Monday Mashup UFC Stephen Thompson

Hello guys, and welcome back to another edition of Monday MMA Mashup. We are doing things a little bit differently this week since there is no upcoming UFC for 3 weeks. Yes, 3. That is very sad but we also need a break.

I’m not saying I need 3 weeks but 1 or 2 isn’t going to break my heart. It has been a grind, though. Almost every single week, we have had a UFC event.

How many do you think the promotion has put on since they returned from COVID-19 lockdown in May?

33…in just over 7 months.

You can do the math. That is more than 1 per week. The company even eclipsed their total number of events from the previous year.

UFC betting is now more popular than ever and I expect more and more to jump on board with the fastest growing sport in the world. The UFC truly is a worldwide organization.

Here is some more trivia for ya.

How many UFC world champions are from the United States of America?

5, 6, 7? Let’s try 1. Stipe Miocic is the UFC’s Heavyweight World Champion once again and thank goodness because without him, ‘Merica would be left out. For me, it’s bittersweet. I would love to see more of my countrymen and women leading the way but at the same time, it warms my soul to see more and more of planet earth getting on board.

2021 has the potential to be the best year ever for the UFC. Before we look ahead, though, to the next year of mixed martial arts, let’s recap our performance last week.

We did pretty well overall for the event and December has been nothing short of an outstanding month for our picks and predictions on MMA.

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Recap

Jimmy Flick: -150 and +110 Winner

Our first play of the night was a play that we have been trying to play for what seems like a month now. Jimmy Flick fought Cody Durden at Flyweight. This was just the second time down to 125 pounds for Durden.

Well, I should say it’s his third time making the weight because both fighters weighed in a couple of weeks ago for their fight but it was Durden who was not cleared due to conjunctivitis or pink eye.

Now, we won this play but it wasn’t at all clean.

I thought Jimmy flick would do better with his wrestling in this fight but I was wrong. Cody Durden looked great fighting out of a wrestling stance. His hips were back I do not think Flick was going to get him down in that fight.

If I was going to hit the mat Cody Durden was going to take it there and that’s exactly what he did. Jimmy threw a head kick and Cody caught it but he pinned the leg against his own head and went for the takedown from there.

I had a slight feeling that Cody Durden would be dumb enough to take Jimmy Flick down. I didn’t think the Oklahoma native was going to hit a flying triangle but hey, cash that (-150) for the win as well as (+110) for the finish.

Have a look for yourself if you missed it.

It is many times harder to finish a triangle choke than it is to catch someone in it so double props go out to Jimmy Flick for getting the tap as fast as he did.

Tafon Nchukwi Parlay with Pannie Kianzad and Another with Jimmy Flick

Tafon Da Don Nchukwi came into this past weekend’s fight with a lot of hype and some long odds of (-300) to get the win over veteran Jamie Pickett. I didn’t want to lay three bills on a newcomer so we threw him into a couple of parlays.

He looked incredible and won a unanimous decision and even scored a 30-25 by one judge’s tally.

We had him with Pannie Kianzad whose betting odds did not move very far all week from (+140) in her fight against Sarge Eubanks.

Pannie did get taken down and controlled for most of the first round but Eubanks is a fast starter and fast starter is just another way of saying she gasses later in the fight. Rounds 2 and 3 belonged to the Swede and Kianzad took a unanimous decision outboxing Sarge for the final 10 minutes of the fight.

The parlay paid surprisingly well at (+220). I guess when you have an underdog as one of the legs, your payout increases dramatically.

I wanted to add to it, though, and Jimmy The Brick Flick seemed like a good piece.

Well, as I mentioned we did get kinda lucky in that fight because it was looking like Durden could sprawl and brawl his way to victory.

Part of my capping was that it is Durden’s natural instinct to get the fight to the mat and grapple. I thought Durden would struggle because he was fighting out of his style but he looked great before those instincts kicked in.

I don’t want to say I was completely wrong here because it was just the first round when Flick threw up and secured the flying triangle for the win but Durden was looking strong.

We got a gorgeous (+433) payday on this parlay, though, so I will take it and run!

Gillian Robertson is bullied by Taila Santos

We lost this one, guys. Like many of us, I kinda fell in love with Gillian Robertson in 2020. She has been a pretty good bet for most of the year but when she struggles to take her opponents down, Gil is exposed.

What surprised many of us in this fight was the fact that Taila was taking Robertson down.

Quick lesson here and we will move on:

Taila Santos isn’t that much more talented than Gillian Robertson but she is that much more physical. You can say this for some of the male fighters as well but some just lack physicality.

Take Ryan Hall, for example, or Jimmy Flick for that matter to use a much more recent and applicable example. Flick isn’t threatening anyone with a knockout or even an explosive takedown into a big slam.

He can for sure choke you unconscious but he isn’t going to bully anyone. Until the flying triangle came about, Flick was losing because he was the less physical guy.

Gillian has always had this problem.

That is how Maycee Barber TKO’ed her standing up against the cage. Too much power and explosiveness and she was quickly overwhelmed.

Santos was without a doubt the play here and we missed it.

Pannie Kianzad Straight Bet

We just discussed this fight but we also had Pannie to win straight up at a pretty (-140).

I will admit, I was a little worried early on when Sarge got her down so easily but Eubanks faded and the more technical striker, Pannie Kianzad, began to pour it on.

Greg Hardy Completely Falls Apart after Dominant 1st Round

Well then, I suppose I should have seen this coming and it would have been nice to enjoy Greg quitting so easily and getting pounded out with zero resistance.

Greg looked incredible early on with his striking. I have watched all of his fights and he made a huge leap in technique and execution in this fight. In and out!

Everything looked great until it didn’t.

He even hurt Tybura and went hard for the finish. I knew once that happened, the potential for him gassing as the fight wore on had increased dramatically.

When the bell rang at the end of the first round, you would think Hardy would be feeling strong and have some swagger going back to his corner after the best round of his life. Not quite, though.

The man has asthma and the energy system used in professional football is not at all the same as what you need to succeed in mixed martial arts at the highest level. As soon as I saw him with his hands on his hips and not moving when the bell rang, I thought hmmm…

Live bet Tybura?

The line was (+220) and I jumped on it. Boy was that a nice live play because once Greg gassed, he had nothing left. The guy almost missed weight as a heavyweight!

He’s not fat at all but could surely lose 20-30 pounds or so and hopefully make some room in that gas tank.

Anthony Pettis Survives Sketchy 1st Round for Unanimous Decision Win

Anthony Showtime Pettis has been skipping yoga and/or not getting his flexibility work in like he should because the first high kick he threw against Alex Morono, he fell down and The Great White jumped on his back and rode him for most of the first.

Pettis actually got some excellent advice from his corner and head coach, Duke Roufus. The kickboxing legend told him to get on his bike and move around. If he stood still, then the movement of Morono would eventually back Pettis up, well, because, if it’s anything that Anthony Pettis does well, it’s back up.

He told him to throw some side kicks to the leg to slow the forward momentum on Morono. That worked as well and Anthony was circling out as he was landing counters and on his way to a unanimous decision victory.

We hit the method of victory play here for a clean (+135)!

Rob Font is Taken Down Early but soon puts Hands on Marlon Moraes

I had this one pegged perfectly on my first try. I really shouldn’t have changed my pick at the end of the week to Moraes. I saw how easily Font was taken down in the past and figured Marlon could do the same and that would help him have something left in the third round.

I picked Font a week ago because I liked his reach, his momentum compared to Marlon’s, and the fact that Moraes was TKO’ed only a couple of months ago and would probably have a compromised chin.

Well, it certainly appeared that way because Moraes couldn’t take a shot and thanks to Marc Goddard doing his best Herb Dean impression and watching Marlon’s head bounce off the mat far too many times before he jumped in to stop the fight.

I hope you bet Font at (+130) early in the week and happened to miss my pick switch to Moraes on Friday.

Michel Perreira is too Dynamic for Khaos Williams

That’s my explanation and I’m sticking to it. Michel is pretty darn dynamic and Khaos is a plodding, waiting, knockout artist who had his chances but the Brazilian showed a strong chin.

A big reason he can take these punches is his cardio! The man is doing all kinds of extra movements in there and it’s clear he is bigger than most of his opponents with more muscle.

The guy is super explosive as well so you would think he would be the type to gas early but no. Michel Perreira is a problem!

Khaos was getting a lot of hype and love for this fight primarily because he is 2-0 in the UFC with 2 knockouts. I just thought Michel was a better all around fighter and as long as he didn’t run head on into a right hand, he would likely get the win.

Michel waited until the third round to attempt and secure a takedown. I was happy he did but probably could have been a lot safer and done that in the first two stanzas as well.

I felt we had a strong edge on Perreira here with virtual pick’em betting odds as I had him capped at 66% to win while the online sportsbooks pegged him around 53%.

We went with 3 plays on the Brazilian:

  • Moneyline:-115
  • Over 1.5 rounds: -115
  • Perreira by decision: +405

My man!

Jose Aldo goes with the Takedown in the 3rd to Edge Marlon Vera

This was a really good fight! With the matchup likely tied at 1 round apiece going into the third, Jose Aldo got some game-changing advice from his head coach Andre Pederneires.

He was told to take Vera down. Marlon was likely going to be too fast and strong in the 3rd round for the fading Aldo. The surprising back take and dump to the mat saved the Brazilian in this spot.

We just had him straight up at (-150) but happy to get the W regardless.

Stephen Thompson Styles on Geoff Neal for 5 Rounds

So, I was dead wrong about Gillian Robertson. I think she probably only wins 3 out of 10 against Taila Santos and I was wrong about Geoff Neal here.

I really thought he would do better than he did. I know there was a nasty headbutt that left him temporarily blind in his right for the remainder of the fight.

It surely affected him but Thompson showed prior to the bout that he was the better fighter.

Neal isn’t very big either and just didn’t have the same pop on his punches like we are used to seeing from him. That sounds like an excuse from me but he hit Wonderboy a lot, more than anyone ever has actually.

Part of that is Wonderboy’s new aggressive style but when only one man has hit you more than 50 times and Neal goes off for 110, it’s notable.

What is also notable is the personal record of significant strikes landed for Wonderdoy…171!!!

Wow, he wants to fight Jorge Masvidal again and I am 100% in favor of that. Sign me up!

Bad pick on Neal here.

A Look Ahead to MMA in 2021

We do have a few weeks off away from the UFC but the company will be back on January 16th.

We are still getting 4 fight cards next month, though. 16th, 20th, and the 23rd will be UFC 257 and, of course, another Fight Night event on the 30th.

Sounds good to me. The first major fight when we return will be a top 5 fight in the UFC’s Featherweight Division. Max Blessed Holloway brings his style of long and lean volume boxing against another long and lean volume boxer, Calvin Kattar.

This is a very interesting matchup between two of the very best in the world at their weight. Check out my Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar pickfor more detailed info on this particular fight.

This fight card is loaded as well.

We have several weeks to break it down and make some highly educated plays and we will do just that.

Right now, you can get Calvin Kattar as a (+155) favorite over at BetOnline.AG . Now, I haven’t gone back and done a lot of tape on this one but I think this fight is pretty even. Therefore, we have some decent value on Kattar but there is no need to jump at it right now.

It isn’t going anywhere and we have time, as I said, to make a more educated call in the next couple of weeks.

We finally get to see Khamzat Chimaev step up against Leon Edwards on the 20th of January on a Wednesday card. These two were supposed to meet this past week to end the year for the UFC but the COVID-19 bug hit the Brit and we had to push ‘er back.

I like Chimaev as the favorite here. I know he isn’t exactly proven but I saw Daniel Cormier’s face when the two were horsing around for takedowns in their street clothes. It was surprise! The eyes don’t lie.

I like Khamzat right now.

Just a couple of days later we get to see the return of The Notorious Conor McGregor make his return after a year away from the Octagon to fight Dustin Poirier in a rematch years and a new weight class in the making.

C-Mac made quick work of Dustin back in September of 2014 when he caught him behind the ear with a left hand and quickly followed up for the first round finish.

I honestly don’t think the rematch will be much different. We might see a different method of victory from the Irishman but I still expect him to roll. Just because he lost to Khabib doesn’t mean he sucks.

And yes. I keep hearing how much Dustin Poirier has improved and how 155 is a better weight class for him and I agree. Conor has gotten better too, a lot better, and Lightweight is better for him as well.

Give me Conor here all day long.


In Conclusion

Hey, we had a good week, guys!

We are around 100% return on your investment for the entire month of December! You can’t do much better than that.

I hope you spent it wisely on a PS5 for yourself, ehem, I mean your newborn. Babies love those graphics!

It is nice to get this break from constantly taping and predicting double digit fights per week. I don’t want this to turn into a quantity thing. Our plays should always be quality over quantity.

Please Note:

When you spend hours breaking down a fight, though, it can be quite the challenge to decide to just pass on the fight. Once you put the work in, you feel like you deserve something in return. Frankly dear, the online sportsbooks just don’t give a darn, though.

We could tape a fight for 10 hours, heck 2 or 3 days, and pick wrong. Then, someone flips a coin and gets it correct. These things are going to happen but we are doing the work so over time, we will make money.

That is the main concern. 2020 was a profitable year and our best one yet for mixed martial arts betting. I expect a much stronger 2021, though!