UFC on ESPN 8 Betting Picks: Eryk Anders vs Kryzysztof Jotko

Both fighters come into this contest with 4 losses.

Eryk is still pretty green to the sport of mixed martial arts and may still be improving.

  • He was a National Championship winning linebacker at the University of Alabama so we know he’s a great athlete.

He’s good but I don’t think he will ever be great.

We can say the same for Jotko.

  • He is quite technical but lacks the power in his strikes and the offensive wrestling ability to be a dominant fighter.

These two were originally scheduled to fight in April so neither is on short notice and they are competing at their normal weight class of 185 pounds.

Well, Eryk just moved down to middleweight before his last fight but I think this is more natural for his frame.

He is 6’1 and kinda stocky from his football days.

Jotko is the same height but lanky and the Pole will enjoy a 2-inch reach advantage in the arms but Eryk will have a couple in the legs.

The UFC’s light heavyweight division is dominated by fighters 6’3” or taller.

The size of a fighter’s frame is a big deal!

I am always preaching this, guys.

Yes, you need some muscular development in order to compete in professional mixed martial arts.

When you overdo it, though, you limit the size of your gas tank and more importantly, you have to compete against fighters with bigger frames.

Bones don’t get tired.

Always check their frames.

A perfect example is Tyron Woodley. He was on top for a bit and bucking the trend, actually, mostly because of his wrestling base and how explosively powerful he was but when he ran into Kamaru Usman…

The Nigerian Nightmare looked like he was 10 pounds bigger than T-Wood, even though he likely wasn’t. It was his naturally larger bone structure that helped him dominate and embarrass Woodley for five LONG rounds.

Eryk Anders made the right move going down to middleweight.

That’s a 20-pound jump, though, so I know he has had to make some sacrifices.

Jotko has been pretty successful in the UFC if you just look at his record of 8-4 with the promotion.

The level of many of his opponents is simply not great, though.

After winning 5 of his first 6 with the promotion, he got a step up in competition against David Branch. He lost that one by split decision.

Jotko would be TKO’ed in his next two fights by former Xtreme Couture teammates Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares.

The UFC then threw him a couple more bones.

Why they did this is up for debate.

If they wanted him out of there, they would have matched him up with someone like Edmen Shahbazyan who would shut his lights off pretty quickly.

We are going to come back to that Brad Tavares fight in a minute.

Betting odds for this contest are provided by Bovada.lv.

Let’s make our predictions for Krzysztof Jotko vs Eryk Anders at UFC on ESPN 8.

Krzysztof Jotko (-160) vs Eryk Anders (+130)

I really think this is a pick’em fight.

Therefore, the value lies with the former linebacker, Anders.

It is worth noting that they are both southpaws.

This means the jab becomes a more important punch than these guys are used to.

In a lefty vs righty striking match, the lead sides kinda cancel themselves out and it becomes more about rear attacks.

Jotko has a more effective jab and a longer reach.

Eryk picked this game up late and with his athleticism, he could still be improving.

The books are telling us that this one is going to the judges.

(-165) for this one to go the distance.

You don’t normally have to pay this kind of juice for this wager in the middleweight division.

Eryk Anders has some power in his hands.

Jotko does back up with his chin in the air. If he is still doing this when his butt hits the cage, Eryk will catch him with an overhand.

I told you to remember that Brad Tavares TKO’ed Jotko.

Well, Eryk, on paper, is pretty much Brad Tavares with the height, age, reach, not a wrestling base but well-rounded, good but not great power.

Cardio can be a concern here, though.

I  do rank Gerald Meerschart above Jotko in the clinch and grappling department.

That’s who Eryk just beat in a split decision in his last fight.

I like the stronger fighter to win the clinch battle and possibly catch and hurt his opponent but a win will do.


In Conclusion

This is going to be a close fight, maybe even a split decision.

Normally, I would encourage you to stay away from a fight like this but I do like the line on Eryk Anders.

If you think it’s going to be close and have a slight lean one way, check the odds.

If your guy is (+130) or better, I say gamble a bit.

If you’re only correct half the time, that is still a 15% return on your investment.

Say you make this bet 4 times winning twice.

You’ve wagered 400.00 and now you have 460.00.

Any ROI in the double digits over time is good enough to start making money.

We have been doing a good job in that department and even though we were only 4-2 on Wednesday night, we managed a 37% ROI.

I am starting to turn a corner handicapping fights by picking and winning more underdog plays.

Don’t be mad if this one doesn’t hit.

We have to think long game.

If you’re in it for the action or the thrill, that’s perfectly fine. I want to help everyone win but don’t expect much action in this one.

I think half the fight could take place against the side of the Octagon.

Both men are now weighed in and the fight is official.

Get your bets in now!

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.