Fantasy Fights

Intelligent, unique MMA analysis

TUF 22 Finale: Degenerate Gambler’s Corner

It’s a three-event UFC week and the first event was an unmitigated disaster for the model and my degenerate gambling bankroll. So let’s pretend it never happened. On to event #2!


2015 PICKS

Last event: 7-4 (63.6%)

Year to date: 284-149 (65.6%)



Favorite % Underdog %
 Frankie Edgar 60.1% Chad Mendes 39.9%
 Artem Lobov 75.5% Ryan Hall 24.5%
 Tony Ferguson 59.9% Edson Barboza 40.1%
 Evan Dunham 75.9% Joe Lauzon 24.1%
 Jason Knight 62.8% Tatsuya Kawajiri 37.2%
 Julian Erosa 56.3% Marcin Wrzosek 43.7%
 Gabriel Gonzaga 58.4% Konstantin Erokhin 41.6%
 Ryan LaFlare 52.8% Mike Pierce 47.2%
 Joby Sanchez 56.2% Geane Herrera 43.8%
 Chris Gruetzemacher 66.7% Abner Lloveras 33.3%

The model favors Frankie Edgar to defeat Chad Mendes in the main event. Both fighters are known as wrestlers, but Edgar’s game is much more about striking volume, while Mendes has much better knockout power. Edgar gets the overall edge due to a superior boxing game, and I expect him to have a pretty significant edge in cardio as well. It’s possible that Mendes could knock Edgar out, but I think it’s more likely that Edgar will take this fight into the later rounds, where he should get stronger as Mendes gets fatigued.

I have watched exactly zero seconds of TUF this season, but Ryan Hall is a very high level competitor in sport Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and is particularly known for the 50-50 guard and leglocks. Unfortunately for Hall, this is MMA, not sport BJJ. I would expect Artem Lobov to get the better of Hall in MMA as long as he can keep his legs out of danger.

Tony Ferguson vs. Edson Barboza is a fight I can really get behind. Ferguson has been on fire and his pressure striking could give Barboza trouble, but Barboza is a terrific athlete with very fast kicks. I can’t imagine that fight being boring.

Joe Lauzon has statistical edges over Evan Dunham in every category except striking… but Dunham’s edge there is so huge that the model considers him a 3-1 favorite anyway. Dunham lands a ton of significant strikes and Lauzon absorbs a ton of significant strikes. Dunham is also tough to take down, so this appears to be a pretty tough stylistic matchup for “Creepy Joe.”

I’m a little nervous about the model’s estimate that the debuting Jason Knight is a favorite against longtime veteran Tatsuya Kawajiri. Knight has an excellent record for a fighter making his UFC debut (15-1 against pretty good competition) but he also appears to be a submission specialist, a style that often fails to translate to high-level fighting. Kawajiri has fought 45 times but has only been submitted in three of them (one against Shinya Aoki, one against Takanori Gomi, and the other in his professional debut).

I also have to mention the return of Mike Pierce. It’s nice to see him back – his lengthy absence was caused by Rousimar Palhares mangling his leg. Ryan LaFlare is listed as a -225 favorite against Pierce, which is surprising to me because Pierce is the kind of fighter who makes opponents look bad, win or lose.



Last event: -$59.21

Current bankroll: $333.82

Total investment: $1,734.67

Total profit: $233.82

Return on investment: 13.5%

I bet on Paige VanZant and against Sage Northcutt. As my friend Jason Somerville would say… “RONG.”

For this event I have…

Jason Knight +220: $28.28 to win $62.22

Artem Lobov -175: $16.14 to win $9.22

Evan Dunham -200: $12.77 to win $6.39

Mike Pierce +205: $9.10 to win $18.66

Gabriel Gonzaga -105: $5.75 to win $5.48

Frankie Edgar -130: $2.99 to win $2.30

Joby Sanchez -110: $2.91 to win $2.65

Edson Barboza +175: $2.08 to win $3.64

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, enjoy the fights, and stay tuned for analysis of UFC 194, which should be up tomorrow!


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