UFC on ABC Betting Picks: Punahele Soriano vs Dusko Todorovic

Dusko! I like this kid! Not as a fan but as a capper and bettor, I like him. He isn’t indestructible so I know the powerful Punahele Soriano can catch him and probably put him out with a big shot.

Todorovic does keep his hands low and relies on head movement and simultaneous forward pressure as his best defense. He isn’t the type to sit back at range and try to dodge or block everything that comes his way.

I remember when I thought Muay Thai, real Muay Thai, traditional Muay Thai was about landing leg kicks, teeps, and jabs from full range. When I got out to Las Vegas, Chaz Mulkey told me pretty quickly that what I was doing was essentially kickboxing.

Why would someone sit on the outside like that?

Eventually, you’re going to break a toe and get a leg kick checked and then potentially break your foot and/or leg. Now, imagine if you didn’t have gloves on and how easily you could break your hands on your opponent’s head.

Playing this distance game isn’t so safe anymore without shin guards and especially with no gloves on. The human hand is not really built for punching and you can ruin your mitts pretty quickly if you just start slinging them with reckless abandon.

Chaz told me that real Muay Thai was developed to defend their country against invaders and you might use a punch or kick to get inside but from there, the point of Muay Thai is to obtain a dominant position in the clinch and knee and elbow your way to a KO or you can trip or throw your opponent to the ground. From there, it might be technically Muay Thai but in a life or death situation, you can just Wanderlei Silva soccer kick to the face for the finish. That’s your real Muay Thai lesson for the day. Of course, I realize that it is a sport and has evolved naturally into what it is today and that’s awesome but if you want to keep it OG, then maybe Muay Khao is your style.

That is how Dusko Todorovic fights. He presses forward, slips punches, obtains the clinch, establishes excellent head position, and goes to work from there. He could keep holding you, start to punch, elbow, and knee or drop down for the double or the single.

The body lock takedown is there with the inside and outside trips. You guys probably know all of this but Dusko is the type of fighter who never really comes out of his frame and that allows him to be able to throw a multitude of attacks from either side and/or maintain control of his opponent’s body.

I love Tudorovic’s mixed martial arts game. He mixes in his takedowns seamlessly and the man is undefeated. Whether or not he can get the physical Hawaiin specimen, Punahele Soriano, to the mat is still a mystery.

Soriano does have a very nice stance for defending takedowns with his hips back as far as possible. If you guys remember the fight between Cody Durden and Jimmy Flick on the last show of the year, Cody came out with such a strong stance, at least for defending the takedown.

I couldn’t believe how far the Flyweight fighter kept those hips back. It’s too bad he went for the takedown after catching a head kick and put himself into a flying Flick triangle. Dusko Tudorovic can take that stance completely out of the equation this weekend when we see the two men fight, hopefully.

Please COVID-19, leave this fight alone. Not only is it a fun matchup of two young undefeated stars, I think we have an excellent edge on the online sportsbooks with one of these fighters’ moneylines.

Let’s take a look at the betting odds for this fight brought to us by BetOnline.AG and make sure you bet directly from the link in this article. I’ve been following this fight and the betting line for a while and I am ready to make my play for Punahele Soriano vs Dusko Todorovic.

Dusko Todorovic (-157) vs Punahele Soriano (+137)

Todorovic is a beautiful fighter to watch. I love his game. Maybe he gets caught with his hands down but I think the pressure he puts on his opponents can mostly shut down those loaded counters.

Part of me wanted to wait on a couple other brains to bounce this pick off of and compare notes with a couple of my colleagues. I have heard some sharps that are on Punahele in this fight and I kinda understand why.

I think Dusko is a better overall fighter, though. The only reason I’m hearing from the Soriano backers is that Tdrorovic keeps his hands low and could be countered and knocked out by the Hawaiin.

Yea, I mean, sure. This could happen but I don’t think that kind of hope equals out to (+137). Maybe if he was (+187) or north of a 2 to 1 underdog, we could bet on him to get the KO.

What is the betting line for the method of victory for Puna to win by TKO?

I am seeing (+320) for a TKO win by the dog here. I really do not see Puna handling Dusko and winning a decision. Maybe he can get the KO if he catches Todo slipping. Maybe he sets him up with a punch that isn’t meant to land only to follow it with a live shin bone.

Yes, a live one! They are the most painful in my personal experience.

Please Note:
Dusko is the type of fighter who breaks people. I  just hope he doesn’t go into Saturday’s contest with Punehele Soriano and think he is going to break the Hawaiin or that he has to finish him.

That’s where he might get himself into trouble. Clinch and hold then throw some shots as you break the clinch but don’t keep on keeping on unless he is hurt badly. That way you can always stay one step ahead in the clinch and from what I have seen from the undefeated Serbian star, this is exactly how he likes to fight.

The Hawaiian doesn’t have any head kick KO’s to his name so far so maybe he can take advantage of the-get ready Edmond, HEAD MOVEMEEENT!!!!

I’m sorry. It may be beside the point and painful to think about but it is hilarious to listen to. Ronda had a crappy coach, man, and look at how successful she was for years!

Imagine how good she could have been if her sparring partners didn’t have to sign an agreement that they wouldn’t hit her. This may have just been a rumor but it was pretty evident to me when Holly and Amanda socked her that she really didn’t know how to react to that.

Yes, head movement. Ronda wasn’t so good at it but Dusko Todorovic is pretty solid. It is going to be difficult for Punahele to get enough time and space to throw and land a proper head kick. He doesn’t strike me as the quickest guy ever so I don’t think he will kick the Serbian in the head.

We are going to hit a few bets for this fight. I know you guys want to get some tickets going after such a long break. I know I do!

The Bets
Dusko Moneyline
-157
Fight goes to a Decision
-115
Dusko by Submission
+1000

In Conclusion

Those are my picks and I’m sticking to them!

I have been in love with the Dusko moneyline for weeks now so I might as well tip it. I believe we already did in a preview blog a couple of weeks back and may have gotten a cheaper price.

It doesn’t look like his betting odds are going to shift any more than they have already, though, because I am still hearing hard arguments for both sides. I think people are really giving Puna too many outs than he deserves.

I don’t think he takes Dusko down and I don’t think he outpoints him either so to get any kind of value on Puna’s moneyline, you have to be able to say that you think he wins 6 out of 10 times if these two should hook up em over and over.

Maybe you could sneak in a bet on Puna if you think this is a 50/50 fight. You might have a 4% edge on the online sportsbooks but that’s it.

I saw bet Todo by submission for a 10 to 1 payout! Sure, nobody has submitted Puna but he hasn’t fought a grappler with an overall mixed martial arts game as well rounded as Todo’s.

There is almost a first time for everything and Saturday night could be the first time Punahele Soriano has to make the choice inside the Octagon to tap or nap.

For our bet to pay, either will do.

Get your bets in now and enjoy the scraps on Saturday night!

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.