UFN 75: Barnett vs Nelson- ‘That Just Happened!’

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The UFC’s latest return to Japan provided some fun fights and shocking highlight reel knockout that will surely be shown for a long time to come. Overall, I went 7-2 with a question draw costing me an 8th victory and the bet pack produced once against at almost 80 units won. Let’s take a look at the main card results.

Teruto Ishihara vs Mizuta Hirota- Draw

The opening bout of the Main card served as the finals for the Road to the UFC: Japan tournament, but unfortunately for both men a winner was not declared as the bout ended in a draw. Teruto Ishihara started strong in opening round with a distinct speed advantage, but faded and it appeared the savvy vet Mizuto Hirota took control in rounds 2 and 3. I could be wrong, but I do believe that the TUF finals have a sudden death round put in place for scenarios like this one. Had it done a 4th round, Hirota looked to be in the better position to take the decision. A rematch makes the most sense here.

Diego Brandao def. Katsunori Kikuno via TKO | Rnd 1

It didn’t take Diego Brandao long, just 28 seconds, to but the finishing touches on an impressive 1st round TKO victory over Katsunori Kikuno. Kikuno’s porous defensive striking allow ‘DB’ to blitz him, hurt him, and keep attacking until the official was forced to call him off. While Diego has struggled with the upper echelon of the division, he still has shown himself to be a tough out for most of the UFC Featherweights. Brandao vs Maximo Blanco would make for a fun fight.

Takeya Mizugaki def. George Roop via Dec

In a nice comeback performance Takeya Mizugaki took home a decision win over George Roop in front his home crowd. Mizugaki was coming off a pair of significant setbacks and was in need of a win to halt his downward decent. His combination of crisp boxing, tight clinch fighting, and durability was the difference maker for the former WEC title challenger. Mizugaki vs Iuri Alcantara is fight I would like to see next.

Koyji Horiguchi def. Chico Camus via Dec

Another successful showing by a Japan-based fighter featured former title challenger Koyji Horiguchi taking a wide decision over Chico Camus.Camus struggled with the speed of his opponent and routinely got the worst of the exchanges. The heavy handed Horiguchi appeared to stun his foe on a couple of occasions, but was unable to earn the finish he sought after. Up next for Horiguchi another former title challenger would be a nice option in John Moraga.

Uriah Hall def. Gegard Mousasi via TKO | Rnd 2

In the biggest “HOLT Sh!T” moment of the night, Uriah Hall earned the biggest win of his career with a second round knockout of former Strikeforce champ Gegard Mousasi. After Mousasi spent the entire first round on top of Hall, controlling the action and attempting subs, Hall had no intention of returning to the floor. Hall landed a beautiful spinning back kick to Gegard’s face and even the stiff beard of Mousasi was unable to hold up. This is easily the biggest win of Hall’s career and will move him into the top 15, most likely 10. For Mousasi, it is a huge setback that almost entirely eliminates him from title contention for the foreseeable future. Hall will get another top 15 ranked opponent, but rushing into the elite level would be a mistake. Hall vs Mousasi’s original opponent Roan Carneiro seems appropriate.

Josh Barnett def. Roy Nelson via Dec.

Roy Nelson started strong and even score a couple of surprising takedowns against the catch wrestler, but it was Josh Barnett’s ability to continue his forward pressure that won the day. Nelson remain dangerous, but he couldn’t match the volume of Barnett in the first 5 round fight of Big Country’s career. Another difficult loss for Nelson against a top ranked opponent should warranted him a step down in competition for his next fight. Barnett’s wins puts him right back in the mix and potentially only 1-2 wins away from a shot at the title. Barnett vs Andrei Arlovski for a shot at the gold is a fight I would like to see.

On a side not, I advocated for a prop bet on Barnett by sub, but my book only offer a considerably lower paying Barnett by finish so I made a profitable bet on him to win by Decision.

Final Thoughts…

Hall’s win was shocking and will bring about a lot of debate. Was it a fluke? Is Mousasi overrated? And so on. The Road to Japan draw was garbage, I felt Hirota did enough to win and would have won in a 4th round that was certainly needed. I’m 39-17 over the last 5 cards and that includes several fun upset picks- most recently grabbing Nakamura tonight. UFC 192 is next week, time to put some more work in!

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: Josh Barnett $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Nick Hein $1.38 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Mizuto Hirota $1.46- Void
Selection 4: Takeya Mizugaki $1.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $2.86 x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 22.88 units
 
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Parlay #2 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: Keita Nakamura $3.21 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price:$3.21 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 16.05 units
 
 
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Parlay #2 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: Diego Brandao $1.46 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Shinsho Anzai $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Chico Camus/ Kyoji Horiguchi Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.45 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Mizuto Hirota/ Teruto Ishihara Total Round Over 2.5 $1.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $6.65 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 39.9 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Naoyuki Kotani $3.26
Selection 2: Shinsho Anzai/Roger Zapata Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Keita Nakamura $3.21 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Nick Hein $1.38 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $31.78 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 127.12 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Josh Barnett to Win by Submission $4.50 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Hall/ Mousasi Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.67
Selection 3: Diego Brandao $1.46 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Mizuto Hirota $1.46 – Void
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Price: $10.98 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 54.90 units
 

Shinsho Anzai $2.00 vs Roger Zapata $1.83 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

These odds have been fluctuating back and forth. Zapata is the favourite with some books and Anzai on others. I will go with this line because it seems to be the direction that we are trending towards. I haven’t been impressed with Zapata, but there has been a massive gap since he last competed in any form which was on TUF. I felt that he lost his TUF QF bout and it wasn’t even close. Garbage. Anzai should be able to outclass him on the mat, if he elects to use his wrestling. If he doesn’t, it could be much closer on the feet. This has real potential to be an entertaining, but short fight. With the big layoff for Zapata and his size advantage I won’t be going all in on Anzai. I’m thinking a Silver or even Bronze level parlay inclusion. The total is also worth a look.

4 STARS

Naoyuki Kotani $3.26 vs Kajan Johnson $1.43

Can Kotani get over that hump and get his first UFC win? I think he has a much better chance than the would indicate. Johnson is scrappy, but he has a real affinity to getting finished and working his way into bad position leading up to that finish. All things said, Kotani is a pretty solid grappler and has had success (to a dreg) in his last 2 fights. He is fighting at home which will help him- both with a possible close decision and simply by not having to travel. Johnson’s chin is another concern here. Kotani doesn’t have massive power, but Johnson’s skinny chin could still be a profitable target. At this price, I think a single bet is the play here, most likely a secondary investment.4 STARS

Nick Hein $1.38 vs Yusuke Kasuya $3.37 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like Hein here. He isn’t going to come anywhere near the top of the division, but I expect him to carve out a nice career on these region-specific cards. Kasuya is dangerous, especially on the mat, but against Hein he will struggle to get in a position to use those skills. I look for Hein to back him down, be more active with his striking, and potentially get a stoppage based on Yusuke’s willingness to take shot. I am leaning towards putting Hein in my top play, but I would like him much more if his price was a little higher.

4 STARS

Keita Nakamura $3.21 vs Li Jingliang $1.41 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I really like Nakamura here, even on short notice. He has been in the UFC before, he has a much larger experience base, is more technically gifted, and to top it all off he is fighting at home. Jingliang is walking into enemy territory and his inability to distance himself in a fight that goes to the judges is a huge concern. He has gone to a pair of split decisions in the UFC and throughout his career has had mixed results in 15 minute fights. That will cost him here. I like him as a fighter, he will engage and isn’t the type to take a backward step. I took him to score the upset over Lima, but that was based more on Lima’s shortcomings. I see Li’s aggression putting him in some bad spots, especially on the floor. Even if he scores some takedowns, look for Nakamura to sweep him. One way or another the dog is getting his hand raised. This play has a lot of potential and will most likely work its way into either my Gold parlay or a Gold single bet. stay tuned.

4 STARS

Katsunori Kikuno $3.06 vs Diego Brandao $1.46 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I have correctly backed Kikuno before. I took him over both Mulhern and Sicilia. I contemplated taking him here against Brandao, but it is hard to look past his shortcomings. He has really struggled with rangy fighters and ultimately got KOed by both Ferguson (@ LW) and Souza. Brandao doesn’t really fit that mold despite having a slight reach advantage but his power is still there. His issues with weight cutting/cardio is concerning. Even more so with the travel factor. All that said, Kikuno provides a pretty hittable target that Brandao should be able to exploit and DB should be able to either get the better of the grappling or nullify it. At this price I intend to use Brandao in a lower level parlay and the total is also worth a look.

4 STARS

Mizuto Hirota $1.46 vs Teruto Ishihara $3.01- Draw

Hirota is a tough nut to crack and joins the list of JMMA guys looking to get a UFC win after multiple past failures. He was the favourite to win the tourney and has played the part so far. He has a big experience advantage in quality, quantity, and having competed in the UFC before is also a pro. Ishihara is game, but his reliance on knocking guys out in the first round could come back to haunt him against a seasoned striker like Hirota with a tough chin to crack. I think he is a solid play worth looking and will most likely make the cut in my top play.4 STARS

George Roop $3.01 vs Takeya Mizugaki $1.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Roop is a far tougher out than most give him credit for. Just as concerning, is that Mizugaki has a tendency to keep fights much closer than they need to be. The Mizugaki that strung together his recent winning streak was doing a better job of distancing himself in his fights, but after 2 tough losses who are we going to get? Roop hasn’t fought in quite a while which could also pay a role and he is fighting away from home. The manner in which Mizugaki dropped Rivera and won that fight gives me confidence in this matchup. Roop is still a dangerous fighter if he puts it together and avoids getting tagged. Considering several fights that have much bigger unknowns I am leaning towards Mizugaki getting the job done and using him in my Gold Parlay. If not than a strong Silver parlay member. If Roop wins the opening round consider a Live Bet on Mizugaki if the value goes up as Roop has had issues with faltering after a good round 1.

4 STARS

Chico Camus $3.99 vs Kyoji Horiguchi $1.32 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This bout has a lot of potential but it could also be a prolong staring contest. With Horiguchi coming off a title fight loss I am going to take a pass on this one. Camus has a history of close fights which isn’t good when you are fighting in Japan against a local. I may consider a small counter bet at this price considering Camus is being way undervalued.

4 STARS

Uriah Hall $4.89 vs Gegard Mousasi $1.24

Clearly I can’t touch this line, Mousasi should take this with relative ease, but the price isn’t there. I will look at the total though as it is enticing.

4 STARS

Josh Barnett $1.40 vs Roy Nelson $3.36 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

There is really only one scenario where Nelson wins this fight which is by knockout. More specifically- 1st round knockout. Conversely, Barnett should win a decision or he could score a sub or knockout of an exhausted Nelson after grinding him into the mat for a couple of rounds. Nelson’s game has been figured out and Barnett should be able to avoid getting cracked and in the process exhaust ‘Big Country’ leading to a victory. I like Barnett here despite the layoff, at this price and with his track record I feel good putting him into my top play. The total is a point of interest as well.

1. Gegard Mousasi $1.24

2. Josh Barnett $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Nick Hein $1.38 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Mizuto Hirota $1.46- Draw

5. Takeya Mizugaki $1.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Diego Brandao $1.46 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Kyoji Horiguchi $1.32 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Keita Nakamura $3.21 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Shinsho Anzai $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Naoyuki Kotani $3.26

1. Keita Nakamura $3.21 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Shinsho Anzai $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Naoyuki Kotani $3.26

4. Josh Barnett to Win by Submission $4.50

5. Hall/ Mousasi Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.67

1.  Chico Camus $3.99- He is a tough customer and this bout should be far closer than the line indicates.

2.  George Roop $3.01- He is a tough out and the line shows how undervalued he is. Consider a single bet if your parlay comes down to Mizugaki to hedge your bets.

3.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Content.

Prop Bets

Shinsho Anzai/Roger Zapata 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Naoyuki Kotani/ Kajan Johnson 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Mizuto Hirota/ Teruto Ishihara Total Round Over 2.5 $1.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

13 of Hirota’s 25 career bouts have gone the distance. Additionally he has only been finished once in his career. He is coming off a pair of 2nd round stoppages, but prior to that it was 6 straight decisions. Ishihara is a finisher, but the step up in competition usually results in a few longer fighters before a fighter gets acclimatized to increased caliber of his opposition. Take the Over.

George Roop/ Takeya Mizugaki Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.53 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Miz has gone the distance 21 times in 31 bouts and has only finished his opponent once in his last 10 fights. Roop has gone to decision 11 times, but he has also been finished 8 times in his career. He has been knocked out in 4 of his last 5 losses, which is a major concern but I will roll the dice here. Play the Over.

Chico Camus/ Kyoji Horiguchi Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.45 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I don’t see either guy getting the finish. Camus has gone to the 3rd round 11 straight times and the full 15 minutes in 10 of those fights. Horiguchi has a great potential for earning the finish, but Camus isn’t easy to put away. Together they have only been finished 3 ties in a combined 38 total fights and 1 came against the best 125er on the planet in the final second of the fight. Hit that over.

Uriah Hall/ Gegard Mousasi Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.67

I picked a finish here, but the value is in the Over when you look at the numbers. I expect that this fight will go down similar to Mousasi’s fights against OSP and Philippou. He utilized a grappling heavy attack to exploit his opponent’s greatest weakness. Look for takedowns and lots of top control from the former Strikeforce champ. He could earn a sub win, but I will take the value here on the Over.

Josh Barnett to Win by Submission $4.50

I have seen this line around the $3.75 mark on some site, but that is still more than enough to make this play. Nelson has never been submitted in his career, but I anticipate Barnett is looking to change that. It might not happen right away, but as Nelson tires out I expect to see Barnett looking to step over into side control with a arm triangle choke locked up tight. Barnett has earned subs in 5 of his last 7 wins and 20 of his 33 career victories. Nelson is nearing 40 and his durability isn’t where it use to be. If you want to back this play up consider playing the Under 1.5 rounds.

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