Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Fight Night Nashville: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

This is a pretty strong card for a Fight Night event and features a very competitive light-heavyweight main event. Let’s get to it.

2015 PICKS

Last event: 9-4 (69.2%)

Year to date: 198-108 (64.7%)


Favorite % Underdog %
 Glover Teixeira 50.5% Ovince St-Preux 49.5%
 Michael Johnson 62.5% Beneil Dariush 37.5%
 Derek Brunson 59.2% Sam Alvey 40.8%
 Jared Rosholt 59.8% Timothy Johnson 40.2%
 Sara McMann 50.9% Amanda Nunes 49.1%
 Ray Borg 69.4% Geane Herrera 30.6%
 Uriah Hall 72.6% Oluwale Bamgbose 27.4%
 Chris Camozzi 70.0% Tom Watson 30.0%
 Dustin Ortiz 63.1% Willie Gates 36.9%
 Frankie Saenz 64.1% Sirwan Kakai 35.9%
 Chris Dempsey 68.1% Jonathan Wilson 31.9%
 Marlon Vera 58.0% Roman Salazar 42.0%
 Scott Holtzman 62.4% Anthony Christodoulou 37.6%

The betting public has Glover Teixeira vs. Ovince St-Preux as a pick ’em fight and the model agrees. Teixiera should have the advantage in takedowns but St-Preux should have the advantage in strikes, as Teixeira gets hit at an above-average rate. Both fighters hit reasonably hard and both have a sturdy chin. I see the fight going the five-round distance, but if it does the decision really could go either way.

Fast-rising Beneil Dariush is set to face top ten opponent Michael Johnson. If Dariush can get Johnson to the ground, he should have a massive advantage in submissions. But Johnson is tough to take down and has developed into one of the better pressure strikers in the division. Johnson has plenty of knockout power and Dariush has been rocked by strikes before. The overall edge goes to Johnson but Dariush can make him look bad if he can land the takedown.

The model likes Uriah Hall as the most likely fighter to win on the card, which I wasn’t expecting. Whenever I see Hall as a 4-1 favorite in the UFC I immediately assume I’ll be betting on his opponent. But Oluwale Bamgbose lacks the quality wins necessary to get a lot of respect from the model. From watching Bamgbose on video, it seems like he’s the kind of violent striker who can match Hall’s skill standing. Of course, things become different very quickly at a higher level of competition.

The biggest disparity between the betting lines and the model comes with Chris Dempsey, a 68% favorite to win according to the model but a +150 underdog according to the sportsbooks. Opponent Jonathan Wilson seems like the more fluid and talented striker, but Dempsey is a hard-nosed wrestler who could push him into deep waters. The model’s record on prelim fights like this is strong but we’ll see what happens.

Then there’s Anthony Christodoulou, who looked atrocious in his UFC debut against Mairbek Taisumov and is now a +660 underdog against Scott Holtzman. On one hand I’m skeptical of such drastic odds with fighters who don’t have much UFC experience. On the other, Christodoulou was just such an inferior athlete and fighter against Taisumov. I think the truth is probably somewhere between the odds and the model estimates.

Underdog picks for this event include: Frankie Saenz and Chris Dempsey, and I’m quite surprised to see Saenz as an underdog here.


Last event: +$4.26

Current bankroll: $283.74

Total investment: $1,039.50

Total profit: $183.74

Return on investment: 17.7%

I had very little at risk for UFC 190 last week, but my top two bets were winners thanks to Patrick Cummins and Bigfoot. The result is a small win and, more importantly for my psyche, a snapped losing streak.

For this event I have…

Chris Dempsey +150: $10.33 to win $15.50

Frankie Saenz +105: $5.00 to win $5.25

Anthony Christodoulou +660: $4.59 to win $30.29

Amanda Nunes +230: $4.33 to win $9.96

Chris Camozzi -145: $4.22 to win $2.91

Sam Alvey +355: $3.73 to win $13.24

Willie Gates +375: $2.94 to win $11.03

Geane Herrera +423: $1.94 to win $8.21

Timothy Johnson +215: $1.66 to win $3.57

I should also mention Amanda Nunes, an underdog against Sara McMann. I’m a little more skeptical than the model here – McMann is certainly a flawed fighter but Nunes has such a history of being done after one round. With McMann having an obvious takedown advantage, will Nunes have the ground skill to submit or reverse position? We’ll find out…

MANDATORY DISCLAIMER: I am NOT a betting professional and I do NOT recommend you follow my bets. Any bets you make are done at your own risk.

Best of luck and enjoy the fights!


11 responses to “UFC Fight Night Nashville: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

  1. Howard Morton August 7, 2015 at 2:55 pm

    Big action for DG. I like it. Let’s clean up!

    Are you on the OSP hype train?

    • David Williams August 7, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      On one hand, I don’t see OSP ever being able to truly compete with guys like Cormier, let alone Jon Jones. On the other hand, the LHW division is so thin that OSP could find himself in the top five. I guess the answer is no, I’m not on the hype train, but I think he’s a quality fighter.

  2. Art August 8, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Wondering if you tweaked the model, Gil Vilente most hittable fighter in all the UFC, when the outcome doesn’t go well, not a fluke, do you adjust it? Just asking

    • David Williams August 8, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      I don’t tweak the model itself as it’s expected to be wrong a certain percentage of the time. But the model’s “opinion” of the fighters themselves will change with every performance and win/loss.

  3. Art August 8, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    unusual variables Dempsy said to be moving up weight class, short notice too (maybe incorrect) – important variables to consider

  4. Mirko August 8, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Johnson was ripped off by judges, big time.

  5. Howard Morton August 8, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I did not see the fight, but everyone is saying that Johnson won. MMA judges are horrible.

  6. Stoyan August 9, 2015 at 7:15 am

    It’s not that the judges are dumb or blind. It’s an OBVIOUS CORRUPTION.
    I’m 10000% sure a lot of money is involved.

  7. Art August 10, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    bad decisions are A+ for business, gets everyone talking, in all combat sports -otherwise there would be 2 more judges in isolation rooms, judging the UFC feed, no noise etc. Ferocious opposition to such a move by UFC, Crosby, Sal D’Amato etc.

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