UFC 209: Woodley vs Thompson 2- “Left Wondering What Could Have Been…”

I wrote this...

The second Pay-Per-View of the year took a major hit before the first fighter even hit the cage and despite a number of entertaining bouts throughout the night, the main event left everyone on a sour note. Just like their first encounter, Tyron Woodley left the cage with the belt, but anything but a definitive result. Many felt that Stephen Thompson had done just enough to earn the nod, but the judges felt otherwise. I find it hard to believe we will see a trilogy fight anytime soon. David Teymur cashed in on a high profile opportunity. Alistair Overeem got back in the win column. And Daniel Kelly continued to defy the oddsmakers in the biggest win of his career. Let’s take a look at what went right and what went wrong on Saturday night.

What Went Wrong
  • Andre Soukhamthath failed to capitalize in the final round after hurting Morales with several hard strikes to the body. Soukhamthath appeared to be struggling in the final frame, Octagon shocked could have played a role in the defeat.
  • Positional mistakes were the key to Paul Craig’s defeat. An inability to break the clinch or at least tie up Pedro allow the Aussie to break him down with knees prior to getting the finish on the floor.
  • It was all Mirsad Bektic early with an avalanche of ground and pound, but it wasn’t enough. It can be hard for a young prospect when they take on a tough veteran like Darren Elkins who isn’t going to fold up with the first signs of adversity. Bektic will learn from this experience and come back stronger. Impressive comeback for Elkins to further cement his reputation.
  • When he was on the outside, Mark Hunt struggled to reach Overeem’s chin. When he was on the inside, he couldn’t handle the knees of Alistair in the clinch. It doesn’t matter how tough you are, if Overeem starts landing those knees you are going to be in trouble.
  • He simply didn’t do enough. Rashad Evans was landing, but Kelly stayed in his face for the entire fight and kept plugging away. The lack of low kicks thrown against a fighter with such a damaged knee is mind blowing. I wouldn’t be surprised if Evans hangs them up after such a rough start to his Middleweight career. Congrats are in order for Kelly as he continues to surprise and could find himself knocking on the door of the Top 15 soon.
  • It was an incredibly entertaining fight with a lot of fun sequences, but Lando Vannata simply took too much damage to win a decision. He showed his willingness to absorb punishment but getting hit that often didn’t sit well with the judges. Teymur is a sniper and made Lando pay for every opening. The takedowns from Teymur showed the diversity in his game and really flipped the script on a scenario that I thought favoured Lando.
  • There wasn’t a lot that went right for Stephen Thompson, but I am not sure that Woodley did enough to warranted the decision. Over rounds 1, 2, and 4 Thompson controlled the distance, kept Woodley on the outside, and was the slightly more active striker. Woodley had his moments, but they should have been only good enough to win rounds 3 and 5. I had the scorecards at 47-47 or 48-47 for the challenger if the final frame isn’t a 10-8 round. Thompson fought a strategic fight, but didn’t do enough. Woodley’s call for bigger fights and more support from the fans took hit a hear too.
What Went Right
  • The superior striker early, Mark Godbeer landed early and often. He wasn’t able to get Spitz out of the fight, but he built enough of a lead that when both men slowed down Mark was far enough ahead on the cards.
  • There wasn’t a lot going right for Iuri Alcantara early, but after taking that illegal blow he got a little extra time to compose himself. Despite losing a similar position in round 1, Iuri was able to pick up a slick kneebar. I’m not sure if Sanders punched himself out, but if I was Alcantara I would toss that game plan in the garbage, despite the win.
  • As expected, Henrique tried to utilize his clinch and ground skills to overwhelm Marcin Tybura. He ultimately exhausted himself and got finished in the final minutes of the fight. Tybura landed the better strikes at distance and did enough defensively to eventually turn the action in his favour. Solid win.
  • Coming from Team Alpha Male, it wasn’t much of a stretch to expect Cynthia Calvillo to take the Cooper down at some point in the fight. The rolling counter leading to the eventual transition to the RNC was quite impressive.
Final Thoughts

My hot starts got cooled off in a big way. The Bektic loss was crushing, especially considering how close he was to winning a decision. For the Big Bankroll, Mirsad cost us roughly 53 units and in the Big Reward Bundle, we left 34 units on the table. The questionable decision in the main event also took money out of our pockets. Unfortunately, that is the nature of the sport and we have been on the right side of things before and will be again. Woodley still has the belt despite a lackluster performance and Thompson will need to put together another run and hope for a new champion to emerge before the UFC rebooks him for a shot at the Gold. Up next, we make our first trip to Brazil in 2017 which adds a whole other element to consider when pick fights. Time for our first rebound of the year.

Parlay Header

Depending on your betting style, you can select the Big Bank Roll Parlays which employs a betting strategy focussed on straight and 2-leg parlays that limit the risk and offer a decent return based on your financial commitment. If you are willing to take a little more risk and aren’t interested in putting as much cash in play, but still want a shot at a big return- then the Big Risk/ Big Reward Parlays are for you. Playing both of these strategies together is not recommended.




Draftkings Line up

Fighter 1:  Stephen Thompson $8400 
Fighter 2: Mark Hunt $7900 
Fighter 3: Iuri Alcantara $8600 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Mark Godbeer $8700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Paul Craig $8000 
Fighter 6: Cynthia Calvillo $8100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining:
Fighter 1: Tony Ferguson $7300
Fighter 2: 
Fighter 3: 
Fighter 4: 


Tyron Woodley +143 vs Stephen Thompson -136 

Here we go again. The masses are divided regarding the first fight. Some feel Woodley did enough in his big moments to warranted the decision, others feel Thompson was the better man. None of that really matters, since we are going to do it all over again. Woodley had moments, big ones, that allowed him to go the distance and not lose. Can he replicate that. Thompson seemed to make adjustments as the fight progressed that allow him to get the better of the action after round 1, excluding the knockdown. I expect he will continue to make adjustments, punch more, disguise his kicks better, and avoid the big moments. I wanted to pull the trigger on a Gold Play, but I am going to ease back and use Thompson in the Silver section.


If you are a regular customer, you know my rematch scenario betting theory. If you are new, slide down to the Betting Scenario section for more info. I don’t see this fight going the distance and I’ve got Thompson winning it. If it does go deep, Wonderboy wins it under most circumstance and scores with his volumes. He isn’t overly expensive and a lot of people will be jumping on Woodley looking for a cheap stoppage.


Khabib Nurmagomedov -167 vs Tony Ferguson +163 -Cancelled

We have an elite level specialist in Nurmagomedov versus a multi-dimensional ball of violence named Tony Ferguson. Johnson showed that you can have success against Nurmy on the feet, but he was unable to seal the deal. I have long felt there are major holes in his striking game that can be exposed. Ferguson has the pace, the reach, and the overall technical skill to do so. He is a much better wrestler than he is given credit for and has the submission skills to punish a fighter if they get sloppy on the mat. I feel Tony can finish him or outwork Khabib over a full 5 rounds. The quality of opposition has me dropping Ferg to a Bronze play, but I still like the line here.


I have Ferguson in my sub list. He has finishing skills and carries a torrid pace. If he does lose this fight it will be by complete wipe out having spent the majority of the action on his back. That is a Fantasy lineup killer.


Rashad Evans -200 vs Daniel Kelly +206 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The next fight is a hard NO. Evans is debuting in a new division that is a 20-pound cut from LHW. That by itself is concerning. When you consider the number of playable fights on this card and that Kelly has been busting Parlays since back in the day- it is easy to pass here. I might even consider a small counter bet here.


Nothing doing here. Evans isn’t a high volume guy, but he could score with takedowns and a possible finish. Your money is spent better elsewhere.

Lando Vannata -333 vs David Teymur +336 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Nothing here either. I like Lando, but do not sleep on Teymur. The guy is a nasty striker. I would expect Vannata to look for takedowns at some point. Either way, a counter bet on Teymur is probably worth some consideration.



Alistair Overeem -129 vs Mark Hunt +128 

I am playing the post-title fight letdown scenario here. Overeem was a bit of a bust early in his UFC run, got it together, and then was soundly defeat in his shot at the gold. At this stage of his career, especially for a fighter that has been known to be a little weak mentally, it could be difficult to get up for this fight. Hunt has already been through the letdown for an interim belt. He was getting back into the mix before the Lesnar NC. If he wins here he will improve to 3-0-0 1NC over his last 4 fights. A record like that will have him back in the mix. Overeem doesn’t have the jaw to take a shot from Hunt, who carries his power deep into a fight. If Alistair tires, Hunt will make him pay. Look for Overeem to shell up under fire at some point and Hunt to punch around his guard for the finish. Silver Play.


At $7900, Hunt fits into my Fantasy lineup quite nicely. He has stopping power against a fighter that has a growing pile of knockout defeats. He has to overcome the reach, but all it takes is one. Sign him up.

Marcin Tybura -137 vs Luis Henrique +143 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This fight is finally taking place and will move the winner to the next stage of competition. Henrique has run over a pair of low-end heavyweights. It took him a 5 rounds in total to get the job done, exploiting their subpar gas tanks. That won’t be the case here. Tybura’s cardio is decent and he is better at what Henrique does well. The product of his efforts at Alliance will be evident as Tybura continues to demonstrate solid striking skills. Don’t be shocked to see Henrique slowing down in this one. Gold Play.


Tybura’s striking is decent and if he lands a couple of takedowns he will score points, but unless he gets a finish this won’t be a big point producer. I am anticipating some time eating/ non-point producing clinch fighting to dominate this contest. Pass.

Mirsad Bektic -588 vs Darren Elkins +587 

Eventually, every prospect will slip up. It could be during a title fight, during their first defense, or against a battled hardened vet like Elkins. However, I don’t see that here for Bektic. When a wrestler targets Elkins with takedowns, he struggles to stay vertical. As the superior wrestler with better cardio, Elkins is a handful. If he gives up takedowns or at the very least can’t score them- he is in trouble. One of those 2 scenarios will be the case here. Even at a massive price like this, if we combine him with one of the more reasonable favs on the card we can make it work. Gold Play.


I think Elkins survives to a decision and Bektic is too expensive for that result. Pass.

Iuri Alcantara +115 vs Luke Sanders -106 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Sanders look good in his debut, but it was against a faltering Maximo Blanco and he hasn’t fought in over a year. Alcantara’s losses have all come as the result of takedown-heavy performances by very good wrestlers. Rivera had success on the feet, but still had to land takedowns to finalize the win. Sanders throws his left way too much and he won’t benefit from facing an orthodox fighter ill-equipt to deal with his left sided offense. Alcantara is also a Lefty, is more diverse, superior power, longer reach, and can counter. His kicks will also play a big role. Iuri needs to be mindful not get outworked here, but I like him to either take a decision as the more impactful striker or score a finish. Silver play


I’ve got Alcantara in my lineup. He is an equal opportunity finisher, capable of finishing with his power or his submission game. If Sanders hasn’t improved his striking he is going to struggle to get past the dangerous front the Brazilian offers.

Mark Godbeer -140 vs Daniel Spitz +128 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Spitz is debuting on short notice with limit quality experience. He is tall, but slow. Godbeer is a flawed fighter, but if he can keep it standing this should be his fight to win. Those that have found success against Godbeer did it on the mat and while Spitz has a trio of submission wins, he lacks a strong wrestling attack. Godbeer will get the better of the striking exchanges and eventually overwhelm the new guy. Gold Play.


Godbeer isn’t known for grinding out decisions. If he is going to win this fight it will most likely be by knockout inside the opening 2 rounds. DK has him as a heavier fav than the betting line presents. I like it. Add him.

Tyson Pedro -120 vs Paul Craig +128 

This fight will be as interesting to watch as it was to break down. Both men are undefeated and both are submission artists. Craig is dangerous off his back and appears to be the slightly better wrestler. Pedro is limited in total experience, has never gone beyond round 1, and is fighting away from home for the first time in his career. That trip from Australia can be a killer. Ultimately, if this fight doesn’t end via early sub, those factors have me favouring Craig. I have Craig winning a long fight or with a quick sub. Pedro needs an early sub or he will most likely start to slow down. Lots of unanswered questions here, I like the line on Craig now as the dog- Bronze play.


At $8000, Craig is a reasonably priced finisher. As mentioned above, he has the greater window for success in this fight and should walk away with the win. Put him in the lineup.

Amanda Cooper +103 vs Cynthia Calvillo -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Cooper won her last fight, but there was some pretty tough moments that she had to battle through. Had her opponent really pushed her, she might have been able to take the fight. Ultimately, this pick comes down to Calvillo’s wrestling and Cooper’s struggles with aggressive ground based fighters. I expect to see Cynthia putting her on the mat with regularity and keeping here there. Calvillo outworks and bullies Cooper for a decision win. The debut factor has me thinking Silver play.


Takedowns and top position control will be the key to Calvillo scoring points. She has shown herself capable of picking up a finish on the mt and Cooper has been submitted twice in her career- so that isn’t much of a stretch. Considering the rest of the options, Calvillo fits best inside my budgetary constraints.

Albert Morales -125 vs Andre Soukhamthath +120 

Morales held his own against Almeida early and arguably got the better of most of the fight with Perez. That being said, he leaves holes when attacking and is just too aggressive with limited setup. When his opponent pushes back and forces him to fight off of his backfoot, he simply isn’t the same fighter. I expect  Soukhamthath to be a little smoother, not get backed up, and capitalize on Albert’s over-aggression. Bronze play.




1. Mirsad Bektic -588

2. Marcin Tybura -137 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Mark Godbeer -140 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Rashad Evans -200 

5. Stephen Thompson -136 


6. Cynthia Calvillo -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Lando Vannata -333 

8. Mark Hunt +128 

9. Iuri Alcantara +115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Paul Craig +128 

11. Andre Soukhamthath +120 


1. Mark Hunt +128 

2. Paul Craig +128 

3. Andre Soukhamthath +120 

4. Iuri Alcantara +115 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Mark Godbeer to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +125 

1. Daniel Kelly +206: 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med He has been the underdog in all of his UFC fights. It is hard not to take a shot on him here, despite the fact he is facing the biggest challenge of his career.

2. David Teymur +336: 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med Teymur is a nasty striker and if Vannata doesn’t respect his striking skills he could be on the wrong end of the action pretty quickly. Worth a shot at anything over +250.





Exclusive Bet Pack Information.

Prop Bets

Tyron Woodley/Stephen Thompson 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Rashad Evans to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +225 

I don’t expect that Evans is going to take Kelly out on the feet, but a top position stoppage is certainly in the cards. Look for Evans to utilize his wrestling to take Kelly down at will and unload with GNP. Kelly struggled to remain vertical early against ACJ, but Evans has shown himself capable of overwhelming an opponent on the mat.

Lando Vannata/David Teymur Total Rounds Under 1.5 +173 

Both men have shown their finishing skills in previous fights and should be more than willing to trade on the feet. Don’t be surprised to see Lando offer a new wrinkle to his game, working a grappling attack for the first time in the UFC. Teymur has back to back UFC stoppages and Vannata hurt Ferguson on multiple occasions before startching Makdessi. Play the Under.

Marcin Tybura/Luis Henrique 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Mirsad Bektic to Win by Decision -110 

Elkins has been knocked out twice and subbed once, but for the most part he is pretty durable. His ability to stick around in fights is what keeps him relevant. Unless Bektic catches him clean, like Mendes did, Elkins should be able to go the distance with him. Bektic’s last 2 stoppages came over overmatched opponents, but when you go back to the Skelly fight, Mirsad won, but didn’t blow the doors off him. Expect something similar.

Iur Alcantara Wins inside the Distance +250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Iuri has won 27 times by stoppage compared to 7 decision victories. Sanders’s strength is cardio and volume, which could make it difficult for Alcantara to grab a win on the cards. Not impossible, but certainly not as likely as the Brazilian snatching up a finish. I considered Alcantara by knockout, but he could just as easily score a knockdown and look for a sub like he did against Pickett instead of landing additional strikes on the mat. This play keeps all of his skills working in our favour.

Mark Godbeer to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +125 

Godbeer has 11 career wins, 9 by knockout. Spitz is a debuting short notice fighter with minimal experience. If Godbeer is getting the better of him, he is knocking him out. At plus money, this play needs to make an appearance on your bet card somewhere.

Tyson Pedro/Paul Craig Total Rounds Under 1.5 -140 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both guys are finishers and have built their records around quick finishes at that. Considering both men are at their best on the floor, neither should be unwilling to go there. If this bout is contested on the feet, it could degenerate into a sloppy kickboxing bout. That might be good for the Under, it might not be. Either way, I like the finishing instincts shown on each side. Play the under.

Amanda Cooper/Cynthia Calvillo 

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Albert Morales/Andre Soukhamthath 

See the Betting Scenario Section.