UFN 87: Overeem vs Arlovski- ‘Over and Out’

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The beat rolls on! UFC Fight Night 87 was a finish filled affair, with eight of the thirteen matchups not requiring the judges. Several underdogs showed their teeth, the next Heavyweight title challenger step up to the plate and hit a homer, and I went a very strong 12-1. Sorry, had to slip that last one in there. I have now gone 42-7 over the last 4 show, probably my best run ever or at least in recent memory. The bet packs produced another winner, but narrowly missed out by seconds on turning in a record-breaking performance. Everything is posted below, take a look at the UFN 87 Bet Pack and check out my future fights for the winners from Rotterdam.

Notes from the Prelims
  • With his divisional debut in the rear-view mirror, Ulka Sasaki indirectly called out Mighty Mouse in his post-fight speech. Kind of. He is not ready for that, not even close. How about Ben Nguyen for his next Flyweight foray. (1-0)
  • He was unable to get the finish and spent some time on his back, but it was a solid performance for Leon Edwards. Edwards versus Lyman Good works for me. (2-0)
  • Losing to the champion has only made Kyoji Horiguchi better. No point rushing him back into a bout with the champ, but a stark step up in competition makes sense. Zach Makovsky would provide that test. (3-0)
  • It was a scrappy affair with a pair of grapplers battling it out on the feet and Reza Madadi got the better of it. I think I would enjoy Madadi throwing down with Paul Felder. (4-0)
  • Josh Emmett survived a gruesome injury to get the split decision in a short notice debut. Drew Dober recently lost out on a fight after his opponent was scratched, let’s make that fight. (5-0)
  • Sweden’s Magnus Cedenblad has won four in a row, despites struggling to remain active. Let’s remedy that with a quick turnaround fight against Anthony Smith. (6-0)
  • After a strong start to his UFC run, a pair of losses derailed the Russian, but Rustam Khabilov appears to be back on track with a pair of wins. Josh Burkman or James Krause would work for his next fight. (6-1)


Main Card
  • Another strong win for Karolina Kowalkiewicz has her moving up the ranks and into the post Joanna/Gadelha title conversation. She is still at least two wins away from challenging for the gold, but she’ll need another step up in competition to showcase her abilities. Maryna Moroz is coming off a strong win and would certainly be a willing combatant. (7-1)
  • In a division crying out for legit prospects, the 24-year old Nikita Krylov might be just what the doctor order. He isn’t perfect, but he is young, hungry, and a finishing machine. This was a big test to get by the grinding style of Barroso and he passed with flying colours. He is ranked #14 right now and looking at the guys sitting just ahead of him, Jimi Manuwa stands out as a fighter that would give him a good challenge. (8-1)
  • Germaine de Randamie won’t be able to get through the elite of the division unless she can consistently stop takedowns. Nonetheless, on the feet she is an absolute monster. Let’s have some fun and let her face Cyborg at 140 pounds if she gets by Smith at UFC 198. (9-1)
  • He is back, but he never really left. Losing a fight to Demian Maia on the mat had many writing Gunnar Nelson off. Done as a prospect. That is clearly not the case. He held his own on the feet and took Tumenov out on the mat. A multi-faceted attack at its best. Gunni should be back in the rankings shortly and should be booked accordingly. Nelson could test his game against Dong Hyun Kim. (10-1)
  • It didn’t take long and Stefan Struve was back in the win column after dispatching ‘Bigfoot’ in one of the fast Heavyweight fights on record. Struve claims he is back, but that was too small a sample-size to really get a good feel for his current state. Ben Rothwell is coming off of a loss, but I would like to see that fight. (11-1)
  • There were some tense moments early on, but Alistair Overeem whethered the storm, remained focused, and got the job done. Similar to the JDS victory, Overeem stuck to a defensively sound game plan and didn’t deviate, even under pressure. Arlovski tested him, but Overeem was able to wait him out. Velasquez is facing Browne and could very well get himself a title shot with a win. We also have to wait to see how Werdum/Miocic plays out. Lots of options, but I would like to see Cain fight once more after Browne and show that he can stay healthy. Give Overeem the next shot at the title. (12-1)


Final Thoughts

Overeem continues to look good and that is a good thing for the state of the Heavyweight division. Having options to choose from for a future title shot is important and will keep the division from stagnating. My run continues and hopefully doesn’t end next weekend, as we head into the biggest Brazilian card in UFC history. Wow what a lineup! That is all for now, time to get to work.

Parlay Header

Parlay #1 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 1:  Nikita Krylov -185 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Karolina Kowalkiewicz -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Magnus Cedenblad -278 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Reza Madadi +158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +657  Bet: 10 units
Payout: 65.66 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Alistair Overeem -220 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Stefan Struve -189 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Gunnar Nelson +169 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Chris Wade +175 
Price: +1545  x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 123.62 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Ulka Sasaki +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Josh Emmett +135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Nikita Krylov/Francimar Barroso Total Rounds Under 1.5 +100 
Selection 4: Garreth McLellan/Magnus Cedenblad Total Rounds Under 1.5 +155 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +2693  x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 188.48 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Reza Madadi +158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Gunnar Nelson +169 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Chris Wade +175 
Selection 4: Ulka Sasaki/Willie Gates Total Rounds Under 1.5 +130 
Price: +4290 x Bet: 7 units
Payout: 300.28 units


Draftkings Line up

Fighter 1: Alistair Overeem $10300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Stefan Struve $9900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Nikita Krylov $10100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Magnus Cedenblad $10600 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Ulka Sasaki $9100 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining:
Fighter 1: Gunnar Nelson $8900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Germain De Randamie $10000 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Karolina Kowalkiewicz $11200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Reza Madadi $9200 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Kyoji Horiguchi $10700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining: 


Alistair Overeem -220 vs Andrei Arlovski +206 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Overeem is finally hitting his stride and moving closer to a shot at the title. At this price I have no intention of moving him into my top play. Despite all of his progress, there is still the risk that he gets cracked bu AA and goes down like we have seen several times before. Conversely, I feel that the defensive front that he puts up will have Arlovski sitting on the outside and hesitating to pull the triger. JDS had a lot of issues letting his hands go against Overeem and with Andrei coming off another knockout loss, I expect him to be very cautious in this fight. I think Overeem catches him and puts AA down. I am will to include him in my Silver Parlay, because there are a number of very heavy favs on this card so at -220 he can add a little pop and is more of a known commodity then others. Leaving him off of your bet card altogether is certainly an option, as is using the total instead. Check the props for my play there.


Front a Fantasy perspective, Overeem is a much more manageable a play. He will most likely be a popular pick, but I actually expect to see a lot of players jumping on Arlovski as an inexpensive throw-in play after focusing more on their first 4 picks. At $10300, he will return points, not with volume, but with a stoppage win. I have him on Team Kamikaze.

Stefan Struve -189 vs Antonio Silva +193 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I am taking a bit of risk here. Bigfoot has shown me abso lutely nothing to suggest he can compete at this level. His only win in recent memory was a second round finish of a gassed Soa who promptly retired after the fight. Silva was very close to getting stopped in the opening round before the bell saved him. Struve hasn’t been that impressive either, but I feel now that he is working his way back into regular competition we will see a return to his previous form. Silva is big, slow, hittable, and his chin is gone. Struve rocked Big Nog a couple of times and if he can connect on Silva I see him putting the Brazilian down. Even if he can’t score the knockout, Silva is going to struggle to land much with consistency. His offensive output has dropped off in recent fights and when he does open up he usually gets tagged. Silva’s best bet is to take Struve down and keep him there. I’ve got Struve in my Silver parlay.


Similar to Overeem, the Struve’s fantasy price is much more manageable and actually gives us the additional funds to pick up a couple of other solid finishers. Bigfoot last 6 losses have all come by knockout and Struve has gone the distance just 3-times over his 34 fight career. Look for him to use his reach and catch Silva has he tries to close the gap and engage. Struve joins Overeem on team Kamikaze.

Albert Tumenov -177 vs Gunnar Nelson +169 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Hopefully, one many (5) upsets that I have called on this night! I had Tumenov picked on my Podcast right up until I got to the end. I like to back fighters that offer multi-dimensional attacks. That is what Gunnar does. He has the striking skills to at least hang with Tumenov on the feet and the grappling game to dominate him on the floor. He can’t stand trade with him too long as Tumenov has scary power that could change the course of the fight very quickly! I think we see Nelson revert back to his grappling attack and really test Albert’s TDD. It was a little bit ago and his debut, but Ildemar Alcantara took him down multiple time and road his grappling to a decision win. I see Nelson repeating the process. Keep in mind most of the fighters that Tumenov has beat have been striking-based, not legit threats on the mat. Look for Tumenov to pull back on the aggression to avoid getting taken down. Nelson either grinds him down to a decision or submits him. Nelson needs a win and fits into my Silver Parlay nicely.


Nelson will join team Overdrive. Whether he finishes the fight or not, I see him as a guy that can return you 75-100 points. His ability to dominate on the mat and aggressive guard passing style will produce. A lot of people have shied away from him after the loss to Maia, but getting beaten on the ground by Demian shouldn’t take anything away from Gunnar’s skills on te floor. Most will overlook him here in exchange for the face melting power of Tumenov, but at $8900 he is a bargain.

Anna Elmose +350 vs Germain De Randamie -345 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

For the sake of time, this is a clear ‘No Play’. I will certainly be looking at the total though. Stay tuned.


GDR absolutely wrecked her last opponent and when she is faced with a fighter that isn’t going to take her down, she can let her hands go. That is what she did against Pacheco and she is one dangerous lady. Elmose is small for the division and inexperienced. Her areas of strength will play directly into what GDR does well and either result in her getting knocked out clean or slowing down and then getting stopped. Most people will shy away from this pick because a) they prefer to play men who finish more frequently, b) they don’t know much about either girl, and c) GDR doesn’t have a great track record for finishes. We know otherwise. Team Overdrive.

Nikita Krylov -185 vs Francimar Barroso +182 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Krylov has a lot of momentum and is one of the few prospects in the LHW division. He is an aggressive finisher. In stark contrast to that, we have Barroso who is a ‘measured’ fighter who likes to grind the pace of his fights to a halt. Krylov goes hard and his cardio suffered in the one fight that went beyond the first round. Barroso has slowed down on multiple occasions in longer fighters, despite the plodding pace of the action. I see Krylov overwhelming him early and even if he can’t get the quick finish, look for Barroso to be badly gassed by the end of the opening round. Even if Nikita does slow down a bit, Barroso won’t be able to capitalize on it. I like Krylov in my top play.


With almost every fight on his resume ending in the opening round, it is not hard to see why Krylov is a must-have for your Fantasy lineup. Despite his ability to put fighters away with consistency, he is a very manageable $10100. I am tempted to play him in both lineups, but for diversity sake, I will stick to just one. He joins team Kamikaze.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz -250 vs Heather Jo Clark +235 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I picked both of these girls to pull off upsets in their UFC debuts, which worked out nicely. I don’t see HJC pulling off the same feat here. KK is too quick and has too great a work rate for Clark to keep up with. For Clark, her only real chance to take this is to get it to the ground and keep it there or of course grab the submission win. Despite the steep odds, I will back KK in my Gold play as the 4th leg of the bet.


KK is darn expensive but that could actually work in our favour. Most people will look at her decision heavy record, 5 overall and 4 of her last 5 going the distance, and invest elsewhere. That is fine with me. She scored 60 points in her debut decision win, not overwhelming, but Clark gives up almost 5 strikes per minute. That is a big total and KK should be able to exploit it. With KK’s debut out of the way I expect her to put together a better performance against a lower quality opponent. Unique points are the way to go and that’s what we can pick up here. Team Overdrive.

Chris Wade +175 vs Rustam Khabilov -190 

I’m not that high on Rustam Khabilov and never have been. I picked Martins to upset him and that is exactly what he did. He is a grappling heavy fighter with a serviceable striking game. Cut out his support leg, ie takedowns, and he isn’t the same fighter. Wade can do that. He is the more active striker and could exploit the TDD of the Russian which has been less than perfect. This has the makings of a close fight, but I feel Wade will do enough to edge it out. Silver Parlay


No Fantasy Play.

Jon Tuck -142 vs Josh Emmett +135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The line is getting more and more enticing on Emmett and that is good news. On the surface, Josh is debuting on short notice. That is rough. But he was prepping for a fight this weekend before he got the call. That is huge. He also fought back in January, another a positive. On top of all of this- training out of TAM and working alongside some top quality fighters. He isn’t your typical late notice replacement. Tuck has been out of action for almost a year, so ring rust could be a real thing. For a fighter that relies on getting off to a good start, ring rust can be deadly. Tuck is going to be hard-pressed to out wrestle Emmett, who is the more powerful and active striker. Additionally, Tuck slows down in fights so if he can’t get it going early he will be up against it late. Still, considering everything surrounding this fight Emmett slips down to the Bronze parlay.


No Fantasy Play.

Garreth McLellan +257 vs Magnus Cedenblad -278 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Cedenblad is better at what McLellan does best. That is never a good thing. McLelland doesn’t have the striking chops to take out the Swede if he can’t out grapple him. Cedenblad is a grinder and will do just that to the South African. My biggest concern is the layoff could affect Cedenblad, but he isn’t unfamiliar elongated breaks in his UFC run. The price isn’t that good, but similar to KK, I feel he gets the better of his opponent and I don’t mind the risk/reward. He joins the Gold Parlay.


Cedenblad has finishing capabilities with 11 of 13 fights ending inside the distance. That is a strong reason to back him by itself. Of those 11 wins, 8 came in the opening round. I wasn’t impressed with how McLellan responded to being put on his back in his debut and he didn’t look that good against Bush until he gassed. Where he fought the majority of his career he was the hammer, it’s hard to adjust when you become the nail. Cedenblad picks up a finish inside the first 10, possibly 5-minutes via submission. He joins team Kamikaze.

Reza Madadi +158 vs Yan Cabral -171 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I like the Dog here, in more sense than one. Cabral is a one trick pony. He is very good at what he does, but I struggle to see him doing it against Madadi. Reza should have the counter wrestling to keep Yan from using his BJJ. If that is the case, it comes down to their striking. Neither man is a world beater, but Madai hits hard and hits more often. I like that scenario. A further encouraging scenario is the cardio comparison. Cabral slows down in fights. He won the opening round against both Case and Cummings, but faded and couldn’t muster enough to grab another round. Madadi was coming off a huge layoff for the Parke fight, but he should be in a much better place here. Even if Cabral scores the early takedowns, he is going to expend a lot of energy doing so and that will open the door for Madadi to get back into the fight. I really like Reza here and he completes my Gold Parlay.


I also have Madadi in my Overdrive lineup. He is not a big producer, but he has a very reasonable price and won’t be a popular pick amongst most players. If this fight does go the distance he should pick up between 40-55 significant strikes coupled with a few takedowns as Cabral gets tired. By playing Reza, he opens up money to spend on other more expensive players.

Kyoji Horiguchi -500 vs Neil Seery +475 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Seery is a tough nut to crack, but that won’t be enough here. Horiguchi is faster and hits harder, but there is no play to be made on the side here.


Despite being a massive betting favourite, Horiguchi is more reasonable than expected. He has serious power and could score the knockout. If not, he has the striking volume and a willing combatant to produce a solid return over 3 rounds. With Kyoji buried on the undercard, he might not attract as much attention as some of the main card fighters would. Team Overdrive.

Dominic Waters +246 vs Leon Edwards -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I am going to pass on this fight. Edwards should win this fight going away, but Waters could make it a little dicey. I will pass.


I certainly gave some thought to playing Leon considering his one-punch power. At $10900, if you can make it work, give it a shot. I would be tempted to replace KK on Team Overdrive with him if I did make a move. Waters’s odd striking style and tendency to run forward when attacking could walk him directly into a knockout. It’s either Edwards with a potential knockout or low volume striking return versus KK with limited finishing potential, but big on the volume side and more unique points. Your call.


Ulka Sasaki +133 vs Willie Gates -136 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Lots of scenarios to look at here. Sasaki is cutting down a division, but Gates’s style isn’t what usually troubles fighters moving down a weight class. Sasaki’s length and height take away one of the assets that ‘Whoop Ass’ usually relies on at 125. Gates is pretty vulnerable on the mat, where Ulka is best. Saski hasn’t faired well with getting punched in the face- something that Gates excels at. I like Sasaki to hold his own on the feet long enough to engage on the mat. His striking is good enough to hang with Gates, but Gates wont be able to match him on the mat. Still, with lots of variables at play here I will push Sasaki to the Bronze section.


I’ve got Ulka as the final member of team Kamikaze. He is cheap at $9100 and has finishing skills- 9 wins by submission. Gates has been tapped 3-times and has a clear vulnerability to what his opponent does well. Sign him up.


1. Kyoji Horiguchi -500 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Karolina Kowalkiewicz -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Magnus Cedenblad -278 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Germain De Randamie -345 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Nikita Krylov -185 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med


6. Leon Edwards -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Alistair Overeem -220 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Reza Madadi +158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Gunnar Nelson +169 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Stefan Struve -189 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Chris Wade +175 

11. Ulka Sasaki +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Josh Emmett +135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Reza Madadi +158 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Gunnar Nelson +169 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Chris Wade +175 

4. Ulka Sasaki +133 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Josh Emmett +135 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. Antonio Silva +193-  Of all the underdogs I picked against I see Bigfoot having the best shot at pulling this one out. Even though I expect Struve to win if he fights like he is capable of, if he doesn’t show up Bigfoot could grind his way to a decision win or TKO stoppage on the mat. A small hedge bet on Silva could serve as a decent play.






Exclusive Bet Pack Info.


Prop Bets


Alistair Overeem/Andrei Arlovski Total Rounds Over 1.5 +112 

Any time HWs get together, the Under plays will come streaming in and rightfully so! I like the Over here for a couple of reasons. I’m not saying this fight might not be done in 30 seconds, but I’m playing a couple of hunches. Arlovski has 2 types of fights of late; crazy brawls ending in knockouts or sleepers. I’m thinking we are headed toward the sleeper style at least for a bit as AA will be looking to avoid a second consecutive knockout. Additionally, Overeem as been using a much more measured style of late to alleviate his knockout issues. The combination of the two approaches could push this fight into the middle rounds. Finally, with both men coming out of the same camp there is a legit chance we could see neither man come out swinging at least early on because their level of familiarity. No one wants to lose to a guy you see in the gym every day, friend or no friend. The lower odds on the Over in spite of their hefty knockout numbers across the board suggest a tentative start and an Over. For a riskier and bigger playing play, consider AO by Decision.

Anna Elmose/Germain De Randamie Total Rounds Under 2.5 -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

They’re on to us! I was really hoping to see the Under set around +135. GDR is a monster on the feet and showed what she is capable of in her last fight once she establishes her TDD or that there is no legit TD threat. That should be the case here. Look for her to land a brutal uppercut on a shorter fighter and load up on her right. Elmose is very aggressive, has faced low-level competition, is undersized for the division, and all 3 of her pro bouts have been short. Unless she finds a way to get GDR out of there (still hitting the under) or develops a ground game that I haven’t seen in the tape, she is going to be right there to be hit. This could happen early based her style/ skill or later based on exhaustion. Play the Under.

Nikita Krylov/Francimar Barroso Total Rounds Under 1.5 +100 

I am playing 2 different props for this fight as I originally didn’t think we would get this decent of a line on the Under. Krylov is an all action fighter. Barosso is not! We are basing this play on the Ukrainian. All but 1 of his 23 fights have ended inside the 1st round. That is consistency. He goes for the win and won’t relent. Barroso likes to hold back at times and grind the fight to a halt. That should create plenty of opportunities for NK to swarm for the finish. Play the Under.

Nikita Krylov to Win by TKO/KO/DQ +170 

Barroso is a BJJ Black belt and while Krylov could submit him, I’m playing the numbers here. ‘Al Capone’ has 7 wins by knockout and Francimar has a trio of losses by the same method- 2 by clean KO. Barroso slows down in fights even when he is setting the pace and he won’t be here as NK will push him. Look for Krylov to keep attacking until Barroso relents.

Karolina Kowalkiewicz/Heather Jo Clark Total Rounds Under 2.5 +235 

The line here was too good to let go. KK hasn’t been a consistent finisher in her career, but she is dangerous. HJC has only been finished via strikes once and it was the result of a Doc stoppage. When you look at the numbers HJC is going to get hit a lot. Rawlings piled up a pretty significant total against HJC and KK unloaded on Markos. I expect to see KK more settled in for her second UFC appearance and I view HJC as a lesser caliber opponent compared to Markos. KK is going to put it on her and between the volume and the lengthy layoff for HJC a stoppage could surprise many. Take the value.

Chris Wade/Rustam Khabilov 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See Betting Scenario Section.

Garreth McLellan/Magnus Cedenblad Total Rounds Under 1.5 +155 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I wasn’t impressed with McLellan in his debut and the win against Bush wasn’t that great either. He has been finished twice in his career, but it was his inability to deal with the grappling attack of Fabinski that has me leaning towards the Under. Cedenblad has a quick submission attack and won’t hesitate to jump on it. 11 of his 13 wins are finishes with 8 hitting the Under 1.5. He has also been submitted 3-times, all early in the fight. The South African has 9 submission wins on his total, so he knows how to get it done. Look for this possible scenario to help us cash; GM likes to fight in the clinch, but with Cedenblad being the taller fighter he could look to attack his opponent’s neck while standing. Play the Under.

Dominic Waters/Leon Edwards 

See Betting Scenario Section.

Ulka Sasaki/Willie Gates 

See Betting Scenario Section.