UFC Fight Night 123: Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

The UFC heads to Fresno, California, for UFC Fight Night 123 with 13 thrilling bouts ready to take place on Saturday, December 9.

The event is headlined by a superb featherweight contest between fan-favorite Cub Swanson (25-7) and the rising Brian Ortega (12-0). Ortega, who is yet to be defeated in his career, has won four-straight contests in the UFC via third-round stoppage. As strange as it seems, Ortega is seemingly capable of turning his game up a level in the dying moments of a contest in order to secure a victory. This was vital against Clay Guida at UFC 199, a contest that Ortega was likely losing until the managed to finish Guida with 20 seconds remaining.

There’s no doubting that Cub Swanson is his toughest test to date, however.

After losing to Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway, Swanson has re-emerged as a top contender with four-straight victories. The most notable of these victories was an impressive performance against “The Korean Superboy” Doo Ho Choi at UFC 206 in which he won a unanimous decision. In fact, Swanson has won all four of his prior bouts via unanimous decision.

In the co-main event, Jason Knight (20-3) will face Gabriel Benitez (19-7) in a battle of two featherweights. Knight, who is known for his exciting trash-talking and in-your-face style recently had his four-fight winning streak snapped by Ricardo Lamas at UFC 214. With impressive wins over Daniel Hooker, Alex Caceres and Chas Skelly, Knight had worked himself into the UFC’s featherweight rankings and remains at #15 for this contest.

After featuring in The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 1, Benitez has struggled to find success in the UFC. His most recent wins over Clay Collard and Sam Sicilia were outdone by losses to Andre Fili and Enrique Barzola.

One of the most exciting matchups of the entire event is the intriguing contest between Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Moraes to determine bantamweight supremacy. Sterling, who was scheduled to fight Rani Yahya, was left without an opponent once Yahya announced his injury. Now, Moraes steps up to the plate not long after defeating John Dodson at UFC Fight Night 120. The winner of this contest will surely be boosted up near the top tier of the bantamweight rankings.

Rounding out the main card, Eryk Anders (9-0) will battle Markus Perez (9-0) in a fight between two undefeated middleweights. Benito Lopez (8-0) enters the UFC after featuring on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series to face Albert Morales (7-2-1). Scott Holtzman (10-2) and Darrell Horcher (13-2) will also stand toe-to-toe in a contest between two lightweights.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega

Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega is sure to be a main event to remember.

Swanson and his seamless striking combinations will be tested by Ortega’s growing stand-up game and excellent jiu-jitsu.

Despite Ortega’s brilliant skills on the mat, he is never shy of a striking contest. “T-City” recently took many of Renato Moicano’s best strikes and continued to march forward before scoring his fourth third-round finish.

His forward-moving approach will match up well with Swanson, who prefers to fight while advancing. While moving backward, he isn’t as dangerous and Ortega can comfortably storm forward at Swanson without fear of being taken down.

While Swanson’s jiu-jitsu is to be respected, Ortega’s guard skills are on an entirely new level.

It’s just a matter of whether or not Ortega can get the finish. If he can’t, Swanson should be able to land enough strikes to convince the judges to side with him.

This fight is about as competitive as it gets, but we are certain that there is a betting edge on Cub Swanson going into this contest.

Bet: Cub Swanson to win
Odds: -110 (10/11, $1.90)

UFC Fight Night 123 fight card

UFC Fight Night 123 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm (11:30pm GMT) ET on Saturday, December 9.

Main Card

FS1 (10:00 pm ET / 3:00 am GMT)

  • Cub Swanson (-110) vs. Brian Ortega (+110)
  • Jason Knight (-265) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+250)
  • Marlon Moraes (-157) vs. Aljamain Sterling (+151)
  • Scott Holtzman (+100) vs. Darrell Horcher (-106)
  • Eryk Anders (-268) vs. Markus Perez (+237)
  • Albert Morales (-108) vs. Benito Lopez (-104)

Prelims

FS1 (8:00 pm ET / 1:00 am GMT)

  • Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche
  • Luke Sanders vs.  Andre Soukhamthath
  • Carls John De Tomas vs. Alex Perez
  • Frankie Saenz vs. Merab Dvalishvili

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:30 pm ET / 11:30 pm GMT)

  • Alejandro Perez vs. Iuri Alcantara
  • Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Davi Ramos
  • Antonio Braga Neto vs. Trevin Giles

UFC 218: Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo

Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo

Here we go again! Jose Aldo steps up to replace Frankie Edgar in what is an immediate rematch between him and Max Holloway now. Holloway stopped Aldo’s time at the top of the UFC featherweight division with a brutal third round TKO and now looks to defend his title for the first time.

Holloway and Aldo will headline the upcoming UFC 218 pay-per-view to be held at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

Despite the Holloway vs. Aldo rematch not being the preferred option for the UFC, this fight is still just as exciting (and intriguing) as it was the first time. In fact, it becomes even more interesting considering the monumental shift in momentum that occurred in at UFC 212. After controlling the first two rounds convincingly, Aldo got caught with a vicious combination of straight punches and went crashing to the mat. Holloway, who could sense his opportunity, poured on a heavy barrage of strikes to end the fight and take home his first UFC Championship.

This pay-per-view is filled with truly exciting bouts and the main card begins with a fascinating battle between Michelle Waterson and Tecia Torres. After climbing to 9-1 and 5-1 during her time with the UFC, Torres called out Waterson just after defeating Juliana Lima at the TUF 25 Finale. Waterson, who most recently lost to Rose Namajunas via second-round submission looks to get back on track here at UFC 218. We’re expecting Torres to overwhelm Namajunas in this contest.

After that, we move on to an edge-of-your-seat matchup between Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje. Alvarez and Gaethje coached the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter and now get to settle their differences in what is sure to be a violent affair. After losing to Conor McGregor at UFC 205, Alvarez then went on be involved in a strange no-contest brawl with Dustin Poirier. Standing across from him is the ever-dangerous Justin Gaethje, who walks forward with a granite chin relentlessly. He is happy to stand and trade with any opponent and packs extreme power in his hands after ruining the legs of his opponent. Justin Gaethje should get the better of Eddie Alvarez in this contest.

In a battle between two flyweight’s, Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis will finally go to war. These two were originally scheduled to compete at UFC 211 in May, but the fight never eventuated due to Cejudo experiencing an injury. Nevertheless, both Cejudo and Pettis recorded impressive wins since then. Cejudo smashed Wilson Reis with a new and improved karate style striking display and Pettis scored a hard-fought win over the tough Brandon Moreno. It’s Cejudo’s time to shine and we are expecting the former Olympic gold medalist to score a unanimous decision victory.

Alistair Overeem and Francis Ngannou will be one of the most explosive fights on the entire UFC 218 card this weekend. Ngannou, who has completely ruined each of his five opponents in the UFC so far, will be up against Overeem who is enjoying a two-win streak at the moment. Overeem’s experience as an accomplished kickboxer will be tested by the rising star in Ngannou who packs incredible power into his strikes. Expect Ngannou to land a heavy counter strike on Overeem and finish the fight early!

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Predictions and Best Bets

Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo

If you have only watched the highlights, or your memory is failing you, it’s possible that you only remember Max Holloway dominating Jose Aldo in the final moments of their bout at UFC 212.

After Holloway crashed a heavy series of punches into Aldo’s head, he continued to pour on a destructive series of strikes to end the fight.

However, what most people are forgetting is that Jose Aldo looked superb in round one and won round two on all three judge’s scorecards. He was winning every exchange and managed to rock Holloway with a devastating combination in the opening minutes. Holloway, who generally starts slowly, took a while to get going and Aldo made him pay the price.

The last time these two met, Aldo entered as the favorite. This time, however, Aldo is a significant underdog as the public wants to bet on the side that they have seen win this match before.

But remember, nothing is ever the same in mixed martial arts and there was a clear reason why Aldo was the favorite in their first matchup.

We recommend betting on the underdog in Jose Aldo (who is arguably the greatest featherweight of all-time, mind you!).

Bet: Jose Aldo to win
Odds: +254 ($3.55 or 51/20)

UFC 218 fight card

UFC 218 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:15 pm (11:15pm GMT) ET on Saturday, 2 December.

Main Card

Pay-per-view (10:00pm ET / 03:00am GMT)

  • Max Holloway vs. Jose Aldo
  • Alistair Overeem vs. Francis Ngannou
  • Henry Cejudo vs. Sergio Pettis
  • Eddie Alvarez vs. Justin Gaethje
  • Tecia Torres vs. Michelle Waterson

Prelims

Fox Sports 1 (8:00pm ET / 1:00am GMT)

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Paul Felder
  • Alex Oliveira vs. Yancy Medeiros
  • David Teymur vs. Drakkar Klose
  • Felice Herrig vs. Cortney Casey

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:15pm ET / 11:15pm GMT)

  • Abdul Razak Alhassan vs. Sabah Homasi
  • Jeremy Kimball vs. Dominick Reyes
  • Justin Willis vs. Allen Crowder
  • Amanda Cooper vs. Angela Magana

UFC Fight Night 122: Bisping vs. Gastelum

UFC Fight Night 122: Bisping vs. Gastelum

In what is an unbelievable turn of events, Michael Bisping has stepped up just three weeks after losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 to replace Anderson Silva in the main event of UFC Fight Night 122. Bisping will be facing middleweight star athlete Kelvin Gastelum as the UFC heads to Shanghai, China for an exciting event that features many up-and-coming Chinese martial artists.

It took the return of one of the greatest mixed martial artists ever to stop Michael Bisping’s reign at the top of the UFC middleweight division. Bisping had racked up five consecutive wins before facing the Canadian on November 4. Bisping looked slow in comparison to St-Pierre early in the contest but looked to be gaining momentum in the contest after damaging St-Pierre from his full guard. In the third round, however, St-Pierre executed a brilliant series which forced Bisping to give up his back before St-Pierre sunk in the rear-naked choke and submitted the champion.

Kelvin Gastelum will be entering UFC Fight Night 122 after having his two-fight winning streak broken by Chris Weidman at UFC on FOX 25. After wins against Johny Hendricks, Tim Kennedy and a KO/TKO of Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 (later ruled a no-contest), it looked as though Gastelum would be a tough test for anyone in the division. However, Weidman disposed of Gastelum in the third round via submission. Interestingly, Gastelum continues to compete at middleweight for this bout after declaring that he would drop down to welterweight again.

In the co-main event, UFC fan-favorite Li “The Leech” Jingliang will get a chance to compete in front of his fans in China as he takes on Zak Ottow in what is sure to be an explosive matchup. “The Leech” has put together three consecutive wins against Anton Zafir, Bobby Nash, and Frank Camacho before earning himself a deserved featured spot at UFC Fight Night 122. Zak Ottow is 2-1 through his time with the UFC so far and has scored split decision wins against Josh Burkman and Kiichi Kunimoto but lost a split decision against Sergio Moraes.

The always entertaining Alex Caceres finds himself matched up against Chinese Wang Guan. Wang is regarded as one of the very best mixed martial artists through all of China and this is scheduled to be his first fight in the promotion after signing earlier in 2017. Wang has managed an impressive record of 19-1-1 through his professional mixed martial arts career but has been untested by the type of competition he will be facing inside the UFC’s octagon. Caceres’ record might not be the most impressive (13-10), but he has been competing against some of the best in the UFC’s featherweight division for a long time now.

To get the main card started, 13-1 Muslim Salikhov will be stepping into the UFC’s octagon for the first time. Salikhov will be matched against Alex Garcia who has struggled to find consistency with his results lately in the promotion. Garcia is a difficult matchup for anyone making their UFC debut, but Salikhov’s record suggests that he is a man up to the task.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Michael Bisping vs. Kelvin Gastelum

This main event is undoubtedly much more intriguing due to the fact that Michael Bisping was on the receiving end of a beatdown from Georges St-Pierre not that long ago. With the fire burning inside of him and an urge to get back in there and get things back on the right track, Bisping accepted this fight against Gastelum.

First things first, Gastelum is a small middleweight. While that means he can’t grapple or stick for too long with the Weidman’s of the division, it also means that his hands are lightning-fast for the division. His boxing ability is already excellent and this could be the key difference coming into this fight with Bisping. It seems likely that Gastelum will be able to answer back with counter shots every time Bisping attempts a poor strike.

Alternatively, Bisping does have the ability to hurt Gastelum from long range. If he can’t hurt him enough to end the fight, Bisping also has the cardio to take this one deep into the fight and then do the damage there or win it on the scorecards.

Gastelum’s striking is nasty, but there’s no way Bisping should be this underrated by the bookmakers. We’ll make the most of it.

Bet: Michael Bisping to win
Odds: +215 (54/25, $3.16)

UFC Fight Night 122 fight card

UFC Fight Night 122 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 3:45 am (8:45am GMT) ET on Saturday, November 25.

Main Card

UFC Fight Pass (7:00am ET / 12:00pm GMT)

  • Michael Bisping vs. Kelvin Gastelum
  • Li Jinglian vs. Zak Ottow
  • Wang Guan vs. Alex Caceres
  • Muslim Salikhov vs. Alex Garcia

UFC Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (3:45 am ET / 8:45am GMT)

  • Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Sheymon Moraes
  • Kenan Song vs. Bobby Nash
  • Kailin Curran vs. Xiaonan Yan
  • Pingyuan Liu vs. Bharat Khandare
  • Chase Sherman vs. Shamil Abdurakhimov
  • Yanan Wu vs. Gina Mazany
  • Wuliji Buren vs. Rolando Dy
  • Cyril Asker vs. James Mulheron

UFC Fight Night 121: Werdum vs. Tybura

UFC Fight Night 121: Werdum vs. Tybura – Odds, Betting Guide, and Predictions

The UFC heads to Sydney, Australia to treat the fans in the land “Down Under” with a fascinating heavyweight battle at the top of the event. UFC Fight Night 121 was originally supposed to feature Mark Hunt. Hunt was later pulled from the card after the UFC cited medical concerns.

This is Fabricio Werdum’s return to the octagon after appearing at UFC 216 in October. Werdum was scheduled to face Derrick Lewis at the UFC’s pay-per-view, but Lewis was forced to withdraw on late notice after experiencing a back injury. Fortunately for Werdum, Walt Harris stepped up to the plate just hours before the event began. However, Harris was obviously no match for one of the greatest heavyweight fighters in the history of MMA, and Werdum submitted him with an exceptional armbar in just 65 seconds.

Werdum will be facing off with Poland’s Marcin Tybura who is now 3-1 during his time in the UFC. After losing his debut match with the organization to Timothy Johnson, Tybura has since defeated Viktor Pesta, Luis Henrique, and Andrei Arlovski. After smashing the aging Arlovski in the first round in Singapore, he surprisingly dropped the second round but managed to win the third round to score a decision victory.

Two ferocious Australian women’s strawweight fighters stand toe-to-toe in the co-main event when Jessy Rose-Clark meets Bec Rawlings. Rose-Clark will step in to replace Joanne Calderwood after Calderwood was forced to withdraw from the event due to undisclosed reasons. Bec Rawlings enters UFC Fight Night 121 on a two-fight losing streak. Rawlings was on the receiving end of a brilliant knockout blow from Paige VanZant at UFC on FOX 21 and then unsuccessfully returned to the cage against Tecia Torres in February. Rawlings has previously competed in Australia under the UFC banner twice in her career and won both of those bouts.

Two fighters with memorable nicknames will face off on the main card in Sydney when Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means meets Belal “Remember the Name” Muhammad. Despite each of these fighters battling inconsistencies through their time in the UFC, they have both proven to be incredibly dangerous welterweight contenders. Means is a powerful and efficient striker who will need to keep his distance against the relentless attack of Muhammad. Belal recently clawed his way to two consecutive decision victories against Randy Brown and Jordan Mein.

Jake Matthews gets a chance to redeem himself in front of his fans in Australia in what should be an exciting contest with Bojan Velickovic. After starting 4-2 in the UFC with losses to James Vick and Kevin Lee, Matthews surprisingly lost a fight with Andrew Holbrook in Melbourne at UFC Fight Night 101. Like Matthews, Bojan Velickovic entered the organization with plenty of potential but has struggled to a 2-2-1 record in his time with the UFC. Velickovcic fought Darren Till to a decision most recently at UFC Fight Night 115. There’s every chance that these two martial artists are fighting for their right to remain in the UFC.

Elias Theodorou and Daniel Kelly get set to face off in Sydney with identical 13-2 records. Both of these fighters experienced defeat in their most recent bout. For Theodorou, he struggled against the outstanding striking of Brad Tavares at The Ultimate 25 Finale. Daniel Kelly, after working his way through four consecutive opponents, was knocked out by Derek Brunson in New Zealand.

An Australia vs. New Zealand matchup will start the main card when Alexander Volkanovski faces Shane Young in a featherweight bout. Young, like many fighters from New Zealand, has been fighting in China recently and has managed a five-fight win streak. He’ll be making his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 121 against the 15-1 Volkanovski who continues to impress in the UFC.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura

While it is easy to select Fabricio Werdum as the winner in this contest, it becomes increasingly difficult to consider how or when Werdum will stop his opponent.

Werdum’s obviously capable of finishing any heavyweight when the fight hits the mat, considering his exceptional submission skills. However, Tybura is a hard man to keep down. He rises back to his feet with strength and power that has resulted in hardly any opponents being able to pin him down on the canvas for long.

On the feet, Tybura and Werdum both pack stopping power and will respect the strikes of the other. There’s a chance that this heavyweight contest goes deep into the rounds and therefore the best value bet for this contest is selecting ‘Total Rounds – Over 2.5’.

Bet: Total Rounds – Over 2.5
Odds: -125 (4/5, $1.80)

UFC Fight Night 121 fight card

UFC Fight Night 121 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET on Saturday, November 18.

Main Card

FS1 (10:00pm ET / 2:00am GMT)

  • Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura
  • Bec Rawlings vs. Joanne Calderwood
  • Tim Means vs. Belal Muhammad
  • Elias Theodorou vs. Daniel Kelly
  • Alexander Volkanovski vs. Humberto Bandenay

Prelims

FS1 (8:00pm ET / 12:00am GMT)

  • Ryan Benoit vs. Ashkan Mokhtarian
  • Nik Lentz vs. Will Brooks
  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Adam Wieczorek
  • Damien Brown vs. Frank Camacho

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:30pm ET / 10:30pm GMT)

  • Alex Chambers vs. Nadia Kassem
  • Jenel Lausa vs. Eric Shelton

Bellator 188: Lahat vs. Labiano

Bellator 188 Lahat vs. Labiano

Some of the leading Israeli fighters in the world will step into the Bellator cage this weekend when the promotion heads to Tel Aviv, Israel for Bellator 188.

A Bellator Featherweight Championship bout between Patricio Freire and Daniel Weichel was the original headliner for this event. However, “Pitbull” Freire withdrew from the event on November 12 due to “multiple injuries.” Now, the event will see Jeremiah Labiano and Noad Lahat go at each other in the main event of the evening.

Noad Lahat (11-3), a local Israeli favorite, will fit straight into the headlining role after managing a 2-1 record in his three fights within Bellator so far. Prior to Bellator, Lahat had a stint in the UFC in which he scored two wins and two losses. His opponent, Jeremiah Labiano (11-5), is also 2-1 during his time with Bellator. After picking up wins against Vince Murdock and Stephen Cervantes, Labiano was scheduled to battle rising star James Gallagher at Bellator 187. However, the contest didn’t eventuate and now Labiano finds himself battling Lahat in Israel.

John Salter (14-3) and Jason Radcliffe (12-4) will do battle in the co-main event at Bellator 188. Salter and Radcliffe are experiencing different trajectories with Salter entering the fight with six consecutive victories and Radcliffe suffering two-straight defeats. Salter, at the age of 32, has managed to rejuvenate his career after joining Bellator in 2015 and he has now finished all of his last six opponents in either the first or second round. This will be Radcliffe’s fifth consecutive bout in a different promotion. He has also managed to fight for a championship in three of his last four contests. He defeated Wilfried Edmund to win the Contender Norwich title before losing to Oskar Piechota and Shane Mitchell.

In what should be an exciting female flyweight bout, Denise Kieholtz (0-1) will compete against Jessica Middleton (2-2). Kieholtz recently featured in a Bellator Kickboxing match in 2016 against Gloria Peritore and lost a split decision. This will be her first MMA competition for the promotion. Middleton’s career has hit a roadblock after running into top women’s flyweights Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Emily Ducote consecutively. Essentially, Middleton now finds herself just underneath the quality required to stand in there with the champion.

Also on the main card is Israeli Haim Gozali (7-4) who is up against Arsen Faitovich (4-1). Gozali joined Bellator in November 2016 after a four-year layoff and has since gone 1-1 in his time with the organization. 24-year-old Faitovich, who fights out of Ukraine, will make his Bellator debut after fighting in local organizations in Ukraine through his five-fight career. He’s finished all four of his wins before the third round.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Jeremiah Labiano vs. Noad Lahat

Jeremiah Labiano is a talented black-belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu who is looking to make a statement after missing out on an opportunity to fight James Gallagher last weekend. Labiano is exceptional on the mat but has some room for improvement in the stand-up game. He certainly packs power in his hands, but he needs to find a way to land his strikes consistently in order to set up his takedowns.

Labiano might not have to worry about his striking defense too much against Noad Lahat, however. Lahat is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with excellent grappling ability thanks to his second-degree black belt in Judo.

What’s concerning about Lahat going into this contest is how he faded significantly after the first round with Henry Corrales at Bellator 182. After an impressive start, he slowed down enough to let Corrales take over and win the contest via decision. Despite a small spark of renewed energy in round three, that lasted for just under a minute, his explosiveness and athleticism faded so much that he wasn’t able to win the grappling or standing exchanges.

Prediction: Jeremiah Labiano by submission – Round 2

Bet: Jeremiah Labiano to win
Odds: +373 ($4.73, 373/100)

Bellator 188 fight card and start time

Bellator 188 starts on Thursday, November 16 at 10:30am ET (2:30pm GMT), but will air on Spike the following day (Friday, November 17) at 9:00pm ET (1:00am GMT).

Main Card

Spike TV – Friday, November 17 (9:00pm ET / 1:00am GMT)

  • Jeremiah Labiano vs. Noad Lahat
  • John Salter vs. Jason Radcliffe
  • Denise Kieholtz vs. Jessica Middleton
  • Haim Gozali vs. Arsen Faitovich
  • Kirill Medvedovski vs. Luiz Rocha

Prelims

Spike.com – Friday, November 17 (7:00pm ET / 11:00pm GMT)

  • Shimon Gosh vs. Francisco Silva
  • Olga Rubin vs. Joana Magalhaes
  • Oron Kahlon vs. Julian Maloku
  • Alex Nikulin vs. Rami Abuhav
  • Almog Shay vs. Anthony Mor
  • Alex Trofimov vs. David Abisror
  • Netanel Parisi vs. Or Eliov
  • Adam Keresh vs. Roma Kushnir
  • Ivan Solomatov vs. Moshiko Ben Shimol
  • Raz Bring vs. Nadeem Kablan
  • Matan Levi vs. Erik Sianov
  • Assaf Batan vs. Mor Atias

UFC Fight Night 120: Poirier vs. Pettis

UFC Fight Night 120: Poirier vs. Pettis

Just one week after the UFC’s breakthrough pay-per-view of 2017, UFC 217, the promotion heads to Norfolk, Virginia with a fascinating fight card.

The event is headlined by a superb lightweight contest between Dustin Poirier and Anthony Pettis. Poirier and Pettis remain two of the toughest challenges in the UFC’s deep lightweight division and will battle it out for the opportunity to stay relevant in the hunt for a UFC title. For Pettis, he is a former champion and has since been looking for a path back to the top. Poirier, on the other hand, has always been hovering outside of title contention but a win over Pettis moves him right up there in the rankings.

In the co-main event, Matt Brown will have his very last fight in the UFC. He will be battling it out against Diego Sanchez in a welterweight contest. The 36-year-old Brown is on a three-fight losing streak, although at the hands of stiff competition in the welterweight division including Maia, Ellenberger, and Cerrone. Sanchez enters this contest after swapping wins and losses since 2014. He most recently lost to Al Iaquinta at UFC Fight Night 108.

Heavyweight veteran Andrei Arlovski will be thrown to the wolves yet again when he faces Junior Albini in. Albini entered the UFC at UFC on FOX 25 and floored Timothy Johnson just minutes into round one. His boxing looked crisp, and he should pose a significant threat to many of the UFC’s heavyweight division. Arlovski enters this fight on a five-fight losing streak and having lost to two of the UFC’s best up-and-coming heavyweight prospects consecutively. A defeat at UFC Fight Night 120 could make it three in a row.

Also on the card, Nate Marquardt does battle with Cezar Ferreira, Raphael Assuncao will face off with Matthew Lopez in an important bantamweight contest, and Joe Lauzon will stand toe-to-toe with the ever-dangerous Clay Guida.

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Predictions and Best Bets

We enjoyed a fantastic bet on T.J. Dillashaw last week at UFC 217 to take home the UFC Bantamweight Championship after entering as a +158 underdog.

This week you will find us betting on Dustin Poirier to get the job done against Anthony Pettis.

Dustin Poirier vs. Anthony Pettis

If you are simply basing your predictions off a fighter’s resume, it makes sense to bet on Anthony Pettis in this spot. Pettis has long been one of the most feared and talented fighters in the UFC’s lightweight division after his spectacular time at WEC. Recently, though, Pettis is 2-4 in his last six fights with losses to Rafael dos Anjos, Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza and Max Holloway. His two wins in this time have been against Charles Oliveira and Jim Miller. Despite losing to all of these tough opponents, he has never been far off the pace and managed to showcase his unique abilities in each of the fights.

Like Pettis, Poirier steps into the cage this weekend after defeating Jim Miller most recently. After that fight, he battled Eddie Alvarez at UFC 211 and stunned Alvarez badly before the fight was later called a no contest after Alvarez was deemed to land a knee to his grounded opponent accidentally. However, we can extract information from this fight, and we saw Poirier has greatly improved his boxing ability and composure inside the cage.

Pettis may look the better fighter in the early stages, but expect Poirier to find his range and land a knockout blow on Anthony Pettis this weekend.

Bet: Anthony Pettis to win
Odds: +110 (11/10, $2.10)

Bonus Accumulator Bet

There are five underdogs across UFC Fight Night 120 which we believe to have outstanding value.

  • Dustin Poirier
  • Diego Sanchez
  • Matthew Lopez
  • Joe Lauzon

By combining these four selections into an accumulator (multi bet) we get exceptional odds of 52/1.

UFC Fight Night 120 fight card

UFC Fight Night 120 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET on Saturday, November 11.

Main Card

FS1 (10:00pm ET / 2:00am GMT)

  • Dustin Poirier (+108) vs. Anthony Pettis (-122)
  • Matt Brown (-290) vs. Diego Sanchez (+261)
  • Junior Albini (-231) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+210)
  • Nate Marquardt (+198) vs. Cezar Ferreira (-226)
  • Raphael Assuncao (-285) vs. Matthew Lopez (+249)
  • Joe Lauzon (-101) vs. Clay Guida (-108)

Prelims

FS1 (8:00pm ET / 12:00am GMT)

  • John Dodson vs. Marlon Moraes
  • Tatiana Suarez vs. Viviane Pereira
  • Sage Northcutt vs. Michel Quinones
  • Angela Hill vs. Nina Ansaroff

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:30pm ET / 10:30pm GMT)

  • Court McGee vs. Sean Strickland
  • Jake Collier vs. Marcel Fortuna
  • Darren Stewart vs. Karl Roberson

Bellator 187: McKee vs. Moore

Bellator 187: McKee vs. Moore

Bellator goes back-to-back with weekly events when Bellator 187: McKee vs. Moore arrives in Dublin, Ireland on Friday, November 10.

Bellator 187 was originally supposed to feature a contest between up-and-coming star James Gallagher and Jeremiah Labiano as the main event for the Irish fans. However, a knee injury has forced Gallagher out of the event, and now the event sees the undefeated A.J. McKee up against Brian Moore in a featherweight contest.

McKee is one of Bellator’s best-rising talents and will be headlining an event for the first time this weekend. He arrived in Bellator in 2015 and has since racked up nine wins as he continues to learn, develop and improve during his time with the organization. McKee will not be in for much of a challenge this week as he faces Brian Moore who has ten wins and five losses to his name. Moore has competed in Bellator twice now and lost to Daniel Weichel on his debut before defeating Michal Horejsi.

The co-main event features Ireland’s own Sinead Kavanagh as she takes on France’s Maria Casanova in a women’s featherweight contest. Kavanagh trains out of Straight Blast Gym in Ireland and will be looking to bounce back after experiencing a split decision loss to Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 182.

Former UFC fighter, Charlie Ward will make his debut with Bellator, also. Ward is another of Ireland’s fighters who train with Straight Blast Gym, the same gym as Conor McGregor underneath the tutelage of John Kavanagh. Ward will face John Redmond in a middleweight contest.

Also on the main card, Kevin Ferguson Jr. returns shortly after making quick work of DJ Griffin at Bellator 179. Kevin Ferguson Jr. is the son of the late Kimbo Slice and will be looking to make a name for himself in Bellator. He will compete in a catchweight bout against Fred Freeman, who won his professional mixed martial arts debut after a 3-6 amateur career.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Fred Freeman

Overall, backing value plays in this event is just a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping that the significant underdogs can sneak in a win.

While Maria Casanova, John Redmond and Fred Freeman all have a chance of upsetting their opponents (despite what the bookmakers are suggesting), it is Freeman that catches our eye the most in the lead-up to Bellator 187.

Freeman is an experienced martial artist who had nine amateur bouts before successfully winning his professional debut. He’s not going to take the world by storm and (let’s face it), he might not even be in a major promotion by this time next year, but he is a real threat to Kevin Ferguson this weekend in Dublin, Ireland.

Freeman is extremely opportunistic and even the most minor of slip-ups from “Baby Slice” could allow Ferguson to cause an upset.

Bet: Fred Freeman to win
Odds: +333 (10/3, $4.33)

Bellator 187 fight card

Bellator 187 begins on Spike.com from 7:00 pm ET on Friday, November 10.

Main Card

FS1 (9:00pm ET / 1:00am GMT)

  • A.J. McKee vs. Brian Moore
  • Sinead Kavanagh vs. Maria Casanova
  • Charlie Ward vs. John Redmond
  • Kevin Ferguson Jr. vs. Fred Freeman

Prelims

FS1 (7:00pm ET / 11:00pm GMT)

  • Decky Dalton vs. Andre Goncalves
  • Paul Redmond vs. Serio de Jesus Santos

Bellator 186: Bader vs. Vassell

Bellator is back with yet another high-stakes event. This time, there are two titles up for grabs at Bellator 186 as Ryan Bader looks to defend his Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship for the first time and also two talented female flyweights will battle it out for the inaugural Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship. The card also features some extremely gifted up-and-coming prospects including Ed Ruth and Logan Storley.

Ryan Bader had the dream Bellator debut after crossing over from UFC. He first featured at Bellator NYC and won a split decision against Phil Davis to claim the Light Heavyweight Championship. For Bader, this means he is now on a three-fight winning streak and his only loss in the last four years has been to Anthony Johnson. Unfortunately for fans, the fight with Davis at Bellator NYC was quite slow and uneventful. To defeat Vassell at Bellator 186, Bader will need to be a little more active than usual.

Vassell is a submission machine who enters this fight after winning his last three fights. He most recently submitted Liam McGeary at Bellator 179 and has now managed a 7-2 record inside the promotion. Vassell previously challenged for the Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship back at Bellator 130 but was submitted by Emanuel Newton 47 seconds into the final round. He would later go on to avenge this loss by defeating Newton at Bellator 149.

The co-main event has the potential to the most exciting fight of the night. Ilima-Lei Macfarlane and Emily Ducote will go to war for the inaugural Bellator Women’s Flyweight Championship. The two previously met in December of 2016 in which Macfarlane would go on to win a unanimous decision. Macfarlane then also defeated Jessica Middleton at Bellator 178 to move her record to an impressive 6-0 as a professional which is backed up by 5-0 amateur MMA record, also.

Despite losing to Macfarlane previously, Ducote is still right up there with the top talent in Bellator’s flyweight division. She proved this by defeating Katy Collins and Jessica Middleton after losing to Macfarlane to mark her place as a worthy challenger for the first-ever title fight for the division.

Also on Bellator 186 is Zach Freeman’s next fight after shocking Aaron Pico at Bellator NYC. He will face the experienced Saad Awad in what is sure to be an entertaining affair. Phil Davis will fight Leo Leite in the second bout of the main card and to kick things off; Ed Ruth will face Chris Dempsey.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Ryan Bader vs. Linton Vassell

This Bellator Light Heavyweight Championship bout is sure to be exciting. Well, hopefully, more exciting than Bader’s last contest against Phil Davis. Bader is up against the submission artist Vassell who has clawed his way back to a title opportunity and now that he is finally here again, he will be giving it his all to come away with the championship.

Ryan Bader feels disrespected by Linton Vassell in the lead up to this fight. Bader believes he has been fighting the best guys for over 15 fights now and that Vassell is no match for him. Rather than grinding out a decision, expect Bader to seek the finishing blow before the 25 minutes are up.

Bet: Total Rounds – Under 4.5
Odds: -106 (15/16, $1.94)

Bellator 186 card

Bellator 186 begins on Spike.com from 7:00 pm ET on Friday, November 3

Main Card

Spike TV (9:00pm ET / 1:00am GMT)

  • Ryan Bader (-412) vs. Linton Vassell (+353)
  • Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (-293) vs. Emily Ducote (+257)
  • Ed Ruth (-494) vs. Chris Dempsey (+421)
  • Phil Davis (-587) vs. Leo Leite (+478)
  • Zach Freeman (+191) vs. Saad Awad (-219)

Prelims

Spike.com (7:00pm ET / 11:00pm GMT)

  • Logan Storley vs. Matt Secor
  • Tywan Claxton vs. Jonny Bonilla-Bowman
  • Mike Trizano vs. Mike Otwell
  • Ryan Parker vs. Joshua Fremd
  • Andrew Salas vs. Ethan Goss
  • Frank Buenafuente vs. Francis Healy
  • Matt Lozano vs. Dominic Mazzotta
  • Mike Wilkins vs. Brett Martinez
  • Mike Putnam vs. Scott Clymer

UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre

UFC 217: Bisping vs. St-Pierre

The first time the UFC held an event at Madison Square Garden, it featured Conor McGregor’s stunning victory over Eddie Alvarez to become the first-ever two-weight world champion in the UFC. UFC 205 also featured two other championship bouts, one between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson and also Joanna Jedrzejczyk defended her title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.

So, to not take a backward step, the UFC has stacked the deck again and possibly exceeded any realistic expectations for the promotions card to MSG. The event features three fantastic world championship bouts and also a high-quality preliminary card to support the top end of the card.

The main event should be unforgettable. Michael Bisping will defend his UFC Middleweight Championship against Georges St-Pierre. By UFC 217, it will have been four years since GSP last competed in mixed martial arts. He is undefeated since 2007 and left the UFC on a 12-fight winning streak. He never lost his UFC Welterweight Championship and instead relinquished it after the fight with Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.

GSP has an incredibly tough challenge ahead of him at UFC 217. If coming back after four years is not hard enough, how about the grit and determination of the man standing toe-to-toe with him at MSG this time around – Michael Bisping. Bisping earned the title by defeating Luke Rockhold at UFC 199, and then successfully defended the title against Dan Henderson at UFC 204 in October 2016. Bisping is on a five-fight winning streak and will undoubtedly want to prove the doubters wrong.

In the co-main event, T.J. Dillashaw will attempt to snatch Cody Garbrandt’s UFC Bantamweight Championship from him. Dillashaw and Garbrandt have one of the longest-running and most powerful rivalries in the UFC today with both fighters extremely disliking one another. The two used to be friends and teammates who trained at Team Alpha Male together but Dillashaw up and left the gym to go and train elsewhere. Garbrandt believes leaving his gym behind is the ultimate disrespect and wants to make Dillashaw pay for it. It will be the first time Cody Garbrandt has defended his title since taking the belt from Dominick Cruz at UFC 207.

If that is not enough, the most dominant champion in women’s mixed martial arts history, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, is up against Rose Namajunas with the title on the line. Jedrzejczyk has surpassed Ronda Rousey as the most feared and exceptional female mixed martial artist and will be looking to defend her title for the sixth consecutive time this weekend at UFC 217. She is dismissed of all of the top contenders who have challenged her previously, and now she hopes to send another one home unsuccessful. Rose Namajunas is not just ‘another challenger’ though. Namajunas is vicious, talented and unorthodox and recently submitted Michelle Waterson easily in the second round at UFC on FOX 24. This has the potential to be one of the best bouts of the year, not just at UFC 217.

The main card will begin with another two fascinating bouts as Johny Hendricks looks to stop the undefeated Paulo Borrachinha and Stephen Thompson will face off with Jorge Masvidal. To many diehard MMA fans, the Thompson vs. Masvidal fight is the most exciting of the night and just proves how incredible this event is.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Cody Garbrandt vs. T.J. Dillashaw

Cody Garbrandt is undoubtedly one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the entire organization. He is lightning-fast, has excellent movement, timing and distance management and has insane accuracy with his hands. He dismantled Dominick Cruz in a way that we have never seen before and beat him up over the course of five rounds. Because of this, Garbrandt deserves to be entering the fight with T.J. Dillashaw as the betting favorite. However the gap should be much closer than it is.

The bookmakers have disrespected Dillashaw upon entering UFC 217. This is a guy who scored one of the greatest upsets of all time when he defeated Renan Barao at UFC 173 to win the UFC Bantamweight Championship. He also went on to defend it twice before losing it via split decision to Dominick Cruz. Since then, he has decisively beaten Raphael Assuncao and John Lineker to earn another shot at the championship.

Garbrandt is an incredible fighter, but Dillashaw is just as good. Realistically, the odds between these two fighters should not have much differential at all, and therefore the value play is to select Dillashaw to win.

Bet: T.J. Dillashaw to win
Odds: +158 (79/50, $2.58)

Bonus Accumulator Bet

There are five underdogs across UFC 217 which we believe to have outstanding value.

  • Johny Hendricks
  • Aleksei Oleinik
  • Jorge Masvidal
  • J. Dillashaw
  • Mickey Gall

By combining these five selections into an accumulator (multi bet) we get ridiculous odds of 192/1.

UFC 217 card

UFC 217 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 6:30 pm ET on Saturday, November 4

Main Card

PPV (10:00pm ET / 2:00am GMT)

  • Michael Bisping (-107) vs. Georges St-Pierre (-107)
  • Cody Garbrandt (-172) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (+158)
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-485) vs. Rose Namajunas (+415)
  • Jorge Masvidal (+158) vs. Stephen Thompson (-172)
  • Paulo Borrachinha (-214) vs. Johny Hendricks (+186)

Prelims

FS1 (8:00pm ET / 12:00am GMT)

  • Joe Duffy vs. James Vick
  • Mark Godbeer vs. Walt Harris
  • Ion Cutelaba vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
  • Randy Brown vs. Mickey Gall

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (6:30pm ET / 10:30pm GMT)

  • Curtis Blaydes vs. Aleksei Oleinik
  • Corey Anderson vs. Ovince Saint Preux
  • Ricardo Ramos vs. Aiemann Zahabi

UFC Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida

UFC Fight Night 119: Brunson vs. Machida

The UFC has put together a fantastic card for their return to Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 28 for UFC Fight Night 119.

The main event features the reappearance of Lyoto Machida who will compete in a middleweight bout against Derek Brunson.  Machida has been missing from the sport since June 2015 in which he lost via third-round TKO to Yoel Romero. Just before stepping back inside the UFC’s octagon against Dan Henderson, Machida was removed from the event and suspended from competing due to a drug policy violation. Machida received an 18-month suspension from USADA after declaring consumption of a product that contained a prohibited substance.

If Machida was hoping to ease back into form inside the octagon, he hasn’t got the best opponent for it. Derek Brunson, who is coming off a quick 76-second TKO win against Daniel Kelly at UFC Fight Night 110, is one of the fastest starters in the UFC. The victory against Kelly halted a two-fight win streak in which Brunson came ever so close to stopping Robert Whittaker in Melbourne, Australia before losing a relatively controversial decision to Anderson Silva at UFC 208.

The co-main event will see Brazilian Demian Maia take on the rising star in the welterweight division, Colby Covington. After tearing through the ranks and cementing himself as the #1 contender in the division, Maia was decisively beaten by UFC champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 214. It was Maia’s first loss in 2014 and marked the end of a seven-fight winning streak. He will look to get back on track against Colby Covington who is now on a four-fight winning streak after losing to Warlley Alves at UFC 194. With wins over Dong Hyun Kim and Bryan Barberena, Covington is quickly climbing the ranks. A matchup with Maia will be his greatest test to date.

Unlike the previous UFC Fight Night 118 card in Poland, this event is truly stacked with exciting and highly significant fights. The main card runs six fights deep and will begin with John Lineker looking to rebound from a loss against Marlon Vera. Both of these fighters enter UFC Fight Night 119 on completely different trajectories. Lineker had nearly reached the top of the ladder in the bantamweight division but was outclassed by T.J. Dillashaw. Vera, on the other hand, is on the other end of the division’s scale but is slowly working his way up. His win over the retiring Brad Pickett was backed up by an impressive first-round submission of Brian Kelleher, also.

Next, Thiago Santos will find himself in the octagon with Jack Hermansson. Santos has now ruined two opponents consecutively in Jack Marshman and Gerald Meerschaert, which quickly erased the crazily unexpected loss to Eric Spicely at UFC Fight Night 95. Jack Hermansson is also on a two-fight win streak after first round stoppages of Brad Scott and Alex Nicholson.

Jim Miller will do battle with Francisco Trinaldo on the main card. Miller dropped a decision to Anthony Pettis most recently and before that he felt short against Dustin Poirier. Miller continues to be a challenging fight for almost anybody in the division and is still improving at the age of 34. Trinaldo recently had his outstanding seven-fight win streak broken by rising lightweight Kevin Lee. Trinaldo looked superb in the first round and badly hurt Lee before “The Motown Phenom” recovered in round two and won via submission.

Moreover, two talented bantamweights will collide when Rob Font takes on Pedro Munhoz in Brazil. After losing to Jimmie Rivera, Munhoz has bounced back with three consecutive victories. His opponent, Rob Font is now 4-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming to John Lineker.

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Predictions and Best Bets

Demian Maia vs. Colby Covington

Not only is this one of the most intriguing contests on the entire card, but it is also where the value lies. Believe it or not, Demian Maia (yes, the guy who was recently on a winning streak that included victories over Jorge Masvidal, Carlos Condit, Gunnar Nelson and Neil Magny) is the underdog against Colby Covington.

We can see the argument for it. Demian Maia was completely exposed in his title challenge against Tyron Woodley at UFC 214. Maia, an incredible submission artist, had difficult taking Woodley down to the mat. In fact, he went 0-24 for takedowns through the bout and looked hopeless against Woodley’s spectacular takedown defense. Enter Colby Covington, a talented wrestler who can stuff Maia’s takedowns, and it all makes sense.

However, unlike Woodley, Covington is not the best of strikers and will need to rely on his usual gameplan of grinding out victories on the mat to secure a decision victory. If he does, he will give Maia all the opportunity that he needs to hunt for a submission. We have seen it before in the UFC, Warlley Alves grabbed the neck of Covington and strangled him. Maia could do the same.

Bet: Demian Maia to win
Odds: +120 (6/5 or $2.20)

UFC Fight Night 119 card

UFC Fight Night 119 begins on UFC Fight Pass from 7:00 pm ET on Saturday, October 21

Main Card

FS1 (10:00pm ET / 2:00am GMT)

  • Lyoto Machida (+130) vs. Derek Brunson (-170)
  • Colby Covington (-155) vs. Demian Maia (+115)
  • Rob Font (-185) vs. Pedro Munhoz (+145)
  • Jim Miller (+140) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (-180)
  • Jack Hermansson (-160) vs. Thiago Santos (+120)
  • John Lineker (-430) vs. Marlon Vera (+310)

Prelims

FS2 (8:00pm ET / 12:00am GMT)

  • Vicente Luque vs. Niko Price
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
  • Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Max Griffin

Fight Pass Prelims

UFC Fight Pass (7:00pm ET / 11:00pm GMT)

  • Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Christian Colombo vs. Marcelo Golm