I wouldn’t take my predictions too seriously for the fights I didn’t cover in the predictions post yesterday. With that said, my picks to win for this weekend are:
UFC Fight Night Stockholm
- Gunnar Nelson over Rick Story
- Max Holloway over Akira Corassani
- Ilir Latifi over Jan Blachowicz
- Niklas Backstrom over Mike Wilkinson
- Magnus Cedenblad over Scott Askham
- Nico Musoke over Alexander Yakovlev
- Dennis Siver over Charles Rosa
- Cathal Pendred over Gasan Umalatov
- Krzysztof Jotko over Tor Troeng
- Mairbek Taisumov over Marcin Bandel
- Zubaira Tukhugov over Ernest Chavez (although I have the nagging feeling that Chavez is better than people think)
UFC Fight Night Halifax
- Rory MacDonald over Tarec Saffiedine
- Raphael Assuncao over Bryan Caraway
- Chad Laprise over Yosdenis Cedeno
- Elias Theodorou over Bruno Santos
- Nordine Taleb over Li Jingliang
- Mitch Gagnon over Roman Salazar
- Daron Cruickshank over Anthony Njokuani
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier over Jake Lindsey
- Jason Saggo over Paul Felder
- Patrick Holohan over Chris Kelades
- Albert Tumenov over Matt Dwyer
- Pedro Munhoz over Jerrod Sanders
YEAR TO DATE
Last Event: 8-3 (72.7%)
Year To Date: 247-130 (65.5%)
I know, that’s a lot of chalk I’m picking to win this weekend. It’s a chalky kind of weekend – only two of the favorites fighting in Halifax are less than -200. Let’s make up for this with some degenerate gambling.
DEGENERATE GAMBLER’S CORNER
Last Event: -$4.40
Current Bankroll: $49.57
Total Investment: $357.63
Total Return: -$0.43
Return on Investment: -0.1%
I mentioned the other day that I’m moving to a 1/4 Kelly criterion betting system for NFL, and I’m doing the same thing for UFC. This could be great or it could be a disaster… but with degenerate gambling in general, “disaster” is the more common outcome.
For this event I have…
Bryan Caraway +275: $1.81 to win $4.98 – My gut reaction is probably the same as yours: that Raphael Assuncao should be able to out-box Caraway at range and stuff Caraway’s takedowns. However, Caraway is a very determined wrestler/grappler, Assuncao’s takedown defense statistics were built against mediocre competition, and Assuncao’s overall ground game isn’t his strongest asset. More than anything, the price on Caraway is great at +275. I’m pretty sure this is a good value bet but not as sure about just how good Caraway’s chances of winning are.
Jan Blachowicz +210: $0.74 to win $1.55 – Ilir Latifi’s wrestling is going to be very tough for Blachowicz to deal with. At the same time, Blachowicz is skilled on the ground and should have the advantage standing up. There’s a real chance Blachowicz beats Latifi on points with strikes, especially if Latifi is hesitant to actually shoot for takedowns (a problem Latifi has had in the past).
Rick Story +318: $0.67 to win $2.13 – The case for Gunnar Nelson winning largely relies on him dragging Rick Story to the ground. It’s more likely than not that Nelson will successfully do that at some point. However, if that doesn’t happen, Story is the much more aggressive and effective offensive striker. Nelson is pretty good at evading strikes but doesn’t out-point opponents standing. He arguably lost a round to Zak Cummings last time out. +318 is a pretty good price for Story all things considered.
Anthony Njokuani +150: $0.63 to win $0.95 – I’m surprised to see so many people saying Daron Cruickshank will have the striking advantage here. Striking has never been Njokuani’s problem, wrestling has. At the risk of going all “MMA math” on you, Njokuani out-struck John Makdessi 73-39, and Makdessi out-struck Cruickshank 86-51. I still think it’s a coin-flip fight but the value is on the underdog in that situation.
Mandatory disclaimer: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my plays in any serious way. I’m doing this for fun and as an experiment, not a livelihood. If you make any bets, you do so at your own risk.
Best of luck and enjoy the fights!