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Betting on UFC Fight Night 98: The Nitty Gritty for Mexico City

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It has been a while since MMA Latest has fattened up your pocket book, but have no fear. This week, the picks are back! Last time the site dropped some gambling knowledge on fans our plays went 3-2-1 leaving you up 1.2 units or +120. The year to date total stands at a solid +660 with only one losing week. Today we are taking a trip down South to historic Mexico City for UFC Fight Night 98. Make sure you have a cold Cerveza handy because things are about to get spicy.

Rashid Magomedov to beat Beneil Dariush -145

This is a solid play for a number of reasons. “Benny” trains at a solid gym (Kings MMA) with a great boxing coach in Rafael Cordeiro. That is partly why he has had a lot of eyes on him as of late, but he could be getting a little more praise than he deserves. At this time it is hard to look past his losses to Michael Chiesa and Ramsey Nijem. Those are still keeping him out of that elite echelon of the lightweight division. Unlike Dariush’s last opponent James Vick, Magomedov has a track record of sticking to his game plan which is fighting smart and not looking for openings that are not there. He also has “put you to sleep” power that we have only seen once inside the Octagon. The Russian is riding a six-year winning streak and handed 3 undefeated fighters their first loss since he has arrived in the promotion. The bookmakers were not fooled by the wins over a few big names on Dariush’s 13-1 record and you shouldn’t be either. The “Highlander” is the real deal but a lot of fans are just not familiar with him yet because he lacks notable names in the win column of his resume. That will be one there on Sunday morning.

Erik Perez to beat Felipe Arantes -215

Perez may be fighting in his home country but he may not have many people who he knows in attendance. “Goyito” is from Monterrey which almost 1000 miles away from the capital where the fight will take place. The crowd will be on his side but any distractions that would come with fighting in front of his family and friends should not be a concern here. Perez’s career got off to a rocky start losing several fights in Mexico and Texas. Since then he traveled across the pond to make a name for himself with BAMMA in England. Those fights landed him a spot on TUF 15. His win in the finals may have been controversial due to referee Kim Winslow’s blown stoppage call but that was no fault of his own. His only losses in his last 13 fights came against two fighters ranked in the top 15 at bantamweight, Bryan Caraway, and Takeya Mizugaki. It is worth noting that his loss to Mizugaki was a very close split decision that could have gone either way. Most of Arantes’ losses have come against world class fighters but not top 15 guys. Some might say that Arantes is the more battle-tested fighter that has had a tougher road to travel, but those tests also could have taken their toll on him. This fight means a lot to each fighter. Expect a slower paced fight that will either end late in the third round or go the distance. If you can find an over/under line set at 1.5 rds bet the over as well.

Joe Soto to beat Marco Beltran -110

We are going against the hometown guy here. One of Soto’s nickname might be “One Bad Mofo” but he ran into several guys that were “Badder Mofos” and lost 3 of his last 4. He snapped that losing in his last fight beating Chris Beal by submission. His other big win is over Terrion Ware. Both of those fighters were probably tougher test than “El Pyscho” will be. Joe should have the edge on the ground where Beltran has proven to be susceptible in the past. Add in that fact that nerves of fighting in your hometown have been known to get to guys from time to time and it is worth taking a chance on Joe “The Hammer’s” trek into hostile territory Saturday. Especially at -110.

Sam Alvey to beat Alex Nicholson -220

Nicholson’s record is 7-2. Not bad right. His amateur record was 3-6. He might not even belong inside the cage with “Smilin'” Sam. -220 is obscenely low. Nicholson is a tough guy and has a great chin so it might not be a clean KO, but it should be a beating. Jump on it at this price. The only reason that this is not our double down lock of the night is because of Avley somewhat spotty record and Nicholson’s power.

Douglas Silva de Andrade to beat Henry Briones -160

We got a guy who is 23-1 versus a fighter with 5 losses, four of which happened on the Mexico’s regional scene, and we don’t have to lay 2 to 1. Double down time! Andrade did lose his first UFC contest, however, there is a long list of guys who lose their first fight in the UFC. He has already rebounded with a decision win. That was only his fifth fight to go the distance. There is a lot of fighters that have come out of Brazil with impressive records but they usually have a grappling based style and a lot of submission wins. “D’Silva” has recorded 18 KO’s and a lot of them were from kicks or knees. The guy is just plain dangerous with all 6 point of his body. Briones has only been KO’d once. From what you ask? If you guessed a kick, you were correct.

It is always hard to not bet the main and co-main events, but on this card, they are both coin flip fights. It is going to be in your best interest to avoid them despite how you stand when the time comes. The lines are close but not as close as they should be. The “gun to my head” pick in the headliner is RDA, but based on his last performance and “El Cucuy’s” record the confidence level is not high enough. It the co-main event Oliveria missing weight by so many pounds was a curve ball. You should take the hypothetical lead to the head before you bet that one either way.

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MMA Latest’s UFC 216 Betting Preview

Harry Davies

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The UFC returns to the fight capital of the world, as the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas hosts UFC 216, a fantastic PPV card with two title fights at the top of the bill.

Eight months after we were supposed to have one, an interim lightweight champion will be crowned on Saturday night. Top contenders Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Kevin Lee (16-2) will go to battle in the main event of UFC 216. Having polar opposite fight styles, this title fight will certainly be an intriguing contest.

Looking to break the record for the most consecutive title defenses on the night, UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson (26-2-1) faces #3 ranked Ray Borg (11-2). A conclusion that should have already been established, Borg pulled out of a scheduled bout with “DJ” at UFC 215 due to illness.

Amongst the title fights are a plethora of exciting match-ups, such as the heavyweight contest between Derrick Lewis and Fabricio Werdum, and the preliminary bantamweight bout between hot prospect Tom Duquesnoy and Cody Stamman. We bring you the best bets on the card to earn yourself an extra few quid or so.


Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis – Heavyweight Bout

Fabricio Werdum to win by Submission – 11/4 – SkyBet

The debate of who is the best BJJ practitioner in MMA is ongoing. Some say ‘Jacare’ Souza, some say Demian Maia, some say Werdum. “Vai Cavalo” is a master on the mat, and although he hasn’t racked up a submission win since defeating Cain Velasquez in June of 2015, we expect Werdum to submit Lewis on the night.

In Lewis’ last fight against the unyielding Mark Hunt, we saw what happened when someone could take “The Black Beast’s” best punches. By the third round, Lewis was exhausted and Hunt secured the TKO finish in the fourth.

Expect Lewis’ reckless ground game to be his downfall in this heavyweight contest. Given his size, he often finds himself just standing back up when underneath his opponent, this is where Werdum can capitalize and secure a submission of some sort to finish the fight.

Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg – Flyweight Title Fight

Demetrious Johnson by KO or Submission – 10/11 – Paddy Power

Would you be surprised if I told you that Demetrious Johnson has four finishes in his last six wins? Most would. The stigma surrounding ‘DJ’ is that he doesn’t finish fights, well the numbers don’t lie and we think we will see another finish from ‘Mighty Mouse’ this weekend.

From manhandling an Olympic gold medal wrestler in Henry Cejudo, to submitting an elite BJJ black belt in Wilson Reis, Johnson can do it all as he continues to improve fight after fight.

Given the weight cutting problems Borg has had in the past, it wouldn’t be surprising to see “The Tazmexican Devil” struggle to keep up with the pace Johnson fights at. Expect ‘DJ’ to break the record for most consecutive title defenses in style, perhaps in the later rounds.

Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee – Interim Lightweight Title Fight  

Total Rounds: Over 2.5 – 4/6 – Betfair

 

Lee on the other hand couldn’t be so different. His methodical and calculated approach to fighting contrasts that of the free-flowing Ferguson. It’s the first time Lee has been booked for five rounds in his career, whilst “El Cucuy” has already showed he can go 25-minutes at over 7000-feet in altitude.

Whilst Ferguson has tallied up a few first and second round finishes in his UFC career, expect the solidity of Lee to be his biggest asset in the fight. It’s unlikely we will have a foregone conclusion in the early rounds, so jump on these odds whilst you can.

Our longshot fourfold: Tom Duquesnoy, Lando Vannata, Beneil Dariush and Pearl Gonzalez – £5 returns £34.95 – Betway.

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BAMMA 30 – Full Fight Card, How to Watch and Betting Odds

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Tomorrow night BAMMA is back in Ireland for yet another cracking night of fights. This card will be aired live from start to finish providing non-stop action from about 6.30pm until about 10:30/11pm. The Prelim card will be available to view on the UNILAD Facebook page from 6:30 followed by the televised section of the card live on Dave from 9pm.

The event is of course taking place in the 3Arena, doors will open as early as 5pm for those attending the event that are eager to get there before the rest. For those looking to attend and still without tickets, there are still some available here.

For those looking to make a bit of money on the card, back our favourite fighter or maybe just chance your arm on a gut feeling you may have on one of the fights. BAMMA have now officially partnered with BetBright.com so here’s your chance.

Live odds currently stand at:
*Odds are subject to change*

Chris Stringer 9/2  v Niklas Stolze 1/20

Blaine O’Driscoll 1/10  v Harry Hardwick 7/2

Maciek Gierszewski 11/4  v Steve Owens 1/6

Ben Forsyth 6/4 v Matt Clempner 2/5

Henry Fadipe 3/1  v Ion Pascu 1/6

Decky Dalton 1/9 v Mick Brennan 4/1

Daniel Olejniczak 1/4  v Richard Kiely 2/1

Rhys McKee 5/6 v Richie Smullen 5/6

Daniel Barez 5/1  v Ryan Curtis 1/10

Aaron Kennedy 5/1  v Fabian Edwards 1/10

Paul Redmond 15/8 v Rob Sinclair 2/5

Alan Philpott 15/8 v Shay Walsh 1/3

BAMMA 30: Philpott Vs. Walsh Fightcard

Main Card – Live on Dave from 9 pm Main Event – BAMMA World Bantamweight Title: Alan ‘The Apprentice’ Philpott (16-9) Vs. Shay Walsh (16-4)

Co-Main Event – Lightweight Feature Bout: Rob ‘C4’ Sinclair (13-4) Vs. Paul ‘Redser’ Redmond (11-6)

Middleweight Bout: Fabian ‘The Assassin’ Edwards (1-0) Vs. Aaron Kennedy (Debut)

Lonsdale European Flyweight Title: Ryan ‘Chaos’ Curtis (4-0) Vs. Daniel Barez (7-4)

 

UNILAD Prelims – Live on UNILAD Facebook page from 6.30 pm

Lonsdale European Lightweight No.1 Contenders Bout: Rhys ‘Skeletor’ McKee (5-1) Vs. Richie Smullen (3-0)

Welterweight Bout: Ion ‘Bombardierul’ Pascu (15-7) Vs. Henry ‘Herculeez’ Fadipe (9-8-1)

Lightweight Bout: Ilkin “Monster / Hulkin’” Gasimov (4-1) Vs. Phillip ‘Honeybadger’ Mulpeter (7-5)

Welterweight Bout: Richard Kiely (1-0) Vs. Daniel ‘Obi Wan’ Olejniczak (1-0-1)

Welterweight Bout: Kiefer ‘BDK’ Crosbie (2-0) Vs. Dariusz Swierkosz (3-1)

Light Heavyweight Bout: Ben ‘Spider Monkey’ Forsyth (2-2) Vs. Matt Clempner (1-0)

Featherweight Bout: Decky ‘The Diamond’ Dalton (6-3) Vs. Mick ‘Basher’ Brennan (4-7)

Featherweight Bout: Arann McGuire (1-1) Vs. Dylan Logan (0-1)

Welterweight Bout: Steve Owens (2-0) Vs. Maciek Gierszewski (1-0)

Bantamweight Bout: Harry Hardwick (2-0) Vs. Blaine O’Driscoll (4-1)

*SWING BOUT*  Lightweight Bout: Niklas ‘Green Mask’ Stolze (8-2) Vs. Chris ‘The Menace’ Stringer (11-12-1)

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UFC Fight Night 107 Breakdown:

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Jimi Manuwa vs Corey Anderson

In a main event which was has come under a lot of criticism, two top ten ranked light heavyweights do battle as Corey Anderson takes on hometown favorite Jimi Manuwa at London’s O2 Arena.

With the hometown crowd in his favor, “Poster Boy” Jimi Manuwa will look to come out aggressively and push forward as he usually does with heavy low kicks and powerful punches. Possessing devastating power in both hands and feet, Manuwa will look to attack the legs of his opponent in an attempt to close range and deliver lethal hooks to either the body or head, much like we seen in the second round of his last outing against Ovince St. Preux.

Corey Anderson, a skilled boxer in his own right, prefers to employ a more calculated strategy which relies heavily on volume and movement as opposed to landing single heavy shots. With a clean jab and a snapping right straight to go along with it, “Overtime” will look to land an accumulation of straight shots from bell to bell, sometimes doubling up on the jab in an effort to set up his right and mask his takedowns. Whilst boxing may be Anderson’s biggest strength on the feet, he has also showcased powerful low kicks, particularly to the inside leg of a southpaw fighter. Despite the fact that Manuwa is not a southpaw, the utilization of low kicks could pay dividends for the American as he will look to stifle the forward momentum of “Poster Boy”.

With 14 finishes by way of KO or TKO, the power advantage is most certainly in the corner of Manuwa, something which could prove pivotal to his success on Saturday night. Despite being a fundamentally sound boxer, it is Anderson’s tendency to get hurt which has cost him dearly in the past. One need only cast an eye back to his 2016 bout with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, a fight in which ‘Overtime’ was enjoying great success, only to end up on the canvas at the end of rounds 1 & 2 after eating hard counter shots from the Brazilian, and end up on the losing end of a split decision. Should Manuwa get the opportunity to land cleanly on Anderson, it could spell the end for the American.

The wrestling of ‘Overtime’ could prove key in this bout as we have seen Manuwa taken down in the past. A decent defensive grappler “Poster Boy” will look to either get to the fence in an effort to get back to his feet or choose to lock his half guard down and wait for the referee to stand things up. The far superior wrestler, Anderson has an excellent double leg which he masks well with strikes and level changes. Once on top, the American will look to land strikes from half guard or side control, much like we seen in his most recent bout with Sean O’Connell. Expect ‘Overtime’ to land takedowns early in the fight as he looks to put ‘Manuwa’ on his back and neutralize the Brit’s colossal power.

The major question mark surrounding this fight will be whether or not Corey Anderson can withstand the offense of Jimi Manuwa for all five rounds, something which I feel he can not. I expect Anderson to dominate the early portion of this fight with superior wrestling, but feel that Manuwa will land at some stage and send the English crowd into raptures.

Pick: Jimi Manuwa Inside the Distance


Gunnar Nelson vs Alan Jouban

Iceland’s favorite son makes his return to the octagon this Saturday night as Gunnar Nelson takes on Alan Jouban in the co-main event of the evening. With both men coming off victories in 2016, this is a high-stakes bout which will have serious implications on the upper end of the 170-pound division.

A grappler of the highest order, Nelson has compiled a 6-2 record since joining the UFC. With 5 of them coming by way of submission it is no great mystery as to where his biggest strength lies. A well rounded and intelligent fighter, Jouban is at his most comfortable on the feet where he can utilize his sharp muay-thai, despite being a technically gifted striker, “Brahma” has a thirst for violence which he often looks to quench by engaging in wild brawls, a habit which has earned him successes and failures alike.

The 11 submission victories on the record of “Gunni” may lead you to believe that he is but a one trick pony, this, however, is not the case at all. With a karate base, the Icelander has a lightning quick right straight which he lunges forward with to close the distance and a serviceable kicking game to accompany it. Defensively, Nelson does tend to leave himself exposed, as he keeps his hands very low, relying on reflexes and speed as opposed to a more conventional method of defense. This can cause him problems as the fight progresses, which we saw against Rick Story, as Gunnar ate shots aplenty when he became tired in the latter rounds. Although the right hand of Nelson is a formidable weapon, his reliance on it can also become a hindrance when he fails to set it up, Story was able to time the right hand and return fire with multiple counter shots time and time again, something which was key to his victory. The addition of a left hook is something which Nelson has benefited greatly from in recent fights as it proved pivotal in victories over Brandon Thatch and Albert Tumenov, both of whom are dangerous strikers in their own right.

Despite gaining a reputation as a brawler, Jouban turned in a very mature performance last time out, as he put his feud with the brash Mike Perry to bed and emerged victorious via unanimous decision back at UFC on Fox 22.  Although his slow starts have gotten him in trouble in the past, when allowed to settle into the rhythm of a fight “Brahma” is a threat with his diverse repertoire of kicks and left straight from the southpaw stance, a punch which caused Perry a great deal of trouble and even left him on the canvas at one point. This could be an important weapon against Nelson as he primarily fights from an orthodox stance, meaning the opportunity to land the straight punch will be there for Jouban, just as it will be “Gunni”. Where Jouban excels is when he is given the opportunity to unload with strikes against an opponent with their back on the cage, much like we seen during his demolition of Brendan O’Reilly.

In terms of technical striking, Alan Jouban would appear the more diverse and dangerous, yet Nelson’s constant improvement on the feet leave a cloud of doubt over who may hold the advantage.

When debating who may have the advantage in the grappling department, things become a great deal clearer. Gunnar Nelson is one of the finest grapplers to ever grace the sport, as his record would suggest. Few are superior when it comes to MMA grappling than the stoic Icelander, eclipsed only maybe by Demian Maia, a man who handed him only his second career loss just two fights ago. Despite being on the losing end of a lopsided decision, Nelson gave a great account of himself when the success Maia has had since then is taken into account. For “Gunni” to take the fight south, he will attempt to bait Jouban forward, where he will then look to hit a reactive takedown by establishing a body-lock, and then looking for either an inside or outside trip. Although the American is a competent grappler who has never been submitted, his habit of starting slow coupled with Nelson’s grappling prowess could spell major trouble here.

Look for Nelson to get the takedown early, pass to mount, and soften Jouban up with strikes as he patiently awaits any opportunity to pounce on a submission.

Pick: Gunnar Nelson by Submission


Brad Pickett vs Marlon Vera

As the curtain closes on the career of Brad Pickett, few could have imagined a more fitting send-off for a true pioneer of the sport as he gets a chance at one last victory in front of an adoring home crowd. Standing in the Londoner’s way is a fighter at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of experience, at just 24 years of age Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera is still a developing prospect, but a win in enemy territory on Saturday night would do wonders for his progression.

The style of Brad Pickett is one which relies heavily on his boxing fundamentals, as the nickname “One Punch” would suggest. Often looking to incorporate a low calf kick as a set-up, the Londoners best weapons are his hooks to the body and head. Where the Brit has struggled most in the past has been at range, sometimes finding it difficult to get inside on the longer fighter, this was glaringly obvious in his bout with Cisco Rivera. Despite getting the nod from the judges, Pickett was forced to fight on the outside for large portions of the bout as Rivera kept him on the end of his straight shots. This inability to get inside can sometimes frustrate Pickett and force him to push forward in a reckless manner, something which has caused him a lot of trouble in recent fights as he can become quite hittable.

The range could be a key factor in this bout, as the preferred strategy of Marlon Vera on the feet is to sit on the outside and throw kicks in an effort to fully capitalize on his length. “Chito” will enjoy a 2.5” reach advantage over the Brit and as we have seen in the past, keeping Pickett at range is key to stifling his offense. Although Vera has looked a far more comfortable kicker than puncher in his UFC career so far, Pickett has been susceptible to counter hooks in the past, so it would be no surprise if we see an improved punching game from Vera on Saturday Night. “Chito” does tend to leave his back to the cage however though as he looks to strike from the outside, this could spell trouble against a puncher like Brad Pickett as it will allow him to cut the cage off and get inside on the taller man.

Offensively, the Englishman would appear the superior wrestler, should the fight hit the ground, though, Vera is notoriously tricky from his back as his long legs allow him to threaten with triangles and arm-bars. Despite being the better wrestler, Pickett may struggle to mount any substantial offense on the mat, as the Ecuadorian is very good at avoiding damage on the bottom by breaking the posture of his opponent and constantly threatening with submissions and sweeps. There is always the possibility that Pickett will grind out a decision by remaining busy on top, but against a grappler as tricky as “Chito” I feel that is an unlikely outcome.

The experience of Brad Pickett could serve him well here; I do however expect to see great improvements from Vera here as he proves too dynamic for the aging Brit.

Pick: Marlon Vera via Decision


 Arnold Allen vs Makwan Amirkhani

Two of featherweights finest prospects do battle as we kick off the main card with a much-anticipated bout between Arnold “Almighty” Allen and “Mr. Finland” Makwan Amirkhani.

A man with no shortage of confidence, the exuberant Makwan Amirkhani quickly captured the attention of fans and fighters alike as he burst on to the scene with an impressive eight-second victory over Englishman Andy Ogle. Hoping to fare better than his countryman this time out is Arnold Allen, who had a tricky task in his premiere UFC outing as he faced the experienced Alan Omer. Despite emerging victorious in the end, many believed he was well on his way to being handed a debut loss before locking up a guillotine in the final round. Both men have continued their winning ways since then and remain undefeated in the promotion, something which will stay true for only one come Saturday night.

With good boxing fundamentals and a solid kicking game, Arnold Allen is undoubtedly the cleaner of the two on the feet. Often looking to counter from Southpaw after slipping shots, “Almighty” has been susceptible to right straights in the past from opponents in the Orthodox stance, this was visible during his debut bout with Alan Omer as he ate a lot of straight shots early on. Although he did adapt well as the fight progressed by slipping and countering, it is still something of which to be wary. The threat of a right hand from Amirkhani will be almost non-existent, as he fights from a southpaw stance and uses his striking purely as a means of taking the fight to the floor. Should “Mr. Finland” get the fight to the ground, that is where he excels, something which his UFC career to date has highlighted.

The wrestling of Arnold Allen has looked much improved since making the move to Tri-Star, in the past “Almighty” has struggled when pressed against the cage, as he was held there for large portions against Alan Omer and Marcin Wrzsozek. This hole in his game seemed slightly remedied in his most recent outing against Yaozin Meza, as he was able to defend the takedowns of Meza on numerous occasions. Offensively, the Englishman is a competent wrestler who will use trips to take the fight to the canvas, but against a wrestler of the caliber of Amirkhani, it is doubtful he will seek any form of takedown.

So far in his UFC career, Makwan Amirkhani’s modus operandi has been simple, get the fight to the ground and use his superior wrestling to get the victory. Looking to take the fight south from the first bell, “Mr. Finland” will take any opportunity to shoot or grab a leg in what is a predictable yet effective offensive strategy. This has proved fruitful so far in his UFC career as both Masio Fullen and Mike Wilkinson have fallen victim to the Finns dominant wrestling. Most effective when on top, Amirkhani is a very patient and fluid grappler who will often wait for his opponent to move before committing himself. When in side control, he will often look for a crucifix or pass to mount. Although Allen has shown a good ability to get up in the past, he may struggle against a ground game as smothering as Amirkhani’s.

Should this one stay on the feet, Arnold Allen will likely enjoy great success as the technically superior striker, the big question mark, however, will be whether he can fend off the takedown attempts of “Mr. Finland”. Amirkhani tends to get caught in guillotines as he is shooting for takedowns, and as we have seen from Allen in his UFC debut, he needs just one opportunity to latch on to a neck. I do feel however though that the technical top game of Amirkhani will prove too much for the young brit, as he picks up the victory via decision.

Pick: Makwan Amirkhani via Decision

 


Preliminary Card:

Joe Duffy vs Reza Madadi: Joe Duffy*

Francimar Barroso vs Darren Stewart: Darren Stewart

Daniel Omielanczuk vs Timothy Johnson: Timothy Johnson

Vicente Luque vs Leon Edwards: Vicente Luque

Marc Diakiese vs Teemu Packalen: Marc Diakiese

Tom Breese vs Oluwale Bamgbose: Tom Breese*

Ian Entwistle vs Brett Johns: Brett Johns*

Scott Askham vs Brad Scott: Brad Scott

Lina Lansberg vs Lucie Pudilova: Lina Lansberg*

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