MadLab’s UFC Fight Night Uruguay Breakdown and Predictions!!! Here is what Twitter is saying…
UFC FIGHT NIGHT MAIN CARD
Valentina Shevchenko $9600 vs. Liz Carmouche $6600 TITLE FIGHT
This is a rematch, and I am not going to spend too much useless time on this. One thing I will never ever do is fill space just because it looks good. If I can get to a point quickly, I will. That is actually funny coming from me because I am the one who started all the long-winded MMA breakdowns, as others followed, tweeting about how many words their articles were. With that said, there are times and places for articles like that, and if filling in useless space is what you enjoy, then this isn’t the breakdown for you. I am trimming the fat here and just giving you the facts. This is a rematch from 2010, and yes, Carmouche won the fight. However, while people are going to dive in and break a fight down from nine years ago, I am here to tell you not to waste your precious time. That was nine years ago, and Valentina is a completely different human. From striking to grappling, Valentina is one of the most elite women fighters in MMA, and she continues to prove that, fight in and fight out. Since her loss to Carmouche, she has only lost to one other fighter and that is current champion, Amanda Nunes. Both by way of Decision with one that was close enough to be a split. With a 17-3 record, Valentina has 12 of her 17 wins by way of finish and will pour volume on you once she gets into the pocket of the fight. She is really in a class of her own if Nunes was not in the mix, but quite honestly, she isn’t that far off. As her star began to shoot straight up in the air, Carmouche streamlined and really didn’t transcend as much. With some good wins and some bad losses, Carmouche stayed as a “Tough Out” for most fighters where Valentina was landed in “Elite” status. She has had some bright spots in her career, but the matchup for her is just not a good one at today’s present time. The 35-year-old, who holds a Black Belt in BJJ, only has two submissions in her 13-6 record and hasn’t had a KO since 2013. Her last seven fights have gone to decision with two being splits. On a two-fight win streak, she is ready for one last shot at Championship Medal that eluded her two other times in the past: once with strikeforce and once here in the UFC. With that said, I think it’s fair to say she will always be a bridesmaid and never a bride because, as bad as Carmouche wants this fight, Valentina wants to get that loss back and Carmouche just doesn’t have the volume nor the chops to keep up with Valentina. This fight should really be relatively one-sided in favor of the Bullet.
The Pick: Valentina
Vicente Luque $9000 vs. Mike Perry $7200
Very intriguing fight here, and I am not sure I am too high on the pricing here. Mike Perry is a wildcard in any fight he is in. He does not have the greatest Cage IQ but he will have spots where he can be extremely dangerous. Do not expect any defense from this guy or any blueprint game planning. This guy is all brawling, all the time. It is hard not to like Mike Perry just because of who he is and despite his lack of abilities inside the cage, the guy goes after it and goes after it hard. I wouldn’t say he has face melting pop, but the guy can bang and if he catches you on the sweet spot, you will take a knee. His underrated wrestling and his good chin are also bonuses in his back pocket and he is going to need it against someone like Luque. Luque is one of those guys that flies heavily under the radar. With a 9-1 record since walking into the UFC, he does not get the accolades you would expect from a fighter running with a record under the toughest umbrella in the business. With a five-fight win streak, Luque has finished all five of those fights. Supporting a 16-6 record, I must say that it really does not serve him any justice considering they were all losses from early on. With that said, Luque is coming off of an absolute war that I can honestly say he was losing to BamBam. It was one of the roughest blue-collar matches you can witness and he just so happened to fold Barberena late in the fight to steal the victory. Luque showed incredible heart, resolve, and durability in that fight even tho he was dropped at one point. From a skill set level, I think it’s fair to say that Luque is the fair more polished fighter, but when you get a fighter like Mike Perry that is such a wildcard, things can get scary. Perry should not beat Luque here but it does not mean that Perry can’t catch him. With that said I can’t pick Perry on the hopes that he catches Luque. I have to go on the premise of who is a better fighter and who should win in a scenario where everything goes the way it actually should go. It does not mean that Luque doesn’t have his work cut out for him here. Perry isn’t just going to fold and go away. He is going to have to work for it, but he worked hard enough against Barberena and as durable as Perry is, He isn’t a dog like Barberena. BamBam is a different human and Luque was still able to eventually find his mark. I am going Luque here in a dog fight.
The Pick: Luque
Eduardo Garagorri $8400 vs. Humberto Bandenay $7800
Both of these guys are just not good. If you watch Garagorri on film, it’s like he is fighting guys who don’t even want to be there. Who is turning their back, who is crumbling into fetal positions, who are getting dropped by sidekicks to the chest. Just very bad opposition. He will be facing another fighter in Banenay that probably belongs in that same circuit that Garagorri came from. This fight should be locked dead even here and I wouldn’t be surprised at all who wins this fight. This is a very high-level regional circuit fight at its very best, but by no means is this a UFC level fight. With that Said even tho Bandenay is not very good, he does have UFC experience. However, his 12-0 record is not a sample size of him. Garagorri does bring heat, and he is not afraid to pressure you. If this fight travels down the path of the later rounds, then Bandenay has shown a clear hole in his gas tank which can be a problem in this fight if Garagorri can keep up a solid pace with a smothering style. Bandenay has his back against the wall, losing his last two, but I am going to say that he loses a 3rd straight here. However, I have no interest in these two guys, to be quite honest with you.
The Pick: Garagorri
Volkan Oezdemir $8500 vs. Ilir Latifi $7700
Tough fight to call here because both guys have pros and cons that work for and against each other. Oez is a very tricky striker that has very deceiving power and good placement when he is dialed in. He stormed onto the scene magically touching people and watching them fold like chairs. Since then people really bought in on him and it seems that his benchmark was set a little too high. Now whatever he does is looked under a microscope. The guy is a good fighter, but I wouldn’t call him a top fighter, and that was proven against Cormier when he was just completely outclassed by the champ. The champ really exposed the major hole in his ground game and the rest was history. Oez needs things to be in space where he can time you, bait you, and catch you. With that said if he can keep things on the feet, then you are talking about a very capable and dangerous striker. The 29-year-old holds a 16-4 record with three of the losses coming in his last three fights, so yes his back is against the wall here in a bad way. Dropping four fights will not be a look that keeps a spot in the garage, so winning this fight is crucial. It is not going to be easy against the powerhouse wrestling based fighter in Ilir Latifi. The ADCC European Submission Wrestling champ has had his ups and downs himself, but my biggest knock on him is honestly his cardio. He just seems to drop off a shelf during his fights, and it is more than likely due to his tremendous bricked-up frame. Your muscles utilize a lot of oxygen and a guy Latifi’s size will tend to exhaust quicker from carrying that weight and muscle. However, he has gone decision plenty of times and won, but for a guy like him, stealing the early rounds is crucial to his success. With a 14-6 record, he has five by sub and five by KO. In his six losses, he has been KO’d three times which, yes, is a concern against someone like Volkan. This is a very hard fight to call and I would not be shocked either way this fight goes, but I am going to take Latifi here with the hopes that he understands that grounding Volkan is the only path to victory.
The Pick: Latifi
Rodolfo Vieira $9100 vs. Oskar Piechota $7100
Vieira comes in with a record of 5-0, and usually, I am not too hyped on a guy with this raw of a record, but when you are as decorated in BJJ as Vieira is, I will make some bends. The Black Belt in BJJ is as world-class as it gets in MMA when it comes to Utilizing BJJ. There is one thing to have great BJJ but it’s another thing getting it to a spot you can actually utilize it and he has a good tie in with wrestling to get it there. Vieira will get on his bike and move around until he sees an opening for a level change, and when he finds it, he has a very quick shot that will automatically put you into harm’s way. Piechota is more of a power striker with average at best ability to really set things up. He tends to lunge forward when he throws and that can really be an issue especially because it can expose your hips for a beautiful look onto his hips. Another thing to consider here is Piechota, despite his very good power and ability to finish, likes to take things to the ground, and that is a very very big no-no against the guy who is standing across the cage from him because there is no way he is submitting or out grappling Vieira. With a record of 11-1, he has a well-rounded finishing rate of 5 KOs and 5 by SUB. His sole loss came from Sam Alvey, who baited him beautifully and saw that his lunging and reaching strikes would eventually get him to walk onto something big, and sure enough, he did. In this spot, I think he reaches a point where Vieira will get him to walk onto a level change where game/set/match can occur once he gets position on him. Piechota does have the power to catch him or anyone, but the level of BJJ is just far too high to think Vieira is not getting this to the ground at some point if he doesn’t get caught. I am expecting him to win this fight inside the horn, but it’s fighting guys and you know that everything and anything goes. We have seen the strangest things in the octagon, but common sense will tell you that all roads lead to a submission win here if he doesn’t get caught by something blind.
The Pick: Vieira
Enrique Barzola $8900 vs. Bobby Moffett $7300
This is a super tough fight to call and another fight where the line should be a little closer. Barzola is one of those guys that you know that he knows what he should do, but he tends to abandoned it at times to either give us a scare or because he gets baited into the wrong. Barzola’s strength is his chain wrestling and his ability to secure takedowns. Far too often Barzola will get baited into these firefights or just leave what he is good at to try new things. You can’t do that against a guy like Moffett who gains extremely high praise from his coaches and teammates. The 14-4 fighter has an extremely good grappling game, and his record shows it with nine of his 14 by way of submission. In his four losses, he has only lost one by way of finish, which was KO. In his last fight against Bryce Mitchell, it was a very close and muddy fight. Both guys had their sports but it was Mitchell coming out with the more seamless spots that the judges ultimately would give him the nod. Moffett returns to right that ship against Barzola, but the task doesn’t get any easier. Both men are very capable on the ground and I would say that Barzola is the more active fighter on the feet but defensively he is very hittable. Moffett is going to look to engage with his four-inch reach advantage trying to keep Barzola honest. I think for the most part he will have some success keeping him honest and at bay, but eventually, if Barzola gets this to the ground, I think he does a well enough job keeping top control and doing enough on top for the ref not to separate them. He is really going to have to center his weight and be very aware of what’s going on with Moffett on the bottom, because he does have slick enough chops to reverse position very quickly, With that said don’t be shocked if Barzola rides this one out on top in the later rounds to get the decision win here.
The Pick: Barzola
UFC FIGHT NIGHT UNDERCARD
Aleksei Kunchenko $8800 vs. Gilbert Burns $7400
Not a huge fan of this fight and I can honestly see it being rather boring in spots. Burns is taking this on short notice and that scares me a bit considering he has cardio issues as it is. Also, Burns is a perfect example of a guy with a clear cut advantage in grappling against majority of his opposition but it seems when he gets caught with the KO bug, he forgets that he is an extremely high pedigree grappler. I have seen Burns get into firefights that really were useless and sometimes they go his way and sometimes they don’t. By no means is Burns a bad striker. He is actually a pretty good striker with very good power, but his grappling is his ace and sometimes he leaves it home with him which I really don’t like. The high-level Black Belt in BJJ would be so much more of a safer play if he went in with the grapple first mindset. He may have no choice here against a guy like Kunchenko that really will own the foot soldier battle here. Kunchenko is 20-0 with 13 KOs and one submission, so in my guesstimation, if Burns stands and trades with this guy then he is just an idiot. Kunchenko isn’t going to throw a ton of volume so that will make Burns do one of two things: 1) he won’t fear his power or volume and try and trade with him, or 2) he is going to realize that all roads lead to grappling if he wants to win. I am going to take a shot in the dark here and go with the dog here. Kunchenko has to lose. He isn’t a 20-0 fighter. Much of his competition has not been on a very high level, but he did his job and won the fights given to him. I am just not sold on his record and I think Burns has the ability on the ground to put Kunchenko in some seriously dangerous spots. With that said if Burns gasses out then you can expect Kunchenko to start walking away with this one late. Hopefully, Burns understands where his roots are and remembers what got him here. It wasn’t his striking. Give me the dog on a gut check.
The Pick: Burns
Ciryl Gane $9400 vs. Raphael Pessoa Nunes $6800
The big boys enter the octagon, and in any heavyweight fight, anything can happen. It is so hard to gauge heavyweight fighters because they all have some sort of power that can finish the other. Both men are undefeated, even tho Gane is only 3-0 and Nunes is 9-0. In 12 wins combined, they have tallied 8 KOs together. I won’t waste too much time here because, for me, this fight is pretty clear cut. I want to make this clear tho. I DO NOT AGREE WITH THIS LINE. I just think Gane being as raw as he is, Gane is a pretty slick fluid striker. He moves in and out very well, Understands how to counter and when to counter, Understands when and how to pressure, and has a good understanding of the clinch game. With that said he does cock his hand back too much in which will telegraph some of his movements. He tends to really load up and drop his guard which also can be dangerous in Heavyweight MMA. However, Nunes is not a calculated striker. He tends to just plod forward looking for the kill switch and Gane is the type style that will be able to get in and out eluding a lot of that pressure. Anyone can get caught but if you really watch the film on both men, The clear pick should be Gane here. He just seems like much more of a patient striker using in and out movements until it’s time to uncork something big and that shows an athletic ability that many heavyweights just don’t have these days. I think Gane is being talked about a little too much before he is really proven but the guy does have something that can cause some waves in the division if he continues to evolve. Gane does have upside for a finish here.
The Pick: Gane
Tecia Torres $8700 vs. Marina Rodriguez $7500
I like this fight. Torres is on a bit of a downward spiral, losing her last three fights, but can you really look too deep into that? She lost to JJ, Andrade, and up and coming star Zhang. Torres is probably as well as a conditioned athlete that you will see in women’s MMA and her durability also will prove its worth when it needs to. The volume striker with win majority of her fights by decision and really doesn’t look for that kill shot all too often. With a 10-4 record, she has only one win by submission and the rest are all by way of decision. In her four losses, she has never been finished. Torres can be outworked but you really need to match and raise her pace to do so. Rodriguez seems to think she’s up for the task and I have to be honest, she seems like a willing partner here. With an 11-0 record, she has five by way of KO and looks to finish much more than the tiny tornado. She will move forward and really set a pace making most of her punches mean something. She won’t just leave her punches out there to score, she is looking for something and throws with purpose. With that said, leaning on Torres’ losses in recent past just wouldn’t be fair. Rod is not on the level of those women and Tecia has fought everyone there is to fight in her division. The experience, the conditioning and understanding how important this fight is to get her back off the wall are all clear indicators that she is going to have to fight with a little more urgency in her step to avoid that 4th straight loss that can be detrimental to whether she is any longer a serious contender. I think Torres does what Torres does here and wins this fight on clear conditioning and volume in a possible 29-28 decision.
The Pick: Torres
Rogerio Bontorin $8200 vs. Raulian Paiva $8000
Perfectly priced fight here, and I am expecting it to be just as close as it’s priced. Both of these kids are extremely game to fight where ever you decide to take the fight but as far as skill sets I would say that Bontorin is an extremely crafty grappler with some very good transitions and solid control. With a 15-1 record, he has a very impressive 11 wins by way of submission. It is clear where Bontorin wants this fight, but against a guy like Paiva, it won’t be an easy task. Paiva comes in just as impressive with an 18-2 record. To be quite honest, I wasn’t super high on him out of the gate. With only 3 KOs and 3 Subs, Paiva does most of his work in volume. What really impressed me about this kid was when he lost a split decision to KKF. He really showed his brass in that fight and honestly swayed my opinion on him. The thing about Paiva is that it seems you need to tag him a few times to really get his spark plugs firing. His wiry frame allows his punches to come out very readable by the eye but they are accurate and land. He will back up and give up ground until he is hit and then he will start firing on all cylinders to let you know he is there. With a style like that sometimes the one who finishes the exchanges last is the one that leaves the lasting impression on the judges. I am expecting Bontorin to get this to the ground at some point and try to get it there whenever it does present itself but Paiva will be hard to really dig claws into once he is sweaty and these guys are slicked up. Paiva has a very thin frame and has a very elusive mechanic in his game that submitting him or keeping him in position can be difficult. It’s not saying that Bintorin can’t do it or he won’t be able to get some kind of side control or mount, but I do see Paiva being too slippery and active to really be able to get a good look or bead on solid positioning as the fight ventures on into the later rounds. Very very good fight here but I am going with Paiva. I think he steals a very close decision here.
The Pick: Paiva
Geraldo de Freitas $8300 vs. Chris Gutierrez $7900
Not a fight I am super high on but an interesting one I guess. De Freites is a guy that it is really hard to put a bead on. He has a tendency to do many different things but none of them well. He will get on his bike and fight off his back foot, then he will change levels or move forward with strikes. None of them are really tied together that well but he does show you different looks that will keep you guessing. With a 12-4 record, he has five wins by submission and four by way of KO. In his four losses, he has never been finished and lost two by way of split decision. If you watch him fight you will notice that as the time goes on he reaches with his strikes and becomes very hittable. He will have no problems with eating one to give one but against a much more polished striker in Gute, that can be an issue. Another thing that people may not know about Gute is that even tho he is known for his striking, he does have grappling chops that he really doesn’t expose and use all that much. His first submission victory was via rear-naked choke against a well versed black belt in Ray Rodriguez. He did get submitted by Rani Barcelo, but that is a completely different animal. I can see this being a sloppy and mucky fight, but a fight that Gutes can control the pace and just be the cleaner and more efficient scorer in this one to pull off a close and uneventful decision win here.
The Pick: Gutierrez
Alex Da Silva $9200 vs. Kazula Vargas $7000
On paper, Alex Da Silva looks like he could be a contender. However, when you really watch film on him (outside of being athletic, springy and able to get back to his feet when taken down), he really isn’t very good. Da Silva is not easy to keep in place but he doesn’t really have the ability to avoid being taken down. He really doesn’t have the ability to reserve his tank and also seems to blow his wad very early. These are all concerns that you need to look at when you are looking at the $9200 price tag. At 20-2 with 13 by KO and seven by submission, he looks like he is going to be something special, but I am here to tell you that he will not be. The bright spot for him here is that he is fighting a guy that is worse than he is. Vargas is extremely regional level and he is also taking this on shorter notice. At 10-2 with 6 KOs, Vargas likes to stand and trade, and that is a matchup Da Silva will oblige. If Vargas was much more of a grappling specialist, then I would be eager to take a punt the other way, but in a fight where Da Silva is more athletic and snappy on his feet, it’s hard to believe he won’t win that battle. With that said, the $9200 price tag is absurd to me, but the victor should in fact be Da Silva if he doesn’t get sloppy or get caught.
The Pick: Da Silva
Polyana Viana $8600 vs. Veronica Macedo $7600
Many of these fights this week are priced a little odd. However, it is the first fight of the night and it doesn’t ever sit well with me. Both women have strengths that are the other’s weakness. Macedo will hold a clear advantage on the feet here. Her comfort zone is when she is upright and dictating the terms of the fight. She ties her punches together very well and she is extremely willing to trade with you if you want to test her chops there. With that said, she lacks in the grappling department and Viana is a high-level Black Belt in BJJ with multiple accolades to her merit. The issue with Viana is that her striking is extremely pedestrian and unless she can get this fight to the ground, she could find herself on the end of many of Macedo’s strikes. In a fight like this, that calls for one of these women to really be successful in their craft, you need to decide what do you trust the most here. The issue here is that Macedo seems to be a little behind the curve when it comes to avoiding fights going there. I really believe that this is more of a coin flip fight here but I feel more comfortable with the Black Belt in BJJ to either secure some ground control or put Macedo in an odd situation on the ground that will ultimately take away the striking of Macedo. With no confidence here I will go with Viana.
The Pick: Viana
UFC FIGHT NIGHT DRAFTKINGS
In a five-round fight in which your getting a star, I get why you would want to roster her. With that said, Carmouche is no slouch and she will not go quietly into the night. Without a finish, that scoring can be close. I wouldn’t go all-in if I were you.
She is not going to beat Valentina, but she should last. However, I can’t really pull the trigger here. It would take an epic collapse for her to outright beat Valentina.
People shitting on Luque because he was in a war his last fight, saying he may have lost something or his body and chin isn’t ready. Let them. These are the same people who never took a smack to their face in their entire life, but they want to talk fighting. Don’t be afraid to get some Luque.
Can he beat Luque? Yes. How? He needs to catch him, period. I see the appeal, but I’m off him.
Garagorri $8400 / Bandenay $7800
Stay away. Screw this fight seriously. This is regional circuit fighting at its best.
The value is there for the power puncher from Sweden, but he will need to elude the wrestling Latifi. I don’t mind having a few stabs here.
I think he wins and covers value. He needs to win tho. Given Volkan’s past experiences on the ground, there is no reason he can’t drag him down and keep him there.
Submission or bust. I’ll have some.
I get that he has power and a decent grappling game, but let’s forget the grappling because he isn’t submitting Vieira. So that leaves him with a KO, which can absolutely happen, but I just don’t see him keeping his hips in space for more than a few minutes.
The guy scares me because, instead of grinding from bell to bell, he will stand with you if you bait him. With that said, his DK points will be premised upon how many takedowns he is able to rack up. This is a very fringy play, given Moffett is no slouch on the ground. I would say touch this small because there is rinse and repeat upside, but I am not high on this spot at all.
He has very good and underrated grappling that I am not sure people have gotten to experience just yet. That in itself can make Barzolla think twice about hip entries. Barzola should really win this fight, but I will not fade Moffett fully here. Having a few shares on him is probably a smart move, considering you never know what Barzola is going to show up.
Two ways to look at this: Burns gasses and Kunchenko starches him late, or Burns doesn’t gas and he either wins or Kunchenko does just enough to steal this one. I don’t like his price. I think Burns has a very good chance here if he goes ground. I’m off Kunchenko here.
I will have some shares here. I think he has good line to win, and if he decides to go with what he is good at, then he can take control of this one. However, if he decides to stand and bang, then he will most likely be in trouble. With that said, I will take a few swings here. There is value.
The price blows, but the guy has an upside for a finish here due to his in and out style. I will have some shares in the hopes he does it early.
Any heavyweight who is priced this low deserves a small look. I am expecting him to lose this fight and possibly even get finished, but if he catches Gane, I don’t want to be completely left out in the cold here.
I expect her to win this fight, but at $8700 for a fighter who went to decision all but one fight in her career, she isn’t someone I’m super interested in here. Even if she hits her value, she has a capped ceiling.
She has a shot here, but I don’t see Torres dropping four straight.
Bontorin $8200 / Paiva $8000
You guys need to hedge this fight. This fight is so evenly matched, and although my heavier lean is Paiva, this price tag is totally on target to how close this fight can be.
de Freitas $8300
His price is nice even tho I picked him to lose. He will need to get this to the ground and really dictate terms here. On the feet is not where he wants this fight. If he gets this to the ground, things can get interesting. I didn’t pick him, but I sure as hell won’t fade him. Not a fight I see scoring too well either way, so keep that in mind.
Not sure how well he will score even with a win. I can see him on the lower owned side, but if he doesn’t score well, that can be an issue. I think more people will be on de Freitas here, and that will cause some intrigue for me in large field GPP, but as I said above, I don’t see this fight being a barn burner.
Da Silva $9200
I like this fight for Silva. I feel like it is more tailor-made for him, and that can pay off for him here. The big price tag does scare me, but keep this in mind. In large field GPP, people are going to be paying up for the obvious suspects and they will not be able to afford to play around with Silva. So for that reason, if he finishes this fight against a late replacement, you can be sitting on a nice low owned overpriced fighter. Don’t be afraid, just be smart in your approach.
I’m off Vargas here.
Viana $8600 / Macedo $7600
A fight that I am not interested in here. I like Viana to win, but not a fight I really want any juice on.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT VEGAS BETS
1.3 to win 1
Gilbert Burns +125
1 to win 1.25
2 to win 2.4
Torres by Decision -110
1.10 to win 1
(I usually don’t play these bets in Womens MMA but when I saw that line for a woman that went to the cards 9 out of 10 times, How do you not try on value alone.)
Vicente Luque Over 78.9 (Favorite Play)
Vicente has scored over 100 points in eight of his last 10 fights. I like our chances against a very willing scrapper in Mike Perry.
Vieira Over 80.1
Tough spot here, but I am going over with the hopes that he can sniff out the sub early in this one.
See how MadLab did last week!