Monday MMA Mashup – May 17

UFC 262 Monday Mashup

UFC 262 was a cracker! Too soon, Jacare? My apologies sir. You are a legend but when a legend gets his arm audibly and visibly broken in just the first few seconds of an armbar from the bottom, this is news!

Nobody is really talking about it.

All of the focus is on Charles Oliveira being the new champ and how bad Tony Ferguson looked in there. How about Andre Muniz, though? I admit I picked him early in the week almost solely as a fade on Jacare Souza.

After one of the most embarrassing losses ever seen inside the UFC Octagon, Jacare had to return to action after just a few months recovery time not to mention being 40+ years old with MILES on that body.

Jacare has been training in martial arts since he was a kid and his style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has always been so physical that father time or “Hora de pai” as they say in Portuguese has not only caught up with him but taken him down and broken his arm.

If anyone has not seen or even better, heard what happened at the end of the Andre Muniz vs Jacare Souza fight, here you go. If you have a weak stomach, keep scrolling up.

The night wasn’t completely morbid, though, as it ended on an emotional high for the Brazilian fans watching at home and, of course, for Charles Oliveira who won the Lightweight World Title over Michael Chandler.

The fight was for a vacant belt that Khabib Nurmagomedov left behind. I wonder if he will be back for Charlie Olives. Stylistically, that is his toughest matchup. Against another wrestler like Michael Chandler, he will just out wrestle him or out strike him, in my opinion, although the American remains dangerous.

I think Daniel Cormier might have tipped us off, actually, during the main event. The team was talking about the what if’s for the potential future champion Oliveira and as either Joe or Jon started to chime in with the obvious winner of Poirier vs Mcgregor III as the next challenger for the belt, DC said “Khabib!” rather confidently.

I know DC says a lot of goofy things and that is one of the reasons he is so much fun as a commentator but I just thought I picked up on something there. If we were to handicap it, Khabib would certainly have to be the favorite and anyone who took Chandler would certainly have to favor the Dagestani legend in that one.

Enough hypotheticals, though, reality isn’t that bad. It was sad to see what happened with Tony and Jacare. You could see the Brazilian’s arm was already trapped in an awkward position on the way down but at the same time, that’s grappling and you have to credit Muniz for securing and snapping the arm of a Jiu Jitsu legend in Jacare.

Let’s look back at what was a surprisingly good betting performance from UFC 262 that was THIS close to being a lot better! Also, we can preview this week’s Fight Night event that is coming up on Saturday from the small Octagon in Vegas.

The betting odds we use today are provided by the great folks over at BetOnline.AG. They have some of the best lines each and every week and also are always one of the first to release them.

Many times, they release a line and it gets hit immediately so the other sportsbooks copy the adjusted line. If the people who hit it hard early are usually correct then we are losing some value there.

Please Note:
I hope you guys were able to read a prediction I wrote up a couple of months ago titled “Fighters to Fade”. Tony opened as the favorite in that matchup at (-120) and Benny was even money! I said to get this line now because it would be upwards of (-170) or more by fight time.

I don’t care which side you were on, if someone offered you Benny at even money on Friday or Saturday of last week, I think you would jump all over it.

I will continue to keep an eye on those opening lines for you guys so that we can maximize the value of every bet.

UFC 262 Betting Review

Sean Soriano vs Christos Gaigos

Sean was a last minute replacement and a former UFC fighter getting his second chance with the company. He was also going up in weight since the fight was on such short notice.

Soriano was the more skillful fighter in there on the feet but submissions and weak takedown defense have plagued the crisp boxer for the entirety of his mixed martial arts career.

Some people saw him as a live dog and proved that he certainly was.

Sean clipped Christos a few times with faster sharper hands but eventually, the bigger guy who is also quite explosive was able to get this fight to the mat and set up a D’arce choke from side control.

I love this setup. You just let them turn into you and many times, they will shoot their arm through as if you are trying to get the far side underhook to stand up but it is pretty basic and hard to pull off on anyone higher than a purple belt.

Christos knew that Soriano would likely defend properly and he did but Giagos was already one step ahead and doubling back to the other side to catch the same choke there.

Excellent work from Christos and a good show of heart after he was rocked early on. He had the nerve to call out Cowboy Cerrone after the fight, though, which shows negative heart, respect, and class, in my opinion.

Don’t call out fighters in weight classes below you and don’t call out clearly compromised aging vets. It’s a big name and it will build his name.

I get it but most fighters will and do refrain from such unethical business moves.

I felt good about the result of this fight because I did think about a shot on the underdog but the last minute fight and being a weight class up made me refrain and laying 2 to 1 juice on the favorite, Giagos would have been quite the sweat.

It was a smart pass.

Tucker Lutz vs Kevin Aguilar

We were on Tucker here to get it done. I was worried about the 89% takedown defense from Kevin but Tucker is such a tank and has explosive and technical takedowns. That guy is going to at least be a headache inside the top 25 or so of his division right now.

I am not sure what happened to the career of Kevin Aguilar. He has looked horrible in his last two fights and he is only 32. Odd but definitely a fade at this point. We will look to bet against him in his next fight but I have a feeling the secret is out on Aguilar and we won’t get much value.

Great job by Tucker Lutz. We are now 3-0 betting on this guy. He had two Contender Series fights, one opposite a training partner of mine, Sherrard Blackledge, who was also making his second appearance in the same season.

I think Sherrard is good enough to be in the UFC right now. He was a decent sized betting favorite heading into his fight with Tucker and it was pretty close.

Priscila Cachoeira vs Gina Mazany

Wow, this fight was wild! Gina came out looking great and like maybe she deserved to be the largest favorite on the card at (-220).

She secured several takedowns fairly easily and looked like she would be able to continue doing so for the entirety of the fight.

Priscila continued to pressure her on the feet whenever she had the chance, though, and eventually rocked not only the chin but the will of Gina and before you knew it, Mazany was turning away and looking at the referee to get her out of there.

You have to love it for Priscila as she showed a ton of heart and determination but it is never fun to see someone turn away in a fight. It is a bad look for them that will haunt them for years and not a great look for the sport either.

Either way, I feel like this was another smart pass by us.

Antonina Shevchenko vs Andrea Lee

Early in the week my first instinct told me to go with the fashionable pick here, Antonina Shevchenko. She is gigantic for the weight class, has great striking and also is the sister of one of the greatest women’s MMA fighters in modern history.

The more I looked into this fight by watching some tape on Lee, I realized that she was pretty darn close to being 5-1 or even 6-0 in the UFC but everyone was focused on her losing her last 3 fights.

I posed the question “Where would the betting line be if she had one just one of her last three or even two?” Two were split decisions and she was a takedown defended and a few clean strikes away from beating her.

People were also hating because she was a big favorite against Roxy and didn’t come through. People need to learn not to bet big favs against Roxy who has defeated both Shevchenko and Lee among other favorites.

With Andrea’s betting odds sitting at (+110), I thought that with her takedowns as well as volume that could help her hang with Shev on the feet, she should probably be the favorite here upwards of (-150) if not more.

Nina looked good early on but she went for a spinning backfist which Andrea read right away and closed in for the double underhook body lock. Shev defended the takedown attempt, though, but still went back to the spinning backfist in the second round.

This time Lee stepped back and kicked her in the back of the head as she spun. Andrea Lee is a traditional martial artist and has seen more than her fair share of spinning backfists. Not getting hit by them was, of course, the first win but she capitalized and soon was able to finish the fight.

Lee had always had issues with putting her stamp on rounds but at UFC 262, it looked like she wasn’t concerned at all with what the judges’ thought. She was going for the kill.

Jordan Wright vs Jamie Pickett

I understand the hate on Jordan Wright. He has shown signs to be a flake in there and maybe not have the most heart in the UFC’s Middleweight Division but his size, physical attributes, and skill set can’t be denied.

Against another guy who doesn’t really like to get hit who doesn’t carry scary power, I thought Wright would thrive. The takedowns of Pickett were definitely a worry because he times them well and they seem to come at the most surprising times.

He shot very early in the round against Jordan and even though he got a nice entry deep onto the hips of his opponent, Wright was able to defend with elbows to the head which eventually spelled the end for Pickett who had to be chased across the Octagon and put away by The Beverly Hills Ninja, Jordan Wright.

We had to bet on a flake but he wasn’t juiced and his opponent was not UFC level so I thought the line had value and Wright would be able to secure the victory.

Mike Grundy vs Lando Vannata

This was our first L of the night. I knew that Grundy was green and Lando could be coming into his own with a lot of UFC experience and in a new lower weight class as well. Fighters generally perform better at a higher weight class than if they drop so it was hard to anticipate him possibly looking better than ever.

Lando has excellent hips and even though he gets taken down a lot, he gets up a lot. What made me side with the Brit here was his relentlessness. 6/15 against Evloev in takedowns. That is 40% against a guy whose name ends in “V”, isn’t so bad.

I know it isn’t “OV” but it’s still a V.

I thought, yes, Lando will get taken down and then he will get up. That is when the relentless wrestling of Grundy would be enough to win the rounds. Lando defended 17 of the 20 takedown attempts, though, and made it hard to grundy to use the wrestling threat to gain any advantage on the feet.

I thought that Grundy closed the third round well with pressure and wrestling against the cage. He didn’t get the takedown but Lando was running for the last minute or two. I know judges don’t like to see that.

Also, I thought that since we were in Texas, a state that is fairly green to scoring MMA fights, we would see them favor the takedowns and control over the damage. That is how it has been for a long time now.

Nope. They went overboard trying to copy the Vegas judges and possibly scored damage too highly in this fight. If the fight were scored as a whole, I would have to give it to Groovy Lando so we can’t be too mad at the decision.

One thing we missed on tape was Grundy not being able to put his strikes and takedowns together. He was either doing one or the other. Yes, Vannata was taken down at a high rate by less accredited wrestlers but they were also 155ers and more effective as complete mixed martial artists.

Jacare Souza vs Andre Muniz

We spoke about this one already.

Jacare is done. I hope he retires after this but I understand him not wanting to go out as he did.

Andre Muniz, wow, the sky’s the limit for this guy. He sent a message to the rest of the UFC’s Middleweight Division that he is not a man to be messed with on the mat.

I kind of regretted my pick towards the end of the week when I heard more and more people on the Jacare train. They saw him having the better wrestling and striking. He would take down Muniz and just beat him up from there for a likely decision win.

That’s exactly how it started but it wasn’t long until, well, you know.

Shane Burgos vs Edson Barboza

Wow, did we miss a chance at a beautiful underdog play at (+136) on Edson Barboza! The Brazilian was so freaking fast on Saturday! He said after the fight that he would have to try way too hard to keep the weight on for 155 so Featherweight was his proper home all along.

Burgos has the style to beat Barboza but he didn’t have the skill or the SPEED.

What a wild way this one ended too! I’ve never seen anything like it.

The doc is back again! I love it.

Viviane Araujo vs Katlyn Chookagian

I’m going to keep this short because I have such strong feelings about this fight and the decision. I also failed ONCE AGAIN to pick correctly in a Katlyn Chookagian fight. The only time I have been correct in one of her fights was when I took Valentina to beat her inside the distance.

I thought this one would come down to round two as one is a fast starter/slow finisher and the other vice versa. That’s what we got and I also thought the wrestling of Araujo would be the difference.

She took her down, almost choked her out, landed shots, and had her mounted for a while. This, of course, meant nothing to the Texas judges who gave Katlyn the second round after she landed some shots on the feet to close the frame.

Araujo really has to do something about her conditioning, though. She was gassed halfway through the second round. We were on Vivi at (+110) so to get screwed on a bad decision, we can’t feel that bad.

Betting for or against Chookagian is something I may never do again, though.

Rogerio Bontorin vs Matt Schnell

This was another opportunity to play a dog but Bontorin missed weight, took the fight on short notice and Schnell was coming off of an excellent performance against Tyson Nam.

We stayed away but in retrospect, a few bones on Bontorin wouldn’t have been the worst idea.

Beneil Dariush vs Tony Ferguson

Tony Tony Tony has done it again. Three consecutive losses for Tony Ferguson and it is hard to argue that he has much of a future fighting inside the UFC’s top ten any longer, maybe even the top 20.

Ferg is a guy who pushes his body harder than anyone else. He also doesn’t know how to quit. It’s just not there. Think about a guy like Conor McGregor. He has infinitely more skill than Tony Ferguson but Tony has infinitely more will.

Conor quits all the time. When he starts to fade, he just faded. The fight is over. He fell and covered against Dustin Poirier because he knew his leg was shot. The average logical person would say, hey he was smart and that makes sense.

I understand that but these guys aren’t average logical thinkers.
Logic is long gone. They have to believe that they are the very best in the world to even think about competing at this level. Tony believed and probably still does that he would beat Khabib 10/10 times.

Tony is built differently. Seeing him grimace so badly while he was getting his knee shredded in the heel hook by Benny Dariush was so much more cringe than seeing Jacare’s arm break. I don’t know why but it hurt me to see that.

As for the fight, we were Fading Ferguson and on Benny back in March at even money and also tipped him out last week to win a decision at (+140). Both hit and this fight was a major success for both Benny Dariush and us.

Charles Oliveira vs Michael Chandler

What a fight! I went with the underdog, Chandler, here because I thought he had a stronger will than his opponent but we never really got to see that tested and that’s okay.

Chandler dropped him in the first and was one clean punch away from getting the stoppage victory.

I said the main event could go either way and would be wild. It was. Unfortunately, we weren’t on the winning end of it but parabens or congratulations to Charles Oliveira.

11 years and over 25 fights inside the Octagon and he finally wins a world title.

Betting Night
6 wins/3 losses
3 unit profit
33.3% ROI

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Preview

I am not going to be rapid firing picks at you guys today from the upcoming fight card on Saturday from Vegas.

I like a couple spots but honestly, the theme seems to be loser vs loser.

I’m not calling these fighters losers but most have lost their last fight and there are a couple of loser leaves town fights with combatants who have dropped several in a row.

I respectfully have to work harder on these fights before I start telling you where to throw your money. There are a couple of favorites I feel good about but they are juiced to the gills already. The main event between Cody Garbrandt and Rob Font should be a lot of fun and the line reflects a pick’em at the moment.

Let me get into the lab and get back to you guys with some solid betting plays for the upcoming UFC Fight Night from Las Vegas.

In Conclusion

Last week was a success and we needed it coming off of our first losing week in a long time. The past 7 months have been incredible for us. For bettors who wager 1 unit per fight, we are up 36% on your investment picking close to 175 fights in that time.

We have still profited over 10 units over the past 3 events and that is with our losing week.

This past weekend was reassuring to my confidence levels because the 9 fights we picked were virtually all pick’ems if you include the (+100) odds we got on Benny Dariush back in March. Picking 9 50/50 bets over 8 fights could go terribly wrong.

Please Note:
I was just hoping to break even so winning 6 of 9 made me feel good. Then, with two questionable decisions and Chandler almost knocking out Charlie in the first round, it could have been our second 9 unit profit in the past 3 weeks.

As for this week, ugh, it looks uglier than the last. I am going to get waist-deep in these murky waters, though, for you guys and see if we can’t sift our way to another profitable week. Feel free to throw in some early bets now – but be sure to check our more in-depth analysis throughout the week for more details on the predictions.


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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.

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