UFN 62: Maia vs LaFlare- ‘Rio Screwjob’
As is frequently the case (not always), another UFC card with a less then anticipate lineup of bouts delivers in spades. Of the 12 UFC Fight Night 62 fights, only 2 required the judges, while 5 ended inside the first frame, 1 bout showcased an epic 3rd round comeback, and yet again we leave Brazil curse a referee’s performance. A 10-2 prediction record with 3 upsets included feels good, but unfortunately the Andre Fili loss took away from the bet packs that cashed in on just 2 parlays and made a smaller profit then what could have been. The Kamikaze Overdrive Draftkings Tournament didn’t run as we only got 18 of the needed 20 players. In the two other tournaments I took part in I took him a combined $30 finish close to the top in each. Let’s try for next time. Let’s take a look at some of the takeaways from the night. Tap, Nap, or Snap or Do Nothing? First in the Christos Giagos RNC win over Jorge de Oliveira, the Referee (I am using that term lightly) took a real long hard look at the Brazilian as he tapped several times in response to an incredibly deep choke. It wasn’t a possible tap or something that could be mistaken for an attempt to punch or grab at his opponents hand it was a tap. A couple of bouts later the same ‘Referee’ opted to make up for the prolonged tap and called for the bell after no tap. You can’t blame either fighter for what went down, Leandro Silva was doing his job and so was Drew Dober. Unfortunately the referee was not. From the televised angle the ref saw nothing more than Dober pulling out of the hold and his arm dropping a little which he took as a loss of consciousness, maybe? It was a pretty bad night for this Ref and hopefully his last time officiating a UFC bout. Some vintage WWE came to mind with this bout, ‘Montreal Screwjob’ Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels anyone? Welcome to my Country, Sorry for Your Luck After the last trip to Brazil saw more foreign fighters get their hands raised then Brazilians, the ship was righted this time around. The local fighters had a strong showing on the prelims going 4-1 and the momentum continued with a upset win by Godofredo Pepey over Andre Fili to kick off the main card. Amanda Nunes took out Shayna Baszler in timely fashion and Leo Santos dropped Tony Martin 0-3 in UFC bouts lasting longer than 1 round. With the final 2 fights on the card also going the way of the crowd favourites the final tally stood at Brazilians 9 Foreign Fighters 1. From the Clutches of Defeat Gilbert Burns was well on his way to defeat after getting boxed up on the feet and struggling to find any success with his grappling. Alex Oliveira’s corner man told him something to the effect that he was a round away from everyone knowing his name, unfortunately that round ended 44 seconds earlier then intended. Burns’s scored the early takedown and went to work chaining submissions together until he locked up a nasty armbar for the finish in the final minute of the bout. The effort leading up to the win was concerning, but Gilbert demonstrated just how skilled he is and he keeps his perfect record intact. Two Weeks Notice In the co-main event Josh Koscheck was unable to continue to the success of recent short notice replacements and fell via 1st round submission to Erick Silva. Silva did some damage early with his striking, clearly had Kos on the backpedal and then capitalized when the wrestler instinctually show in for a takedown attempt. Silva picks up a nice name win and will continue to highlight the Brazil cards. Koscheck should call it career, he is clearly no longer able to compete with the vast majority of the division and time has caught up with him. Although, it is hard to let go. Undefeated No More In the main event, BJJ ace and underdog Demian Maia dominated the fight with his superior ground skills for the first 4 rounds before fatigue set in for the final frame. Ryan LaFlare threw what he had at his exhausted opponent, but it was simply too little, too late and Demian sealed it with a late takedown. A late point deduction from Big John for butt flopping made the scores closer then the fight actually seemed. With the win, Maia holds onto his position in the division and will get another shot at a high profile opponent in the not to distance future. LaFlare suffers that all important first loss of his career, but a loss against an upper level opponent that he will be able to build on and improve from. So that is all for the next 2 weeks, with Fight Night 63 on the docket to kick start a 4 cards in 4 weeks for April. Keep an eye out for a monthly subscription service coming soon for the Bet Packs. The UFN 62 pack is posted below.=================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: Leonardo Santos $2.25 Selection 2: Nunes/ Baszler Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.10 =================================================== Price: $4.73 x Bet: 5 units Payout: 23.65 units =================================================== Parlay #2 =================================================== Selection 1: Akbarh Arreola $2.70 Selection 2: Demian Maia $2.25 =================================================== Price: $6.08 x Bet: 5 units Payout: 30.4 units =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: Leandro Silva $1.67 Selection 2: Leonardo Santos $2.04 Selection 3: Silva/ Koscheck Total Rounds Over 1.5 $2.05 Selection 4: Kikuno/ Souza Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.69 =================================================== Price: $11.81 x Bet: 4 units Payout: 47.24 units =================================================== Parlay #1 =================================================== Selection 1: Carizosa/ Mafra Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.20 Selection 2: Akbarh Arreola $2.70 Selection 3: Nunes/ Baszler Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.10 Selection 4: Andre Fili $1.37 Selection 5: Christos Giagos $1.54 =================================================== Price: $26.32 x Bet: 4 units Payout: 105.28 units
Bentley Syler $1.72 vs Freddy Serrano $2.36
From pretty much every angle that you that this fight with, there is uncertainty. Serrano has just a single pro bout. Both men competed in lower level organizations. They both had short runs on TUF. Serrano is a former Olympic wrestler. And so on. I am banking on those wrestling skills to hold true in this fight and give Serrano the edge here. I the 1-0 record at face value will frighten the general public off, especially when you link it with a line that has him as the underdog. Still, with so much uncertainty it is better to knock this one down to the Silver or even Bronze plays. In the Silver pack its a single bet and in the Bronze pack I probably add him into a parlay.
Jorge de Oliveira $2.74 vs Christos Giagos $1.54
Picking against a Brazilian right away, that is rough. Blade looked out to lunch in his debut when the fight hit the mat and Giagos should look to replicate that. Yes, he is moving down a division but the speed and pace factor will most likely trump anything that he gains physically. Giagos ran into a buzzsaw in his first fight, but competing in Brazil already will help him prepare. I think he gets the job done here, its a risk betting against a Brazilian, but I am leaning towards a Gold Parlay leg.
Cain Carizosa $2.40 vs Leonardo Mafra $1.67
Mafra is 0-2 and Cain last less then 90 seconds in his debut- that’s not a lot of anything to build on, but somebody has to win. I don’t see enough out of Carizosa on the mat to think he can drag Mafra their with enough consistency to win this fight. Mafra is the better striker and has far more dangerous power. I like what he offers on the feet, especially with his leg kicks. Throw in the fact that this bout is taking place in Brazil and I like the local here. The value pushes this one into the Gold section. I will look at the total as well.
Leandro Silva $1.67 vs Drew Dober $2.43
I gave Dober a good look, but I opted against playing him. Dober can strike and is tough, but he is way to willing to get hit and gets taken down too much. I expect to see Silva having a lot of success with his ground game here. I was quite disappointed when he didn’t get the nod vs Trinaldo as I felt he won the opening 2 rounds and then gave the 3rd away. Dober is though and will stick around, but Silva does enough with his grappling and on the feet to get the win. I wouldn’t be shocked if this was a closer fight then many expect and if that is the case its better to roll with the Brazilian. The total is intriguing as well. I am leaning towards a Gold parlay leg here, check the parlay section for a final ruling.
Katsunori Kikuno $3.01 vs Kevin Souza $1.48
I initially took Souza when this fight was put in front of me, then I started to waver. A little at first, then a little more, but ultimately I stuck with my head. Double K has the tools to win this fight, if he fights smart- but he doesn’t and he won’t. If I was his coach I would have throwing heavy and hard kicks to Souza’s lead leg and then change levels for a TD when Souza bounces forward. Lots of lateral movement, mix up his first strike offense and his countering. Unfortunately, he plods forward with his hands down and his chin up. Souza will feast on that. He is volume striker, with good speed and power. I expect to see him land something big and take Kiks out all together. Set it up with a straight right to the body and then come back high. I am considering the total, but Souza is a going to be a part of the Gold parlay leg.
Francisco Trinaldo $1.56 vs Akbarh Arreola $2.70
Betting against another Brazilian = cruising for a bruising. Honestly, I thought Trinaldo lost his last fight and was bailed out my the judges. He got dominated in the fight before that and lost. A tight split decision win prior to that and submission loss before that. Of Trinaldo’s 5 UFC wins only 1 of those fighters is still on the roster- Leandro Silva and he was already cut once. He could be cut again if he losses. Arreola looked good in his last fight, albeit against a now retired opponent. I think he has the skills to replicate the efforts of others that have beaten FT. He is good on the ground and aggressive on the feet. He needs to push the pace though and leave no doubt in the judges’ minds. Always a fear of getting screwed on the cards, but I will take that risk and roll with the dog. I am thinking a Gold single bet is doable here, but I may cut him to the Silver section.
Andre Fili $1.37 vs Godofredo Pepey $3.60
It is hard to feel super confident about a fighter coming to Brazil and winning because there are so many ways they can lose the fight, more then normal. Hell, they can win the fight and still lose it. That being said I really like Fili here. Pepey has won 2 in a row but neither is a really strong win, especially the second one. Unless Fili gets overwhelmed by the atmosphere or makes a significant mistake he is better then Pepey in pretty much every area minus BJJ and his wrestling should negate that. I am considering a play on the total here, but certainly Fili will be making an appearance in the Gold Pack as part of a parlay.
Alex Oliveira $5.72 vs Gilbert Burns $1.19
He is 2-0 in the UFC, but at just 2 fights in I can’t consider backing Burns at $1.19. Heck, we really have no reason to back anyone at this low a price. Risk and reward. I will look at the Total, but that is it for this one.
Amanda Nunes $1.26 vs Shayna Baszler $4.73
This is a tricky fight and here is why. Nunes is vulnerable on the mat and Baszler can finish her there if given the chance. She is aggressive and will attack from the start. On the other side of things, Baszler has been knocked out several times and Nunes packs some massive power. Additionally, if Baszler gasses hard (which he almost always does after the first round) Nunes will overwhelm her and blast her out of there in more devastating fashion then Correria did. Nunes should win this bout, but I wish the price was a little higher. The play here is the total, I won’t go into details but you know where I am going with this.
Leonardo Santos $2.04 vs Tony Martin $1.91
The odds for this bout varied at first, but they have appeared to settle with Martin as the slight favourite. Martin has looked decent, pretty decent in fights that last 5 minutes or less. Unfortunately, after the first round he has sputtered. The environment in Brazil will not be forgiving and the way emotions and the potential for above normal temperatures can drain a fighter’s cardio I don’t see him fairing much better. Santos isn’t likely to be outgrappled, he is very talented on the mat. That being said, Martin will have a lot of confidence coming off his last fight and cardio could impact Leo’s abilities. I like Santos’s cardio better then Martin’s, I like his grappling more, I like his striking more, and I like that he is fighting at home (he trains in Rio). Some of the edges are only slight, but they are edges nonetheless. I think Santos at this price will probably be the focal point of a Silver parlay. Close fight, decent price, some intangibles- play it safe.
Erick Silva $1.22 vs Josh Koscheck $5.44
Kos is past it, but he may have just enough to pull the upset off here. He has to survive the early onslaught, but his wrestling could allow him grind down Silva in rounds 2 and 3. I don’t like the way Kos reacts to getting hit as he became almost non-existent after Ellenberger tagged him a couple of times. If Silva lands something flush it will have a similar impact. Silva is too inconsistent and Kos is too far beyond his prime to consider a bet on either man here. Silva takes it, but I won’t bet a side, I will look at the total.
Demian Maia $2.25 vs Ryan LaFlare $1.75
I went back and forth on this one. I can see either man winning and I can see either man losing. LaFlare could come up short in his biggest most pressure filled fight or Maia could backslide further down the ranks as the end of his career looms. Maia represents the highest level of opponent that LaFlare has tangled with. I think Maia can get the better of him on the mat, especially if he forces LaFlare to fight off his back consistently. I could also see Maia having success on the feet. All that goes out the window if he gasses. The same can be said for the American. In the end I rolled with the Brazilian as I think he could get the nod in a close fight, especially if he can have success early. This is going to be a tough fight so I am not confident on playing Maia in as a Gold single bet, most likely Silver is the play here.
1. Andre Fili $1.37 2. Gilbert Burns $1.19 3. Kevin Souza $1.48 4. Christos Giagos $1.54 5. Amanda Nunes $1.26 ==================== 6. Erick Silva $1.22 7. Leandro Silva $1.67 8. Leonardo Mafra $1.67 9. Leonardo Santos $2.04 10. Akbarh Arreola $2.70 11. Demian Maia $2.25 12. Freddy Serrano $2.36 13. 1. Leonardo Santos $2.25 // 1 win and Martin’s earlier struggles have been forgotten. Look for Santos to replicate the success of Dariush as this fight progresses and take a close decision or late submission. 2. Akbarh Arreola $2.70 // I have seen a number of people taking Arreola here and at first I was against them, but the more and more I looked I liked what I saw out of him. My biggest concern is the BS decision stealing this one. Still some solid value. 3. Demian Maia $2.25 // This is his last kick at sticking around in the top 10, if he comes up short is relevancy in the division is all but gone. High pressure. 4. Leandro Silva $1.67 // Plays #4 and #5 have solid returns, though not overwhelming. These bouts scream of local fighters being given strong stylistic bouts to give them a good chance of winning. 5. Leonardo Mafra $1.67 // See above.
1. N/A 2. 3. 4. 5.
Bentley Syler/ Freddy Serrano
See the Betting Scenario Section.
Jorge de Oliveira/ Christos Giagos
See the Betting Scenario Section.
Cain Carizosa/ Leonardo Mafra Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.20
Cain got snuffed out pretty quickly in his debut, but that isn’t the basis for my pick. Mafra (I like the name, it sounds dangerous) has 6 first round finishes and 3 second round wins that would all qualify for the Under here. He has only been to the judges twice in 13 fights and was finished in both of his losses. Carizosa has finished in 4 of his 6 victories as well- 3 of which hitting the under 1.5. Play the Under.
Katsunori Kikuno/ Kevin Souza Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.69
I was initially on the Under here and for good reason, but I think the Over is the play. Both guys have odd striking styles which could create an early feeling out process. The Under would be most likely based on Kev knocking Kats out, I see this bout lasting into the second half. Kikuno has been finished just twice in 30 fights and his second highest win total comes via decision. Souza is a killer, but he had to throw a lot against Eddiva to get the finish and KK is far more experienced and will know how to deal with onslaught- at least initially. A bit of a risky play, but I will take the over.
Francisco Trinaldo/ Akbarh Arreola
See the Betting Scenario Section.
Alex Oliveira/ Gilbert Burns Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.00
Burns is a finishing machine with all but 1 of his 9 wins coming inside the first 5 minutes. Oliveira will be overmatched once the bout hits the mat and that is the key here. A side bet is unplayable here, so if you want to have your fingers in this bout play the total.
Amanda Nunes/ Shayna Baszler Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.10
This is the far better play when compared to betting a side. This play puts both girls’ finishing skills on your side. Neither has a great gas tank and Baszler’s history with gassing early won’t play out well against the unloading power Nunes. It could creep into the second half but I like the Under here.
Erick Silva/ Josh Koscheck Total Rounds Over 1.5 $2.05
Similar to the fight above, a bet on a fighter doesn’t work. Instead play the total. I think that Silva is capable of finishing Kos in the first, but in reality it could take him more then a round to pile of the needed damage. If Kos wins it is probably by decision or late stoppage. Play the Over.