UFC 257 McGregor With Dustin Poirier And Michael Chandler With Dan Hooker

UFC 257 was a fun one, no? It wasn’t my best night for betting purposes but a lot of people lost a lot of money this past weekend. Those of us who put together parlays were almost all shut out from a win.

If you had Evloev and Tsarukyen, then you won but a parlay on those two barely paid (-220).

They both easily won, though, so the juice was worth the squeeze if that’s the direction you went.

We had three different fighters with betting odds of (+250) or higher get the win at UFC 257. That catapults some of these fighters into getting a tougher opponent the next time around than they would have if they weren’t able to get the win.

We can use this to our advantage, though. Fighter A is coming off of a big win when they were a sizable underdog on a highly visible fight card. They are getting a step up in competition, though, after they were a sizable underdog.

This is when we can use the recency bias of the sportsbooks or square bettors for your gain.

Don’t bet against Marina Rodriguez, though. What a killer!

There are a lot of fun matchups to make after UFC 257. I put together a good list for you guys and we can also talk briefly about a possible betting line and/or betting play to be made on a particular fight.

Movsar Evloev vs Edson Barboza

Movsar Evloev is so smooth!

How many times did he put himself into the guillotine of Nik Lentz? 5 or 6, right? But how many times did he tap? Zero.

Movsar still has a zero next to his name as well as his 14 victories. It’s about time to step it up, though. 14 wins is enough. Let’s get this man some fights inside the top 15 of the UFC’s Featherweight Division.

Before Movsar fought Nik Lentz this past weekend at UFC 257, he was on a heck of a run defeating his previous 7 opponents who at the time of him fighting them, had a combined pro MMA record of 84-17.

So, his 14-0 is not a bunch of bull. Movsar is legit.

He is kind of slow, though, and is also somewhat predictable as he moves forward but it’s not like anybody has been able to do anything about it.

Edson Barboza could be that dude, though. The former 155 pounder has wins over Dan Hooker, Beneil Dariush, and most recently, Makwan Amirkhani. Edson has also been in there with the best having lost to Kevin Lee, Justin Gaethje, and The Eagle Khabib Nurmagomedov.

This would be a great fight because Edson has some of the best takedown defense in the UFC’s Featherweight Division and Movsar is one of the best at getting the fight to the mat.

Please Note:

Something will have to give with these two but the Russian is 10 years younger with far fewer miles on his body and brain. Getting Edson to the mat is not an easy task at all, though. Keep in mind that this guy has spent the vast majority of his career at Lightweight.

Also, he is a brutal striker! So, his opponents usually want out of the striking game as soon as possible. Then, look at the level of wrestler he has fought. And Ed still has a 78% takedown defense?

Pretty darn impressive. Movsar would be taking his 37% takedown accuracy up against a career long 78% defense from the Brazilian kicker.

Whew, this fight would pop off!

Edson has 4 inches of height and 3 in the reach department over his Russian foe but youth plus being Russian and 14-0 can make a difference.

I would cap the fight at (-180) for Evloev with Edson coming in as a (+140) betting underdog.

Sara McMann vs Sara McMann

Sara McMann…what I would like you to do is go home or maybe out into the desert at night, somewhere you can get spiritual for a minute, and have a long talk with yourself about fighting again in mixed martial arts.

Sara has all the physical tools in the world but she is the type to seek out and find a way to lose. Some fighters-they find a way to win.

That is the mark of a champion. There are others, though, like Sara, who will screw it up if at all possible.

I would like Sara to either retire as one of the most accomplished combat athletes in women’s sports history considering her Silver Medal in the Olympics for wrestling as well as her 12-fight run in the UFC competing against some of the greatest women’s fighters of all time.

Please Note:

Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Amanda Nunes were all able to defeat Sara. McMann is a flake of a fighter, though, and for that reason, I think she should fight herself next.

Julianna Pena vs Aspen Ladd

The Venezuelan Vixen pulled off the minor upset this past Saturday night when she was able to take advantage of a frozen Sara McMann with strikes from the bottom and eventually a takedown of her own in the third round.

From there, she took the back of McMann and soon secured the tap.

I would love to see Julianna Pena fight Aspen Ladd. After all, they are the same fighter! I rate Juliana’s BJJ higher than Aspen who seems to be more of a bully and top controller but lost when she is out of that element.

Pena is about the same fighter but the takedown defense is the number that jumps off the page at us again. We thought Sara would be able to get her down a few times and she did.

She just gassed and quit in the third kinda as she has before.

Julianna is a dog and Aspen loves to walk her dogs on the trail. That is her entire Instagram account, hiking with dogs. Ladd is hittable but I think she can take Julianna down but will control the Spokane native better than McMann did.

This is a close fight and I would bet either girl as the underdog.

Brad Tavares vs Omari Akhmedov

Tell me this wouldn’t be a fun one! You have some of the best takedown defense in the division with Brad Tavares. The way he was able to defend the attempts from Shoe Face at UFC 257 was extraordinary.

Carlos Junior had taken down every opponent he had ever tried to and he ended up scoring one on Brad but the Hawaiian was directly back up to his feet.

Omari Ahkemdov potentially has the best takedowns in the UFC’s Middleweight Division. He just fought and looked good. So did Brad, Make the fight. They are close to each other in the rankings as well.

I would favor Brad Tavares due to his durability and cardio. I think Omari would wear down because he is likely going to have to work overtime to consistently get Tavares down.

Please Note:

I remember Brad was one of the first guys I sparred with in Las Vegas. Thank goodness he is a nice guy because he outweighed me by about 30 pounds but was 3 times faster. He was just getting to town and I guess after he smoked me in open sparring, he thought that Xtreme Couture would be a better fit. I don’t think you can argue that he made a bad decision.

Working under Ray Sefo and Eric Nicksick every day is really starting to make Brad a difficult fight.

Arman Tsarukyan vs Brad Riddell

Arman didn’t get the chance to test himself against the striking prowess of Germany’s Nasrat Haqparast at UFC 257.

I think Nas got ill and had to pull out of the fight. Illmatic, actually.

Is it a dad joke if the album is over 20 years old? Asking for a friend.

I think this would be a great matchup.

Both men are coming off of a couple of wins and Brad Riddell is known for his takedown defense. The Tiger Muay Thai trained Kiwi has an extensive pro kickboxing and Muay Thai background. He won one and lost one against the legendary Aussie John Wayne Parr. Brad Quake Riddell also went to a split decision with Glory Kickboxing Champion, Cedric Duombe. He also took Reigan Eersel to a close decision.

These names might not ring a bell to you but they are some of the very best strikers in the world, bar none. Brad Riddell is legit and his takedown defense is pretty awesome as well.

Is it good enough, though, to keep Arman Tsarukyen off of him?

I don’t think so. Brad has been taken down more than 10 times total over his past 3 UFC fights but has managed to win all of those contests.

He survives, he gets up, then he beats you up.

I don’t think he is going to be able to get or keep any space between himself and Arman Tsarukyen, though. I would cap this fight at (-200) for the Armenian and (-150) for the Kiwi, Brad Riddell.

Makhmud Muradov vs Punahele Soriano

I’m coming for your job, Sean Shelby! How do you like these apples, man? Both of these men just fought in the past week and each guy looked absolutely sensational. They do have different styles, though, which makes for an interesting pick.

Muradov is technically the better boxer but Punahele has the power to end anyone with just one punch. I still can’t believe how badly he smashed Dusko Todorovic once he found his chin. We got that one wrong but it is what it is.

We know Puna is legit now. I would cap this one with Muradov as the betting favorite albeit a small one at (-150).

Marina Rodriguez vs Joanna Jerdjzyczyk

Sean Shelby, Mick Maynard: Do you hear me? I’m coming for your job, guys! Is this not an incredible matchup?!

Both women have the exact same style and similar body type. They are each highly aggressive and it would appear that Marina could have been modeling her mixed martial arts game after that of Joanna. The similarities can’t be ignored but the takedowns can.

We know exactly the type of fight we would be getting if these two ladies locked horns. I was wrong about Marina Rodriguez but I admit she did give me a bad feeling in my stomach all week.

Amanda was just cheesing away and was far far too comfortable in the striking realm with her opponent. Ribas threw out a double jab cross or a 1-1-2 and Marina countered with a right hand after the second jab.

Why was she able to counter? Well, Amanda didn’t apply any forward pressure so being the shorter girl with less reach, her punches had no threat. So, Rodriguez hung in there and put her Brazilian countrywoman away.

As far as picking a winner here, whew, I’m going with Uncle Mo’ on this one. Give me Marina Rodriguez to hurt Joanna with a shot in the third round and put her away.

Amanda Ribas vs Michelle Waterson

I was hoping Amanda Ribas learned her lesson after her TKO loss this past Saturday night at UFC 258 from Fight Island. But, nope. As soon as she came to, she was smiling some more.

It is cool and all to get in there and enjoy yourself but Amanda was simply enjoying herself too much. Relaxing is great but going back to the Dusko loss to Soriano, same thing.

You’re relaxed?

Great. Just don’t be too relaxed…or too hyped up…or too even keel.

I would have Amanda Ribas fight another striker but one with a lot of experience and a lot less power and aggression than her previous opponent. I would put the betting line at (-180) for Amanda Ribas and (+140) for Michelle Waterson.

Joanne Calderwood vs Lauren Murphy

They keep trying to sell Jojo Calderwood as the next title challenger. I don’t know if I can get behind that one. She is dating my old coach and represents Syndicate MMA very well.

I thought Jessica Eye was going to give her a few problems on Saturday but Calderwood actually cruised to a unanimous decision victory.

In the post fight interview, they mentioned a title shot in her next bout.

I’m not sure what she did to deserve this. She won one fight in a row. The Scotland native now has one of the better pro records in the women’s strawweight division at 15-5.

She has lost 2 of 4 fights, though, so I don’t think she deserves a title shot next.

Give her Lauren Murphy who has been connecting with her hands and i so strong in her upper body that she dominates the clinch with almost every opponent she has faced.

I give Jojo the edge here and as far as a title fight goes, Jessica Andrade is much more qualified not to mention capable of fighting and performing well against the champion, Valentina Shevchenko.

Michael Chandler vs Justin Gaethje

Please make this fight, UFC! Please!

Dana has said Dustin and Michael Chandler would probably be the next move but Poirier feels slighted by Iron Michael in this spot. His knockout over Dan Hooker was unbelievable and don’t get me started on the follow through. Just gorgeous.

Both of these fighters are short and stocky wrestlers who love to throw heat. To me, this is the fight to make and I would have to handicap it even.

What a weak thing to say but I really think this would be an even bet. I guess the money would flow in on Gaethje and by the end of it, you could get an even better price tag on Chandler.

I can’t pick a winner for this hypothetical matchup.

I will, though, if we get the chance. Fingers crossed for this matchup to be made.

Dan Hooker vs Tony Ferguson

Both fighters are coming off of back-to-back losses so why not make this fight? I think Dan Hooker would win because I do not feel that Tony Ferguson is still the same guy.

With that being said, this is the first time we have seen Hooker dropped and finished from a punch, kick, knee, or elbow to the jaw. Edson Barboza put him away after a beating but it was from a body shot.E

I believe the sportsbooks would line this one fairly closely with Dan being the slight favorite. I would encourage you to play him as I think he is at least 70/30 to defeat a totally different Tony Ferguson.

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier III

Yes, a rematch! I know it seems so far from reality considering how often Conor fights and the convincing nature of his defeat but Dustin isn’t going to turn down a rubber match.

He loves his wife and he understands the importance of a McGregor fight. It is not only red panty night but also red Ferrari night as well when you fight the biggest star in the history of the sport.

Strategically, I would love to see the adjustments each team and fighter would make if these two men fought for a third time.

Conor, in my opinion, should go back to his Karate style to defeat Poirier.

This keeps him light on his lead leg as well as using his movement to his advantage. Poirier’s strength is boxing, particularly in the pocket.

Conor is great there as well but McGregor had such a tremendous kicking advantage the first time these two gladiators fought. He was throwing hook kicks, spinning back kicks, and lots of front stabbers to the body.

This time around, he started to let them go but his leg was already compromised from the abuse. He had a counter to Conor’s boxing stance but I don’t think Poirier has an answer to McGregor’s long range kicking game and movement.

Surely, Conor switches it up next time and as long as Dustin doesn’t time his forward movement perfectly and shoot for the takedown as Mac is sliding forward, I think Conor picks him apart with his feet and that leads to him scoring high with the hands.

In Conclusion

How do you like these fights? I think this event would be one of the greatest of all time if they made it happen. Seriously, I would love to be a matchmaker for the UFC.

I remember when I had a chance to do the job when my coach was putting on amateur MMA events. Maybe I was giving our guys too much of a challenge but he relieved me of my duties and I never got the chance to play matchmaker again.

That is, until today.

Some of my favorite matchups we made today are Michael Chandler vs Justin Gaethje along with another similarly styled matchup, Joanna Champion vs Marina Rodriguez.

Juliana Pena vs Aspen Ladd falls under that same category. Both women have the same style.

Who is going to execute theirs more effectively?

Muradov vs Soriano is a dream matchup. I really hope we get to see that one soon. As powerful as Puna is and without any betting lines, I have to lean towards the slick boxing of Makhmud Muradov but Puna can punch!

Maybe some of these matchups do get made and then we will be that much farther ahead of the rest of the cappers and bettors.