MadLab’s UFC Fight Night Boston Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT MAIN CARD
Dominick Reyes $8800 vs. Chris Weidman $7400
Chris Weidman made a full-blown name for himself when he caught the crafty Anderson Silva trying to get too cute with his hands down, utilizing just head movement while Chris was on the attack. The man with Catlike skills lost one of his lives when Weidman was able to connect with a wild shot that would put Silva down, ultimately giving him the strap. He then defended his title shortly after in the much-awaited rematch, which most of the masses expected redemption from the spider in a big way. In the second round of that fight, Silva would suffer a brutal and gruesome leg injury that would allow Weidman to walk away defending the strap successfully. Well, Kind of. He would then successfully defend it twice against Lyoto Machida and Vitor Belfort, taking some of the sting out of the question if he really is the true class of the division. After his 2 defenses, Chris then began to spiral out of control a bit, dropping 3 straight all by way of KO. The streets were windy and looming questions about his durability and his overall career were both highly in question. He then came back to his home town and faced the rising star in Kelvin Gastelum, blowing the roof off the arena when he submitted him in the 3rd round. It seemed as if Weidman, at least for the moment, was getting his footing again. Now the once foggy questions lifted a bit only to cloud up again when he was KO’d in his last fight by the hands of aging veteran Souza. In the last 5 fights, Weidman has been KO’d in 4 of them. I still have serious concerns about him in fights where he may not be able to get his wrestling off or against someone that is very long with good technical striking skills with KO power. There is no doubt that Weidman is a talent but there is something about him when he fights that I just feel now that he can go at any time. With a 14-4 record, Chris suffered these KO losses on the back end of his career, which shows us that he is, in fact, slowing down. He will have his spots where he does win, but can you really trust him to tie together a group of wins to make that tight run again? Good question, and one that will have to start Friday night against rising star Dominic Reyes. At 11-0 Reyes isn’t planning on tasting defeat anytime soon. Long, rangy, good power, acceptable ground game and he has been tested by some decent legs in the division. 5-0 under the UFC umbrella. He beat the likes of Jarred Cannonier, OSP, and Volkan. The fight against Volkan was a bit controversial but it goes into the resume as a W, so we leave it there. This is a matchup that can really take on 1 of 2 heads and possibly even both. Weidman is not going to want to stand and trade with Reyes. He may be able to hang early, but once Reyes starts finding his target, Weidman may end up being a sitting duck just waiting to get exposed. I have a hard time trusting both men here. Reyes seems to be very talented and ready for a run, but he is still very raw. Weidman has all the talent but his recent woes do scare me a bit. At this point, it really is a test of two tales and it boils down to who you really trust more. I am going to put more faith into Reyes here. It may come and bite me in the ass but I think we know what Weidman is and when he is on his game he is extremely tough to beat, but what Weidman will we get. I also think that Reyes has room to grow and we haven’t seen the best Reyes just yet. If he can grow in every fight then the ceiling really has no standard as of now. I think we see Reyes with better takedown defense and a better overall ability to get to his feet in this one. He knows what needs to be done and he also understands that this fight can open doors that are unimaginable to him a few short years ago…
The Pick: Reyes
Yair Rodriguez $8100 vs. Jeremy Stephens $8100
Interesting situation here. These two were supposed to square off a few short weeks back and an unfortunate eye poke would put a halt to the contest just a few short moments into the affair. At one time Rodriguez was being looked at as this new hybrid of talent that seemed to be funneling itself in slowly to the UFC. Dynamic striking with extremely awkward movements is what Yair brings to the table. A matrix if you will. A style that really is tough to prepare for, for the mere fact that anytime you have something that is unpredictable, there is really no blueprint to be cultivated. Kicking off his run with a 6-0 start under the UFC umbrella, he was primed for a showdown with New Jersey’s own Frankie Edger. It was then that we saw what happens when the new flashy kid on the block tries to knock on the old dog in the yard’s dog house. Even tho he came into that fight flawless on the big stage, I knew that his career would start now. I would truly see what this kid is made of in the next few fights to come. You see, in fighting, winning is easy. Bouncing back from a devastating loss is where you see what a fighter is truly made of. Much like in life there are people that follow a paved path in life. Why? Because it’s easy. “Do all these things, study in all these ways, follow all these constitutions and you will manifest what is the obvious outcome.” However, when shit goes south and the trajectory changes, let’s see the man you are. I have seen it far too many times and that is the moment you separate the men from the boys in life and in fighting. The mind is a very tricky and complex piece of equipment. It can be your best friend and ally, but it can also be the slow death of you. Do you need skill to fight? Yes. However, our brains are just wired differently than most. We see things differently and losing is the absolute worst-case scenario. It’s just not in our cards. Losing the battle is one thing, but losing the war is not an option. There is a reason this was our chosen craft. There is no one to blame, no one to point the finger at and no one to save you. It is a lonely place when that cage door shuts, but there is a beauty in the Violence that it creates when it is 1 on 1. Yair may have won his bounce-back fight but I am not sold on where he is mentally and in a fight that he won with just seconds remaining on the clock. Now he is in a spot against a plodding fighter in Jeremy Stevens, although he is not a flashy styling type fighter. He is willing to walk through fire to get his leather on you and if given the opportunity he will do just that. Stevens is as game as they get and even tho he lacks in movement, agility, and athletic prowess, it only takes one to land for him to really seal your fate. Stevenson is one of those guys that has made some really good runs in his career but whenever it was time for him to really turn a corner he just tends to drop that one important fight. So climb high he has. Reach the pinnacle he has not. With that said, his career is winding down a bit and he will need to make a quick run if he wants to keep up with the young guns here and it starts now. I think he gets outclassed here with Yair’s speed and dynamics.
The Pick: Rodriguez
Greg Hardy $9300 vs. Ben Sosoli $6900
I am keeping this short because I am honestly sick of talking about this guy. What would you like to me say? What would you like me to break down? He has zero skills in MMA, and it’s anyone’s guess who lands first in fights like this. Hardy is riding off his past successes in NFL, and the UFC is chewing it up for the ride as long as they can. That train will come to an end, trust me. Eventually, Hardy is actually going to have to fight someone, and he will end up losing, but right now the UFC is totally throwing him in there with garbage fighters from garbage organizations, with blow up records against garbage competition. Oh, look! Another guy, Ben Sosoli! 7-2 with 6 KOs. He must be awesome. (Sarcasm) Oh and look, he never got KO’d! He must be durable! (Sarcasm) Look it’s the heavyweights so honestly anything can happen, but I highly doubt the UFC is setting Hardy up to fail here.
The Pick: Hardy
Joe Lauzon $7700 vs. Jonathan Pearce $8500
Joe Lauzon is one of those guys who you just can’t help to like. Just an all-around great guy with a stellar career that never really took off to heights it maybe could have. Joe is one of the OG’s of the game and you wonder why he is still fighting to be quite honest. With that said, Lauzon is very Jim Miller-ish. Very very tough out for anyone, but never hit the avenues that they would have liked to in their careers and now they are left being very good gatekeepers. His 27-15 record really does him no justice and his 18 submissions tell you a short story about how slick this 35-year-olds ground game is when he gets it going. The biggest issue with Lauzon these days is that he gasses out extremely quick. There is no gradual drop off. Lauzon literally just slices his gas tank and is exposed right before your eyes. He is in Boston fighting in front of his home crowd but they will not able to pump oxygen into his lungs if this fight goes into the 3rd round. I think Lauzon understands where his weakness in his cardio is because he comes out and practically wins every 1st round he is involved in. If he catches you, Great! But if he doesn’t, be prepared to suffer a possible loss due to it. He takes on a younger Jon Pearce that likes to do things a little differently than Lauzon. With a record of 9-3, he has 7 by way of KO. If Lauzon wants a firefight early, he is most likely going to get one and considering Lauzon lost his last 3 and 2 by way of KO is something that he probably would want to shy away from, but Lauzon will not shy away from such a thing. He is going to come out guns blazing and try and get this young gun to the ground before that gas tank pops his head up and waves hello to the crowd. When and if that happens then listen to me when I tell you… It will be popcorn time. Pearce isn’t a bad fighter but he isn’t someone who should or would ever beat Joe Lauzon when he is dialed in. The problem, Lauzon is not dialed in like that anymore. So this should be a fight that Pearce can, in fact, win as the fight stretches to its final verdict, but I’ll take the 35-year-old one time at home in this spot. If he loses this fight, I think it’s fair to say he hangs them up for the final showing in front of friends and family. With that said, sometimes a little drive goes a long way in a fight like this that can very well be his last. He will be up for this fight mentally, but physically is what we will have to see. Pearce doesn’t present this huge obstacle for Lauzon and it wouldn’t shock me either way, but it’s a fight he can surely win if he hits it on the right night. One time for the old dogs Joey…
The Pick: Lauzon
Maycee Barber $8300 vs. Gillian Robertson $7900
Maycee Barber is slowly making some serious waves in the UFC at only 21 years of age. Marketable, talented, and the girl can trade leather. With a record of 7-0 Barber has shown little patience for judges and finished 6 of her 7 fights before the horn. In her last fight against JJ Aldrich, she was getting picked apart and stormed back with a brutal KO victory to keep her record clearly in check just like she expected. In her fight against JJ, I noticed so many raw aspects of her game but with a 21-year-old it is expected to an extent. One thing I noticed on a serious positive note is that she really has mature power and pop in her punches at such a young age. The power she generates in her strikes is extremely mature and she will only grow into her power more which is actually a scary thought. Even tho she has 2 subs under her belt, it is quite obvious that Barber likes to end your night with her fists and not your limbs. It is quite the difference in styles when the cage door locks behind her and Gillian Robertson is looking her way. Robertson has emerged as a serious threat when you decide to play in the sandbox with her. With a 7-3 record, Robertson has shown the ability to hang with anyone on the ground and has a good track record of doing so with 5 of her 7 wins coming by way of submission. In her 3 losses, Gillian has only been submitted 1 time and went to the cards in the 2 previous. Training Brazilian jiu-jitsu under mastermind Din Thomas, a 3rd-degree black belt under Ricardo Liborio. He has Gillian completely dialed into her ground game and I don’t think there is a single place other than the ground that Gillian wants to be. The issue I have with both girls in this fight is that Robertson is going to have her hands full if she decides to really engage heavy on the feet. Maycee may need work there but she has enough power and ties her combos together well enough to really spark Gillian out. Gillian also needs to be mindful when it comes to taking a shot. If she gets caught up in a clinch with barber than that can cause her to be stuck in a web of strikes that she really doesn’t want to be involved with or any part of. As far as Barber, she will need to really stop the takedown and keep this standing for as long as she can. Open up her hands and tie together her strikes in ways that will back Robertson off making her think twice to take the shot again and when she does, the commitment may not be there like it was in the beginning of the fight. In any case, I think Roberson is going to have issues getting Barber in spots that she wants her to put herself in. I think the size and power of Barber are going to cause her all types of issues, and eventually, the strikes will start to accumulate. Those punches may not KO Roberson, but they will be enough to take the points game if she can’t manage to get this on the ground.
The Pick: Barber
Deron Winn $8200 vs. Darren Stewart $8000
Winn is a guy who really is very undersized for this division. Much like Daniel Cormier, he seems to have taken the same type of path. The only Difference with Winn is that he relies much more on his hands then Cormier did in his upbringing. With that said being under the watchful eye of Cormier, you can imagine that he is formulating a system much like his own that gave him clear success being the smaller man in a very large world. At 6-0 Winn has 4 wins by way of KO. Even tho he is shorter in stature, he does find his range in the pocket. He does have some very good high pedigree wrestling and I would ultimately like to see him use that much more. As the fights stiffen, he will need to go into his back pocket and use what he is good at and wrestling can be an ace in a hole for him. Especially in this spot, where Darren Stewart is going to want to stand and trade leather with Winn. Stewart has had a very odd start to his UFC run. It took him 4 fights to seal a win and when he finally did his record has been up and down ever since. With a 4-3-1 record, Stewart can’t afford to sit back on the gas now. He needs to level out the playing field and climb to 500 in order for the UFC to really put him on stable legs again. Stewart has shown very good improvements winning 3 of his last 4 fights. Stewart has very good power and provides a threat to anyone if they decide to test that attribute. This is a really tough spot for both men, but Winn does hold the ace of spades here if he can get his wrestling going early and stay away from Stewart’s power. I think he is smart enough to follow the lead of Cormier and use what got him here. Stewart makes things interesting early, but Winn eventually takes this one over.
The Pick: Winn
UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS
Charles Rosa $7500 vs. Manny Bermudez $8700
This is actually a good fight. Bermudez is a grappling ace in which if given the opportunity, he will suck up a limb and take you for a ride. With a 14-1 record, Bermudez has 11 by way of submission. In his last fight against Casey Kenney, he was beaten from pillar to post and just completely outworked. Bermudez showed us a blueprint on what he doesn’t like and he doesn’t react so well to it. If you don’t like a situation. You need to make a change. Quickly, efficiently and strategically. Some fighters freeze in situations like this. I’m not saying he froze, but even in the grappling department, it just seemed that Casey stoke his desire to pull himself out of the fire. As a competitor in sport and life, the most important aspect is to test your fabric mentally. This is when you find out who you truly are as a person. Will you shell up when things are tough or will you jump into the hottest parts of the flame which are the ignition points to win at any cost. Bermudez will need to show me this against Rosa. Rosa is not a spectacular talent but he does have a very slippery ground game that can play in a compatible way to Bermudez. At 14-3, the black belt under Ricardo Liborio has his finger on the human chess match. In his last 6 fights, Rosa has seen an even rotating door of wins and losses. After suffering a KO loss to Shane Burgos in his last outing, Rosa steps back into the thunder dome after a 30-month layoff. I sit and wonder if his timing, the cage rust, and the overall moment of this resurgence will affect his performance. He doesn’t seem like the type of fighter that will suffer from any kind of adrenaline dump, due to his overall nature. However, fighting in front of his home crowd can inject some unnecessary excitement into his bloodstream and in a fight like this where both men are predominantly grapplers, staying loose is extremely important. Both fighters have obstacles to climb in this violent dance on Friday night. Rosa making his return after a 30-month layoff and Bermudez trying to avenge the first loss of his career by getting back on the green side of the column. I find this to be a very close fight but I think Rosa tears a page out of Casey Kenny’s book and applies that unwanted pressure to Bermudez, dragging him back into a place that he was just a few short months ago. I think I am going with the dog here.
The Pick: Rosa
Molly McCann $9400 vs. Diana Belbita $6800
How can you not love Molly McCann?! She is the poster child for tough as nails. She has no real great skill set, but she brings a toughness into a female division that is really unmatched. You need to literally hit her with a crowbar to finish her and if you decide to submit her, you better not have quick lactic acid build-up, because she is not going to tap. You need to put her out before she taps and that is as boss as it gets. Her most recent loss to date was against Gillian Roberson by way of submission, but then she just had no concentration on her ground game. She trusted her hands way too much. After that loss, she realized that her hands just isn’t enough in this bracket. She then looked like she had a ground game in her last fight against Lipski. The 29-year-old from Liverpool may not be an athlete, but her will to learn and win gives her the want to be better. I don’t think McCann will ever be a huge contender, but she will earn respect as her career carries on. She takes on Belbita who on paper has a very admirable record and a nice balance of finishes to her Merit. On film, she doesn’t look too shabby either but the competition that she has faced is really highly questionable. In a fight like this where both women are talented to a point, I don’t see Bilbeta matching the toughness of McCann. I don’t see her willing to bend and not break. I think McCann puts her in some forceful spots. I think Belbita will fire back, but then eventually when both are bending, McCann will refuse to break where Belbita will have no choice but to do so.
The Pick: McCann
Kyle Bochniak $8400 vs. Sean Woodson $7800
Bochniak is a strange character. This guy is never in a fight that he is not in or a fight that he doesn’t let his opponent in. They are always nailbiters and very close. It’s odd because he can fight a complete can and you can expect it to be close. Then you will walk away saying “Boch is not very good.” Then he will fight a very formidable opponent and even if he loses, he looks like a different human. You will then walk away saying “Maybe he isn’t that bad after all.” It seems that he fights down or up to his opposition. You really can’t do that on this level. However, in a spot like this where he is home, those close fights can tend to lean his way a bit. With a record of 8-4, Boch has 4 decisions, 2 KO, and 2 Subs. In his 4 loses he has never been finished. He will be taking on Woodson who is extremely long and rangy for the division. A fighter from the Contender series, I am not really sure what to make of his striking, to be honest. I think it is more of how long and awkward he is that makes everything look so goofy footed, but the guy can strike and he isn’t afraid to take some to give some. With a record of 6-0, Woodson has 1 by way of submission and 2 by way of KO. He would be smart to really keep this fight in space and make Boch chase him. Boch is going to want to put on a show and if you don’t allow him to then I have seen Boch become frustrated and start throwing little tantrums here and there almost indicating to the crowd and the judges that he’s trying to fight. In turn, Bochniak will start hunting hard and this is where Woodson can start to take over. I just don’t think that is the case here. I think these are the types of fights that Boch wins. Close fights that put a little bit of a scare on you and then it all just works out in his favor at home in a very very close decision win.
The Pick: Bochniak
Randy Costa $7200 vs. Boston Salmon $9000
Both men come into this fight with disappointing loses. Salmon came into the UFC after an impressive contender series showing. He fought Taha in which I really thought that he would have a victorious debut, however, it just didn’t go that way. He was sparked out in the 1st round and just didn’t look like he wanted to be there. Ok, maybe not wanting to be there, but not comfortable being there. At the end of the day, I still like this kid and I think he has talent but he needs to get by the jitters that I really feel he had coming into his fight with Taha. He will take on Randy Costa who is talented in his own right with decent power. With a 4-1 record, all of his wins have come by the way of KO. In his only loss, he was submitted by Davis in which is not a submission expert in any form. Both men have good striking and good power. Between the 2 of them, they have 8 KOS in 10 wins, but I think Salmon is just the stronger and solid fighter in this spot. I think we have seen Costa and I think we have a baseline of what he is. As far as Salmon, I don’t know if we have seen all of what he possesses currently and I think he is going to show us much more in this fight. I will put my faith in Boston Salmon here to get the job done.
The Pick: Salmon
Court McGee $7000 vs. Sean Brady $9200
Court McGee is a gamer. This is a guy that had oodles of personal issues in his life but here he is still fighting just like he fought for his life outside of the cage. McGee is one of those guys that is well rounded everywhere but he just doesn’t have the athletic accolades to really make it work as well as it should. He has very tough durability about him that keeps him in most of his fights but if you have good volume, are sharp, and have a speed advantage against him, then as long as you don’t get caught in his fox hole, you should be fine. Brady is that guy. He isn’t very good, but he is well rounded and he is much fresher. I am expecting him to go out there and win this fight just by getting to the spots quicker. I don’t see him finishing McGee in this spot, but I do think he unloads enough, gets in first and out first during most of the exchanges. McGee will have his moments but not before he eats some volume. I would say that McGee is a live dog here but just not one that I would really bury too much confidence in at this point in his career.
The Pick: McGee
Brendan Allen $7300 vs. Kevin Holland $8900
Kevin Holland is a character. The guy came into a fight with Thiago Santos in his debut fight. Now if that doesn’t take balls, I don’t know what does. Not only did he take the fight, but he laughed and showboated the entire way. Even tho he lost that fight which was expected in my eyes, he did show some very good things. Holland is much more well rounded than people may think and his record actually displays that. With a 15-4 record, Holland has 6 by sub and 6 by KO. There is something very raw about him that can be dangerous to his own self, but at the same time, it can be very beneficial to him as well. Slick grappling, very long and striking, and a persona that really is meant to be in the limelight is all that he encases. He will look to keep momentum going against Allen who is much more of a grappler. With submissions his choice of weapon, Allen will have his hands full with Holland. Holland is not only going to give him the expected problems on the feet but he will also be very surprised at the ground game of Holland once he gets it there if he does. I think this is a good spot for Holland and I have a rough time not picking him here.
The Pick: Holland
Daniel Spitz $7600 vs. Tanner Boser $8600
This fight is a coin flip. It’s a heavyweight fight where both guys are literally terrible. Spitz is the longer fighter and if he had any skills at all he would really be able to utilize that and keep the smaller lumbering Boser in space. But that is not the case. Boser is a brawler in which he has more than half of his fights won by KO. In his 5 losses, he was only stopped once, so there is something to be said about a brawler against a noncompetent tall heavyweight that has no idea how to use his range and tools. I think the writing is on the wall in this one. Expect Boser to find his way in, have zero respect for Spitz and eventually find his mark. Now be very aware that this can work out in the opposite direction, but gun to head I have to go with the KO artist with the good chin.
The Pick: Boser
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DRAFTKINGS
Reyes $8800 / Weidman $7400
I will be playing both men in a 5 round fight here. Both men have clear paths to win but I will be leaning on Reyes a smidge more. But by NO MEANS do you dare fade Weidman. These are spots where he can really surprise you.
Rodriguez $8100 / Stephens $8100
I should not have to tell you what to do here in a spot where they are the same price. I am picking Yair to win so I will obviously have more shares of him but Stevens has the Night Capper that can land at any time.
Hardy $9300 / Sosoli $6900
There is no chance you play one and not the other. One of these guys should go to sleep. Two sloppy fighters looking to take the other’s head off. My lean is Hardy, but he is so bad, nothing would shock me if he is in the wrong end of it. Get a little of both.
I will have some here. Lauzon looks to finish early because he knows his gas tank is just not there. If he does, then it’s a huge win and if he doesn’t then you can be sitting on a dead lineup. However, I am taking a few chances here. It’s worth it.
Too expensive for me. But if Lauzon gasses early then the KO can come. For that reason alone, I wouldn’t fade this spot.
I will have some of Barber here. It all depends if Barber can stay upright.
Her submission game is what intrigues me but she has to get it there. However, if she does the threat becomes very real. As a hedge play, I will have a few small plugs.
Winn $8200 / Stewart $8000
Both of these guys have the ability to beat each other and this is really a super close fight. With that said, I am going one way here. I am taking the side of the little guy. At $8200 he can put in enough work to cover in a win and as far as Stewart, if you want to sprinkle him around then, by all means, I can’t hate you for it. I just know I have to pick and choose my spots.
I will have some Rosa. I think he has a very good chance to win this fight even with the layoff. The kid has an extremely slick ground game and I look forward to seeing these two roll around on the mat in this one. Should be fun, but a fight that Rosa can def pull off.
He’s really expensive so if you play him I would play him cautiously and lightly.
Meh… I like her but that is a hefty price tag. But Fuck it. It’s the Meatball. Give me a few. She’s violent.
Bochniak $8400 / Woodson $7800
Initially, I wanted to fade this fight but then when you look at the price tag it seems like it’s playable. The only issue is Boch loves to hit the cards which can be scary. If you play him, play him light and understand the probability of him going all 3 is real.
Costa $7200 / Salmon $9000
I am fading this fight. I don’t trust Salmon enough to pay $9k and I don’t trust Costa enough to upset Salmon. Easy Equation.
His durability is the only thing that really intrigues me here. You know he is going to give you hell on earth for as long as he can survive. So at $7k, it’s not the worst play in the world. But I am not expecting him to win this fight. With that said, he does have a live chance.
Too expensive for my liking.
Fade for me.
I am actually interested here. Holland is a wild card and I like that about him. Sub $9k. He can make things happen.
Small dose just because they are heavyweights.
The KO potential is there. I will take some stabs.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRIZE PICKS
1.25 Units to win 1 Unit
1.4 Units to win 1 Unit
Kevin Holland -160
1.6 Units to win 1 Unit
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