The Dana White Contender Series continues this week with several fun matchups including the UFC’s first fighter from Tajikistan to compete on Dana White’s Contender Series.
I don’t know too much about the guy but he is a big favorite at 4 to 1.
Muhammadjon Naimov should get the job done but not surprisingly, I’m uninterested in his betting odds.
We also get our first look at Danyelle Wolf, a former Team USA amateur boxer. She is a physical specimen. Let me tell you…
Here’s a look at the weigh-ins and face-offs.
Did you see the shoulders on her?
She is getting a bit of a late start in the sport of mixed martial arts at the age of 37 but we wouldn’t be betting on her to be a world champion.
Danyelle just needs to take care of Taneisha Tennant who is no slouch, though, and undefeated as an amateur as well as a pro MMA fighter.
With Danyelle never having a pro mixed martial arts fight before, the betting line is still affordable if you want a play on Wolf.
We have a 6’5” welterweight in action.
If you guys finished that weigh-in video, you saw how big that dude is.
His opponent, Michael Lombardo, though, is pretty thick and quite well trained down in South Florida at American Top Team.
Gregory Rodrigues is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu powerhouse from the fighting jungle city of Manaus. He is fighting Jordan Williams. This will actually be Jordan Williams’ third time competing on Dana White’s Contender Series.
He won one but popped positive for the Tegridy weed and then most recently, he dropped a split decision to Ramazan Kuramagomedov. I’m not familiar with Rama but his name ends with a V so chances are, he doesn’t suck.
Kyle Driscoll is another strong fighter who is an affordable favorite.
That might be our theme of the week.
Last week was freaking awesome!
I put 5 units on my boy Sherrard Blackledge at plus money against a very dangerous and durable opponent. We got that unanimous decision and the clean win.
Unfortunately for Blackledge, he didn’t get the contract but Dana invited him back for more fun in a couple of months. He will get in there.
The online sportsbook BetOnline.AG is once again leading the way in the mixed martial arts market. Let’s take a look at the UFC betting odds and picks for Dana White’s Contender Series.
Danyelle Wolf (-130) vs Taneisha Tennant (+101)
Take another look at that weigh-in video and focus on the size of Danyelle Wolf. She is a specimen! 5’11”! That is 3 inches taller than the UFC’s Featherweight World Champion, Amanda Nunes.
Danyelle is not skinny either. She is a good 4 inches taller than her opponent, New York City’s Taneisha Tennant. Wolf is bigger too.
I am hearing most of my colleagues saying to stay away from this fight because of all of the unknowns. I get it but she is only (-130). It’s not like she’s a hype train chugging along as a 3 or 4 to 1 favorite.
If this fight stays standing, Wolf is going to maul her.
She has trained at all-star camps I would say for her entire career but this is just her first professional MMA fight.
Danyelle has been boxing for most of her life, though, including competitions in multiple world championships for Team USA at 152 pounds.
Taneisha just fought at 135 pounds. She is winning but it is mostly with her striking.
Unless her kicks are fellow New Yorker Uriah Hall-level, then I don’t see her winning this fight.
I watched Tennant fight and she is a good fighter. She has great size for both 135 and 145 but as bigger and better athletes, particularly women, filter into the 145-pound division, we will start to see more natural 145ers competing inside the Octagon.
Even the UFC Women’s Featherweight World Champion, Amanda Nunes is more of a natural 135er.
She has plenty of extra weight around her gut at 145 and up until this point in her career, it hasn’t mattered because she has been that much better than everyone.
Other than Megan Anderson, Wolf towers over every other woman in the UFC.
She trains at incredible camps. She has trained extensively in Thailand as well but I expect her to get this one done with her hands.
Taneisha is an action fighter like Danyelle so not only do I love Wolf at (-130) but the prop for this fight not to go to a decision at plus money sounds wonderful.
These aren’t 115-pound women fighting.
Gregory Rodrigues (-140) vs Jordan Williams (+110)
Here is another closely lined fight that I don’t think should be.
Jordan Williams as I mentioned in the opener is competing now in his third Contender Series event. He really wants it, man. You have to give it to him.
Jordan is a natural welterweight fighter at 170 pounds and he just weighed in at 181.
That worries me tremendously because whenever you see someone weigh-in more than say 2 pounds under the weight limit, it likely means that they didn’t cut any weight at all.
You can usually tell by looking at them but they either overcut which does not happen often because we have the technology and it’s not that difficult to match your scale up with the official one.
Weighing in underweight by several pounds usually means you didn’t cut at all. Pair that with the fact that he has competed at 170 pounds in the past and we have a size disadvantage.
Hey, you never know. The Brazilian might be soft. Not today.
Neither fighter has a ton of pro experience.
Grego is 7-2 with a couple of losses early in his career and Williams is 8-3 who lost his most recent fight about a year ago on the Contender Series.
I see Rodrigues going out there and imposing his will on Williams. He is bigger with good takedowns. That is usually a recipe for some top control.
Whether he gets the sub or the ground and pound finish, I don’t know, but I do love the value on Rodrigues’s betting line.
Gregory Rodrigues + Danyelle Wolf: +203
I love these two fighters on this week’s Contender Series.
The betting payout is pretty awesome too!
Pick: Rodrigues + Wolf
Kyle Driscoll + Michael Lombardo: +150
I know. I know… Parlaying fights on Dana White’s Contender Series is somewhat foolish. We aren’t doing that bad so far, though.
2-1 on parlays on this season of the show and 4-2 on straight picks. Our return on investment over 6 weeks of Contender Series plays is 42%. I’m happy with that but believe me, every loss is learnable and that remains a daily focus of mine.
Even if I have already “learned” from a loss, I still remind myself why and how I can improve the next time around. That is a big difference from beating yourself up which is almost always a bad idea.
I’m not saying to focus on positive reinforcement if you’re out of control but you get it. As long as the money you are playing with is just that, play money, you will be alright.
You can’t constantly worry about losing and the negative effects it has because there shouldn’t be that many negative effects.
- If you have to adjust your lifestyle in any way due to your sports betting, you might want to stop for a bit.
- If it means betting 10 or 20 bucks per fight for a while and building your bankroll back up the responsible way, then that’s what you should do.
Okay, not trying to lecture anyone but don’t get it twisted. We are playing with fire.
Just like you see some city, state, and world leaders enforcing more and more rules that strip citizens’ freedom, gambling can get out of hand quickly as well. Power is a drug and these world leaders have never been so high. Take that for what you will but it’s true.
The rush you get from sports betting can be a drug as well so we have to be responsible, guys.
Okay, no more lectures for today.
Kyle Driscoll trains at a great camp at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California.
This gym has produced multiple UFC World Champions including Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Nuff said, right?
His opponent, Dinis Paiva, has faced better competition but he also has more losses on his record. You won’t see too many 13-7 fighters on the Contender Series so you know Paiva has some skills.
Driscoll is going to have a pretty decent size advantage as he is 3 inches taller and appears to be every bit as thick.
Paiva has fought at 135 before.
With his opponent, the higher-rated prospect being a lot bigger and the likely better wrestler, I have to fade Dinis here. He is a gamer and will be dangerous but I think Driscoll gets this one with some bully work and top control.
Michael Lombardo is another top prospect like Driscoll except Lombardo is doing it across the country at another mixed martial arts super camp, American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida.
I read that Lombardo’s opponent, Korey Kuppe, is 5 inches taller at 6’5 but looking at the weigh-ins, I just don’t see it. There is maybe a 3-inch eight differential but that’s about it.
Looking at some of Kuppe’s fights, I did see where he got flying knee’d by a guy with a losing record and even more surprisingly, was able to land it on such a taller opponent.
Kuppe is a sport Karate guy so he likes to stay on the outside and use a wide range of kicking attacks. He’s not fast or a great athlete, though, so many times Kuppe ends up looking for the body lock and takedown.
I don’t believe that is the best strategy against Lombardo who has a much better center of gravity and looks to be the stronger man from the weigh-ins.
My biggest concern here is Korey catching Michael with a big kick and hurting him.
Other than that, though, I think Lombardo can out strike Kuppe as well as take him down and win the fight with top control on the mat.
Pick: Driscoll straight play at (-170) and Lombardo straight as well at (-175) at one unit each. And parlay them also but only 1 unit.
There you have it, guys.
Another Contender Series for you.
This will be the last one for a couple of months but I think we will get back going in November. I hope the break isn’t extended any longer than that.
Picking, writing about, and betting the Contender Series has been a lot of fun over the past couple of months. I picked and won with two long-time training partners, Sherrard Blackledge and Jordan Leavitt.
- I really like the Danyelle Wolf play here the most. I think her hands, size, and physicality will be too much for her opponent.
- I love Rodrigues as well. I think he hulk style smashes his smaller opponent, Jordan Williams.
- Kyle Driscoll is another confident pick.
- I’m not crazy about the Lombardo play but I like his composure and his fight camp quite a bit.
Get your bets in immediately as these lines will keep moving up until the opening bell.