I lost a little bit of imaginary money last week, as Luke Rockhold and Evan Dunham were both defeated at UFC on FX 8. Of course, there’s an argument to be made that Dunham won his fight against Rafael Dos Anjos; a win there would have given me a third consecutive profitable UFC event. But anybody who is serious about betting money on MMA should know going in that they will be on the wrong end of quite a few questionable decisions. As frustrating as it is, it’s part of the game.
Naturally, I’m sure I would be more irritated about it if I had actual money on the line. Let’s take a look at what picks I like for UFC 160:
Before I get started, I need to put out a disclaimer. I make no guarantees that any of my picks will be profitable, and if you decide to make bets based on my picks, you’re doing it at your own risk. This post is intended for entertainment purposes only.
To see all the current betting lines on the fights, there’s no better resource to go to than Best Fight Odds. Check it out.
Here are my picks:
Mark Hunt +380: While I believe Junior Dos Santos is a much better overall MMA fighter than Mark Hunt, this is a great stylistic matchup for Hunt. Hunt is one of the best strikers in the UFC heavyweight division, and he’ll be taking on an opponent in Dos Santos who always prefers to stand and strike. It’s possible that Dos Santos will showcase his grappling in this match, but I think it’s more likely that he’ll choose to slug it out with Hunt. If that happens, I do favor Dos Santos to win, but not by such a margin that Hunt should be a nearly 4-1 underdog. I think there’s value in Hunt here.
James Te Huna +265: In some ways, James Te Huna could be considered a poor man’s Glover Teixeira. Both fighters are very aggressive strikers who are good at mixing in takedowns. Teixeira just has slight edges in striking volume, power, takedowns, and takedown defense. Overall, I do think Teixeira will win because I think he’s just a bit better than Te Huna in every area. But there’s a good chance Te Huna can knock out or out-point Teixeira, enough that I think Te Huna is worth a bet at +265.
K.J. Noons +255: In some ways, K.J. Noons is a fighter very similar to Donald Cerrone. Both fighters land a lot of strikes, but both fighters absorb a lot of strikes as well. Cerrone has better knockout power and a more well-rounded MMA game, so I do think he should be favored to win. But if this fight turns out to be a striking match that goes the distance, it’s a fight that could go either way. I like the underdog’s chances here.
Rick Story -150: Story is one of the more underrated welterweights in the UFC in my opinion. Yes, Story went through a stretch where he lost three of four fights, but two of those losses were close decisions I thought Story deserved to win. I think Story’s aggression will be too much for Mike Pyle to handle, and I’ll be surprised if Story loses this match.
Other picks I thought about:
Cain Velasquez in a parlay: Even at -750, I think there’s value in Cain Velasquez. Outside of Antonio Silva landing a knockout blow early, I just don’t see Velasquez losing this match. The problem is that -750 is too steep a line to bet straight, and there isn’t anybody I really want to parlay Velasquez with. I’ll pass on this one, since there’s only so much value any MMA fighter can have at -750 in the first place.
T.J. Grant +177: I would actually like a bet on Gray Maynard at -192 if I knew Maynard was going to go for takedowns in this fight. But if Maynard chooses to stand and bang – something he’s done far too often in his career – this fight is Grant’s for the taking. I don’t want to risk any fake money on a fight where I’m betting on what a fighter’s game plan will be, so this is a pass for me.
Nah-Shon Burrell +140: I picked Burrell to beat Stephen Thompson out-right, based on the idea that Burrell may go to his wrestling to neutralize Thompson’s striking game. I’m just not nearly confident enough in the pick to actually put money down.
Estevan Payan +180: I didn’t actually pick Payan to win this match, but I think it’s a very close one between him and Jeremy Stephens. My biggest concern is that Payan has been knocked out twice before, and his level of competition has not been nearly as high as that of Stephens. I think the prudent move is to pass.
Here’s a recap of my (imaginary) bets:
|James Te Huna
Again, this post is just for fun. If you make any bets using these picks, you’re doing it at your own risk. Enjoy the fights!
UFC on FX 8: -0.63 units
Overall: +3.87 units