Mike Alexander @roto_wan jumps back in to break down this weekends action in UFC.
Ronaldo Souza $8,400 vs Derek Brunson $7,800. (Fists out of 5)
This is a rematch six years in the making. It was over fast the first go ’round. Souza timed Brunson perfectly on the way in and that was that. I’d expect Brunson to have learned something from that fight, especially to respect Souza’s power. Both fighter frequently crack 100 FPTS in wins, so this is a good stack in my book.
Stream Mike’s Podcast breakdown of this whole card here-
Fighters I’m On
• Gregor Gillespie $9,500. Gillespie is a whirlwind in the cage. Full pressure at max pace. Jordan Rinaldi’s only chance at a win is via submission. That Rinaldi is a submission wrestler and Gillespie’s pace exposes his neck is only the slightest of concerns. This is likely to be a one-sided affair for the -600 (!) favorite.
• Mirsad Bektic 9,400. The next big thing at 145 until he ran into the zombie that is Darren Elkins. You always have an eye peeled on a fighter coming off their first loss, particularly a KO. I don’t think that’s much a concern here. Bektic figures to steamroll Godofredo Pepey with wrestling and ground and pound. He’s another -600 favorite on this lopsided card.
∗There’s a decision to make between Bektic and Gillespie at the top. The question I find myself asking is whose opponent can last longer? My guess is Pepey. I think the earlier finish and 20-25 FPTS that go with that make Gillespie the slightly safer bet. That said, Gillespie’s inclusion on the Main Card could lead to a higher ownership.
• Dennis Bermudez $8,600. Bermudez has lost two straight and could really use a win. Those losses don’t bother me that much as they came at the hands of the Korean Zombie and Darren Elkins. Both guys that give everyone in the division fits. I think Bermudez can control the fight with his wrestling and should rack up points with a combination of takedowns and striking.
• Niko Price $9,000. My only hesitation on Price is, well, his price. It’s a $1,300 jump off of a loss. He’s all action in the ring and can pay that off if he wins. That’s not a tall order against George Sullivan, a game striker but probably outclassed. I’m expecting Price to mix it up on the feet some, then ultimately look for a takedown and submission.
Fighters I’m Off (Black eyes instead of fists, more means I like them less)
• Justine Kish $9,200. A fairly large favorite in this one, I chalk that up to Kish’s opponent not being very well know. Ji Yeon Kim has only one fight in the UFC and it was a loss in which she struggled with her opponents plus movement. Kish is the opposite of that. I’ve got a feeling Kim piece’s Kish up on the feet if she can stuff Kish’s takedowns.
• Joaquim Silva $8,100. Silva certainly has the physique and raw tools to be a good fighter. What he lacks is seasoning. This was on display in his last fight where he rushed in and continued to take punishment. He was also not disciplined enough to avoid takedowns. Vinc Pichel is a well travelled fighter and patient. He ended his last fight with a KO of his opponent who rushed in. You’re starting to see why I’m worried. Silva has solid power, however, as evidenced by his 34 second KO of Andrew Holbrook two fights ago. Add in Pichel has an upright and tense stance, and I think Silva gets the better of the senior fighter.
• Katlyn Chookagian $8,700. This one’s a clash of styles. Chookagian is a striker, Mara Romero Bella is a judo wrestler. Chookagian’s only loss came when she couldn’t stop Liz Carmouche’s takedowns. I’m still picking “The Blonde Fighter” to win the fight, I just can’t do it confidently on this card (that’s also an awesome and hilarious nickname).
• Drew Dober $8,900. Dober is a fighter who’s fine with eating some shots to get his own off. He has to be with his typical size and reach disadvantage. He wings power shots from that stocky frame, however. The risk is getting caught while trading, but his power and aggression are a very appealing play.
• Bobby Green $8,500. It’s tough to roster a guy with the recent record of Green (0-3-1 and the 1 was a loss saved by a point deduction). He’s a natural fighter, though. Skilled on the feet and a solid wrestler. Most guys worry about their career in his spot. I doubt he does, as there’s always a fight out there for a guy like him. Erik Koch is a striking threat in his own right, you just can’t count on his consistency. This should be a good scrap any way you cut it. I like Green to finally get in the win column via KO.
• Randa Markos $8,800. If you look at Markos record she’s dropped winnable fights and recently beat top talent, Carla Esparza. Julianna Lima is the opposite. She’s lost to three of the division’s top dogs (including Esparza) but beat everyone else. Markos knows she can’t afford to pile up losses and the better version of her should show up.
• Austin Arnett. This is a meeting of UFC newcomers on short notice. That works against both men equally, but Cory Sandhagen fought in the LFA last Friday. Granted it was 90 second TKO, but that’s a ridiculous turn around for a guy. Arnett showed he had a chin in DWTNCS and that he’s game for a scrap. Could easily go either way, but I like the fresher fighter in Arnett here.
Straight Picks *Updated 1/26
|Ronaldo Souza (-150)||vs.||Derek Brunson (+130)|
|Dennis Bermudez (-155)||vs.||Andre Fili (+135)|
|Jordan Rinaldi (+450)||vs.||Gregor Gillespie (-600)|
|Drew Dober (-175)||vs.||Frank Camacho (+155)|
|Bobby Green (-155)||vs.||Erik Koch (+135)|
|Mirsad Bektić (-600)||vs.||Godofredo Pepey (+450)|
|Katlyn Chookagian (-160)||vs.||Mara Romero Borella (+140)|
|Randa Markos (-160)||vs.||Juliana Lima (+140)|
|Justine Kish (-325)||vs.||Ji Yeon Kim (+265)|
|Vinc Pichel (-110)||vs.||Joaquim Silva (-110)|
|Niko Price (-250)||vs.||George Sullivan (+210)|
|Austin Arnett (+175)||vs.||Cory Sandhagen (-225)|
Follow Mike Alexander on Twitter @Roto_Wan.