Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

UFC Fight Night Las Vegas: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

With the highly anticipated UFC 194 taking place this Saturday, the UFC has apparently decided that the best way to take advantage of mainstream interest in Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor is to actually hold events on three consecutive days. It seems to me that tomorrow’s UFC Fight Night and Friday’s TUF Finale would be overwhelmed by the attention given to UFC 194, but the UFC has found success doing stuff like this in the past.

As for me… there is a zero percent chance I’ll be watching every fight this week. I’ll probably DVR tomorrow’s main card, watch Edgar vs. Mendes on Friday, and then watch all of UFC 194. But three fight cards means three Degenerate Gambler’s Corners, so let’s get to it.

2015 PICKS

Last event: 9-2 (81.8%)

Year to date: 277-145 (65.6%)




Favorite % Underdog %
 Paige VanZant 73.0% Rose Namajunas 27.0%
 Michael Chiesa 62.4% Jim Miller 37.6%
 Sage Northcutt 60.2% Cody Pfister 39.8%
 Elias Theodorou 71.6% Thiago Santos 28.4%
 Tim Means 62.1% John Howard 37.9%
 Omari Akhmedov 60.5% Sergio Moraes 39.5%
 Antonio Carlos Junior 62.2% Kevin Casey 37.8%
 Aljamain Sterling 81.2% Johnny Eduardo 18.8%
 Santiago Ponzinibbio 56.4% Andreas Stahl 43.6%
 Nathan Coy 53.5% Danny Roberts 46.5%
 Zubaira Tukhugov 74.3% Phillipe Nover 25.7%
 Kailin Curran 73.5% Emily Kagan 26.5%

I’m surprised to see the model favoring VanZant over Namajunas by this margin. If I hadn’t looked at the model I probably would have considered it close to a 50-50 fight. The model expects VanZant to have a significant advantage in both strikes and takedowns, although Namajunas has had the stronger competition.

Michael Chiesa and Jim Miller are similar in that they’re both average strikers who are good on the ground. Miller is probably the better pure submission fighter but the model gives Chiesa the edge in takedowns.

Sage Northcutt being -1100 is just stupid. As far as I can tell, Northcutt reached that betting price because he’s very young, a great athlete, and has some serious promotional muscle behind him. This is where I point out that he’s 1-0 in the UFC with a win over Frank Trevino. No, I don’t expect Cody Pfister to beat Northcutt, but the hype machine has really gone out of control here.



Last event: +$58.67

Current bankroll: $393.03

Total investment: $1,646.19

Total profit: $293.03

Return on investment: 17.8%

My huge bet on Alberto Mina came through, as he won by split decision against Yoshihiro Akiyama. Additional wins on Marco Beltran and Seo Hee Ham helped produce one of my biggest winning events of the year.

For this event I have…

Cody Pfister +900: $20.46 to win $184.14

Paige VanZant -160: $17.55 to win $10.97

Michael Chiesa -110: $11.02 to win $10.02

John Howard +365: $10.91 to win $39.82

Nathan Coy +135: $9.73 to win $13.14

Kevin Casey +275: $7.40 to win $20.35

Andreas Stahl +185: $6.24 to win $11.54

Omari Akhmedov -135: $3.20 to win $2.37

Johnny Eduardo +570: $1.97 to win $11.23

If there’s one thing I haven’t been afraid to do, it’s put a big bet on a big underdog. Let’s go Cody Pfister!

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.

I’ll have the degenerate gambler’s corner for tomorrow’s event up as soon as possible after tomorrow’s fights are over, and then do the same thing for UFC 194 on Friday night.


6 responses to “UFC Fight Night Las Vegas: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

  1. Howard Morton December 9, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Sage is the best.

  2. r.mattioli December 10, 2015 at 10:02 am

    I agree with howard that northcutt`s enormous athletic edge may make this fight a bit of a mismatch….
    after watching van zant and namajunas` respective fights with tecia torres,it`s possible that van zant may be in a bit deep here…..i understand she was only 19 when she fought tecia but I don`t think her stand-up has gotten all that much better…she`s going to have to grind namajunas down and off her back,namajunas is very dangerous…

    maybe she can just wear her down and out-cardio her over 5(the long fight favors van zant)…..but namajunas is a big step up from felice herrig,alex chambers and curran…

    imo,paige is a still a huge ????….I know people expect a long grinding fight…for some reason I have a suspicion somebody gets finished here…

    • r.mattioli December 10, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      I thought maybe namajunas might be too much for paige…but nothing like what we saw tohight… that was just a total mismatch…she just dominated in absolutely every phase(was happy to see that choke in the 5th…lol)…..

      those wins paige had leading up to rose and their respective fights vs tecia torres were big tells…but I have to say,i didn`t think for a second that it would be that one-sided..i expected a life and death struggle)…….I`m wondering whether namajunas` cardio is that good or was it the fact that the fight was that easy?….

      namajunas is good and really well rounded…..but I wouldn`t overreact given how strong this division is(still,she`s a legit top 5`er)….paige really isn`t all that good…tough and resilient, yes….a really good martial artist?…no…she got beaten at her own game here(grappling)….

      still hard to tell about northcutt…pfister was put in there to lose..and lose he did…

      this is the second shining star to flame out(ronda and oaige..they say these things happen in 3`s)…i`m a little embarrassed to admit I get a small tingle when dana takes one on the chin….I`ve never liked the guy(the gambino family was less ruthless than this mofol)……i get the impression he`d sell his mother out to make a buck…..

      on to Friday!!!…

      • David Williams December 10, 2015 at 10:32 pm

        What gets me is that the UFC promotes the hell out of fighters like Northcutt and VanZant, but doesn’t do anything for a guy like Kevin Lee, who is buried on the prelims on Saturday, or Aljamain Sterling, who won earlier today. Those are two examples of fighters I think have championship potential but only hardcore fans know about them. Hell, casual fans barely knew who Chris Weidman was before he knocked out Anderson Silva. Why not invest these promotional resources in fighters who are actually top-tier talents?

      • r.mattioli December 11, 2015 at 1:39 am

        I doubt it`s a racial issue(at least consciously)….I think those two will have their day and it`s coming soon…I agree that lee and sterling are real potential contenders…uber athletes…fast twitch phenoms…

        .the ufc is all about money(although putting v.z. in there with thug rose has me scratching my head)…i think it`s entirely about aesthetics in paige`s case(if the ufc could find an mma Vanessa Williams or Alicia keys I`m sure the hype train would burn up the tracks)….i actually think that northcutt might have some talent(he`s a superior athlete)………..paige and northcutt look like thor and wondergirl and if you peruse some of the mma forums,you understand the clientele the ufc is catering to(lol)…….a jones-lybarger for instance,is not a marketers wet dream(no offense intended)……btw,i`m using tecia torres in pars…I don`t see this woman beating her…I saw her fight in another org and I `d be shocked if she could come close to beating torres(she`s not a finisher and torres is too athletic,imo)…it was -280 and now around -300…parlaying it with max Holloway and the aforementioned kevin lee(he was -470 at one point)…

        leaning McGregor and his lefty stance…also leaning rockhold….am I crazy?….maybe not crazy but possibly a tad bi-polar…

        lets get em tomorrow and Saturday night..

  3. Howard Morton December 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Kevin Lee has championship potential, but Sterling not so much.

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