UFN 76: Holohan vs Smolka- ‘The Sound of Silence’

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Despite a revolving door of main card changes and a reduction to just 10 fights, the UFC’s most recent return to the Dublin still had some decent moments. Let’s take a look at a few of the afternoon’s highs and lows.

Low: Bubba Bush exhausted himself after a strong opening round and was finished in the fight and most likely in the UFC. McLellan won’t be far behind.

High: Tom Breese put a stamp Cathal Pendred and did it in timely fashion. The win will do a lot for his career and the opposite for Pendred’s.

Low: The Jotko/Askham fight wasn’t horrid, but it certainly could have been better, just too many periods of prolonged inactivity. Jotko did look improved after the time away which is a positive.

High: Aisling Daly picked up a hard earned win. She has been around for a long time and a second consecutive loss would have really hurt her relevancy in the division.

Low: My prediction record at the end of the prelims stood at a measly 2-4. I finished the prelims with back to back wins, but my struggles with afternoon cards continue.

High: Neil Seery’s submission win over Jon Delos Reyes was nicely executed. For an older fighter that was brought in on short notice to face Brad Pickett, he has carved out a nice little run inside the Octagon.

High: It is unfortunate that an injury might have impacted Darren Till’s performance, but the fight was fantastic. When two guys go to war the way Nicolas Dalby and Till did, I like to see a winner get their hand raised. Let’s have a rematch.

Low: Norman Parke fought in the co-main event and fought like Norman Parke.

High: Paddy Holohan came out firing and the crowd responded. I liked his aggression and tenacity, but for a guy that has previously lost a fight based on his inability to carry a consistent pace- this approach might have been a mistake. Louis Smolka endured the early onslaught and eventually turned the action in his favour. The silence that followed the tap of Paddy Holohan was deafening as the raucous Irish crowd was sent home on a losing note. For the main event that no one wanted, this pairing delivered with an entertaining scrap.

Low: The main card was a little better, but at 4-5-1 this was by far the worst set of predictions I have put forth in recent memory. The bet packs did return almost 60 units, with a strong Gold 3 leg parlay of Smolka, Daly, and Seery. The rest of the info can be seen below.

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: AISLING DALY $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: NEIL SEERY $1.66 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: LOUIS SMOLKA $1.88 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $5.62 x Bet: 10 units
Payout: 56.2 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: CATHAL PENDRED $3.36 
Selection 2: ROB WHITEFORD $2.30 
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Price: $7.73 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 30.92 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: SCOTT ASKHAM $1.74 
Selection 2: NICOLAS DALBY $1.74- Void
Selection 3: CATHAL PENDRED/TOM BREESE Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.63 
Selection 4: STEVIE RAY/MICHAEL LEBOUT Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.54 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $7.60 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 45.6 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: REZA MADADI $3.46 
Selection 2: AISLING DALY/ERICKA ALMEIDA Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.75 
Selection 3: NEIL SEERY/ JON DELOS REYES Total Rounds Under 2.5  $2.15 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4:LOUIS SMOLKA $1.88 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $38.46 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 192.3 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: SCOTT ASKHAM $1.74 
Selection 2: CATHAL PENDRED $3.36 
Selection 3: NEIL SEERY $1.66 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: BUBBA BUSH/GARRETH MCLELLAN Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.00 
Selection 5: AISLING DALY $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $34.94  x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 174.7 units
 

Draftkings Line up

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Lineup #1
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Fighter 1: Louis Smolka 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Reza Madadi 
Fighter 3: Scott Askham 
Fighter 4: Aisling Daly 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Neil Seery 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining: $2000
 
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Lineup #2
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Fighter 1: Louis Smolka 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Bubba Bush 
Fighter 3: Cathal Pendred 
Fighter 4: Nicolas Dalby- Draw
Fighter 5: Neil Seery 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining: $800 
 


BUBBA BUSH $1.38 vs GARRETH MCLELLAN $3.46  
Mclellan looked really out of place in his debut and Bush should be able to replicate those issues. That being said, Bush got blown out of the water by an opponent that I don’t think too highly of and he has fought in over a year. Despite this card being cut down to just 10 fights, a side bet here is best left off your betting cards. We can look at the Total in the Betting Scenario section. From a Fantasy MMA standpoint I like Bush here. I think he has a real chance to finish McLellan and at just $10, 500 he won’t break the bank.

DARREN ELKINS $1.73 vs ROB WHITEFORD $2.30  
I really have not been impressed with Elkins of late. He lives and dies with his ability to score takedowns. When he is not getting them he keeps driving forward, but it seems like that isn’t enough anymore. He wasn’t able to take Martins down with consistency and barely won the fight. He didn’t take Stephens or Dias down at all and lost both of those fights. Can Whiteford reproduce these struggles? If he can, he stands a fantastic chance of winning this fight. Whiteford comes from a Judo background and will be strong in the clinch, where Elkins seems to get stalled out. I liked what I saw from Whiteford in the striking department and while Elkins likes to come forward, he leaves himself open to getting tagged a lot. The key will be the takedowns or lack thereof from the American. At this price I will look at a Silver section bet with Whiteford, possibly pairing him up with a strong paying favourite.

CATHAL PENDRED $3.36 vs TOM BREESE $1.40 
Breese is getting a big push here from the oddsmakers on the strength of just a single UFC win. Pendred is an ugly fighter. His striking leaves a lot to be desired and when he is at his most effective it’s a grinding top game that isn’t the most entertaining to watch. Not entertaining, but it can still be effective. In Breese’s final pre-UFC fight he spent a large portion of the action betting pushed into the cage. He was only able to turn the fight in his favour when his opponent looked for a takedown and Breese would counter into a better position. That is exactly what Pendred is going to do here, but with more success than Breese’s last opponent. When they are on the feet, Pendred is more aggressive and will throw more volume. It might not be pretty, but it will sway the judges. Add in that he is fighting at home and is the biggest test of Breese’s career and I like the value on Cathal. At this price I will take a shot with a strong single bet. Pendred Draftking’s salary makes him a viable options once you have your top 4 set. He should get the win and score points with his takedowns, but a finish isn’t likely.

SCOTT ASKHAM $1.74 vs KRZYSZTOF JOTKO $2.25  
This fight most likely plays out 1 of 2 ways. Either Jotko scores takedowns and grabs enough top time to earn the decision or Askham busts him up at range and in close for either a stoppage or a decision win. I see Askham being too physical for Jotko. If the Pole is going to get him to the mat it will most likely be from the clinch and that brings him right into the danger zone where Scott does some of his best work. The only fight where Jotko really impressed me was the Troeng fight, and Tor was clearly at the end of his run retiring shortly thereafter. Askham stuffs the takedowns and is simply the more impactful striker. The line indicates a close fight, which it could be- but at this price Askham is going to be a strong contributor to a Silver parlay or even a Gold parlay leg. The potential for a stoppage here and the modest price makes Askham a strong option for your Draftking’s lineup.

AISLING DALY $1.80 vs ERICKA ALMEIDA $2.18 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Almeida got into the UFC based on 2 scenarios. 1) Jessica Penne was pulled from her fight in Brazil to challenge for the title on another card. This left the UFC looking for a replacement on short notice. 2) Almeida was the Strawweight champion for Jungle Fights FC and therefore the most logical choice based on what she had accomplished and her geographical proximity to the UFC event. Does that mean she is UFC ready? Not really. She showed that she was far from it in her UFC debut. She is a submission fighter with minimal wrestling skills and against a capable wrestler she is going to struggle to work herself into a position to use those skills. Daly is far from perfect, but she is good enough on the mat to nullify the best part of Almeida’s offense. Unless Ericka shows up with a striking game that hasn’t been evident in any of her other fights or catches Daly on the mat- this is Asiling’s fight all day. I expect to see Daly scoring takedowns and breaking her down from top position for either a wide decision or submission finish. At this price she can’t go wrong as a member of your Gold parlay. I like Daly as a strong contributor to your Draftkings lineup as well. I think she has the potential to finish this fight and she doesn’t cost too much to include in your lineup, freeing up a little more cash to go after a more expensive fighter.

STEVIE RAY $1.20 vs MICHAEL LEBOUT $5.72  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Ray has looked like a firecracker so far and that is why this line is so lopsided. Lebout is tough though and won’t roll over for him here. I expect this to be the type of fight that has people regretting using Ray to add just a few more dollars to their parlay. Even if he wins it could be closer than expect and not work the risk. We really haven’t seen him in a longer fight at this level and that could be a point of concern here as Lebout is hard to put away. For that reason there is no point backing Ray on the betting cards. I also advocate leaving him out of your Draftking’s lineup. His price is too high based on the big points he scored in the first 2 fights, if this bout goes the distant the point scored to salary used ratio won’t be worth it. Keep an eye on Ray at the end of round 1, if he gets off to a strong start but appears to be facing the price could further go up on Lebout who rallied to win his last fight after a tough start. He might be worth a small play at that point.

NEIL SEERY $1.66 vs JON DELOS REYES $2.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I really like Seery here. JDR is aggressive, but careless. He is a balls to the wall fighter who goes for it every second and that leaves him open to getting countered. This holds true both on the mat and the feet. I could see JDR winning the opening round, but slowing down when he is unable to put away a very durable Seery. Neil face a very crafty ground fighter in Smolka and while he lost, he still survived and showed me enough that suggests he will capitalize on the mistakes of Delos Reyes. Sometimes simpler is better and this is the case here. Seery’s price is going down, but I still view him as a solid play for my Gold parlay. He also is a good option for your Fantast team. At just $10 000 he isn’t too expensive and his opponent has a penchant for getting finished. Also consider a live bet on Seery after the opening round if JDR starts strong and pushes the value on Seery up a little.

Darren Till $2.23 vs Nicolas Dalby $1.74

This has the makings of a good back and forth scrap. I really like both guys, but ultimately settled on Dalby. I see him having more dimensions to his game which should allow him to make the appropriate changes if the fight isn’t initially going his way. I expect to see the wrestling of Dalby play a big role here and force Till to have to focus on multiple levels of attack. Till throws a lot of kicks, and the karate background of the Dane should give him the ability to deal with this. It is a close fight though and will probably fall to my Silver section. I have Dalby in my Fantasy lineup and his price is decent, but I don’t forsee a finish here. He can gain points with takedowns and strikes landed, but only use him if you have other guys in your lineup capable of adding those big finish points.

Reza Madadi $3.46 vs Norman Parke $1.42  

Madadi is old and has been inactive for a long time. Even when he was active I wasn’t 100% sold on him as a top level fighter, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t beat Parke. Parke has started strong, but really had some issues of late. Even beyond his 2 recent losses, his draw with Santos was an ugly fight and he started pretty slow against Kotani. I think Madadi’s aggression and wrestling could give him all sorts of trouble. If Parke doesn’t pull the trigger when they are exchanging I struggle to see him shifting gears and taking Reza down, unless he gasses. There are several red flags here for Madadi, but at this price and comparing skill sets I simply couldn’t pass on him. From a betting standpoint, he is most likely a Bronze parlay inclusion or could stand alone as a Silver seciton single bet. He has good value here. He is also moderately priced at just $8600 and could allow you to add some higher priced talent to your Draftkings lineup.

Louis Smolka $1.88 vs Paddy Holohan $2.03  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I was hoping that this fight would be a 5 rounder when it got pushed to the main event, as it would favour Smolka even more. That is the case and for understandable reasons. Nonetheless, I still really like the American here and this price is fantastic. I see Smolka as the better striker. He isn’t fantastic, but he is getting better and it should be more than enough to handle Paddy. Holohan’s best chance for victory is on the mat and that pulls him right into Louis’s wheelhouse. Smolka is a dangerous grappler and carries and exhausting pace. Even if Holohan holds the positional advantage through round 1, look for Smolka to constantly attack and wear him out in the process. At this price Smolka is going to be one of my top plays for the weekend. I also see him as a valid inclusion into your Fantasy lineup. It is always nice to still have 1 bullet left to shoot heading into the final fight. He might not finish Holohan, but he should gain lots of positional points throughout.

1. AISLING DALY $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. NEIL SEERY $1.66 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. LOUIS SMOLKA $1.88 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. SCOTT ASKHAM $1.74 

5. NICOLAS DALBY $1.74

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6. STEVIE RAY $1.20 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. BUBBA BUSH $1.38 

8. CATHAL PENDRED $3.36 

9. ROB WHITEFORD $2.30 

10. REZA MADADI $3.46 

 

1. CATHAL PENDRED $3.36 

2. AISLING DALY $1.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. LOUIS SMOLKA $1.88 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. SCOTT ASKHAM $1.74 

5. ROB WHITEFORD $2.30 

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Content.

Prop Bets

BUBBA BUSH/GARRETH MCLELLAN  

See the Betting Scenario Section.

DARREN ELKINS/ROB WHITEFORD

See the Betting Scenario Section.

CATHAL PENDRED/TOM BREESE Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.63 

Breese has finished his opponent in all of his pro victories, including his UFC debut. Now he faces a step up in competition and that usually results in a longer bout. To further promote that scenario, 11 of Pendred’s 21 fights have gone the distance. 9 of those fights have happened in his last 11 appearances and his 2 losses by finish both occurred early in his career. I have Pendred grinding out a postion based win, so this play makes sense and has some nice value.

AISLING DALY/ERICKA ALMEIDA Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.75 

Usually, the norm is Heavyweights go Under and Women’s Divisions (excluding Ronda, Cyborg, and JJ) go Over the total. Not always, but the numbers favour those scenarios. I like the Under here. I am not taking out a mortgage to bet on it, but I think it has some real potential. Almeida has finished all of her pro wins and in timely fashion. So she could finish here or she could become more vulnerable as the fight goes beyond the opening round. Of Aisling’s 15 wins, she has finished her opponent in 13 of them- 8 by sub. I can see Almeida’s willingness to go to the mat eventually leading to a bad position and submission loss. Take a shot with the Under.

STEVIE RAY/MICHAEL LEBOUT  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

NEIL SEERY/ JON DELOS REYES Total Rounds Under 2.5  $2.15 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

A finish has occurred in all but 1 of JDR’s 11 career fights. He has been finished twice in the UFC and put away his last opponent in the middle frame. He goes for it constantly and the end results back that up. Seery has a little more of a traditional record; 8 fights ending on the cards compared to 17 fights ending inside the distance. Seery has gone to 4 straight decisions coming into this fight, but when you look at this line you would never know it. Some sites have this line under $2.00, which suggests they are anticipating a finish. I will bite.

 

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