UFN 61: Bigfoot vs Silva- “If I could turn back time…”

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A predictor’s nightmare it was, but maybe, just maybe, UFC Fight Night 61 saw at least one person cash in huge. I crunched the numbers below, for a  pocket stuffing haul should you have thrown logic to the win and picked the mind numbing 10 underdogs to win on this ‘special’ Sunday night of Fight action. Overall I went 4-7, with all 3 of my upset picks coming through. At first glance those numbers aren’t that strong, but considering the circumstances it could have been far worse. In fact, UFN 61 returned one of the bigger Bet Pack payouts in recent memory. There was a fair bit of information to take away from this card, let’s take a look at ‘stuff I thought about fights that happened’…

5.) First or bust…

In night full of hit or miss fights, there were 5 fights ended inside the first frame- 4 by knockout and 1 by submissions. Knockout wins by Matt Dwyer, Mike de la Torre and Sam Alvey (timber!!!!!), momentarily silenced the Brazilian crowd- but they were eventually given their due respect. Marion Reneau also picked up a huge win, submitting the heavily favour Jessica Andrade.

Conversely, the remaining 6 fights all went the distance. The opening bout of the night and the main card Lightweight contest between Adriano Martins and Rustam Khabilov were very weak, the latter especially. Sean Strickland versus Santiago Ponzinibbio was a great scrap and Michael Johnson and Edson Barboza held their own in a solid co-main event.

4.) Upsets Galore

After Ivan Jorge took a decision in the first fight of the night, not another favourite got their hand raised. 10 consecutive underdogs took home victories, including Frankie Saenz who paid around $8.75 (+775) and Adriano Martins at $5.00 (+400) who were the two biggest dogs on the card.

A bet of just $10 on the 10 upsets at their optimal prices would return a life changing $5,221,530.67. To steal a line from Cher: “If I could turn back time…”.

The Bet Pack’s Wildcard did cash in with Johnson, Martins, Ponzinibbio, and Mir/Bigfoot Under 1.5 rounds returning a solid 281.35 units (at $10 per betting Unit you would have cashed $2813.50)

After doing a little looking around I don’t feel so bad about my 4-7 record, but it is worth noting that Prediction Panel member Ryan Windsor finished 5-6 on the night, one win better than myself.

3.) Brazilian Judging

It is a sad state of affairs when predicting fights in Brazil is influenced by the judges’ bias just as much as by the fighters’ capabilities.

Brazilians were 4-2 on the scorecards. There were some very contestable scores given, but no real robberies.

Sean Strickland didn’t earn a single round on any card which is very debatable.

One judge gave Douglas Silva the first round over Cody Gibson which most felt was clearly the American’s.

Frankie Saenz and Michael Johnson, the two Americans to win decisions, were clear front runners for the majority of their fights- yet there was still a little bit of uneasiness heading into the final call.

Adriano Martins did next to nothing- 12 significant strikes and 3 takedowns, unfortunately his opponent didn’t do much more. A Draw would probably have been a more fitting outcome.

Finally, in the Silva/Gibson and Jorge/Shockley fights there was an interesting sequence of events in the final frame. Stay with me. Silva and Shockley both found success early in the third gaining a brief positional advantage on the mat. After which, their opponents were able to get back to their feet and control the majority of the action by forcing their foe to back pedal. Gibson more so then Jorge. The sequences were not exactly the same, but the point is they were close and yet the Brazilian got the nod in both rounds.

I can see it becoming increasingly harder to find willing combatants to travel to the hub of South American MMA to compete.

2.) The lifespan of a Heavyweight

This was supposed to be Frank Mir’s retirement party, it probably still should be. Going out with a first round knockout victory in Brazil over a heavily favoured Brazilian would be an ideal way to finish a career, but instead it has probably bought Frank another, maybe 2 more trips to the Octagon.

The options aren’t pretty. Frank will either be paired with another high level opponent- maybe the winner of Hunt/Miocic or Browne/Arlovski or possibly a rematch with Big Nog (another fighter that should walk away).

For Bigfoot Silva, it is clear that he is not the same without TRT. It is probably time for him to walk away after back to back crushing knockout losses. His chin is gone and to be brutally honest, the target is simply way too massive to protect from all angles. The punch that Mir put him down with wasn’t all that significant. He has had a good run, he didn’t capture UFC or even Strikeforce gold, but he had a solid career nonetheless. Will this be the last time we see him compete? Probably not. Should it be? Yes.

1.) What’s next for the big winners…

Let’s put together some fun matchups for some of the bigger winners on the card.

Mike De La Torre vs Chas Skelly– two capable grapplers that are more than willing to throw down on the feet. Timeline makes sense and the winner gets a big step up in competition.

Marion Reneau vs Jessica Eye– a nice step up for Marion, but considering she is 37 years old her TIME IS NOW. A fun striking based fight should be the result here.

Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Winner of Alan Jouban/Richard Walsh– I enjoy pairing of winners of bouts in close proximity. Either man would produce an exciting bout when paired with the Argentinean. The only concern is the disparity in overall experience. Versus Jouban, it might turn into a battle of who can get hurt worse early on and then rally late for the win.

Frankie Saenz vs Bryan Caraway– That was a big win for Saenz, defeating the #8 ranked fighter in the division. Caraway might be seen as a step backward, but he is a very tough grappler that will help determine if Saenz is ready for a shot at the upper echelon. He is not a household name yet, but another big win will help him to gain some notoriety.

Adrian Martins vs Jorge Masvidal– Adrian is coming off a poor fight, but a win nonetheless. Masvidal lost to Khabilov, but he is still a test for the majority of the division. If Martins could put together a better performance in victory over Jorge then he could build the momentum that this victory should have brought him.

Sam Alvey vs Uriah Hall– This bout would truly test the striking skills of Alvey and give Hall an opponent that probably won’t fold inside the first five minutes. Both guys are starting to pile up the knockout victims, winner gets a step up the ladder.

Michael Johnson vs Benson Henderson Ask and you may receive. Johnson is deserved of a big opportunity and the former Champ and one-time Welterweight would be just that. MJ has had some defensive grappling issues, this fight would go a long way to helping determine if they are behind him.

Frank Mir vs a UFC job outside the cage- I would love to see Mir brought in full time either as part of the group breaking down the fights between the action or harkening back to his WEC days as a commentator. If he continues to compete, which appears to be the case, he wants a third fight with Big Nog which would be ideal considering he is already 2-0. Ben Rothwell or a victorious Gabe Gonzaga might be more appropriate opponents. Ranked, but not elite level Heavies.

There you have it- stuff I thought about fights that happened. I will take solace in knowing that the Bet Packs produced some big winners in the parlay section, the Top 4 Value bets all cashed in, and the 1 counter bet I posted was victorious, check it all out below. UFN 61 was pretty good at times and undeniably horrible at others. A few knockouts, a couple of snoozers, and oh look UFC 184: Rousey vs Zingano is only 6 days and counting away…until then my friends.

Information will be posted closer to the event when the official odds are available

The compilation of betting information listed below is meant to be used as a guideline only.

eVENT PASSWORD copyUFN 61: Bigfoot vs Silva

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Parlay #1
Selection 1: Adriano Martins $4.73 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: $4.73 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 23.65 units
Parlay #2
Selection 1: Cody Gibson $1.43
Selection 2: Jessica Andrade $1.46
Selection 3: William Macario $1.37
Price: $2.86 x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 20.02 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Michael Johnson $2.34 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Andrade/ Reneau Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.41
Price:$3.30 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 16.5 units
Parlay #2
Selection 1: Tiago Trator $1.55
Selection 2: Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Silva/ Mir Total Round Under 1.5 $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: $7.89 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 31.56 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Macario/ Dwyer Total Round Under 1.5 $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Andrade/ Reneau Total Rounds Over 2.5 $1.41
Selection 3: Gibson/ Silva Total Rounds Under 2.5 $2.80
Price: $7.90 x Bet: 4 units
Payout: 31.6 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Adriano Martins $4.73 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Michael Johnson $2.34 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Silva/ Mir Total Round Under 1.5 $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: $56.27 x Bet: 5 units
Payout: 281.35 units

Ivan Jorge $1.45 vs Josh Shockley $3.11 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Here we go again, another Brazilian fight card. That usually means that a high percentage of local fighters are getting their hand raised. We need to keep that in mind when placing our bets as it is a well-known fact by now the UFC likes happy fans and fans are happy when their fighters are winning. As a result many of the bouts on this card are set up with local positioned to win. This is not news. I wasn’t impressed with Shockley in his debut, not much more with Jorge in his 2 fights either. I do see the local grinding this one out. Shockley will struggle to out-grapple him or score the knockout so he will need to take a wide-decision to get the nod from the judges. This bout probably won’t be ranked too high on my confidence list will be used scarcely on my bet card. I will examine the total to see what edge, if any is available.


Cody Gibson $1.43 vs Douglas Silva $3.11

It didn’t take long for my first non-Brazilian winner to show up. Silva’s record is fantastic, the competition he built it against- not so much. He did not look good in his debut and Gibson’s style of striking mixed in with some wrestling is going to be a lot for him to overcome. Silva still has power and Cody can’t be careless, but he should be able to avoid it for the most part. Unlike the first fight of the night, this one will rank fairly high on my Confidence list and will most likely make an appearance as a Gold Parlay leg. The total is also intriguing.


TJ Waldburger $2.13 vs Wendell Oliveira $1.82- Cancelled

If TJ takes another mat nap then it is time to hang em up, I don’t care how young he is. Oliveira has serious power and given the chance to deploy it, he will knock Waldburger out. I just don’t see him having a chance to land. He gets clinched up way to easy and Waldburger will start chaining submission attempts together and drag him to the mat for he finish. The guys that knocked TJ out are also very good grapplers with strong counter wrestling skills to fend him off. With Waldburger’s chin I will most likely let this pick slip to the Silver section for either a single bet or to pair him up in a parlay. Clearly the Total needs to be looked at here too.


Tiago Trator $1.55 vs Mike de la Torre $2.69

This bout could quietly be the show stealer. Both guys are aggressive and will be looking for the finish. de la Torre is scrappy, but I think that will get him in more trouble then it will benefit him. He was getting routinely cracked by Bocek and unless he has tighten up his defensive game a more dangerous striker will close the deal if he can land like that. With Trator cutting down a division that can create some complications, which will most likely drop this fight down to the Silver section, but I still feel he is a solid parlay leg even at that level.


William Macario $1.37 vs Matt Dwyer $3.52

Dwyer is a flawed fighter, but he has one aspect that can change the flow of a fight in an instant. He has power and he isn’t afraid to stand and trade. At the lower levels that worked well for him, but against guys that can take as good as they can give and better- his style will have a diminishing return. Macario should be able to land with consistency, get on the inside and unload until his opponent comes tumbling down. Dwyer was stopped by Tumenov and nearly knocked out by DaMarques Johnson (pre-UFC), Macario continues that trend. I think a parlay leg in the Gold package would be the most serviceable use for him here.


Jessica Andrade $1.46 vs Marion Reneau $3.06

In MMA there wins/ performances that look amazing and then suddenly their value is diminished. I think that is the case for Reneau’s debut win. Her opponent came in looking like a monster and was heavily favour, but she gassed very hard, very quickly, and was battered for the duration of the fight. This was the second time we saw said fighter gassed and lose the bout as a result. Reneau looked good, but it isn’t that much of a stretch to suggest that anyone with decent conditioning would have replicated her performance or looked even better. Subsequently, Andrade’s win over Pennington is looking better after the way Raquel slept Ashlee Evans-Smith. If Pennington beats Holly Holm next weekend it will be an even bigger boost to Andrade’s record. If she doesn’t finish the fight (most likely to happen by Guillotine) then she will be the more active fighter on the feet and have success with her grappling which will give her the win on the scorecards. In Brazil, if you are fighting a local you had better finish or make it very evident that you were the better fighter if u plan on winning on the cards. Reneau won’t do that. A Gold parlay leg is my play here.


Sean Strickland $1.58 vs Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I have watched Strickland/ Barnatt 3 times now and I am still a little confused how Strickland got the nod so clearly from the judges and I picked him to win that fight. I am also concerned about the divisional cut for Sean. 15 pounds is pretty significant and he wasn’t exactly looking like a guy that had a tonne of room to lose weight. With Ponzinibbio, I haven’t been that impressed with him, but then again LaFlare is turning out to be a top level prospect so that is lessoning the impact of that defeat a little. I think this fight comes down to aggression. If Strickland employs a similar approach of backing up and fighting safe, SP will be the one continually coming forward and either landing or attempting to land and that will way heavily with the judges. Again it is tough to win a decision versus a local (from Argentina I know, but trains in Brazil). With the weight cut there is a certain level of unknown here and Strickland could turn out to be a fighter to watch at WW, so I will drop this fight to a single bet in the Silver section.


Yuri Alcantara $1.19 vs Frankie Saenz $5.48

Clearly betting this line is a No Go. Saenz isn’t as out to lunch as this line would suggest. His wrestling could give Alcantara backers a bit of a scare, especially if he can get it going early on and tire him out. All that considered, this is a big step up for a fighter in just his second fight and still early in his MMA career. I will look at the total, but betting side isn’t worth the risk here.


Adriano Martins $4.73 vs Rustam Khabilov $1.29 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

If the Russian blows through Martins in as easy a fight as this line suggests I will be flabbergasted. This line is a product of the current explosion of Russian fighters in the UFC and not a lot of people knowing who Martins is other then the guy that ‘Cowboy’ head kicked into oblivion on FOX. Martins is the better striker and has much better power. He might not have the wrestling chops to take Khabilov down, but he is physically a strong individual and is dangerous enough on the mat to make it a fruitless endeavour by ‘Tiger’ to put him on his back. I felt that Masvidal more then held his own with Rusty and had he not got caught with that big kick in the final round he could of eked that one out. With the massive value that I feel currently exists with Martins, I have to advocate for a single bet in the gold bracket.


Cezar Ferreira $1.35 vs Sam Alvey $3.69

Like Dwyer above, Alvey is capable of ending this fight with one punch. I will tell you that Ferreira’s chin and Alvey’s ability to land that one massive blow is a major. Cezar is the more well-rounded fighter and has more to offer, but we have seen him get clipped in the past and that’s hard to look past. I took Cezar, but especially at this price I don’t intend to use him that much if at all in a parlay.


Edson Barboza $1.68 vs Michael Johnson $2.34 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Picking a non-local underdog against a highly touted Brazilian striker? Wow, risky! Especially when you toss in that MJ hasn’t fought in a year. Keep in mind it wasn’t an injury that sidelined him, so time spent rehabbing was not taking way from his gym time. Improvements, for a fighter that has already shown many, could be evident. Johnson’s pressure and footwork are going to be his key to success. Edson gets hit a lot and his chin- Varner, Cerrone, Castillo as evidence, is suspect. Barboza is more then capable of scoring the knockout or winning a decision if he can get his leg kicks working with consistency, but I see Johnson being more active and hurting him. I am still on the fence here. I might play Johnson as a single bet or possibly as a parlay leg and Gold or Silver still needs to be decided on. Check the parlay section for a final decision.


Antonio Silva $1.35 vs Frank Mir $3.69

HW fights are tough because one punch that lands flush could have the heavily favour fighter on his back with the ref pulling his mouth guard out. Bigfoot vs Arlovski anyone? I can’t bet a side with the TRT factor, the long layoff for Mir, and just the general weakness of each man’s chin. Silva should win this, but I think a bet on the total is the more appropriate pursuit.


1. Yuri Alcantara $1.19

2. Cody Gibson $1.43

3. William Macario $1.37

4. Jessica Andrade $1.46

5. Tiago Trator $1.55


6. Cezar Ferreira $1.35

7. Antonio Silva $1.35

8. Ivan Jorge $1.45 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Michael Johnson $2.34 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

19. Adriano Martins $4.73 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Adriano Martins $4.73 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // Martins is being way undervalued here. He is the better striker and if he can have success defending the Russian’s grappling this is his fight to win.

2. Michael Johnson $2.34 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // The layoff is concerning and Barboza is an elite level striker, but his defensive issues will be his undoing.

3. Santiago Ponzinibbio $2.48 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // I think that this fight has controversial ending written all over it so I will take the Brazilian if that is the case.

4. Silva/ Mir Total Round Under 1.5 $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // This fight narrowly edged out my OPU pick for the night, based on the chins of both men I struggle to see this fight lasting longer then a round.

5. See OPU #2.

1. Sam Alvey $3.69 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med // The more and more I look at this fight I can see Alvey catching him and putting him away. He has the ability to do so and Ferreira is a bit chinny. Consider a small bet.






Exclusive Bet Pack Content


Prop Bets

Ivan Jorge/Josh Shockley 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario’s Section.

Cody Gibson/Douglas Silva

See Betting Scenario’s Section.

TJ Waldburger/Wendell Oliveira Total Rounds Under 1.5 $1.85- Cancelled

When you have two guys that are capable of ending a fight early you have to look at the under. When you have 2 guys that have a history of being finished, like these two due, you have to play the Under. It doesn’t mean it is a lock, but percentages require it. TJ has been knocked out way too any times and Oliveira has both been knockout and submitted several times in his career. If TJ gets him out of there early it will probably be by the latter, but he did dropped Catone before subbing him. Play the Under.

William Macario/Matt Dwyer Total Round Under 1.5 $2.00 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This is a bit of ricks because I feel Macario is more dangerous as an accumulation striker then a one punch finisher. But, Dwyer’s striking defense is so porous that Macario could put together enough volume to put an end to things inside the first half. Dwyer also has power and the ability to end the fight abruptly. Not my favourite play, but still worth a look.

Jessica Andrade/Marion Reneau

See Betting Scenario’s Section.

Yuri Alcantara/ Frankie Saenz Total Rounds Under 2.5 $1.71

I don’t think Saenz is as out of his depth as the circumstances suggest, but I still feel he doesn’t make it to the final bell. Alcantara is a monster at BW and while he might not crack the top 5, I think he holds his own inside the top 10 for sometime to come. Saenz left a lot of openings when striking and Yuri just needs one to end the fight. On the mat, if Alcantara can put the wrestler in some unfamiliar position a submission could materilaize as well. Play the Under here.

Antonio Silva/ Frank Mir Total Round Under 1.5 $2.05 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I knew the line would be set at 1.5, but I am a little surprised that it pays as well as it does. I had it pegged for somewhere around $1.65-$1.80. Mir’s chin is suspect and Bigfoot’s isn’t much better. I am assuming Silva will be the hammer here, but Mir catching him isn’t that out of the question. Have both men’s wonky chins working in your favour, take the under.

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