It’s Monday again…
Hey, it’s not that bad. A fresh start, right?
Gotta love the positivity from some people.
I guess it really depends on the Monday.
October is all that matters to me, though.
There will be one or two pumpkin spiced lattes. I’ve already seen the golden aspens of Colorado this year and the orange and red show of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia is next.
Never done Vermont in the fall. It’s very red up there it looks like.
Summer is fun and all but by September, I’m ready for a hoodie and some cool mornings.
The Holidays are on the way and barring a catastrophe, people will be able to see their families in a couple of months.
The end of the year also usually means we get to see some very high profile fights.
Boxing has done this for a long time.
Heck, we are just weeks away from Teofimo Lopez and Vasyl Lomachenko unifying their belts on October 17th.
That will be the biggest boxing match of 2020 since Tyson Fury defeated Deontay Wilder 378 years ago this past February.
On October 24th, though, UFC fans will get to see the most highly anticipated fight since Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Conor McGregor two Octobers ago.
Champion vs Champion 🏆
We’re counting down the days until #UFC254
— UFC (@ufc) September 28, 2020
Khabib will defend his UFC Lightweight World Title at UFC 254 against easily the best wrestler on paper he has ever fought, The Highlight Justin Gaethje.
Don’t let me get ahead of myself, though, and blabber on about that fight for hours.
Firstly, let’s review our weekend of betting in the MMA world, and then we can look ahead at some of this weekend’s most exciting and valuable matchups in the UFC.
It may seem a little redundant for me to take up your time talking about water that has since flowed under the bridge but there is a reason.
This is arguable and highly dependent upon one’s perspective but one could say that life is about losing.
That one doesn’t sound right so maybe we could say that winning is about losing.
Michael Jordan said “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and I’ve missed. I’ve failed over and over in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
You have to fail to learn.
Fail forward as they say.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is by far the most challenging thing I do, well outside of this, and in BJJ it’s all about tapping.
Sports betting isn’t that much different and if we never put down on paper and ingrain into our minds why we lost and what we learned, then we are doomed to repeat said history.
Our first play for this past weekend’s UFC on ESPN was The Natural Born Killer, Carlos Condit to defeat Court Mcgee.
This was risky because Carlos Condit hadn’t won a fight in over 5 years.
This is also the reason we got him at (+115) against a less-skilled fighter like Court McGee.
Court is a dangerous fighter not in that he finishes a lot of opponents but that he has that innate ability to make things ugly and take fights he should clearly lose to split decisions.
It was a slow first round as Carlos knocked the rust off but he settled in and cruised to a unanimous decision victory.
His movement was just fantastic.
— UFC (@ufc) October 4, 2020
McGee is a sloth too.
Carlos Condit has some of the best footwork all-time in the history of MMA.
Next up was Nassourdine Imavov. It would have been wonderful to get him at (+160) where he opened but we still didn’t do too bad when we bet him at (+110).
This is because he closed at (-155)!
He was approaching dead even odds on Saturday morning and I tipped him to a couple of friends.
I think they got him at (-110) and (-120) which was still a good play, in my opinion.
Keep In Mind:
Anytime you guys see late line movement that significant, take note. You may have missed the most valuable betting lines but just like trading in the stock market, it’s not the worst idea to follow smart money.
There was a scare for us in the first round when it appeared the French-trained Dagestani fighter was dropped somehow but a replay revealed it was an inadvertent headbutt.
I don’t think the judges are looking at replays, though, so I was concerned.
Imavov would have finished most any other fighter with as many clean shots he was landing in combination.
Jordan Williams, though, has more heart than most any other fighter with a strong chin to back it up.
Imavov was trying to KO him until the end which worried me because he does leave himself open to being hit.
His arms are all over the place after he throws a punch.
Nassourdine showed he was the more skillful fighter and secured the (+110) for us.
— UFC (@ufc) October 4, 2020
Next up, was Julianna Pena vs Germaine de Randamie. This was an outstanding fight and probably should have been the main event.
Pena, like Condit, was a little rusty in the first round and didn’t offer very much activity.
Here is a learning moment. This didn’t bite us with Condit but it could have.
Fighters who are coming off of a long layoff with most likely lose the first round. If they are the type to fade late in fights, then you might not want to bet on said athlete.
I am seeing it more and more.
If a competitor hasn’t fought in maybe a year or more in comparison to their opponent, they will probably lose the first round.
If you feel they are that much more skillful than their opponent and will likely win rounds 2 and 3 and/or get a finish, then make the play.
That was Carlos.
I don’t regret our play on Julianna either. She took Germaine down at the very end of the first round which likely wasn’t enough for her to steal the round.
In the second, she backed up the bigger better striker with punches in the mouth up against the cage before she took her down and controlled her for nearly the remainder of the round.
Julianna went for a guillotine and Germaine surprisingly countered well and was in position to finish Pena with a Von Flue choke.
If you hang on to a guillotine from the bottom once your opponent has passed to the other side of your body, they can drop their shoulder into your neck and put you to sleep quickly.
It almost happened but like Pena’s takedown at the end of the first, it was in all likelihood not enough to steal the round.
Pena punched her opponent to the fence and her way into the clinch but Germaine had the takedown defended well.
Julianna made a swift move to get the fight to the mat and likely get the victory in a couple of minutes but De Randamie shocked the world with a high elbow guillotine that put the Venezuelan Vixen to sleep.
Unbelievable finish to a great fight! I would love to see a rematch and I would bet Pena again.
We had a pretty good parlay going last week but I really screwed it up, got a second chance, and was still shut down in the co-main event.
We had Dusko Tudorovic and Charles Jourdain as our anchors. We got one of those right but Charles put together a 10-8 in the third round of his fight with the nothing to lose Josh Culibao.
Fortunately, that was good enough for a majority draw.
Our parlay was still alive because Loma Lookboonme and Nassourdine Imavov both won comfortably.
I had some faith in the guy but in retrospect, ugh, I’m pretty mad about this one.
He didn’t even really fight for the last half of the fight. That guy has less heart than he does cardio and more quit in him than he has gut, pun intended.
I’m a martial artist myself so I feel that I have to hold myself to a higher standard than a lot of my colleagues in the media who refer to fighters as trash or garbage if things don’t go their way.
The difference here is I’m almost certain that the men who have taught me would have even worse things than trash or garbage to say about De Castro.
Carlos Felipe embarrassed him not only as a mixed martial artist and fighter but also as a man inside the Octagon on Saturday.
— UFC (@ufc) October 4, 2020
Putting any low-level fighter in a parlay is risky no matter who their opponent is much less a fighter in the parody-heavy-weight division.
Absolutely terrible decision on my part including De Castro in that parlay.
Lastly, Holly Holm showed out in the main event for a (-116) win.
The entire fight card was quite exciting overall and she really put her stamp on it at the end!
@HollyHolm came to win last night 😤
— UFC (@ufc) October 4, 2020
She made me eat my words as I was telling you guys she would win by avoiding the fight within the fight but she brought it.
154/301 significant strikes over 25 minutes of domination. Add in 5 takedowns and that may be the best Holly Holm performance we’ve ever seen, and she’s turning 39 in a few days!
She was aided by some of the worst footwork in the history of feet when Irene Aldana never once cut off the Octagon when chasing Holm who continually circled to her left for most of the fight.
Sometimes, cutting off the cage can be challenging against a guy like Condit but there was nothing fancy from his teammate, Holm.
It was frustrating to watch and I didn’t even enjoy a seldom dominant main event win. It’s partly because of that but also because of my faith in Yorgan de Castro.
Minus the damage that was the De Castro pick as well as the guillotine that NOBODY predicted, and we had a great night.
Our wins all came in dominant fashion.
I promise I will not De Castrate you guys like that ever again.
Let’s see what’s on tap now this week in mixed martial arts.
A Look Ahead at the Week in MMA
This weekend, we have a UFC Fight Night event on Saturday from Yas Island aka Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.
I suppose, at this point, it goes without saying that there is a UFC this weekend.
I believe I mentioned to you guys already in an article that Saturday’s event was the 21st in as many weeks.
The main event on Saturday is between two of the best strikers in the UFC’s stacked Bantamweight Division.
Colorful Colorado’s Cory Sandhagen looks to rebound from his recent devastating loss to Aljamain Sterling by first round rear naked choke.
🗣️ There’s only one Aljamain Sterling!
The Funk Master wins it via first round submission (+550) over Sandhagen. 🇯🇲pic.twitter.com/TmLuMVkZDC
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) June 7, 2020
The road doesn’t get any easier, though, for Cory as he has to fight Brazilian knockout artist, Marlon Moraes.
Looking at the betting line for this one and I am rather perplexed.
Cory Sandhagen is the (-142) favorite.
He is a tall long striker who towers over the 5’6” Moraes.
That has to be what the sportsbooks are thinking.
I backed Sandhagen as a similarly lined betting favorite against Raphael Assuncao but Marlon is a better and much more dangerous striker than his fellow Brazilian.
Moraes is coming off of a victory against Jose Aldo, albeit under a bit of controversy.
Either way, though, it’s at least a fairly even fight at Bantamweight against a top 3 Featherweight fighter of all-time.
Prior to that, Moraes jumped out to a big early lead against Henry Cejudo only to fall as they all did to Triple C in the later rounds.
Before Cejudo, though, it was 3 consecutive finishes versus top ten fighters Raphael Assuncao, Jimmie Rivera, and Aljamain Sterling who he completely slept in the middle of the Octagon with a head kicknee.
If you have a cooler name for it, leave it in the comments.
The 5-inch height differential and 3-inches of reach in favor of Sandhagen are enough to make him the favorite here in what looks to be a 5-round striking war.
If you want to talk any more about this fight right now. I already did an informative article on it and picked Moraes at (+140).
In the co-main event, Heavyweight veteran Ben Rothwell is a 2 to 1 favorite over Pole Marcin Tybura.
There might be some value there on the big man but his performances can be inconsistent.
Also on the main card is Edson Barboza vs Makwan Amirkhani, a clash of styles at Featherweight of two top ten fighters.
This one should be the co-main event, in my opinion.
We have a play on this fight already and it might surprise you but we have to go with the betting value.
Makwan might get his legs chopped out from under him in this one but at (+200), we only have to make this a 60/40 fight in favor of Barboza to make a play.
That’s where I have it too. Amirkhani has yet to prove himself by beating someone at Barboza’s level but I think he has the ability to do it.
He is (+210) now. Amirkhani is taking it on short notice but I believe the Straight Blast Gym Ireland product from Finland can win 4 out of 10.
The strong wrestling of Tracy Cortez along with the UK’s Tom Aspinall make up a good parlay right now.
(-125) is not bad for these two dominant fighters to both get it done.
I think big money will come in on both fighters here pretty soon so jump on this one, stat.
Pick: Aspinall + Cortez
PLACE YOUR BETS NOW!
There you go, team.
Let’s quickly recap our learning moments from this past weekend’s UFC betting action.
If a fighter is coming off of a long layoff and you want to bet them, allow for the likely slow start and them losing the first round on the judges’ scorecards.
Do not ever allow a low-level heavyweight into your parlay party.
Tom Aspinall is not low-level, by the way.
You will see.
His (-250) win in his UFC debut might have been the most betting value of any fighter all year as crazy as that sounds.
He’s very good and has elite size and power to back it up.
Tracy Cortez is a dominant wrestler who has all of the tools to contend for a world title one day.
I like the value on some underdogs this week including Marlon Moraes in the main event, Makwan Amirkhani against Edson Barboza, and Giga Chikadze are all live.
Get those bets in now, guys, especially the parlay, and hopefully the level of fighting this weekend is as high as the last.