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Gambling Addiction Enabler Head-to-Head: UFC 173 Edition

(Damn it, TJ. You’re supposed to hold the imaginary title belt above your head.)

UFC 173 may not be heavy on star power, but it presents some interesting opportunities for the MMA fan with a crippling gambling addiction looking to make a few bucks this weekend. Join staff writers Jared Jones and Seth Falvo as they break down their favorite fights, underdogs and the most creative ways to flush your hard earned cash down the crapper in a “versus” style edition of the gambling addiction enabler. Will Renan Barao extend his winning streak? Is Daniel Cormier a lock against the aging Dan Henderson? Read on for our picks – with odds courtesy of and may the winnings be yours.

The Good Dogs

Jared: I’d like to start by preemptively shaming you, Seth, as well as the Potato Nation, and truly, every last so-called “MMA fan” who isn’t giving Dan Henderson a smidgen of hope against Daniel Cormier tomorrow night. Seriously, you guys are the worst.

I don’t care if he’s fighting Fedor on Zeus’ shoulders and both can punch but only Zeus can kick, Dan Henderson should *never* be listed at anything worse than even odds. He’s defeated heavyweights, light heavyweights, middleweights, supposed Emperors, and more legends of the sport than pugilistic dementia. That he’s currently hovering around the +600 mark is not only an insult to the man, the myth, the psuedo-Native American that is “Hollywood,” but a disgrace to this sport on par with YAMMA Pit Fighting. TRT, SchmeeRT, Dan Henderson will walk through Cormier’s punches before delivering his greatest H-Bomb to date, at 2:03 of the second round, amen. Say it with me, folks: Dan. F*cking. Henderson.

(Also, Francisco Rivera at +150 isn’t a bad pick, and Chico Camus is a proven UFC-level fighter with a wealth of experience over TUF 18 winner Chris Holdsworth, who at just 5-0, is being slightly overvalued as a 3-to-1 favorite.)

Seth: I won’t argue that I don’t deserve shame and all, but let’s not act like Henderson wasn’t getting a “$5 for Shiggles” bet out of my wallet this weekend. As for the other good dogs, Rivera upsetting Mizugaki is as safe of an underdog bet as you’ll find on this card, and far be it from me not to wager on a gritty sumbitch like Chico Camus – who holds two upset victories in his 3-1 UFC run, mind you – bullying a 5-0 TUF winner for three rounds. And since I’ve never been one to let pesky little details like “never having seen either guy fight before” stop me from throwing money at my bookie, I’ll pick Li “The Leech” JingLiang to upset the TUF washout fighting on short notice who can’t even spell “bulldog” correctly. Becuz propper spelleng, yoll.

Stay the Hell Away From

Jared: Varner vs. Krause. Becuz inconcistensee. I put good money down on Varner to beat Abel Trujillo at UFC 169, and for most of the fight, Varner was kicking “Killa’s” ass all over the octagon. Then he got cocky/tired and walked straight into a haymaker from Hell. I just so happened to fall out of  moving van that night, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, the former WEC lightweight champ has been consistent in the entertainment department since unretiring, but inconsistent everywhere else. And I’m not sure whether Krause was faking, confused, or just plain hurt by Bobby Green’s body kicks in his last bout, but I do know that I’m not placing money on either of these dudes because I can’t medically suffer another “accidental” concussion in the next 30 days.

Seth: Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger is going to make for a great fight. And that’s the only prediction I’m willing to stake my all but nonexistent reputation on. Just sit back and enjoy this one, okay?

The Main Event

Seth: I think this will sum up the main event nicely…

Jared: Good point, Seth, but I’m thinking something more along the lines of…


As for my prediction…here’s some footage of TJ Dillashaw training on an airplane. It will not help him. I am done speaking on this subject.

Other Fights Worth Investing In
Anthony Njokuani (-225) vs. Vinc Pichel (+205)
Sam Sicilia (-140) vs. Aaron Phillips (+130)
Tony Ferguson (-280) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (+255)

Jared: UFC 173 doesn’t present a ton of interesting gambling opportunities in my eyes, truth be told, but Anthony Njokuani at just -225 against Vinc Pichel, a.k.a Rustam Khabilov’s ragdoll, seems like a steal to me. I don’t even know who A-A-ron Phillips is, so TUF 15 alum Sam Sicilia at -150 seems like a safe parlay bet, even though he’s dropped 3 out of 5 in the UFC. Sicilia’s likely fighting for his UFC career at this point, and will hopefully use that extra motivation to TKO this newbie in the first.

Seth: Not so fast, Jared. Aaron Phillips is part of Tim Creuder’s stable of roughneck brawlers from South Louisiana; he should be a tough opponent for Sicilia. Ain’t no way I’m betting on Sicilia to win this one, but Phillips at +130 doesn’t provide an attractive enough ROI to wager on a guy making his UFC debut. So instead I’ll advise everyone that Tony Ferguson is a safe bet against Katsunori Kikuno. “Japanese veteran on American soil” usually doesn’t end well, and Ferguson has proven to be far more competent at fighting than he is at picking out back tattoos (I mean seriously…).

Jared: You fool. Those are quite clearly Max Holloway‘s super-original angel wing tattoos. No? Ben Henderson then? Renan Barao?

Tony gon’ whoop dat ass, tho.

Suggested Stakes for a $50 Wager
Jared: $30 on a Njokuani + Sicilia + Ferguson parlay (nets $69.48)
$10 on Dan F*cking Henderson (nets $57.50)
$10 on Camus (nets $28)

Seth: $30 on Ferguson + Rivera + Njokuani parlay (nets $116.23)
$10 on Camus + Barao parlay (nets $33.35)
$5 on Dan Henderson (nets $28.75)
$5 on Jingliang + Camus + Rivera + Ferguson + Barao + Njokuani #YOLO parlay (nets $243.29)

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