UFC 184 Preview
The good news is that we have another UFC event coming up, but the bad news is that it’s an overall weak card. The idea of a women’s MMA fight headlining doesn’t bother me as it does some fans, but the fact that I do not believe Rousey has much competition right now makes it a fight hard to get excited for. On top of that, the overall matchmaking doesn’t appear to be great. With that said, I do think there are some good fights to watch and bet on. This is one of those cards where the prelims may be better to bet on than the main card.
Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano
As mentioned in the preview, I really don’t think Rousey has any competition right now. I think Tate gave her the toughest fight we’ll see for a while. Zingano is no exception. It’s hard for me to entertain an argument for Zingano doing well after watching her first two rounds vs. Meisha Tate and her first round against Nunes. She gets put down easily and is in trouble too often. Rousey is outstanding at jumping on those opportunities, and I don’t think this changes here. With the exception of an injury or landing a huge punch, it’s hard for me to see Zingano doing well here.
With Rousey, it’s all about looking for props. I do think Rousey winning inside the distance at -520 is fair, but I think the fight not starting Round 4 is much safer at -425. Yes, these are expensive odds, but Rousey is an outstanding finisher. On top of that, I think Zingano’s only chance will be within the first three.
I’ve seen people say that Holm is the one who can challenge Rousey, and I see no evidence of this. While she has finished most of her opponents, it is not very early in the fight. She shows good striking and athleticism, but she has not been very good at avoiding the clinch. All of these factors would work against her with Rousey, but I’m not sure they will cause much issue with Pennington. Pennington’s striking is just not where it needs to be, and her athleticism and speed isn’t really on par with Holm’s. I do think Pennington can possibly stall out some time on the cage and maybe get a couple takedowns. Besides that, it’s hard for me to see a clear path to victory.
Even though I don’t think Pennington has a clear path to victory besides a close decision, I do think it’s somewhat likely that she survives against Holm and takes a round. If either the +3.5 or “Not Holm ITD” get to moderate underdog odds, it’s worth a stab. Otherwise, this is a pass fight.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Josh Koscheck
This is such a weird fight to write on. Ellenberger once looked like he had a lot of potential, but I just don’t think he has the heart for fighting. He looks for ways out in fights, and he can get very frustrated. It’s also really hard to know where Koscheck stands and if his heart is in fighting. At first glance, I’d say Koscheck should not be as much of a dog as he is. He can definitely outwrestle Ellenberger if this turns into a wrestling match, and he can possibly land on Ellenberger getting him to fold.
This fight is such a question mark that it’s hard to recommend a play, but if anything, it’s to take a stab on Koscheck at + odds.
This one is a head scratcher for me on opening odds as well as line movement. I thought there was value for Walsh at opening odds, but now I think there is a lot of value on Walsh at +360. I watched quite a few of Jouban’s fights on AXS TV prior to his fights in the UFC. He has got by because he is fairly well rounded, but do not mistake that his wins do not come with meeting adversity normally. He was in a very back and forth fight with Legere. Against Spang, he was hit and looked hurt a few times. Against Baczynski, it was back and forth. And let’s not forget how easily Rhodes controlled him. Jouban is not a bad fighter, but he’s also not great.
As for Walsh, most thought he beat Kunimoto who has not looked too bad in the UFC. Prior to that, he handled Indich pretty easily. I don’t think Jouban will particularly excel in one area much better than Walsh besides possibly the speed factor. This is one of those fights where I have a hard time putting it down to an exact percentage, but I do know that Walsh’s odds are off here.
Gleison Tibau vs. Tony Ferguson
I understand why some people like Ferguson here when just looking at it from the surface, but I think there is another way to look at it. Many talk about Tibau going to split decisions against fighters Ferguson would beat easily. First off, I’ll say this is a bit unfair considering Ferguson did not beat Edwards easily nor Castillo easily in which both fights he was a moderate to heavy favorite. Second, it’s been a lot time since Tibau was beat easily. Against Johnson, the fight was fairly even up until Johnson landed the big punch. Most play by plays had Tibau beating Khabib. Even if you don’t agree with that, it’s very clear Khabib did not cruise in that fight. My point is that there is nothing telling me Ferguson will have an easy time here. If Tibau who some refer to as the “split decision machine” goes to a split decision here, he was clearly the right side.
I honestly don’t think Ferguson excels that much more in a particular area. He is faster and the better striker, but Tibau also has sneaky striking. His wrestling is probably on par with Tibau’s, but his offensive vs. Tibau’s defense is no match. I don’t know who has better defensive wrestling than Tibau. On the ground, Tibau is very heavy from top. I do think cardio goes to Ferguson, but I give Tibau the fight IQ edge. For me, this fight has all of the makings of being a close one. You have to take the dog here.
This fight is definitely going to be dog or pass. It’s extremely hard to know where Munoz’s head is at as well as his skill set. He hasn’t fought for a little while, and he’s coming off two brutal losses. I think he has one foot out of the door while Carneiro just came off a three fight tournament win. Carneiro does not have a bad skillset, but sometimes he just didn’t perform. I can say with absolute certainty that I wouldn’t play Munoz here and that it’s dog or pass. Carneiro definitely can present problems, but it’s also tough to tell how he will do with the jump back up in competition.
Roman Salazar vs. Norifumi Yamamoto
Here is another one that is a definite dog or pass situation. I personally think Kid Yamamoto is just here for a paycheck. With that assumption, there is no way I’d favor him so high vs. Salazar. Furthermore, it’s pretty clear that the public has overvalued Kid coming into this fight. Salazar does not look like a world beater, but neither did Uyenoyama. Take a stab on the dog or walk away from this one.
Tim Means vs. Dhiego Lima
This one is a bit interesting. It’s one of the first fight Means has had in a long time where his opponent will go toe to toe with him. Lima has shown that he’ll fight anywhere and he’ll be aggressive wherever the fight goes. I feel a lot of people judge Lima keeping his brother in mind, but unfortunately for him, he does not fill his brother’s shoes. Dhiego often finds himself in fights where he takes damage and comes back similar to what happened on The Ultimate Fighter. Means sometimes can be very frustrating to bet on, but typically that’s against fighters using a gameplan against him. With these fighters likely going toe to toe, it favors Means.
I think Means is the play here just above even odds, but I would not go that heavy on it. I’ve seen a few people say that they love the line, but Means has proven to me to be a guy to not trust enough to put a lot of money on.
I liked Lewis quite a bit at opening odds of -385, but the odds are getting a bit high for a play. Potts looks to be one of the worst fighters on the roster right now. Lewis can definitely fall to a lot of HWs, mainly the ones with power. Against guys who will have to drag him out or sub him, he’s going to excel. We saw that when he fought Rosholt outside the UFC. He is not easy to hold down and he has a lot of heart. I really think Lewis will dispatch of Potts quickly here, but heavyweights can be unreliable.
James Krause vs. Valmir Lazaro
I’ve had a bit of trouble capping this fight as I’m having a tough time getting a gauge on Lazaro. I do think Krause is a guy that can give a lot of people troubles. He is not a guy that you can just run through. He is fairly competent in all areas and he does have finishing ability. One thing that can bother me with Krause is that he can be tentative at times. As much as I want to find a play here, it’s probably a pass. If forced to make a play though, it would be Krause.
Alexander Torres vs. Masio Fullen
To be perfectly honest, I haven’t even tried to cap or research this one. There is very little hype for this and I’m honestly surprised it’s on a PPV undercard. This seems like a much better fight to save for the first fight on a free card.