The UFC is coming off of a rare two-week break as we are headed to South Carolina for Fight Night 154 from Greenville.
Recapping UFC 238 from the first of the month, Henry Cejudo came back from an atrocious first round where we saw him getting beat down pretty bad by Marlon Moraes early on.
The Brazilian has impeccable timing and he found it rather early on.
That is until the Olympic Gold Medal winner Cejudo simply did what you do to guys with great timing.
You simply don’t give them time.
Easier said than done, of course, but Cejudo began walking him down with a Mexican boxing style very similar to what Floyd Mayweather did to Conor McGregor in their match a couple of years ago.
This changed everything and once Moraes started feeling the pressure up top, Henry went in for the takedown and finished him with ground and pound a couple of rounds later.
We have been on a roll with UFC picks and that was one at (+110).
Another nearly even money win was with Alexa Grasso. She convincingly won a unanimous decision over the Pole Kowalkiewicz.
Karolina just seems very very uninspired in there ever since or possibly before she was completely starched by the current champ, Jessica Andrade.
I would probably bet against her again in the future given the chance.
We won that one.
We got Tony Ferguson over Cowboy at (-135) and the under in Valentina Shevchenko’s fight at (-105).
Valentina easily finished Jessica Eye. We got the under for just (-105), which was a steal!
Our only loss was taking the under in the Tatiana Suarez fight with Nina Ansaroff. That was a bit foolish but the over was (-215), so I figured I would give it a shot.
Let’s keep the bank rolling this week in “Sao-cur-lyna”
The main card is headlined by a matchup of two very exciting finishers in the 145-pound division, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and Brazilian standout Renato Moicano.
Sung Jung has been involved in some of the greatest wars we have ever seen but he definitely isn’t all heart. I would say he is a top five striker in the division.
Moicano, though, maybe a shade more well-rounded but we will see.
That’s it for the big names on the card but that doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable betting odds available.
BetOnline has the goods this week, so let’s make some picks.
Jair Rozenstruik vs Allen Crowder
Allen Crowder’s only win came by way of illegal knee vs former Dallas Cowboys star Greg Hardy.
I really don’t have much faith in Crowder, to be honest with you. The matchmakers clearly keep giving the controversial former football star chances he doesn’t deserve and they wouldn’t have fed him Crowder if he was a highly skilled dangerous opponent.
I’ll take the relative unknown from Suriname in this one.
Ashley Yoder vs Syuri Kondo
Kondo is 1-2 in her UFC career and was previously a professional wrestler and model.
The UFC is always looking to put popular fighters out there and gain viewership all over the world.
This could definitely be one of those instances.
Ashley Yoder is a very good wrestler out of Dan Henderson’s camp.
What I like most about her is she is relentless with the game plan and sticks to her strengths.
Kondo does have a Karate background that could serve her well if Ashley can’t secure the takedown but I’ll take the competitive wrestler over the “professional” wrestler.
Anderson Dos Santos vs Andre Ewell
The Brazilian Dos Santos has just one fight for the organization and he lost. I like him in this matchup, though, as it is a classic striker vs grappler.
Most of Ewell’s best work is done at range but Dos Santos is tough enough to take one or two in order to secure the takedown.
From there, he may not need to do it again as he has Andre outclassed on the ground more than Ewell has an advantage on the feet.
Andrea Lee vs Montana De La Rosa
Okay, striker vs grappler again but this time I might have to go with the striker.
I say that because I feel she is the better overall fighter but more specifically, the much better athlete.
Andrea Lee is very explosive. Not only will she use that along with her higher level of striking to win the war on the feet but also get up off the bottom should she get taken down by the wrestling-heavy De La Rosa.
Lee is a Karate-based striker which means she is best at distance and controls it very well.
I think most of the contest will be decided at range with Lee winning a decision.
Luis Pena vs Matt Wiman
Okay, I’ve heard some folks saying that Wiman is another bum being fed to the “Violent Bob Ross” Pena.
I’ve been around the game for a while and Matt Wiman is no bum.
He is coming off of a 5-year layoff which is probably why the Denver-native is nearly a 3-1 dog.
At only 35, though, he is a live dog!
Looking at his resume, he was able to take down Cole Miller and defeat him.
Cole and Pena have virtually the same build and skill set.
I will give Ross the edge over Miller in striking, though, and athleticism which may be the difference here but I would have the odds much closer than they are.
Matt’s losses were mostly to good strikers but he’s a very strong guy and has an above average MMA IQ.
There’s also the fact that Pena struggles mightily to make weight at 6’3” tall and he missed last time. I can see him overly focused on the cut and/or going to hard to make the weight because he doesn’t want to do it again.
I could very well be wrong here but I’ll take the value and throw a few bucks on Wiman.
Renato Moicano vs Chan Sung Jung
Okay, main event time!
This is a tough one. I might have it a bit closer than 2 to 1, maybe 1.5 to 1.
Moicano has only lost to Brian Ortega whose ground game is on another level so I can understand that, and to Jose Aldo whose striking game is world class.
He has dispatched the up-and-coming Calvin Kattar, veteran Cub Swanson, and won a split decision against knockout artist Jeremy Stephens.
This shows he can defeat most styles, except maybe dominant wrestler but we don’t have to worry about that with the “Korean Zombie” who loves to strike.
Sung Jung is very good all-around but is a bit flashy.
Not that that’s a bad thing. I love it but when betting actual money, I will take the brilliant at the basics type and remember that consistency is your best friend.
Statistically, they are nearly mirrored and their reach is the same as well except for one thing.
The leg reach is 4 inches in favor of the Brazilian.
He loves the low kick and Sung Jung isn’t the high-level wrestler to snatch one and take him down with consistency or the power striker to counter with a massive overhand right.
I think the leg kicks take their toll by the third round and since this is the main event, the Korean will likely be slowed by his lead leg and end up eating more jabs and potentially get taken down easier.
Last week was a good one going 5-1.
I really like the matchups and value this week.
I’ll be honest, though, last week’s confidence was through the roof and it came to fruition.
This week will mostly be about fighters sticking to their respective game plans.
If they can do that and fight smarter, they won’t have to fight harder.
Crack a cold one this Saturday night and enjoy the action from South Carolina!