I tell ya, the UFC truly does save the best for last. Of all of the upcoming pay per view events on the UFC docket, minus Khabib vs Tony Ferguson at 248 in April, I’m looking forward to this one the most.
Three title fights! In the co-co-main event, we are treated to a battle of the two hardest hitting women in the history of MMA. Amanda Nunes and Germaine de Randemie are both killers essentially.
The latter is a sizeable underdog as are many combatants on Saturday. I am thinking this might be more than a three dog kind of night.
Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski is extremely dangerous with a high ceiling already. I believe in Max Holloway’s abilities to win as much as anyone but my gut is telling me that Alex, especially at 1.5 to 1, is a live dog.
Who is the very best grinder in the world? The MAGA mack daddy Colby Covington or the “speak softly and carry a big stick” minded, immigrant mentality-driven Nigerian American?
Kamaru has the size and the reach. I give Colby the edge in conditioning but only slightly. For weeks, I’ve been saying Covington is going to have the mental edge because of his sociopathic mindset coupled with the strong heart of Usman.
Colby is probably going to have to get Kamaru somewhat angry to get en edge because, on paper, the Nigerian Nightmare is slightly better.
If those three aren’t enough for you, Jose Aldo is cutting to 135 pounds to take on fellow Brazilian knockout artist Marlon Moraes. Recent photos have surfaced of the former Featherweight champion on his way down to Bantamweight and it ain’t pretty, y’all.
It reminds me of the move TJ Dillashaw just made down to 125 and we saw how that turned out. A fighter whose chin never showed weakness in the past crumbled in seconds from a glancing shot.
I love the plus money (+170) on a fighter of Jose Aldo’s caliber. His desire for competition clearly isn’t waining either. I have heard a few folks say that but he would not be putting himself through absolute hell to make 135 if he wasn’t hungry for another world title.
We forget that he’s only 33-years-old! His first professional mixed martial arts fight was over 15 years ago! I want to wait until I see him at the official weigh-ins before we make a pick on this one.
Urijah Faber is an XL underdog once again but I don’t know if the 40+year-old has it in him to defeat a future title contender in Peter Yan.
There are so many fights I want to see!
Mike Perry and Geoff Neal headline the prelims for goodness sakes! Both men can crack! This is another fight that could be the main event on a different card.
There are just so many.
Before we get into the betting odds and predictions for UFC 245 Usman vs Covington, let’s recap last week’s betting action really quickly.
UFC on ESPN 7 from DC Betting Recap
Virna Jandiroba came through for us with a clean victory over Mallory Martin. (-253) is normally a little expensive for us but I felt that confident in the Brazilian submission ace. We lost our next fight!
In retrospect, it was a bad pick. Ricky Simon was a slight underdog and if he would have fought a bit smarter, he likely could have the win right now. Does he look like a guy who fights smart, though? Big ol’ cinderblock head and a mohawked mullet…
We were very fortunate, really. It could have been a bad weekend for us. Two draws could have very easily gone against us.
I thought Song Yadong and Marina Rodriguez were pretty good picks. Considering they were both favorites and the fights were even according to the judges, we made the wrong picks. I was happy to hear both fights ruled draws if that tells you anything.
Elsewhere, Aspen Ladd rebounded from her ugly TKO loss to Germaine de Randemie with a surprising knockdown and TKO finish of Yana Kunitskaya. That was nice but just a (-160) payout.
I picked Jair just because of his one-punch power coupled with the 14-time TKO’ed Overeem. Alistair fought very smartly taking his opponent down and controlling the fight within the clinch.
He was on his way to the win and we were headed for 2-2 until Rozenstruik split The Reem’s lip like the hairs at a sociology conference. Referee Dan Mirgliotta could have given Alistair a few more seconds to recover but that’s a wrap.
The worst 3-1 weekend I’ve ever had.
The betting odds for this week are provided by Mybookie.AG. Let’s make some predictions!
Omari Akhmedov (+115) vs Ian Heinisch (-135)
Omari’s move up to Middleweight has been a successful one. The Dagestani tank fought Marvin Vettori to a draw then defeated Tim Boetsch Zak Cummings by decision.
Ian Heinisch has made a living thus far in the UFC defeating men just like Akhmedov. Ian puts a pace on guys that have a smaller gas tank then him and by the third round, they fold.
Heinisch may be getting a lot of push from the UFC commentators but I’m not a big fan of his technique. I picked against him in his last fight opposite Derek Brunson. Derek controlled the fight with his wrestling and out-struck Heinisch when needed.
Omari has a much tighter defense and is very patient with his strikes and takedown attempts. He knows he is rather muscle-bound and how quickly he tires. If the Russian can dictate a slower pace by clinching, implementing takedowns, and keeping Ian at bay with an accurate fight hand, it’s going to be a long night for Heinisch.
I see the Russian being the stronger man in there as he normally is and getting up on the scorecards headed into the 3rd. It may be a bit of a sweat from there but he has good enough striking and takedown defense to hold off a late surge from Ian.
Ketlen Vieira (-170) vs Irene Aldana (+150)
I see many of my colleagues are jumping all over Irene Aldana here but I don’t know…
She does have outstanding takedown defense and if she’s able to defend the imminent takedown from her opponent Vieira, Aldana should cruise to a victory. I’m not sure if she can, though.
Also, Ketlen is a world-class submission artist and it may only take one trip to the mat to eventually end this fight.
Many times, when we see a Jiu-Jitsu champion cross the bridge into mixed martial arts competition, they can struggle to get the fight to the mat. It could be they are fighting a decorated wrestler or a high-level striker with superior range.
I do believe Aldana is a better striker than Vieira but I don’t think the Mexican star will be able to defend the takedowns. Ketlen is as much of a takedown specialist as she is a submission ace if not more so.
I’m almost tempted to take a shot at the (+300) under 2.5 rounds. Aldana has never been submitted in her professional career but she’s also never faced a grappler of Vieira’s caliber.
Geoff Neal (-235) vs Mike Perry (+200)
I think the UFC sportsbooks have this line fairly correct but what a banger!
We have to break this one down just for the fun of it.
Geoff Neal is a southpaw with the speed advantage… Not a good start for “Platinum.”
Mike is also just 125 days from his last fight which ended with his nose under his left ear. Vicente Luque hit him with a flying knee late in their exciting contest from a few months ago and the strike likely won the fight for the Brazilian.
You know Perry went through surgery from this and has had to take some time off as well as ease back into training. That gives him 70-80 days at the very best to prepare for a killer like Geoff Neal.
The Dallas-based Fortis MMA striker Neal is used to guys dropping from his shots and Perry just has one of those gargantuan melon heads that can seemingly take any and everything thrown its way.
Mike is almost always a live dog considering his ability to take one to give one. He puts one on the chin of nearly everyone he fights.
There’s a 5.5 inch reach difference here, though. Couple that with the southpaw advantage along with speed and accuracy and all signs are beginning to point towards the Texan.
I love his coach and head cornerman, Sayif Saud. He does a great job. Too many boxes ticked for Geoff Neal.
Amanda Nunes (-310) vs Germaine de Randamie (+260)
Okay, if I had to pick this straight up, I would take the champ. Amanda won their first meeting and is nearly unbeatable in today’s UFC. Only Valentina Shevchenko has come close to defeating “The Lioness” as of late.
Germaine is the better striker of the two, though. Amanda may have more power but she is shorter and gives up over 3 inches in reach to the Dutch Muay Thai sensation.
I would assume Amanda is going to push for the takedown. That’s where this fight is going to be decided, in my opinion.
Nunes could go toe-to-toe and bomb out Germaine as she has done to virtually everyone else. I don’t see it happening so easily, though. (+260) is a great line for the challenger. I also love the over 2.5 rounds for (+105).
This one is scheduled for 5 and sure Amanda could ground and pound her way to victory in the first 10 minutes but these two respect each other and would each hate to gas out and be helpless against a sure concussion to come.
Let’s do both.
Max Holloway (-180) vs Alexander Volkanovski (+155)
Confidence is high. Repeat, confidence is high…
Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski is overflowing with confidence heading into Saturday night’s world title fight with longtime Featherweight Champion Max Holloway. That will help him considerably, but will it be enough to dethrone “Blessed”?
As Max would say “It is what it is.” Holloway will have a significant height advantage of 5 inches but somehow will be short on reach.
Alex is an orangutan I suppose. Alexander “The Great” relies on heavy forward pressure and high level striking with very good power in his hands. He also clinches and/or shoots often and completes a good percentage of his takedown attempts.
- If Max takes the center of the Octagon and establishes his jab, Volkanovski is going to have a long night.
- If the Russian-blooded Kiwi fighting out of Phuket, Thailand can time the jab and mix in overhand rights seamlessly with double leg takedowns, Max might lose his belt.
It’s very hard to pick against Max but Alex is simply fighting with too much momentum and confidence right now.
Their abilities match up fairly well on paper and with Max continuing to sound punchy in recent interviews, I can see Volkanovski stopping him.
Kamaru Usman (-180) vs Colby Covington (+155)
You know, I was full steam ahead on the Covington express up until maybe a day or so ago. I listened to an interview with MAGA Jr on the Candice Owens show and he sounded a bit hoarse.
This could definitely just be from the seemingly never-ending amount of interviews required for a fight of this caliber. I think he could be tiring out, though.
He recently admitted to his heel turn is a bit of an act… Ya don’t say, Colby!
Now, he is telling the whole story over and over. An ego cleanse is normally a healthy process but I wouldn’t recommend doing so right before you have to fight in a cage for a world title. He’s fighting a man with no known weaknesses either.
Kamaru is the taller man with the broader shoulders who appears will own a strength advantage as well. Man, who is going to take the first step backward? That will be an immediate tell if you’re live betting this one.
Some late money has come in on Covington and Usman’s betting odds have come down from (-200) to (-180). That’s a bit more affordable. You can even get Usman at even money to win a decision. The over 4.5 rounds is all the way up at (-255).
These guys do hate each other and would love a finish but Kamaru is on quite the decision streak. Also, many times when there’s a big beef between two guys, they fight not to lose.
My gut tells me Colby but considering what Kamaru did to Tyron Woodley, I will take the Nigerian Nightmare to win a decision at (+105).
- Geoff Neal -235
- Ketlen Vieira -170
- Bet $100 To Win $126
Oh man, what a card and I wanted to break down and pick every last fight for you guys!
I believe we have betting value all over the board. I especially like the two we picked for the parlay.
A takedown specialist fighting a lanky opponent and a knockout artist fighting a shorter guy with far less reach who is easy to hit.
I’m not feeling too many of the favorites this weekend.
Amanda Nunes should win but getting Germaine at over 2.5 to 1 is just crazy. She can touch any woman in the UFC and sleep them with one or two shots.
I apologize for not picking the Jose Aldo and Marlon Moraes fight. I love the value with Jose but will have to see that weigh in first.
If that’s your plan as well and he does look like lukewarm death on the scale, get your bet in quickly because you won’t be the only one waiting on the weigh-ins.
I’m pretty confident in Omari Akhmedov as well but Ian Heinisch has a bet buster of a fighting style coming on strong late in the contest to steal it.
The main event is a tough one. Kamaru has yet to show any weakness and he has the championship experience over Colby.
Even money for a decision sounds good to me. Tune in, turn up, and bet hard!