UFN 98: Dos Anjos vs Ferguson- ”Mexico City Melee!”

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After a month without UFC action, the Octagon was dusted off for its latest appearance in Mexico City for UFC Fight Night 98. Headlining the event, former Lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos succumb to the hard-charging title contender Tony Ferguson. The two battle it out in a back and forth 5-round war. Diego Sanchez took home a victory as well and Ricardo Lamas earned a big submission. The third and potentially final season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America wrapped up as well.

Overall, I went a fantastic 10-2 with 4 upset, including the aforementioned wins by Ferguson, Sanchez, and Lamas. The Bet Packs cashed with parlays and my fantasy lineup. The entire Bet Pack can be seen below along with the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Saturday night!

The Good
  • In what could have easily been a title fight just a couple of months ago, Tony Ferguson and former champion Rafael Dos Anjos threw down in a back and forth war that surprisingly went the distance. Ferguson showed his moxie, maintain a breathtaking pace for the entirety of the fight despite the altitude that affected several other fighters on the card. RDA had his moments and attempted to fire back, but he simply wasn’t able to maintain his output. Both men ate some massive strikes throughout the bout. Look for this fight to appear on some 2016 fight of the year lists. Ferguson has now put himself in line for a shot at the title, but with another big Lightweight fight taking place on the UFC 205 undercard, his title shot is anything but a certainty.
  • You can’t keep a good man down! Love him or hate him, Diego Sanchez comes to fight and picked up another scrappy victory tonight over former Bellator title challenger Marcin Held. Held’s refusal or inability to abandon his pursuit of the submission was a massive mistake and put Diego in position to win the fight.
  • Despite dropping the opening round against an incredibly talented ground fighter, Ricardo Lamas went to his back looking for a guillotine choke and got the job done. Had he missed his shot, he would have almost certainly been down two rounds to none.
  • Max Griffin picked up his fifth career stoppage inside the opening 60-seconds of a fight. What an impressive turnaround from his one-sided debut.
  • After a competitive, but winless start to his UFC run, Joe Soto stepped in on just 4-days notice and earned an impressive first-round submission win. How quickly a 3-fight losing skid can give way to a 2-fight winning streak.
The Bad
  • With Charles Oliveira missing weight badly and then getting finished for the second straight fight there is a legit chance the UFC sends him packing. If not, they will almost certainly force him to return to Lightweight where he is undersized against most.
  • The low blows had Sam Alvey hurting early, but he was still able to outwork his opponent and pick up the first decision win of his UFC career.
  • If Rashid Magomedov was waiting to let his hands go, he appeared to wait too long. His best moments came in the final round, but he was already behind on the cards at that point. Beneil Dariush was unable to get the fight to mat, but was simply the busier fighter on the feet and won the decision as a result.
The Ugly
  • Despite a clear leg injury, Erik Perez was able to use the threat of the takedown to keep Felipe Arantes from targeting his damaged leg. When the Brazilian did attack, Perez took him down and held top position for a large portion of the fight. The end couldn’t come quick enough for “Goyito” as it appeared his leg gave out late and a near submission got shut down by the bell.
  • The finishing sequence was beautiful, but the amount of head trauma that Henry Briones took throughout that fight had my head hurting. Hurts even more considering he was still in that fight prior to getting finished.
  • Heather Jo Clark has heart, but her face as an absolute train wreck after s wide decision loss to the debuting and impressive Alexa Grasso
Final Thoughts

The main event was a fantastic fight that will be difficult for the UFC 205 headliners to top. Not impossible, but it won’t be easy. The performance by both men certainly raised some eyebrows on the ability of a particular Irish fighter to match the pace and intensity displayed over the full 5-rounds.

I was quite happy with my predictions, with a strong record, good Bet Pack return, and the satisfaction of seeing a lot of my breakdowns come to fruition inside the cage. My march to 300 wins in a calendar year is still very much alive, with 9 events to go, I need just 69 correct predictions. An average of just over 7.5 wins per card- doable, but not guaranteed. Up next, UFC 205 and all its glory and then a pair of events on the same day in UFC Fight Nights 99 and 100. No rest for the wicked, time to get to work!

Parlay Header

Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 1: Tony Ferguson +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Erik Perez -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +257 Bet: 8 units
Payout: 20.57 units
Parlay #2 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 1: Tony Ferguson +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Sam Alvey -186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price:+254  Bet: 8 units
Payout: 20.29 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Rashid Magomedov -132 
Selection 2: Ricardo Lamas +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Joe Soto -115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +590  x Bet: 7 units 
Payout: 41.30 units
Parlay #2
Selection 1: Diego Sanchez +241 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Sam Alvey to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +115 
Price: +633  x Bet: 5 units 
Payout: 31.66 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Max Griffin -150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Marco Polo Reyes -158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Henry Briones +148 
Selection 4: Ricardo Lamas +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +1317  x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 65.87 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Rafael Dos Anjos/Tony Ferguson Total Rounds Under 3.5 +115 
Selection 2: Alexa Grasso to Win by Decision -144 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Joe Soto/Marco Beltran Total Rounds Under 2.5 +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Erik Perez -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +1059  x Bet: 5 units 
Payout: 52.97 units


Draftkings Line up

Official Lineup
Fighter 1: Tony Ferguson $7900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Ricardo Lamas $8100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Joe Soto $8500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Max Griffin $8800 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Henry Briones $7600 
Fighter 6: Sam Alvey $9100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining:
Fighter 1: Rashid Magomedov $8400
Fighter 2: 
Fighter 3: 
Fighter 4: 
Fighter 5: 


Rafael Dos Anjos -137 vs Tony Ferguson +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

RDA and Ferguson are in 2 drastially different places right now. The former champ is coming off his title fight loss and looking to rebuild his case as the best 155er out there. That first fight is very tough. There is the pressure of knowing what another loss can bring. There is the struggle to find the motivation to fight his way back up the ranks. And finally, there is the distraction of knowing that RDA could have been making big money defending his title at UFC 205 if he hand’t have lost. That is a lot of distraction. For Ferguson, he is hungry. He wants his shot and feels he is overdue. Everything serves as motivation for him to work harder and he sees RDA as the last thing standing between him and the big pay days. Tony puts himself in harms way, which could certainly lead to defeat. On the flipside, his aggression is going to give RDA fits and if the swarm of violence doesn’t get the Brazilin, the exhaustion of constantly defending agaisnt it will. The camp change is also a red flag for RDA. I like the plus money on Ferg. I’ve had success fading post-title fighter losers before- I will do it here. Ferguson will get twin billing in my Gold parlay with a couple of different partners.


Ferguson has finished 6 of his last 8 opponents and put a monstrous beating one Thomson who survived the full 15-minutes. Even if RDA doesn’t get finished, Tony has the ability to land a high volume of strikes over a 25-minute fight. Even if this bout last just 5-minutes- look for Ferg to score output points to go along with the finishing total. Great value at $7900 makes him a must have!

Diego Sanchez +241 vs Marcin Held -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is a line I don’t get. I know Sanchez is far from a top level fighter, not even close. Further, he is coming off of his first non-doc stoppage knockout. Could the damage be getting to him? Held did good things in Bellator, but he is a specialist. He needs to get his opponent to the mat with regularity and it can be a struggle at the best of times. Diego is a big guy and a decent wrestling. He is also a strong grappler. Even if Held takes him down, I don’t think he can submit him. If that plays out, look for the adrenaline dump of a UFC debut and the added altitude issue start to take hold of Marcin. This will compromise his performance and open the door for Sanchez to take over. I’ve got Sanchez as part of a 2-leg Silver parlay.


Diego hasn’t finished anyone in a long time which is the name of the game here. I’m not saying he couldn’t, but it is unlikely. He could score some points, but I don’t see him as a worthwhile play even at a decent price. He only fits if you need to spend a lot of cash elsewhere. No Play for me.

Charles Oliveira -106 vs Ricardo Lamas +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3-straight dogs to end the night (excluding the TUF fight)? That is the plan. Oliveira has openly stated that the altitude complicated conditions are concerning to him and he needs to go for the finish early. That could easily be the case, but if he doesn’t get it- look out. Lamas has never been submitted, but with the skills of “Do Bronx”, that doesn’t mean much. Lamas’s counter wrestling and distance managements are the keys to keep Oliveira on the outside and expending energy trying to get on the inside. I don’t like the way Oliveira takes damage and he tends to breakdown at times. Lamas survives early, outworking him for the duration. Silver player for Lamas. Watch for a decent Live Bet price on Lamas if Oliveira wins round 1, but appears to be slowing down.

*Update- Even with the change in odds due to Oliveira missing weight, I like Lamas here at the changed price.


At $8100, Lamas is a solid play. He has finishing skills, both on the mat and standing. Oliveira has also been finished on multiple occasions and if his cardio goes, look for the “Bully” to do just that. I have Lamas on my team.

Beneil Dariush +138 vs Rashid Magomedov -132 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I nearly made added another dog here. Dariush is certainly capable of winning this fight. He is the more diverse fighter, but I question if he has the ability to get the fight to the mat against Magomedov with consistency. Mags can be taken down, but it isn’t easy. If Dariush can’t get the early finish, he will slow and the TDs will become more laboured. Mags does a good job of keeping a consistent output without over-extending himself. His hand speed and tighter technique will help him beat Dariush to the punch with consistency. The layoff is a concern, but Mags is a Silver play.


Rashid could grab a finish, but at $8400 he is a little too expensive with his frequency of decisions. I have him as a sub, but he needs to remain conservative to win and that doesn’t always translate to big point performances.

Alexa Grasso -425 vs Heather Jo Clark +425 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I will pass here. The price for a debuting fighter is way too high. I do think she wins and there is some potential with a prop bet, but nothing doing on the side bet.


Too much cash for a fighter that has routinely gone the distance against more capable opposition throughout her career.

Erik Perez -181 vs Felipe Arantes +175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Arantes has pulled a pair of rabbits out of his hat in his last 2 fights. He has spent a lot of time on his back since cutting to 135. Way too much to continue doing and keep winning. Perez is the type of fighter that thrives from top position and will do so here. I like the alterations I have seen in his striking, but he needs just a little uptick in the output to make it count. Fortunately, Arantes isn’t a high volume striker himself. Close/ slightly ahead in the striking totals, prolonged top position, fighting at altitude, and fighting at home all favour Perez. He takes this fight. He makes the cut in my top play.


Perez can finish, but Arantes is no easy out. The cost is way too much for how I see this fight playing out.

Joe Soto -115 vs Marco Beltran +108 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Soto is taking this fight on extremely short notice. Combine that with the conditions and he could struggle to put forth a complete performance. That being said, he is a veteran fighter with far more experience than anyone that Beltran has faced in his UFC run. Marco likes to keep his opponent on the outside, but Soto is good at getting on the inside and pressuring his opponent. Additionally, Beltran struggles against guys that can take him down. Soto should be able to take him down, but more importantly he is quite dangerous on the mat. Look for him to exploit the questionable grappling D of the Mexican. Good value on Soto despite the layoff. Silver Play.


Soto is a capable ground fighter that will tie Beltran in knots once they hit the mat. Beltran has been subbed a couple of times and struggles when fighters take him down. Look for Soto to come out of the gate hot looking for the finish to avoid testing his lack of a camp over a full 15-minutes. Some players will stay away from Soto based on this, which adds to his value. Click that green plus sign!

Erick Montano +143 vs Max Griffin -150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Either Montano gets Max to the mat and wins or Griffin keeps it standing and takes either a decision or a stoppage. Fortunately for Mr. “Pain”, the fight will start standing and Montano isn’t known for his wrestling skills. Griffin needs to disengage whenever they get close and reset. The Amerian has good pop in his hands and I am banking on that. I will use Griffin in my Bronze parlay, but quite honestly he could just as easily be left off the card altogether.


I do have Griffin in my Fantasy lineup. He has good stopping power and several opening round finishes. Montano isn’t a great striker, but he will willingly engage on the feet and has to put himself in the line of fire to look for grappling opportunities. Griffin’s name doesn’t carry weight and combined with his higher than average price, people will most likely look elsewhere. Add him.

Douglas Silva de Andrade -155 vs Henry Briones +148 

Both guys are coming back after a prolonged layoff which had me leaning to an “NP” right away. I like Briones here. He is fighting at home which is a big factor here. Conversely, de Andrade is fighting outside of Brazil for the first time in his career (I believe). The Brazilian has power, but he throws a lot of singles and I expect to see his muscle heavy frame and lack of experience at 135 pounds hurt his performance. If Douglas can’t finish, Briones should be able to outwork him and get the nod from the judges. Potentially close fight, but I like home dog here. Bronze play.


I have Briones in my lineup because a) he is cheap and b) I think he wins this fight. Even without the finish, a decision win will score points and the money saved/ invested elsewhere will pay dividends as well. Sometimes the reason for playing a fighter is very simple. That is the case here.

Alex Nicholson +197 vs Sam Alvey -186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Alvey has face melting power. At the same time, he has a style that isn’t hard to overcome if you have the tools to do so. Fortunately, I don’t believe that Nicholson does. Nicholson won’t shy away from trading, opting against strategy to simply throw down. Alvey’s counter striking will play nicely against the constant forward pressure of his opponent. Gold Play.


Alvey has finished his foe in all of his victories and usually does it in timely fashion. It took him a little longer against Casey, but that was due to his grappling skills. Alvey lights him up and needs to be in your lineup. Here is where you spend the extra cashed saved with Briones.

Jason Novelli +153 vs Marco Polo Reyes -158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is another one of those fights that you could leave off the card if you want to focus on the higher percentage plays. Novelli got smashed in his last fight by a more technical striker. Against Reyes, he will get a much different fight. Reyes will be looking to brawl with him and test his chin and heart. Brawling the boxer is what Reyes will need to do here against a longer fighter. It gets good and ugly and Reyes gets the stoppage. An NP or Bronze play at best.


Nothing here, too much green to find Marco…Polo…in your lineup.

Chris Avilla +501 vs Enrique Barzola -500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No Play here. I don’t think much of Avilla, but the price is too high on Barzola.




1. Sam Alvey -186 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Enrique Barzola -500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Alexa Grasso -425 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Erik Perez -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Tony Ferguson +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med


6. Rashid Magomedov -132 

7. Ricardo Lamas +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Diego Sanchez +241 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Joe Soto -115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Max Griffin -150 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Marco Polo Reyes -158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Henry Briones +148 

1. Tony Ferguson +130 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Diego Sanchez +241 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Ricardo Lamas +110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Henry Briones +148 

5. Sam Alvey to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +115 

1. N/A






Exclusive Bet Pack Content.


Prop Bets

Rafael Dos Anjos/Tony Ferguson Total Rounds Under 3.5 +115 

Ferguson’s aggressive style keeps the finish at hand for either fighter from the moment the fight starts. I was expecting this fight to sit somewhere around 2.5 rounds and near even money- so this line is gravy. RDA has been finished twice via knockout and while he is a very good grappler, if he gets clipped that might not matter when it comes to getting locked in a sub. Conversely, we saw Tony hurt in his last fight on multiple occasions and RDA knows how to finish. Play the Under.

Diego Sanchez/Marcin Held Total Rounds Over 2.5 -155 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Sanchez has never been subbed and gone to the 3rd round or beyond in 13 straight fights prior to the Lauzon loss. Held has fought in 14 of 14 rounds over his last 4 fights, with his only finish coming in the final frame a 3 round fight. Sanchez needs to survive the early attempt to get the bout to the floor and he should be able to grind this fight out to a decision. If not, look for him to survive the sub attempts to push the Over.

Alexa Grasso to Win by Decision -144 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Grasso has split her wins between knockouts and decisions. Of her 4 knockouts, 3 came over her first 3 pro fights compared to just 1 over her last 5 bouts when she started to face better competition. Clark is no slouch, but I see her struggling with the speed. She’ll hold her own, but just not do enough to win it on the cards.

Erik Perez/Felipe Arantes

See Betting Scenario Section.

Joe Soto/Marco Beltran Total Rounds Under 2.5 +105 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Soto hasn’t had much time to prep, so his body won’t be in peak condition. He will most likely go for the finish early. He is aggressive with his forward push and this will force Beltran to respond. Both guys have been finished before- combined 7-times and both guys can finish- a combine 20-finishes. Play the Under.

Erick Montano/Max Griffin Total Rounds Under 2.5 -111 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Griffin has some wicked finishing numbers, including several fights ending before the 60-second mark. He is also pretty weak on the mat where Montano can finish. At 1.5 rounds its is risky, at 2.5 rounds it is a must play as both men can be finished and both men can finish.

Sam Alvey to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +115 

Alvey to win by knockout at plus money? Really? Sign me up. Nicholson will engage and can be hurt. He was dropped in his last fight by a far less dangerous striker. He also had a tendency to throw wild attacks and hop before striking which leaves him vulnerable to counters. Alvey has 18 knockouts and has finished all of his UFC opponents, and only 1 not by KO/TKO. Hammer this play.

Jason Novelli/Marco Polo Reyes 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Chris Avilla/Enrique Barzola

See Betting Scenario Section.