UFN 92: Rodriguez vs Caceres- ‘The Next One’

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Without the stacked card or fanfare of recent cards, UFC Fight Night 92 rolled into Salt Lake City. The card was headlined by a pair of exciting Featherweights, with Alex Caceres taking on Mexico Yair Rodriguez. The prelims include a trio of knockouts and some action-laced decisions. The main card didn’t get off to a great start but slowly regained momentum as the event progressed. I went a disappoint 5-7 with several underdog picks failing to materialize. The Bet Pack broke even with the 3-leg Gold Parlay cashing along with a strong prop play. The Bet Pack is posted at the bottom, but before we get there let’s take a look at the fights to make for the big winners of UFN 92.

Yair Rodriguez vs Dennis Bermudez

A pair of winners from Saturday night would make for a very good action fight. It would also serve to answer some questions on both sides. For Yair, how will he deal with a fast grinding wrestler. That is a big issue that all talented strikers need to answer as they climb the ranks. If Rodriguez is able to overcome Bermudez, he takes a massive stride towards title contention. If he loses the fight, it’s not too devastating of a defeat that he can’t recover from.

Dennis Bermudez vs Yair Rodriguez

Bermudez has been on the cusp of title contention, but he is close to entering that Jake Ellenberger/ Jim Miller realm- good, very good, but not good enough. Bermudez has had issues with long rangy fighters and more specifically fighters with power. Yair would certainly give him that test. If Dennis got by him, the win could lead to a title eliminator bout.

Thales Leites vs Tim Kennedy

If Kennedy opts to return to action, Leites would serve as an excellent next opponent. Both guys have struggled against several top-ranked fighters, but Kennedy holds a win over the current champ and Leites fought Bisping to a very close decision. A win gives either man a boost back up to compete in the upper echelon.

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Tarec Saffiedine

Ponzinibbio deserves a shot at the Top 15 and Saffiedine is a perfect opponent for that opportunity. They are both striking based fighters, but Ponzinibbio’s pension for pushing the action and Tarec’s point fighting style offers a nice contrast but also could produce fireworks.

Trevor Smith vs Sam Alvey

Alvey just wants to bang and Smith has no problem getting in your face and mauling you. Both men are vulnerable to the other man’s form of attack which makes for an interesting showdown. Can Smith grind him out for the entire duration or get pulled into a fire fight where Alvey lands a bomb and knocks him out?

Maryna Moroz  vs Jessica Penne

It wasn’t a good performance, but it was a win. Her opponent struggled to get on the inside and Moroz had no intention of putting herself in danger just to make for a better fight. Penne is coming off another brutal loss to a heavy-handed striker, that isn’t Moroz. Either Penne gets back on track of Moroz adds a respectable win to her resume.

Court McGee vs Alan Jouban

It was a close fight and had Court not been fighting at home he might have lost the decision. Neither Jouban or McGee are contending anytime soon, but the winner of this fight might get a shot at a top 15 fighter.

Marcin Tybura vs Jared Cannonier

Both guys lost their debuts and then returned to form with violent knockouts in their sophomore appearance. There were some rumbles that Cannonier might consider a cut to 205, but if not I would love to see this pair throw down.

Teruto Ishihara vs Jason Knight

Ishihara is leading the way for the JMMA rebirth, in the UFC at least. The guys has swagger and brutal stopping power. Either you love him or you hate him. I don’t want to rush him too soon, but a fight with a Knight would be a barn burner. Both guys like to stand and bang and Knight’s ground skills would test Ishihara defensively.

Cub Swanson vs Daren Elkins

Swanson got by a tough wrestler, but needed an illegal knee to pull it off. I was surprised with 30-27 considering Kawajiri controlled most of the opening round on the mat. Swanson couldn’t get by Edgar and Elkins fell against Mendes, let’s pair them together to crown the ultimate gatekeeper to the elite of the division.

Final Thoughts

Despite the lower expectations for this card, I felt it delivered for the most part. There were some forgettable moments, but almost every card has that. Rodriguez is a top level talent, but there are big challenges that lie ahead. For all my struggles, to basically break even with the Bet Pack parlays is decent. Not exciting, but at least not a massive negative. We had 7 shows over 5 weeks dating back to July.  I finished 47-31 during that run, not bad, but I would have liked to have finished stronger with a record closer to 63-64%. We get a break before heading into UFC 202 for one of the most anticipated rematches in quite some time.   

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Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Selection 1: Thales Leites -157 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Marcin Tybura -135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Court McGee -199 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +328 Bet: 12 units
Payout: 39.38 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1:  Zak Cummings +140 
Selection 2: Joseph Gigliotti -133 
Selection 3: Jason Novelli +133 
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Price: +880  x Bet: 8 units 
Payout: 70.37 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Alex Caceres +257 
Selection 2: Tatsuya Kawajiri +304 
Selection 3: Zak Cummings +140 
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Price: +3361 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 168.07 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Thales Leites -157 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Horacio Gutierrez +211 
Selection 3: Chase Sherman +125 
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Price: +1698 x Bet: 6
Payout: 101.9 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Maryna Moroz to Win by Decision +179 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Court McGee/Dominique Steele Total Rounds Under 2.5 +179 
Selection 3: Marcin Tybura -135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Joseph Gigliotti to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +275 
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Price: +4981  x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 398.5 units
 
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Parlay #2
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Selection 1: Alex Caceres +257 
Selection 2:Horacio Gutierrez +211 
Selection 3: Dennis Bermudez/Rony Jason Fight Doesn’t Go to Decision -130 
Selection 4: Chase Sherman/Justin Ledet Total Rounds Under 1.5 -110 
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Price: +3650  x Bet: 6 units
Payout: 219 units

 

Draftkings Line up

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Kamikaze
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Fighter 1: Dennis Bermudez $10400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Thales Leites $10700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Court McGee $11400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Marcin Tybura $9500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Horacio Gutierrez $7900 
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Overdrive
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Fighter 1: Alex Caceres $8900 
Fighter 2: Joseph Gigliotti $9300 
Fighter 3: Court McGee $11400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4:  Jason Novelli $10200 
Fighter 5: Chase Sherman $9700 
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Salary Remaining: 
 
 
 

 

Alex Caceres +257 vs Yair Rodriguez -271 

I know I am in the minority here. Big time. There are members of the public backing Caceres, but few people in my line of work are taking that side. The line has done a lot of moving, with Caceres opening higher, coming close to +200 and then settling around +240 or above depending on what site you are on. This is a big test for Rodriguez and while he has looked impressive, Caceres is a different animal then what he has faced before. If Yair can’t finish this fight early, he is going to be pushed in the later rounds. Caceres has never fought in rounds 4 and 5, but his laid back approach should translate well in the later rounds. Keep in mind, fighting in Salt Lake City is fighting at elevation. Rodriguez likes to throw a lot of flashy techniques and kicks a lot, that can take its toll on the gas tank over 5-rounds. Additionally, Caceres has the type of grappling that can capitalize on some of the holes that Yair leaves when attacking. Caceres has to fight on the inside, land those close range punches we saw against Miller, and not let Yair get his offense going. I like Caceres, he has a lot of value, but he will be in a Bronze level parlay.

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The DK lines are all over the place compared to the betting lines, but not in this fight. Over a 5-round bout, Caceres can pile up some volume on the feet. He has surpassed the 100 strikes mark multiple times and come close in a couple of other fights. Over 5-rounds he should be able to do something similar. He is also extremely active on the mat once it gets there- constantly transitioning and advancing his position while looking for a sub. At $8900, I will play him on Team Overdrive.

Dennis Bermudez -220 vs Rony Jason +211 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’m going to pass on a side bet here. I gave Jason a look and nearly took him. He is dangerous on the feet and on the mat. Bermudez has had issues in both of those areas before and could again. Jason’s layoff is pretty concerning as we don’t quite know what we are getting here. If I could grab Bermudez around -180 I would consider it. I might take a shot on a Counter Bet in prop form here.

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Bermudez is going to join team Kamikaze. I had him pegged around the $10700 mark, but at $10400 he is very playable. The guy can do it all. He can finish or he can put up some massive numbers in a longer fight. I am expecting a combination of the two. With over 4 takedowns averaged per fight and nearly 4.5 strikes landed per minute he can score over a 15-minute fight. Those type of numbers coupled with his top level endurance could very well wear Jason out and finish him. A fighter with mutiple avenues to score points is a fighter you want to have on your team.

Chris Camozzi +150 vs Thales Leites -157 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is a fight where altitude could be detrimental to my fighter. Leites’s cardio is a bit hit and miss at times and Camozzi fights that scrappy style that could force him to really work hard. That being said, I feel this fight is close on the feet, but that is it. Leites is better in the clinch, uses that position to set up his ground game, and is dominant on the mat. Camozzi has relied on his clinch and ground game to pick up recent wins and that won’t be an option here. I see Leites taking him down and holding him there and/or picking up the submission win. Thales needs to get to work early before a possible slowdown kicks in, but I like him as one of my top plays. Solid Value = Gold Play. Leites will also be part of a secondary Bronze parlay.

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Leites isn’t a high-volume guy that is going to put up 80/90+ strikes in a fight. Where he is going to score is with his takedowns. Camozzi gives up a lot of takedowns and Leites will be looking to exploit that. Camozzi has also been submitted 5-times, another area that the Brazilian will be looking to jump on. Leites is a little expensive, but he is a known commodity and should be able to exploit the gaps in his opponents game and produce for us. Team Kamikaze.

Santiago Ponzinibbio -141 vs Zak Cummings +140 

I went back and forth on this fight as well and sided with Cummings for a couple of reasons. First, I think he is a very smart fighter. He knows what he needs to do and will go out and do it. Secondly, his durability is going to carry this fight into the second half where we should see a drop off in Ponz’s output. At this point, look for the grappling of Zak to take over with takedowns and clinch fighting pushing Santiago over the edge. I also like the counter striking of Cummings to play a big role. Ponz is aggressive, which can pay off but it also opens him to getting cracked when he pushes forward too hard. This fight should be close early and might even get a little tense if Santiago starts to open up, but look for Cummings to find his bearings and take over. Take a peek at the Live Bet option on Cummings if Santiago is winning the opening round, but looks tired. Cummings fits into my Silver Play as well as one of my Bronze Parlays.

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It is probably worth noting that Cummings is the favourite in the Fantasy world. It’s not a huge disparity at $10000, but it’s something. That being said, he is a pass for me. There is a more expensive alternative that will produce better than Cummings and is affordable based on the rest of the lineup I assembled on the team where I considered Zak as an option.

Joseph Gigliotti -133 vs Trevor Smith +128 

Something has to be looked at when a newcomer enters the UFC and is a favourite over a veteran like Smith. I did have this fight predicted before the odds went live, so I wasn’t that surprised that Gigliotti was the favourite. Joe is still raw, but he comes from a good camp and has a lot to work with. He has power, can wrestling, and offers decent submission skills. Its the first quality that I am banking on. Smith is chinny. He has been rocked in several fights, knocked out several times, and doesn’t do well with pressure. Additionally he has been off for a long time and his cardio isn’t great under the best of conditions. He is going to exhaust himself looking for the early takedowns and even if he wins round 1, he’ll be in trouble the rest of the way. If he opts to stand and trade, he is slow and plodding. Gigs should be able to capitalize. We obviously want to see the new guy get a win at the UFC level before investing big, but I like how these guys matchup so he warrants a spot in the Silver Section.

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Gigliotti will also get a spot on Team Overdrive. This is another fight where we get a sizeable shift in the fantasy line compared to the betting lines. Smith has lost 5 of his 6 wins inside the distance, 4 in the opening round. Gigliotti has a 100% finishing rate, ending fights in each round. I could see a pure knockout coming early, beat down by accumulation, or even subbing Smith after hurting him on the feet via one of the first 2 initial scenarios. The best part is, most players are going to look at Joe and say who? Compared to his opponent, who costs just $10100 and has finished 10 of his 13 wins- Joe won’t be a popular pick. Unique points that could be in the 100 point range against a finishable opponent who gets hit a lot. Yes, please.

Danielle Taylor +236 vs Maryna Moroz -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I’ll pass here. I might look at the total, but I don’t like the side. Moroz is coming off of a decision win over Stanciu who got flattened in quick fashion in her next fight. That really diminishes the quality of that win. Taylor is super scrappy, but very small. I don’t think her style will translate well at this level. It is just a complete pass.

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Same here, the length of Moroz could be a sound defensive tool, but als0 might keep her from needing a tonne of offense to win this fight. Not worth the price.

Court McGee -199 vs Dominique Steele +191 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is an interesting fight to cap off the prelims. Court is fighting at home. He will be the big fan pop of the night, so he will be ready to put on a solid performance. But, he is coming off a knockout loss, the first of his career, so how does that impact his performance? He has to get out of the opening round here and the fight should be all his. Steele puts power into everything and his cardio suffers as a result. Add in the elevation factor and he will be sucking wind after round 1. If Dom opts not to come out firing and conserve the tank, Court’s volume and pressure will be overwhelming and wear him out anyway. I expect to see Steele go for it early, which will be tense, and either be devastating for perfect for us. Court has the wrestling and gritty striking along with the cardio to exploit all of Dom’s weaknesses. As long as his durability is still here, Gold play.

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Yikes. $11400 eh? I’m in. Court can score and will score, as long as his chin holds up. That is the narrative here that will make him a bust or not in all scenarios. His volume against a plodding fighter like Dom should eclipse 100-120 sig strikes and the takedowns will there to be hand. If he doesn’t score a lot with those number I see him scoring the knockout. Dom has been knocked out 4-times in the opening round. There are multiple scenarios here that have big scoring potential. The best part about Court is that he is so expensive and not really known as a massive knockout guy, most people will look elsewhere either on purpose or they simply won’t be able to afford him based on the rest of their picks. We can and we will play him on both teams!

Marcin Tybura -135 vs Viktor Pesta +125 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This could be a bit of a sloppy mess. Both guys can finish, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a decision here as both are durable. I see Tybura as the better grappler, better striker, and better conditioned. Even if Pesta takes round 1, I expect to him slowing down significantly when they come out for round 2. Marcin didn’t look bad in his debut, but Johnson is a bit underrated and the combo of making his debut against a grinding fighter can be hard to deal with. Look for a close fight early with Tybura finding more success at range and eventually on the mat in the 2nd half. At -135 I like the price here considering the advantages that we have. Gold Play for Tybura as he rights the ship. I’ve also got a good lean on a parlay.

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I’ve got Tybura on Team Kamikaze for one key reason. He is cheap and actually the Fantasy dog here. He is only going to cost you $9500, which is a solid price for a fighter I feel is going to cash. It opens up extra cash to pay for the aforementioned ‘Crusher’ McGee and he has potential to put up points. Tybura has finished 11 of his 13 wins, showcasing both submission and knockout skills. He is far from a high volume striker, but the takedowns are going to put up point. If this fight goes long it could very well get ugly and the output could drop off, but I am willing to take that risk in exchange for the price. On top of all that, no one will be breaking down the door to add him to their roster based on his debut, that should restrict the number of lineups he is in.

David Teymur -125 vs Jason Novelli +133 

I like Novelli here. He is much older then the typical fighter debuting in a lighter weightclass, but he has a nice striking base, decent grappling, and good size for the division. He also has an experience edge over Teymur in this fight. A lot of people are pointing to his debut as an indication of how he can handle a taller fighter like Novelli. Svensson is tall, but he is almost 100% a grappler. He offered next to no threat offensively on the feet and his defense wasn’t much better. Once Teymur established that he could stay vertical it was all systems go. Novelli has a decent counter striking game and can lead the exchanges as well. His reach and height will give him an edge in the exchanges and his grappling will also score points. He has more ways to win this contest and better value. Some are pointing to his draw with Cedeno as a major detractor, but I don’t like too put too much stock into the outcome of one fight- he gets it done here. Silver Play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

In another skewed line, DK posted Novelli as the favourite at $10200. He has 9 finishes in 11 wins which is decent. More tell is that 6 have come by submission, which is an area where Teymur could be exploited. Teymur isn’t that far removed from his run on TUF which saw him give up a number of completions over his last 2 fights. On the feet, Novelli throws hard and should be able to use his reach to hit his foe before he can be hit. More encouraging yet, who is he to the general public? Most will look at his name, see that he is debuting and a little longer in the tooth then expected and either pass or play Teymur who is coming off of a violent knockout.  Team Overdrive.

Horacio Gutierrez +211 vs Teruto Ishihara -217 

Ishihara has move quite a bit to get to this point from the opening line. He opened around the -260 to -270 range depending on your book and has steadily increased in value. Gutierrez has 4 pro fights, lost his last 2, including getting mauled in the TUF final. That isn’t a lot to build a case around. Prior to that, he looked good on the show and styles make fights. Ishihara isn’t going to be hitting blast double and pinning him on the mat all fight. Both guys are strikers and while I like Ishihara’s power and erratic style, he is a gasser. He slowed down significantly against Hirota in his debut and it was largely because of how he was fighting and not what Hirota was doing. At altitude (I know, I keep saying it), he either has either pace himself or go for it all early. s he the same fighter if he is darting in and out like he normally does? Look for the more sound striking style of Gutierrez to carry better over the duration and capitalize on the hands down- “catch me if you can” defense of his opponent. Keep an eye on the check left hook counter that Horacio likes to throw. Ish likes to dart in and then duck out to the right which will bring him right in line with that big power punch. Gutierrez still has a long way to go to prove himself at this level (I feel he starts here), but a Bronze bet is my play.

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Wow, this is the most lopsided Fantast line out there. Horacio is coming in at a minuscule $7900. What a bargain. Nothing on his pro record exists to counter this number, but I felt his performance on TUF does just that. This is a great stylistic fight for him and his power striking, counter game, and more conventional technique will produce. I am going for the knockout here and if he does, very few if anyone will be on him. Just as importantly, we can afford to spend elsewhere because of this play. Team Kamikaze.

Cub Swanson -340 vs Tatsuya Kawajiri +304 

This line is still ridiculous and it has improved since it opened. Swanson is coming off of a decent win over Dias and Kawajiri got the breaks beat off of him by Bermudez. That isn’t encouraging for Tatsuya. But let’s look at Swanson’s win. This fight is being pointed to his as an indication of Cub’s ability to beat a wrestler known for his grinding top game. At face value, yes he beat Dias who is known for that. Looking at the fight closer, Hacran shot once, and it was a half-hearted shot at best. He spent the rest of the fight getting second-best in the striking exchanges. Cub gives up a lot of takedowns, even in fights that he wins. Kawajiri only knows one way of fighting and that is shoot, shoot, and shoot some more until he is on top. When Kawajiri lands takedowns, he wins. Cub pieces him up on the feet, but if he can’t stay vertical it won’t matter. I am concerned about the cardio of Tatsuya, but I think he pushes through here. The cardio pushes him down to a Bronze play, but there is way too much value to skip this pick.

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No Play here. Takedowns will score points, but it will be a controlled based decision win with an outside shot at a submission. Not a tonne of fantasy potential compared to other options.

Chase Sherman +125 vs Justin Ledet -132 

This fight is a bit of a crap shoot. I am on Sherman because of his natural size, more well-rounded approach, and athletic ability. I won’t go into too much detail here to avoid repeating myself in the EPD section. Check there for more details. Bronze Play.

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This Fantasy line is even. I like that, especially when dealing with HWs. If you feel a Heavy is going to win and can get him at a decent price, it is worth the play. Most HW wins usually come inside the distance and Sherman is a first round finishing machine. He fits into my final spot on Team Overdrive.

 

1. Court McGee -199 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Maryna Moroz -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Thales Leites -157 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Dennis Bermudez -220 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Marcin Tybura -135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

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6. Joseph Gigliotti -133 

7. Zak Cummings +140 

8. Jason Novelli +133 

9. Horacio Gutierrez +211 

10. Tatsuya Kawajiri +304 

11. Chase Sherman +125 

12. Alex Caceres +257 

1. Jason Novelli +133 

2. Zak Cummings +140

3. Tatsuya Kawajiri +304 

4. Alex Caceres +257 

5. Horacio Gutierrez +211 

1. Rony Jason to Win Inside the Distance +315:  I came close to picking Jason to win this fight so a counter bet makes sense here. The layoff makes him a wildcard, but if he is going to win it will be inside the distance and the line is just too sweet not to take a small shot.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

 

Dennis Bermudez/Rony Jason Fight Doesn’t Go to Decision -130 

This is a solid alternative to betting a side here and gives you a little more room then the Under 1.5. Jason can finish and do it very quickly, if he does put Bermudez away it probably comes inside the opening 5 minutes. He has the submission skills and enough pop in his hands to exploit the issues that Bermudez has had in previous fights with getting stopped. On the other side of the equation, Bermudez is a relentless animal. If he is going to beat Jason he will probably look for takedowns and to land heavy ground and pound. Between the layoff and the elevation, the Brazilian might not be able to survive a full 15-minutes of the beating that Dennis is capable of bringing to bear. It might hit the Under 1.5, but I will play it a little safer here.

Joseph Gigliotti to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +275 

A solid price on this line here considering Giliotti has never gone the distance and has a trio of knockout wins on is resume. Smith is strong on the mat, so the only way Gigs gets the submission is if he rocks him and then opts to go for the choke instead of pounding out the finish. Smith has only been tapped once and it was by Tim Kennedy, compared to 4 losses by knockout including his last 2 defeats. Look for Joe to blitz Smith early and test his chin. If he doesn’t finish it there, Smith’s below average cardio won’t hold up over 3 rounds and he could go down later in the fight due to exhaustion and of course punches- punches are key.

Maryna Moroz to Win by Decision +179 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

If you want to bet this fight, I suggest this option. The Over 2.5 rounds is certainly playable, but when you consider how these 2 match up, if Taylor is winning this fight it is probably not on points. She is going to struggle to consistently get on the inside of the longer more accomplished striker. She might be able get in once and knock her out, but doing it over 15-minutes is a different story. Moroz has just a single submission win on her record, which came in her last fight. Moroz will probably use her length to keep away from Taylor’s power nad pick her apart from the outside. She has gone the distance in back to back fights, which more accurately represents the increase in fight time experience when first moving to the UFC. Play the decision.

Court McGee/Dominique Steele 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Marcin Tybura/Viktor Pesta Total Rounds Over 1.5 -140 

Both guys are durable and can take a lot of damage. Pesta got smashed with some absolute massive shots by Lewis, but hung around longer than most. Viktor has gone the distance in 4 of his last 5 fights and Tybura has seen the third round 3-times over his last 6 bouts compared to twice in his first 9. Better competition equal longer fights. These two share a similar skill set, so I expect to see a lot of grinding clinch exchanges that will eat up minutes. At Heavyweight, a finish is always looming but I see it happening in the second half of the bout if at all.

Cub Swanson/Tatsuya Kawajiri

See Betting Scenario Section.

Chase Sherman/Justin Ledet 

See Betting Scenario Section.

KAMIKAZE OVERDRIVE LOGO White