division is in need of the next contender after Nunes and Shevchenko throw down. McMann is rolling and Pennington is coming off of an impressive upset win over a former champion.  The winner of this potential fight could be next in line for a shot at the title.

Paul Felder vs Rustam Khabilov

Felder, like Khabilov, made a quick climb into the rankings to start their UFC careers. They have since taken a step back and are looking to rebuild. While both men could be paired with ranked opponents next time out, I am more inclined to square them off with the winner get the push to the next level.

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Tarec Saffiedine

Ponzinibbio cracked the Top 15 with the win and Saffiedine offers another step up the ranks. Both men are strikers which should allow them to let loose with their entire vertical arsenal.

Randa Markos vs Felice Herrig or Tecia Torres

There are two ways to go here. Markos rematches Herrig to build on their TUF rivalry and her post-fight bullying comments. Or, she rematches Torres in a fight that would continue to propel her up the ranks with another win. It all depends on what she wants to do. I expect she’ll face Herrig next.

Thiago Santos vs Sam Alvey

Santos has been in the Top 15 before and probably should get another shot at it after an impressive knockout. Alvey’s fights tend to be a product of his opponent’s game plan. I don’t expect Santos to shy away from a firefight. Make it happen.

Final Thoughts

It is nice to see a couple of new Canadians get their feet wet along with a couple more picking up big wins. The MMA scene in Canada has taken a bit of a hit of late, but with GSP on his way back the victories on Sunday night we could be in for a bit of a resurgence. Overall, my record was solid, but I lost a couple of key fights. My Big Reward Bundle returned the smallest of profits, basically breaking even. The Big Bankroll bets were much stronger, with a profit of 20.52 units. We get a week off and then it is back at it for UFC 209 and a Welterweight championship rematch.

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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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Fighter 1: Travis Browne $8100 
Fighter 2: Johny Hendricks $7700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Gavin Tucker $8400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Sara McMann $9300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Thiago Santos $8300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 6: Cezar Ferreira $8200 
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Subs
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Fighter 1: Santiago Ponzinibbio $9200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Aiemann Zahabi $8800 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: 
Fighter 4: 
 
 
 

 

Derrick Lewis -111 vs Travis Browne +115 

Browne has not looked that good of late, but that has come against upper level competition. Lewis looked dominant, but once he took a step up in competition, things changed. He still won, but in ugly fights where the vulnerabilities in his game were exposed. Abdurakhimov showed that if you can keep him on the outside, he is limited. Browne should be able to do that. Browne has above average speed and length. Changing camps should help him as well. Lewis can be hit and he can be hurt. Browne isn’t known for shooting for TDs, which is something the Lewis has used to his advantage in the past as well. Browne either keeps him on the outside and wins a 5-round decision or eventually counters and knockouts him out. Browne doesn’t have a lot of momentum now, so I will knock him down to the Silver Play.

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I like “Hapa” in my Fantasy lineup. He should have a sizeable striking advantage and the power to make it count. While going 5-round isn’t out of the question, I expect him to eventually land something and put him down. $8100 is a manageable amount to spend.

Hector Lombard -135 vs Johny Hendricks +123 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

My biggest concern for Johny at MW is the length of his opponents. He struggled at times with the reach of guys at 170. That isn’t the case here with Lombard. Hector has 2 modes. A) He goes full berserker and knocks his opponent or gasses out trying to get the finish. Or B) He holds back, paces himself, and potentially gets outworked by a more active opponent. I’m not sure what to expect in this fight. I do like that Johny won’t have to cut the extra 15-pounds, which will help him. I also like that Lombard is nearly 40. He is getting up there and coming off the first 2 stoppages of his career. Usually, those aren’t a coincidence. The first round could be tense, but Johny should find success being more active as the fight advances and taking advantage of slower Lombard. Close fight if it goes the distance, keep an eye on Hendrick’s power. A division change can create uncertainty, Silver play as a result.

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Hendricks is cheap and could get a stoppage either through his own power or due to a faltering chin and/or poor cardio on Lombard’s part. Maybe a combo of all of the above. If the new division gives Hendricks some refresher, we could see a climb in his volume. I like the finish at $7700- play him.

Cezar Ferreira -118 vs Elias Theodorou +108 

A lot of people are on Elias here, but I think they are throwing him a little too much credit. His striking isn’t that strong and he is at his best when he relies on his grappling. Ferreira is a much better grappler and will force him to rely solely on his striking. While Mutante’s chin isn’t good, Theodorou isn’t a power striker that will put him down. It’s not impossible, but not probable. It won’t be pretty, but Ferreira will capitalize on the Canadian’s striking tells and counter with takedowns. It will either be a submission finish or grinding decision- both for Ferreira. Good price, Gold play.

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Ferreira is affordable and will either score points with his takedown game or a possible submission from the top- probably via arm triangle or guillotine. I’m guessing a lot of people will overlook him or bet against him because of his chin. That is fine with me and pushes the value of his offense up.

Gavin Tucker -157 vs Sam Sicilia +143 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

We’ve got a new guy debuting as a decent favourite over a long time veteran. Tucker looks good on the mat and sharp on the feet. Conversely, Sicilia is trending downward. He has settled as a brawler with slightly above average power and diminish durability. Tucker’s kicks will serve him well on the feet and his grappling skills will make it uninviting for Sam to take him down. Certainly some unknown elements here. Tucker is either going to be a Silver or possible Bronze play for me.

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I do have the Canadian in my DK lineup. He has been a finisher all of his career and Sicilia has been put away in 5 of his last 6 losses. Tucker isn’t a household name and that will limit his action. Play him.

Gina Mazany +472 vs Sara McMann -500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Obviously, we are not betting this line, but there is money to be made here. Check the prop section.

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McMann is another member of my teams. Takedowns score points and she will get several. She is also heads and tails above her opponent in skill, experience, and prep time. A wrestling heavy attack is going to break down a debuting short notice opponent quite effectively. I expect McMann to continue to showcase her submission skills and look for another finish. She is expensive and most players would rather play one of the other male fighters in this price range instead. Book her.

Alex Ricci +336 vs Paul Felder -350 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Felder isn’t the least bit enticing at this price and I am considering a play on Ricci as a counter bet. I expect to see Felder as the more impactful and slightly busier fighter. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him score a takedown or 2. Either way, a prop bet is the better play than a side.

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Ricci has never been finished and Felder hasn’t been putting up big points of late. He is too expensive for my blood- pass.

Nordine Taleb +336 vs Santiago Ponzinibbio -350 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Another NP. Not worth the price of admission here, but it should be a decent fight. I will take a look at a prop option.

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Ponzinibbio is expensive and hard to fit it. I took McMann over Santiago because she will be played much less. If you don’t want to roll with the former Olympian, then swap in the Argentinian.

Carla Esparza -265 vs Randa Markos -246 

Esparza should take this fight with ease. Her wrestling is more than enough to put Markos down and when they are on the feet, Carla is more than capable of holding here own. At -265 or higher I will most likely pair her up in my Gold play, but I will also give high priority to a prop bet here.

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No play here.

Aiemann Zahabi -217 vs Reginaldo Vieira +196 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Lots of hype surround Zahabi. Canada needing some new blood in the UFC and Zahabi and Tucker could be just that. Vieira is getting up there for a lighter weight fighter and is limited to start with. Zahabi comes from a very good camp and will be ready for the big stage. I would be looking for something big on Zahabi at a better price. If I do play him it will be as a leg in a Bronze bet.

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He is fairly expensive, but not as big as the bigger fish on the market. I could see him grabbing a finish here. I’ve him as a sub if you want to replace McMann and use the $500 saved somewhere else.

Jack Marshman +164 vs Thiago Santos -170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This should be an entertaining scrap and will probably garner some bonus money one way or another. If Marshman gets on the inside he can crack and KO Santos. I wasn’t impressed with his punching technique, he seems to force it a lot. Santos is quicker and smoother with his kicking technique. He will use his leg strikes to both do damage and keep Marshman out of range. Jack got hit a lot by Cedenblad and Thiago is the type of fighter that you can’t take too many shots from before he puts you down. He has been knocked out 3-times which tells me his chin is far from ironclad. Good scrap, Santos comes in as a Silver play.

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Santos grabs the last, or first spot on my Fantasy team. He has legit stopping power with his kicks, looking for a body or head shot for the win. With the exception of the Theodorou upset (you’re welcome), Thiago stops everyone he beats. Add him.

Gerald Meerschaert -275 vs Ryan Janes +269 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Janes didn’t impress me in his last fight. He won, but he got hit a lot. If his opponent had a better gas tank and was a little more active, it could have gone the other way. I like Meerchaert’s striking style to exploit the defensive lapses of Janes and he should either get the better of the wrestling/grappling exchanges or make them a non-factor. Meerschaert will find his way into a Gold play. He simply has more tools than his opponent.

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Nothing here.

 

1. Sara McMann -500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Carla Esparza -265 

3. Santiago Ponzinibbio -350 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Gerald Meerschaert -275 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Cezar Ferreira -118 

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6. Travis Browne +115 

7. Gavin Tucker -157 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Aiemann Zahabi -217 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Johny Hendricks +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Thiago Santos -170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Paul Felder -350 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

 

1. Sara McMann to Win by Submission +383 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Travis Browne +115 

3. Cezar Ferreira -118 

4. Johny Hendricks +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5.  Gavin Tucker -157 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Alex Ricci +336:  Felder has a history of underperforming and Ricci is better than his debut fight suggests. Ricci is probably worth a look here for a small bet.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

 

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

 

Prop Bets

Derrick Lewis/Travis Browne Total Rounds Over 1.5 -105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

At heavyweight, not Over is safe until it is in the books. Both guys can finish, but early stoppages aren’t always the form. I expect to see Browne trying to establish his reach and distance to keep Lewis on the outside. I wasn’t impressed with how Lewis fair on the feet against Shamil. If we don’t see a quick finish, this bout will most likely see the 2nd half. For Lewis, 5 of his last 7 have gone to the 2nd round or beyond. For Browne, 3 of his last 6 have gone at least 3 rounds. That is above average for a Heavy. Play the Over.

Cezar Ferreira to Win by Submission +525 

A BJJ Black belt, coming off a submission win that has been relying on a takedown-heavy game is definitely worth a play at this much of a return. Theodorou has never been subbed, but he has been taken down. If Cezar can put him on his back, look for him to attack with either a guillotine or arm triangle. He could easily grind out a decision, but this is certainly worth a small play.

Sara McMann to Win by Submission +383 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Tapping out Davis is no easy feat and McMann should look to build on that success with another strong performance here. Mazany is facing an uphill battle to survive the full 15-minutes and McMann has picked up 4 submission wins compared to a single TKO. Too much pressure from the top will eventually lead to Mazany giving up position and the sub will present itself. Solid prop play.

Paul Felder to Win by Decision -125 

Ricci has never been finished and is a capable striker, good enough to hold his own here. Maybe even win. Felder has 7 career knockouts, but just 1 in the UFC compared to 4 fights going the distance inside the Octagon. I expect this to be a close fight than the line suggests and it could still be in doubt when we hit the cards. If you are backing Felder, backing him via decision is the way to go.

Nordine Taleb/Santiago Ponzinibbio 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Carla Esparza to Win by Decision -125 

You get a little more pop on the straight bet with Esparza than you do with Felder, but I like the Decision prop just the same. Carla is a controlling wrestler, which should keep Markos on the mat and unable to scramble into a worse/ submission vulnerable position. Carla can finish, but I expect her to focus on maintaining top control and keep Markos off her feet. Play the decision, potentially a Gold Play for me.

Aiemann Zahabi to Win inside the Distance +157 

Zahabi has finished all 6 of his opponents and all in the opening round. Vieira has been finished 4-times and is going to struggle to keep up to what Zahabi offers. Debuting fighters can hit a wall against better competition. I still think Aiemann gets the finish, but it might take him a little longer than normal.

Jack Marshman/Thiago Santos 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Gerald Meerschaert/Ryan Janes 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

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