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Best Bets | UFC Raleigh: Blaydes vs Dos Santos

We’re heading into the second UFC event of 2020 and our second week of Best Bets.

We ended UFC 246 going 1-1.

Aleksei Oleinik cashed at +115 and we got hosed by one of the worst combat sports judges in the world on our JJ Aldrich play at -110.

Should be 2-0, but hey, that’s the fight game.

This week, I got one slight favorite play and a big dog play.

Let’s cash these bets!

Jamahal Hill vs Darko Stosic

Jamahal Hill

Hill will be making his debut here in Raleigh off a stoppage win on the Contender Series.

He’s still very green with only 6 pro fights but is also very composed.

He comes from a traditional Karate background and shows a lot of poise but not overconfidence.

He fights very long and likes to use his length to set up his 1-2s and leg kicks.

Not the flashiest guy but will get the job done.

You can also tell that this guy’s an athlete; where is ceiling is, only time will tell.

Darko Stosic

Stosic comes into this fight holding an underwhelming 1-2 UFC record.

He’s a very short, stocky 205 that doesn’t bring a whole lot to the table.

He’s got good control against the fence but any grappling exchanges that he’s been in, have all been engaged by his opponents (I.e. poor game-plans by Jeremy Kimball & Devin Clark).

He keeps a very high guard and doesn’t utilize much footwork or head movement.

His striking defense pretty much consists of “shelling”. 

Because of this, he’s susceptible to kicks to the body and lower leg.

Stosic’s striking success comes when opponents over-extend and he can wing big shots in the pocket.

Outlook

I really like Hill in this fight.

I see him being a slightly better version of Kennedy Nzechukwu, who handed Stosic his last loss.

Hill will be able to utilize his reach there and really have success in the kicking game. 

There’s a common narrative out there that Stosic is going to be this completely different fighter because he did his camp at Elevation Fight Team in Denver.

I say it all the time guys, you can’t handicap intangibles as a primary source of betting motive.

Who knows, maybe Stosic comes out here and looks like a completely different guy, but nothing that I have physically seen suggests that.

Stosic is a front-runner and if Hill can avoid the big pocket exchanges and the clinch early; I think he coast’s to a decision win in his debut.  

Best Bet: Hill at -130 or Better

I capped Hill at –155 here implying a 60% chance of victory.

This is a bit higher than I would usually cap someone with his limited experience also making a debut.

But stylistically, this is a terrible matchup for Stosic who I don’t see having a future in an elite organization.

I was able to snag Hill at -130 but he currently sits around -115.

If you can get him at that -115, you’re getting a little over a 7% edge here–definitely a Best Bet.

Jump on this one while you can!

Alex Perez vs Jordan Espinosa

Alex Perez

Perez is moving back down to flyweight, coming off of a unanimous decision win over Mark De La Rosa.

He’s a former JUCO wrestler and likes to implore a grappling heavy attack in his fights.

Perez has very good TD’s landing at 47% clip.

Once he gets on top of opponents, he has a lot of ride time and will attack submissions.

He’s a decent striker as well and has a heavy right hand.

He can get wild at times though and will engage in pocket brawls.

His only UFC loss is to Joseph Benavidez, who is now challenging for the vacant Flyweight title (no shame in that one).

Jordan Espinosa

Espinosa comes into this fight after a couple impressive performances on the Contender Series and a few UFC scraps with Eric Shelton and Matt Schnell.

He implores a lot of movement in fights and is constantly on his bike.

He likes to keep his hands low and throw from his hip.

He’s decent on both the feet and on the ground but really his advantage is awkwardness.

Opponents have a hard time getting a rhythm going on him because of his constant movement making him a difficult fight for anyone.  

Best Bet: Espinosa at +225 or better

I capped Perez at –186 implying a 65% chance of victory.

Perez now sits at around –265, implying a 72% chance of winning which I think is very high.

I think the movement of Espinosa is going to give Perez a lot of trouble in this fight.

Perez will have a hard time effectively closing the distance.

This will make the TD and his ability to effectively land exponentially more difficult.

I do think Perez is the better fighter here but I feel the fight will play out a lot closer than the odds indicate.

I’ll take the 7% differential shot on Espinosa as one of our Best Bets.


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