The ‘Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung continued to build his reputation with another entertaining victory and this time he may have positioned himself for a shot at the UFC Featherweight title. Also on the main card Donald Cerrone returned to form with a big win, Igor Pokrajac and Fabio Maldonado went to war, and Yves Jabouin took another step towards title contention in the Bantamweight division.
Kamikaze Overdrive finished the evening with a disappointing 5-5 record, an improvement on the last show, but still not something worth bragging about. In this business, to most people you are only as good as your last show and that what that means is despite my recent struggles there is another show right around the corner to help correct things.
The event Bet Pack (see below), although not as profitable as recent show still contain some valuable information. On the night, there were multiple props that hit, along with 3 of the top 4 correct picks on the confidence list, and some valueable betting information that cautioned bettors against investing too much on Dustin Poirier in the main event even though he was the prediction to win. Either way not a memorable night for predicting, but still another entertaining event with multiple storylines moving forward.
– I didn’t get a chance to watch Curran/Eduardo so I can’t make a comment, but I hope Curran gets another chance by making the drop to Flyweight to help fill out that division.
-Kamal Shalorus is most likely done with the UFC, dos Anjos looked good and that fight played out perfectly with Rafael hurting him and submitting him, but far earlier in the fight then I anticipated.
-Grant/Prater was uneventful. Grant looked solid, did what he needed to do to get the win and he did attempt to finish a couple of times. Prater will probably get one more fight, but Grant needs a push to the next level. Grant vs Michael Johnson seems fitting.
-I didn’t predict the McKenzie/ LeVesseur fight but good on Cody for gutting it out early and getting another submission win.
– Tavares/Yang was awfully close and really could have gone either way. I expected something similar and in the end it was the conditioning edge that allow Tavares to steal the decision.
-Tom Lawlor picks up a nice win over a solid veteran, while MacDonald could very well have fought his last time in the Octagon. Jason has put together a nice career, but he is probably best served by walking away now.
-Pokrajac/Maldonado was a war and some people are calling it a robbery. The biggest issue that I have seen with Maldonado is his striking defense, if he could take less damage and still maintain his own output he wins fights like these. Igor looked solid and hurt Fabio a couple of times which is a testament to how hard he hits. Pokrajac vs Little Nog would be a solid scrap.
-Yves Jabouin is quietly moving up the Bantamweight ladder while Jeff Hougland’s decision to stand and trade with the Canadian was probably the biggest mistake of the entire night. Hougland was originally pegged to fight Renan Barao, I can’t imagine how badly that fight would have gone for him. In a division as thin as BW is currently Jabouin is on the verge of significance but needs a win over a name fighter, Jabouin vs Brad Pickett would be an absolute war.
-Donald Cerrone picked apart and hurt an incredibly tough opponent in Jeremy Stephens and looked confident doing it. This fight did two things; 1) it showed that Cerrone is a legitimate threat in the division 2) it demonstrated just how good Nate Diaz is right now. Cerrone vs Anthony Pettis would be a fantastic fight to put together.
-Jorge Lopez was so close to picking up a big win and Amir Sadollah was just as close to a career damaging defeat. This is not a knock on Lopez, but considering most people had Amir running away with this match-up pre-fight a defeat would have been devastating. Lopez needs to pick up a couple of wins against the lower end of the division to help build up his career, but for Amir I struggled to see his position in the division after this point.
-The Korean Zombie stable of followers as grown exponentially after this fight. He won the early rounds, started to slow down and then put Poirier away. With this win KZ is most likely the next in line for a title shot. If Jose Aldo retains his title in Calgary the build up for KZ vs Aldo will be huge and should inject some much needed energy and attention into the division. I don’t know how KZ will fair against Jose, considering his gameplan involves taking so much damage, but whether it last 5 rounds or 5 seconds it will be fun. Poirier is young he will recover from this defeat and learn from it. Poirier versus Deigo Nunes would be an exciting fight.
Jeff Curran $1.67 vs Johnny Eduardo $2.20
Really nice set of odds here, betting on MMA would be so much more pleasant if the favorite wasn’t always paying just north of a dollar. Curran is well travelled vet and should recognize that if he wants to stay in the bigs he needs a win here and that means put Eduardo on his back. Eduardo comes out of the same camp as Jose Aldo and Diego Nunes and we all know how good their takedown defence is. If Eduardo can keep this fight standing its to his advantage, but that is an significant ‘if’. I like Curran as a single bet to get a little cash in your pocket early and as part of a parlay he is okay as well, but don’t allow him to ruin your night if he doesn’t get the job done.
Kamal Shalorus $2.95 vs Rafael dos Anjos $1.39
I have been really impressed with dos Anjos, while Shalorus hasn’t looked like he belongs in the UFC so far. Kamal should come out desperate and Rafael will need to avoid him early and wait until he slows down. I’m not a fan of Shalorus at $2.95 as I think he has nothing more then a chance to land a lucky punch which is not something worth betting on. Dos Anjos should be part of your stronger parlays at $1.39 maybe double him up with another pick like a Fabio Maldonado or a dog like MacDonald or Hougland.
Igor Pokrajac $2.50 vs Fabio Maldonado $1.56
Pokrajac really impressed me in his last fight, both with his power and technique. In this fight he is a live dog, but he will need to mix things up between his striking and his ground game. Unfortunately, we can’t see into his head so a single bet might not be a bad idea, but don’t go overboard because he may choose to stand and trade. I really like Maldonado’s work-rate and the way he throws his punches, and unless Pokrajac can crack his granite chin I can’t see him winning this fight over 3 rounds without using his ground game. $1.56 is nice number for Maldonado as part of a parlay or single bet.
Carlo Prater $4.00 vs T.J. Grant $1.25
Prater is a big dog, which makes Grant a fairly large favorite. I’m confident in Grant’s ability to win this fight but at $1.25 there are other more valuable options on this card. I’m not going to be playing this fight.
Dongi Yang $2.50 vs Brad Tavares $1.50
I was hoping these odds would be a little closer, giving Tavares a little more value but a $1.50 isn’t the end of the world. Yang’s gas tank is an issue, it cost him against McGee and will most likely cost him here again. Tavares fights at a grueling pace and should be able to push Yang to the point of breaking. As part of a parlay or a single bet Tavares is solid play.
Jason MacDonald $2.75 vs Tom Lawlor $1.47
I really like MacDonald as the dog here, he has an excellent submission game and his striking is good enough to compete with Lawlor. Belcher eventually smashed through MacDonald on the ground, but we just found out how good Alan is on the mat when he handled Rousimar Palhares. Even if Lawlor can hang early his conditioning has been questionable and I can see him getting tangled up in Jason’s long limbs on the mat. Use MacDonald’s $2.75 to bolster a couple of single bets; if you have a couple of single bets, consider doing a second investment on that fighter plus MacDonald to increase your return.
Jeff Hougland $3.05 vs Yves Jabouin $1.39
This fight gave me the most problems trying to determine who I was taking. I went back and forth, but what sealed the deal for me was that Jabouin has won back to back split decision against fighters that wanted to get him to the ground but just couldn’t do it with consistency. Hougland should be able to take him down, his conditioning concerns me, but I think he will have done enough early to either submit him or earn the decision win. Hougland is enticing at $3.05, don’t bet the world on him, but a small single bet or as part of low risk high reward parlay would be advisable.
Jeremy Stephens $3.10 vs Donald Cerrone $1.38
Cerrone should be motivated after his last performance, but Stephens is a tough out for any fighter. I like backing the fighter with more overall levels to his game; Cerrone’s striking should be more diverse and his ground game superior. At $1.38 he is an okay investment however you want to include him, maybe as part of a small parlay with either an high paying underdog or a pair of mid range favorites.
Amir Sadollah $1.50 vs Jorge Lopez $2.60
To be completely honest this fight left me scratching my head, especially considering how high it was put on the card. I anticipate that Sadollah’s value is going to drop closer to the event, mainly because most casual fans are going to look at Lopez and go ”Who?”. Get him before he drops, maybe as part of a main card bet with Cerrone and Tavares.
Chan Sung Jung $3.65 vs Dustin Poirier $1.31
Chan Sung Jung is more then capable of winning this fight. Poirier has dominated his opponents in the UFC which has earned him the betting favorite status but he is facing an opponent that can hang with him both on the feet and on the mat. The difference in predicting Poirier to win and KZ to win were minimal and overall these odds should be much closer then they are. I still think that Poirier wins this fight, but at $1.31 I am tempted to leave him off my bet cards almost completely. I will include him as part of a parlay, but I want my the majority of my large investments to be in the books before this fight goes down. I have no problems backing KZ on a single bet at $3.65 or as part of a low risk high reward parlay, maybe along with Hougland and MacDonald.
1. Rafael dos Anjos
2. Donald Cerrone
3. Fabio Maldonado
4. Amir Sadollah
5. Jason MacDonald
Dustin Poirier to win by Decision– I could see Poirier using his grappling and size to control KZ, avoid putting himself at risk and grind out the win.
Donald Cerrone to win by Decision– Cerrone should be able to out point Stephens on the feet, especially with his kicks, but not knock him out. Cerrone is capable of submitting Stephens, but Cerrone’s takedown skills aren’t the best so a decision win seems likely.
Jason MacDonald to win by Submission- Jason has a dangerous ground game and I expect that a great deal of this match-up will be contested on the ground. MacDonald did a nice job of tying Jensen up off his back and could do the same against Lawlor, further Lawlor’s conditioning isn’t elite and if MacDonald can grind him down he could submitt him late.
Rafael dos Anjos to win by Submission– his striking is improving and if he can either hurt Kamal with his hands or get him to the ground when he gets tired he should be able to submit him in a similar fashion to Shalorus’s last defeat.
Amir Sadollah/ Jorge Lopez Total Rounds Over- Both fighters have a lot of decision finishes on their resumes, which makes this play make sense.