UFN 68: Boetsch vs Henderson- ‘Bourbon Street Battles’

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UFC Fight Night 68 is in the books and New Orleans played host to an absolute violent affair. Dan Henderson earned a massive win to remain relevant, Ben Rothwell continued his improbable run, Dustin Poirier continue to show that Lightweight is the division for him, just to name a few of the big headlines coming out of the night’s action. Let’s take a look at my top 5 headlines from UFN 68.

5.) Holy Finishes Batman

Only 2 of the 12 fights required the judges input and of the 10 bouts that ended early 7 came inside the first round, including 5 of 6 on the main card. There were some downright nasty finishes as well. Joe Proctor’s last second submission of Justin Edwards was beautifully executed from an awkward position.

Hats off to Brian Ortega, who kept himself in the fight despite getting the worst of the positional battle and nearly getting finished himself, before pulling off his own late fight stoppage of Thiago Tavares. It would have been interesting to see how that fight was scored.

Unfortunately for Brian Ebersole his career came to an end as a result of a leg injury suffered in the opening round against Omari Akhmedov. Ebersole has an exceptionally long career, it’s is hard to see a guy go out like that, but that is the reality of the business. Finishes make for good fights!

4.) Faber Rematch on the Horizon?

Francisco Rivera put the stamp on his fight with Alex Caceres before many could get comfortable in their seats. With the win Rivera further cements himself as an action fighter capable of holding onto his fringe top 10 spot for the foreseeable future. That being said, he needs to get in the ear of the UFC brass and push for that rematch with Urijah Faber. He was doing quite well in that fight prior to the eye poke and a win over Faber would unquestionably move him to heights that most feel are beyond him.

3.) A Diamond Not So Much in the Rough

It would appear that the cut to 145 pounds was taking a lot of Dustin Poirier and the Lightweight division needs to quickly take notice. There are still bigger fish to fry, but the manner in which he dispatched Yancy Medeiros was pretty darn impressive. He is 2-0 as a UFC Lightweight with a pair of first round finish of respectable opposition. Where does that leave him in a very deep division? He still hasn’t faced a ranked opponent and I would suggest against jumping into the deep end just yet. Potentially, a fight with the winner of the upcoming Iaquinta/Green fight makes sense.

2.) No Laughing Matter

He is a big man and that was a big win for a guy that many felt was a non-factor in the division. It is nice to see reclamation projects like Mark Hunt, Andrei Arlovski, and Ben Rothwell making runs that normally don’t materialize once you start to trend downward. Matt Mitrione was looking good early on, but his defensive grappling once against cost him. In a shallow division like Heavyweight Mitrione can get back in the mix with a couple quick wins, but at 35 years of age he needs to get going. Rothwell could rematch Andrei Arlovski or Mark Hunt, but a bigger fight that could lead to a title shot would be with either Junior Dos Santos or Stipe Miocic. Mitrone’s return bout could be a reincarnation of his fight that never happened with Stefan Struve.

1.) H-Bombs Away

And with a magnificently violent knockout, Dan Henderson rode off into the sunset and brought to conclusion a fantastic career. Not bloody likely. This would be a great way for Hendo to say goodbye, but he is content to keep slugging it out in pursuit of one more run. I don’t see him having that type of success like some of the aforementioned heavyweights who have returned to glory unless he is given some favourable matchmaking. Another writer from another site suggested Rich Franklin return for his final UFC bout and rematch Dan, that would work for me. If not, how about Henderson vs Bisping regardless of the outcome of the Brits next fight. For Tim Boetsch, that was a big loss against a fighter that he was favoured over and would have looked good on his mantel place. That loss gives him a pretty indefensible record over his last handful of fights and he will probably be outside of the top 15 come Monday morning. He is still a decent scrapper and should be given another shot, how about Chris Camozzi if he is still under the UFC’s realm of employment.

Final Thoughts

This is one of those rare occasions where I feel better than my record would indicate. I went just 7-5 on the card after starting 6-1, but it was a solid 7-5. I hit 2 pretty decent upsets and a couple of my bigger plays- Rivera and Akhmedov came through with flying colours. The parlays produced a solid return, I went 4 of 5 on my Value list, and seeing Henderson win in the main event was good fun despite its impact on my record. UFC 188 and the unification of the Heavyweight titles in right around the corner and the beats goes on…

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Tim Boetsch $1.53
Selection 2: Thiago Tavares $1.60
Selection 3: Omari Akhmedov $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price $4.48: x Bet: 10 units
Payout: 48.80 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Francisco Rivera $1.89 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Yancy Medeiros $2.77
Selection 3: Ben Rothwell $2.77 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med 
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Price: $14.51  x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 72.55 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Shawn Jordan $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Chris Wade $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Francisco Rivera $1.89 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Omari Akhmedov $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $11.07 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 44.28 units
  
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Thiago Tavares $1.60  
Selection 2: Tim Boetsch to Win by TKO/KO $1.85
Selection 3: Derrick Lewis/ Shawn Jordan Under 1.5 Rounds $2.45 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Yancy Medeiros $2.77
Selection 5: Francisco Rivera $1.89 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $37.97 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 151.88
 

Leonardo Morales $1.59 vs. Jose Quinonez $2.65 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

First fight on the card with 2 very inexperienced fighters making their second appearance in the promotion, with one making his divisional debut. Not exactly my favourite betting conditions. I ultimately went with the dog here because he appears to have more layers to his game- mainly a superior ground game. I also feel like fighters cutting down a division tend to struggle a bit with the speed of the lighter weight class. I will consider Quinonez  an option for the Bronze level parlay, minimal investment here.

4 STARS

Ricardo Abreu $1.55 vs. Jake Collier $2.69

Two more fighters with minimal big league experience and not yet rounded out fight games. I like Abreu on the mat and his aggressive striking will carry him. I could also see him getting cracked coming forward and going limp. He is also a quick finisher so a longer fight doesn’t benefit him. Collier is pretty rough, but he has talent to work with. This fight will most likely be a No Play for me.

4 STARS

Justin Edwards $2.80 vs. Joe Proctor $1.52 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I certainly gave Edwards a long hard look, not so much because what he can do, but because neither man has looked that great. As I said in the breakdown Proctor could capitalize on Eddy’s aggression and counter his way to a victory, but he could also find himself backpedalling the entire fight and in the eyes of the judges that equates to losing. I may consider Proctor for a smaller, lower level investment, but he won’t be anywhere near by bigger plays.4 STARS

Christos Giagos $2.56 vs. Chris Wade $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I seem to be quite negative so far regarding my fighters, maybe I am trying to be realistic the way things have been going of late. The more I look at it, Giagos should have the edge on the feet. That being said, Wade’s grappling advantage should trump that. Some of the shine came off of Wade in his second performance, he looked average against a fighter he was expected to blow out of the water. Giagos has been tapped 3 times and looked out of place on his back against Burns. The odds are certainly playable, but I don’t feel comfortable enough to throw Wade into the upper echelon of my plays. a mid-level Silver parlay seems appropriate.

4 STARS

Omari Akhmedov $1.83 vs. Brian Ebersole $2.23 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Finally, a fight and line that I can sink my teeth into. Ebersole is a crafty guy and can give a lot of guys trouble. That being said, I think Akhmedov is all sorts of wrong for him. Ebersole has struggled with power wrestlers, and OA fits that mold. On the feet, Ebersole is simply not consistent enough to keep Omari backed off. There are 2 scenarios that Ebersole can win with- he finds away to put Omari on his back with regularity or Ebersole gasses out after 1 round. The latter is more likely, but I still think Omari takes this. At this price the Russia makes the cut for a Gold parlay leg.

4 STARS

Derrick Lewis $1.77 vs. Shawn Jordan $2.0o 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This fight could be violent, but it could also be the type that drags on while we wait for something to happen. There first fight went to a decision. I went with Jordan because he has a more diverse game and should be able to prevent Lewis from getting to his best position. Unfortunately, these are heavies and hit like heavies and Jordan’s chin is so/so. If Lewis cracks him anywhere he could and most likely will go down. We did see Lewis come up short in his first step up against Mitrione and his chin didn’t hold up either. The total is certainly something worth looking at and I feel like Jordan as a slight dog works in the Silver parlay section.

4 STARS

Alex Caceres $2.03 vs. Francisco Rivera $1.89 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This line has shifted a little since it first opened, with Caceres formerly the fav. My biggest concern is Caceres’s ground game. If he can find a way to get Rivera on his back then that is a major advantage for him. So far, he hasn’t shown a strong wrestling game and Rivera isn’t the type that is going to routinely take him down and give AC a chance to work off his back. I think Rivera’s power keeps him backed off and leads him to victory by either knockout or decision. Is price tag is very workable and will either be my top Silver play or find its way into being a gold leg.

4 STARS

Anthony Birchak $2.53 vs. Joe Soto $1.60

I was on Birchak when they first fought, but switched to Soto this time around. I won’t be betting this fight as there is 2 different scenarios that could negatively impact Soto. Soto could have fought over his head when he got a shot at the title and then come back down to earth for this fight. He could also struggle as the result of the post-title fight letdown, he got a quick ride to the top and is now way back down the ranks- that can be hard to deal with. He could also win, but I will pass.

4 STARS

Brian Ortega $2.55 vs. Thiago Tavares $1.60

Here is another fight that I think makes the cut at the top of the line. Ortega is for the most part a specialist. He needs to either submit his opponent or dominate them on the floor. Against Tavares that is going to be a tall order. Thiago’s Achilles heel has been his chin and Ortega hasn’t shown us that he has the ability to exploit this. Tavares is the better striker and his wrestling will keep Ortega out of his wheel house. This fight makes the cut as a leg of my Gold parlay. 4 STARS

Yancy Medeiros $2.77 vs. Dustin Poirier $1.57

I went back and forth on this fight. I like Poirier, he was very good at 145 and is only moving up 10 pounds. His debut was solid, but against a beatable opponent. Medeiros on the other hand is turning some heads and still getting better. I have had this impression of Poirier that he is a front runner and it temporarily faded away. McGregor brought that feeling back. Poirier seemed defeated before that fight started. I think Medeiros’s size and strength will back him off and Dustin’s chin will be his ultimate undoing. I think that Poirier will be amped up fighting at home, but I don’t think it will carry far into the fight. Medeiros is a strong Silver Parlay leg play, possibly a single bet.4 STARS

Matt Mitrione $1.54 vs. Ben Rothwell $2.77 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Rothwell is yet again another underdog. Rothwell has a hard F’n noggin and hits like a tank. The same can be said for Mitrione, but we have seen him recently knocked out. Ben did an excellent job cutting off the cage against Vera and landing flurries of punches. I expect to see something similar here. His ability to counter, especially with an uppercut, will give Matt trouble when he comes forward. Matt’s athleticism is concerning, he is a big man that moves well, but I think Rothwell can back him off and take him off his game with his slightly unorthodox style. Playing the line here is certainly doable, pays well, I think a Silver leg or potentially single bet is the way to go here. I need to look at the Total as well as it might be more playable. 4 STARS

Tim Boetsch $1.53 vs. Dan Henderson $2.80

Cage fighting is a young man’s game and that is why TRT was so popular. It allowed old dudes to compete with opponents significantly younger than they are. Consequently, when you stop taking TRT you stop being able to compete with younger guys. I am not saying that this fact alone will prevent Hendo from winning this fight and he very well could, but I just don’t see it. He is 45 years old, 11 years older the Boetsch. His chin, formerly though to be made of granite, is severely damaged. His cardio is garbage too. Combine his age, chin, cardio, and lack of overall foot speed and it doesn’t look good. Boetsch is far from a world wind of success, but his cardio is better (not that great compared to most), he is durable, and he has the ability to knock guys out. I feel that Boetsch tags him, knocks him out, and that this could be the last we see of the Pride legend. I feel strong enough about this to move Boetsch into my Gold parlay play.

1. Tim Boetsch $1.53

2. Thiago Tavares $1.60

3. Omari Akhmedov $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Francisco Rivera $1.89 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Yancy Medeiros $2.77

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6. Shawn Jordan $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Ben Rothwell $2.77 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Chris Wade $1.60 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Joe Proctor $1.52 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Joe Soto $1.60

11. Ricardo Abreu $1.55

12. Jose Quinonez $2.65 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Ben Rothwell $2.77 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // Rothwell could be in the midst of his last run and as much as I like Mitrione I see some openings that the big man can capitalize on. Rothwell continues to deny the odds makers.

2. Omari Akhmedov $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // Ebersole’s quirks that formerly threw opponents off are now well known and can be ignored for the most part. I don’t expect to see the Russian thrown off as he powers himself through the first 2 rounds.

3. Yancy Medeiros $2.77  // He takes a slight drop because he is facing a very capable opponent fighting at home. I think that the jump to LW catches up to Poirier against a larger opponent who hits very hard.

4. Francisco Rivera $1.89 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // Caceres needs to work his grappling into this fight, but he doesn’t have the wrestling to do it. His inability to get Rivera’s respect on the feet will cost him the fight.

5. Shawn Jordan $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // He won the first encounter, but that was in another life. Lewis is scary and Jordan’s chin is a little touch and go (read as drop). That being said, Lewis’s UFC wins have been underwhelming and I think Jordan keeps him out of his wheel house.

1. Jake Collier $2.69 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med– He might be worth a small look, but I feel there numerous options that should be invested in before him.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information

Prop Bets

Leonardo Morales/ Jose Quinonez 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Ricardo Abreu/ Jake Collier

See Betting Scenario Section.

Omari Akhmedov/ Brian Ebersole Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.48

Ebersole has gone to 5 straight decisions and 6 in his last 7. The last time he lost a fight inside the distance was way back in 2008 vs Hector Lombard and it came via injury. He has gone the distance 24 times in his career. Akhmedov has just 3 decisions wins on his record, 1 coming in his last fight. His other 2 UFC bouts have ended in the first round which is a bit concerning, but I see him using a top position controlled based approach. Play the Over.

Derrick Lewis/ Shawn Jordan 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Yancy Medeiros/ Dustin Poirier Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.63

Both guys are killers. Both guys have multiple ways to finish this fight, but I think 1.5 rounds isn’t enough to see a finish materialize. 3 of their 4 combined finishes have come inside the first round, which would suggest that this fight ends quickly if it ends before the judges at all. I will fade that trend. There will be some feeling out for the first minute or so, some exchanging of strikes, possibly a few TDAs, but in the end the bout makes it into the second half.

Matt Mitrione/ Ben Rothwell Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.93

Here we go again, calling an Over with a Heavyweight fight. I have done it other times, but I know I did it with Rothwell/ Overeem. We all know how that worked out. Mitrione comes with 6th straight fights ending inside the first round. Yikes. Rothwell has gone beyond round 1 in 7 of his last 10 and that includes 5 trips to the final round or beyond. Could both guys finish this fight? Yup. Could it finish inside the first 30 seconds or quick enough to hit the Under? Yup. I still like the Over. Look for some back and forth exchanges, with boy guys getting tagged and their chins holding up. The clinch will also play a bit of a role. Rothwell is a tough guy to finish and so is Mitrione. Play the Over.

Tim Boetsch to Win by TKO/KO $1.85

I don’t see this fight going the distance, but it could eclipse the 1.5 rounds currently set as the total. Either Boetsch catches him early or as Henderson slows down he catches him later in the fight. Dan’s chin has been compromised and as much as Boetsch has struggled of late, he is capable of knocking guys out. All he will need is one flush connection to kick start the beginning of the end.

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