MadLab’s UFC Fight Night Sacramento Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying…
I am not going to get too in depth here. This card is not one that really deserves a ton of attention. With that said, the card is a little better than I was expecting, but still nothing that you will wow you. Just look at the main event, and that says it all. Let’s dive in and see if we can grab some winning bets and lineups and skin this pig, shall we?
UFC FIGHT NIGHT MAIN CARD
Germaine de Randamie $7300 vs. Aspen Ladd $8900
Well, she is back and she is not taking on Cyborg, which is the reason she had to give the belt up in the first place. Instead, she is fighting newcomer and very impressive prospect Aspen Ladd. GDR is a very long, extremely well-polished striker who has a ton of experience and skin in combat sports in general. With a perfect Kickboxing record of 36-0, GDR is as seasoned as it gets when it comes to striking. With a 5-1 record in the UFC, only losing to Nunes under this umbrella, GDR has also beaten the likes of Holly Holm and Pennington. With that said, she gave us a very bad taste in our mouth when she had the strap and refused to fight Cyborg. She literally gave up the belt to avoid that fight. The MMA community has frowned upon her ever since, and now she is back to show she is still the polished and long striker that she has always been. With an 8-3 record, she does only have three wins by way of KO and five by way of decision. In her three loses, it has been a perfect wheel of 1-1-1. The problem with her is she really doesn’t have much when it comes to the ground, and if you can get her there, then she is open season. She will be taking on a young prospect who enjoys sandbox wars, and she screams violence to the high heavens with every punch and elbow when she gets you on the ground and starts to pound away. She becomes very primal, and that is something built within you. You either have that or you don’t, and Ladd in legacy has that. As a young prospect, it has been hard to swallow the fact she has had some weight cutting issues so very early in her career. At her age, cutting weight should not be a project. With that said, there is denying her chops once she is cleared and in there. Very good pressure, likes to engage in the clinch and either take you down or just put extreme smothering pressure on you. She is young, and she is a firecracker, so I am not sure she will have the ability to really make heavy reads on her feet just yet. GDR is so seasoned with setting traps and baiting you on the feet; it is not an easy task to accomplish for such a new fighter. Ladd is also extremely hittable, and that can cause some problems for her with someone like GDR. Ladd is going to have to close space and make this a really dirty fight. She needs to take away that space from GDR and not give her any space to work or room to breath. With that said, that is easier said than done against someone as seasoned as GDR. However, she is on a layoff, the UFC isn’t exactly happy with her, and she does have some pressure on her here in a fight that she will be dragging in some clear cage rust against a younger more spry fighter. It is going to be interesting, but I think the seasoned vet shows the youngster there are still some levels to this game.
The Pick: GDR
Urijah Faber $6900 vs. Ricky Simon $9300
At one time, Faber was the California Kid. He was one of the pioneers along with Cruz making the smaller guys something else to watch. Very marketable, well-spoken, and an all-around good fighter. The California Kid was one of the pioneers and will always be respected in the sport. With a 34-10 record, he has 19 submissions under his belt and 7 KOs. In his 10 losses, he only had three that were him getting finished inside the horn. All by way of KO. He was never submitted. The leader of Alpha Male was last seen in the cage in 2016 where he beat Brad Pickett by decision. He later retired and went full nose into his team and coaching. After getting the itch to come back and fight three years later, here he is to take on wild man Ricky Simon. A very high paced fighter with a smothering ground game and an extremely good gas tank. Even tho Faber is the much better fighter, he will be bringing a cage rust with him that will most likely take a little bit for him to kick off. I am not sure Simon is going to give him that kind of time, to be honest. At 15-1, Simon really understands how to put on a pace that many people just can’t deal with. Even tho he will throw things at Faber that he has seen before in the past, he hasn’t seen them in quite some time.
The Pick: Simon
Josh Emmett $7400 vs. Mirsad Bektic $8800
Josh Emmett comes in also representing Alpha Male. He understands how important this win is for the uptick of his career as well as the Alpha Male team in general. He was a rising prospect for them showing great potential, power, wrestling chops and just an all-around well weathering game. He was then waxed out cold by Jeremy Stevens, and people really thought that it was something that could wash him away a bit from a KO like that. He then bounces back against Michael Johnson with a massive KO that put Johnson stark out. With a 14-2 record, that was his sole KO loss, and even with seven of his 14 wins being by way of decision, he has shown the ability to wax poetic people with his power as of late. He will be taking on very tough Bektic, who brings a very good high-pressure wrestling game and just potent offense. The fighter should be undefeated, but he gassed out extremely hard when putting an absolute beating on Darren Elkins until he lost his gas tank completely and ended up losing the fight, which would be labeled as one of the greatest comebacks in MMA history. Bektic is a clear talent, but he has shown in the past he can be rocked and he also can gas out. Although, that is with a pace he knows he can push on someone. There is a sense of caution you need to bring with you when you fight someone like Emmett so I don’t think his pace will be as highly pressured with such a tricky and dangerous striker like Emmett. I also think Bektic learned his lesson about pace and unloading after his nightmarish loss to Elkins. I think Bektic is the better fighter here, and providing he doesn’t get KOd from gassing out, I just think he will get to the spots quicker and be the one initiating the offense more. Very, very close fight, but a fight he should do enough to win offensively, providing he doesn’t blow his load too early.
The Pick: Bektic
Karl Roberson $9100 vs. Wellington Turman $7100
Be careful here. This kid Turman is a little more dangerous than expected. Roberson is coming off a loss against Glover in which he took in the light heavyweight division. It obviously didn’t fair well with him, but here he is back at middleweight hoping to get back on track. You know what you are getting from Roberson. He brings clear power, pressure and an explosive game that can surprise you if you are not ready. With a record of 7-2, he has three by submission and two by KO. If he is pressured, he does have a patience to try and thrash you with short elbows and quick explosive movements like he did against Ryan Span in the contender series a few years back. His stint in the UFC is a balanced one at 2-2, and he will be looking to get onto the right side of the winning side. I am going to say that this fight actually scares me for Roberson. Turman comes in 15-2 with seven submissions and 4 KOs. In his two losses, he has never been finished. He has very good grappling, and it is very effective when he starts to get position on you. Roberson is a kickboxer who has serious issues when he is on the ground. With that said, Turman is coming in on a weeks notice with not the greatest stand up and very young at 22 years of age. He is going to have to get in close and avoid the power of Roberson and the sneaky elbows he will throw dirty. If Turman had a full camp, I would probably reconsider this a bit more, but the chips are a little stacked against the youngster here and I can’t pick against Roberson, who has UFC experience and a full camp going into this one.
The Pick: Roberson
Marvin Vettori $8600 vs. Cezar Ferreira $7600
Vettori is a young, tough Italian fighter who seems to get slightly better every fight. In his last fight against Style Bender, he really showed a very good constitution to stay in there and fight. He showed he is willing to dig deep and go the distance with a very, very tough riddle in Style Bender. He also went hard with Shoe Face, and he was able to escape being submitted in three rounds. He is a decent striker, and he does have a decent wrestling game. The thing with Vettori is it’s really hard to gauge him because he tends to show a new wrinkle in every fight, which is a good thing, but he still has a lot of empty space to fill. With a record of 12-4, he has never been finished in MMA play and the brown belt in BJJ has of his 12 wins by way of submission. That probably won’t fare well against someone like Ferreira, who is much more diverse on the ground and can give him a problem here. Caesar is very big and strong for the division, and the 3rd-degree black belt in BJJ will be glad to play in the sandbox with you. Even tho he is such a high pedigree grappler, you would be very surprised to hear he really doesn’t have many submissions under his belt. In 13 wins, he only has FOUR submissions. In his seven losses, he has been KOd four times, and that could be a problem going forward. It actually has been a problem for him. The issue is Vetorri isn’t really a power puncher with only 2 KOs in 12 wins. So with both men loving to get their grappling game going, I think Vettori knows he needs to keep this standing, which will keep him much more on the defense against the bigger man in Caesar. The fight scares me, and I do like the progression and the potential of the Italian youngster, but I think this is just a bad matchup for him.
The Pick: Ferreira
UFC FIGHT NIGHT UNDERCARD
Beneil Dariush vs. Drakkar Klose (Canceled)
Womp womp womp.
Mike Rodriguez $9400 vs. John Allan $6800
I’ll keep this short. MRod is coming in with a huge reach advantage. 8 KOs in 10 wins and fighting with a huge advantage, considering Allan is on very short notice. This fight just seems like a good matchup for him, because Allan is a fighter who really doesn’t have a skill set. He just moves forward and wants to trade. With fighters like that, MRod can use his skill and reach to keep him honest and keep distance. At 13-5, Allan has nine by way of KO, and in his five losses, he has been submitted four times and never KO’d. I wouldn’t consider this a fight I am uber-confident in MROD, but I do think this is his fight to really win or lose. If he stays patient, composed, and doesn’t get ratted by the hard wild pressure of Allan, then this is totally his fight to win.
The Pick: MRod
Andre Fili $7800 vs. Sheymon Moraes $8400
Good fight here with a very interesting stylistic matchup. Moraes has shown us as of late his capability on the feet and with heart and durability. He is growing as a fighter, and I think it’s safe to say that after his last few outings, despite his loss to Yosef in his last dance. The 28-year-old Brazilian likes to keep things standing, and it shows in his style as well as his record. In 14 fights, he has zero wins by submission, five by KO and six by decision. In his three losses, he had never been KO’d but has been submitted twice. He will test the striking of Sacramento’s own Andre Fili all while trying to stay upright. I would say, although Fili is the longer and rangier fighter here, the edge I’m striking probably leans out of his favor here. However, Fili is more well rounded then Moraes and him looking to go ground would not surprise me at all. I wouldn’t consider him a world-beater on the ground at all, but he does have much more ability then Moraes if it gets there, and coming from Alpha Male, wrestling is a formidable staple there. With that said, Moraes isn’t an easy riddle to figure out and getting him grounded is easier said than done. This fight can go either way, but I just have a little more faith in Fili here, being on his home soil and having the wrestling in his back pocket. I’m taking a slight lean on Fili for mild dog money.
The Pick: Fili
Julianna Pena $9000 vs. Nicco Montano $7200
Juliana Pena is one of those fighters who you knew coming in can be marketed. Pretty with an edge to her. She had something that maybe you can’t market to epic proportions, but she is def marketable. With an 8-3 record, Pena has shown the ability to finish fights on land and in sea with three by KO and three by Sub. In her three losses, she has been around the wheel once. The winner of the TUF bantamweight class went on a tear in the UFC until, in her last fight in 2017, she hit a wall against Valentina. She has then had a child and left MMA for a few years. She is back and ready to claim what she feels is hers. She will have to do it against Nicco Montano, the TUF 26 winner who defeated late replacement, Roxanne Modafferi. Later that year, she was stripped of the inaugural belt when she pulled out of her fight with Valentina. The 4-2 fighter is average and should not have owned that belt anyway. The move of stripping her was not the right one, but she would have lost it anyway. The southpaw fighter will look to stay off the ground with Pena and keep it standing. In her four wins, she has 2 KOs and two by way of decision. The purple belt in BJJ has no submissions to her credit. In her two losses, she has never been finished, but she hasn’t faced anyone of Pena’s caliber just yet. I think Montano really has her work cut out here, to be quite honest. I think the UFC is looking for Pena to dispose of her here. It is obvious who they want to win this fight and who will bring more money to the UFC machine, but at the end of the day, Pena is going to have to be the one that gets it done. The lay off and the child all play factors here and knowing that she did have a child, there is a very good reason to believe she wasn’t training as she normally would or should. It’s only normal, but with all that said, this is still her fight to win or lose. She is the better fighter, the better talent, and if she shakes off the webs early, then this can be a fight she rears her head against as a serious threat in the division. Very hard to pick against her here.
The Pick: Pena
Ryan Hall $8300 vs. Darren Elkins $7900
Another very interesting matchup here. Darren Elkins earned the name on his chest “the damage” from just displaying a little bit of both in his persona. The guy has shown to dish it out, but chances are he took a beating before doing so. The guy is like captain comeback. You need to physically assault this guy in order to get the best version of him going. It’s just who he is. It’s in his DNA. Solid wrestling, average striking, but unmatched heart and grind has spring boarded Elkins over many tough situations before. It’s really what makes him so appealing to watch. He will take on Ryan Hall, who has an extremely odd fighting style but it works. Hall comes from an exceptional BJJ background. Being the only person to submit BJ Penn, Hall has a very odd approach. It is not a style that is really fan-friendly. You can find Hall literally falling to his back, begging you to jump in his guard or searching for leg locks in very odd situations. There is no doubt Hall wants it where he wants it, but someone like Elkins probably won’t take that bait. Elkins also has never been submitted in his entire career and has a very odd way of surviving the most unreal predicaments. Hall isn’t the type of fighter who is going to take the fight to Elkins; he is going to want Elkins to take the fight to him, and he will. However, he is going to have to stay out of scrambling exchanges and will need to do whatever he can to stay off the ground. I think Elkins has a good opportunity to win a fight that can be boring on just doing a little bit more. Hall is not going to light up the stats nor is he a guy who will lead any dance. Elkins needs to be very cautious in which dance he brings Hall to, because if it’s the wrong dance, then Elkins may not make it out alive. I think Elkins is going to be too aggressive, and it may be his demise.
The Pick: Hall
Liu Pingyuan $8700 vs. Jonathan Martinez $7500
Liu, on paper, is on a tear in his career. He is on a nine-fight win streak, stemming back to 2013. Under the UFC banner, he is a solid 2-0 with both coming by way of decision. He also has a good balance of submissions (5) and KOs (4). There is no denying his talent and pace, but there is something to be said about his cardio, and even tho his last two fights went yard, you can see a clear drop off in cardio near the end of his fights. That can play a role later in time if the fighting pool becomes more and more difficult. He will be taking on Martinez, who actually got his debut win on last-minute notice against Buren. None for being more of a patient striker, the 10-2 fighter has 5 KOs and two submissions. In the past, he took MMA up as a hobby and really only started taking it seriously a few years back, so there is plenty of room for this kid to grow and learn. With that said, he had a crash course in his last fight and passed, so you wonder if on a full camp if he can do it again and take the next step. I like this kid, and he actually looked better in his last fight then I have seen in all of his film. He has very good range striking, good movement, and his grappling was impressive to a point. With that said, Liu is a step up for him, and I am not sure how his style will be able to handle the pressure from someone like Liu once he starts really stepping on the gas. In the volume world to a judge, that usually gives you the edge unless the counter striker is making you miss and connecting in the process, but if the pressure fighter is having success, then that will usually edge them the round. I am expecting Liu to win the early part of this fight on pressure alone, but whether or not he can keep up that pace is really yet to be determined. With that said, I said Liu is taking a sizeable lead here, and even if he does start to fade very late, he should be up enough on the cards to win, providing he does not get knocked out or submitted before the final horn. I can see a possible 29-28 for Liu here.
The Pick: Liu
Livinha Souza $8000 vs. Brianna Van Buren $8200
Souza is a very under the radar type of fighter. The Brazilian Judo olympian has a very aggressive style and is always looking for ways to get in on your hips while looking for trips and other ways to secure you on the ground. She has very good transitions when she is there, and she is always looking to advance her position, which I like. The 13-1 fighter has eight of her wins by submission, and in her solo loss, it was way of decision. The black belt in BJJ will be looking to make it 3-0 under the UFC umbrella, while across the cage from her will be another fighter who comes in with a very intriguing game. Van Buren, at first look, seems like a Danielle Taylor. Very small for the division, only standing five foot tall. But she uses it well by understanding how important it is to fight underneath, using that to her advantage. She will not sit at range with you for long, but she will come underneath and stay low, trying to really grind her way into a positive situation. The 8-2 fighter has skills both on the feet and on the ground, but fighting space is not something she is overall too good at and it is not because of her skill level but more because of her height and length. I think this will actually be a very good fight, and I see why Souza might be the dog here, but in Judo when someone gets close and clinches with you, that is doing you a favor. It allows you to set up your throws and trips much easier because force is coming your way instead of the opposite way. Judo is all about energy and force; if you are pushing forward on a judo practitioner, then that force is used against you. If Souza can capitalize on that and take control of Van Buren on the ground, then she can find herself ahead on rounds fairly quickly. I think Souza is a live dog here.
The Pick: Souza
Benito Lopez $7700 vs. Vince Morales $8500
Lopez is a contender series prospect who comes in at 9-1. His only loss was to Manny Bermudez in which he was submitted. Hey, who doesn’t get submitted by Manny if he gets you where he wants you? Lopez is a very hard fighter to gauge. He is talented with a good pace, and being at Alpha Male, they are obviously really tightening up his wrestling. His last fight was his sole loss. He will be looking to take his back off the wall in a big way in Alpha Male’s whole town and also the return of his coach being on the card. He will take on Vince Morales, another contender series prospect who really didn’t impress me the way Lopez did. He is a good striker with solid flow, but you can back him up. He has two gears, and it seems when he is moving forward, he is very patient. When he is moving backward, it’s much of the same. He just seems a little too calculated for me. Good fighter, but one Lopez can in fact beat.
The Pick: Lopez
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DRAFTKINGS
- GDR $7300
At $7300 in a 5 round fight, it is really hard to ignore her in this spot. If she can keep this upright, then she can walk away with this one. Ladd is going to look for her hips; this will all be premised on if she can stuff the takedowns and use her striking pedigree and length to keep the youngster honest. I like her chances here. I will have some.
- Ladd $8900
She is young, and she has a switch that changes over when she sees an opening for a finish. It’s very primal. This is a really big spot for her at such a young age, and I am not sure how she handles it here. The price does bother me a bit, but in a five-round fight with her style, if she wins, she should cover her value so I wouldn’t ignore her totally.
- Faber $6900
I just don’t see it here. I have to fade him. Love him, a punt maybe just because its Faber but thats it at the very best.
- Simon $9300
He is pricey and I am not thrilled here but I think he can possibly put in work if Faber can’t keep up. Very very small dose here. I also think that many people may buy in on faber here which can
- Emmett $7400
There is value on Emmett, and I think the masses will know that. So expect company. He is a live dog here at his price, and he shouldn’t be avoided totally, but I will most likely lean away to see if I can blow up other lineups by just watching.
- Bektic $8800
Bektic is really pricey here, and with Emmett getting a lot of attention for his price, this can be a sneaky play in some lineups if he can manage to get his wrestling going early. I am interested in GPP.
- Roberson $9100
Fight scares me, and I am afraid to fade him totally, but this fight does scare me and will most likely hinder my lineups with him. I am not fading him completely, because I can see him finishing Turman off with an elbow, but I am stabbing at him small and with serious caution.
- Turman $7100
I like the kid, but here is another guy who you will have company and he just has too many obstacles to overcome on one week’s notice. I may sit back and just watch him blow some lineups up.
- Vettori $8600
Vettori is pricey, but the chin of Ceaser is there for the taking if he can stay up right. I picked Ceaser, but I’m intrigued.
- Ferreira $7600
His power grappling and his overall size and strength can be imposing. If he protects his chin, he may find a neck or a limb. There is value here.
- Rodriguez $9400
He is expensive, but I will have some of MROD here. I think he has the ability to finish this fight with his length and power. People may lean off him due to his price, but I am going to take a few chances here.
- Allan $6800
- Fili $7800
The value is there for Fili here at $7800, and he can win this fight if he can figure out how to get this to the ground and make Moraes really work. I don’t think he is a bad play here on his home soil.
- Moraes $8400
Moraes can win this fight if he keeps it upright so $8400 isn’t horrible but not a play I will have much attention to come Saturday.
- Pena $9000
Two years off and a child. Full fade right? No… The masses are probably thinking she is such a question mark, which will drive her value down. I will try and get sneaky here and have a few small plays on her.
- Montano $7200
- Hall $8300 / Elkins $7900
My lean is Hall with the hedge weight, but you need to hedge this one if you decide to run it. This is not a fight I am super interested in from a DK perspective, but the fight should be good and interesting to see these two styles matchup.
- Liu $8700
People are afraid of his gas tank, but he does have the pressure and style to gain points if he comes forward and pressures the way he has the ability to do so. At sub $9k, he may be underlooked so I will have a few shares here.
- Martinez $7500
I like him, but I don’t see it.
- Souza $8000 / Van Buren $8200
You know what to do here. My lean is Souza, but this fight is hedgeable. Don’t be left out in the cold if you only go one way. The price tags are allowing you to hedge and keep lineups rolling either way it goes.
- Lopez $7700
Not a fight I am super excited about. I may have a small stab here due to his price, and I think he wins, but the first fight of the night? I am light here in a fight he can blow his wad early. Be careful.
- Morales $8500
UFC FIGHT NIGHT VEGAS BETS
I have no real preferred Plays on this card. I don’t have strong leans either way. With that said, All my picks are above and you can utilize them the way you seem fit to do so. They are all in play, but there is just nothing that jumps off the page at me. Except this and its risky but I will take my chances on it…. However, feel free to play any of the above picks
3 Units to win 1.6