UFC 264 left me with a bad taste in my mouth from a betting perspective. Neither of my “Live Dogs” came away with a victory, and 2/3 “Proper Props” failed to come through. Hopefully, you parlayed Maia and Griffin for a nice + money cashout. In other news, Michel Pereira might have given us a scare in round 3 but secured the +250 decision prop. Let’s get down to business and see where we can make some money on UFC Vegas 31!
- Amanda Lemos (-530) vs Monserrat Ruiz (+370)
- Rodolfo Vieira (-245) vs Dustin Stoltzfus (+194)
Since dropping down to 115, Amanda Lemos has proven to be a hot prospect, coming off a 2 year USADA suspension. Her victories over Mizuki and Souza were absolutely dominant, leading us to a moneyline that is absolutely unplayable against the ever tough and durable Monserrat “Conejo” Ruiz.
After cashing on Ruiz as a big underdog in her UFC debut against Cheyenne Buys, I am not feeling good enough given the size discrepancy and overall ability of Lemos. While I believe Lemos wins this fight, I don’t want to pay -530 for the right to do so. I’ll enjoy watching Lemos prove her mettle and move up the rankings at strawweight.
Rodolfo Vieira has proven to have elite wrestling and grappling in his time in the UFC, but with a poor gas tank and low-level striking. Dustin Stoltzfus, his opponent, is a step down in competition from his prior bout against Anthony Hernandez, but he is a smaller favorite this time around. While Vieira should dominate by first-round submission, I must stay away from betting this fight, as there is not enough value on any of the moneyline or props to justify placing a bet and being disappointed if Stoltzfus can pull the rabbit out of a hat.
- Rodrigo Nascimento -350
- Daniel Rodriguez -300
- Mateusz Gamrot -215
My 3 favorite plays on this card are all facing an opponent who should struggle against all-around skill-sets. First off, Rodrigo Nascimento is a Contender Series alum who has shown the propensity to finish a fight. His huge frame and grappling skills, along with Baudot’s poor defense and inability to reverse position, should lead to a quick night at the office and an early finish. I’ll be happy to play Nascimento to kick off my 3-leg parlay.
Second, Daniel Rodriguez was originally scheduled to fight Abubakar Nurmagomedov, so the replacement fighter, Preston Parsons, is a big step down in competition. Rodriguez is a well-rounded fighter with clean boxing, good kicks, and underrated grappling. Parsons has never been the distance in his career and has been very active recently. While he is deserving of the call-up, this is way too big a step up for him as his UFC debut, and I expect Rodriguez to win this fight any which way he wants.
Mateusz Gamrot suffered his first career loss in his UFC debut to Guram Kutateladze but has rebounded with an impressive KO victory over Scott Holtzmann. The overall game of Gamrot is apparent; he is well-versed like a wrestler but packs some serious pop in his hands when he starts letting loose. Stephens is moving up weight and on a short camp. I believe that Gamrot is the better fighter everywhere; much younger and with a fresher chin. Stephens could get finished if he is not cautious, which he usually isn’t.
Parlay: Nascimento, Rodriguez, & Gamrot: +151
- Malcolm Gordon +245
- Sergey Morozov +130
In his UFC debut, Francisco Figueiredo was unable to finish Jerome Rivera. It was not good to see Figueiredo actively clinch and grapple against an opponent who felt most comfortable in that range. In fact, he even made Rivera look solid when finding his distance.
Malcolm Gordon comes in with 4 KO losses and 1 submission loss on his record. I don’t believe that Figueiredo is live to finish Gordon, given his low output and tentative guard play. I like Gordon to create some opportunities in the stand-up with his aggressiveness. Also, Gordon has a BJJ black belt and seems primed to survive extended rolls on the mat with Figueiredo. At +245, I will be making a small play on Malcolm Gordon.
Sergey Morozov is an experienced fighter who made his debut on short notice against Umar Nurmagomedov. Morozov has also lost to Movsar Evolev on the regional scene, surviving into the third round.
Khalid Taha has been up and down in the UFC, also being suspended at one point by USADA for diuretics. Taha has an iron chin but some serious defensive grappling deficiencies. I could see Morozov winning this fight more often than a coin-flip, and he should be the more well-rounded fighter. Taha seems primed to drop another tough fight and potentially be on his way out of the UFC.
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