UFN 81: Dillashaw vs Cruz- ‘Back to the Future’
Once again Dominick Cruz is the man wearing the gold in the UFC’s Bantamweight division. Despite multiple surgeries, significant time away from the cage, and a champion who claimed to do what the ‘Dominator’ does- only better, there would be no denying the Dominick on this night. While one former champion returned to glory, another stumbled further down the ranks, a Heavyweight fight ended with some controversy, and a battled harden Brazilian put together another solid performance. Eight fights ended inside the distance, while seven underdog got their hands raise. Let’s take a look…The Good
- After serving as an emergency punching bag for Gegard Mousasi, Ilir Latifi is putting together a nice run at LHW. With another violent finish added to his record it is hard not to see him find a spot in the Top 15 when the new rankings come out. Either way, his next fight should be against someone on that list. Latifi vs Jimi Manuwa on a European card would suit me just fine.
- Using a strong matchup to headline the headline the Fight Pass card is good marketing and will probably help increase their subscriptions if this trend continues. Big win for Paul Felder after a couple of tough setbacks.
- Patrick Cote continues to improve and is working towards a top 15 spot in the division with a couple of more wins. What makes his current success even more impressive is that he debuted way back at UFC 50 in a headliner against Tito Ortiz. The only other current UFC fighter on that card is a fellow resurgent Welterweight and divisional champion Robbie Lawler. Cote recently called out Nick Diaz for his return fight, which I feel would be a perfect fight for both men.
- Coming off of a year that saw multiple title changes and several long-time champions replaced, Dominick Cruz’s return to the pinnacle of his division is impressive. It is even more impressive considering he won the title after a multiple surgeries that would have forced most mere mortals to walk (limp) away from the sport. TJ Dillashaw gave Cruz a run for his money and tested him more than any other opponent has in a long time, but it simply was not enough. Hopefully Cruz can heal quickly and return to action sooner rather than later. A rematch with Dillashaw or a fight with Raphael Assuncao would be good options, the Faber trilogy isn’t nearly as appealing after Faber’s last couple of performances.
- Maximo Blanco appeared to have righted the ship after a tough start to his UFC career, but a loss to a debuting fighter won’t help his cause. Luke Sanders comes out UFN 81 with the biggest win of his career and looked good doing it.
- A divisional change can be the result of a faltering career, Ed Herman appears to have new life as a Light Heavyweight, while Tim Boetsch’s failed returned to the division could result the end of his UFC run.
- Francisco Trinaldo is really finding his stride, but at this stage of his career it could be too little too late to make a fun at the title. The Brazilian finally has the finances to train and prepare properly which is clearly making a massive difference.
- Having alternated wins and losses dating back to 2013, Ross Pearson has been unable to build any form of momentum despite picking up some noteworthy victories in that span.
- A pretty lackluster fight to start the night. Francimar Barroso continues to win unentertaining fights, you can bet when he stops getting his hand raised he will be looking for work elsewhere.
- Matt Mitrione’s eye was easily the ugliest thing I have seen in a long time and it kept getting worse. A close second was Travis Browne’s attitude toward a member of the media who asked him about the multiple eye pokes and the controversy surrounding the fight as a result. Browne attempted to intimidate the questioner and play off the consecutive fouls as if they had no impact on the fight.
- Many were quick to criticise the game plan of Eddie Alvarez that lead him to an upset victory over a heavily favoured former champion. It wasn’t pretty, but he recognized the flaws in his opponent’s game and exploited them. What lands this fight in the Ugly category is Anthony Pettis’s request for a “real fight ASAP”. The former champ has now lost back to back fights and should focus on correcting the glaring issues that cost him the title and the UFN 81 co-main event before getting himself into another “real fight”.
UFC Fight Night 81 was a pretty decent card. It had a few rough stretches, but for the most part it was an enjoyable event. The pacing of the card seemed better, especially on the FightPass portion of the card which crammed 5 fights into 2 hours. It was enjoyable to watch Cruz reclaim his title and correctly predicting that fight along with laying out an accurate prediction for the Alvarez/Pettis meeting was even more satisfying. Overall, I went 8-5 which is alright considering some of the Underdogs. There is always room for improvement and with the winnings that the Bet Pack produce it was just a break even type of night. Take a look at the rest of the Bet Pack below. Until next time!
Selection 1: MAXIMO BLANCO $1.89
Selection 2: FRANCISCO TRINALDO $2.35
Selection 3: BEN SAUNDERS $1.90
Price: $8.44 x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 59.08 units
Selection 1: EDDIE ALVAREZ $3.95
Selection 2: ELVIS MUTAPCIC $1.67
Selection 3: ROB FONT $1.50
Selection 4: TRAVIS BROWNE/MATT MITRIONE Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.56
Price: $15.44 x Bet: 6 units
Selection 1: MATT MITRIONE $2.35
Selection 2: DOMINICK CRUZ $2.24
Selection 3: MAXIMO BLANCO $1.89
Selection 4: FRANCISCO TRINALDO $2.35
Selection 5: BEN SAUNDERS $1.90
Price: $44.43 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 222.15 units
Parlay #2- What Mortgage?*
Selection 1: MATT MITRIONE TO WIN BY KO/TKO/DQ $2.85
Selection 2: DOMINICK CRUZ TO WIN BY DECISION $3.20
Selection 3: ILIR LATIFI/ SEAN O’CONNELL Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.95
Selection 4: FRANCISCO TRINALDO $2.35
Selection 5: EDDIE ALVAREZ $3.95
Selection 6: MAXIMO BLANCO $1.89
Price: $312.01 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 1560.05 units
When its broke, or at least not paying out like it should be, its time to fix it. Instead of putting together Parlays based on what type of bettor you might be, we are going to rank each parlay/ single bet based on 3 things- Value, Risk, and Confidence. It will be up to you to decide which plays you feel like making and which ones you are going to pass on. Keep in mind this is gambling- there is massive risk involved any time you lay money on the line and with the unpredictability of a sport like MMA it only makes it tougher. All we can do is prepare ourselves to the fullest extend and make bets that we feel good about. Let’s make some money! GOLD- Bets posted in this section will have a solid payout, involve moderate risk, but my confidence level will be high. Single bets and 2-3 fight parlays, potentially the odd prop bet. SILVER- Bets posted in this section will have a solid to slightly higher payout, but will involved a little more risk and while I am confident enough to post these bets, I do see where we could go wrong. Single bets, 3-4 fight parlays and prop bets. More Underdogs involved. BRONZE- Bets posted in this section will normally have the highest payouts, but also involve the most risk. Major Underdogs, larger parlays, and higher risk prop bets. WILDCARD- This section will include bets only to be made if you have some extra cash. Most posts in this section will be long shots to hit or at least have a lot of working parts involved, but if they do the win the payout will be significant. Betting Units “What is a unit?”A popular term in sports betting is “unit” and below I will explain what bettors mean they refer to a unit, and examples of it being used. A “unit” in sports betting is a measurement of the size of someone’s bet. Because everyone has different sized bankrolls for sports betting, using the term unit is a way for us to show your profit or loss in universal terms. Someone who is betting $10,000 per bet and is up $18,000 on the season isn’t nearly as impressive as someone who bets $10 per bet and is up $180 on the season. Using units gives us a tool to keep track of profits and losses without the dollar value. Because basic sports betting strategy tells us that you should be betting somewhere between 1-5% of your bankroll on each wager, it is generally accepted that a unit is equal to approximately 1% of your bankroll. Nothing is set on stone with this, but that is an easy way to calculate a single unit. Using the above formula, someone who has a $1,000 bankroll would be betting $10 per unit, while someone with a $50,000 bankroll would be betting $500 per unit. Using the bankroll management strategy that recommends 1-5% of your bankroll on each bet you would essentially want to bet between 1-5 “units”. Many sports handicappers will release their plays with units, with the most common being 1-5 units or sometimes 1-7 units. The 1,2, and 3 unit plays are more of the average plays, while the 4, 5 and sometimes 6 and 7 unit plays are the big plays where the handicapper feels they have found a lot of value on a play. If a handicapper released a 5 unit play and you had a $1,000 sports betting bankroll you would be risking 5% (5 units) or $50 on the play.
When its broke, or at least not paying out like it should be, its time to fix it. Instead of putting together Parlays based on what type of bettor you might be, we are going to rank each parlay/ single bet based on 3 things- Value, Risk, and Confidence. It will be up to you to decide which plays you feel like making and which ones you are going to pass on.
Keep in mind this is gambling- there is massive risk involved any time you lay money on the line and with the unpredictability of a sport like MMA it only makes it tougher. All we can do is prepare ourselves to the fullest extend and make bets that we feel good about. Let’s make some money!
GOLD- Bets posted in this section will have a solid payout, involve moderate risk, but my confidence level will be high. Single bets and 2-3 fight parlays, potentially the odd prop bet.
SILVER- Bets posted in this section will have a solid to slightly higher payout, but will involved a little more risk and while I am confident enough to post these bets, I do see where we could go wrong. Single bets, 3-4 fight parlays and prop bets. More Underdogs involved.
BRONZE- Bets posted in this section will normally have the highest payouts, but also involve the most risk. Major Underdogs, larger parlays, and higher risk prop bets.
WILDCARD- This section will include bets only to be made if you have some extra cash. Most posts in this section will be long shots to hit or at least have a lot of working parts involved, but if they do the win the payout will be significant.
“What is a unit?”A popular term in sports betting is “unit” and below I will explain what bettors mean they refer to a unit, and examples of it being used.
A “unit” in sports betting is a measurement of the size of someone’s bet. Because everyone has different sized bankrolls for sports betting, using the term unit is a way for us to show your profit or loss in universal terms.
Someone who is betting $10,000 per bet and is up $18,000 on the season isn’t nearly as impressive as someone who bets $10 per bet and is up $180 on the season. Using units gives us a tool to keep track of profits and losses without the dollar value.
Because basic sports betting strategy tells us that you should be betting somewhere between 1-5% of your bankroll on each wager, it is generally accepted that a unit is equal to approximately 1% of your bankroll. Nothing is set on stone with this, but that is an easy way to calculate a single unit.
Using the above formula, someone who has a $1,000 bankroll would be betting $10 per unit, while someone with a $50,000 bankroll would be betting $500 per unit.
Using the bankroll management strategy that recommends 1-5% of your bankroll on each bet you would essentially want to bet between 1-5 “units”.
Many sports handicappers will release their plays with units, with the most common being 1-5 units or sometimes 1-7 units. The 1,2, and 3 unit plays are more of the average plays, while the 4, 5 and sometimes 6 and 7 unit plays are the big plays where the handicapper feels they have found a lot of value on a play.
If a handicapper released a 5 unit play and you had a $1,000 sports betting bankroll you would be risking 5% (5 units) or $50 on the play.
*Play at your own risk and yes I understand that winning this bet will not take care of most people’s mortgages. I also toyed with the idea of “F#CK THE POWERBALL!” as a name for this parlay.
=================================================== Lineup #1 =================================================== Fighter 1: ILIR LATIFI $10900 Fighter 2: CHRIS WADE $10400 Fighter 3: BEN SAUNDERS $9600 Fighter 4: MATT MITRIONE $9200 Fighter 5: DOMINICK CRUZ $9300 =================================================== Salary Remaining: $400 =================================================== Lineup #2 =================================================== Fighter 1: MAXIMO BLANCO $9900 Fighter 2: TIM BOETSCH $10700 Fighter 3: FRANCISCO TRINALDO $9100 Fighter 4: CHARLES ROSA $10800 Fighter 5: DOMINICK CRUZ $9300 =================================================== Salary Remaining: $400
FRANCIMAR BARROSO $2.48 vs ELVIS MUTAPCIC $1.67
Of all the short notice replacements, Mutapcic is the most known commodity. Even with that, he is a bit of risk considering the late notice and divisional jump. Barroso hasn’t exactly done much to impress either. In fact, he has taken part in some pretty horrid fights. He looked brutal against Stringer, especially in the second half and took advantage of Ryan Jimmo’s lack of offense to get the nod because someone had to. All 3 of his UFC opponents are working ele where now. Now here is a point of interest. Currently DraftKings has Barroso as the favourite sitting at $10, 000 compared to $9400 with Mutatpcic. The last couple of times we have seen this type of arrangement, the DK favourite got the win. The 2 that comes to mind are Abel Trujillo over Tony Sims and Nate Marquardt over CB Dollaway. That fact has me really hesitating pulling the trigger on Mutapcic. Under normal circumstance I would be 100% off this fight, but with 5 total fights being effected (some multiple times) by the injury bug I might consider a low level bet on Elvis, probably Bronze. I also think a counter bet on Barroso is warranted here, simply based on the full camp, size advantage, and DK nod.
I won’t be touching this fight for my Fantasy lineup. Just too much unknown.
ROB FONT $1.50 vs JOEY GOMEZ $2.96
I went back and forth on this fight and for a little while I had Gomez written down. I made the change for a couple of reason. First, I felt that my reasoning for picking against Font wasn’t strong enough to make it official. Yes the layout has been long and yes we have only seen him once in the UFC for less than a round. Those are negatives for sure. On the other side of the scale, Gomez is debuting and doing in on short notice while taking a decent step up in competition against a fighter with twice the experience. When looking at a fighter with a track record like Gomez it is impressive. He has finished all of his opponents inside the first round. Awesome, but that creates questions about how he will fair if his opponent doesn’t go down early. How does he look in rounds 2 and 3? What does he have to offer if the knockout doesn’t come quickly and his opponent figures him out? Those are some big questions. I also see Font as being more multi-dimensional, capble of working a submission/ wrestling based attack if needed. Additionally, Font is fighting at home. He won’t be in my top play and most likely won’t make the cut in the Silver section. That isn’t a 100% guarantee that he doesn’t find his way into the secondary parlay, but most likely he is in the Bronze bet.
Also keep an eye on the Live Bet option for this fight. If Gomez wins the opening round and Font’s value climbs consider throwing a bit down on Font. As mentioned Gomez could be a quick starter, but struggle afterward and Font might be strugging off some early ring rust.
No Fantasy play here as of right now. Font might get the finish, but at $10600 he is pretty expensive. If you do put together a top-heavy lineup and need to get creative with your 5th spot you might want to consider Gomez. At just $8,800 he has a track record for finishing and could provide you with some unique points that most other players don’t pick up.
CHARLES ROSA $1.42 vs KYLE BOCHNIAK $3.19
Of all the fights this bout has seen the most turnover. Rosa has been prepping to face
Jimy Hettes Augusto Mendes Kyle Bochniak, who is taking the fight on one week’s 4 days notice. Honestly, the risk/reward ratio is not there. The UFC has worked hard to keep Rosa on the card and unless something happens in the next 24 hours they will have succeeded. But with all the uncertainty, it is probably best to just leave this fight alone. Bochniak looks like he is in over his head, he shows signs of a fighter that could develop into something- but that will take time. The pressure will be squarely on Rosa’s shoulders fighting at home in this type of scenario. This fight is a No Play.
I am considering backing Rosa on my #2 DK team. He has submission capabilities and will look to put on a show against a fighter that he should be able to finish if the opportunity presents itself. He is a little costly at $10800, which could prevent him from making an appearance if the money is better spent elsewhere.
ILIR LATIFI $1.40 vs SEAN O’CONNELL $3.36
Latifi has quietly put together a nice little run since entering as a last second replacement to face Mousasi. O’Connell has done a decent job as a depth fighter in the division, losing to guys above him and knocking out a pair of fighters he should have beaten. I like O’Connell, but keep in mind his 2 knockout wins came over opponents with a combined 10 losses by KO or TKO. That is a lot. He himself has been stopped 3 times and his defensive game isn’t great. He gets hit a lot and that isn’t good against guy that hits as hard as Latifi. If the striking exchanges don’t go well, O’Connell won’t be able to wrestle his way out if. Latifi could look to take the fight to the mat for a combo or GNP/sub attempts looking for the finish considering his opponent has been subbed twice. O’Connell’s only 2 ways to win this fight are via knockout or if Latifi gasses and can keep up. I like Latifi and he is looking like a likely candidate for my Gold play. He is simply the better fighter.
At $10900, he is costly but I have him on my #1 DK squad. With 7 first round finishes and all 3 UFC wins coming inside the opening round there is a potential for a 100+ points in this fight. With O’Connell getting stopped in 5 of 6 losses he fits the bill for the type of opponent that will go down in the opening round. Sign him.
PAUL FELDER $1.41 vs DARON CRUICKSHANK $3.26
This fight should be entertaining with a number of fun techniques on display. I really hope for our sake that Felder fights a smarter fight and does a better job of picking his spots to throw his spinning techniques. The way this fight breaks down is that Felder is bigger, hits harder, and can absorb more damage. His counter wrestling will be good enough to thwart any attempt by Cruickshank to change gears and his counter striking will help him to do damage once DC tries to close the gap. When you look back at DC vs Makdessi, Cruickshank really struggled with the power of Makdessi and seemed hesitant to engage at times while backing up for a large portion of the fight. I expect something similar here. I have Felder in my top play simply because I feel Cruickshank’s avenues for victory are pretty limited. Gold Play.
I don’t see Felder as being a must-have for your DK lineup to be successful. He has just 1 UFC finish and averages only 49 points per fight, yet he will cost you a pretty penny at $10700. If he doesn’t score the knockout then his average volume and lack of takedowns/ grappling exchanges will take away from his final point total. I see him sitting somewhere around the 55-70 point total at best without a stoppage. He might make it onto my second team just too keep the lineup diversified, but that isn’t even a sure thing.
MAXIMO BLANCO $1.89 vs LUKE SANDERS $2.05
Depending on which Blanco shows up, we could be getting some significant value here. Sanders is a solid prospect with a lot of potential, but he has built that potential at 135 pounds. Sanders needs to be active, very active, with his striking and outwork Blanco. Unfortunately for him, when you push Maxi he pushes back. If you lull him to sleep and try pick your spots without getting too aggressive, he follows suit. That isn’t Sanders’s style. Between skills and size, I don’t see Sanders being able to take Blanco down and the opposite should hold true if Maxi looks for the TD. Additionally, the impact of Blanco’s strikes should play a big role as this fight progresses. Remember, before the UFC Blanco was fighting at 155 pounds. There are still concerns about the work rate of Sanders if he gasses Blanco out in the first half. There is also the concern that Blanco might dominate the fight and then give it awat via DQ or something out of left field. With the general uncertainty surround Blanco he slips to Silver, but he is a solid play nonetheless.
I took a long look at Blanco for my #1 DK squad and he just missed the cut. He’ll cost you just $9900 and there is a real chance he gets a finish here. His volume and wrestling takedowns/ top control will also provide opportunities to pick up some points. I have him on my #2 squad with his price tag creating some wiggle room in my budget.
TIM BOETSCH $1.45 vs ED HERMAN $3.00
Both guys are moving back to LHW which isn’t surprising considering they seems to be completely out of the mix at 185 and the cut is big from 205 to 185. I like Ed Herman, but unless he can take Boetsch down with consistency or submit him once he gets him on the floor I just don’t see him winning this fight. There is always the concern that Boetsch could get knocked out based on what transpired in his last fight, but let’s face facts- Herman has nothing close to the H-Bomb in his arsenal. Herman likes to plod forward and throw fairly simplistic offense. Boetsch is both the bigger hitter and the faster man, that is a combination that you don’t always see at in this division. I expect Tim to have some added pep in his step coming back to LHW and not having to drain himself so much. It could be the same for Herman, but I feel the effects will aid the Barbarian more. Look for Tim to use his push kick along with his other kicking techniques to keep Herman from closing the gap routinely. I also like what Boetsch offers in the clinch, unloading with massive strikes that are capable of ending Herman’s night. I haven’t 100% decided how I will approach my Gold parlay play as there are 2 underdogs that I really like. If I opt to go with 2 3-leg Gold parlays then Boetsch will be part of my Gold section, if not he could slip to Silver.
I have Boetsch in my #2 lineup. He has a sizeable price tag, but I can see him earning the finish here. He finished both Tavares and Okami at MW and 2 of his 3 LHW UFC wins came via TKO. Herman will be right there to be hit all fight long and Boetsch could make good on that. There is the potential to for him to work a decision with superior striking and if that is the case he will most likely rake in 60-80 points. I went back and forth and ultimately went with cheaper option with great potential for top control points and or a finish.
MEHDI BAGHDAD $4.09 vs CHRIS WADE $1.30
Another fight interrupted by the injury bug. This fight was originally set as Taisumov vs Dariush, Wade replaced Dariush, and Baghdad replaced Taisumov. I hope the original bout happens down the road. Wade’s takedown game should negate just about everything that Baghdad has to offer. Mehdi is a good striker, but I don’t see him staying vertical long against a fighter that has already shown him willingness wrestle his way to victory. If Wade get stuck on his feet he has the skills to hold his own, but his key to success still lies with his wrestling. At this price, I normally would leave Wade alone and I almost considered using Rosa in this spot, but thought better of it. I am working on building 2 Gold Parlays centered around a pair of underdog picks and will use Wade as part of my supporting cast.
Wade will be on my #1 Fantasy team. It came down to him and Boetsch. Wade is cheaper and even if he doesn’t get the finish frequent takedowns and top control will score big points. He has averaged 79 pts per fight compared to 44 for Tim and unless Tim scores the finish you get better point potential for Wade against a less accomplished opponent.
PATRICK COTE $2.00 vs BEN SAUNDERS $1.90
This was a tough fight to pick as the line would indicate. What it came down to was that every time I looked at a scenario for this fight I favoured Saunders despite my initial inclination. There is a real possibility that Cote does damage with his strikes and then spends time on top after landing a few takedowns. That has been his recipe for success in previous fights and it could work here. I don’t like that Cote gets hit as much as he does. I also don’t like that he has relied so heavily on his wrestling game to help make up for it. In Saunders works his volume striking it might not be pretty, but he will appear as the more active striker. If/when Cote looks for takedowns, Saunders will be incredibly aggressive off his back and either pull of the submission or threaten enough that it will score points with the judges and/or make Cote want to avoid the ground game altogether. Under that scenario, Cote loses a key weapon to his success and will need to find a way to deal with the activity at range and clinch work of Ben without his wrestling. There is also the reach and height advantage of Saunders which is significant as well. Cote does have power and Ben has been knocked out multiple times, but that is a risk I am willing to take. With this fight potentially being so close and picking against my intial instinct I have Saunders in the Silver section.
I also have Ben in my #1 DK lineup. He has the ability to finish with a submission, will score points with his sub attempts/ transitions, and his volume/output is solid against a guy that gives up a lot of strikes. Additionally, he doesn’t cost that much creating so extra cash of other investments.
FRANCISCO TRINALDO $2.35 vs ROSS PEARSON $1.74
Start the run of underdogs! Pearson has built a lot of momentum since returning to LW, but has yet to string back to back wins together. He beat Felder largely because Felder failed to do more than stare and spin. Trinaldo has really developed an aggressive and increasingly technically sound pressure based striking game. Laprise had no answer to back the Brazilian up and I don’t think Pearson will either. Pearson has a good striking game, but he relies too much on his countering game- that cost him against Diego. It should not have, but it did. But by allowing Trinaldo to move forward and attack, Pearson is going to give up ground and get outworked, The fighters that have beaten FT has been able to take him down with regularity. That is not Pearson’s game. One area that most pundits are overlooking is the wrestling of Trinaldo. Yes it is not a top level wrestling game, but if it can do enough to force Pearson to worry about it that is a big deal. I think between a few TDAs, possibly a completion here or there and his aggressive forward pressure- Trinaldo can steal a close fight. I have him in my Silver section parlay. There are some solid underdogs on this card and under normal circumstance he would be my top play but not tonight.
At $9100 he is a cheap addition to your #2 lineup. He has shown power, decent volume, and with the potential for some takedowns I see Trinaldo as a good point producing option. Remember, Pearson has a bit of a suspect chin and if Trinaldo lands flush that could be enough to put him down.
TRAVIS BROWNE $1.69 vs MATT MITRIONE $2.35
A battle of heavies trying to make that jump. Both guys could be accused of choking in big fights. Browne lost to Werdum with a shot at the title up for grabs and was knocked out by Arlovski in another high profile fight. Mitrione was stopped by Nelson in a big fight and then lost to Rothwell last time out. The move to the Glendale Fight Club has not done much for Browne and if anything has taken away what made Browne effective. The biggest point of interest is his lack of movement. His ability to move gave other HWs fits, but that is gone now. He is quite stationary in his new stance and that is an area that Mitrione will exploit. He has excellent movement and is pretty quick for a HW. He also hits hard and Browne’s chin is incredibly suspect. I see Browne struggling to keep up with the speed of Mitrione and considering Matt has the same reach and is just a couple of inches shorter, Browne’s physical gifts aren’t as prominent and won’t help him as much. Watch for the kicks of Mitrione to play a bigger role in this fight without the big threat of a takedown from Browne. At this price, I have Matt in my gold package. Browne has been trending down of late and outside of making a mistake against Rothwell, Mitrione has looked pretty solid. The plan is to have 2 Gold Parlays with an underdog on each. Mitrione is one of those dogs.
I also have Matty in my #1 Fantasy lineup. 8 of Matt’s 9 career wins have come by knockout, including his last 6 wins, 5 of which came in the first round. At $9200 he is giving at legit chance of picking up 100+ points. Sign him up!
EDDIE ALVAREZ $3.95 vs ANTHONY PETTIS $1.33
As expected, I got a lot of flack for back Eddie here. First, I am really disappointing I didn’t pull the trigger on RDA over Pettis. I took Melendez one fight earlier and he laid the groundwork that lead to the new champion being crowned. I see Eddie following a similar game plan. Pettis is a talented striker and a very good grappler, but I don’t see him excelling in a long hard-hitting fight. He has to finish Alvarez to win this fight and if he does, I won’t be the least bit shocked if he does. Pettis gives ground up routinely and fights with his back off the cage. His TDD is exploitable as well and we saw Alvarez switch gears against Melendez and go his wrestling to help him earn the win. Eddie keeps Pettis backing up and stays in boxing range to negate the kicks of Showtime, while landing a couple of takedowns at key times. With the quality of opponent, Eddie falls down to a Bronze parlay leg.
I will stay away from Alvarez with my Fantasy plays.
TJ DILLASHAW $1.74 vs DOMINICK CRUZ $2.24
Does Cruz still have it? This fight will go a long way to determining whether he does or not. He has been out a long time and hasn’t fought a full 5 rounds or even 1 complete round in an even longer time. If Cruz still has it, I see him defeating TJ. Dillashaw works the movement game well and has made it work against Joe Soto and Renan Barao twice. Cruz does it better. He incorporates it more into his movement. When he attacks he enters and leaves at different angles. When TJ attacks, he stops his lateral movement and starts moving straight forward. That won’t play out well against Cruz. It will make his offense predictable. Cruz is hittable, but unless he tags him and does serious damage, it won’t be enough. Look for Cruz to continue his success with his wrestling as well and take TJ down a couple of times, using his movement to get Dillashaw off balance. Whenever you can get a fighter of Cruz’s caliber at this price you have to take him and I feel he fits the bill in my other Gold parlay. Cruz + 2 legs on one side and Mitrione on the other .
I also have Cruz in my #1 lineup. Over 5 rounds he can put up some decent value, score some takedowns, and he will only cost you $9300. In fact, I have him on both of my squads. Too good a fighter at too good a price.
1. PAUL FELDER $1.41
2. ILIR LATIFI $1.40
3. CHRIS WADE $1.30
4. DOMINICK CRUZ $2.24
5. MATT MITRIONE $2.35
6. TIM BOETSCH $1.35
7. MAXIMO BLANCO $1.89
8. FRANCISCO TRINALDO $2.35
9. BEN SAUNDERS $1.90
10. CHARLES ROSA $1.42
11. ROB FONT $1.50
12. ELVIS MUTAPCIC $1.67
13. EDDIE ALVAREZ $3.95
1. DOMINICK CRUZ $2.24
2. MATT MITRIONE $2.35
3. FRANCISCO TRINALDO $2.35
4. MAXIMO BLANCO $1.89
5. EDDIE ALVAREZ $3.95
The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.
The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.
1. FRANCIMAR BARROSO $2.48- I have already highlighted my reasons for thinking Barroso is worth a look here. In the end don’t get too tangled up in this fight.
2. JOEY GOMEZ $2.96- I took a long look at Gomez here and feel he could five Font some trouble, especially if he gets of to a slow start. Possibly parlaying Barroso and Gomez together to start the card could give you some extra cash to spend the rest of the night.
The Counter Bet list consists of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win. These 5 fighters are the best betting options available of all of the fighters that I predicted to lose and although I fully endorse my own predicted winner I feel that giving this type of information is only fair to my followers as it gives them further insight into my opinion on each match-up.
Some people might question the use of one fighter in a parlay and the other (an underdog) in a straight up bet, but here is my logic.
Scenario: the Fav is in a 3 fighter parlay and it pays $5 x your bet of $30 and the dog pays $3.50 x your bet of $10.
The underdog single bet offers a nice safety net. If he wins then you bet a total of $40 and won $35, your losses are minimal. If your parlay wins then you bet $40 and won $150, so it is still a decent profit line.
There is the possibility that you might not win either bet, but having an “insurance” style bet can keep you from going broke a lot of nights.
Exclusive Bet Pack Info.
FRANCIMAR BARROSO/ELVIS MUTAPCIC
See Betting Scenario Section.
ROB FONT/ JOEY GOMEZ
See Betting Scenario Section.
ILIR LATIFI/ SEAN O’CONNELL Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.95
Both of these guys have finishing ability. All 3 of Latifi’s UFC wins have come inside the opening round and 9 of his 14 fights have lasted less than 5 minutes. He has also been finished twice in his career. O’Connell has stopped 12 opponents, including both of his UFC wins. He has also been finished 5 times in his career, with a total of 13 fights going under 1.5 rounds. Play the Under.
PAUL FELDER/DARON CRUICKSHANK Total Rounds Over 1.5 $1.51
Both guys can finish, but this line should be set at 2.5. Felder KOed Castillo, but he has gone the distance in his other 3 UFC bouts. More telling, he has just 2 first-round finishes on his record which came very early in his career and he has gone over 1.5 rounds in 9 of his 12 pro bouts. He has never been finished and Cruickshank has been knocked out just once in his career, 17 fights ago. Cruickshank has gone the distance 8 times, 5 in the UFC, and has gone over the 1.5 mark on 14 occasions. With 2 capable strikers, that will be looking to showcase their technique I see a lot of feeling out early. Don’t be shocked to see some clinch work as well if DC tries to mix it up. Play the Over.
PATRICK COTE/BEN SAUNDERS
See Betting Scenario Section.
TRAVIS BROWNE/MATT MITRIONE Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.56
This price isn’t really exciting, but it is hard to make an argument for the Over when you look at the number of 1st round finishes these two have been apart of. Of Browne’s last 8 fights, only the Werdum decision loss went beyond the first frame. Not to be outdone, you have to go back to 2011 for Mitrione’s last 2nd round appearances, as he has been 1 and done in 7-straight fights. Both guys have power, both will go for it. Play the Under.
DOMINICK CRUZ TO WIN BY DECISION $3.20
Cruz has gone the distance 12-times in his career, including 8 of his last 10 fights. This is going to be a chess match back and forth and unless something really comes out of left field the smart money is on the decision.