UFC is finally sanctioned again in the state of Nevada. UFC APEX will host UFC on ESPN 9, featuring a smaller cage. I’ve got my eye on a couple spots to place some bets on.
It hasn’t been good. Edson Barboza was one of many that got screwed on the judges’ scorecards during the last event. That event, and overall record, would have looked a lot different. No sense in crying over spilled milk. I’ve been doing this for a long time. There are ups and downs in this game as with most things in life. It’s gonna be a long climb out of this hole but I’m prepared for it. On to the next.
Mackenzie Dern / Casey Kenny PARLAY (-148) via 5Dimes TO WIN 2 UNITS
I expect both of these fighters to roll on Saturday.
The UFC has put Mackenzie Dern (7-1) in a winnable fight because they would like to market her further. She probably came back too quick from her pregnancy. An indication of that would be her missing weight in her last fight. She got taken out in the first round by now contender Amanda Ribas. Hannah Cifers (10-4) will probably push forward and run into trouble that she usually faces with taller fighters. Dern has the heavier hands and the better ground game. If this fight hits the ground one time, consider it done. Dern should cruise to victory and with extra motivation to put that last loss behind her. Check out our full breakdown here.
Casey Kenney (13-2) is the next leg of the parlay vs Luis Smolka (16-6). His lone loss in the UFC is to Merab Dvalishvili who looks like a nightmare for anyone right now. Smolka, on the other hand, has had his troubles inside and outside the octagon. At one time, Smolka had a 4-fight losing streak. Casey was a champ in 2 other organizations and will easily subdue Luis with wrestling. Smolka does like to scramble but often gets himself in bad positions. Smolka gets taken down often and can’t stop them to save his life. Casey should be able to ride out top control to a decision victory, but he is good everywhere, so I have no problem placing a bet on him.
Augusto Sakai (-115) via 5Dimes TO WIN 2 UNITS
Augusto Sakai (16-1) vs Blagoy Ivanov (18-3) should be entertaining, as both these big men are aggressive. Augusto is enjoying a 5-fight win streak coming in while Blagoy has had mixed results. Blagoy tends to get hit a lot but powers through with durability. The thing here is, when Augusto gets someone hurt, his finishing instincts are incredible. He slows down and picks his shots instead of emptying the tank. Even when he’s tired in the third round, he’s still very dangerous as we saw in the Chase Sherman fight. Augusto used to cut down to 265 pounds, but he changed his diet and now is around 250. He looked very improved in his last outing vs Marcin Tybura, where he came out guns blazing and absolutely curb stomped his opponent. Sakai will be the superior striker, has the speed advantage, size advantage, and I believe this is the first time Blagoy will hit the deck. Blagoy is pretty one-dimensional with his punches and is predictable with his backing up. I love this play.
Tyron Woodley ITD (+148) via 5Dimes RISKING 1 UNIT
I expect Tyron Woodley (19-4) vs Gilbert Burns (18-3) take mostly on the feet. Tyron will enjoy an advantage in power and speed on the feet. His timing will also be better in this bout. When Tyron decides to let his fists fly, people drop. Woodley feels slighted by the public and by the media, so I think he’s gonna come out and try to make a statement. At one point, Woodley was in the conversation for best Welterweight ever and now he’s fighting a former Lightweight. Tyron is a black belt himself as seen in the picture above. He got his black belt after submitting Darren Till while defending his belt. Gilbert doesn’t have great stand-up defense and Tyron will be able to keep this fight standing. I think Woodley knocks him down or out at some point. The price for KO and ITD are practically the same, so the fluke chance that Tyron submits him will be good also. Time for Woodley to silence the critics and get a big win here.
Katlyn Chookagian (+115) via 5Dimes RISKING 1 UNIT
Katlyn Chookagian (13-3) is an underdog vs Antonina Shevchenko (9-1). This could be a close fight with a lot of screaming on both sides. If this were a pure kickboxing match, Antonina might have an advantage, but this is an MMA fight, and Katlyn has the superior MMA striking. Her footwork and boxing are on point. This line has flipped because the public is putting money on Antonina because of her name and the sister’s social media presence. Katlyn has the crisper boxing and quicker hands. Chookagian is a brown belt in Jiu-Jitsu. Even though she has never tried to use it, should she get this fight to the ground, she will have a massive advantage. Antonina gets a lot of notoriety because her sister is the champ, so I think the oddsmakers have inflated her line in anticipation of her losing. That’s dog money, so let’s get it.
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