(Promo via UFC.com. Idea via explodingactresses.tumblr.com)
By Dan “Get Off Me” George
This Saturday night, a light heavyweight title fight is going down between the division’s long-standing champion and a really tall Swede that the UFC desperately wants you to believe stands a chance at beating said champion. Not that we’re counting Alexander Gustafsson completely out of his fight with JBJ, it’s just…well…we’ve already gone over that.
In any case, UFC 165 actually offers a handful of fights that aren’t as one-sided as Blind Mike Tyson vs. a dartboard, so join us after the jump as we break down a couple of the undercard bouts and the entire main card in the hopes of scoring you Taters some fast cash with absolute minimal effort. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds.
Caceres is the slight favorite here and has looked impressive (maybe due to elevated levels of “irie”) since his drop to bantamweight, using his size and reach — sometimes a little wild — to his advantage. Delorme is floating around +120 territory and while he may not have the tools to finish Caceres or even outpoint the former Team GSP member, he certainly is well rounded enough to push this fight to the cards. +110 prop that this fight goes the distance is a nice value as the Canadian underdog is surely not going to go away easy in this fight.
Jesse Ronson (-160) vs. Michel Prazeres (+140)
File this under the “Good Dog” category, as the 16-1 Brazilian Prazeres is the most notable underdog on the preliminary card. Michel was overwhelmed in his UFC debut against Paulo Thiago but he showed that he can hang in there against UFC-level talent, something Ronson has yet to show. At -160, Ronson is just as risky a pick when factoring in “Octagon jitters” and the talent gap between the UFC and other organizations. Prazeres as a secondary parlay option or single bet my be a dog worth taking.
In keeping with the CagePotato traditions of old, I would have to assign a “Stay the Hell Away From” status to this fight from a gambler’s perspective. Khabib is a stud, but at -250 against another bulldozer like Healy is simply too risky. Healy at +205 against the sambo expert who has an underrated stand up game may be the proverbial carrot dangling in front of the donkey, as we have yet to see the Eagle dominated or controlled by his opponent inside the Octagon. The best option would be the -170 prop that this fight goes the distance, as it may very well involve lots of cage work and scrambling on the ground.
At -185, Philippou is parlay bound and perhaps the best line offered on the entire card. Carmont’s last two wins inside the Octagon have been controversial decisions to competition who have not cracked the top 10 in the division. Costa is a potential contender right now who is able to stop the takedown and use his excellent striking to break down his opponents. Philippou proved in his fight with Boetsch that he will not be overpowered and that he can hit hard enough to put away some of the top competition that the 185 division has to offer. Costa -185 makes the parlay.
Meathead is the small -120 favorite against the Hybrid, who promises to teach his buddy what martial arts is all about. A brief numbers crunch suggests that this fight will end via a (T)KO for Mitrione, with 5 out of his 6 wins coming via KO and 3 of Schaub’s losses coming via exactly that. Schaub used his ground game to keep Lavar Johnson at bay and Mitrione has shown some weakness with grappling exchanges (against Cheick Kongo, of all people), but the fact that Schaub is vulnerable to the KO at all times tilts the odds in Matt’s favor here. Mitrione to win at -120 is a pick’em worth, uh, picking.
Wowza. Placing any money on a straight bet here is rather ludicrous, so the most alluring option may be the prop bet that Barao is able to submit Wineland (currently residing around +135) due to the fact that the former WEC champ has proven vulnerable to the takedown/submission over the course of his career. Barao is often content to keep his fights standing, but much like Pickett, Wineland is a forward moving fighter who likes to press his opponent. Barao to submit Wineland +135 prop bet.
Jones at -1000 means u better bring the brinks truck if you want to make money simply picking the alpha 205’er to walk away the winner on Saturday night. Gustafsson is certainly as big as Jones, but far less skilled on the ground compared to the competition Jones has faced/dominated as of late. Gustafsson’s best chance comes with keeping this fight standing, something I believe he can do in the early stages of the fight, not so much because he wants to, but that Jones will be looking to beat Gustafsson where he is best (like he did with Chael on the ground). Ultimately the prop that this fight will start the 3rd round for -155 is a decent price, I guess if you believe Jones will entertain striking with Gustaffson for the first two rounds before he looks to close the fight out.
-Philippou + Omielanczuk
-Philippou + Prazeres
-Caceres/Delorme fight goes the distance
-Healy/Nurmagomedov fight goes the distance
-Barao wins via submission
-Gustafsson/Jones fight starts round 3
Enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours!