Monday UFC Recap May 10

I know the Florida fans got pretty loud but I believe Texas is going to bring down the house on Saturday night. UFC 262 will be the second event put on by the world’s leading MMA promotion post-COVID-19.

This thing has turned the world upside down and in my opinion, no other major sports organization has come back stronger. While other sports like baseball, basketball, and football have been losing popularity for years, more and more people around the world are becoming fans of the UFC every day.

UFC betting also took a massive leap in popularity when the sport returned in May before any of the others. From action bettors to responsible cappers to thick walleted sharps to complete degenerates, we all needed our fix and the UFC gave it to us when nobody else would.

Dana White is a smart man.

I don’t think these were his motivations but he sure doesn’t mind it success as a benefit.

As far as this past weekend goes, I had a bad feeling going into it from a betting perspective and that is the impression I got from a lot of people. In hindsight, I feel like crap about a few of our picks and immediately saw a couple of the mistakes I had made.

Anytime you are highly highly confident but the betting line for the favorite is (-140), then it is probably too good to be true. I was so confident in Tafon Nchukwi and that alone should have been enough to make me truly rethink my pick.

Add in the fact that a lot of experts agree that he was about a 58% favorite to win the fight and the betting community was more or less split on the fight as the odds remained steady throughout fight week.

These are all signs that point against my certainty. See, that’s not a good word for what we do at all. Many times when you hear someone with a doctorate speak, the amount of “I don’t know’s” is alarming.

You Think:

Wow, how do they not know more than me?

Tafon Nchukwi might have had an off night but he is nowhere near the level of fighter I thought he was. I had put him up on a pedestal and completely disrespected the game of the game Jun Yong Park.

Donald Cowboy Cerrone is one of my favorite fighters of all time as he is for a lot of people and watching his performance on Saturday night was very painful. He is 38 now and that is about when your reaction time heads south.

Please Note:

We saw it with Anderson Silva. He is a guy who relied quite heavily on his reflexes and you never realized it was to that level until his decline. I know the feeling, trust me. You see the punch coming but you don’t physically react to it. It is a scary feeling and frustrating more than anything for me and neither are good emotions to have pop up when you’re fighting. It’s almost like that feeling you have in a dream when you’re fighting someone. Your body isn’t doing what you’re telling it to do or should do on its own.

There is no way on earth that Alex Morono walks through the Donald Cerrone that fought Anthony Pettis a year ago to the day. It wasn’t like Cowboy just got caught early or was completely outsized and gunned like he was against Darren Till.

Cowboy had nothing for him. Nothing. That was hard to watch. In just a year’s time, the wheels can come off. 38 seems to be the number when most fighters excluding heavyweights start to decline sharply.

It is worth noting.

Let’s finish our recap of this past weekend’s betting performance and then move along to what is a very intriguing and fun fight card to cap. As usual we used odds from one of our favorite sportsbooks BetOnline.AG!

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Recap

Donald Cerrone

We had Donald in a parlay! And he never looked worse. I don’t care how quickly he was finished against Conor McGregor. Donald Cerrone looked bad, really bad against Alex Morono.

His odds were nearing (-200) so that means we had to cap him to win nearly 3 out of 4 times against Alex and after seeing that fight, I was dead wrong. Cowboy is lucky to win 1 out of 4. Congratulations to those who had the courage to go against the grain this past weekend and bet on Alex Morono. At (+160), he was a steal!

Parlay Klein + Cowboy + Nchukwi

You know what they say about parlays: It’s always that one leg that prevents you from cashing your ticket. Well, not today, boys. I don’t think I have ever lost all three legs of a parlay before. Firsts are normally a great thing for me but not this time.

A loss is a loss and fortunately for us here, losing all three didn’t change the outcome if only one had not pulled through.

Klein was quite undersized in there and allowed Mike Trizano to walk him down. Ludovit was the largest favorite on the card and seemed to be backed by most everyone just like Cowboy Cerrone.

Trizano has certainly never looked better. That wasn’t a good start for us. The commentators actually gave the fight to Klein because he got some takedowns at the end of the rounds 1 and 2.

Trizano was right back to his feet and hitting Klein the whole time who couldn’t strike or else Mike would have been to his feet that much faster.

  • Ludovit showed that he is still pretty green in the grappling department once the fight hits the mat but surprised us all with his offensive wrestling ability.
  • Trizano is tough to take down and Klein did it with relative ease. His timing was excellent. That was a big part of it.

Strikers have naturally better timing than grapplers and he utilized that skill on Saturday night.

The man was on his bike, though, the whole time!

What I mean by that is that he was constantly backpedaling. This requires a lot of energy while Mike Trizano is barely moving. He is just pivoting more or less and cutting off the Octagon.

That is why the third round was so dominant for the underdog, Trizano. He was putting on pace on his opponent and not even having to keep it himself. He was operating at a lower heart rate for sure.

Beautiful work from Trizano and shout out to the few that were on him to slightly derail another 1st round knockout hype trains.

Klein is legit, though. He is always going to have problems, though, with UFC Featherweights that have that kind of size on him.

Shane Burgos is a name that comes to mind. Trizano fought very much like him on Saturday. It doesn’t look like Klein can get down to 135 so I believe there is a ceiling there. That is, unless he improves his top control and ground and pound enough to keep his opponents on the mat for longer than 10 seconds.

That could change things for Ludo but we made a mistake there throwing him in a parlay.

In the end, it didn’t really matter because we lost all three legs.

I have got to get off the 1st round knockout hype trains. I was guilty of taking Edmen Shahbazyan over Derek Brunson even though I was keen enough to fade Ian Heinisch against the latter.

Speaking of Edmen, he will be making his return to the Octagon for the first time since that loss to Brunson last year at UFC 262 this Saturday. He will be an underdog as his competition isn’t getting any easier as he will face Jack The Joker Hermansson.

Finally, Nchukwi…

Dear Tafon:

You have excellent leg kicks from what I saw. I know first hand that the Muay Thai at Lloyd Irvin’s is very very good. When you’re fighting a guy who is primarily boxing you and winning the fight with the jab, counter the jab with the leg kick.

I guess maybe he knows this and never got the timing of the South Korean star. I think it would have completely changed the fight and I think he could have done it but the man was 5-0. That is part of the scouting report that I conveniently ignored as to not disrupt my ego and it’s certainty.

Marina Rodriguez

Okay, said ego was starting to ache so let’s get to one of our wins. Marina did exactly what I thought she would and Michelle, about the same.

She did win a round but the fight was dominated by the Brazilian who marched her opponent down constantly with a barrage of technical power.

She definitely looked better than her betting odds of (-190) suggested. I think she looked like at least a 3 to 1 favorite. Just the way the two fighters matched up, Michelle wasn’t going to win very many of these fights.

There are 3 elite strikers at the top of the UFC’s Strawweight Division and I would pay very well to see Marina Rodriguez fight any of them. Rose Namajunas is the champ and Joanna and Weili are right there.

This division is getting a lot more exciting!

Gregor Gillespie

In what was a grappling fan’s dream, Gregor Gillespie outlasted the constant submission attack from his opponent, Diego Ferreira. Gregor knew that the Brazilian likely had him in a striking battle on the feet and the wrestler is gonna do what the wrestler is gonna do.

We said that he would take him down and I don’t think many were disagreeing with us there. Most thought that Diego would be the one outlasted Gregor in the back and forth battle that it was until it wasn’t.

We have to be fair. He almost did. At the end of the second round, it was him that had the back of Gillespie and raining down shots but the bell came soon after he got started.

It was a great fight and probably not the best one to bet on either way but we got away with it favoring relentless chain wrestling over BJJ.

Both were elite and in that case, go with the wrestler.

Phil Hawes

Finally, we were on Phil Hawes here as a (+110) underdog to take out Kyle Daukaus. I like Kyle’s style, his gameness, and his high level of skill and intelligence.

But Hawes is a different animal physically and he also has the high level wrestling pedigree to go along with it and he had Daukaus outgunned in those categories but quite a good margin. This turned out to be a really big win for us as our other two victories were just (-190) plays.

So, if you only wagered a unit, your return was not even half of that. If you made the investment, though, then we nearly broke even for what was a wretched week.

UFC 262 Preview

Joel Alvarez vs Christos Giagos

Joel Alvarez is a fighter I backed as an underdog against the underrated but aging Irish fighter, Joe Duffy. I was proud of that one because it felt like I was on an island with that pick. I just loved what I saw on tape from Alvarez.

Against Christos Gaigos, though, he is likely to be at more of a strength disadvantage due to the major difference in their frames. Joel will have a 5 inch height advantage and 6 inches of reach over the 31 year old Californian who also appears to be coming into his own as a fighter as well.

You see that a lot with guys around 30 years old.

The peak is normally 32 or 33 and then we start to regress albeit slowly for the next couple of years. 35 is a marker and should always be noted when deciding a bet and as we mentioned earlier, 38 is an age we want to mostly stay away from if we can and beyond that is the no-go zone.

  • Joel Alvarez has an outstanding record at 18-2 at the age of 27. He looked sensational in his last fight and we were on him there as well.
  • Christos Giagos is a tough matchup, though, and may be worth a look here as a potential underdog play.

I still want to do some more tape on Christos as I am not as familiar with him as Alvarez and don’t want to let my past success with betting a fighter and thus falling in love with them bias me.

We have to watch out for that.

rue skill and discipline is picking for AND against a fighter correctly. That is where we want to be. It might be time to fade Joel Alvarez who likely doesn’t have the ability to get this fight to the floor where he holds a decided advantage.

Please Note:

You don’t see the taller lankier striker and BJJ guy take down the thicker better center of gravity striker very often. Giagos does have questionable takedown defense at just 50% but he has been in there with some of the best including Gilbert Burns and one half of UFC 262’s Lightweight Title fight, Charles Do Bronx Oliveira.

I think this one is pretty even on the feet and I might give the striking edge to the underdog. The line hasn’t moved from where it opened at (+160). I still want to do some tape on this fight but I definitely have my eye on the dog in this one.

Tucker Lutz vs Kevin Aguilar

Tucker Lutz beat my boy to get into the UFC! That one hurt. I was really pulling for Sherrard Blackledge who had been a primary sparring partner for over a year in Las Vegas. He is a good guy and won his first Contender Series fight in which we picked him.

Dana wanted to see him do it again, though, before he signed him and scheduled him to fight Tucker Lutz. Sherrard was the popular pick by the public and remained a favorite where the books opened him.

We went the other way, though.

I thought the wrestling and low center of gravity would wreak havoc on the tall and long striking game of Blackledge. That is exactly what happened.

He is getting a chance at picking off a veteran in his next fight, Tucker Lutz that is. He will be fighting Kevin Aguilar and the betting line is fairly even for this one with the younger fighter coming in as a slight favorite.

Aguilar is just 32 years old, though, and holds an impressive 17-4 professional record in MMA.

Kevin left a bad taste in my mouth when I took him to defeat Charles Rosa in his last fight as a favorite so I am trying not to let that affect my lean here.

I just won with Lutz and just lost with Aguilar so in these situations, we need to pause and make sure that we are not biased at all going into formulating the prediction.

  • Tucker was 8-0 as an amateur in MMA competition and now sports a nice 11-1 record and the only loss was in his pro debut. He came through bigtime against Blackledge but will have a tough test against Kevin Aguilar who may not have the same wrestling pedigree but certainly has the UFC experience over him.
  • Aguilar won his first three with the company and then dropped his next three fights so it is hard to know what to expect from the 32 year old other than the fact that his back is up against the wall and he will be fighting for his job.

That is something I don’t doubt at all because he isn’t a big name whatsoever and we haven’t seen much personality or exciting fights from him yet.

Please Note:

Lutz will certainly be motivated too as he will be making his first appearance inside of the Octagon but could the jitters get to the 26 year old? It is certainly possible and that is something that can’t be ignored during the handicapping process.

Dynamite Dan Ige was only able to take down Aguilar on 1 of 4 attempts and Kevin has an 80% takedown defense percentage in his career fighting inside of the Octagon and Lutz hasn’t even fought in an official UFC event.

Right now, I am leaning towards Tucker Lutz here.

If he had some ridiculous Ludovit Klein odds of (-250) then no but at just (-125), I think he is worth a look simply betting on athletic ability and wrestling.

Mike Grundy vs Lando Vannata

Wow, this looks like a fun one! Any fight with the craft Lando Vannata in it is going to be exciting. He has a wide array of strikes with any limb primarily his legs and isn’t afraid to throw them out there even though he knows people are going to try and take him down.

Lando has but a 58% takedown defense percentage, though, which could spell trouble against the Brit.

Yes, you heard that correctly. The Brit is a wrestler. I know, right. 2020 was something else and 2021 is getting more and more weird.

Entering bat country is what we are doing. In the opener, we spoke about the popularity increase of mixed martial arts around the world and Mike Grundy is an example of this and one of the first high level wrestlers to come out of the UK into the UFC ever.

Please Note:

This guy is relentless as well and as you saw with Merab Dvalishvili last week and with Gregor Gillespie this past weekend, relentlessness is something that us cappers and bettors need to zoom in on and take full advantage of when the time is right.

This is one of those situations. I know Lando is super dangerous at all times on his feet but Grundy took down Movsar Evloev 6 times. I think he can take down Lando Vannata to the mat the same amount of times and likely more if he needs to.

His top control isn’t the best because he lost the fight to Evloev even after winning the takedown battle 6-0.

That is why this fight is lined as closely as it is.

If Grundy had better top control and Vannata wasn’t as good with his hips at getting up as he is then we would see this one upwards of (-200). The takedown is coming.

The question is can Mike keep him there and if he can’t will he tire and let the better striker overwhelm him? Mike isn’t that bad on the feet either and he is the younger man here with likely bigger dreams at this point in their respective careers.

I like his hunger and his ability to get the fight to the mat.

We will be away from Vegas this week in Houston, in front of a crowd so there won’t be the Vegas judging favoring the striking and damage over the ground control.

That is something worth noting as well.

Vegas judges are getting a lot better but at the same time feeling themselves a little bit too much and seemingly ignoring the takedown points altogether.

Anything can happen against Lando Vannata. His striking is that good but I like Grundy here.

Andre Muniz vs Jacare Souza

I was kind of surprised to see this line as close as it is with Jacare coming off of one of the most shocking and devastating losses UFC fans have ever seen.

In case you need me to refresh your memory.

Rogan nailed that call. “From there?!”

This was Jacare’s third loss in a row and his 4th in his last five fights with the only victory coming against Chris Weidman. Shout out to Chris. I hope you get well soon and this doesn’t affect the rest of your life.

The loss to Holland was not that long ago and the UFC is trying to push him out the door here with this against the surging Andre Muniz.

It’s been 5 months for Jacare but I don’t care. I don’t see how anybody can back him again.

That is like betting on Cowboy Cerrone after his performance this past Saturday night. No way.

I like Muniz here in another spot like the last couple of fights at (-125). I love small favorites like this because they show they do have a lean and if you agree but to a higher degree then make the play.


In Conclusion

There are so many more exciting contests coming up this Saturday night as the UFC makes their second appearance in front of a live crowd since the pandemic. UFC 261 was a major hit in more ways than one.

It will be hard for UFC 262 to live up to it but the lineup of big names and exciting fights says otherwise. The main event of Charles Oliveira and Michael Chandler has been overshadowed by the talk of the McGregor vs Poirier rematch but it is the former two fighters who will be competing for the 155 pound title belt.

I don’t know who I like in that fight and I may never know but I promise I am working on it. It is the main event so we will cover it but wow, that fight could go a lot of different ways.

My early lean is Chandler.

Even though he is outsized physically as far as the frames of the two men go, I think he is more of a dog in there. Once a quitter and always a quitter. Charles hasn’t really ever shown us that he can come back in fights.

Please Note:

He either blows someone out or he gets blown out. Chandler has mentioned this and he is right. Oliveira has so much skill, though, that he rarely needs his heart any more. At the championship level, though, in one of the UFC’s most talented divisions, you need everything.

I can’t wait for this event but at the same time, I am looking forward to putting in more work into capping these fights better than the books.