Monday MMA Mashup – April 5

Monday MMA Mashup

This past weekend did get kinda strange when the UFC didn’t come on Saturday night.

Where were you?

Did you take your spouse or significant other out on a date night?

If I had one, it would have probably been a good time, but I think I just went to bed earlier than normal.

The entire weekend wasn’t a complete loss, though, as Bellator brought the action on Friday night. I have to admit that some of those judges were tripping, but it is what it is. We had a few plays on the card, and they didn’t turn out so well, but we pick up our remaining chips and move on.

There is a UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas, Nevada, this week with a main event featuring Kevin Holland (again?!) and the favorite, The Italian Dream, Marvin Vettori. The latter has quite the expensive price tag after dominating The Joker Jack Hermansson. I think the main reason for the large gap in the prices for the two men is from Kevin’s last fight. It has only been a few weeks since we saw him talk more than fight for 25 minutes and completely strip any faith bettors had remaining for him. He didn’t even TRY to get up. I get it. Derek Brunson takes down everyone! He has a bad gas tank, though, and is usually only good for two rounds. This fight was scheduled for 5 rounds, so I thought Derek would fade. Well, Kevin Holland didn’t make him work. That’s all he had to do, in my opinion, and even though it was a very dominant decision that went the way of the underdog Brunson, I think if Kevin would have been relentless getting up off the bottom, then Derek would have gassed.

It is what it is, though, and he didn’t. Now, Kevin faces a massive Marvin Vettori who has good takedowns and even better top pressure. A fight is a fight, and Kevin said we would see The Trailblazer return instead of Big Mouth, the nickname Dana White gave him the first time he saw Kevin fight.

Let’s take a look at how Bellator 255 turned out from a betting perspective and also do a quick preview of UFC Fight Night Las Vegas going down this Saturday night in the small Octagon at the company’s Apex facility.

Bellator 255 Betting Review

Tyrell Fortune vs Jack May

I thought taking a shot on Tyrell Fortune to get the win by submission was worth a shot. The dominant Fortune took down May early on and was in on the arm triangle we were calling for, but it allowed Jack to get to his butt and wall walk up the cage.

That was our only chance as Tyrell took him down again, but this time made sure to keep the punches coming until the referee stepped in.

The payout was (+550), and Fortune was more than a 2 to 1 favorite just to get the stoppage.

I felt confident there, but the value was on the punt. It just didn’t hit for us.

Jason Jackson vs Neiman Gracie

I think Big John McCarthy’s words at the end of this fight were verbatim “I don’t see any chance whatsoever that Jason Jackson won this fight. It is a very clear 29-28 for Gracie.”

Welp, 29-28 on all three judges’ scorecards was announced, and I was ready to cash but then nope, Jason Jackson. He fought a decent fight, but he I don’t think he deserved the victory.

The judges may have felt that Jackson deserved some points because he scraped his face and eye on the cage, but that’s part of the game.

It just happened, but they felt for him and gave him the fight because of it. That stinks, but Neiman wasn’t an expensive betting favorite. The fight was even money, so losing one of those isn’t the end of the world.

Pitbull Friere vs Emmanuel Sanchez

This was the main event of the night, and the Bellator Featherweight Title was on the line, as well as a spot in the finals of the Grand Prix Tournament that pays the winner a cool MILLION dollars.

They were selling this one like Emmanuel had a chance, and it’s hard to argue that he didn’t because he rocked Pitbull in the first round of their first fight a couple of years ago.

If he could have connected with just one more at the time on the button, he could have got the win.

Lately, though, Pitbull seems to have leveled up. Usually, we see the contenders catching up with the champ, but with Friere, no. He is looking more and more dominant every time we see him fight.

We had him to get the win by decision, but that didn’t last long as he rocked and caught the neck of his opponent in the first round finishing with a guillotine choke.

Bellator comes and goes so infrequently, it is hard to get a read on it for me. I will certainly work harder in the future.

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Preview

Mackenzie Dern vs Nina Ansaroff

Mackenzie is a slight underdog here, and I understand why. Nina Ansaroff is an excellent boxer who has beaten other women who have better takedowns.

She is coming off of a successful pregnancy and plenty of time away from competition.

I didn’t think she was going to fight again to be honest with you.

Dern already has natural power in her hands but has also greatly improved her technique working with Jason Parillo. I think what separates Mackenzie from the Claudia Gadelha’s of the world who couldn’t get and keep Nina down is that Mack is a threat with her hands on the feet.

An actual threat. She can knock Nina out. I don’t think this is a blowout either way but dog odds on the better grappler with power, improving technique, and she is the more active fighter-I’ll take it.

The Bets

Sam Alvey vs Julian Marquez

Julian is my boy but I have to be honest, he looked terrible in his return against a barely UFC level Maki Pitolo.

Marquez ended up getting the win but it was a hail mary where the cornerback and free safety ran into each other. Pitolo gave him that fight. Okay, you have to give Julian all the respect in the world for never quitting on himself. Also, he made very good use of his on-air time.

More fighters than not would have been checked out late in the third but he hung in there and got the W. He had that fire.

I was happy because I tipped him and made the play myself.

Now, he is dropping down from 205 to fight Sam Alvey. Sam has good hands, solid power, exceptional takedown defense, and is big for the division. He used to fight at 205 himself.

Yet, Sam is a (+160) underdog.

I think this line is off so jump on Smilin’ Sam. He always seems to make fights closer than they should be and I expect a split decision with Marquez.

In Conclusion

I’m excited the UFC is back. Now, my Saturday nights can return to normal. I will stay up until the fights are over and then go to sleep. Still no dates but that’s okay.

I love fighting.

We get to see Kevin Holland back in there so soon after what was an incredibly disappointing performance against Derek Brunson just weeks ago. I love that and Marvin Vettori is a talker too. He is as game as they come, and I think will be throwing the words right back at Kev just like the punches.

Sodiq Yousuff vs Arnold Allen is a great fight, but I want to dive into more tape before we make a play there.

Today, I just saw a couple of betting lines I thought were off and made some quick picks there.
  • Sam Alvey is not that old and has been fighting bigger guys than Julian Marquez even though it is Julian who is going down in weight.
  • Nina Ansaroff has proven me wrong in the past but this could be Mackenzie Dern’s time. The work at the RVCA Training Center with Jason Parillo is paying off and she beat Virna in her last fight, which was the biggest win of her career.
  • Mack’s takedowns are worse than Nina’s takedown defense on paper but I like the striking of the BJJ world champ to help her get deep on some clinch entries. Get your plays in now and enjoy the fights this week.


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Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.