UFC on Fox 14 Preview
It’s great that the UFC is putting on so many events, but one of the downfalls is that they can sneak up on you. We have a UFC on Fox event this Saturday in which we are getting a late start with the article. I do think there are some betting opportunities here, but it’s not an event I would call a big moneymaker. Regardless, the fights should be entertaining and good to have action on. We are going to keep these breakdowns a bit shorter than normal due to the event being in a couple days.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Anthony Johnson
This is a great fight, but a tough one to bet. Rumble Johnson has looked great as of late, but Gustafsson is going to be a challenge for him. My initial thought was that Gustafsson via sub would probably be steep odds and a somewhat likely outcome. Johnson has shown issues when he gives up his back and Gustafsson will take it if the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately, others may have the same idea as the odds are +250 when I expected them to be much higher. When Gustafsson was below -200, I think he was the definite play. Johnson’s odds will become tempting above +250. The play that I like most and think is fairly safe is that the fight ends inside the distance. I have a hard time seeing these guys go back and forth for 25 minutes.
Dan Henderson vs. Gegard Mousasi
I really hate some of the matchmaking that Henderson gets. He’s a great guy to bet on in fights that will be barnburners where his opponent goes toe to toe with him. Unfortunately, he gets fights such as Machida, Evans, and Cormier. This is not to say that these guys don’t come to fight, but the fights end up either being duds or not competitive at all. This is what I think will happen with Mousasi. I think he either cruises here outstriking and using his speed, or he outclasses Hendo before finishing. Either way, it’s hard to imagine Hendo finding a way to land his big bomb and I see him ending up frustrated. Mousasi’s line is expensive, but I don’t necessarily think it’s off. A more appealing line will probably be his -3.5 line as I really don’t see him dropping a round here and he has a good chance to finish.
This is an interesting one to cap. On paper, Bader seems like he could be a tough matchup for Davis given his credentials. Regardless, Davis is sitting as a comfortable favorite. The reason for this in my eyes is Davis’s speed and volume. Davis has shown that he is not easy to headhunt or finish, and Bader has shown himself to not put combinations together great and look for the big haymaker finish. He also uses his wrestling to excel, but that’s going to be tough against Davis who I think is a better grappler overall. This is a tough fight for me to bet at the moment, but I do think the fight goes to decision fairly often.
Akira Corassani vs. Sam Sicilia
I have seen a lot of people say Sicilia is a “can”, but I’ll say that I do not think highly of Corassani either. He had a good performance against Peralta, but otherwise, he hasn’t shown much. For me, this is a dog or pass fight. Akira can definitely look to stay on the outside landing here and there, but Sicilia’s shots will be much more powerful and he can likely swarm Akira.
Albert Tumenov vs. Nico Musoke
Tumenov is my favorite play for this card so far. It’s hard to not be impressed with Tumenov after his last two outings. I don’t necessarily think he’s a top contender yet and I did bet Alcantara against him, but I think he presents a really tough matchup for a guy like Musoke. The key to beating Tumenov is to use a grinding style and be very patient with it. Alcantara use his size and top game to grind out the decision. Musoke can definitely grapple and slow down the game, but he’s a bit too loose in there mixing it up. I think this will ultimately be his demise as he’ll stand too much. Also, I’m not sure if he can easily hold down Tumenov.
I have to cap Tumenov here more around -200. His striking looked very sharp last time out and Musoke has shown to be hittable. I think we’ll start to see Tumenov’s odds being steep after this fight.
Kenny Robertson has looked absolutely great in his last two fights. He made very short work of Perpetuo with the odds close to even. He then absolutely outclassed Alcantara with odds close to even. At this point, I think it’s clear that the public undervalues Robertson. It’s tough to say how Aliev will deal with Robertson as Aliev hasn’t faced similar competition, but it’s safe to say that most fighters will have trouble if Robertson ends up on top. I think Aliev has a clear edge here standing, but overall, Robertson has the better experience edge, grappling edge, durability edge, and the edge in tenacity. I feel Robertson is the play here, but keeping it small would be wise as neither have faced similar competition.
Andy Ogle vs. Makwan Amirkhani
There aren’t many times when I would bet on Andy Ogle as a favorite, but this may be one of those exceptions. Amirkhani has such a low activity level and is a fighter that does best when he finishes, but he’s going against a guy that’s very hard to finish who has shown heart and cardio. On the surface, this just seems like a bad matchup for Amirkhani. I look for him to possibly excel early but Ogle to take over. Ogle up to -175 seems fair. I would cap it higher, but Ogle has shown a lot more neutralizing skills than offense.
Nikita Krylov vs. Stainslav Nedkov
Nedkov may be one of the better plays on this card at +120. Krylov has shown some major holes in his game throughout his UFC fights. He does not have much cardio, he makes rookie mistakes on the ground, and he is hittable. Nedkov is no world beater himself, but he’s proven himself to be tough and aggressive. Some point to Krylov’s traditional martial arts striking background, but I just don’t see him successfully avoiding a firefight with Nedkov. I also think Nedkov can get in on his legs for takedowns and brutalize him on the ground. I actually cap Nedkov as the favorite here, and more in the -150 range.
This is a squash match. Taisumov should have an easy time here, and I’m not surprised to see his odds get way up there. I am fairly surprised to see Taisumov inside the distance at only even odds. I think he should handle this fight easily, and he finishes more often than not. If you want to make a play on this, play the inside the distance line as Taisumov’s inside the distance line is almost similar.
Viktor Pesta vs. Konstantin Erokhin
Dog or pass here. Pesta did not look bad in his debut. Erokhin has ran through most of his opponents and he has faced credible competition. Regardless, I question how he will look if Pesta is game. If Pesta can keep him at bay and gas out Erokhin, we have a fight here. I would also factor in the heavyweight factor. It’s always dangerous betting heavy favorites at heavyweight.
Mirsad Bektic vs Paul Redmond
Bektic’s early line had value, but I would not play him now. Furthermore, he’s a tough guy to pick if he’ll finish or not. Redmond is on very short notice and he just missed weight, so I think there is a good chance he looks for a way out. If anything, the -3.5 line would be safest.
Neil Seery vs. Chris Beal
I contemplated this one for a long time, and I’m still having a tough time with it. I’m leaning towards a small straight play on Seery at around +185. Beal is going to be huge at flyweight, but it could have been a tough cut. On top of that, I don’t necessarily think Beal getting down so low is to his advantage. He’s the type of fighter where speed has been an advantage, and that advantage is less in a smaller, faster division. I think Seery can make this very competitive throughout due to his striking, volume, and tenacity. I’m not sure if Beal can hold Seery down easily.