UFC Fight Night Betting Pick: Casey Kenney vs Louis Smolka

Here are a couple of gamers!

I am a fan of both guys.

Casey Kenney came through for me on the betting side of things twice and I think I am 1-0 picking against Smolka.

Kenney, as good as he is, is coming off of a loss in his last fight.

Merab Dvalihvili put it on him.

It was a bad clash of styles for Casey. Merab is an uber-strong Georgian fighter who has been training in Sambo, Judo, and Wrestling since he was a child.

Kenney is pretty twitchy. What I mean by that is he has an above average number of fast twitch muscle fibers opposed to slow twitch.

There’s a lot to this but basically, the fast twitch guys are, well, faster, and the slow twitch guys are slower…but more importantly, stronger.

If a predominantly slow twitch fighter is better at wrestling and top control than his fast twitch dominant opponent, you have a recipe for success more times than not.

Takedowns are more likely to happen than knockdowns.

Casey Kenney isn’t the type of fighter who relies on a knockdown to win him the fight but I think Merab was just too strong and polished in the takedown department for him.

His opponent, Louis Smolka, is a tall (5’9”), Hawaiian fighter whose bread and butter is hard to access because he lacks physicality and speed.

  • Louis has good submissions and a strong top game IF he can get on top.
  • Smolka has had 2 UFC runs.

He got his start with the company back in early 2014 at the ripe age of 22 years old.

After winning his first 5 of 6 fights with the UFC, Louis took a step up in competition.

Brandon Moreno, Ray Borg, Matheus Nicolau, and Tim Elliott…

4 losses later, Louis was handed his walking papers.

After rattling off three finishes in three different smaller shows, Louis returned with a big win over Su Madaerji.

He took him down and controlled the fight on the mat.

It was time to step it up once more and once again, Louis Smolka fell short, this time by triangle choke to Matt Schnell.

He most recently TKO’ed Ryan McDonald but that isn’t saying much and here we are.

BetOnline.AG has the betting odds for this fight. Let’s go ahead and get to our predictions for UFC Fight Night Las Vegas: Casey Kenney vs Louis Smolka.

Casey Kenney (-265) vs Louis Smolka (+225)

I would say let’s take Casey Kenney running away with it but the more I researched, the more I realized I may not have the perfect read on Louis Smolka.

The Hawaiin, Louis is still only 28 and has admitted to substance abuse issues in the past so his ceiling could be higher than once thought.

He just isn’t the best athlete, though, and lacks a wrestling base to get the fight to the ground.

Casey Kenney will have a significant speed advantage in this fight.

  • Kenney can win this one by using his quickness, footwork, and kicks from the southpaw stance.
  • I think he can also win by taking Smolka down, landing ground and pound, and staying out of submissions.

I do give Louis a little bit better chance than most people are on the feet. He’s still young, improving, and has loads of experience.

I don’t believe he has the takedown defense to stop Casey Kenney from imposing his will, though.

  • In a kickboxing match, I think Kenney edges Smolka 7 out of 10 times.
  • In a wrestling match, though, or better yet an MMA fight, I think Kenney takes Louis Smolka down whenever he wants.

Casey Kenney has a takedown accuracy rate of 80%!

Outlier?

I’ll show you an outlier.

Louis Smolka has defended 30% of his opponents’ takedown attempts!

Louis is slick with submissions but Casey has shown that he can survive and sometimes thrive on the ground with a larger submission specialist who is now a Featherweight, Manny Bermudez.

He didn’t even make weight for that fight. I was mad because I had taken Kenney.

Even against the larger man who was subbing all of his opponents, Kenney not only secured takedowns, he survived in top position and landed shots.

I didn’t bring it up earlier because Smolka isn’t small for Bantamweight (135) but in his first stint with the UFC, he competed at Flyweight which caps out at 125 pounds.

Kenney has shown the takedown prowess as well as the strong chin and submission defense he needs to win this fight.

His betting odds have gotten out of hand, though. Nobody wants to pay that kind of juice.

I normally prefer to use BetOnline.AG and they may release more odds the closer we get to the fights but I found something nice and shiny on 5dimes.eu.

Casey Kenney to win by decision is (-110).

My Picks
Kenney Wins a Decision
-265

He is nearly 3 to 1 to win and the fight has odds of 2.5 to 1 to go all three rounds. There will be some heavy scrambles but I think Louis will stay out of trouble.

Casey is also more of a speed guy than power on the feet.

Okay, I’ll shut up before I jinx it.

Parlay wise there are some good opportunities available.

Casey Kenney + Mackenzie Dern + Sean O’Malley + Amanda Ribas + Amanda Nunes. Place a bet of 100.00 to pay 325.00.

I feel very good about Casey Kenney. You could leave him off of there, though, if you like and still get (+132).

Parlay
Kenney + Dern + O’Malley + Ribas + Nunes
+132

Nunes is a lock. Sean O Malley is a lock. Mackenzie Dern is a 95% lock. I think Amanda Ribas is 90%.

I’m about 85 on Casey Kenney, though.

I think that’s enough to warrant this long-legged parlay.

In Conclusion

Casey Kenney is fast. His fight IQ is outstanding.

  • He is a southpaw.
  • Kenney has solid takedowns, top control, and submission defense.
  • His chin has held up this far.

One worry for Kenney is slowing down in the third, which does happen slightly, and getting caught on the button with his hands down.

Another threat, perhaps a bigger one also, is being bullied in there.

I don’t think Louis has the strength to do that. Kenney not only has faster hands but feet as well.

If he focuses on the latter, he will put himself into position to go for the takedown or land a strike. This will, in turn, bring the fight to him, and his cardio in the 3rd round should be stronger than normal.

I like Kenney here by decision. I know Smolka has been submitted recently but Kenney hasn’t tapped anyone out in the past 3 years.

Get those bets in now, guys, and enjoy the scraps on Saturday.

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.