UFN 86: Rothwell vs Dos Santos- ‘Heavyweight Resurgence’

I wrote this...

The Octagon made its first appearance in Croatia headlined by a quartet of Heavyweight bouts. Some produced, others did not. In a bit of an unexpected surprise, two of those four fights went the distance and only one ended inside the opening round. A little atypical for the big boys. The card also featured several debut and some pretty decent scraps overall. I went 11-2 and the Bet Pack produced equally as well. All of that can been seen below, but first let’s take a look at my UFC Fight Night 86 recap.

Notes from the Prelims
  • Jared Cannonier has a nice set of hands and confessed he will make an effort to move to Light Heavyweight. That might be a mistake considering the speed and technical edge he would be giving up by leaving the Heavyweight division. Nice win nonetheless.
  • It seemed like the threat of getting taken down kept Lucas Martins from opening up. Unfortunately for Whiteford he was unable to capitalize on his hesitancy.
  • It is time to give Mairbek Taisumov a top 15 guy. Evan Dunham or maybe Al Iaquinta would be excellent fights. If not a top 15 guys then a bout with Ross Pearson would be suitable.
  • It was pretty clear that Ian Entwistle was going to win via some form of leg based submission or he was going to lose the fight. It turned out to be the latter. He also join some interesting company in Rousimar Palhares, after claiming Perez’s legs were greased after he couldn’t submit him.
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Zak Cummings might look like the nicest guy in your neighborhood but that guy is talented and tough. A nice upset win to finish the prelims.
  • I went 6-1 on the Prelims with the only incorrect pick still hitting on the Total. Considering my last 2 show I will take it!
Main Card Recap and Future Fights
  • It might not have been the most technical of fights, but Maryna Moroz earned a scrappy decision win. She was able to absorb some big shots early and got the better of her opponent as she wore down. I would like to see Moroz take on another recent winner in Bec Rawlings.
  • I didn’t give this fight much hope for being overly entertaining. I expected that it would be over quickly or a grinding snoozefest. The third round certainly didn’t impress, but 2 out of 3 weren’t bad. There was a moment right before the decision was announced where I felt the integrity of the entire sport was on the line had the judges not give Jan Blachowicz the decision. Blachowicz against Ed Herman is a fight that makes sense for me.
  • Both guys were dinged up after the fight despite a lack of action at times.Tim Johnson seemed to be a little worse off, but he got the win anyway. Let’s set up Johnson with felllow main card victor Francis Ngannou.
  • When it became evident that he could shutdown his opponent’s wrestling, Francis Ngannou was all systems go. He hurt Blaydes with everything he threw and got the stoppage with the help of the doc. Full credit to Curtis Blaydes for wanting to fight and attempting to fool the doctor. See above for Ngannou’s next fight. He seems like a legit prospect at HW, no need to rush him.
  • When Derrick Lewis first debuted and talked about fighting for the title I laughed. He isn’t there yet, but I have become a fan and his stock is certainly rising. The poise that Lewis showed after Gonzaga took him down was impressive. He has the type of power to finish anyone in the division. Lewis seems to be tied to Roy Nelson next, I approve. For Gabe, this knockout could be enough to call it a career.
  • In the Main Event, Junior Dos Santos fought a confident and technically sound fight. He battled his way through the early surges from the dangerous Ben Rothwell. His speed and lateral movement proved too much for ‘Big’ Ben to overcome, while the former Champion piled up the damage. Junior didn’t get the finish, but it was certainly a nice return to form against a surging opponent.
  • With the victory Junior certainly has the ability to leap back into the title conversation considering he has defeated both the champion and his next challenger. There aren’t a tonne of high profile fights available for JDS right now. I think the best option would be for him to wait on the Arlovski/Overeem and Browne/Velasquez fights and if either Arlovski or Browne emerge with victory that would be a suitable next fight for Dos Santos. I don’t think fights with Overeem or Velasquez make sense right now considering their previous fights.
  • Rothwell’s momentum has stalled a bit, but it doesn’t take much to get going again in the Heavyweight division. He should face either Browne or Arlovski if they lose their next fight.
Final Thoughts

I almost feel a little bad for Rothwell, he worked hard to get where he was and gain the respect that no one wanted to give him. This fight would have put him on the cusp of a shot at the title, but I am sure they would have diverted him one more time.

After back to back tough shows I put forth my best card of the year. I went 11-2 with a pair of upset on a card that included 11 fighters either debuting or making their first UFC appearance. Not a easy time when it comes to prepping and predicting. The Bet Packs were a hit and that was long overdue. The full pack is posted below, but here is a quick look- 189.51 units won, Confidence List 4 for 5, Value Bets 4 for 5, EPU 1-0, FPO 1-0, HEF 8-2, and 6-1 on the prop bets including JDS by Decision at +600!

UFC on FOX 19 is up next and then UFC 197, time to get back to work!

Parlay Header

Parlay #1
Selection 1: Derrick Lewis -136 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Curtis Blaydes -142 
Selection 3: Zak Cummings +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +551 Bet: 9 units
Payout: 49.56 units
Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 1: Junior Dos Santos -125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Tim Johnson +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Lucas Martins -112 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Jared Cannonier -147 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +1234  x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 86.37 units
Parlay #1 
Selection 1: Maryna Moroz -175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Ian Entwistle -140 
Selection 3: Damir Hadzovic/Mairbek Taisumov Total Rounds Under 2.5 +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Derrick Lewis/Gabriel Gonzaga Total Rounds Over 1.5 +137 
Price: +1337  x Bet: 6units
Payout: 80.19 units
Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 1: Ian Entwistle/Alejandro Perez Total Rounds Under 1.5  -140 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Zak Cummings +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Tim Johnson +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Cyril Asker/Jared Cannonier Total Rounds Under 1.5 +107 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +1719  x Bet: 6 units 
Payout: 103.14 units


Draftkings Line up

Lineup #1
Fighter 1: Derrick Lewis $9100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Curtis Blaydes $9600 
Fighter 3: Maryna Moroz $11200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Ian Entwistle $9300 
Fighter 5: Jared Cannonier $10700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining:
Lineup #2
Fighter 1: Junior Dos Santos $9700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Derrick Lewis $9100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Tim Johnson $9900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Jan Blachowicz $10600 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Lucas Martins $10200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining: 


Ben Rothwell +114 vs Junior Dos Santos -125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This line as done a sizeable flipflop since it initialy opened. JDS is coming off a pretty poor performance, which has clearly tainted our perspective of his capabilities. Is he done competing/beating elite opposition? Is Big Ben elite? Rothwell has been getting by in fights where he starts out slow, is losing the fight in some fashion and than rallies to grab the victory. Will JDS present him with that oppurtunity? I can’t see Rothwell submitting him b/c he doesnt have the wrestling to deal with Junior’s TDD and JDS isn’t the type of fighter that is going to look for a takedown unless he gets rocked. Further, Rothwell isn’t a volume striker. In fact, he gets hit on average 0.65 times more per minute than he hits his opponent. At the heavyweight level, that can add up especially consider JDS’s normal workrate. I know he looked hesitant against Overeem, but Ben is more more hittable. That leaves a knockout for Ben, which is a possibility. That being said  I think JDS has more avenues to victory. He either hurts Rothwell, who is tough, but not unstoppable or out works him for a decision. Still momentum can mean a lot in MMA. I’ll back JDS but as either a part of my Silver or Bronze Parlay. I like him so much more as the underdog. I will also look at a big paying prop bet. For a live bet, if you have some extra coin, conider a live bet on Rothwell after round 1 if he doesn’t fair well and his price climbs.


JDS is reasonably priced at $9700. Over 5 rounds, if he lets his hands go he has the ability to pile up some big numbers. He landed 123 strikes against Stipe over 5 rounds and Ben should be more hittable. He also has stopping power and if he can pile up the damage over round 1 and 2 look for him to potentially put Rothwell away in the second half of the fight. I have him on my #2 squad.


Derrick Lewis -136 vs Gabriel Gonzaga +135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Another Heavyweight fight and another line on the move. Lewis opened as a slight fav and we were (still are) licking our chops. DK posted their lines wand Lewis is priced incredibly cheap. More on that shortly. Where does Gabe win this fight. He can. It either comes as a product of his counter right hand. Sliding backwards and catching Lewis as he comes forward. The other option is he scores the early takedown and grabs a sub. I think the knockout is more likely at this point than the submission. Lewis’s counter wrestling is pretty solid, especially considering how tentative GG looked against Erokhin. Lewis does an excellent job of defending and then countering with his size and strength into a top position. His physicality and power will both back GG up and wear him out if they do engage. GG’s chin/ durability is not on the level needed to withstand a Lewis barrage. I see the big man stopping this fight from top position. I like him in my Gold play. Hopefully you can grab him before the line moves more.


Now here is the fun part. Lewis averages 71.3 points per fight. He has finished all 5 of his UFC opponents, all 14 of his pro opponents, and he has an average fight time of 5:10. GG has been knocked out 8-times, which equates to 80% of his defeats, and has been stopped in 7 of his 9 UFC bouts. Lewis carries his power deep into fights and Gabe will slow down as the bout progresses- see the Cro Cop fight. At just $9100 Lewis has to be on your team. He isn’t going to give you a tonne in the unique points area, but he will score and he will create available cash to be spent on other fighters. Unleash the Black Beast. I have him on both of my squads.

Curtis Blaydes -142 vs Francis Ngannou +130  

Like the main event, this fight has seen a shift in the line after the initial open. Blaydes did open around the -140 mark, but shortly afterward climbed all the way up to the +113 range. Ngannou had a violent finish to his debut, but he stumbled through the opening round and spent a lot of it on his back. His opponent was smaller, not really known for his grappling prowess, and Ngannou needed the help of the ref to get off his back after the first TD. Blaydes is a massive HW and moves like a smaller man. He also comes from a solid wrestling background and should have no issues putting Francis on the mat. His striking isn’t good enough to give him the confidence to abandon his wrestling in this bout, which is a good thing. I like Blaydes skill set to overwhelm and grind down Ngannou from top position. Despite coming in on short notice and making his debut, I have Blaydes in the Gold parlay.


At $9600, Blaydes is another economical buy. He can finish and has done so in all 5 of his pro bouts. If he is unable to stop Ngannou he has the ability to score takedowns and along with the ensuing strikes that will produce a point total above what you are actually paying for. Some might buy into Curtis considering his finish rate, but others will stay away with his lack of name value. He makes the cut on Team #1.

Marcin Tybura -145 vs Tim Johnson +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Johnson isn’t flashy, but he is effective at what he does. Tybura comes in as a reasonably touted prospect out of Europe. It is probably worth noting that TJ is the favourite based on the DK prices, but there are several fights on this card when the betting lines and fantasy prices simply aren’t lining up. Like Johnson size and wrestling pedigree. He is aggressive and should be able to get the better of the grappling exchanges. That will take away one of the biggest weapons that Tybura has to offer. If their wrestling games cancel each other out then look for Tim’s aggression on the feet to carry the day. I haven’t be overwhelmingly impressed with what I have seen from Tybura and don’t feel his style will translate well at the UFC level. That being said, with their style similarities this fight has the potential to be a close one if there isn’t a finish. I will drop Johnson down to my Silver parlay as a result.


Wth an average of 67 pts per fight, TJ doesn’t jump off the page at you as a must have. He has a 1st round finish and a grinding decision loss on his UFC slate. All of his wins have come by finish and that is certainly encouraging. In Tybura’s only pro loss he stopped due to a cut. To be blunt, I didn’t feel he took the damage well. Some guys wear damage and keep walking forward, other guys start to shut down. From what I have seen, Tybura is the latter.  Johnson grinds on him does some damage and could put him away. If not, he will land a decent volume of strikes and work in a few TDs as the bout progresses and Octagon shock and the impact of grappling a big HW set in for the newcomer. Team #2 for TJ.

Igor Pokrajac +319 vs Jan Blachowicz -346 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I was listening in (for the first time) to another prediction show and was rather got off guard, by his breakdown of this fight. I only tuned into the show based on this individual’s ludicrous behaviour on social media. To say the least, I was not impressed. Especially consider the title of this show and the claim that his name makes. I am as full of BS as the next guy, and mispronounce my fair share of fighters names. But, this individual butchered Pokrajac’s name so badly. It begs the question- how much fight footage of Igor did he actually watch? It wouldn’t take much to get it correct. I also laughed at his suggested that of these two fighters- Igor was the one trending up and Blachowicz was trending down. Considering who each man has been fighting of late, that is a hard sell. Rant over. I won’t bet on this fight. I think Jan wins this fight but he has been so underwhelming of late that there isn’t any need to risk this your money at such a paltry return.


I do have Blachowicz on my #2 squad. Of the options that were left after picking Team #1 and filling the first 4 spots on Team 2, he is the only fighter let that I hadn’t already used and felt could pick up a stoppage. Igor has been knocked out 6 times and subbed twice more. Blachowicz is a big guy and finishing the legend that is Ilir Latifi is impressive in itself. Igor is being brought back as a Croatian fighter of significance on the main card in the absence of Mirko. He hasn’t looked like UFC material in a while so I could see a finish materializing. Team #2.

Cristina Stanciu +165 vs Maryna Moroz -175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is an interesting fight. Stanciu is a berzerker. She brings it hard and heavy. How does that style hold up at the UFC level? Great question. Only time will tell. Moroz is the more technically sound fighter, but that doesn’t matter much if she is left staring up at the lights after an initial barrage. I see Moroz surviving the early onslaught and then taking advantage of an opponent not accustom to being outside the opening round. Also keep in mind that Stanciu has fought at 125 pounds and above. Her aggressive style might not hold up after draining to make the Strawweight limit. Still, the early minutes/ round will be interesting. Moroz falls to the Bronze parlay as a result.


As a fantasy option, I like her more. WMMA doesn’t get a lot of credit for their finishing abilities. Moroz is a capable submission fighter and an aggressive striker. With her ability to snatch an arm off her back I could see Stanciu’s aggression leading her down a rabbit hole that could result in a quick tap out. If not and Stanciu starts to slow in rounds 2 and 3, she could stop here then. If all of that fails look for the volume, 4+ strikes per minute, to score you some points. She is expensive, which is a nice feature that will push most others away. That creates an opportunity for unique points and the savings created by other fighters makes her expense much more manageable. Team #1.

Nicolas Dalby -127 vs Zak Cummings +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Adding to a growing trend, DK has Cummings as a heavy favourite. For those that are counting, that is GG, Francis Ngannou, Tim Johnson, Zak Cummings, and Alejandro Perez who are all Betting underdogs, but Fantasy favourites. Make what you will of it. Dalby put up  a good fight against Till, but I wasn’t impressed. At least, not until he went off in round 3. Cummings is a better wrestler and the more active striker. Couple that with the frequency at which Dalby gets hit and Cummings is going to be on the offensive a lot in this fight. I expect to see him gain some grinding top control as well. Important in a close fight. As a result of the value that Cummings presents, his veteran savvy, and the skill match-up- I like Cummings in my top play. I am aware of his lack of a full camp and past weight issues, but I am willing to bank on him overcoming those obstacles here.


Cummings was close to getting the call on one of my DK squads, but he was slightly priced beyond what I had available. The potential for a close fight has me leaning towards a decision and while Cummings could hit 80-85 points with volume and takedowns- I couldn’t make him fit.

Damir Hadzovic +315 vs Mairbek Taisumov -340 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No bet here. Taisumov has been a killer, but also laid an egg against Prazeres. Hadzovic has some skill, but still probably loses this fight.


I am going to pass here as well. Taisumov may very well get the win and stop this fight, but I expect a lot of people will him in their lineup. This will in turn hurt their buying power for the other 4 spots with the Russian-born fighter costing an event-high $11400.

Ian Entwistle -140 vs Alejandro Perez +135 

This is one of the fights that I think DK has it wrong. Entwistle has been the favourite from the open and the gap is growing. Perez has had issues with his grappling defense and I don’t like the way he got caught by Williams at the start of the fight. Entwistle will come out aggressive and most likely catch him off-guard. On the flip side of the coin, if he can’t get the sub he will probably go drop a decision or get stopped himself. I will bank on Enty for a Bronze level parlay and consider betting the total as well. A bet on the Brit to win in round 1 might be worth it considering all of his wins have taken place before the first horn.


Based on both his finishing rate and more than affordable price, Entwistle makes the cut for my #1 team. He has 8 1st round finishes on his record and nothing else. Conversely, Perez has been subbed 3-times in his career. At $9300, he is a must have.

Damian Stasiak -116 vs Filip Pejic +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I didn’t get a great feeling for this fight. I read reports on both men, looked at their backgrounds, and watched footage. Nothing jumped off the page at me to make Stasiak worth a bet. I will pass here.



Lucas Martins -112 vs Robert Whiteford +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m not a huge Martins’s fan, but I like him here. Whiteford is more than willing to stand and trade which plays right into the Brazilian’s hands. Martins has power, size/length advantage, and aggression to put Whiteford down. His ability to deal with the wrestling of Elkins was noteworthy, which gives me confidence that if Whiteford tries to change things up and grapple with him- it won’t work. I am on the fence with Martins and I am certainly considering giving him a look in my top play. If not, he falls into the Silver section.


I like Martins here. He can finish and should have the output to score over 3 rounds. He is reasonably affordable at $10200 which is also a nice feature. He rounds out my #2 squad.

Cyril Asker +145 vs Jared Cannonier -147 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I do not have a tonne of faith if fighters coming out of South Africa, at least not yet. Asker found success on the European circuit before moving on to face the likes of Ruan Potts and company. He did well, but that doesn’t mean a heck of a lock considering how Potts faired in the UFC. Cannonier on the other hand has a pretty solid striking game and good power. He has just a single UFC fight and while he lost I felt he was holding his own up until the seminal blow. I see him being too quick and too skilled for a fighter that is hittable and relies on a wrestling game that won’t translate well against more skilled grapplers at the UFC level. Cannonier is reasonably priced, but the layoff and lack of UFC experience has me moving him into the Silver section parlay.


I also have Cannonier as my final piece to my DK puzzle. At $10700 he isn’t cheap but we can afford him. He has a solid finishing rate and his skills should show up well this time around. Most fans will probably overlook him considering his lack of name recognition and 1st round knockout loss on his UFC record. I like him, sign him up.

Alessio Di Chirico +160 vs Bojan Velickovic -164 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Two brand new UFC fighters to open the card. I think Bojan is the better fighter, but I can’t invest him just yet. ADC is coming out of a small talent pool which can be equally harmful and helpful when developing. I’ll Pass. The total might be an option.


Nothing to see here. That isn’t entirely true. Considering what know about the EPU factors that are in play here, this fight is probably not going to see the judges. Considering Bojan’s finishing rate he has the potential to add some points that most players will pass on. Consider him an option for some nice variety.


1. Mairbek Taisumov -340 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Derrick Lewis -136 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Zak Cummings +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Jan Blachowicz -346 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Curtis Blaydes -142 


6. Jared Cannonier -147 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Tim Johnson +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Lucas Martins -112 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Junior Dos Santos -125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Maryna Moroz -175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Ian Entwistle -140 

12. Bojan Velickovic -164 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

13. Damian Stasiak -116 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Zak Cummings +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Tim Johnson +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Derrick Lewis -136 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Lucas Martins -112 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Curtis Blaydes -142 

1. Ben Rothwell +114-  It’s hard not to see the value in Rothwell, even if I backed JDS. Watch for that Live Bet option after round 1.






Exclusive Bet Pack Info.


Prop Bets


Junior Dos Santos to Win by Decision +600 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This play has a lot to do with value. JDS can finish, no doubt about it, but Rothwell is pretty tough dude. Against the likes of Roy Nelson, Stipe Miocic, and Shane Carwin, Junior went the distance. They were able to take what he dished out and kept coming forward. While I wouldn’t be shocked to see a finish, if JDS is going to win this fight he may have to go a full 5-rounds to get it.

Derrick Lewis/Gabriel Gonzaga Total Rounds Over 1.5 +137 

Gonzaga has gone to the 3rd round in 3 of his last 4 fights. Lewis has a pile of opening round stoppages, but prior to his last win he also went to the 2nd round or beyond in 3 straight. I see a bit of a tentative start in this one with neither man wanting to end up on bottom. For whoever (I’m banking on Lewis) gets on they aren’t going to want to relinquish the position by being too aggressive. Both guys can finish the fight early, but I like the over.

Igor Pokrajac/Jan Blachowicz Total Rounds Over 1.5 -150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The 1.5 total is being built on Igor’s rate of being finish above all else. Blachowicz has gone over 1.5 rounds in 9 of his last 11 rounds, with all but 1 fight making it beyond the opening frame. Pokrajac has been a part of 5 consecutive 1st round finishes, but prior to that he had a run of 4 consecutive fights to escape the opening frame. Jan isn’t a high volume striker and neither if Pokrajac. I expect this bout  to include som prolonged periods of inactivity and maybe the odd boo. Play the Over.

Nicolas Dalby/Zak Cummings 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Damir Hadzovic/Mairbek Taisumov Total Rounds Under 2.5 +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Hadzovic has not been finished in his career, but he has not faced the likes of Taisumov either. With all of the 1.5 totals I expected this bout to get the same treatment, but I was pleasantly surprised to get the extra round. Taisumov has finished 3 straight and all but 1 of his 24 wins. That is a pretty impressive run. Hadzovic’s finishing rate is pretty strong as well at 8 of 10, but the outcome of this total will most likely be decided by Taisumov.

Ian Entwistle/Alejandro Perez Total Rounds Under 1.5  -140 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The Brit doesn’t know what the second round of a fight looks like. Really. Of his 11 pro bouts and 5 amateurs fights on record they all ended in 1st round. Perez has also been a capable finisher in his career and considering how willing Entwistle is to attack the sub and risk his own well being- Perez should have a chance to finish if he isn’t finished. Play the Under.

Cyril Asker/Jared Cannonier 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Alessio Di Chirico/Bojan Velickovic

See Betting Scenario Section.