UFN 89: MacDonald vs Thompson- ‘Wonder No More!’

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The UFC returned to Canada for a big Welterweight showdown between the top two fighters in the division not wearing the strap. Despite entering enemy territory, Stephen Thompson continued his surge towards the gold and put himself in position to challenge for the title later this year. ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone put himself on the map at 170, Steve Bosse and Sean O’Connell went full ‘Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots’, and Jo Jo Calderwood picked up her biggest UFC win to date. Let’s look at my big winners and loser and future fights to make after UFC Ottawa.

Stephen Thompson

Thompson pitched an absolute shutout, landing his shots and limiting the offensive output of the former title challenger. ‘Wonderboy’ has positioned himself as the next title challenger, defeating a fighter that soundly beat current title challenger Tyron Woodley and fellow championship hopeful Demian Maia.  Thompson’s next fight should be for the title against the winner of Lawler/ Woodley.

Donald Cerrone

‘Cowboy’ became the first man to pick up a legit stoppage of Patrick Cote. There were a lot of questions surrounding his ability to deal with a true Welterweight and he passed them with flying colours. If he intends to stay at 170 pounds, which seems like a good idea, a ranked opponent or his next fight makes sense. Rick Story would provide Cerrone with an excellent next test at Welterweight.

Steve Bosse & Sean O’Connell

Just a barn burner of a fight. Unfortunately for O’Connell he didn’t get his hand raised but he certainly made some fans. Bosse continues to impress with his fan friendly style and will be a big draw the next time the UFC returns to Canada. Ed Herman is coming off a recent win as well, he fights Bosse next. After that performance and couple of tough fights, O’Connell needs a step back- Daniel Jolly for him.

Joanne Calderwood

This was the first fight that Jo Jo really showed what she was capable of. Letourneau is tough and Calderwood just kept throwing until she put her down for good. Excellent fight, unfortunately in a division that doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, it will help the Scots’s standing at Strawweight. Let’s do Jo Jo versus Karolina Kowalkiewicz next.

The Best of the Rest

Jason Saggo picked up a hard fought victory over a tough opponent and has rebuilt the momentum lost from his injury layoff. Saggo vs Deigo Ferreira.

Misha Cirkunov stood with a dangerous striker, showed improvements, and then finished him on the mat in the third round. It was a clear indication of his development as a fighter.  Misha versus Henrique da Silva.

After a string of decisions, Krzystof Jotko picked up a massive knockout to punctuate his current winning streak- a fight with Thiago Santos gives him a shot with an opponent in the top 15.

Finally he has a UFC win on his record! Lots of heart shown by Joe Soto to hang in there and get the late finish. Jerrod Sanders vs ‘One Bad Mofo”

Rory MacDonald

Coming off his loss to Lawler, Rory was in a tough spot against a fighter still looking for his shot at the gold. The normally strategically sound Canadian, struggled to figure out ‘Wonderboy’ and dropped a fairly one-sided decision as a result. He is now a free agent and coming off a loss. I would shocked if the UFC doesn’t resign him, but money talks. The ‘Red King’ and former champion Johnny Hendricks could throw down next.

Patrick Cote

The ‘Predator’ had an opportunity to add a big name to his Welterweight surge, but instead suffered the first legit knockout loss of his career.  Cote slips back now and will be forced to rebuild his momentum.  Cote vs Kenny Robertson would be a good battle of veterans.

Valerie Letourneau

She endured a tonne of damage in her title fight loss and took a further beating against Jo Jo. Valerie might be too tough for her own good. She would also benefit tremendously from a 125 pound division as 115 is too hard of a cut and she is undersized for 135. Kelly Faszholz is a nice step back in competition.

Chris Beal

The sequence of the fight played out very similar to Beal’s previous defeats. He started strong, looked very good, and then began to fade. He appeared to recompose himself in the third, but just when it started to look good Soto took him to the mat and choked him out. I can’t imagine Beal remaining with the company. Bellator or WSOF next for him.

Sam Alvey

When Alvey scores a thunderous knockout no one cares what preceded it. When he is forced to go the distance with an opponent that employs a strategy based on taking away his one-hitter quitter power- it can get pretty ugly.  That is what this was. Oluwale Bamgbose comes to bang, Alvey will oblige him in a fun fight.

Final Thoughts

The night produced some pretty solid action and helped to promote a fresh face as the next Welterweight contender. Rory will be back, but at 33-years old ‘Wonderboy’ needs his shot now. I went 10-3, which was a nice recovery from my recent slump. Unfortunately, I lost a couple of key fights that prevented the Bet Pack from cashing big with a couple of parlays missing by one leg (3). The Bet Pack still had some sold info including a Live Bet on Soto, 4 of 5 Value List, 6-1 Betting Scenarios, and 5-3 props.  Everything can be seen below. We get a layoff before the massive run of fights in July! Catch your breath, the summer is going to be awesome!

Parlay Header

Parlay #1
Selection 1: Misha Cirkunov -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Tamdan McCrory -196 
Selection 3: Jason Saggo -161 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +280 Bet: 12 units
Payout: 33.61 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Valerie Letourneau -167 
Selection 2: Steve Bosse -146 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Stephen Thompson -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Joe Soto +103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Price: +944  x Bet: 10 units
Payout: 94.40 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Patrick Cote +145 
Selection 2: Randa Markos -175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Olivier Aubin-Mercier/Thibault Gouti Total Rounds Under 2.5 -152 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Ion Cutelaba/Misha Cirkunov Total Rounds Under 1.5 -140 
Price: +994  x Bet: 8 units
Payout: 79.54 units
Parlay #1
Selection 1: Krzysztof Jotko/Tamdan McCrory Total Rounds Uner 2.5 +114 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 2: Jason Saggo to Win by  Decision +205 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 3: Joe Soto +103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Selection 4: Valerie Letourneau -167 
Price: +2018  x Bet: 8 units 
Payout: 161.47 units

Draftkings Line up

Fighter 1: Stephen Thompson $9800 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Patrick Cote $9200 
Fighter 3: Steve Bosse $10700 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 4: Misha Cirkunov $10900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Joe Soto $9400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining:
Fighter 1: Stephen Thompson $9800 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 2: Jason Saggo $9900 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 3: Tamdan McCrory $10600 
Fighter 4: Joe Soto $9400 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Fighter 5: Elias Theodorou $10300 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med
Salary Remaining: 

Rory MacDonald +100 vs Stephen Thompson -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Thompson opened as a slight dog, but enough people have pushed on Wonderboy to shift him to the role of the favourite. This line is very similar to Rory vs Woodley and I had Mac winning that fight pretty handily- and he did. I don’t see that being the case here. Thompson is going to present a striking attack that is more complex and more dangerous that MacDonald has to offer. Additionally, he will shutdown the any attempts by MacDonald to close the distance and shoot for a takedown. I wouldn’t be shocked if this fight went the distance, but a stoppage is very likely. The title fight letdown is real and is magnified when you consider the that Rory has lost twice to the champ. Look for this line to shift a little as the general public starts putting money down on Rory closer to bell time. Rory is still a high level opponent, Thompson falls into the Silver section.


I am using a pair of fighters as my lynchpins in my fantasy lineups. Thompson is one of them. At $9800, he is an affordable fighter that will both offer stoppage potential and the ability to land a high volume of strikes over 5-rounds. Additionally, Rory will be a popular pick at $9600 and will attract a lot of buyers- especially from Canada. Thompson provides unique points and the extra cash to spend elsewhere. I have him on both teams.

Donald Cerrone -150 vs Patrick Cote +145 

I usually like to back the fighter moving up a division, especially when they have been competing at the top of the talent pool in their former division. That is the case with Cowboy, but I’m not on him here. He tends to be a slow starter and Cote’s aggression will make him pay for that. If Patrick can continuously force him backward, Cerrone’s offense will be limited. Look for Cote to use his size as well to break Cerrone down along the cage. If you look back at Cerrone’s wins, a lot of them have been the result of him either finishing or hurting his foe after a slow start. Alvarez- hurt him, Barboza- stopped him, Martins- stopped him, Miller- stopped him, Oliveria- stopped him. Against RDA twice and against Diaz he was unable to find that fight changing moment to turn the fight. The same could be said regarding his controversial win over Benson. Cote is durable and has taken shots from bigger hitters. That doesn’t rule out a sub, but I like Cote here to outwork him. Bit of an upset and we haven’t seen how Cerrone performs at WW against a real WW yet, so I’ll tread carefully and bet Cote in the Bronze.


At $9200, Cote is cheap and fits in with the rest of my lineup. He has finishing power and has put up some decent striking totals as a Welterweight. Cerrone gets tagged at a clip of 3.85 SLpM and over a full 15-minutes Cote should finish somewhere in the 60-70 range. Add in a possible takedown or 2 and the decision win and we have a pretty cheap price for 65-80 points. Team Overdrive.

Olivier Aubin-Mercier -345 vs Thibault Gouti +336 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Pass here. OAM is a takedown or bust type fighter and while I feel he should get them with ease here- the risk/reward isn’t there. I will probably look at a prop bet.


At $1100, OAM is too expensive an option compared to other finishing capable fighters.

Steve Bosse -146 vs Sean O’Connell +138 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

This should be a pretty entertaining scrap whether we get a firefight followed by a knockout or a brutal back and forth that goes the distance with a bit of zombie mode at the end. I like the combo of Bosse power and hand speed coupled with OC’s willingness to trade and shaky chin. We get some early fireworks before Bosse cracks OC for another knockout win. In a brawl it could go either way, even if most scenarios point to Bosse scoring the knockout. It’s not my top play, but its a Silver parlay option.


At $10700, but the Boss is expensive but worth it. I doubt he will be working overtime; he has 9 knockouts and 1 sub- 9 coming in the opening round. O’Connell gets hit a tonne (6.59 SLpM) and has been finished 6 times in his 7 defeats. Either a first round finish or Bosse piles up the strikes and then finishes him or takes the decision- all have point scoring potential.  Team Kamikaze.

Joanne Calderwood +153 vs Valerie Letourneau -167

The first 125 pound Women’s fight in the UFC. I like it and hope they develop a division for these girls. I like Jo Jo, but I have never been impressed by her. Not on the show, not in her 2 UFC wins, and certainly no in her defeat to Moroz has she looked that good. Keep in mind, her 3 fights have been against 3 debuting opponents- a couple on short notice. Letourneau has done well in the UFC and already fought for a UFC title which caught many of guard. She handled herself well too. I think her pressure and size will be too much for Jo Jo. The Scot is use to having the size advantage and bullying opponents to the mat and into the cage when needed. That won’t be the case here. Valerie control the pace, lands more frequently and scores some TDs. She falls into my Silver section.


I gave early consideration for VL to be in one of my lineups, but I made a late change. This will be a tough fight, but I don’t think we get a finish.

Jason Saggo -161 vs Leandro Silva +165 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Moving down to the prelims, I really like this fight. Saggo is a good grappler and far more active than Silva. Leandro is so frustrating to back and makes fights so much closer than they need to be. It has cost him before and it will cost him here. Saggo wears him out with takedowns and either stops him from top position or grinds a decision out. Gold Play.


Saggo has been a career finisher and is very affordable at $9900. His high-octane takedown game will hold up well over a 3 round decision against an opponent that slows down or he continues to finish foes. Either way, he scores points. Team Overdrive.

Ion Cutelaba +174 vs Misha Cirkunov -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I think we are getting a bargain her. Misha looks like an absolute monster. He is still working on his striking, but his clinch and mat work are so devastating. If he gets his hands on Cutelaba, he is going to take him down and dominate the action. Cutelaba has to let his hands go and hurt him early. Unfortunately, Ion is too aggressive for his own good and will walk into takedowns attempting to deploy his power. This is a big step up for the new guy and his low level of competition will show up. Gold Parlay for the Big Latvian turned Canadian.


His high finishing rate makes Misha a must-have in your lineup. He is the most expensive fighter I’m willing to employ, but he is worth it. He has 9 finishes, 8 in the first round, and his takedowns and GNP are point producers. Look for Ion to falter once he runs into a capable and higher level opponent than he is used to. He won’t respond well when he becomes the nail after being the hammer for so long. Team Kamikaze.

Krzysztof Jotko +185 vs Tamdan McCrory -196 

Jotko is a decent fighter, nothing flashy- but he gets the job done. At the same time, I feel like he could be better. McCrory is violence. The guy flat out impressed me and angered me at the same time against Samman. I very much wanted to play him in that fight, but couldn’t pull the trigger. Then he went and performed pretty much exactly how I expected him to. Grow some balls Johnson. I am on him here, hard. He is too big, too aggressive, and simply too powerful for Jotko. I expect McCrory to either crack him on the feet or hurt him on the mat for a sub. Gold Parlay.


Even at $10600, I think he is very affordable. Jotko has lost just once, by finish. Tamdan is a finisher, just 1 of his 14 wins have gone the distance- 8 in the opening round. Jotko thrives when he can get his opponents to fight on his terms- Tamdan will dictate the pace, break him down, and finish him. Big finish points, striking volume will be there, along with some ground points. Team Overdrive.

Chris Beal -110 vs Joe Soto +103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Beal has not looked good, with the exception of his knockout debut and even in that fight he appeared to drop the opening round. Soto has been competitive, but he seems to lack that extra gear to get him over the top in close fights. Soto has had issues with bigger men outmuscling him, that won’t be the case here. Beal is small for the division and he tends to fade. He isn’t the same fighter in round 1 that he is in rounds 2 and 3. So that tells us to consider a live bet on Soto if he drops the opening frame, Beal will come back down and Soto will get back into the fight. Its worth the money. That being said, I think Joe holds his own on the feet and eventually gets the fight to the mat where he works to a dominant position and potentially finishes Beal. Its a nice little return, he might even be undervalued a bit- Silver Parlay.


Soto is my second lynchpin fighter. He has 13 finishes compared to 2 decision wins and you have to go all the way back to 2011 for the last time we Soto go the distance in victory. Beal is coming off a pair of losses against smaller men, where he simply slowed down and didn’t offer much beyond the opening round. Against an aggressive finisher like Soto, that is a recipe to get finished. I don’t like the way Beal goes for desperation takedowns and Soto is so aggressive on the mat I expect him to lock something up for the tap. Joe might be ‘One Bad Mofo’, but he is also darn affordable. Both teams.

Elias Theodorou -266 vs Sam Alvey +246  12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No play on Theodorou here, but I expect him to win. From a financial perspective, its not worth the risk. There will certainly be a prop bet here.


I swapped out Letourneau for Elias. With the amount that Alvey gets hit and with the pace that the good looking Canadian can carry I can see him overwhelming him on the feet. He has 7 finishes, including 2 in the UFC and returning from his first loss should serve as motivation against a relatively one-dimensional fighter. Keep in mind that a large portion of players will look at Alvey’s knockouts and low price and use him on that roster as the discount player. Let’s capitalize on that. Team Overdrive.

Randa Markos -175 vs Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger +169 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Markos caught fire in a bottle with back to back wins on the show, but has struggled to find her stride in the UFC. I think this is the type of fight that she either wins or sends her pack to Invicta. She should have the grappling advantage and that by itself will be enough to take a decision. I also expect to see her power being  a factor when exchanging against an opponent that is quite hittable. The line is playable, but certainly not in my top bets. If Markos doesn’t incorporate her ground game this fight is much closer then it should be- Bronze parlay.


Nothing here.

Colby Covington -251 vs Jonathan Meunier +236 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No Play here, I’ll give my details in the EPD section.


Nope. Probably headed towards a decision and a grinding one at that.

Ali Bagautinov -250 vs Geane Herrera +246 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

No Play here either. Ali is frustrating and while he could easily walk away with this fight, Herrera has the skills to hang in the fight if the Russian lets him. Pass.


I considered a play here, but opted to look elsewhere.

1. Misha Cirkunov -181 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Tamdan McCrory -196 

3. Olivier Aubin-Mercier -345 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

4. Jason Saggo -161 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Valerie Letourneau -167 


6. Steve Bosse -146 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

7. Stephen Thompson -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

8. Colby Covington -251 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

9. Elias Theodorou -266 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

10. Randa Markos -175 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

11. Ali Bagautinov -250 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

12. Joe Soto +103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

13. Patrick Cote +145 

1. Stephen Thompson -110 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

2. Joe Soto +103 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

3. Patrick Cote +145 

4. Steve Bosse -146 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

5. Jason Saggo -161 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

1. N/A






Exclusive Betting Scenario Info.

Prop Bets

Donald Cerrone/Patrick Cote Total Rounds Under 2.5 +120 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

Both guys fight to finish and while neither man is easy to put away, it’s not impossible. Cote’s vaunted iron chin hasn’t been officially cracked, but he has been wobbled  a couple of times. If Cerrone catches him with a head kick or locks up a sub it could be over quick. Cerrone has been vulnerable to big punches from the right side and while his TKOs are body shot related, at WW the power is a whole new story. They have 34 finishes between them and I see this fight have early finish potential. Play the Under.

Steve Bosse/Sean O’Connell Total Rounds Under 1.5 -210 

The numbers make it easy to see why the Under is the play here. A combined 18 knockouts wins, 22 total finishes, 21 first round stoppages, and 8 of 9 defeats coming inside the distance. I don’t trust the chin of OC to hold up with the power that Bosse is chucking- but it is nice to have both men’s stopping power in your corner. Play the Under.

Olivier Aubin-Mercier/Thibault Gouti Total Rounds Under 2.5 -152 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

The concern with OAM comes when he can’t get the fight to the ground. I don’t think that will be the case here. I don’t forsee Gouti having the TDD to stop the continuous TDAs of the Canadian and once on the mat, look for OAM to work towards his back and a choke. 6 of OAM’s 7 wins have come by submission, he gets another here. Play the Under.

Jason Saggo/Leandro Silva 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Ion Cutelaba/Misha Cirkunov Total Rounds Under 1.5 -140 

The man they call Misha is a monster and he is facing a guy that has been crushing some pretty low-level competition. When you hit the UFC level it can be like running into a wall. I expect that here. Misha is the type of fighter you want to avoid hitting the mat with, but Cutelaba has been taken down before and his style leaves him open for level changes. Once on the mat, Cirkunov will either pound him our or sub him. Additionally, Cutelaba knows how to finish early- which can be a blessing and a curse. Play the Under.

Krzysztof Jotko/Tamdan McCrory Total Rounds Uner 2.5 +114 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

I love this play. McCrory fights with a purpose and that purpose is to both hurt and finish his opponent. I have touched upon Tamdan’s finishing skills several times already, so I won’t again. His style is so overwhelming that I just can’t see Jotko surviving a full 3 rounds without getting caught during an exchange on either the feet or the mat. I expected either 1.5 rounds or a something around -125. Take the value and run.

Elias Theodorou/Sam Alvey Total Rounds Under 2.5 Rounds +175  

We are all very aware of how hard Alvey hits and he has the ability to end the fight with one punch. That is a good thing. Additionally, he gets hit a lot- a “F*ck-tonne” in the words of Tommy Toe Hold. He got hurt in his last fight and finish and Elias has the type of pace and volume that could replicate that finish if he can land with regularity. Both guys can finish and I could see both guys getting finished. Take the money/rounds and run.

Colby Covington/Jonathan Meunier 12379140591570510706dholler_ok_svg_med

See the Betting Scenario Section.

Ali Bagautinov/Geane Herrera

See the Betting Scenario Section.