UFN 70: Machida vs Romero – ‘The Dragon Falls’

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UFC Fight Night 70 is in the books and we have another top contender chomping at the bit for a shot at the title as a result of knocking out Lyoto Machida. Unfortunately, that new contender, Yoel Romero, may be a little lighter in the pocket and possibly sidelined for a bit following his brainless post fight interview. Let’s take a look at the night’s action.

Prelim Notes

  • Sirwan Kakai and Danny Martinez opened the show with an action heavy bout. Kakai hurt Martinez in round 1 with a series of knees and had surprising success with his wrestling. Martinez remained aggressive, wining left hands, but it wasn’t enough as the Kakai took a unanimous 30-27 decision victory.
  • The second fight of the night didn’t take nearly as long to find a winner. Tony Sims got clipped with hard left knee, but recovered and sent fellow UFC newcomer Steve Montgomery crashing to the mat for the KO victory.
  • In an ugly back and forth battle Leandro Silva defeated Lewis Gonzales via unanimous decision. Silva’s past performances have raised questions regarding his fight IQ and this did nothing to change that. He routinely lost strong positions and failed to push an opponent who was clearly tired. In the end he got the ‘W’ and that was the goal, I think.
  • To finish off the undercard, Alex Oliveira won a sloppy fight with another promotional debutant in Joe Merritt. Oliveira seemed determined to implement a grappling based attack and won the fight largely on the mat, but he did make several positional mistakes that provided his opponent with some expected opportunities to make something happen.

Main Card

  • Both men came out determined to flex their grappling muscling, exchanging takedowns and positional control. Hacran Dias offered a few close submission attempts, but Levan Makishvili was up to task. Makishvili appeared to be getting the better of the limited action on the feet as the Brazilian was hesitant to pull the trigger. The action ground to a halt in the final round, and the judges awarded a close split decision to Dias based on his efforts in rounds 1 and 2.
  • After 3 consecutive decisions and 4 of the first 5 fights requiring the judges, Thiago Santos changed that in a hurry. Santos floored the debuting Steve Bosse with an absolutely brutal head kick after targeting his foe’s body to create the opening. Santos now owns 3 first round kick based stoppages inside the Octagon and no doubt will be moving onto bigger and better things. For Bosse, that was a tough return to action after a very odd dance with the UFC- signed, retired, short notice replacement, pulled, and then gets knocked out- rough.
  • Antonio Carlos Junior came out strong and paired his elite level grappling game with an improving striking attack to get the better of Eddie Gordon. Despite coming in much leaner than in previous fights, Gordon struggled to find his grove early and had no answer for the onslaught of his opponent late. Carlos Junior sealed the victory with a late 3rd round RNC. Gordon has now lost 3 straight, is 1-3 in the UFC, and could be looking at his walking papers. Carlos Junior improves to 2-1, with 3 fights in 2 different weight classes.
  • Lorenz Larkin earned his second win as a Welterweight and turned some heads doing it. Larkin blasted Santiago Ponzinibbio with some hard leg kicks in the opening round and then blasted his chin into oblivion in the middle frame. The former Middleweight looked sharp, but did appear to be getting backed up before he fired back for the knockout victory. At 2-0 and with a recent win over the current Welterweight champion, Larkin could be appearing in the top 15 soon and certainly is in for a stiff step up in competition.
  • In the main event of the evening, Yoel Romero picked up the biggest win of his career, scoring a 3rd round knockout of former Light Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. Romero showed incredible patience, exchanging calculated strikes with ‘The Dragon’- arguably splitting the opening 2 rounds. It was apparent that Romero was starting to find his range in the middle frame and his success carried into the next round. After he was able to put Machida on the floor, Yoel unloaded with some brutal top position strikes that rendered Machida unconscious. Romero should be headed towards a #1 contender’s bout with Jacare Souza on the strength of this win. On the other hand, Machida suffers a second consecutive stoppage defeat and should consider taking a lengthy break to heal up. Lyoto is still a capable fighter, but it is becoming more evident that his time near the top is complete.
  • Final Thoughts: There were some decent fights tonight and a few that are forgettable. The co-main event and main event certainly produced and overall the main card was decent. Unfortunately, after Yoel Romero picked up the biggest win of his career he proceeded to denounce the United States’ decision to legalize gay marriage across all 50 states. This has to be one of, if not the dumbest post fight speech on record and the UFC would be within their rights to suspend and fine Romero for his unnecessary and unfortunate comments. The ball is in Dana White’s court now, hopefully he makes the appropriate decision. At least it will be a break from Aldo and his rib.

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Hacran Dias $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Lyoto Machida $1.56
Selection 3: Leandro Silva $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: 4.09 x Bet: 10 units
Payout: 40.9 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.95
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Price: 2.95 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 11.8 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Tony Sims $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Thiago Santos $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Merritt/ Oliveira Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.80
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Price: $6.24 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 31.2 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Sirwan Kakai $2.22 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Bosse/ Santos Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Hacran Dias $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.95
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Price: $22.99 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 91.96 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Lyoto Machida $1.56
Selection 2: Tony Sims $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Merritt/ Oliveira Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.80
Selection 4: Dias/ Makashvili Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 5: Kakai/ Martinez Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.70
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Price: 23.89 x Bet: 3 units
Payout: 71.67
 

Sirwan Kakai $2.22 vs. Danny Martinez $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I went back and forth on this fight and eventually settled on Kakai. Both guys have some serious issues with their overall fight game, but I think Kakai is the more likely to put together a stronger performance then the tape has shown us. More importantly, Martinez’s cardio is a major concern and Kakai is known for rallying to win fights after the first round. I think he uses leg kicks to do some early damage and as he is able to anticipate Matinez’s attacks due to him slowing down and his general predictability- Kakai will take over. I like the dog here and I am giving some serious thought to a Silver play, but I could easily downgrade Kakai here to a Bronze play based on what else is available.

4 STARS

Steve Montgomery $1.74 vs. Tony Sims $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Fight #2, Upset #2. Montgomery has the slightly greater name value after his run on TUF and Fight Master. Unfortunately on TUF he was bettered by his body before the fight even started, suffering from a scary seizure while trying to make weight. The length of Montgomery is my biggest concern here. Sims isn’t short for the division, but he will need to consistently get on the inside to do damage. I don’t see that being hard simply because Montgomery’s striking D is a little suspect and Sims is a good boxer. Montgomery has been cracked by lesser strikers and he will be here again. Sims could also go the wrestling angle. Similar to Kakai, I like Sims in a Silver section parlay, but I could see him make the drop to Bronze.

4 STARS

Lewis Gonzalez $2.33 vs. Leandro Silva $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Silva leaves a lot to be desired in his approach, but I was simply not impressed with the footage I saw of Gonzalez. He squeaked by Buchholz and most likely doesn’t beat McKee if he doesn’t gas out. For a wrestling he can be taken down too easily and he isn’t that great off his back once he is put there. Silva is a physically strong fighter and his takedowns and transition game should be able to replicate Lewis’s past problems. While he isn’t active enough for my liking on the feet, Silva is the better striker as well. At this price I like the favourite here over the fighter making his debut. I think Silva could very well crack the Gold parlay play.

4 STARS

Joe Merritt $4.63 vs. Alex Oliveira $1.24 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Not a lot here when it comes to backing my fighter. Oliveira should take this over a fighter who has built almost his entire record crushing cans. That being said, Merritt might not know any better and his confidence could carry him to victory. I won’t touch the side here, but I will look at the total.

4 STARS

Hacran Dias $1.56 vs. Levan Makashvili $2.71 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I really like Dias here. He is quite undervalued as a fighter and unless Levan shows us something that he didn’t in his debut or previous footage, he is going to be in tough here. Dias has good TDD and is the superior striker. I am not going to say Makashvili won’t score a takedown or two, but he won’t have much success keeping Dias down. As the fight advances, his success taking him down will diminish as well. Dias picks him apart on the feet and discourages him with his counter wrestling. Dias makes the cut on the Gold parlay, no questions asked.

4 STARS

Steve Bosse $2.80 vs. Thiago Santos $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

There is a lot weighing against Bosse here. A massive layoff, he is making his debut, he is cutting to 185 for the first time, and his age. Not to mention a step up in competition. Santos has won 2 of his last 3 and more then held his own against Hall. He stopped his last 2 wins with brutal body kicks and I expect something similar here. Look for him to be the more diverse striker, but he still needs to be careful of Bosse’s power. Santos may benefit from dragging this fight beyond the opening round as Bosse is normally wrapping things up inside the first round. I feel Santos is worth a strong look, either a fringe Gold parlay leg or strong Silver selection. The total is also playable.

4 STARS

Eddie Gordon $2.75 vs. Antonio Carlos Junior $1.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I started to break this fight down before the odds came out and I really wasn’t sure where they would land. I am a little shocked that Carlos Jr. is this big of a favourite. All things considered, Gordon’s UFC run has been a disappointing. His win over Lima isn’t that impressive considering Dhiego’s downturn. He looked okay against Samman before getting concussed. He could have been given the nod over Dempsey, but it was still way too close considering how big a favourite he was. AC is moving down another division after debuting at HW and moving to LHW for his sophomore fight. I think his aggression will keep Gordon on the defensive and result in him slowing down in rounds 2 and 3. AC’s cardio isn’t great either, but it should be better then Gordon’s. I’m not 100% sold on AC as this big of a favourite, I was thinking of something much closer. I will probably use him in a lower end bet, but a counter bet on Gordon simply based on value is also an alternative.

4 STARS

Lorenz Larkin $1.50 vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.95

Larkin looked darn good in is WW debut, but that fight was far from a reliable measuring stick for how he holds up physically after the cut to 170. Howard is a slower WW and let Larkin dictate the pace. The fight also went just over 2 minutes. Larkin looked pretty rough at the weigh-ins, but rehydrated well. We will have to keep an eye on how he looks Friday. If he can blast through Santiago then it probably won’t matter and Ponzinibbio has been hurt in multiple fights before. At the same time, the Brazilian is quite durable and while his cardio is far from perfect- he carries a torrid pace. I expect to see Larkin backing up under pressure and not letting his hands good. Takedowns could also be an option for Ponzy to make Larkin work harder. If Larkin can’t handle the pace he will fade and Ponzy will pull a way from him. Santiago is a pretty solid dog considering Larkin’s minimal exposure at WW. He might make the cut as a Gold parlay leg, I might also consider him for a single bet.4 STARS

Lyoto Machida $1.56 vs. Yoel Romero $2.69

It feels like it was just yesterday that Machida was an undefeated contender finally getting a shot at then UFC LHW champ Rashad Evans. Now we could be looking at the end of his run as an elite fighter- at least in the Middleweight division. Machida looked good against Rockhold early on before everything came crashing down. Another loss to a fighter on the cusp of the top 5 will knock him further down the ranks. Romero is quite capable, but he has some flaws. He tends to have some long pauses in his offensive output, which allowed Machida to outwork hm. He also has cardio issues that were showing up as early as the second round. That doesn’t bode well for him in a longer fight. Aggression/ pressure is the key to beating Machida- that is not Romero’s style. Machida isn’t the point fighter that he use to be and he should be able to wear Romero out with his own pressure and movement. Romero will eventually make a mistake and Machida will capitalize on him. Machida picks up a big win and holds onto his position behind Weidman, Rockhold, and Jacare. I think a Gold parlay leg is a real option here.

1. Hacran Dias $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Lyoto Machida $1.56

3. Alex Oliveira $1.24 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Leandro Silva $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Thiago Santos $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Tony Sims $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.95

8. Sirwan Kakai $2.22 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Antonio Carlos Junior $1.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Tony Sims $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / A fight very early on the card takes the #1 spot. Sims gets the job done with speed and superior striking technique.

2. Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.95  / Larkin gets a big nod as the fav. despite his minimal amount of work as a WW. I don’t like that. Ponzinibbio endures it early and grinds him down for the decision.

3. Sirwan Kakai $2.22 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / I simply haven’t been impressed with Martinez and I expect some improvements out of Kakai coming out of camp.

4. Leandro Silva $1.68 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / He won’t be aided by a wonky official here, but he still gets the job done.

5. Hacran Dias $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / Even sitting in the mid $1.50 range he is being undervalued here.

1. Eddie Gordon $2.75  / Not a huge and I haven’t been impressed with his recent performances, but I think that this line should be closer then it is. A bet based on pure value.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Content.

Prop Bets

Sirwan Kakai/ Danny Martinez

See Betting Scenario Section.

Steve Montgomery/ Tony Sims

See Betting Scenario Section.

Joe Merritt/ Alex Oliveira

See Betting Scenario Section.

Hacran Dias/ Levan Makashvili Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both guys have pretty big decision numbers and I don’t see a finish materializing. Dias has gone the distance in 5 of his 8 pro bouts. Dias has needed the judges in 14 of his 25 bouts. Not a flashy play, but it adds a little value to a parlay.

Steve Bosse/ Thiago Santos Total Rounds Under 1.5 $2.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both guys have significant finishing ability. Of their 20 combined wins, 16 have come inside the distance. More importantly, 7 of Bosse’s 8 knockouts are 1st rounders and his 1 submission win as well. 6 of Santos’s last 7 fights ended inside the first frame, including his 2 UFC wins. These guys come out swinging and if they are in the smaller Octagon like I believe they are finishes will be a plenty.

 

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