UFN 78: Gastelum vs Magny- ‘Limping to the End’

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UFC Fight Night 78 lost some of its momentum when Matt Brown was forced to withdrawn, but an always game Neil Magny stepped in and took part in an entertaining main event. The finishes came fast and furious early on, but disappeared the closer we got to the main card. Leg injuries seemed to be a theme of the night as well, with a couple of fighters suffering significant damage during their fights. Let’s take a look the entire card that was capped off with a successful main event upset pick as we break down the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Saturday night.

the Good
  • Andre Fili landed a beautiful high kick to send his opponent tumbling to the floor to earn a much needed 1st round stoppage and a return to the win column.
  • The decision in the Escudero/ Silva fight could have gone either way, but it appeared that Leandro Silva did do enough to get the nod. It isn’t so much the fight that was ‘Good’ but the fact that a close decision wasn’t gifted to the local fighter.
  • Erik Perez continues to grow as a fighter and not let a couple of stumbles against better competition define him. He didn’t get off to a great start, ring rust probably factor in a little, but he rallied to win the final two rounds which is clear indication of his maturation as a fighter.
  • In a 5-round war, short notice replacement and heavy underdog Neil Magny earned a split decision win over TUF champion Kelvin Gastelum. Magny came out strong early in the fight, dominating the action with his grappling. As the fight progressed, Gastelum was able to rally and even dropped Magny twice in the 4th inning. It was ultimately too little too late as the judges gave the split decision, and rightfully so, to Magny.
the Bad
  • It wasn’t pretty, but it shouldn’t come as a shock to many as Bartosz Fabinski used his takedowns and top game to grind down Urbina for a wide but uninspiring decision win.
  • How did one of the judges give Formiga 2 rounds over Henry Cejudo, when it was a hard sell to suggest that he had won a single round? The 30-27 were spot on, 29-28 the other way was cringe worthy.
  • Ricardo Lamas won a wide decision over Diego Sanchez, battering Diego with hard low kicks that clearly injured the long time UFC veteran. This was the second fight on the card to involve a injured leg as Sanchez was hobbled for the majority of the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Lamas picked up a solid win and will remain relevant within the division as a top contender. Should Jose Aldo fail to retain his title next month, Lamas could find himself back in title contention.
the Ugly
  • The entire opening fight could probably fit into this category, but honestly what did Michel Prazeres do to win the decision.
  • It appears that a nasty leg injury could bring about the end of the UFC run of Scott Jorgensen. Despite a gutsy effort on Jorgensen’s part he eventually succumbed to his injury and was forced to tap. The official and more importantly Jorgensen’s corner should have step in earlier to stop the fight as it was evident that Scotty was badly hurt.
  • The judging was pretty horrid. Not to beat a dead horse, but the Lazaro/Prazeres decision was off. Gastelum and Formiga getting split decisions were generous and frightfully close to stealing victories from the more deserving fighters.
  • I watched the first prelim which started around 6:30pm and the card didn’t come to an end until after 1am the next morning. That is too long for a Fight Night event of this nature. The willingness to build stories around each TUF fight and spread the card out to maximize air time is detrimental to the product. Most people have no problem staying up until 1am to watch a high profile main event, but the UFC routinely pushes the envelope with these cards and their audience suffers as a result. This event should have wrapped around midnight at the latest.
Final Thoughts
  • Unfortunately, due to a couple of other commitments I wasn’t unable to view this event uninterrupted start to finish. I opted to use the TUF fights as opportunities to deal with those other commitments and as a result I can’t properly comment on those fights.
  • The bet pack returned just 14.28 units from the Magny with, but the horrid Lazaro/Prazeres decision took an additional 60 units off the board.
  • The #2 DraftKings lineup finished second in a big contest and offered me a nice return on my initial investment.
  • I finished 4-1 on the night in the Prop section, with the double tuff Diego Sanchez’s ability to battle through a badly damage leg preventing the me from going a perfect 5-0.
  • Finishing the night 6-3 after dropping the opening 3 fights is a decent way to finish. I feel like I should have been 7-2 and celebrating much more, but thems the breaks.
  • UFN 79 goes down next weekend live from South Korea and I’ll have to set my alarm to be up in time for the opening prelims! Until then fight fans!

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: VALMIR LAZARO $2.05 
Selection 2: BARTOSZ FABINSKI $1.50 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: ERIK PEREZ $1.94 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $5.97 x Bet: 10 units
Payout: 59.7 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: NEIL MAGNY $3.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $3.57 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 14.28 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: SCOTT JORGENSEN $1.79 
Selection 2: LEANDRO SILVA $1.74 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: GABRIEL BENITEZ $2.69
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Price: $8.38 x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 50.28 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Ricardo Lamas/Diego Sanchez Total Rounds Under 2.5 Rounds $2.65 
Selection 2: VALMIR LAZARO $2.05 
Selection 3: SCOTT JORGENSEN $1.79 
Selection 4: HECTOR URBINA/ BARTOSZ FABINSKI Total Rounds Over 2.5 Rounds $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $15.17 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 75.85 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: NEIL MAGNY $3.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: ERIK PEREZ $1.94 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: GABRIEL BENITEZ $2.69 
Selection 4: BARTOSZ FABINSKI $1.50 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: $27.95 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 139.75 units
 
Draftkings Line up
 
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Lineup #1
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Fighter 1: Valmir Lazaro $9600 
Fighter 2: Gabriel Benitez $8700 
Fighter 3: Scott Jorgensen $10200  
Fighter 4: Bartosz Fabinski $10500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Erik Perez $10000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining:$1000
 
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Lineup #2
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Fighter 1: Neil Magny $8500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Ricardo Lamas $11200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Leandro Silva $9900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Bartosz Fabinski $10500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Valmir Lazaro $9600 
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Salary Remaining: $300
 

VALMIR LAZARO $2.05 vs MICHEL PRAZERES $1.83 

I really like this play. This fight pairing isn’t your typical opening fight of the night. For example, both guys have had multiple UFC appearences and both have a clearly defined skill set. We aren’t flying blind when looking at this fight. Prazeres is a hulk of a man, but that doesn’t always pay dividends and against Lazaro I don’t see it being a positive. Prazeres will slow down in fights and that is what I expect here. Lazaro is very good at both defending and getting back up and Prazeres will expend a lot of energy as a result of this. On the feet, Lazaro’s volume and length will give Prazeres fits. As the fight progress, Prazeres will find less success with his grappling and struggle to keep up on the feet as exhaustion sets it. I am really leaning towards using Lazaro fitting in as Gold Parlay leg as I love the stylistic matchup. If he doesn’t make the cut there, then he will clearly be the center piece of my Silver parlay. I could see Lazaro scoring a late finish, but at the very least he will put up a high volume of strikes and score points that way. He should be in your DK lineup.

GABRIEL BENITEZ $2.69 vs ANDRE FILI $1.55 

I will be upfront with you here…I initially picked Fili to win this fight. I changed my pick because I felt that I was backing Fili based on the expectations and hype surrounding him. I like what I saw out of Benitez against Collard. He handled the striking exchanges well and did a nice job on the mat. His willingness to go for submissions could cost him against a TAM member who should be able to grind it out on top. I expect to see Benitez’s cardio playing a big role in this fight and if he can threaten with a sub attempt early it could make Fili hesitant to look for a takedown. I like Benitez in the Silver section, quite possibly as a single bet or on a higher paying/ higher risk parlay. For your DK squad he is certainly worth a look. There are several heavy favs at the top of the list that are likely to take home decisions, therefore not producing the points that you pay for. Benitez will only cost you $8700 and he has potential to both score with a high volume striking output and/or score a submission win. You need to find unique points and he gives you that potential.

SCOTT JORGENSEN $1.79 vs ALEJANDRO PEREZ $2.18 

This is it at this level for Scotty if he can’t get the win against Perez. Jorgensen has fought a laundry list of elite names in the division- Cruz, Barao, Faber, and Wineland. It is an impressive collection. Unfortunately, he beat none of them. His run at 125 was pretty weak, with just a single win. So now that he is back at 135 and is already 0-1 there is no room for excuses. Perez has been submitted 3 times and has had issues dealing with the wrestling of less accomplished wrestlers than Scotty. Jorgensen’s chin is an issue and Perez does have a number of knockouts on his list. I see that as Perez’s only real avenue for victory. Either a knockout or a knock down followed by a submission on a dazed Jorgensen. Scotty’s win over Martinez showed he can still beat fighters with his wrestling and that will be the case her. I’m not ready to include Jorgensen in my biggest play, but Silver works for me. When I look at potential finishers to maximize my DK points I don’t see a tonne of potential. Scotty’s submission game could provide a surprising finish either via power guillotine or RNC and at a $10200 he has a better chance of getting the finish then the likes of Lamas or Cejudo. A team of Lazaro, Benitez, and Jorgensen gives you an average of $10750 to spend on your last 2 players.

HECTOR URBINA $2.80 vs BARTOSZ FABINSKI $1.50 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I can’t get past Fabinski’s name. It feels like an old throwback to the NES classic Punch Out where one of the characters was Soda Popinski. Little Mac by knockout. In real life, his offense is built almost entirely on his grappling skills. Against McLellan, he just kept scoring takedowns and running the fight from top position. Urbina has had significant issues with this style of opponent and I don’t see him fairing much better here. His durability is a bit of a question mark and unless he lands an early sub in transition it is going to be all Bartosz start to finish. At this price, he is in my Gold parlay for sure. I also see him as a playable member of your DK team. He will cost you $10500, but he could return big points a couple of ways. Big takedown numbers and dominant positional control can return a score somewhere in the 65-85 point range and with Urbina’s durability issues a stoppage could transpire. I have him in my big 5.

ERIK PEREZ $1.94 vs TAYLOR LAPILUS $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Lapilus has looked good and far surpassed what I expected to see out of him. His win over Saski was pretty impressive, but that win didn’t help us to answer how Lapilus will fair if he put on his back for a prolonged period of time. He has spent his entire career fighting in France out of organizations where ground strikes are illegal. Perez’s wrestling is going to put him to the test on the mat. Perez’s aggression from top position will be a lot to deal with. I like the adjustments that I saw out of Goyito in his last win. Against Mizugaki he was just winging punches, but against Figueroa he looked much more measured and was striking with a purpose. That should pay dividends in this fight. The ring rust could be a concern, but fighting in Mexico is a massive advantage for Perez. Keep in mind that Lapilus is coming in on short notice. I like Perez in my top play. His 2 UFC losses came against good competition and they will serve to improve him heading into this fight. He also is a solid play for your DK team. He will only cost you $10000 and has finished 3 of his 4 UFC wins inside the 1st round. He is a high volume striker and will put up big takedown numbers as well- that will score you some points.

LEANDRO SILVA $1.74 vs EFRAIN ESCUDERO $2.23  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Is Escudero starting to find his stride or have his wins been a product of circumstance? His win over Lima had a lot to do with Lima cutting to 155 and gassing out as a result. Against Dober he jumped him after he slipped and locked up a guillotine. Nice wins, but neither are proof that Efrain can beat an opponent with a consistent and unimpacted front. His issues with TDD and getting out grappled is noteworthy. When he fought Leonardo Silva in Brazil it was evident that the threat of getting taken down was making him hesitant and once taken down he was stuck there for a while. Silva is far from perfect. I don’t like the prolong periods of inactivity between strikes. I would much rather see him string attack together or at least be more active. All that being said, it is his wrestling that will be the difference. I expect to see him routinely planting Efrain on the mat and controlling the position. I have a couple of well-paying favs to play with here, despite only predicting 9 fights. I haven’t made up my mind yet, when I do put my parlays together Silva will either be Silver or Gold. As of right now I am leaning towards Silver because he is fighting a local and experienced UFC vet. At $9900 Silva doesn’t cost you as much as some of the other option. He also isn’t as likely to score you points by finish Escudero. Takedowns and positional control will help, but his lack of activity on the feet takes away from his final score. If you want to use Silva, I would play him on my 2nd team entered into a contest.

HENRY CEJUDO $1.21 vs JUSSIER FORMIGA $5.44 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

We can’t back Cejudo here. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze so to speak. Formiga is a far more dangerous opponent than these odds would indicate and Cejudo’s gas tank/ weight cut issues are too big of a risk. Formiga isn’t a cardio horse either, but it might only take one sequence where a tired Cejudo makes a mistake and Formiga finds himself in a position to finish. Based on the value that the Brazilian is offering I might consider backing him here to some degree. My thought process is to play a parlay, the gold parlay, and then play it again with a smaller investment and Cejudo attached.  I am going to pass on this fight when it comes to my DK squad. Cejudo is too expensive and isn’t a finisher. He doesn’t use his wrestling enough and if his output drops off later in the fight it will further diminish his return.

Ricardo Lamas $1.19 vs Diego Sanchez $5.50  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Clearly Lamas is a ‘No Play’ here as well. Sanchez should have nothing for him and I think his drop to 145 is a 1 and done deal. Still can’t bet him. Can’t touch Diego either. If there is anything worth looking at I think it might be the total. I will discuss that more in the proper section. At $11200, he is incredibly expensive and Sanchez has only been finished once in his career. Keeping that in consideration, I think a finish is a possibility. If you opt to build a second team and use a couple of dogs it might free up the cash to play Lamas. He should return you some points with his striking, but without a stoppage he is a hard sell at this price. There is some risk here and reward is far from a guarantee.

KELVIN GASTELUM $1.37 vs NEIL MAGNY $3.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Main event time. I understand why people are backing KG. He has a lot of potential and already has some solid wins under his belt. I like the consistency of Magny here. Magny needs to stay off his back that is pretty straight forward. His reach and range weapons are a significant factor in this fight. KG had issues with Musoke early because of the distance and I think Magny’s distance management is be better than Nico’s. The other major factor is the weight cut and gas tank of Kelvin. If there are any complications, even if he makes weight, Magny should have the edge as the fight progresses.  At this price, Magny’s best used as a single bet in the silver section. He pays well, but he is facing a high caliber opponent. If you are going to use Lamas on your DK team then you can offset his price by playing Magny here. That should give you the required wiggle room to keep your options open for the rest of your picks as well.

 

 

1. RICARDO LAMAS $1.19 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. HENRY CEJUDO $1.21 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. BARTOSZ FABINSKI $1.50 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. VALMIR LAZARO $2.05 

5. ERIK PEREZ $1.94 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. SCOTT JORGENSEN $1.79 

7. LEANDRO SILVA $1.74 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. GABRIEL BENITEZ $2.69 

9. NEIL MAGNY $3.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

 

1. VALMIR LAZARO $2.05 

2. GABRIEL BENITEZ $2.69 

3. NEIL MAGNY $3.57 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. ERIK PEREZ $1.94 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. SCOTT JORGENSEN $1.79 

1.JUSSIER FORMIGA $5.44-  This is one of those plays that I make because I think Formiga will make this fight much closer than odds indicate. If he can find his way Cejudo’s back he is more than capable of finishing this fight. If it is contested primarily on the feet I don’t see Cejudo having an advantage comparable to this line. Play a parlay a second time with Formiga attached to it, big return at these odds.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

VALMIR LAZARO/ MICHEL PRAZERES

See Betting Scenario Section.

SCOTT JORGENSEN/ ALEJANDRO PEREZ Total Rounds Under 2.5 Rounds $2.80 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both fighters can finish and both can be finished. Scotty has been stopped in 5 of his 11 losses and Perez in 4 of 6. Conversely, Alejandro has either knocked out or submitted his way to victory in 11 of 15 wins. Jorgensen has 8 wins by decision compared to 7 stoppage victories- but the numbers are still there to suggest a stoppage is a real possibility. Jorgensen’s chin is a major question mark and the submission defeats have begun to pile up. If Perez can crack him he could finish him with his hands or lock up a sub. Perez got absolutely smashed in his last fight and has been submitted 3 times. Watch for Scotty to lock up a guillotine after sprawling to avoid getting taken down. Play the Under.

HECTOR URBINA/ BARTOSZ FABINSKI Total Rounds Over 2.5 Rounds $1.56 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This play is based mainly on how I think it plays out. The numbers on both side suggest the Under is the play, but I disagree. Of Urbina’s last 9 fight only 2 have required more than the first round. Fabinski has 8 1st round victories, but has started to stretch his fights out a bit with back to back decisions and 4 in his last 6. Fabinski uses his wrestling to take Urbina down, control the position and grind out the win. Play the Over.

ERIK PEREZ/TAYLOR LAPILUS

See Betting Scenario Section.

LEANDRO SILVA/ EFRAIN ESCUDERO Total Rounds Over 2.5 Rounds $1.47  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Not a super exciting play, but it will serve a purpose as a respectable contributor to a parlay. With a combined 26 decisions, that alone is a pretty solid recommendation to play the Over. Prior to the Dober fight, Escudero had gone to the 3rd round in 11 straight and 15 of his last 16 fights. Silva has seen the final frame in 9 of his last 13 outings and probably would have added 1 more in the Dober fight if the phantom sub hadn’t been called. Neither man is known for their finishing skills on the feet and while both are capable submission fighters their ground skills should cancel each other out with Silva spending the majority of the fight in top position. Play the Over.

HENRY CEJUDO/ JUSSIER FORMIGA Total Rounds Over 2.5 Rounds $1.40 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Cejudo is a decision machine, having gone the distance in 5 straight fights since making the jump in quality of competition. Formiga has gone the distance 11 times in 21 total fights. His 8 win inside the distance have all been the product of his submission skills and I simply do not see him getting in position to use those skills against a wrestler like Cejudo. The most likely scenario for a finish is via knockout with Cejudo getting his hand raised and I wouldn’t put much stock in that playing out. Play the Over and like the previous prop on this list, beef up your parlay.

Ricardo Lamas/Diego Sanchez Total Rounds Under 2.5 Rounds $2.65 

If the cut to 145 pounds diminishes the durability of Diego, Lamas could put him down. Ricardo has power and we have seen durable fighters make the cut to a division below and get absolutely starched by the quicker and more technical opposition. There is also a chance that fighting against a smaller opponent could magnify the power of Sanchez and Lamas has been knocked out 3 times. Watch for the guillotine from Ricardo if they do hit the mat. Play with care.

 

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