UFC on Fox 6 was another great card that saw 6 stoppages, Rampage Jackson’s last UFC fight and Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson defend his title against a very game John Dodson. The total gate was over 1.2 million and the United Center saw an attendance of roughly 16,000. Ryan Bader won submission of the night, Anthony Pettis won KO of the night and fight of the night went to Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson. Those lucky fighters were rewarded with $50,000 in bonuses.
170lbs – Simeon Thoresen (1-1 UFC) vs. David Mitchell (0-2 UFC) – Mitchell via U. decision
Mitchell was able to land more strikes in the first round, rocked Thoresen at the start of the 2nd round and spent most of the 5 minutes in top control. Thoresen looked better in the 3rd but lost on the cards.
185lbs – Rafael Natal (2-2-1 UFC) vs. Sean Spencer (0-0 UFC) – Natal via submission round 3
Spencer seemed to get the better of the stand-up, but Natal landed his strikes as well. Natal was also able to land several takedowns and locked in an arm triangle choke against a very tired Spencer.
170lbs – Mike Stumpf (0-1 UFC) vs. Pascal Krauss (1-1 UFC) – Krauss via U. decision
Stumpf was able to get a takedown in each of the first 2 rounds, but Krauss was much better on the feet and was able to stuff some takedowns as well.
265lbs – Mike Russow (4-1 UFC) vs. Shawn Jordan (1-1 UFC) – Jordan via TKO round 2
Russow came out strong in the 1st round and was having his way with Jordan, but Russow got tired and Jordan seized his opportunity to take control in the 2nd landing punches on the feet and on the ground.
205lbs – Ryan Bader (7-3 UFC) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (7-4 UFC) – Bader via submission round 1
Bader looked like a beast in this fight as he simply just walked Matyushenko down, dropped him with a nice left hook and finished him off with a fast guillotine choke just under a minute into the fight.
145lbs – Clay Guida (9-7 UFC) vs. Hatsu Hioki (2-1 UFC) – Guida via S. decision
The striking exchanges seemed very even, but Guida was able to land a takedown every round including a huge slam at the start of the 2nd on route to a grinding decision victory.
155lbs – TJ Grant (6-3 UFC) vs. Matt Wiman (9-4 UFC) – Grant via KO round 1
Grant looked fantastic in this fight as he used precise punches, kicks and clinch work to take out a very durable Wiman. Grant was able to get the finish with some nasty elbows from the clinch.
Fox Main Card
145lbs – Erik Koch (2-0 UFC) vs. Ricardo Lamas (3-0 UFC) – Lamas via TKO round 2
Koch looked good in the first round, but Lamas was able to avoid any serious strikes and got his takedown in round 2. Lamas then threw down some great ground and pound and a slick elbow to get the very bloody TKO stoppage.
155lbs – Donald Cerrone (6-1 UFC) vs. Anthony Pettis (2-1 UFC) – Pettis via TKO round 1
Cerrone came out tough, but Pettis was clearly the better man on this night and once he felt he had Cerrone hurt he started to open up with his wild Duke Rufus strikes to get the finish. Pettis ended the fight with a great body kick that Cerrone couldn’t get up from.
205lbs – Quinton Jackson (7-4 UFC) vs. Glover Teixeira (2-0 UFC) – Teixeira via U. decision
Teixeira got the better of Rampage by beating him up on the feet and rocking him multiple times. Rampage stayed in the fight though and continued to swing back, but once Teixeira started to use his wrestling it was obvious Rampage wasn’t going to win this fight.
125lbs – Demetrious Johnson (4-1-1 UFC) vs. John Dodson (3-0 UFC) – Johnson via U. decision
This was a pretty close fight, but Dodson was swinging for the KO and Johnson was trying to win a decision. Dodson was able to land several good punches that rocked Johnson, but he couldn’t put him away and Johnson was able to get the takedowns he needed to impress the judges and keep his belt.
*I have started to use Props in my parlays, if your book doesn’t offer the prop or won’t allow them to be used in a parlay- use a pick from my confidence list.
========================================Parlay #4 =================================================== Selection 1: Selection 2: Selection 3: =================================================== Price: $10.41
A Puncher’s Chance
Parlay #7- Going for the big one
Selection 1: D
Natal’s last fight was fun to watch if you aren’t a fan of guys that like taunt their opponent. He was clearly getting the better of the striking against Craig, started to play it up a little and Craig left him stone cold on the mat with a head kick. Loved it. Now he is facing a late and undersized replacement Sean Spencer. Spencer has some decent striking tools but this is a big step up for him and Natal is no joke, especially on the ground. I expect Rafael will take this fight horizontal quickly and look to finish ASAP. I haven’t put my Top 5 confidence list together yet but he is an early candidate for it. I will most likely work him into the system play for the event as well. For Spencer, its a debut in the biggest promotion in the world and he is doing it in a weight class above what he is use to fighting at against an opponent with the abilities to exploit his shortcomings on the mat. He is a No Play.
Mitchell hasn’t really impressed me in any of his fighters- UFC or before. He has been out of action for a prolonged period of time and I think he is the type that ring rust will effect tremendously. If Mitchell was a threat at all on the feet then I would consider him as a possible upset worth candidate, but he doesn’t so I don’t. This should be a grappling based fight and I prefer what Simeon brings to the table and if more time then expected is spent on the feet I like Thoresen there as well. I was hoping that these odds would have Thoresen slightly higher but I will take what I can get. There are a number of $1.35-$1.50 range favourites on this card that I am backing which makes it nice if you are looking to make a low risk/ moderate return bet. You have a couple of options here- doubling and even tripling up the favourites like Natal, Thoresen and Dodson or making a combo of Thoresen, Dodson, and Ricardo Lamas, TJ Grant, or Donald Cerrone for a slightly larger payout. Mitchell is just unappealing as a bet even if he gets above $3.oo and if he does win he will have to put together a far better performance then what he has shown so far.
I took Stumpf here and fully expected him to be the underdog. His grappling is solid and like I emphasize in the breakdown- he showed skill in his first fight with TJ Waldburger even though he lost. Waldburger is a killer on the ground and Stumpf was able to survive a couple of bad spots before eventually getting caught. Krauss really hasn’t faced someone with Stumpf’s grappling background and finishing capabilities which is something that I hope plays a role in this fight. His debut was against a guy who was also debuting and hasn’t had a fight since in the UFC or anywhere else and John Hathaway is a decent fighter but he seems to lack that killer instinct. What this pick really came down to is after watching footage of both I thought to myself which fighter impressed me more and it was Stumpf with his aggression and grappling capabilities. Both guys have seen limited action which makes predicting this fight tough because there is a lot we don’t know, especially with Stumpf. From a betting standpoint I would suggest one of two approaches: a single bet on Stumpf- mid-range, nothing huge or make a bet that you feel comfortable with and then make that bet again with Stumpf attached to it. By doing it this way if he losses you are out the cash you invested in him, but he doesn’t drag the rest of your bet card down with him. I don’t think Krauss has done enough at this level to warrant him being a big favourite in this fight and from what I have seen of Stumpf he should be more then capable of pulling this one out. If you don’t feel comfortable with this pick then by all means take a pass, being selective is a good thing.
I’m really not a fan of Mike Russow so picking him over Jordan wasn’t my favourite thing to do. I feel that of the two he has the most impactful skill which is his wrestling. Jordan had some momentum going after his debut, but his uninspiring performance in the Kongo fight killed pretty much all of it. Jordan needs to use his quickness to keep distance and do damage without leaving himself vulnerable to getting taken down-that is going to be tough. Russow should be able to close the distance and get Jordan on his back, a place that he will not be comfortable working from. Jordan is a powerful guy but technique will trump strength in most scenarios and it should here. Russow can take a punch, he did get finished by Werdum but if you look at his fight with Duffee there is no denying that he can endure punishment. To build up enough damage to stop Russow, Jordan will need to remain vertical and out of the defensive clinch position as often as possible- again tough to do. I will be using Russow in my parlays but with a little caution, with the HWs one shot can change the course of a fight and if Russow can’t get this bout to the ground Jordan could give him problems with his striking. Tread carefully.
I like Vladdy, I even did an interview with him over the phone back when I was working for another website, but I think that his career is coming to an end. He may still be able to get by against fighters that he has a glaring advantage over in the wrestling department, but that will not be the case against Ryan Bader. Additionally, he is coming off of a pretty sever leg injury, combine that with his age and I expect he will be a little bit slower which is not something he can afford. This fight reminds me of the Bader/ Tito match-up where I said that Bader was just a better version of Tito and then watched as Ryan became Ortiz’s last victory. I would also expect that Bader is reminded of that fight and will be motivated to avoid allowing it to happen a second time. Bader has the more dangerous striking, but Vladdy does have power, so he needs to be mindful of just rushing in looking for the knockout. My expectation is that Bader is going to use a speed advantage, might try and wear him out with a combo of footwork and wrestling and will unload with a right hand looking for the knockout. At $1.21 there isn’t a tonne of value on Bader, but it has improved since the opening line had him at $1.16. My advice would be to include Bader on a parlay or two, nothing too drastic if he were to lose and/ or consider looking into the props surrounding Bader winning by knockout. If you wanted to leave him off your betting card all together that is an alright move to as the risk/reward isn’t the greatest.
This is a tough fight to bet on, there is the element of the unknown that will play a huge role. There are a couple of questions that I don’t have concrete answers to, but we will find out soon enough. How will Guida fair at 145? Has Hioki made arrangements to deal with effect of travelling from Japan to the US that hindered him in his first two fights in America? Guida is a fighter that beats opponent’s with pace, speed, and pressure. He isn’t a great striker and his wrestling is decent but he is far from elite level, but he works well with what he has. If Hioki can’t keep up with the pace he will lose this fight. If Hioki can keep up he is the better striker and is more skilled on the ground so he could pull of the upset. Guida likes to keep things simple and it is effective most nights. Crazy movement, attack in flurries, more crazy movement, takedowns, control the position and remain active enough to avoid getting stood up, but at the same time don’t do anything too risk to avoid getting swept or submitted. Rinse, wash, and repeat or something to that effect. You get the point. Hioki’s trouble with George Roop concerns me and I expect that Guida will find success ducking under Hioki’s strikes and scoring takedowns. If Hioki has any conditioning issues, normally we see them start to show up in the third round but against Guida they will appear as early as the midway mark of the fight. I’m not shocked at these odds, but feel they are based more on Clay’s name recognition then anything else. If Guida was the exact same fighter with all the skills but without the name recognition these odds would be much closer together. The books are looking at this and assuming that the average bettor will see Guida’s name and then then odds stacked heavily in his favour and jump on him without hesitation. Case in point, the Public is 88% in favour of Guida right now. I think that the divide isn’t nearly as significant as these odds would suggest so a play on Hioki might be warranted. I would think using Guida as part of a parlay or two would work fine, but nothing too drastic until we see him at 145 at least once. There is also a prop I like for this fight so take a look below.
Winner of this fight gets a push to the next level and hopefully more respect amongst the fans. Grant is coming off a great upset performance ( I picked him) over Evan Dunham and so is Matt Wiman ( I didn’t pick him) when he submitted submission machine Paul Sass. Grant has more tools with his striking and submission game, but Wiman is coming on strong and really developing into the type of fighter that can give almost anyone in the division trouble. The biggest aspect of this fight that I kept going back to was Wiman’s ability to push the pace combine with Grant slowing down a little bit in the later stages of his fights. Wiman isn’t a cardio machine and we have seen him taking some deep breaths on more then one occasion, but I still give him the edge. What I expect is that Grant will get the better of the striking, similar to what Siver did to Wiman, and despite Matt landing takedowns Grant will get the nod in a close decision. If your book happened to offer a prop covering the fight going to a split decision no matter the winner I would put $10 down on it. This is one of those fights that will probably be at even by bell time so if you are on Grant like me, wait before making your bet to add a little bit more value and if you want to bet on Wiman take him now before he drops. I will be using Grant as one of my rotating system plays, he has excellent value and has looked like a beast at 155. You could work a parlay with Grant,Johnson and Teixeira or Grant, Johnson and Thoresen that would pay well, but be mindful this fight could go either way.
I love this fight- off the top my head if I were to create a scale of confidence in underdogs (10 being the highest) I would rank my pick of Johnson over Benevidez as a 10, Nik Lentz over Diego Nunes as a 9, and Lamas at an 8 with past upsets like Masvidal over Noons and Moraes over Torres in the same category. Koch is a great fighter, he has the ability to win this fight, but I think that Lamas offers more in the skill department specifically his wresting and he has a sizeable price tag to boot. Koch was temporarily pencilled in to fight Aldo for the strap which means the UFC sees something in him and most likely the books are building him as the favourite with this knowledge. If you breakdown what these two have done inside the cage it favours Lamas tremendously. Koch knocked out Francisco Rivera who is a decent gatekeeper. He knocked out Raphael Assuncao who is talented, but is now a Bantamweight and he won a uneventful decision win over Jonathan Brookins (who just left the UFC) because Brookins didn’t mount enough offense despite dictating the pace of the fight. For Lamas he KOed Matt Grice a former LW with 6 UFC fights, he submitted Cub Swanson joining Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo as the only three people to beat Cub since late 2007 (10 fights), and then took out the man formerly tabbed as one of the best Featherweights in the world and future title challenger Hatsu Hioki. So Koch has a win over a now retired Ultimate Fighter winner and a Bantamweight contender while Lamas beat a guy who has now moved into title contention and a fighter that was on the verge of title contention. You can see my point regarding who has the bigger wins, but that is on paper and that doesn’t always play out inside the cage. I think Lamas’s wrestling will play a huge role. Brookins was able to control him on the wall and Lamas should be able to build on that with even more success. I expect he will be able to put Koch on his back and keep him there for decent durations of the fight. Even if he is moderately successful with his ground game, Lamas’s striking is more then enough to win him the fight. At this price Lamas will be my single biggest bet of the card, I am not saying he is a lock as I did rank him 8 of 10, but Koch is being way overvalued. I did my research and made my prediction prior to seeing the odds and I expected them to be a lot closer then this. I don’t like to based my betting night solely on the success of one fighter so I will have multiple bets without Lamas on them, but I will also have a nice variety with him. I will use him in my system bet, along with a main card parlay and probably working him in with a couple confidence and value picks. For Koch he has been out of action for a long time and this is a tough first fight back so I will pass on this one.
This is one of the biggest fights that didn’t happen in the WEC, mainly because Cerrone was a long established contender and Pettis was just climbing to that level as the company was closing its doors. It will be interesting to see how the LW division plays out over the next year plus and what “organization” fairs the best. If you want to you can break it up in 3 groups; WEC- Henderson, Cerrone, Pettis, and Varner, UFC- Maynard, Diaz, Miller, Lauzon +the rest, and now Strikeforce- Melendez, Thomson, Healy, Masvidal (he should be signed on soon), Noons and the rest of the fighters that come over. Plus on top of all of this Bellator’s Eddie Alvarez should be thrown into the mix. I would love to see a tournament involving these guys, but that won’t happen. So instead when the new EA sports UFC video game comes out I will for sure be throwing the top 16 guys into a tournament and seeing who comes out on top. I’ll keep you abreast, lol. If you want my initial assessment of how the division will play out. I’ve got Henderson beating Melendez- sending him to Featherweight, Henderson facing the winner of this fight, Cerrone if I am correct, and he beats Cowboy for a third time. Then Maynard should be in line for a fight and will probably fair the best of the past two but still lose, then Alvarez get his crack and Henderson retains the title. If BJ Penn were smart he work his butt off to get back to LW as well to compete in the division when it is at its strongest and try to cement his legacy. Ok that’s enough, lets look at this fight.
Pettis is a flashy entertaining fighter but I think Cerrone has the striking skills to out score him over 3 rounds. This is going to be a close fight and I actually like the fact that Cowboy’s price is rising and on some sites is above $2.00 now. I will be making a moderate single bet on Cerrone and working him into the parlays along with using him in the system bet. That being said there are a few areas of concern regarding his striking- a) he holds his hands too low- See the Guillard fight and b) the volume of strikes that Diaz was able to hit him with is troubling. This, like the TJ Grant bet is a solid play, but by no means a lock so make sure you have plenty of bets without Cerrone. The fans are favouring Pettis at a clip of 67% right now which is interesting because in the 4 fights where a fighter is favoured by 65-69% of the public they are 0-4. This is a small sample, but it will be interesting to see if it holds true.
I will never again invest money in Rampage and I will never suggest that you do either. Mentally he isn’t a Mixed Martial Artist, he is a guy that wants to come out and fight the type of fight you see in a parking lot or on a schoolyard. He has the ability to compete and be a factor in the division but only if he is focussed and willing to properly prepare which he is not anymore. The play here is Glover and even if Rampage was fighting at his best the odds would be closer, but I think that Glover would still be the play. Many are concerned how Teixeira got his knees wobbled by a left hook in his last fight. I think he had mistakenly let his guard down after putting such a beating on Maldonado and didn’t expect his “punching bag” to punch back. Secondly I think Rogan went a little overboard with how hurt Glover was, yes he did buckle but I think he recovered pretty quickly or at least wasn’t nearly in as much trouble as Joe implied. I think that Teixeira will mix up his attack between striking and grappling to keep Jackson off balance. Rampage will have the puncher’s chance if he can connect but it has been so long since the last time he actually finished someone I have my doubts he will do here so he is big NO PLAY. I will use Teixeira in most of my parlays and again like in the next match-up instead of playing a single bet on Glover I will pair him up with one of my better paying picks to improve the payout. Ricardo Lamas is probably the first on the list.
Main event title time, and currently I am struggling to get wins in the final fight of the night. Over the last 3 events I am 0-3 with 2 title fights losses and the public hasn’t faired any better. Over that time span we have had two decent sized upsets and a near even fight go against who the general public were favouring. Johnson started the vote with a pretty lopsided lead, but the Dodson supporters have come out and as of writing this Johnson has been trimmed 65% of the vote. When this fight was announced the first thing I thought of was how nervous I was throughout the Dodson/Elliot fight (I picked Dodson). Dodson was the faster fighter and was winning for the most part, but it seemed like he was under duress a lot more then usual. I attributed it to the fighters in his new division being much faster then he was use to at 135 and as a result arguably the most significant advantage he had, his speed, wasn’t there anymore or wasn’t as great. His second opponent at 125 wasn’t a speed based fighter which played to his advantage, but did nothing to help him prep for this fight. Johnson is just as fast or faster then Dodson and if I am wrong and Dodson has the edge, it won’t be by much. This will effect the challengers ability to be productive and his ability to evade damage. Could Dodson hurt Johnson and finish him? Maybe, but not likely. Johnson has fought better competition and should be more then ready for anything Dodson can throw at him. As far as betting is concerned I like Johnson at $1.47 and I would suggest using him in most of your parlays. Based purely on value I wouldn’t play him as a single bet, but instead would consider doubling him up with one of Lamas, Cerrone, or Grant to add to your return, potentially playing all 3 pairings. For Dodson, I think this is a tough stylistic match-up for him as Johnson does what he only better. I haven’t seen enough from him that would suggest he has the ability to win this fight beyond a puncher’s chance.
3. Ryan Bader $1.21
-Purchase the $5 Bet Pack to get my rankings for the entire event + my non-predicted Top 5 Value Plays
The Value Bet list is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win.
Demetrious Johnson to Win by Decision $1.66– Johnson and Dodson have combined for 20 decisions in 38 total fights. 8 of DJ’s last 9 went to the scorecards and 6 of the Challengers last 9 did as well. Johnson only has 9 finishes with the last one coming in November of 2010 while Dodson has never been knocked out or submitted.
Demetrious Johnson/ John Dodson Total Rounds Over 4.5– See the above reasoning for this play.
Ryan Bader to Win by KO/TKO/DQ– Bader has knockout wins over 3 opponents in the UFC and 7 in his pro career and Vladdy’s last 4 losses have all come by some form of knockout.
Clay Guida/ Hatsu Hioki Total Rounds Over 2.5– Guida is a decision machine, with 15 fights ending in decision and 3 in a row while only being finished 6 times in 42 fights. Hioki has gone the distance 17 times in 33 fights including 7 of his last 9 (all 3 UFC fights) and has never been finished. I expect Guida will look to control Hioki, but try to limit his risk of getting caught in a sub by not attacking too much on the ground. Guida is at his best when he tests his opponent’s cardio and forces them into the later stages of a fight. Play the Over.
Matt Wiman/TJ Grant Total Rounds Over 2.5– Both guys are tough to finish- Wiman once by Knockout (2006) and Grant once by submission (2008). They have also gone the distance a combined 19 times- 7 of Grant’s 9 UFC fights have gone to decision and 7 of Wiman’s 13 Octagon appearances ended the same. Both guys have the ability to finish, but I think this is a tough gritty fight that goes the distance. It could also be a candidate for Fight of the Night if that is an option your book has.
3. Ryan Bader $1.21
6. Ricardo Lamas $2.36
7. Clay Guida $1.36
5. No Play.
The Value Bet list for non-predicted winners is a list of fighters ranked based on a combination of their ability to win their fight and the potential financial return you would receive if they win. These 5 fighters are the best betting options available of all of the fighters that I predicted to lose and although I fully endorse my own predicted winner I feel that giving this type of information is only fair to my followers as it gives them further insight into my opinion on each match-up.