UFC on Fuel TV 5
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Stipe Miocic (9-0) -235 vs. Stefan Struve (24-5) +185
The main event of the evening sets the tallest man in the UFC against former Ohio wrestler Stipe Miocic. Struve is 6 ft 11 inches, while Miocic is 6ft 4 inches. While Miocic is not short, he will have a distinct height and reach disadvantage. While Miocic can take this to the ground when he wants, he probably wants to avoid it due to Struve's latest finishes via submission. If this stays standing it will in all likeliness look like Struve vs Roy Nelson, or Struve vs Travis Browne.
Pick: Miocic. His wrestling pedigree, along with his boxing, and overall athleticism should keep him ahead of Struve in the fight. While Struve is deadly and has KOs of his own, he will have to risk his own chin to get Miocic. Finishing rates: Struve enters the cage with a 92% finishing rate, while Miocic enters with a 89% finishing rate. This fight is not going the distance pick this to end before the third bell.
Dan Hardy (24-10, 1 NC) -165 vs. Amir Sadollah (6-3) +135
Former title challenger Dan Hardy will fight Amir Sadollah on the main card as the co-main event of the evening. Hardy recently snapped his losing streak defeating Duane Ludwig by KO; Ludwig also fights on this card. Sadollah last fought and defeated Jorge Lopez by split decision. Dan Hardy should be the favorite, they share a common opponent who Hardy swiftly finished, while Sadollah decisively struggled with him. While that is clearly 'MMA math' there is some truth to it. If Sadollah wants to win this he works Hardy against the cage and gets the takedown where it seems he has the advantage.
Pick: Hardy. But betting on Sadollah is not a bad idea either at +135. Hardy has plenty of KO power, and the striking to put Sadollah away, but Amir's ever growing offensive wrestling could have Hardy on his back. Finishing rates: Sadollah comes in with a 33% finishing rate, while Hardy has a 64% finishing rate. On the spread this is a bad bet to pick. Both men have obvious ways to finish, but as of late have shown only a few finishes. Avoid the spread on this one.
Yves Jabouin (18-7) +165 vs. Brad Pickett (21-6) -215
Heavy handed Brad Picket takes on Canadian striker Yves Jabouin. Jabouin is on a three fight winning streak, two of which are split decisions. Picket on the other hand recently broke his losing streak by submitting Damacio Page with a rear naked choke. Both of these guys love to stand and bang - Jabouin got through much of WEC's featherweight division with his brutal striking alone. Though his lack of wrestling made him an easy target for grapplers at times, he has made great strides in that area. A key factor in this fight is Picket's ability to threaten with the ground game. For a non wrestler, Picket has an explosive and awesome blast double take down. Though Jabouin won his last three he was nearly submitted in them all.
Pick: Pickett. His superior wrestling, and versatile grappling offense should take him all the way in this match up, as long as he does not get caught by the explosive Jabouin. Finishing rates: Picket enters the cage with a 76 % finishing rate, while Jabouin comes in with a 67% finishing rate. This is a fight that will likely not go to decision, both men are going to be head hunting, and both have power in the bantamweight division. Don't bet heavy on the spread though.
Paul Sass (13-0) -115 vs. Matt Wiman (14-6) -115
Paul 'The Sassangle' Sass will attempt to submit Matt Wiman in their Lightweight affair. Both men have been quite accomplished as of late. Wiman is coming off a dominant win over Mac Danzig, and Sass again triangled a veteran grappler in Jacob Volkman. Wiman's key to victory is to never get lured into a ground fight. He has to use his wrestling to keep this standing or pay the price. Sass has to get Wiman to the mat or he is in for a long night of getting punched in the face. Both men have their key strengths.
Pick: Sass. He pulled guard on a top level wrestler, and grappler in Jacob Volkman and submitted him only moments later. This is not ruling out a Wiman victory, but simply put, Sass has submitted every single person he has fought except one. Finishing rates: Sass comes in with a 92% finishing rate, while Wiman enters with a 57% finishing rate. On the spread this is a great bet to not go all three round.
John Hathaway (16-1) -275 vs. John Maguire (18-3) +205
Rising British prospects meet each other this weekend when John Hathaway faces John Maguire. Hathaway is coming off a decision win over Pascal Krause, while Maguire is coming off a submission win over another fighter on this card DeMarques Johnson. Maguire is a scrappy all around solid fighter. His striking, and grappling are his best assets. Hathaway is the better wrestler of the two men. He handled Diego Sanchez's take downs quite effectively in their meeting. I think the key is Hathaway's size - he is a large welterweight who has never really shown cardio issues, and big league competition. Hathaway, while unknown to many, has been in the UFC for three year and has only lost one time. Respectably to Mike Pyle no slouch at all. Also up until the submission win over Johnson, Maguire was losing the fight.
Pick: Hathaway. Big league experienced plus skill set, and size should put Hathaway on a different level than Maguire. Finishing rates: Maguire has a 56% finishing rate, while Hathaway walks in with a 72% finishing rate. This is not a fight expected to go all three rounds, but do not bet heavy on the spread the straight bet has a bit more value.
Duane Ludwig (21-13) +155 vs. Che Mills (14-5, 1 NC) -205
All around MMA and Muay Thai veteran Duane 'Bang' Ludwig takes on British striker Che Mills. This is going to be a barn burner. Both men will look to strike, but there will be some key differences between them. Ludwig is far more experienced, but with experience comes age. Ludwig is five years older than Che. Also as far as physicality Ludwig will be three inches shorter, and have six inch reach disadvantage. The fact is Ludwig is a small welterweight which allowed him to on occasion compete at lightweight. Key points to make: Che is bigger, faster, and likely stronger. Neither man is a great offensive wrestler, and will have getting the other to the ground if they are rocked or hurt.
Pick: After seeing what Dan Hardy did to Ludwig I think Che has as much a chance as anyone to do the same. There will be a large size difference when these men weigh in. Finishing rates: Mills comes in with a 79% finishing rate, while Ludwig enters with a 76% finishing rate. This fight is a solid pick to not go all three rounds. Pick this bet up.
Kyle Kingsbury (11-4, 1 NC) +130 vs. Jimi Manuwa (11-0) -160
Kyle Kingsbury takes on Jimi Manua in this Lightheavyweight affair. Kingsbury is one of the largest lightheavyweights in the game, which characterizes his game. He uses his size to impose his will on his opponents, as for example his win (arguably a defeat) over Fabio Maldanado, where he pushes his opponent into the cage working knees and take downs. Kingsbury employs a bullying style in that sense. Manuwa is a fast, and powerful striker. Manuawa has never gone to decision, and he has never been defeated. Manuwa is not someone you want to trade with if given the opportunity not to. Thus Kingsbury will look to force this fight into the cage.
Pick: Manuwa. Kingsbury is not a native wrestler; as long as Manuwa can defend the takedown, he should win. Manuwa will look to work from a distance, and likely light Kingsbury up with strikes. At -160 Manuwa is a good straight bet for the value. Finishing rates: Kingsbury has a 55% finishing rate, while Manuwa has a 100% finishing rate. This is a good fight to bet on the spread to not go all three rounds.
Akira Corassani (9-3, 1 NC) +155 vs. Andy Ogle (8-1) -205
Swedish TUF alumni Akira Corassani will take on fellow European and TUF alumni Andy Ogle. This one seems like a mismatch, but weirder things have happened in MMA. Ogle, who was not a small lightweight on TUF not too long ago, is taking on Corassani who was a smaller featherweight on a previous season of TUF. Size is not an absolute, but with all else equal it tends to have an effect at the very least. Neither man has a great ground game, but do have submission wins. We saw Ogle sit in a triangle for an entire round, and though he did not escape, credit must be given to his opponent for maintaining the submission, and Ogle for not giving up. Corassani, while he has submission wins, has shown a weak wrestling game, and was tapped twice on TUF, by Dustin Neace and Dennis Bermudez. Ref Herb Dean did not see the tap in the Neace fight and Corassani went on to win a decision.
Pick: Ogle. His striking, wrestling ability (for a non wrestler) , and size should give him some distinct advantages against his opponent in this fight. Finishing rates: Ogle enters with a 63% finishing rate, while Coassani walks in with a 44% finishing rate. This is another fight where the straight bet is pretty secure, but the spread is ambiguous. Both of these men can put each other out, but they have shown they do not do it very often. If forced to choose than this will likely go to a decision, but do not bet heavy.
Brad Tavares (8-1) -165 vs. Tom Watson (15-4) +135
TUF alumni Brad Tavares takes on former BAMMA Middleweight Champion Tom Watson. Tavares is coming off a close fought decision against Dongi Yang, while Watson is coming off a TKO victory over Jack Marshman, but previously knocked out the younger brother of Shogun Rua, Murilo Rua, with a head kick. Watson is striker - he sprawls and strikes. Tavares can do it all. He can wrestle, strike, and grapple with the best of them. Though the slight hole in Watson's game should be visible to Tavares, and he will likely exploit it.
Pick: Tavares. Watson still has great power in his strikes and could catch anyone, but Tavares knows how to defend and has power of his own. Tavares will stay at a range and work in for the take down once he has worn down and slowed down Watson. Finishing rates: Watson enters the cage with a 53% finishing rate, while Tavares comes in with a 75% finishing rate. As a straight bet Tavares is good especially at the value of -130, but the spread is going to be a little ambiguous. If it had to be picked, choose for this to end in a finish, but it is not a solid bet.
Robert Peralta (15-3, 1 NC) -130 vs. Jason Young (9-5) EVEN
Robert Peralta is coming of a draw to Mackena Semerzier due to an illegal headbutt, while Jason young recently defeated Eric Wisely by unanimous decision. Both men have solid all around games and sound technique, there are some clear differences in the two fighters. Peralta, while only being defeated three times, has only faced a few fighters of any name value. Young, while his record is worse, has faced a much higher level of opponents and done well. Among those who Young has fought include Paul Sass (also fighting tonight, defeated Young by heel hook), Michiro Omigawa (defeated Young by decision), and lastly Dustin Porier (defeated Young by decision). All in all a hard fight to call.
Pick: Young. While this fight will likely be very close, Young seems to possess the more varied, tight, and effective game. THowever, as a straight bet, this is not a good one to go in on. Finishing rates: Young enters the fight with a 44% finishing rate, while Peralta enters with a 87% finishing rate. This will likely end in a decision - since both men have entered the UFC neither has finished anyone. It's another bet that should not be heavily bet but this will likely end in a decision.
DaMarques Johnson (16-11) +175 vs. Gunnar Nelson (9-0-1) -235
DeMarques Johnson steps in on semi-late notice to take one Icelandic prospect, Gunnar Nelson. Johnson is coming off a competitve fight against Mike Swick, but was Kayoed in the second round. Sadly he is on a two-fight losing streak, but against solid guys (Mike Swick, John Maguire who also is fighting on this card). Nelson enters this fight undefeated, finishing all of his opponents in the first or second rounds aside from a 2007 draw. He is an amazing grappler, having defeated Jeff Monson in ADCC who is three weight classes above his own. Nelson's key to a smooth victory is get this to the ground. But Johnson is no slouch in the wrestling department, and will throw bombs to keep this standing. While striking is not what Nelson excels at, he is quite proficient with three Kayos of his own.
Pick: Nelson. He is less experienced in general and in the big show, but Nelson has a grappling pedigree above Johnson's, is a amazing athlete, and has all the tools to defeat Johnson. Finishing rates: Nelson comes into this fight with a 100% finishing rate, while Johnson enters with a 87.5% finishing rate. This fight is all but guaranteed to end in a finish. I think Nelson is a solid straight bet even at -235, but the value in this is the spread. Grab this to end in a KO, or Submission. Seriously.
How Fight Odds Work
Unlike a spread on a football game where one team is getting a certain amount of points (ex. Saints +7), in MMA fights the line on the game is what's called a money line.
Vitor Belfort +500
Jon Jones -800
In this fight, Jones would be the favorite and at -800 it means for every $8.00 you bet, you will win $1 if he wins the fight. So if you bet $800 on Jones and he wins, you'd profit $100. If Jones were to lose though, you'd lose the full $800.
If you were to bet on Belfort at +500, you would win $5.00 for every $1 you bet. So if you bet $100 on Belfort and he wins the fight, you will profit $500. If Belfort were to lose the fight, you'd lose your original $100 bet.
Depending on how people are betting on the fights, the odds will shift from the moment they open up right up until the night of the fight.
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