UFN 73: Teixeira vs St. Preux- ‘Not Ready to Go’

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UFC Fight Night 73 is in the record books, but it won’t be forgotten anytime soon. The main card included a trio of underdogs getting the job done, a questionable decision, a ‘quick’ stoppage, and a fight over the last Budweiser. The prelims were dominated by one-sided affairs and a few last showings for fighters on their last UFC legs. My predictions were on point at 11-2 with the bet packs paying out in spades. Let’s take a look…

Notes from the Undercard

  • A bout involving a fighter clearly not meant for the UFC cage, Scott Holtzman battered the overmatched Anthony Christodoulou for the 3 rounds, before locking in the fight ending RNC.
  • The second fight of the night didn’t require the judges either as Marlon Vera secured a second round triangle/armbar combo to produce the tap from top positioned Roman Salazar.
  • Jonathan Wilson brought some much needed new blood to the Light Heavyweight division and quickly dispatched Chris Dempsey with an abrupt first round knockout.
  • There is a very good chance that all 3 losers from the Fight Pass prelims could be out of a job come Monday morning.
  • A grueling 3 round battle produced a split-decision win for Frankie Saenz to extend his winning streak to 8 in a row. Sirwan Kakai held his own had some strong moments, but his output appeared to fade in the final round despite looking like the fresher fighter.
  • Dustin Ortiz came out with a grappling centric approach bent on exploiting his opponent’s weakness and earned a dominant third round TKO over the overmatched Willie Gates.
  • In a bit of a sloppy affair, Chris Camozzi earned a much sought after UFC win, ending his 5 fight Octagon slump via decision against Tom Watson. He got the better of the opening round, but took some nasty groin shots in round 2 that cost ‘Kong’ a point and seemed to slow Camozzi.
  • If the UFC is looking to free up some roster space, Watson could join the trio of fighters from earlier in the night that I pegged for a UFC exit.
  • The end of the prelims came very quickly with Uriah Hall raining down blows on the clearly overwhelmed Oluwale Bamgbose for the 9th knockout victory in Hall’s career. These are the types of fights that Hall has to win, he just needs to start putting together some upper echelon victories if plans to make a run.

Main Card

Flyweight on the Rise

Ray Borg didn’t get the finish and took a little more damage than expected, but he got the win nonetheless. He showcased a dominant ground game, smothering Geane Herrera for the majority of the fight. After the fight Borg apologize for failing to make weight and then made it clear that he might not be ready to fight for the title yet, he has every intention earning his shot at the gold. What’s Next: Borg vs John Moraga would be an excellent step up and very winnable fight for Borg.

Future Contender

In an upset that many forecasted, Amanda Nunes earned the biggest win of her career with a first round submission win of former title challenger Sara McMann. Nunes capitalized on a lazy leg kick thrown by McMann and landed a hard right hand that sent her opponent crumbling to the mat. After taking her back the finish came shortly thereafter via RNC. This win is huge for Nunes and really improves her chances of contending for a future title shot. She could potentially wait out the result of Tate/Rousey for a future shot, but another fight is more likely. McMann’s days as a top contender appear to be over, but she could still be a top level gatekeeper for rising talent. What’s Next: There are a couple of options besides a shot at the title. Nunes could take on Sarah Kaufman to add another solid veteran to her resume or a title eliminator bout with undefeated Holly Holm would probably be more appropriate.

Big, Bad, and Ugly

It was not pretty, but no one expected it to be. Jared Rosholt got the better of the first 2 rounds and held onto his consciousness with all his might in the final frame to earn a unanimous 29-29 decision win over Timothy Johnson. Johnson should be commended for throwing everything he had at Rosholt in final round and coming incredibly close to pulling off the late win. What’s Next: Gabriel Gonzaga is a solid veteran option or the winner of Anthony Hamilton vs Derek Lewis, with the potential for avenging a knockout loss to Lewis adding a fun angle.

Too Quick?

The action was frantic and normally that would suit Sam Alvey just fine, but it was Derek Brunson who took home the early knockout. Brunson battered Alvey on the feet, but took a significant risk in doing so as the wild exchanges open him up to getting caught with one of Alvey’s hammers. The stoppage appeared to be a little quick as Alvey still appeared to have some fight in him, but he had taken some big shots that clearly compromised his defense. What’s Next: Brunson is looking to move up the ranks of the division and despite coming off a loss, Thales Leites offers him that opportunity.

Menacing Decision

That certainly was an interesting way to look at that fight. Michael Johnson appeared to be headed towards a comfortable decision, but it was not to be. A pair of judges awarded the fight to Beneil Dariush on the basis of winning 2 rounds and that was enough to steal a split decision. Johnson did slow down and offer minimal offense in the final round, giving Dariush that stanza- but he still appeared to do enough to win the first 2 frames. Johnson offered more volume and shucked off the TDAs. Dariush started to have success at the end of the second round, but I didn’t think it was enough. What’ Next: Johnson should be treated like a winner and a fight with Eddie Alvarez has a lot of potential. For Dariush, the “winner” of the fight- Al Iaquinta or Bobby Green are ranked lower than Johnson but still appropriate options. Or they could pair them up again and get this fight straightened out.

Underdog?

A lot had been made about Glover Teixeira’s back to back losses and how he was at the end of the line, but no one told Glover that. Working a wrestling heavy attack, the Brazilian grounded Ovince St. Preux for a large portion of the fight. OSP was bloodied and exhausted and had nothing left in the third frame as Glover put him to sleep with a deep sunk rear naked-choke. What’s Next: Glover is still a force at Light Heavyweight and with a new champion at the helm he isn’t that far away from a shot at the gold. A lot of the top of the division is tied up or he has already faced them . Rashad Evans and Ryan Bader are set to dance if everyone can stay healthy. Glover had been previously paired with Evans before the fight fell through and he has a win over Bader that I’m sure Ryan would like to get back- so a fight with the winner of that match could present the next title challenger.

Final Thoughts

I struggle to side with anyone that thinks that Dariush won the fight. From a betting perspective I guess it all evens out because I was on the wrong end of the Pendred/Spencer decision- which was way worse than this one. My strong summer continues with a 66-23 over the last 8 shows and close to 300 units won over the past two cards. We get a bit of a break before we head to Saskatchewan for UFC Fight Night 74 and we have just 4 events over the next 10 weeks before a busy end of 2015. Until then Fight Fans.

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Beneil Dariush $2.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Sara McMann $1.45
Selection 3: Glover Teixeira $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $7.14 x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 57.12 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Marlon Vera $1.79 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Chris Camozzi $1.69 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Frankie Saenz $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $5.54 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 33.24 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Chris Dempsey $2.48
Selection 2: Jared Rosholt $1.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Ortiz/ Gates Total Rounds 2.5 $1.69 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Alvey/ Brunson Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.79
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Price: $10.80 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 43.2 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Borg/ Herrera Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.70 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Beneil Dariush $2.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Marlon Vera $1.79 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: McMann/ Nunes Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 6: Glover Teixeira $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $32.94 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 164.7 units
 

Anthony Christodoulou $8.02 vs Scott Holtzman $1.12 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Everyone say it with me- No Play! Christodoulou looked out of place in his debut, but what has Holtzman done to be this big of a favourite. This line is almost so ridiculous that it might be worth your while to toss down a couple of dollars on the dog.

4 STARS

Marlon Vera $1.79 vs Roman Salazar $2.18 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Usually I don’t jump all over early fights and I’m not here, but I still think Vera is a solid bet. He looked good in his debut and with 9 months off I expect to see a big leap in his overall skill set. Salazar comes off as a finish product and it is that impressive of a product. If you look at the matchmaking that has involved him, he appears to be on borrowed time. He filled in against Gagnon on short notice and got trounced. That favour got him a second UFC fight. He was on his way to losing to Kid Yamamoto until he pulled the chute after getting poked in the eye. The No Contest results in one more fight that is pretty much a win or go home. Vera is the more well-rounded fighter- with a good submission game and the type of range striking that will keep Roman on the outside. Vera fighting in his second UFC appearance should also lead to a new level of confidence. Vera might make the cut on my Gold parlay depending on how the rest of the card looks, but I will certainly have him as a strong contributor on my Silver play.4 STARS

Chris Dempsey $2.48 vs Jonathan Wilson $1.62

There are a lot of red flags surrounding Wilson that turned me off of him. He has fought an extremely low level of competition and at times hasn’t smashed them like expected. He is facing the best opponent of his career, who presents the best wrestling that he has faced. Don’t get me wrong, Dempsey isn’t a world beater- but take a look at Wilson’s list of victims and you will see what I am taking about. He is cutting down to Light Heavyweight for the first time, which can create major performance issues as either his body doesn’t respond or he holds back hoping not to push himself too far. He hasn’t fought in over a year and is making his debut which is extremely difficult. Finally, he is a first round finisher- 4 of 6 done in the 1st round, another ended 45 seconds into round 2. These are all indications that Wilson is going to come up short. Not a guarantee, but it makes Dempsey look appealing. Dempsey is also coming off a decent win, which will give him some momentum. Not a Gold play, Silver parlay potential, if not then he is either a Silver single bet or a key component of my lower level parlay.

4 STARS

Frankie Saenz $1.83 vs Sirwan Kakai $2.10 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

A lot of people seem to be on Kakai here and the line is getting closer as a result. He did look good in his debut, but let’s put it in perspective. He beat a blown up Flyweight who is now 0-3 in the UFC. I also want to be clear that it is important not to go overboard on Saenz’s win against Alcantara. What I like here is Saenz to bring his wrestling centric attack against an opponent that has issues with getting put on his back. Not against Martinez, but if you go back 1 fight earlier Kakai was getting planted routinely on the ground before earning the submission. I do like what Kakai showed on the feet, but if he can’t keep the fight vertical it won’t matter. Saenz. I am tempted to consider Frankie for the Gold play, especially if his price continues to climb.

4 STARS

Dustin Ortiz $1.25 vs Willie Gates $4.75 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I am really quite disappointed that Ortiz doesn’t have a little more value here. I feel like Gates impressed in his last fight, but I guess not enough to get the numbers a little closer together. Ortiz is far better than his UFC record suggests. His wrestling and crafty grappling will give Gates all sorts of trouble. Ortiz’s value is too low to really consider him a valid contributor to a top parlay, but I still think he could work as a 4th leg on a lower parlay.

4 STARS

Sara McMann $1.45 vs Amana Nunes $3.31

This is another one of those fights that has a lot of people talking up the underdog. McMann has lost 2 fights- to Ronda (like everyone who is anyone) and to the next best fighter in the division in Tate. Honestly, McMann was a couple minutes away from locking down round 2 and earning a decision over Miesha. Nunes is a dangerous fighter, but for all of 1 round. Her gas tank does not hold up much beyond that. Additionally, her TDD isn’t great and if she does get put on her back she is in big trouble. If you look at the level of competition that Nunes has beaten in the UFC it isn’t that great. Gaff went 0-2 in the UFC with just 3 wins in her last 8 fights, Baszler was 0-3 inside the Octagon and 1-4 in her last 5, and de Randamie has gone 2-1- but is clearly vulnerable to anyone with a solid ground game. McMann also has wins over the first 2 girls, which many will point at to discredit her quality of wins. This fight comes down to styles. McMann’s striking is decent and the threat of the takedown will keep Nunes from pushing forward too aggressively. Sara is in her mid-30’s which puts her at the end of her athletic prime- it is now or never here. McMann might climb a little, but I think she works for me in the Gold package.

4 STARS

Uriah Hall $1.27 vs Oluwale Bamgbose $4.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Hall as a heavy favourite? Please avoid the headache here. Bamgbose has too much uncertainty regarding what he brings to the big show to consider a counter bet. I will look at the total though.

4 STARS

Ray Borg $1.21 vs Geane Herrera $5.35 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Borg continues to improve and could move towards the upper end of the division by the conclusion of the year. He needs to be careful here as Herrera is more dangerous than this line would suggest. As a result, a side bet on Borg is a No Go. I would like to see more out of the new guy before I start investing in him either. The total is probably the best option.

4 STARS

Chris Camozzi $1.69 vs Tom Watson $2.33 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I went back and forth on this fight, but I decided that Watson recent performances are an indications of his physical peak being behind him. Camozzi is bigger and younger and employs a grind style that will break Watson down enough to get the nod. Most the fighters that Camozzi has struggled with have had strong ground games that offered him a lot of trouble- not Watson’s style. In fact, if Camozzi can mix in his grappling even to force ‘Kong’ to defend, it would be a massive advantage for him. This bout could be close and if Watson comes out strong in round 1 consider a live bet on Camozzi if his price increase as he tends to get stronger as the fight goes deeper. A close outcome is possible, maybe a split. Camozzi as a Silver contributor is my approach.

4 STARS

Jared Rosholt $1.44 vs Timothy Johnson $3.16 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

There are a lot of similarities here, but Rosholt has been doing his thing at a much higher level. At HW, the constant threat of a knockout is always a concern. Rosholt has been knocked out twice, most recently by a fighter not known for his scorching power. A knockout is the only way I see TJ winning this bout. I could see an ugly first half with a lot of sloppy exchanges and grinding cage fighting. Whoever scores the first takedown is going to gain a lot as prolong top position with one of these guys on top will severely drain the other if they aren’t finished. Rosholt has a history of grinding early with mixed results, but eventually taking over as his opponent slows down from his earlier efforts. Conversely, Johnson has been putting guys away in the first round, with limited action after the opening 5. I like Rosholt under that scenario. He is worth a look for the Gold package, but the possibility of sloppy knockout could scare me away to better options. I will also consider a play on the total depending on the price.

4 STARS

Sam Alvey $4.70 vs Derek Brunson $1.27 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Clearly Brunson is a No Play here. I am more inclined to see where the total is set. A couple of years ago I would have certainly consider Alvey because of Brunson’s porous defensive striking, but he has cleaned that up. Brunson brings more to the table than Alvey’s last couple of opponents. He will exploit the style of fights we have seen out of Sam, without the homerun ending. It still might be worth a small play on Alvey as he does have that one hitter quitter power and momentum is on his side.

4 STARS

Michael Johnson $1.66 vs Beneil Dariush $2.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I love this line and I love the way these 2 line up. Johnson is a talented striker and has made massive improvements. Unfortunately, he isn’t that far away from being dominated on the mat in back to back fights. His current success is based on his ability to remain vertical, but he hasn’t faced anyone on Beneil’s skill level. The manner in which he smothered Jim Miller on the mat was darn impressive. Additionally, his striking is deceptively good. He most likely won’t win a fight contested only on the feet, but it is more then good enough to hold up between takedowns. Look for his kicking game to keep MJ just out of boxing range. Keep in mind he is working along side RDA, the champ, so he is training at the highest level. He also has the Heavyweight champ in his camp at King’s and his coach is really doing wonders. Even if he can’t submit Johnson, he is going to dominate him on the floor. The price is awesome and going up, Gold Bet here.

4 STARS

Glover Teixeira $2.05 vs Ovince St. Preux $1.92 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Glover’s price is on the rise and he could be over $2.10 by fight time. He started as a decent favourite. OSP is fighting at home, on a winning streak, and starting to come into his own. Keep in mind that his current streaking is built on knocking out a badly degraded Shogun and then catching the striking-soft Cummins at the end of a round that OSP most likely lost. Glover has lost 2 in a row, but his losses came against the champion and a fighter in Phil Davis that beats OSP and most of the division. There are 2 key areas that have me backing Tex- OSP’s striking and wrestling defense. When OSP is pressured he gives ground and raises his chin up. Glover’s aggressive combination boxing will exploit this issue and possibly end OSPs night as a result. Many people give OSP credit for having an impressive wrestling game. Its good, but it is not great and we just saw Bader absolutely destroyed him on the mat. Tex isn’t on Bader’s level, but he has a good enough ground game to take OSP down and keep him there. That actually leads to another area of concern- OSP’s cardio. It isn’t great. He has started to look tired in some fights as early as the first round. This is a 5 round fight and while Glover is far from a cardio horse himself I favour him. Glover can out-strike him, out-wrestle him, and his cardio is better in a long fight. I will put my money where my mouth is. Gold Parlay.

1. Dustin Ortiz $1.25 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Derek Brunson $1.27 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Beneil Dariush $2.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Sara McMann $1.45

5. Glover Teixeira $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Ray Borg $1.21 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Jared Rosholt $1.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Marlon Vera $1.79 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Uriah Hall $1.27 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Chris Camozzi $1.69 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Frankie Saenz $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Chris Dempsey $2.48

13. Scott Holtzman $1.12 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Beneil Dariush $2.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / I expect to see another leap in ability coming into this fight as he further improves his striking in a camp that has a lot of momentum right now. His grappling will be the difference, but his striking will field more success than expected.

2. Glover Teixeira $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / This line will continue to increase as people continue to talk about Teixeira’s career coming to a close. Better striker, better wrestler, better cardio. Please let that price continue to rise.

3. Chris Dempsey $2.48  / I’m simply not sold on his opponent and Dempsey impressed me to a degree in his last fight. If he can drag the action in the second half of round 2 that won’t be good for Wilson. Nice value here against an unproven opponent. This fight isn’t officially in the EPU position but it has all kinds of qualifiers.

4. Marlon Vera $1.79 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / He is unproven at this level and as yet to earn an official UFC win, but he is far more promising and offers a lot more than his opponent.

5. Frankie Saenz $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med / I think a lot of people are looking at his opponent’s last fight and using that to evaluate him in a vacuum. Potentially the same can be said for Saenz with his last big win. The wrestling is the difference.

1. Anthony Christodoulou $8.02  / His opponent hasn’t earned this big of a gap. Simply a bet here based on the price tag.

2. Sam Alvey $4.70  / He may only need one shot to win this fight. He’s not multi-faceted like Brunson, but never really intended to be. It is not an ideal way to fight but wouldn’t it be nice to cash like that. Money in a flash.

3. Geane Herrera $5.35  / Borg missed weight so that is a bit of a concern. If he tires Herrera could steal the fight. I still prefer the Over as the bet to make in this fight, but this line is a little tempting now with a possible weight cutting issue.

4.

5.

bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Anthony Christodoulou/ Scott Holtzman

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Marlon Vera/ Roman Salazar 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Chris Dempsey/ Jonathan Wilson Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.74

Wilson has been a finishing machine on the regional circuit, but normally a step up in competition equates to longer fights as they start to run into a better caliber opposition. Dempsey is a considerable step up for Wilson considering who he has faced in the past. Dempsey is a wrestler and has gone beyond the opening round in 11 of 13 fights, with 6 wins by decision. While a 1st round finishes is not out of the question the indicators here point to the Over which is a solid play at this price.

Dustin Ortiz/ Willie Gates Total Rounds 2.5 $1.69 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is a much more playable line and gets a little bit of a dump because both guys have finishing potential. Gates has been submitted 3 times in his career and Ortiz is a very capable ground fighter. Despite his 4 wins by sub, I expect him to focus on maintaining position to keep the larger Gates firmly stuck on his back. Gates has only gone the distance 4 times in his career, but it is interesting to note that all of his tap outs have come in the final round. I expect Ortiz to win this one and he has a much more encouraging 9 decisions on his record, with 13 straight fights lasting into round 3. Play the Over.

Sara McMann/ Amanda Nunes Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is a bit of a risk, but hear me out. Nunes is a killer, with 8 of her 10 wins coming in the 1st and the other 2 coming in round 2. Conversely, 3 of her 4 losses have come inside the distances. If you look at her fights with Davis and Zingano, she was finished in both bouts on the mat struggling to defend off her back. She is vulnerable in that position fro both a conditioning and endurance standpoint. McMann isn’t know for finishing, she did stop Gaff from top position. If she can drag Nunes to the mat and grind her down in round #1 it isn’t much of a stretch that a TKO in the middle frame or early in the third could come simply because Nunes can’t defend. Take a shot at the under.

Uriah Hall/ Oluwale Bamgbose

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Ray Borg/ Geane Herrera Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.70 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Borg has been an absolute submission machine, with 6 of his 8 wins coming via his grappling skills. So why the over? Herrera shares a lot of similarities in skill and is physically larger. These traits suggest a ground battle could be a blowout on Borg’s behalf. Even more noteworthy, Borg has gone over 1.5 rounds in 5 of his last 6- an increase in fight length directly corresponding with an increase in competition. He tapped submission prone Shane Howell in round 1, but other than that his recent success has been coming the second half of the fight. Play the Over.

Jared Rosholt/ Timothy Johnson Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This play is based largely on who I think is going to win outright. Rosholt has gone beyond the 1st round in 7 of his last 10 fights and in 6 of his last 8 wins. Johnson is the more likely of the two to score an early knockout, but I don’t have him winning. I expect some clinch fighting early with both men trying to establish their wrestling dominance and the clock ticking down quickly as they do. It is a Heavyweight bout, but play the Over.

Sam Alvey/ Derek Brunson Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.79

As long as they are standing there is a real possibility that the fight could end at any time- courtesy of Alvey. Brunson does have finishing power and has a couple of quick finishes on his record, but of his last 8 fights 5 have gone to the 3rd round or beyond. Alvey also has a significant collection of decisions- 12 in total. Prior to his 3 1st round finishes he had streak that included a trio of 3 round fights, one 4 rounder, and a pair of 5 round battles. I like the value on the Over here as of 49 total fights they have been finished a combined 3 times.

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