Bellator 183: Henderson vs Pitbull

Bellator 183: Henderson vs Pitbull - Preview, Prediction and Best Bet

Bellator has put together one of the strongest cards of the year for Bellator 183 at the SAP Center in San Jose on September 23. The event is headlined by a fascinating lightweight battle between Benson Henderson and Patricky “Pitbull” Freire.

Henderson enters this fight with “Pitbull” after a split decision loss against Michael Chandler back at Bellator 165. It will be the first time that the former UFC lightweight champion has competed in 2017. Patricky Freire steps into the Bellator cage this weekend after scoring a brutal knockout victory over Josh Thomson at Bellator 172. Freire packs freakish power into his punches and is capable of ending anybody’s night early.

In the co-main event, Paul Daley will face off with Lorenz Larkin in a welterweight fight between two top-tier welterweights in the world. Paul Daley was battered by Rory MacDonald at Bellator 179 and will be looking to bounce back with a win this weekend. Lorenz Larkin also experienced a loss in his last outing when he lost to Douglas Lima in a Bellator Welterweight title challenge at Bellator NYC in June.

Also on the card, Roy Nelson will make his first appearance under the Bellator MMA banner after leaving the UFC earlier this year. Nelson will face off with fellow heavyweight Javy Ayala. Adam Piccolotti will square off with Goiti Yamauchi while Aaron Pico will make his second appearance in Bellator’s cage against Justin Linn.

Aaron Pico steps into the Bellator cage for his second-ever professional mixed martial arts bout this weekend at Bellator 183. The highly-touted youngster was completely dominated by Zach Freeman at Bellator NYC after being submitted in just 24 seconds. Expect Pico to come out a little more controlled, composed and relaxed this time around after experiencing the worst in his debut. Regardless of his mentality, his current technique is definitely an all-or-nothing approach when standing up. His boxing is excellent and his wrestling is class, however his jiu-jitsu transitions and submission defense definitely needs improving.

There’s a big chance that either Pico or Linn find a way to end the night early and we can’t see this fight making it to the end of the second round.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting Online in the US

Recommended Bet:

Aaron Pico vs Justin Linn
Total Rounds – Under 1.5
Saturday 23rd September – 9 pm (ET) / 1am GMT

Bellator 183 Schedule and Start Time

Bellator 183 Main Card – (9pm EST – 1am GMT)

Lightweight: Benson Henderson (24-7) vs. Patricky Freire (17-8)

Welterweight: Paul Daley (39-15-2) vs. Lorenz Larkin (18-6, 1 NC)

Heavyweight: Roy Nelson (22-14) vs. Javy Ayala (10-5)

Featherweight: Aaron Pico (0-1) vs. Justin Linn (7-3)

Lightweight: Adam Piccolotti (9-0) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (21-3)

Bellator 183 Prelims – (7pm EST – 11pm GMT)

Women’s Flyweight: Brooke Mayo (0-1) vs. Kaytlin Neil (0-2)

Welterweight: Fernando Gonzalez (1-0) vs. Alex Lopez (3-0)

Featherweight: Gaston Bolanos (1-0) vs. Brandon Laroco (1-1)

Light Heavyweight: Tony Johnson (4-3) vs. Mike Ortega (2-3)

Bantamweight: Justin Tenedora (1-0) vs. Ricardo Vasquez (Debut)

Women’s Flyweight: Jaimelene Nievera (4-3) vs. Corina Herrera (3-3)

Lightweight: J.J. Okanovich (4-1) vs. Luis Jauregui (4-2)

Flyweight: Daniel Gonzalez (1-0) vs. Anthony Castrejon (1-1)

UFC Fight Night 117: Saint Preux vs Okami

UFC Fight Night 117: Saint Preux vs Okami

Ovince Saint Preux and Yushin Okami headline the UFC’s long-awaited return to Japan on September 23 for UFC Fight Night 117. The event is set to take pace at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama and is currently packed full with eleven entertaining fights showcasing some of the UFC’s best talent from around the world and nine Japanese mixed martial artists.

Saint Preux was originally scheduled to battle with former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua in the main event. However, just last week on September 16, Rua was forced to withdraw from the event in Japan due to an injury. Yushin Okami now steps in on short-notice to fight in front of his local fans in Japan. Saint Preux enters this fight after scoring an impressive submission victory over Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC Fight Night 108. Okami will be returning to the UFC after managing to put together four consecutive victories through a number of different organizations in the past 18 months.

The co-main event features an incredible pay-per-view worthy women’s strawweight bout as Claudia Gadelha meets Jessica Andrade in the UFC’s octagon. After losing to Joanna Jedrzejczyk in July last year, Gadelha is staking her claim to another shot at the division champion after putting together two wins against Cortney Casey and Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Andrade will be stepping into the cage after her four-fight winning streak was broken by the division champion at UFC 211. Both of these fighters are world-class athletes and are would-be champions if it wasn’t for one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the world, Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

Also on the main card is Japanese MMA legend, Takanori Gomi who will be battling it out with “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim. Gomi always puts on a show and this one will be no different because Dong Hyun Kim is known to be in wars, as well.

Gokhan Saki will also be making his UFC debut in front of fans in Japan. Saki put together a remarkable kickboxing record of 83-16 and scored 59 victories via way of knockout. His stand-up game is some of the best in the world, but it will be interesting to see how his style translates to mixed martial arts where takedowns and grappling feature heavily. Saki will be up against fellow light heavyweight Luis Henrique da Silva, who steps into the cage in Japan on a three-fight losing streak.

If that’s not enough, then the two first bouts of the main card will be sure to excite you as Teruto Ishihara takes on Rolando Dy in a featherweight bout and Charles Rosa meets Mizuto Hirota.

When two of the most dangerous female strawweight mixed martial artists collide at UFC Fight Night 117, we can be sure that this one won’t last the distance. The bookmakers, however, feel as though that Claudia Gadelha and Jessica Andrade will see the scorecards at the end of three rounds. Gadelha made easy work of Karolina Kowalkiewicz just a few months ago at UFC 212 and Andrade will need a dominant performance in order to get her closer to another shot at Joanna Jedrzejczyk. I’m expecting an over-eager Jessica Andrade to run into trouble with the technically sound and dangerous Claudia Gadelha.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting Online in the US

Recommended Bet:

Claudia Gadelha vs Jessica Andrade
Total Rounds – Under 2.5
Friday 22nd September – 11:30 pm (ET) / 3:30am GMT

UFC Fight Night 117 Schedule and Start Time

Main Card – (FOX – 10pm ET / 2am GMT)

Ovince Saint Preux vs. Yushin Okami

Jessica Andrade vs. Claudia Gadelha

Takanori Gomi vs. “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim

Henrique da Silva vs. Gokhan Saki

Rolando Dy vs. Teruto Ishihara

Mizuto Hirota vs. Charles Rosa

Preliminary Card (FOX – 8pm ET / 12am GMT)

Alex Morono vs. Keita Nakamura

Jussier Formiga vs. Ulka Sasaki

Chan-Mi Jeon vs. Syuri Kondo

Shinsho Anzai vs. Luke Jumeau

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 7:30 p.m. ET)

Daichi Abe vs. Hyun Gyu Lim

UFC Fight Night 116: Luke Rockhold vs David Branch

UFC Fight Night 116: Luke Rockhold vs David Branch

Luke Rockhold (15-3) will meet David Branch (21-3) in the main event of UFC Fight Night 116 this weekend, September 16, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

It’s been over 15 months since we’ve seen Luke Rockhold competing inside the UFC’s octagon. The former-middleweight champion lost his title to Michael Bisping at UFC 199 and everything in the UFC’s middleweight division has spiraled out of control since this day.

Rockhold was previously viewed as unbeatable and no one dared to believe that Michael Bisping could dethrone him at UFC 199. His overconfidence, arrogance and lack of respect for the challenger ended up seeing him floored by a Bisping left hook and Rockhold lost sight of the championship belt in the first round.

The former-champion has been campaigning for a big-name fight for his return to the cage, however only the returning David Branch put his hand up to take on the talented middleweight. Branch recently returned to the UFC with a 11 win streak behind him at World Series of Fighting and his first time back in the UFC impressed the fans when he scored a decision victory over Krzysztof Jotko.

In the co-main event, “Platinum” Mike Perry (10-1) will be looking to lay his destructive hands on Thiago Alves (22-11) in what is sure to be a barnburner. After being outclassed by Alan Jouban late last year, Perry put himself back on the radar with a brutal knockout victory over Jake Ellenberger in April. Alves also enters this fight with some form after scoring an impressive win over Patrick Cote at UFC 210.

Also featuring on the main card is an explosive battle between middleweight brawlers Hector Lombard and Anthony Smith. Gregor Gillespie will look to use his classy wrestling against Jason Gonzalez. Kamaru Usman will be hoping to continue his climb through the welterweight division with a win over Sergio Moraes. There’s also a heavyweight bout to kick-start the main card when Justin Ledet welcomes Zu Anyanwu to the UFC.

Luke Rockhold should defeat David Branch convincingly. Then again, he was supposed to beat Michael Bisping with ease, also. This time around, however, don’t expect Luke Rockhold to take his foot off the pedal as he looks to make a point of him being the best middleweight in the world.

Either way, his aggression is either going to result in a fast finish for himself or a sneaky stoppage from the submission expert in David Branch.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting Online in the US

Recommended Bet:

Luke Rockhold vs David Branch
Total Rounds – Under 3.5
Saturday 16th September – 11:55 pm (ET) /  3:55am GMT
Odds: 17/20, -118, 1.85

UFC Fight Night 116 Schedule and Start Time

Main Card – 10pm ET / 2am GMT

Luke Rockhold vs David Branch

Thiago Alves vs Mike Perry

Hector Lombard vs Anthony Smith

Gregor Gillespie vs Jason Gonzalez

Kamaru Usman vs Sergio Moraes

Justin Ledet vs Zu Anyanwu

Prelims – 7:30pm ET / 11:30pm GMT

Tony Martin vs Olivier Aubin-Mercier

Anthony Hamilton vs Daniel Spitz

Krzysztof Jotko vs Uriah Hall

Luke Sanders vs Felipe Arantes

Jason Saggo vs Gilbert Burns

NFL – Season Preview

Thursday sees the start of the NFL 2017 and for those looking to have a bet now’s the time to start thinking about where your pre-season money is going. As ever, we at Intense Gambling will do all we can to assist. Let’s start by taking a look at each team on a division-by-division basis (each team’s Bovada’s odds on winning Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis in brackets):

AFC East

New England Patriots (+325)
Miami Dolphins (+7500)
Buffalo Bills (+15000)
New York Jets (+30000)

The Patriots have won the AFC East for the last eight seasons – an NFL record for consecutive divisional titles – and there is little to suggest that streak will end this season. In the AFC East the defending Super Bowl champions don’t appear to have much competition.

The Jets will likely suffer for not having either a reliable quarterback or number one receiver, while the Bills are in the process of rebuilding. The Dolphins, New England’s biggest challengers, also have plenty of question marks about their offence heading into the new season, especially after losing quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the season with a knee injury.

Miami signed Jay Cutler to replace Tannehill and he has looked good in pre-season but his tendency to offer up turnovers will be tested once it all starts for real.

The Patriots had their own major injury to contend with this pre-season when wide receiver Julian Edelman tore his ACL but they still have Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick as  head coach; the perfect pair to lead the Patriots through any adversity.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (+1000)
Baltimore Ravens (+5000)
Cincinnati Bengals (+6600)
Cleveland Browns (+30000)

The Steelers are in pole position here having won the AFC North in two of the last three seasons. For them another divisional title beckons in 2017 and possibly more. They have, on paper, the most talented offense in the division; the only question marks are around them possibly not having a defence to match.

The Ravens are likely to be Pittsburgh’s biggest challengers and have perhaps the best defence in the division but as an offensive unit they have struggled in pre-season without injured quarterback Joe Flacco. If they can get him on the field and healthy they can push the Steelers all the way.

For their part, the Browns have improved significantly from a lowly base but don’t look yet ready to compete again for a play-off spot. The Bengals too are without momentum although their odds don’t necessarily reflect this.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting Online in the US

AFC South

Houston Texans (+2800)
Indianapolis Colts (+4000)
Tennessee Titans (+4000)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+10000)

The Titans are the only team in this division without any real question marks over their quarterback position heading into the 2017 season and that is a definite advantage.

For the Colts, quarterback Andrew Luck has not played, or even trained, this summer while recovering from off-season surgery although they still hope to have him for the season opener against the Rams. But even a healthy Luck may not be able to compensate for a roster devoid of any genuine flair or talent.

The Jaguars meanwhile are struggling to find a number one quarterback, while the Texans have Tom Savage keeping the position warm just until rookie Deshaun Watson is ready to take over on a permanent basis.

The Titans however have Marcus Mariota, who threw 3,426 yards, 26 touchdowns and just nine interceptions last season despite missing the final game of the season because of a broken leg. He has recovered quickly from that injury and could lead the Titans to their first divisional title since 2008.

AFC West

Oakland Raiders (+1000)
Kansas City Chiefs (+2500)
Denver Broncos (+2800)
Los Angeles Chargers (+5000)

This is regarded as the best and most competitive in football and is definitely the toughest to call. The Chiefs and Raiders were both 12-4 last season with the Chiefs winning a tiebreaker for the divisional title. This time round it could quite easily turn into a four-way fight for the title and a direct route to the play-offs.

Last year the Raiders were on track to win the division until quarterback Derek Carr broke his leg in the regular season’s penultimate game. They then lost their regular-season finale to the Broncos while the Chiefs beat the Chargers to claim the divisional crown.

But with a healthy Carr back, the Raiders will feel they have some unfinished business. First of all they must hold off the Chiefs for the divisional title, but next in their sights will be the Patriots who they will try to unseat as AFC champions.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (+1400)
New York Giants (+1600)
Philadelphia Eagles (+4000)
Washington Redskins (+6600)

The Cowboys went 13-3 to take this division last season but it wasn’t as straightforward as it sounds. All three of their regular-season losses came within this division, including both games to the 11-5 New York Giants.

But that’s to be expected in the one of the most competitive, high-profile divisions in the NFL. And now Dallas is now trying to do something no other team in the East has done since the Eagles in 2004 — which is win back-to-back divisional championships.

Since 2011, when the Giants went on to win the Super Bowl, all four teams have claimed the title, with Dallas and Washington winning two each. Will this chopping and changing continue, or can the Cowboys claim it again? It seems sure to be one that will capture the football watching public’s imagination.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers (+900)
Minnesota Vikings (+3300)
Detroit Lions (+5000)
Chicago Bears (+15000)

With Aaron Rodgers as QB, who’s won five of the last six divisional titles, even if the Packers are not the Pack of old they still look good enough to win this division, especially with Kevin King providing thrust in the secondary. Yet with Matthew Stafford at the helm of the Lions, they too have a quality quarterback to lead them through the season; the only question being does he have the same level of team support that Rogers has.

Ironically, if Stafford had been healthy at the end of last season, the Lions might have been good enough to pip the Packers to the divisional title but this time round they need to solve the problems with their defensive live in order to be competitive. They’ve added Jarrad Davis but that may not be enough.

Chicago are, in truth, slowly improving but QB Mitch Trubisky will need at least a year to adapt and make them a force, while Minnesota – who on the face of it appear competitive – will need to fill the void left by the injured Teddy Bridgewater to justify their place as second-favourites in the division.

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons (+1200)
Carolina Panthers (+2800)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3300)
New Orleans Saints (+5000)

The Falcons are looking to use the bounce from January’s 28-3 Super Bowl lead as fuel for the 2017 season, as opposed to be it being yet another hurdle of disappointment to overcome. And they will need to because every team in this division is equipped to challenge them.

Much will depend on how the Falcons are able to adapt to the ideas of their new offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, who has taken over from Kyle Shanahan – now head coach of the 49ers. QB Matt Ryan will need to shake off an under-par pre-season, and they will hope to hit the ground running when the season begins.

The Buccaneers look well placed to challenge and are regarded as a team on the up.  All eyes will now be on QB Jameis Winston, now they have provided him with a couple more targets in DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard.

After a Super Bowl loss of their own in 2015, the Panthers looked a shadow of that team last season but Cam Newton now has a new arsenal of offensive weapons surrounding him, and their defence still remains solid. 2017 could be a good one for them. For the Saints it looks likely to be a tough one and they still rely heavily on the passing of veteran QB Drew Brees.

NFC West

Seattle Seahawks (+1200)
Arizona Cardinals (+3300)
Los Angeles Rams (+20000)
San Francisco 49ers (+30000)

While the AFC West is considered one of the most balanced divisions in the NFL, the same cannot be said of the NFC West. For three of the last four seasons it’s a division that has belonged to the Seahawks and despite a changed offensive line that has already lost tackle George Fant, they should comfortably retain the divisional title again in 2017.

The Cardinals are likely to be their closest challengers and will be looking to their ageing core of offensive talent, led by 37-year old QB Carson Palmer, to steer them towards a shot at the play-offs.

Meanwhile, the 49ers and Rams will both benefit from the bounce of having new coaches – Kyle Shanahan and Sean McVay respectively – but both look to be at least a full season away from being back in play-off contention.           

FANCY A BET?

If you’re looking for a decent value bet then the Steelers at +1000 with Bovado to win the whole thing looks a very decent shout; so too the Raiders at identical odds with the same online bookmaker. Both have a chance of end-of-season glory.

The same bookmaker is offering what looks a generous +1800 for the Titans to win the AFC and +1400 for the Panthers to win the NFC; both worthy of consideration.

UFC 215: Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg

UFC 215: Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg

Top quality mixed martial arts action returns to pay-per-view this weekend on September 9 as flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson faces Ray Borg in the main event. Demetrious Johnson is widely regarded as the best mixed martial artist in the world today and will be attempting to shatter a record previously set by Anderson “The Spider” Silva by defending his title successfully for a historic 11 consecutive times. Ray Borg will provide an intriguing challenge for the superstar, but he enters this one hugely underrated by the bookmakers and fans alike.

The co-main event features another UFC championship bout as Amanda Nunes attempts to defend her title against Valentina Shevchenko. This will mark the second time that these two athletes have met inside the octagon. Nunes came away victorious in the first battle by way of unanimous decision, but it wasn’t without question as Shevchenko began to outwork Nunes in the third and final round. This time, they fight for twenty-five minutes and the question on everyone’s lips is whether Amanda Nunes can survive against a surging Shevchenko?

Also featuring on the card is an intense battle between two supreme welterweights: Rafael dos Anjos and Neil Magny. Dos Anjos looked impressive in his first fight at the 170 pound weight class and scored a victory against the experienced Tarec Saffiedine. “RDA” claims to have more energy competing at welterweight and will be looking to start a climb towards the championship after losing his lightweight title to Eddie Alvarez in 2016. Neil Magny has lost just one of his last five fights and it was to the highly-rated Lorenz Larkin. With wins over Kelvin Gastelum and Johny Hendricks, and an inspiring comeback against Hector Lombard, Magny will be in a position to disrupt RDA’s climb through the division.

To kick-start the main card, Gilbert Melendez will be standing toe-to-toe with Jeremy Stephens in a fan-favorite showdown. Both of these guys can bang and there’s every chance that this one goes down as Fight of the Night. Also on the main card, Australian Tyson Pedro will be hoping to remain undefeated against #10 ranked Ilir Latifi this weekend.

The five-round fight suits Valentina Shevchenko completely. This time, she’ll get the opportunity to work Amanda Nunes over in the final rounds with her excellent counter striking. In the first fight, Shevchenko clearly lost the first two rounds but it was at her own expense as she was the one who initiated the takedown that caused all of the pain for her. Shevchenko should be too technically superior to Amanda Nunes on the feet, who often lunges in as she attempts her powerful strikes.

Best Sportsbooks for Betting Online in the US

Recommended Bet:

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko
Valentina Shevchenko to Win
Saturday 9th September – 11:30 pm (ET) /  3:30am GMT

UFC 215 Schedule and Start Time

Main Card – 10pm ET / 2am GMT

Demetrious Johnson vs Ray Borg

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

Neil Magny vs Rafael dos Anjos

Ilir Latifi vs Tyson Pedro

Jeremy Stephens vs Gilbert Melendez

Prelims – 8pm ET / 12am GMT

Sara McMann vs Ketlen Vieira

Henry Cejudo vs Wilson Reis

Sarah Moras vs Ashlee Evans-Smith

Gavin Tucker vs Rick Glenn

Fight Pass Prelims – 6pm ET / 10am GMT

Mitch Clarke vs Alex White

Luis Henrique vs Arjan Bhullar

Kajan Johnson vs Adriano Martin