Before we get into the matchup between Gerald Meerschaert and Khamzat Chimaev, let’s pose a question.
Let’s work our way back from last week.
Julia Avila, who was more than a 3 to 1 favorite against a woman who matched up well with her, Sijara Eubanks, lost convincingly to the boxing BJJ Blackbelt.
I won’t berate him too badly because I did pick and bet on the guy to get the finish in his last 3 fights.
It didn’t go his way, of course, against Marlon Chito Vera and honestly, I think O’Malley’s star power took a gigantic hit.
Not because he lost his first fight in a massive step up in competition against a streaking Vera who is a bad matchup for him.
But because he refuses to accept it.
This boy needs to go to Thailand. They will not only harden up his soft little feet but put his soul through the grinder and push him to the point where he has to accept or his mind will be forced to quit.
Up to you…
As the Thais love to say.
Before Salty Sean, we had Edmen Shahbazyan.
I picked him too and I apologize. If it helps, I couldn’t go to sleep until 4:00 AM because I was so mad at myself for that “confident” pick.
There have been several more big ones that have blown up in the UFC’s face.
It doesn’t mean it’s over for these guys, though. They were hyped up for a reason(s).
They are talented athletes and martial artists with high ceilings.
Many times, it’s a matter when.
It is often too soon.
You would think that the UFC understands that maybe they shouldn’t break their toys as soon as they get them but mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world.
More toys are coming. There will be another Conor McGregor as crazy as that sounds.
Maybe not exactly like him but we are just in the infancy. Not even that.
We are barely larvae right now.
The game of football or soccer as we know it in the States has been played for more than 2,000 years.
Now think of how much a sport like basketball or mixed martial arts, for that matter, has evolved in such a short time.
Think 2,000 years from now.
Every several years in mixed martial arts a special fighter is born and by born I mean finds his or her way to the spotlight with a record of say 12-0.
This is where either the magnitude of the situation gets to them, it doesn’t and they look fantastic, or they are simply outclassed and more importantly, exposed for their next opponent to see.
Khamzat Chimaev is rumored to be that guy, a once in 3-5 years kind of prospect.
That is saying a lot now.
The last 3 years have brought us legit hype from Petr Yan, Alexander Volkanovski, Israel Adesanya, Paulo Costa, and Francis Ngannou.
Those are some big gloves to fill.
He hasn’t come remotely close to proving it but he hasn’t had the opportunity yet.
No matter what happens on Saturday night between Chimaev and his opponent, Gerald Meerschaert, he won’t walk out of there with my confidence that he will be a future champ.
I don’t think there is anything he can do to the mountainous Meerschaert to make me believe he could do the same thing to Kamaru Usman or Adesanya.
The betting odds for Chimaev haven’t gotten too far out of hand, actually. I really thought they would have blown up to a 7 or 8 to 1 favorite.
BetOnline.AG has those goods for us this week.
Let’s see where we can find the most value and pick the winner between Gerald Meerschaert and Khamzat Chimaev.
Khamzat Chimaev (-413) vs Gerald Meerschaert (+313)
Gerald Meerschaert will turn 33 years old later this year and has a record of 31-13 as a professional mixed martial artist.
Inside the Octagon, in particular, he is 6-5 but has only won 2 of his last 6 contests.
Meerschaert is pretty big for the middleweight division and a southpaw standing 6’1” tall with a reach of 77 inches.
It is important to note that this fight will be contested at middleweight, 185 pounds.
The UFC website is a mess like usual but Gerald is getting down to 170 pounds anyway.
Google says middleweight and it makes sense, so we will go with that.
Khamzat’s first fight inside the Octagon against Great Britain’s John Philips was at middleweight and his second contest that came just 10 days later when he cut 15 more pounds to make 170 and defeat Rhys Mckee.
Born in Chechnya, Russia and now fighting out of All Stars MMA alongside Alex Gustafsson in Stockholm, Khamzat Chimaev is just 26 years old and only 8-0 in his young mixed martial arts career.
It’s how he is beating them.
The hype jobs that haven’t yet lived up to it that I mentioned in the opener are all strikers who rely upon either power, timing, precision, and speed.
Well, guess what, when a fighter with the style of Khamzat Chimaev grabs a hold of you, none of that matters.
A lifetime of training rendered meaningless in just a couple of seconds…
That can not only be devastating physically but mentally as well.
I haven’t spoken much up to this point about Gerald Meerschaert so I will go a little more in depth.
He isn’t a dangerous striker or even that skilled on his feet. He isn’t fast either.
Gerald is also coming off of a knockout loss to Ian Heinisch.
Meers doesn’t threaten with the takedown at the high level because he doesn’t have the wrestling base to get the fight to the ground.
If he did, he would be a top 10 or even 5 fighter because his Jiu Jitsu is excellent.
I don’t know how excellent Gerald is going to feel, though, when he has that Russian bear raining down leather on his face.
Khamzat by finish is (-170). That is kinda pricey for a method victory bet.
He has plus money for both a submission and a TKO, though.
A round two win for Chimaev would pay (+425) opposed to the first round win at (+150).
I think the guy is good and he has a dominant style but Gerald is a big boy and a good grappler.
I can see him hanging on for a while possibly until the final bell.
The over 1.5 is even money and this is a massive step up for the Chechnyan fighter.
I went with the over here not because I don’t believe in Khamzat enough to pick him but his moneyline odds are ridiculous and he is almost a 2 to 1 favorite to finish the fight inside of 15 minutes.
Chimaev’s first two opponents were not very good and the second guy was skinnier than me and somehow a welterweight.
You can give us that much, bro.
Heck, he might surprise some people because he will probably be bigger than the All Star MMA product.
Get your bets in now, guys, and enjoy the several pivotal fights we have on the card for Saturday night.