UFN 94: Poirier vs Johnson- ‘What a Menace!’

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With seven finishes, three in the opening round- there was lots to like during the UFC’s latest visit to the Lone Star State. Michael Johnson reestablished himself as a legit title contender, Derek Brunson further proved that he belongs in the upper echelon of the Middleweight division, and Chas Skelly fought like he had somewhere else to be. Let’s take a look at my top 5 winners and losers.

Winners Michael Johnson

Johnson had made a significant run up the ranks, but after back to back losses he needed this win badly. His striking looked quick and powerful, and while he is not known as a massive knockout threat- this performance will go a long way to changing that.Taking out a streaking fighter like Poirier in such definitive fashion is impressive and will set him up for a potential title eliminator. Emotions got the better of him at the end of the fight, but that can happen.

Derek Brunson

With his fourth straight opening round knockout, it is hard to deny that Brunson isn’t deserving of a shot at the division’s elite. I’m not ready to let him fight for the title yet, but he distancing himself from the majority of the division. With a pair of losses to Jacare (much earlier in his career) and Romero, he is 0-2 against the fighters ranked above him. I believe a fight with the likes of Tim Kennedy or Lyoto Machida would offer a nice bridge to the upper echelon at 185 pounds.

Evan Dunham

This was a high risk/ lower reward fight. Glenn is no slouch and while Dunham was never really in any serious trouble, it was still demanding fight for Dunham. He will hold his spot in the top 15 and could earn himself a shot at an opponent ranked above him or a redo with Trujillo. I personally feel a fight with either Gilbert Melendez or Al Iaquinta would be an optimal next outing.

Chas Skelly

Grabbing a record for the fastest submission in division history is a nice pick-up for a fighter coming off a one-sided beating. Skelly took a page out of Blanco’s book and came out guns blazing; closing the show just as quickly as it started. I don’t see Chas getting another crack at Elkins, like he requested, but a bout with another top 15 fighter isn’t out of the question.

Gabriel Benitez

Coming off a brutal knockout loss against Andre Fili, Benitez could have been handed his walking papers with another loss here. Instead, he looked sharp on the feet and put Sicilia to sleep on the mat. Solid performance.

Losers Dustin Poirier

Poirier was in the title conversation. He was charging up the rankings in a new division and all of that came to an abrupt end in just 95-seconds. Dustin never seemed comfortable, looking for a moment to start attacking that never came. His standing in the division will take a hit and with the depth at Lightweight, he’ll need to put together another impressive run just to get back to this point.

Uriah Hall

The stoppage was probably a little quick, but when you get dropped like that it’s hard for the ref to sit back and let your opponent unload on you for too long. After a 5-1 run, Uriah has lost back to back fights and hasn’t looked good in either outing. Hall’s ability to hold relevancy based on his highlight wins is fading and getting knocked out won’t help that. He’ll stick around, but he needs to take a step back in competition.

Kenny Robertson

The only reason Carneiro isn’t here is because he got the win. I felt Robertson did just enough to win, but sometimes “just enough” isn’t good enough. Robertson had success on the mat and on the feet, but for whatever reason he wasn’t able to push the pace consistently enough to solidify the win. Welterweight is a deep division and Robertson could be out of a job after this type of a performance.

Maximo Blanco

There was a lot of hype surrounding Maxi coming into the UFC, but he hasn’t even come close to living up to it. With back to back opening round submission losses, I can’t imagine Maxi getting to stick around for another opportunity.

Sam Sicilia

Sicilia has lost back to back fights and has been finished 5-times in the UFC. He has been touted as a heavy-handed brawler, but with just 3 knockouts over 11 Octagon bouts that reputation is a hard sell. Sam’s willingness to swing for the fences helped to keep him employed, that probably won’t be enough to save him again.

Final Thoughts

The card was solid with the exclusion of a couple of fights. I keep trying to like Michael Johnson and he keeps doing things to make me dislike him more. Fortunately for him, he is in the business of violence, not friendship. The Gold Parlay in the Bet backed suffered another last second letdown, with Poirier unable to seal the deal as the fourth leg. That unfortunate trend continues. he beat goes on for the UFC with another card just a week away, but despite my best efforts I am having trouble getting excited for this one. Cyborg smash!

Parlay Header

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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Dustin Poirier -158 
Selection 2: Derek Brunson -180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Chas Skelly -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Evan Dunham -310 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Price: +422 Bet: 12 units
Payout: 50.59 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Kenny Robertson -105 
Selection 2: Islam Makhachev -115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Alejandro Perez -115 Void Button
Selection 4: Sam Sicilia -157 
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Price: +1017  x Bet: 10 units 
Payout: 101.71 units
 
 
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Parlay #1
===================================================
Selection 1: Jose Quinonez +150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Antonio Carlos Junior to Win by Submission +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Kenny Robertson -105 
Selection 4: Dustin Poirier -158 
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Price: +2132  x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 170.53 units
 
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Parlay #1
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Selection 1: Derek Brunson/Uriah Hall Total Rounds Under 2.5 +142 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Evan Dunham/Rick Glenn Total Rounds Under 2.5 +157 
Selection 3: Kenny Robertson/Roan Carneiro Total Rounds Under 2.5 +130 
Selection 4: Alejandro Perez -115 Void Button
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Price: +2574  x Bet:  8 units
Payout: 205.95 units

 

Draftkings Line up

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Kamikaze
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Fighter 1: Dustin Poirier $10400 
Fighter 2: Kenny Robertson $9300  
Fighter 3: Islam Makhachev $9800 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Chas Skelly $10300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Belal Muhammad $10200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining:
 
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Overdrive
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Fighter 1: Derek Brunson $10000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Evan Dunham $10700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Kenny Robertson $9300 
Fighter 4: Islam Makhachev $9800 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Antonio Carlos Junior $9900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
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Salary Remaining: 
 

*I am suffering a major technical issue with my computer. As a result, these breakdowns will be directly to the point.

Dustin Poirier -158 vs Michael Johnson +148 

Johnson’s chin and cardio are the 2 biggest issues. Over 5 rounds, Dustin is going to land and Johnsn is going to slow down. Poirier is the more compact striker and a little quicker, which should help him beat MJ to the punch routinely. Poirier has a lot of momentum and at this price he is a solid investment. Gold Play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Over 5 rounds, Dustin should be able to land a decent volume of strikes and MJ has had some issues on the mat so there is potential for scoring points there as well. Johnson’s chin hasn’t bulletproof and Poirier has shown stopping power at LW. Team Kamikaze.

Derek Brunson -180 vs Uriah Hall +174 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Hall is capable but inconsistent. Brunson is aggressive, but erratic. If Hall can slip something through the defense of Brunson, he could very well knock him out. He has more than a puncher’s chance. What I like is the wrestling of Brunson to carry the fight. Hall has had issues with giving up TDS and seems a little less willing to throw when he knows he could end up on his back. Watch for Brunson’s gas tank early though, if he goes for the finish and doesn’t get it a Live Bet on Hall could be worth a look at the right price. Brunson joins the Gold Parlay.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Brunson has shown his willingness to throw bombs early and look for the finish. That is a plus for a fantasy fighter. If he can’t get the finish he will mix together takedowns and top position strikes for a decent point total. I had Brunson around $10200-10300. I’ll take him at $10000 for Team Overdrive.

Evan Dunham -310 vs Rick Glenn +315 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Glenn is no slouch, but he is over-matched here is just about every category. On top of that, he is fighting above his traditional weightclass. Dunham is an exhausting fighter and that will be difficult to manage for a smaller man. Dunham defends the grappling advances and outworks him on the feet. I’m going to throw him into my Gold Parlay.

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Dunham joins team Overdrive. He is a capable finisher on the mat and Glenn as been subbed 3-times. Dunham’s vertical output has been on the rise over the last few fights and I expect that to be the case here. If this bout goes the distance I expect to see him land a minimum of 90 strikes. Takedowns, striking volume, and finish potential. Solid play.

Kenny Robertson -105 vs Roan Carneiro +103 

Robertson opened as a slight dog here and is now the fav. While Carneiro is a veteran fighter, his lack of durability is concerning. Robertson isn’t a pretty striker, but he can crack and his combination of wrestling/grappling skills should keep him on the feet if that is where he wants to stay. If Robertson opts to take the fight to the mat, he has a strong submission acumen and can do damage from top position. Kenny takes it- big key in my Silver play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Robertson is pulling double duty here. At $9300 he is being underpriced, which makes him a bargain right away. His punching power combined with Roan’s questionable durability also makes Kenny attractive. Kenny isn’t a popular/ well-known fighter so I attribute that to his low-price. Sign him up.

Chris Wade +110 vs Islam Makhachev -115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Wade is coming off a loss to similarly skilled fighter is Khabilov. I would argue that Islam is more active, but less defensively strong then Rustam. What this fight comes down to is that Wade struggles when he can’t control the wrestling exchanges. The wrestling will either be nullified on both sides or Islam will have the advantage. If it is nullified, the power and aggression of Mak will carry the action on the feet. His defensive issues are concerning, but Wade doesn’t throw enough to exploit them. Solid Silver play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Makhachev is also pulling double duty, but more out of necessity than anything else. Based on his price point, $9800, and the amount of cash available he fits the bill. He is aggressive and active on the feet, he will look for takedowns, and knows how to finish on the floor. I don’t like the way Wade kept exposing his back when Rustam took him down, look for Mak to capitalize and lock in the sub.

Chas Skelly -181 vs Maximo Blanco +170 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I love this play. Skelly is hard to put away and while his cardio has been a big issue at times, Maxi isn’t much better in that category- possibly worse. Blanco’s chin is not what is use to be and Chas can thump. If the fight hits the mat look for the crafty combo of wrestling and submissions of the American to give Blanco fits and possibly end the fight.- Skelly is the final leg in my Gold Play!

Draft-Kings-Logo

Skelly is a fighter I wanted to double up, but his price won’t allow me to do it. He is still more than reasonable to play though and will join team Kamikaze. He has stopping power on the feet and submission skills on the mat- both areas that Blanco has issues with. I like the finish here.

Gabriel Benitez +155 vs Sam Sicilia -157 

Based on the fantasy line, we are getting a nice discount here. Gabe has tools that could trouble Sammy, but I like the wrestling of the American to mute Benitez’s offense. I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Sicilia wade forward and blast away until the ref pulls him off. Sammy = Silver play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

At $11200, Sammy might get the finish but he is too rich for my blood.

Augusto Montano +363 vs Belal Muhammad -380 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Hard pass! Belal has all of the tools to take this fight, but the price isn’t worth the risk.

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He is a little more reasonably priced as a Fantasy option. While he isn’t known for his power, he strikes with enough regularity that he could put his foe down based on accumulation or pile up some output points. Takes could be an option as well based on Montano previous TDD issues. Belal also offers us some unique point potential as most will look at his decision heavy record and pass him over. I think he can do some damage and provides a little diversity. Team Kamikaze. On a side note, I wouldn’t be against replacing him with Brunson on Team Kamikaze. If I did that I wouldn’t play tam Overdrive in the same contest.

Antonio Carlos Junior -227 vs Leonardo Augusto Leleco +211 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No play here. I will look at a prop as the best bet option.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Carlos Junior is constant submission threat and Leleco can be taken down. Look for Junior to put him on the mat, maintain position, and either attack an arm or neck. Leleco is a slow starter and ACJ will capitalize on that. Team Overdrive.

Joey Gomez -157 vs Jose Quinonez +150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Quinonez has decent skills and carries a strong pace, which a young fighter will struggle with as the fight progresses. Gomez looked stiff in his last fight and if he can’t score the early knockout, look for Jose to outwork him. Additionally, Quinonez is the Fantasy Favourite online and we have seen the betting dog who is the fantasy fav pick up wins of late. I like the hi as the center piece of my Bronze play.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Nothing here. Team is set.

Erick Montano +389 vs Randy Brown -425 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Hard pass on Brown. He is vulnerable on the ground, but I don’t see Montano having the wrestling skills to put him down. Most likely looking at a prop bet here.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Too rich for my blood, but a stoppage is likely.

Albert Morales +103 vs Alejandro Perez -115 Void Button

I can’t back a fighter that is so new to the business as Morales is. He has tools, but he is too green and has limited experience in longer fights. Taking a step up in competition can be difficult. Perez isn’t flashy, but he has solid kicks, some pop in his hands, and he is good on the mat. He is a step up in competition from the type of opponent that Morales has been beating. If he doesn’t fold up shop after the early exchanges, look for Perez to take over the fight. On top of everything, Perez is a heavy Fantasy favourite which is a trend I look for to cash in. Silver Parlay.

Draft-Kings-Logo

Way too costly. Pass.

 

1. Evan Dunham -310 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Chas Skelly -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Belal Muhammad -380 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Randy Brown -425 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Dustin Poirier -158 

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6. Derek Brunson -180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Antonio Carlos Junior -227 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Kenny Robertson -105 

9. Islam Makhachev -115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Alejandro Perez -115  Void Button

11. Sam Sicilia -157 

12. Jose Quinonez +150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Kenny Robertson -105 

2. Jose Quinonez +150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Islam Makhachev -115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Alejandro Perez -115 Void Button

5. Antonio Carlos Junior to Win by Submission +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Gabriel Benitez +155: 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med I gave Benitez a decent look. He would be a bad counter if you have a parlay that comes down to Sicilia.

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bETTING SCENARIOS

Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Derek Brunson/Uriah Hall Total Rounds Under 2.5 +142 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both guys are capable finisher. If Hall was able to knockout Mousasi, he can knockout Brunson. Conversely, Brunson has shown that he has some decent pop and will let his hands go. If Brunson uses his wrestling to grind this fight to a halt on the mat, the Under 2.5 could be a pipe dream. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him come out firing early- either getting the finish or opening himself up to get finished.

Evan Dunham/Rick Glenn Total Rounds Under 2.5 +157 

Glenn is a capable finisher, but this play is based on Dunham. With Glenn moving up, Dunham will look to impose his will on the smaller fighter. That could come on the mat, where Rick has been subbed 3-times. Either through striking damage or a submission, look for Dunham to lock down the finish here.

Kenny Robertson/Roan Carneiro Total Rounds Under 2.5 +130 

The numbers tell the story here. They have a combined 25 wins inside the distance compared to 10 by decision. Just as important, if not more so, Roan has been stopped 7-times in his career. Robertson is a grinder, but he knows how to finish. Look for this one not to need the judges.

Chas Skelly/Maximo Blanco Will Not Go to Decision -160 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I considered playing the Under here, but I think we might need a little more than 1.5 rounds. Skelly is far more durable than Blanco, but if he eats enough shots or the perfect one I could see him taking a nap. More likely it is going to be the opposite scenario. Blanco’s chin appears to have diminished and Skelly can crack. He can also be a dangerous guy to tangle with on the mat and Blanco has some sub defense issues. The Under could cash, but I like the extra time here.

Gabriel Benitez/Sam Sicilia

See Betting Scenario Section.

Antonio Carlos Junior to Win by Submission +180 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

For ACJ, 4 of his 5 wins have come by submission. That is a pretty solid start for a prop bet on him to win by submission. Leleco has never been subbed, but his TDD is pretty weak and if Antonio can get him down he can submit him. At plus money, this is a solid bet.

Erick Montano/Randy Brown 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Albert Morales/Alejandro Perez

See Betting Scenario Section.

KAMIKAZE OVERDRIVE LOGO White