Monday MMA Mashup Derek Brunson And Conejo Ruiz

This past Saturday night, we got to see what Kevin Holland is made of, and I didn’t like it. Let’s look ahead to this Saturday night’s UFC 260 card in Las Vegas featuring the UFC Heavyweight Title fight between champion and underdog, Stipe Miocic, and the challenger and betting favorite, Francis Ngannou.

Unfortunately, we don’t get to see the Featherweight World Title fight between champion and favorite, Alex Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. This fight has been pushed back due to “covid protocols” even though both fighters have said their entire camps haven’t tested positive.

This is a shame, really, because I was looking forward to this fight almost as much as the main event. Brian Ortega has truly transformed himself and brought along his Muay Thai game to complement his elite submission skills.

I know the guys he has been training with in Southern California, and they are all high level pro Muay Thai fighters. That is a different level, folks. I promise you that.

I read a quote recently penned by the legendary Georges St Pierre to The Notorious Conor McGregor.

He said “You need to step out of your comfort zone in order to level up.”

You have to understand something about the mentality of a fighter, though.

They have to truly believe that they are better or at least can beat anyone in their weight class, or they’re simply in the wrong business. If a fighter has any doubt that they could lose and then the fight isn’t going their way, they’re almost already broken.

When a fighter loses, and you see them in complete denial or making excuses, try and at least understand that if they just come out and say, “Hey, that guy schooled and tooled me. He’s just better”, then how are they supposed to get their confidence back?

Confidence is everything, and you get there by stepping out of your comfort zone and training wrestling with wrestlers, boxing with boxers, and even gymnastics with gymnasts like St Pierre did once upon a time.

This is the route that Brian Ortega decided to take, and while his boxing has been coming along for a while with natural power to boot, his other 6 limbs are looking better than ever. You remember how Matt Brown leveled up his striking game and was knocking everyone out with elbows?

He was working with the same group of guys as Brian.

The rest of the fight card isn’t overflowing with star power as we saw at the previous UFC pay per view event, but the main event is one heck of an anchor, and they should get plenty of buys from viewers at home.

The co-main event features two heavy hitters in the UFC’s Welterweight Division, Tyron Woodley and Vicente Luque. Tyron Woodley appears to be a fighter we should fade fade fade but the sportsbooks have caught up to this.

We all wanted to give him more respect with the betting lines and our predictions, but Tyron failed and failed again. He seriously has a mental block in there. If he feels that his opponent has just decent power or possibly a wrestling threat, he will just back up and wait…and back up and wait…

I don’t think the UFC will ever schedule Tyron Woodley for another 5 round fight. I don’t know why. I have heard he has bad ribs, but whatever the reason may be, Tyron Woodley is not the same guy as he was. Not even close.

We all know what he is capable of, though. It only takes one explosion forward, and if he slings that overhand right and puts it on your chin, you could very well be taking a nap.

Fighters are also over his aura of invincibility.

They aren’t afraid to walk him down, and from there, you just have to be smart and not rush in. Vicente is very intelligent, calculated, and precise in everything he does. I think he will most likely defeat Tyron Woodley on Saturday night at UFC 260, but with his betting odds north of (-250), he isn’t really playable, at least on the moneyline.

Please Note:

It was truly a wacky weekend of fights, and there are some solid money making spots for us to capitalize on at UFC 260 even if the star power is low. Guys, real quick. You probably know this, but generally speaking, there is much more value on the fights with no-names.

Yes, it helps for both combatants to have at least a couple of UFC fights under their belt but finding value in a big name fight that has already garnered so much attention from sharp and square bettors is at times quite difficult.

Let’s recap this past weekend’s madness in Sin City and give a betting preview for the big pay per view event on Saturday, UFC 260 Stipe Miocic vs Francis Ngannou.

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Recap

  • Tai Tuivasa closed as a (-500) favorite in his fight against Harry Hunsucker and it wasn’t even close. Harry was a late replacement on just a few days notice and the betting odds skyrocketed shortly after they were released. He opened at (-385) and that number was only around for a minute so he wasn’t really playable. In hindsight, the first round KO prop bet would have been a nice play. Those odds still closed with chalk at (-140)
  • Max Griffin now has two TKO wins in a row after dropping 4 of 5 fights overall inside of the Octagon
  • Most people thought he was better off wrestling the power striker Kenan Song from China but Max found his opponent’s chin halfway through the first round and that was a wrap. If you got Max Griffin where he opened at (-127) or anything up to (-180), I think that was a great play. Unfortunately, those odds didn’t stick around for long and Griffin close at (-220) at most sportsbooks

  • JP Buys…hype train got derailed a bit. I was on the train myself and thought 5 straight wins and maturing to the age of 24 would really benefit JP and level him up. Maybe it did but Bruno Silva showed us why he should never be underrated again when he put out the South African in the second round
  • Montel Jackson blew through Jesse Strader. That one played out about as close as the betting line was to even money and since Montel entered the Octagon as an 8 to 1 favorite, he was unplayable.
  • The smart money came in on Trevin Giles as he was something like a (+130) favorite a couple of weeks ago and closed as the (-120) favorite. Anytime you see a line movement like this, it isn’t a bad idea to jump on the now favorite. Yes, I know the value isn’t what it used to be but at least you have some guidance and if the line move was a sharp one, then you know you are following the money and thus advice of someone who knows what they’re talking about and is willing to put up a big chunk of money to prove it. The fight played out pretty close, but lately the judges have been rewarding damage more so than control and I love it! As a bettor, we have to be aware of this. I don’t think the judging is getting worse. It is getting better, really, but we have to be aware. Dolidze controlled most of the grappling exchanges and in the clinch up against the fence but was getting tagged on the feet. I was surprised to hear a unanimous decision for Giles but the judges got that one right, in my opinion.
  • Leo Santos and Grant Dawson…wow, what an ending! I thought Dawson was down on the judges’ scorecards and needed the finish which would have made this fight all the more cooler. In fact, though, the fight was tied 1-1 heading into the third on two of the three judges’ scorecards and Grant surely won the third round. I went back and forth on this fight for a long time. I really liked both guys but in the end, I sided with the better cardio/much younger man. In the end, that was the difference. It surely didn’t help Lao’s cause going for leg locks at the end. The same thing happened to Dolidze against Giles. When you go for a leg lock, it requires two hands and that means your face is wide open. For every successful leg lock submission, there are probably 9 more failed attempts when fighters lose position and/or receive significant damage. It just isn’t worth it and I recommend not betting on fighters who do stuff like that.
  • Marion Reneau and Macy Chiasson is a fight I wanted no part of. Yes, I thought the younger woman would get it done and Macy did but she has shown to be a bit of a flake. Marion also had a massive technical advantage but the size, reach, and age difference proved to be too much for the now 43 year old Marion Reneau
  • We were also on Adrian Yanez to get it done over Gustavo Lopez. This fight was never really close as Adrian’s highly superior boxing put the UFC’s Bantamweight Division on notice. ● That man has some CLEAN hands.
  • Montserrat Ruiz, ladies and gentlemen! Not many people saw that coming but the 2 to 1 underdog making her UFC debut head and arm threw her way to a unanimous decision victory over the highly touted Cheyenne Buys. I know once the scarf hold is deep, escape is difficult but when your opponent only has your head and one arm, there is an escape and a back take from there. Remember the first ever women’s fight in UFC history between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche? Ronda took her down with the Judo throw but quickly had her back taken because she didn’t secure the far side underhook. Ronda still got the win, of course, but a lesson to you guys out there. Far side underhook from side control and half guard is very very important. There was some controversy at the end of this one as Cheyenne said Ruiz spat on her just prior to the closing bell. If you look at the replay, it does appear that she is about to spit but nothing seemed to come out. So, take that for what you will. Montserrat could play a nice heel role in the future as she was pretty cringe dancing out of the Octagon and into the locker rooms
  • Finally, in the main event, Kevin Holland was out-wrestled by Derek Brunson. When I saw that this fight was announced, I didn’t even look at the betting odds. I just said to myself that Brunson was going to beat him. Then came all the attention and hype for Kevin and as Derek is known to be chinny, I began to rethink my decision. Holland did rock Brunson in that fight but the gap in wrestling was too much for the lanky Holland. Kevin could have won that fight. I knew he had much better cardio than Derek but he let Brunson dictate the pace of the fight. What really drove some fans and bettors crazy in this one was the fact that Kevin Holland never tried to get up. If he would have just made the effort throughout the fight, he would have made Brunson work that much more.
  • Derek normally has no gas left after two rounds so there was no way he was going a hard 5 rounds. An easy 5, though, sure. Why not? In the future, do not bet on flakes like that. He spent all of his time and energy either talking to his opponent or to Khabib who was sitting ringside with Dana White. He said to Khabib-”I need help with my wrestling!”

Please Note:

Khabib said control your hips and you need better footwork. He was spot on. Kevin doesn’t keep his hips back in his striking exchanges and his footwork is all over the place.

UFC 260 Betting Preview

Abu Nurmagomedov (-225) vs Jared Gooden (+190)

We are getting a decent price here on Abu because he is coming off of a loss, a submission loss to David Zawada by triangle choke. Zawada is a very very dangerous grappler and Gooden doesn’t have that in his skill set.

He prefers to stand and strike with his opponents and that is going to be difficult fighting a guy with that last name.

Gooden is 0-1 in his UFC career with a loss to Alan Jouban back in November.

I didn’t think Gooden looked that great and if he was more of a solid prospect, I think he would have won that fight. Jouban was very rusty coming off of a more than two year layoff.

I think Abu takes him down and controls Jared long enough to get the victory and his betting line is still somewhat affordable at (-225).

Omar Morales (-172) vs Shane Young (+152)

We successfully faded both men in their previous bouts. Morales, while losing a clear decision to Giga Chikadze, still went the distance. Shane Young, though, was starched very quickly in his last fight.

The New Zealander is quite the wild man. He has some skills but is primarily a brawler. I am not entirely sure either that he would even have a job with the UFC if his camp and teammates at City Kickboxing weren’t doing so well in the UFC.

Omar is a big Lightweight who has the durability and build to fight off the brawler types.

I think Morales can really destroy the calf of Young also as the Kiwi loves to sit down on his punches hoping for a knockout and that just means a likely land from the low kick and more energy absorbed into the lower leg.

This price is a good one just like the Nurmagomedov line because both fighters are coming off of losses. I love the way each fighter matches up with their respective opponents and the lines would both be (-250) if Morales and Abu were coming off of wins.

Miranda Maverick (-162) vs Gillian Robertson (+142)

These two ladies were supposed to have already fought a month ago but for whatever reason, we had to wait. I am a huge fan of Maverick and for a while there, I was enjoying betting on Gillian.

She dropped the ball against Maycee Barber but we won our other plays on her. After her most recent loss to Taila Santos, a theme became apparent.

Please Note:

Gillian struggled mightily with women who have a physicality edge on her. Robertson is already quite one-dimensional. She has above average takedowns, and an above-average control and submission game but the rest of her mixed martial arts game is non-existent. We see more bully jobs in women’s MMA than we do on the men’s side. I am not sure why but it is a thing, and it will be a thing in her fight with Miranda Maverick. The favorite, Maverick, is a very physical fighter who is much more well-rounded than Gil.

She only has to be the better wrestler, though, and the rest of the fight will be easy. I don’t think Robertson has the strength of striking prowess to enter and takedown Maverick more than maybe one time early on.

I love the price here on Maverick.

In Conclusion

That is all you’re getting today. I think it’s enough for now. I don’t want to try and predict the entire fight card on a Monday. I do like the spots I showed you today, though, and these are the lines that are going to get hit early.

I would jump on them now especially Omar Morales and Miranda Maverick. They are both still quite affordable so please waste no time and place your bets directly from this article NOW!

We will get to the main event and some of the main card as the week progresses.

Hopefully, we don’t get a flake out in the main event as we saw from Kevin Holland this past Saturday. Francis has gone out there and laid an egg before.

Maybe his wrestling defense has improved dramatically but we don’t know. He only has just over 3 minutes of Octagon time in nearly 3 years. Stipe got a lot better from his trilogy with Daniel Cormier but did he take too much damage?

We will see on Saturday night at UFC 260!