Monday MMA Mashup – UFC July 26

Monday Mashup Dillashaw Vs Sandhagen

Wow, what an event that was!

The headline that immediately came to my mind after the show was “One of the most exciting fight cards in recent memory tainted by the worst night of judging ever”. If you watched the entire card or at least the 3 fights that I am mentioning, then you get it.

Minus Jordan Williams looking flatter than a pancake as well as outsized after he moved down 15 pounds from 185 to Welterweight and Darrick Minner quitting after 6 minutes, we should have had an incredible night.

Heck, don’t even minus those two betting flops and our return on investment betting 1 unit per play would have been over 70%. I, along with the ENTIRE MMA community, are baffled still as to what the judges were thinking.

Maybe we need more of these so that the athletic commissions clean up their acts but it sure is frustrating when you nail a prediction from the who, the how, and the when and still lose. I have a problem with authority and Patrica Jorman or Sal D’Amato or Chris Lee or any of those other blankety blanks are controlling how much money my readers and myself make.

Fights have to be judged and if they used a computer to do it, I think it would be even worse. If you haven’t trained these martial arts extensively as well as mixed martial arts as a whole for years, then you have less than a clue about what is going on.

I’m sorry to burst all the bubbles out there of the folks who think they know but they just don’t. 9 times out of 10 getting a kick checked hurts far more than absorbing a leg kick, especially if it is above the knee. TJ Dillashaw was nearly doubled up on strikes in both the 4th and 5th rounds. He clearly won the second round while TJ clearly won rounds 1 and 3.

The fight was close if it was scored as a whole but even then, do you give it to the guy who needed 15 or more stitches to close up his eye and likely surgery to repair ligaments that Cory popped in a submission or to the guy who held the other against the cage for a few minutes of each round?

I really thought that the judging was coming around. Lately, they have been scoring fights for the fighter who did more damage as opposed to the one who controlled the Octagon for the majority of the round.

Well, they threw all of that evolution and progress clean out the window on Saturday night. It was absolutely disgusting because they are stealing half of a fighter’s pay and giving it to the one who didn’t deserve it.

Let’s quickly review our betting performance from Saturday’s exceptional card as well as look ahead to my guy Sean Strickland and Uriah Hall in the main event for this Saturday’s Fight Night Las Vegas card from the Apex. The betting odds we will reference today are from BetOnline.AG unless otherwise noted.

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Recap

Jordan Williams

It sounds like an excuse but it isn’t. I will take this one on my tiny little chin. We had never seen Jordan Williams fight at Welterweight before or at least not at this level.

Betting him as a favorite was a reach to begin with.

Just before the fight when Bruce was announcing the fighters, I saw maybe not fear but certain nervousness in the eyes of Jordan Williams and Mickey Gall who certainly doesn’t have a tiny chin, looked as confident as ever.

Williams was flat and pushing his punches while Mickey remained loose and still had more power. Ugh, it would be nice to have that one back and I apologize. I was clearly trying to steal that one and we got caught.

Congrats to Mickey Gall and we missed a golden opportunity to cash on him as an underdog.

Darrick Minner

Let’s just get these L’s out of the way. This was another attempt at a steal and we again failed. I think I need to just stop doing that. Darren Elkins had lost essentially 5 fights in a row and has the mileage of a 45+ year old man but fighting is more mental than physical and he proved that once again.

Darrick Minner must be on that McGregor FAST conditioning program because just like Conor, he had about 6 or 7 minutes max in the tank and then he quit. My reasoning was this guy is with a new coach and mature now that he is 30+ and will fight with a better game plan as he did against Charles Rosa in his last matchup.

Minner had 40 fights before he made this move to train with James Krause and 2 since then. One was an early finish so we didn’t really get to see if he developed the conditioning, fight IQ, and mental strength but once a quitter always a quitter and I don’t just mean in the fight because as the late great Vince Lombardi said ”Fatigue makes cowards of us all”.

He, like McGregor, probably doesn’t push himself hard in training or else they would have more than 6 minutes of gas. I am just the critic here, I know, but they are 145 and 155 pound fighters, respectively, who don’t have a ton of muscle on their frames so there is no excuse to have cardio and/or muscle endurance that bad.

Minner dominated the first round but then went for a guillotine against a guy who has been subbed once in his entire lengthy high level career. I just spoke with a colleague and he had talked to Krause this morning and James said that Minner did not follow the game plan at all.

I shouldn’t be shocked as he has fought one way for 95% of his career and I chose to rely on the 5% instead. Okay, I am getting nauseous now so we will move on.

Nassourdine Imavov

Starting to feel better now. I was on this guy to beat Ian Heinisch months ago and I made a good chunk myself and my friends made thousands. This was a young Kenny Smith level slam dunk.

I thought he should have been at the very least a 70/30 favorite but the books had him at 35%! For some reason, they CANNOT get an Ian Heinisch fight correct.

Going back to his UFC debut, he was a (+150) or so underdog to beat both Antonio Carlos Jr and Cezar Ferreira. He was losing those fights but his conditioning and mental strength proved too much for the Brazilians and he got the victories.

This is when they went on FULL TILT and have been ever since.

Next up was one of the best takedown artists in the game, Derek Brunson. Derek does gas, though, and that is how Ian beat the Brazilians. They don’t have the wrestling chops as the All American Brunson, though.

Please Note:
Derek did gas in the third like he always does but he was already up 2-0 so he got the nod from the judges. Heinisch has attributes but lacks skill. We were on Derek here and cashed bigtime.

Then, Omari Akhmedov, another superb takedown artist who gasses in the third round. Cool, we were on him too but not the books. They made Ian the favorite once more albeit a smaller one but still.

Omari won rounds one and two and then cruised.

Then, Ian fights Gerald Meerschaert, someone he matches up with incredibly well; a BJJ guy with bad striking and bad takedowns. Heinisch was only (-140) for that fight and he knocked G cold in the first.

A lot of people cashed on that one.
Then came a fight with Kelvin Gastelum, a strong wrestler but with very good striking. He gave the champion, Israel Adesanya, a hard time so what was Ian gonna do? Nada. He got schooled. Opening the line at just (-190), though, was a mistake because a lot of smart bets cashed that night as well, including us.

So, when they made him the favorite against Nas and then the dumbest money of all time rolled in on Ian, I thought wow, what a gift! (+145) for Imavov when he should have been (-250) eventually felt creepy to me because pops has always told me that if it seems too good to be true…

Imavov dominated the fight and finished Heiny in the second. Ah, a win. That was nice.

Puna Soriano

I knew this was a dangerous pick but I thought he could floor Brendan Allen who had just been TKO’ed by another pressure puncher with less power two fights prior.

Soriano connected with a lot of shots early but they lacked accuracy and most missed the chin of Allen who to his credit, kept it tucked nicely. Soriano was covering with both hands compromising the defense for his entire body to protect his head and sometimes this is a good idea.

Against a power puncher, I get it but he should have been ready and willing to trade with Brendan because he had the power advantage but he didn’t. He was covering with both hands from a BJJ or well rounded fighter’s, I should say, JAB.

Yes, the weakest weapon (as far as power is concerned) of his opponent had Puna compromising his entire body. From there, it was easy pickens for the longer fighter, Allen, to land some crisp body kicks that only made the Hawaiian gas sooner.

Puna landed and if Allen would have fallen then we would feel really smart. He didn’t, though, and I feel kinda silly. You can’t expect Puna to be perfect, though, at just 8-0.

And why would he make adjustments if he never lost?

I think he will now but guys have to learn that it isn’t a boxing match. Anytime I could get people to react to my jab, I knew it was going to be a good day for me.

Miranda Maverick

I won’t get too angry here. I promise.

This was one of the worst decisions, though, that I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot. There still hasn’t been one person I have talked to, including people who won money on Maycee, that thought this was a good decision.

Miranda wins rounds one and two as clear as day. Then, she puts it on cruise and Maycee comes hard in the third round and The Future wins the final stanza. Cool. I was already celebrating as I imagine every last Mav back was as well. Then, the unthinkable…

Whenever you hear Sal D’Amato scores it…, you know there is going to be a problem. I don’t know if he is simply mentally challenged, that’s okay PC freaks? cool. Either that or he is as crooked as Lombard Street in San Francisco.

I won’t waste your time any longer.

The fight went exactly as I thought it would but judges are crooks and/or incompetent. It’s that simple.

Cory Sandhagen

Okay, I am going to write an article here in a few minutes covering this fight in detail so we won’t get into it that deep today.

I thought Cory was overvalued where he was at (-200) and the fight reflected that so okay, good start. TJ came out strong with a smart gameplan of mixing in some grappling. He won the first round but he got lazy getting out of a leg lock and his knee popped.

It was serious enough that he told his corner and they were very concerned. Then, in the second round, Cory landed a fierce hook that split TJ’s eye so bad that I texted a co-worker and said “Fight’s over”.

Thank goodness for Herb Dean, though, because he let it go even though TJ had blood all in his eye and surely couldn’t see. We had the over 3.5 for (+145) and Cory by decision at an astounding (+450) to win decision. So, I wasn’t mad.

Herb, do your thing.

TJ babied the knee in round two and it was 1-1 going into the third. TJ came back strong after his corner told him he was being lazy and not to think about the knee. After that, though, it was all Cory Sandhagen.

TJ started round 4 well and was landing leg kicks all night but they never slowed down the movement of the Colorado native. How do I know this? Well, he was still circling and evading 80% of the punches from TJ who has always been able to cover distance with the best of them.

He did that until the final bell also. TJ was stealing a minute or two per round holding Cory up against the side of the Octagon and not even trying to get the takedown or land any significant strikes at all.

Some people said it came down to scoring control over damage but to me, Cory not only inflicted way way more damage in the fight but he also controlled the Octagon because he won the footwork battle all night long.

Fights are scored round by round so even though the total numbers were similar, it wasn’t close because there was never any particular round that was in question. They were all pretty clear to me.

Our only threat to the over 3.5 not hitting was the fight being stopped from the cut so that hit and it made for a profitable main event regardless of who was announced the winner.

I didn’t feel very confident going to the judges’ scorecards because of how atrocious those fools had been throughout the evening prior to the main event.

I really wanted the Cory by decision to hit, though, for you guys but for WHATEVER REASON, it didn’t and even though I was spot on about everything, it still put me on tilt and with my girlfriend watching Netflix, I was left to social media and all of my friends complaining about the decision.

It was an excellent fight where the fights just got better and better until the main event. TJ is such a warrior! And one quick critique of Cory. He never threw many leg kicks and it was like he threw even fewer after TJ’s knee blew out.

That could have led to an earlier end and maybe we wouldn’t have cashed either ticket but I think just a few would have made the difference for him.

Great fight anda great night still!

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas Betting Preview

Chris Daukaus

I like the heavyweight with lightning fast hands to continue his push here but no official pick just yet. I will be honest with you guys. I am still reeling from Saturday if you couldn’t tell already.

Speed kills and as long as Chris can keep this one standing, it is his fight to lose.

Sean Strickland

My guy! I love this dude. If you are a fan of fighting and you aren’t following Sean Strickland on social media, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.

I told you. He is a pure of a psychopath as you’re ever going to find but he is a cage fighter and he owns it like no other.

That is why I love him!

I love his chances to beat Uriah Hall and Hall is a great striker but historically has struggled with pressure fighters and that is Sean.

He may get KO’ed in the process but he is NOT going to stand at range and give Uriah time to set something up.

In Conclusion

What a night it was! Congrats to the winners even if the judges are idiots. Raulian Paiva, Maycee Barber, and TJ Dillashaw all fought with an incredible amount of heart,

Sometimes that is enough to make the difference.

I was hoping for an immediate rematch of Cory and TJ but it sounds like the UFC has other plans that were already in place. Hmmm…

As for next week, guys, I am working on some gold for you. We will be sifting for the next day or two and I promise I won’t try to steal anything this time but unfortunately.

I can’t promise the judges are going to have their belongings together or that they ever will.

It baffles me beyond belief that you have the second most popular sport in the whole world, soon to be the first, and more than half of the fights are decided by people who have absolutely positively zero idea what they’re doing. Okay, no mas! On to the next one!!!


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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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