Duke’s UFC Fight Night Breakdown and Predictions!!!
Here is what Twitter is saying.
BETS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE!!!
WEIGH-IN NOTES: (PODCAST OUT SHORTLY)
CASEY/CACHOERIA FIGHT IS OFF
OUR FAV DOG WILLIAMS MISSED WEIGHT BADLY AT 175.5 – SHIT
MARSHMAN MISSED WEIGTH AT 187.5 – LOOKED TYPICALLY SOFT
RODRIGUEZ CAME IN UNDER AT 133 – LOOKED TINY
95% HOLLAND MIGHT NOT BE ENOUGH…ONTIVEROS CAME IN NEARLY 3 LBS UNDER – I’M CLOSER TO 100% HOLLAND
GREG HARDY MISSED WEIGHT AT 266.5 SO HE HAS 1 HOUR TO CUT THE HALF POUND. HE’S A PIECE OF SHIT.
WE WILL NEED TO GET VERY CREATIVE WITH OUR DFS BUILDS CONSIDER HOW LITTLE LIKEABLE VALUE THERE IS ON THE CARD
I survived a nasty bout of food poisoning this week. Some would say it has something to do with my wife cooking for the first time in months but I would never say that. So apologies for the article coming out on Thursday instead of our usual Wednesday. I’ll say this: I’m lighter. I feel faster. I feel sharper. The haters and losers, of which there are many, don’t want a lighter, faster, sharper Duke breaking down a UFC card!
How are you liking the coverage over the last 2 weeks?
We bounced back in the bet pack and continued our run of picking winners. Not only that, the 2 “losers” we had in Shakirova and Cannonier we had the least confidence in. I said Murphy was going to be the bigger fight who’ll likely get picked apart until they got on the ground where she could use that size. Whitaker is just a steady veteran who looked energized. I was very happy to see him get the W there.
As for the rest of the card, Tai picked up his KO. Kenney/Wood was electric from start to finish. Ankalaev put Cutelaba to bed and Phillip Hawes got the big finish he needed to continue to push forward. Last but not least, what can we say about Khabib?
He’s the greatest to ever do it. I’m not saying he can beat anyone that has stepped in the octagon but he’s the best at his weight class to ever do it and he’s the best champion the sport has ever seen. He’s dominance personified and I mentioned in my breakdown that the loss of his father would weigh heavily on him. You saw the emotion pouring out of him when he won and of course shortly after, retired. I was a bit shocked at Gaethje’s conditioning and he was taking BIG DEEP breaths in the first, but Khabib is relentless with his pressure. What a way to end it for Khabib.
Let’s talk content:
I’ve rolled the GPP article into this one this week which will likely be what we do for non-PPV cards moving forward. I’ll still put out the podcast on Friday and hopefully a touch earlier than last week. We were working on art and some other things in the background which delayed the release on Friday a touch. Saturday I’ll be in the chat room helping you guys with bets and DK questions you might have.
As for this card, we need to pick our spots. 6 of the 12 fights feature a -300 or better favorite. We have a few soup cans on the card but in general, it was a fun card to break down and I believe we can find our edge against the field.
Let’s get to it:
HALL $8.6k (-230) V SILVA $7.6k (+185)
Main event, huh?
Uriah Hall enters the match as a big betting favorite against the shell of Anderson Silva, loser of 6 of his last 8 fights. Dig just a touch deeper. The spider has lost to, get this, 3 UFC Hall of Famers (Cormier, Bisping, Adesanya), a title challenger (Cannonier) and Chris Weidman twice. He’s not losing to nobodies. In that run he also had a good win over Derek Brunson. Sort of…bad decision there. Frankly, I don’t know what Silva is chasing here. His legacy is set in stone and with each loss it chips away a touch. I have so much respect for this fighter but he went from the fastest fighter in the division to whatever we are calling this current version.
Uriah Hall is not Jared Cannonier. He’s not Daniel Cormier. He’s not Israel Adesanya. He’s not even Chris Weidman. He’s still a dangerous fighter with 3 wins in his last 4. He’s never quite reached the level we thought he would as he came into the UFC. He’s not a great wrestler and likes to strike. This could be an entertaining fight but neither guy is heavy with volume in their striking. Hall is routinely outstruck by his opponent.
My worry about Anderson Silva is his overall health. His chin seems to be holding up ok but the accumulation of shots will have an effect. Obviously Cannonier buckled the knee that stopped their fight in the first and caused Silva to get a regenerative stem cell knee surgery procedure. He says he’s 100%. He’s always professional and in shape. Does he have the quickness to shut down Uriah Hall?
Uriah needs to attack that lead leg early and often. We know Hall has some absolute tree trunks that can chop down the chicken legs of Silva. I simply can’t see these two dinosaurs going 5 rounds here. I guess that means someone gets a finish? I’d lean with the younger, stronger fighter and go to Uriah Hall.
OFFICIAL PICK: Uriah Hall
MITCHELL $8.5k (-157) V FILI $7.7k (+126)
Full disclosure: I love Bryce Mitchell. He’s super slick on the ground but his stand up needs some work. He’s pretty dang young, all things considered and his game is still evolving. He’s such a promising prospect that the UFC have broken protocol to get him his requested camo trunks for the fight. This is a big jump in Bryce’s career. He’s essentially a mid to early card fighter and will be under the bright lights of the main card going against a very experienced, very long fighter in Fili. I know Bryce Mitchell won by decision over Charles Rosa but he almost finished this fight 6 different times in the first round. It was truly a clinic by Bryce Mitchell. I mean, the whole damn fight as a clinic. The judges scored it 30-24, 30-25 and 30-25.
Fili can win this fight. Fili might win this fight. The $7.7k price tag on DK is silly. As I mentioned he’s long (4” reach advantage) and has the much better stand up game in this fight. He can take it to the mat if he needs to but will surely look to keep this one standing considering his edge on the feet. He stuffed all 3 of Michael Johnson’s takedowns. Dennis Bermudez was only able to land 1 of his 11 takedown attempts. Artem Lobov was 0 for 2 with his TD attempts. Fili has a good take down defense and that is what has me worried for Bryce Mitchell. We know Alpha Male is full of wrestlers so he sees this every day. Fili on his back is crazy long as well so getting the stoppage there will be tough.
Styles make fights and because there are so many big favorites everyone will be looking for a dog to grab so they don’t look like squares taking all favorites. I see so many people all over Fili. Fili has one finish since 2015 and it came in his hometown. Can he finish Mitchell? Sure. Will he? Nope. Mitchell takes to this ground and tries 50 different submission attempts, if he doesn’t sink in the first.
OFFICIAL PICK: Bryce Mitchell
HOLLAND (-162) $8.2k V
MURADOV (+130) Charlie Ontiveros ???
This fight went from the closest on the card v Muradov to the biggest joke on the card REAL quick.
Holland is big and long for the division. He’s lacked intensity at times in fights and you wonder how he’ll be here getting a new opponent just a few days before fight day. If you haven’t figured it out, Muradov is out for undisclosed reasons and Ontiveros is in.
Ontiveros has lost his last 2 fights, both by first round TKO. This is a big step up in competition for Ontiveros and he’s done absolutely nothing to justify it. It’s literally just availability, not fighting ability.
Holland at $8.2k might literally be 100% owned and I don’t hate it.
OFFICIAL PICK: Kevin Holland
HARDY $8.8k (-335) V GREENE $7.4k (+240)
Greene is a big ass dude…that’s about it. Basically everything Greene does, Hardy does as well or better.
That is the path to a victory for Greene. Somehow wrap up this beast and get a submission.
Hardy lasted all 3 rounds against Volkov who is LEVELS above Greene. I don’t think anyone likes Greg Hardy the person. We can all agree on that, right? But look at these fighters. Who is getting better and who is staying the same or regressing?
He’s $8.8k and -300+ favorite so I’m not exactly saying anything you didn’t know but give me all the Greg Hardy I can get.
OFFICIAL PICK: Greg Hardy
GREEN $9k (-315) V MOISES $7.2k (+240)
Why did I remember Bobby Green as this insane power puncher who stops everyone? Likely because he beat the ever living shit out of his last 3 opponents on the feet but the elusive stoppage hasn’t shown up since a 2013 fight against James Krause. We’ve seen so much of Bobby in the last few months and he’s looked so good of late. Wins over Guida in June, Vannata in August and Patrick in September are on the top of the mind and he’ll look to continue the roll he’s been on. He has a big time chin and is able to take his opponents to the ground. His grappling is pretty high level and his counter punching is great. My big question is not if he wins, it’s if he can finally get that finish.
Moises was absolutely getting his ass beat by Michael Johnson before he grabbed an ankle and made him tap. Ismagulov was piecing him up and Moises couldn’t get it to the ground. The one time he held his own from a striking stand point was against tomato can Kurt Hobolaugh. He’ll need something out of left field to get the W here.
Green with a striking clinic but NOT the finish we crave. We head to the judges scorecards again and Green gets the W
OFFICIAL PICK: Bobby Green
HERNANDEZ $9.3k (-400) V GRUETZEMACHER $6.9k (+300)
Mitchell and Hernandez are my boys. To have them both on the same card has me pitching a tent below the table here. Hernandez has super high level skills but has lost 2 of his last 3. He has big wins over Dariush and Obin-Mercier and most recently over Trinaldo. The loss to Dober was predictable and he was handled by Cowboy Cerrone. This feels like a spot where the UFC is saying to Hernandez, we’ve put you through the ringer. Perhaps we gave you too much too quickly. Here’s a tomato can to beat up.
Where’s the big win for Gruetzemacher to get you excited? He stopped Joe Lauzon back in 2018 but that was a corpse he was fighting. Did the 2 year layoff really help the 34 year old improve significantly?
This is a lamb led to slaughter. Hernandez should win, and impressively. I have him winning in all aspects of the fight and getting the win inside the distance here.
OFFICIAL PICK: Alexander Hernandez
YANEZ $9.2k (-345) V RODRIGUEZ $7k (+251)
Another massive Vegas line. Technically speaking this is the UFC debut for both of these fighters. Credit to Rodriguez for grinding his way to this opportunity and stepping up on short notice. Want to talk about a step up in competition? Rodriguez has been grinding around on the Alaskan MMA circuit. Film was very hard to find on this guy, but he has finished 4 fights in a row.
Yanez seems like a very obvious selection here. He put Huang to sleep in the Contender series very early in the first with a gorgeous slip 1-2 and followed it up with some big shots. But just a few seconds into the fight he took a straight right to the chin right up the middle. He is hittable. He’s fought much better competition and has big power in his hands. His last 2 losses were by split decisions and he was in each of those fights until the end. He’s a gamer.
I wish I knew more about Rodriguez so I could say this with my chest but I have Yanez getting the stoppage here in another big win. He’ll be one we target in DK.
OFFICIAL PICK: Adrian Yanez
STRICKLAND $9.1k (-360) V MARSHMAN $7.1k (+270)
ANOTHER big favorite…
This will be Strickland’s first fight at 185. It will also be his first fight since his motorcycle accident a few years ago as well. Anyone else super nervous about those two aspects? With so many big favorites, several of which look likely to get the finish, it’s hard to get jacked up for Sean Strickland. The cut to 170 was always tough for Strickland so we figured he’d head to this weight class and perhaps this is the springboard his career needs.
As for skills, Strickland has quite a few. He’s long and will have a 3 inch reach advantage. He has a good ground game and great takedown defense. He stuffed Kamaru Usman quite a few times in their match that went to a decision. He has enough striking to cause problems but he has a pretty obvious tell in his striking. He carries his hands fairly low. He almost always leads with his left and just before he does, he puts his right hand to his chin. Taleb was timing this pretty well but Strickland started coming up through the middle and was jacking Taleb up. The forward pressure was constant and Strickand looked great in the final minute of that fight.
Jack Marshman is super tough and will stand right in front of you and throw hands but he’s nothing but a bar room brawler. He’s been finished by a rear naked choke in 2 of his last 4 fights. Strickland will likely want to stand and bang but should this go to the ground, Marshman is in deep trouble. What is the path to victory for Marshman? Stay standing and land a big shot. KO. That’s it.
I don’t love the long layoff for Strickland but the skill gap here is tremendous. I have Strickland getting the finish either standing or wrapping up a neck on the ground should it go there.
OFFICIAL PICK: Sean Strickland
WITT $8.3k (-143) V WILLIAMS $7.9k (+115)
Why is Williams getting another shot here? He missed weight by a mile in his UFC debut loss to Claudio Silva. Perhaps if he’s in better shape he has a better outcome here? Witt was put to sleep with 1 punch in his UFC debut.
Vegas and DK have priced this as two tomato cans heading into the octagon. The worry here is the lack of a chin on Witt. Honestly, Witt looks like a Wall Street bro who does this as a hobby to prove something to his Dad who thinks he’s a pussy. His hands are low. His punches are wide and loopy. The shot up the middle that Sato dropped him with as nothing spectacular.
Can the soft bodied Williams land anything? Williams was a collegiate wrestler but looks like a guy who enjoys a 12 pack or 2 for dinner every night. He did hit Silva behind the ear with a big right hand that staggered him a bit and that little show of power plus his wrestling ability has me leaning his direction.
Both of these guys suck and the loser is surely done in the promotion, but I’ll take the dog here, especially if he comes in at weight. Expect an update on Friday morning after weigh-ins.
OFFICIAL PICK: Cole Williams* pending weigh-in results — Still going Williams here but with less confidence after another missed weight
JACOBY $8.9k (-335) V LEDET $7.3k (+245)
Gas tank. It’s all about the gas tank for Jacoby here. Jacoby just looks like a fighter but if this gets out of the first round, his power dissipates and his work rate lessens. He nearly had Flores done in the first in his last fight but going for the finish gassed him out a bit. Honestly watching that fight back to refresh my memory reminded me how great Flores’ chin was that night. I don’t know that Ledet could handle the shots Jacoby was landing.
To be fair to Ledet, he’s fought some dudes. Rakic is carved from granite and just beat the ever living shit out of Anthony Smith. Johnnie Walker is kill or be killed and has four 1st round stoppages in the UFC. Camur isn’t awful, sitting at 2-1 in the UFC. Ledet simply lacks high end ability at anything. He’s not a great striker. He doesn’t have a great ground game. He doesn’t have big power. MAYBE if this goes to the ground and Ledet can wear out Jacoby he could look to grab a limb or neck and get the stoppage. That is his only path to victory that I see.
It could be done early but even if it goes to the decision, I have the big favorite winning.
OFFICIAL PICK: Dustin Jacoby
CASEY $8.7k (-235) V CACHOEIRA $7.5k (+183) FIGHT OFF Cachoeira has something most in her division doesn’t, one punch power. She stopped Shan Dobson with a gorgeous upper cut just 40 seconds into their fight but Cachoeira just pushed forward and threw bombs. Dobson was willing to plant her feet and engage. That isn’t how Cortney Casey fights. Casey has some pretty good wins (Angela Hill) but I look to her losses as well. This is a who’s who of her division that she’s lost to. Karate Hottie, Gillian Robertson, Cynthia Calvillo. Casey uses her length well with good footwork and quick hands. Her pop in and out style should keep her out of the power range of Cachoeira. Where Casey struggles a bit is off her back. Cachoeira is purely a stand up fighter so that shouldn’t be a worry. Casey will be the slightly taller fighter but isn’t a natural 125er so that will be interesting to watch. At the end of the day I do think this price is off. I won’t lay -235 on Casey but I have her out pointing Cachoeira who needs that big shot to win this fight. OFFICIAL PICK: Cortney Casey
JOHNS $8.4k (-182) V NATIVIDAD $7.8k (+145)
What an interesting fight to start the night. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the receding hairline/bald head, but I assumed Johns was like 35 and on his way down the standings with another loss here. Nah, he’s 26 but he’s been around forever. I remember watching him from his LFA days 3-4 years ago and thinking he’s a future UFC fighter. He beat Yanez in a 5 round fight over there just a few years ago. He’s got real talent and Johns throws real big shots. He sits down on his punches and backs it up with his wrestling. He should be a difficult out for most opponents at 135.
Natividad makes his UFC debut, coming over from LFA where he won his last 4 fights. His most recent win over Estrada showed the bravery of Natividad who either didn’t respect the power of Estrada or was too dumb to get out of the way of punches and kicks. He was in the camp of eat 2 to deliver 1. I’m not sure that’s the best strategy against Johns. Natividad does have quick hands and is built like a brick shit house.
OFFICIAL PICK: Miles Johns
Yanez over Hernandez?
Yanez has the highest implied odds for the KO possibility according to sports books around the world, tied with Greg Hardy at 57%
Strickland gets the finish?
We’ve seen Marshman turn into a marshmallow if he hits the ground. Strickland can submit his opponent and I think he can get it done in that manner.
Bobby Green has volume lately but will he get the finish?
No KD, No TD
Jacoby could end this early over Ledet
Hardy is HW but he’s trying to show more patience. I still think he gets the finish.
Casey likely a pass
Uriah Hall in a 5 round fight should beat Silva
Mitchell can take this to the mat and score very well – a Fili win likely does no one any favors.
Johns/Natividad – DO NOT just grab both. That shit is so dumb. Make a stand
Give me Johns
Witt/Williams – Let’s see how Williams looks at weigh-ins but I’d much rather have some shares there.
Kevin Holland – Was going to have a REALLY tough fight against Makhmud Muradov but he’s out for some inexplicable reason and has been replaced by Charlie Ontiveros
Who’s 6-5 and apparently was just around. I wasn’t very high on Holland but now I want him.
The tough part is there aren’t a ton of LOW priced players worth a shot on DK.
DOGS WITH THE BEST SHOT TO WIN
Williams > Fili > Silva > Cachoeira > Natividad > Mo Greene
PARLAY: Green + Yanez +_ Strickland (-+102) – 2 to win 2.04 (BOVADA)
Strickland wins Inside the Distance (+135) 0.74 to win 1
Williams/Witt – Will the fight go the distance? NO (+135) – 0.74 to win 1 (BOVADA) — value in line
Hardy/Green OVER 1.5 rds (-125) 1.25 to win 1 (BOVADA)
Bobby Green wins by decision (-148) – 1 to win 0.68 (DK)