Wondering where I went on CapperTek?

Anyone that was watching my picks on CapperTek will notice that I stopped making any predictions. Why? Well, I got deleted for exposing their site as a sham! You can read all about that in this blog;

CapperTek Review – CapperTek is a Sham.

For you guys though, it’s the best thing that could have happened. It made me want to take them on and do a better job of helping MMA handicappers than they could ever do. As a result, I started massively improving theĀ  Bet MMA website to include an MMA Handicapper Directory, which has been incredibly hard work but will hopefully be worth it, if we get enough takeup.

I’ve also worked extensively on our MMA Fight Stats pages. If you are making any picks on UFC fights, these betting stats are an absolute must… At the time of writing there are real dead zones where fighters underperform their odds, which you can see on our MMA Favorites vs Underdogs page. You can also see massive UFC fight stats breakdowns by weight class. On that page you can also break down by winning method, fight card position and much more…

So yeah, getting deleted from CapperTek looks to have been the best thing that could happen both to me and to you guys because without CapperTek being a complete fraud, I’d never have made the Bet MMA site what it is today!

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UFC 187 – Johnson vs. Cormier Betting Results

Just a quick post to analyse the results for UFC 187 – Johnson vs. Cormier.
Overall profit was +7.81 units. +111.57% ROI (7 units bet), taking me to over 105 units profit in 4 events, so far.

This card absolutely sucked for value and it was seriously hard to drag some profit out of it. The only fight that I bet straight up was Cormier. I went into watching tape thinking “this is a pretty clear pick for Cormier” but it really wasn’t. If you watched the Phil Davis fight, Johnson looked an absolute beast and I think Cormier really had to be on his best to beat Johnson. Anyway, that pick came off just fine, with my breakdown of how it would go being spot on.

“These are, in my opinion, without a doubt the two top fighters in the weightclass outside of Jon Jones. As a result, this is a fascinating fight to try and break down. I would personally put the line at around -145 Cormier, so really, I wouldn’t normally bet something I think is so close to the proper line…. However, this fight seems to be a bit of a “chopper on the block” sort of pick for tipsters, so it’s only right to make a pick one way or another.

To find the key to this fight, for me, you have to go back to Johnson vs Belfort… Going into watching the tape I had one major question – what does Johnson do when he’s put on his back? Well, Belfort tooled him, took his back and choked him out, whilst Johnson did absolutely nothing to escape the position. Now, that fight is not one in general to use for predicting because Johnson missed weight MASSIVELY, so he was obviously not in a great place. However, you don’t suddenly lose all technique just cos you missed weight and technically, he just had nothing on the ground for Vitor. On the other side of the equation, Daniel Cormier has one of the best controlling top games I’ve ever seen. He never gives up dominant position.

So can he get the fight there? Johnson stuffed 8 of 8 takedowns from Phil Davis, a national wrestling champion so obviously you have to go with “hell, that’s some good takedown defense!” However, Phil Davis and Daniel Cormier are not the same fighter and they don’t go for the same style of takedowns. Phil Davis was going for desperate diving double legs because he was outmatched on the feet. Cormier goes predominantly for clinch based takedowns and trip takedowns in transitions. Very technical. What’s more, Cormier is a vastly superior striker to Phil Davis. Yeah, he probably doesn’t hit as hard as Anthony Johnson, but he still hits hard and has a really solid chin, fights at a good range and throws a real mix of strikes. He’d more than likely lose this fight if it was a standup only fight but he wouldn’t get tooled.

Obviously the elephant in the room is whether Johnson will get the KO. Yeah, maybe. But like I say, this is chopper on the block time and I’m saying he won’t. I’m saying Cormier manages to get a takedown, manages to wear out Johnson much like he did to Dan Henderson and either wins a solid decision or gets a finish in R3-5. Fingers crossed :P

The rest of the card was, as I said in my CapperTek writeup, full of favourites that should win but were far too wide favourites. As it was, the favourites to lose were Uriah Hall, a guy with serious skill but a nack of finding ways to lose, and Travis Browne. Now, Browne was a -400 favourite I believe… I watched the Johnson vs Arlovski fight in preparation for both fights. Arlovski does not have as bad a chin as I thought. He took some serious shots from Anthony Johnson and just fired back… it’s just a fact of fighting at heavyweight that there are a crap load of knockouts, so I guess Arlovski has built up the glass chin repuatation by having a lot of high profile fights. This isn’t to say he has a good chin though; I would place it as slightly below average for a heavyweight.

Anyway, let’s have a look at my prop parlays.

Parlay 1 @ +240
Cerrone by decision (+132) WRONG
Dodson wins (-500) RIGHT
Benavidez wins (-605) RIGHT
Not Natal by KO/TKO (-2060) RIGHT

Unfortunately, Makdessi’s jaw broke due to a high kick. Other than that, this was a decision win for Cerrone all day long.

Parlay 2 @ +629
Covington inside distance (+125) WRONG
Scoggins by decision (+165) RIGHT
Not Natal by KO/TKO (-2060) RIGHT
Benavidez wins (-605) RIGHT

This was a bad pick (Covington). When I was breaking down that fight I started by watching Covington as I’d never heard of him before. My conclusion was that he wasn’t that good and Mike Pyle should beat him, if he was as good as I remembered… so I started watching Pyle fights to convince myself of that pick. My gawd, Pyle was nowhere near as good as I remembered and on top of it, had a really, really bad chin. So I think this was a little bit of a searching for value pick that made sense for a very short period of time. Hitting a +2000 parlay last event made me greedy I think and I wasn’t satisfied with a mere +300 parlay on here with just Covington win, so I was stretching, looking for value. Anyway, it won’t happen again (hopefully).

Parlay 3 @ +541
Kim vs Burkman starts R2 (-515) RIGHT
Benavidez wins (-660) RIGHT
Natal vs Hall starts R2 (-230) RIGHT
Cormier wins (+110) RIGHT
Cerrone vs Makdessi starts R2 (-281) RIGHT
John Dodson wins (-705) RIGHT

This parlay came off, which was nice. Cormier obviously is the big bit of value but Cerrone vs Makdessi and Natal vs Hall were two of the most undervalued props I could find. Both fights were fairly evenly matched but at the same time, pretty much all fighters involved were fairly low output. The only exception being Cerrone but Makdessi is a high level striker, so Cerrone was never going to come out all guns blazing. I would say there was actually more chance of a first round finish in Kim vs Burkman than Cerrone vs Makdessi.

Anyway, if you were wondering where you get that sort of bet, you’ll need an account at 5Dimes. They allow you to parlay in all sorts of weird and wonderful bets.

All in all another successful event. This one, as I say, was a lot harder to find any value than the last couple of events. The next event in Brazil looks much the same, so expect to see a few more unusual prop parlays!

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Jimmo vs Barroso betting analysis – UFC Fight Night

Barroso is a guy with technique but no real gameplan on how to use any of it. He doesn’t press the action, doesn’t throw any real volume of strikes, accepts being in bad positions both on the ground and in the clinch and basically just could be a lot more effective than he is.

Jimmo is quite similar in many ways. He’s a higher output fighter but he seems to fight on auto-pilot. Basically all his fights end up in a pointless clinch battle, which would be fine if he was trying to wear down his opponent and actually defeat them somehow afterwards but there appears to be no post-clinch battle gameplan.

Barroso, though he’s meant to be a BJJ black belt, doesn’t pass guard and doesn’t really do anything from top position. Jimmo is more active than his opponent from top position, though not so much in latter rounds when he runs out of gas.

In terms of positives, both guys throw fairly heavy leg kicks (though both also do so with fairly low volume). Jimmo is quick for the weight class.

If significant parts of this fight aren’t spent clinched up against the cage, I will be very surprised. Jimmo should win the fight due to higher output and a slightly higher fight IQ but it’s not a fight I would want to bet on. Jimmo does also have the propensity to get injured. 3 of his 6 UFC fights to date have seen him injured in one way or another. Twice it has caused an end to the fight and against Te Huna he was limping heavily.

My line for this fight would be around -200 Jimmo.

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Lim vs Neil Magny – fight pick

Below is my fight breakdown, as posted on CapperTek, prior to the fight….

Magny to win at -120. Whoever got on this action when the lines opened at +110 Magny is a lucky person.

Magny is a very technical, impressive striker. He moves well, throws really high volume, varied strikes, slips in and out of danger well, fights at range perfectly, is extremely quick both offensively and evasively and most importantly seems to fight sensibly, or “has a good fight IQ” as a lot of people like to phrase it. My only concern for this fight is that he perhaps leans a bit too much on his speed defensively and doesn’t really keep his hands up. When he does get tagged, I also worry slightly that he turns his head away from his opponent rather than covering up and could be open to a massive one shot KO.

His opponent Hyun Gyu Lim is an enormous, powerful, powerful guy. However, this is his weakness moreso than his strength, now he’s bumbled his way up towards the upper echelons of the sport, where he will start to need some proper gameplanning and technique. He is apparently a TKD black belt but you wouldn’t know it. He’s seriously lacking in any sort of gameplan on the feet and essentially just zombie walks around then looks for a one two or if he gets a bit bored he literally runs at his opponent and throws wild combos. When he out matches his opponents standing this is fine. Because he’s so massive and does have a fairly fast straight right & jab, he can land effectively. However, against anyone with striking prowess, he has a punchers chance and if he doesn’t land that, he’s basically stuffed.

So, there’s the danger in this fight – Hyun Gyu Lim could get a knockout…. and I believe it would need to be a straight knockout because even from a knockdown, he’s not a great finisher (Pascal Kraus was doing a chicken dance for about 30 seconds before Lim finally finished him by running at him and flailing).

The only other concern is that he may have improved significantly since his last major bout (vs Saffiedine in Jan 14). His only fight since then was a gimme fight against a massive underdog, as a thanks for taking the Saffiedine fight on short notice. Whilst this is always a possibility, his corner was giving him some appallingly rudimentary non-advice in that fight, so I wouldn’t imagine they’re going to be revolutionising his game if he’s still training there. “Throw a 1-2, be aggressive and you’re doing well” was the advice, for what it’s worth, when he was getting absolutely demolished and was just aggressively throwing 1-2s already.

So, what I believe will happen:

vs Saffiedine, Lim got leg kicked to bits. He stands flat footed with his hands wide apart, which is also just about the worst thing you could do against Magny. If Lim fights in the same way here, he’s going to get leg kicked, straight punched and countered all day, whilst swinging wildly at thin air. Magny’s not got the biggest power but he should do a Nick Diaz on Lim and just pepper him incessantly and break him down. Having said that, though he’s never been KOd/TKOd, I believe Lim’s chin is questionable so a TKO is very much a possibility. As mentioned, Magny’s gas tank is excellent, so he’s not going to tire at all. Magny’s also got a decent body lock takedown and given that Lim did literally nothing at all when he was on the bottom vs Saffiedine, an intelligent fighter like Magny will most likely look to clinch up against the cage, take Lim away from his only chance to win and wear him out on the ground too. Magny’s ground game is very active but technically a bit sloppy but it’s enough to get the job done in this fight.

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Dhiego Lima vs Li Jingliang

Below is my fight breakdown, as posted on CapperTek, prior to the fight….

In my opinion, Dhiego Lima is not a UFC calibre fighter and if it wasn’t for one sloppy takedown by Tim Williams, he never would have been. I’ve just watched all of Lima’s fights in the UFC, working back to the original fight on TUF against Williams. Williams totally dominated the first round on the ground, which Lima just gave away without a fight. Williams was then winning the second when he dived in for a sloppy takedown, very nearly got it but Lima just got out, scooted round and got a RNC. In his second fight on TUF he got knocked down after 10 seconds but got a very slick armbar straight off it.

So we then move on to his proper UFC fights. He’s been sparked out within a round twice and won an unimpressive decision against a last minute replacement who moved up from 155lbs just to take a fight in the UFC.

I don’t like being a douche about it because he does seem like a nice guy but I just don’t think the guy does anything that well and he has some massive problems. He’s got a really, really bad chin and he has a maximum of 7 minutes of gas per fight. Those are the main things. On top of that, he doesn’t hit very hard, though he has some decent leg kicks, he couldn’t finish his last minute kick boxer opponent from some really dominant positions on the ground, he has poor defensive grappling in that he just accepts being in bad positions and it appears and doesn’t have that “hell no, I’m not losing” sort of mentality.

Jingliang Li does nothing spectacularly but is a pretty solid, well rounded and improving fighter. His one (I think) elite attribute is his chin. That won’t be tested in this fight. He also has a really solid gas tank. So that’s basically two massive red flags for Lima to worry about. Though it’s hard to tell for sure, as he’s faught two guys with bricks for heads so far in the UFC, I think Jingliang Li does hit pretty hard. It certainly looks it on a basic visual level but KO power is more of an intangible than that and sometimes guys look like they hit hard when they don’t and vice versa. All I can go on is that both David Michaud and Nordine Taleb looked busted up pretty bad at the end of both their fights with Li.

So, to quickly get to the point, I do heavily favour a TKO for Jingliang Li.

But let’s look at the potential problems. Jingliang Li’s takedown defense is not great. Both his UFC opponents so far have taken him down against the cage and with straight double legs. That’s a worry. However, they are both much better wrestlers that Dhiego Lima, who has less than impressive wrestling. If it does go to the mat, Lima’s BJJ is weird…. he’s landed two really slick submissions on TUF, then his top game looked pretty poor against the late replacement mentioned earlier. He has the ground equivalent of a punchers chance, I guess, but Jingliang Li is a brown belt in BJJ and he reversed / escaped against both Michaud and Taleb who both have good top games. I think Jingliang Li really should have plenty to cope with Lima, especially given that Lima is likely to gas out a lot quicker than he is, so there’s a limited timeframe when he’s going to be dangerous.

Throw in the fact that Lima was a late replacement around a month before fight time and that the fight is in Asia and that’s another two negatives for Lima. Honestly, I have no clue how the line got set where it is but it fascinates me and I’d love to know :) I’m guessing it’s more based on statistics than watching fight tape, that’s for sure.

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Analysing my UFC bets so far….

So, we’re 2 events in to my official sports capping career and it’s time for a recap on how we’ve done so far. In summary, very well :P
You can read all my fight breakdowns on CapperTek. Depending on when you read this, you’ll have to change the drop down to show X number of days betting history. I’ve talked to CapperTek about making this a bit more MMA friendly but they’re more interested in the major US ball sports at this stage.

https://www.cappertek.com/picks.asp?lastDays=60&shs=MMAGame.net&sport=ALL#history

First event: UFC 186 – Johnson vs. Horiguchi: 9.89 units profit
Predictions made;
Nordine Taleb not to beat Chris Clements inside the distance. (CORRECT) Profit of 2.55 units
I split the prediction into two parts to get better odds. Clements to win SU (+226) and Taleb to win decision at +171. 1.5 units on each. The fight pretty much went exactly how I expected and Taleb won a wide decision, being quite happy to just sit in half guard and throw ponderous elbows, exactly like I stated he would in my breakdown.

Patrick Cote to win (CORRECT) Bet 11 units at -180 for profit of 6.16 units
Riggs was slightly more competitive than I thought but in the end it was a pretty clear decision.

Chad Laprice to win (CORRECT) Bet 11 units at -296 for profit of 3.74 units
This one I thought would be a lot more clear cut than it actually was. Laprice totally dominated the first round in exactly the way I expected but then for some reason completely gassed and struggled in the 2nd and 3rd to maintain his clear technical advantage. It appears that he was having trouble with his opponent’s size advantage so I would not be surprised to see Laprice drop to 145lbs at some point in his next couple of fights.

Parlay of 4 fights going to a decision and one SU pick at +1053. 1 unit (LOST)
Davis vs Kaufman (-240) (LOST)
Barberena vs Laprice (-150) (CORRECT)
Clements vs Taleb (+105) (CORRECT)
Daly vs Marcos (-185) (CORRECT)
plus Bec Rawlings beats Lisa Ellis (-184) (CORRECT)

This one was a learning experience for me. I chose 4 of these picks myself and then just casually threw one last one in there that everyone else said would happen, to bulk up the odds over +1000 because I thought it would be cool to hit a +1000 parlay on my first day of tipstering…. you can guess which one I just threw in without any knowledge :)

Without the Davis vs Kaufman pick in there it would have been correct at +712 and the event profit would have been +19 units instead of +10. Never mind! :)

Event Number 2: UFC Fight Night – Hunt vs. Miocic: +42.37 units profit
This event couldn’t have gone a whole lot better. Well, that’s actually a lie… I was away for the weekend and in Bucharest on a friend’s stag do / bachelor party and if I was at home I would have put bets on Miocic to get a TKO at +500(ish)… probably just 1 unit so I’m not going to complain too much! :)

Main pick: James Vick to beat Jake Matthews at +158. 11 units (max allowed by CapperTek) (CORRECT) 17.38 unit profit
At fight time odds on Vick were actually as high as +170 I believe, so if you were following the line closely you could make even more profit.
This fight went a long way to showing me that I can actually be good at this tipstering business. 8 out of 9 “experts” on MMA Junkie picked Jake Matthews but I was very confident in Vick, to the extent I actually went around telling my friends to put real money on it. The fight went totally as I expected. Jake Matthews was throwing heavy leather and trying desperately to get the fight to the ground (against the cage, just as I stated in my breakdown). Vick mostly stopped the takedowns but got taken down once (due to brute force)… there he used his good escapes to get straight back up. Matthews got rocked, as I said he may well do, then his poor technique on his takedowns, again as I noted :) , led to him leaving his neck wide open for a guillotine choke that Vick finished quickly, due to his superior technique. Seriously, if you are wondering whether to follow my picks, read my breakdown of this fight on here or on CapperTek, then watch the fight. Basically every single thing I said would happen did, right down to Vick getting clipped early and getting semi-knocked down, but it not making a damn bit of difference.

One thing I would note: there is no way in hell Jake Matthews is 5 foot 9. He is every bit of 6 foot tall and I really wish the UFC would measure their fighters properly because it does make it harder to make a pick.

Pick: Beck Rawlings to beat Lisa Ellis at -162. 4 Units (CORRECT). +2.48 units profit
I was on and off this pick because I don’t think Bec is the greatest fighter. I doubt I will ever be picking her to win again but this went totally as expected. Bec broke Lisa’s will and dominated her due to being bigger and stronger. In general I believe there is good value to be had in betting on women’s fights. They are more rudimentary in their skillsets at this point (as you would exect from a growing part of the sport), which means there are more “styles make fights” picks to be made… On the other hand a lot of high level men’s MMA is becoming two very similar fighters fighting eachother, which leaves the results more down to things which are harder to quantify, such as chin / power.

Those were my only two straight up picks. The rest was all in parlays.

Parlay 1 Total +1301. 2 units bet for total profit of +26 units.
Vick to beat Matthews (+159)
Hunt vs Miocic over 1.5 rounds (-175)
Grujic vs O’Reilly over 2.5 rounds (-140)
Rawlings to beat Ellis (-162)
Alvey to beat Kelly (-389)

In reality I would have bet on a KO for Alvey and a decision for Grujic vs O’Reilly, which were both close to evens so it would probably have been more like +2500, but those odds were not available before I went away for the weekend and had to place my picks on CapperTek. Still, you can’t complain about +1300 :)

Parlay 2 1.5 units bet at +363. (LOST)
Dylan Andrews vs Brad Scott goes to Decision (+105) (LOST)
Robert Whittaker vs Brad Tavares goes to Decision (-135) (LOST)
Anthony Pettis to beat Miles Jury (-337) (FIGHT HAS BEEN CANCELLED)

This one didn’t go very well :) Basically the only thing I got wrong in my breakdowns is that I said Whittaker is probably more of a points fighter. He went balls out for the KO in this fight. That’s another good bit of information for future predictions, as Whittaker had recently gone up in weight. I did say that Tavares was hitable and that there was a decent chance of a knockout… If this fight happened 10 times, who knows… I think maybe 4 or 5 times out of 10 it goes to a decision.

Andrews vs Scott was pretty much going as I expected before the sub out of nowhere in R2. People were saying Andrews’ chin was shot to bits because he lost his last 2 by TKO. It’s not and anyone that said that hasn’t watched his fights. He got KO’d by Sam Alvey, which means precisely nothing at all. The fight before that he didn’t lose by TKO, his shoulder came out and he faught half a round with it just hanging there and didn’t even get rocked. 7/10 times, I maintain this fight does go to a decision.

Parlay 3: 2 units bet +482 (LOST)

Andrews vs Scott goes to decision (+105) (LOST)
Rawlings beats Ellis (-162) (CORRECT)
Sam Alvey inside distance (-130) (CORRECT)

As stated above, I think this comes off more often than not but that’s just how it goes! :)

So, overall after 2 events we’re at +52 units, which is better than a some of the more prominent MMA tipsters have made in 2 years. I am sure I will hit a skid at some point, particularly if I keep going for big parlays, so I may tone that down a bit… we’ll see. As I say, this is all a fantastic learning experience. I’m really enjoying the whole process so far, though it is very time consuming. I would estimate I watched 30-35 hours of fight tape just for the last event. That’s the sort of thing you need to do if you are going to be successful at this.

I’ve stated this elsewhere but I think some tipsters are just guessing a lot of the time, based on records. I’ve seen some statements made by tipsters that are just flat out wrong and show they haven’t watched tape at all. So my warning to anyone out there looking for picks – mainly go off profits on CapperTek because you cannot fix that. Ideally follow people who make a sensible sounding prediction but actually watch the fight afterwards and see if what they said makes sense. Some people make very elloquent arguments that are completely wrong.

Anyway, thanks for the read and for your time.

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Breaking down Sam Alvey vs Dan Kelly

The 185lb at UFC Fight Night – Hunt vs. Miocic, sees Judoka Kelly vs the seriously hard hidding Sam Alvey.

Dan Kelly is a decent lower tier fighter. He doesn’t do anything really badly but doesn’t do anything really well either and at 37, that’s probably not going to change. Sam Alvey is not a particularly technical fighter but holy crap the guy hits hard.

Dan Kelly has had a mixed bag of performances in his official UFC career. He looked impressive vs Luke Zachrich, who he essentially bullied on the way to a finish. However, against Patrick Walsh in his last fight, he looked physically softer (a worry for someone with a history of injuries) and looked a lot more ponderous in terms of his fighting style.

Technique wise his striking is predominantly just throwing a one two. He has probably slightly below average power, slightly below average cardio and a slightly above average chin. When throwing punches his feet are about half a mile apart and he reaches forward and juts his head forwards as he does it. Not a lot of foot movement and basic head movement.

Alvey has a slightly wild, winging style. He doesn’t check leg kicks and he spent basically the entire Tom Watson fight with his mouthpiece hanging out his mouth.

So yeah, I’m picking Alvey, obviously :D

The guy counters with massive power. He is flat out a finisher, both with counters and when putting together his own offense. He has a chin solid enough to withstand what Kelly has to offer without any issues. He knocked his last two opponents out in the first round. More importantly for me, he very nearly finished Tom Watson with strikes, who has NEVER been finished by strikes.

Kelly isn’t a dummy so he’s going to try fighting cautiously, so Alvey’s offensive mindset is important. Alvey’s takedown defense may be an issue but Kelly’s takedowns are not great, he’s slow and I think even if Kelly does get a takedown, Alvey could reverse position.

I would be fine placing a bet on Alvey now at -356, which I think is probably just about right as a line. However, I’m going to wait to see what the odds are on a TKO and bet on that.

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Bec Rawlings vs Lisa Ellis betting advice

I won’t waste your time if you are looking for a betting pick: I’m not betting this fight. Here’s why.

I did initially pick Bec Rawlings and even casually added her to a parlay last week without really thinking about it (bad move). However, having watched Bec’s recent fights to confirm that initial hunch, I do still slightly favour her but not by enough to actually want to bet.

My initial gut feeling was just that Lisa Ellis is shot and is mentally weak. I still maintain that’s true (however judgemental and disrespectful that might sound). However, Bec Rawling is just not as good as I thought she was and I didn’t think she was that good in the first place. These are my notes on her from watching a few fights;

- Dives wildly in and out of range – i.e. does not operate at a sensible range to land and get out of danger. Not good for someone who’s primarily a boxer.
- Seriously lacking in technique on ground.
- Good gas tank.
- Nice uppercut.
- Throws leg kicks but they’re weak.
- Throws kind of wild combos with hooks in 3s then moves out of range (not particularly effective).
- Gritty.

As I was watching her looking for reasons she would win the fight, I didn’t feel the need to rewatch any of Lisa Ellis’ fights because I had no confidence in Bec Rawlings. All I know is that from having watched those fights previously, I’d have no confidence in betting Lisa Ellis either.

How I envisage it going anyway: Bec to survive bad positions and wear Lisa Ellis out. We’ll likely end up at a decision but which way that will go, I don’t know.

Result: NO BET!

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Early pick: UFC Fight Night – Jake Matthews vs James Vick Betting Advice

Jake Matthews is an interesting fighter but he’s very raw.

He came on to TUF Nations at 19, having been trained by his dad in a shed, where he got absolutely tooled by Oliver Aubin-Mercier in his first fight. That’s not the end of the world on its own but my belief is that he is a bully or be bullied type of fighter at this stage in his career. I’d never seen him fight before today but I watched the line come in on Vick and I thought there must be a reason for that, so I just spent 3 hours scouting fights.

Matthews’ two fights in the UFC proper have been against fighters he significantly outsizes and he basically bullied them. His first fight was against a 145lb typical “unbeaten prospect” who’d faught opponents with a combined record of about 5-100. The guy was listed as a boxer but Jake couldn’t take him down against the cage…. UFC’s website lists his takedowns as a strength. His takedowns against the cage are dreadful.

Anyway, enough of the negative. What he does well: He hits hard, is confident, has good cardio, is very composed. He has creative BJJ and uses it to get into good offensive positions, however he does not seem to have the technique to finish from those positions. I believe this comes from training where he does and the fact he’s still trained / coached by his dad. Maybe if he goes stateside to a high quality gym he can tidy this up… but for now, this is a big issue. In the 5 or so fights I watched he’s had people in armbars, triangles, omoplatas, RNCs… but he’s only finished anyone with VERY rudimentary RNCs… one was basically a headlock and one he had his leg over their shoulder from the back. These were brute force finishes, not technique.

James Vick is an ENORMOUS lightweight. 6 foot 3, to Jake Matthews’ 5 ’9… though he was listed as 6 foot on TUF. He’s probably somewhere in the middle. Anyway, Vick fights differently in each fight I watched. First fight he was basically a lunatic and ploughed forward. Second he was a lot more careful and used his range well against a shorter fighter.

He seems to have a solid chin, a good straight right with good power, a decent jab, good TDD against the cage, excellent sweeps / reversals. Matthews finishes his combos nicely with an outside leg kick but Vick checks leg kicks well. Conversely Matthews doesn’t seem to check leg kicks.

SUMMARY:
Basically I just think Vick has so many more ways to win. Matthews might catch him and knock him out but I don’t think he will…. maybe a knockdown from which Vick could recover but I don’t see a knockout. Vick I could see picking Matthews apart and even getting a knockout. Matthews did get stunned by a much smaller fighter in his first UFC fight. Moreso, I see Vick able to dominate on the ground and control the action against the fence.

I see Matthews trying to land an overhand right and leg kicks but Vick using is lateral movement to frustrate Matthews. I see Matthews trying to take it down against the cage but not getting anywhere with it. I also see me with a few heart in the mouth moments during the fight but in the end, Vick comes out with a W due to superior technique and experience. Probably a decision but also he has possibilities for both a KO and a submission on the too-raw Matthews.

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More Picks for this weekend’s UFC186 – Johnson vs. Horiguchi

As well as betting picks, I’ll give my opinions on some extra fights and explain why I don’t want to bet on them:

Demetrious Johnson vs Kyoji Horiguchi
C.B. Dollaway vs Michael Bisping
Fabio Maldonado vs Quinton Jackson
John Makdessi vs Shane Campbell
Alexis Davis vs Sarah Kaufman

I have no particular opinion on the above fights that you won’t have heard elsewhere.

Thomas Almeida vs Yves Jabouin
So this guy’s the new UFC prodigy. Well, maybe so. However, he’s very hitable, specifically very jabable. I wouldn’t bet him personally at these odds. I’d wanna see how he deals with someone who just leg kicks the crap out of him first and basically just get a bit more “data”. I feel like Almeida does more than likely win but if I was in Yves’ corner I’d be asking him to work the front leg like there was no tomorrow and keep that lateral movement going (which is his natural style). Almeida is a little bit like a higher tempo, less flat footed Nick Diaz and I would like to see what happened if he got slowed down by those leg kicks. I think Jabouin’s output is a little too tentative here and he’s probably too chinny but with a perfect gameplan it could be a very close fight.

Joe Riggs vs Patrick Cote
I’m big on Cote in this fight and have placed a 11 unit bet on him at -180. These odds are way too good. Joe Riggs is done as far as I am concerned. Though Cote’s chin might not be what it used to be, it’s still really solid and I just see him as significantly better than Riggs everywhere.

Bryan Barberena vs Chad Laprise
You can check out my reasoning for an 11 unit bet on Laprice in the post below this one!

David Michaud vs Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Aubin-Mercier is a big favourite here but he definitely worries me and I wouldn’t bet it. He’s a rudimentary, single shot striker. He’s hitable. He fights at a fairly slow tempo. Michaud is no great shakes either but he looks like he hits hard and I would bet he’s a better wrestler than Aubin-Mercier. I see this being a super-scrappy/scrambly, close fight and I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole when it comes to betting.

Chris Clements vs Nordine Taleb
Basically I think Nordine Taleb will not win inside the distance. You can get that at -171. However, you get better odds if you place the two bets separately on Chris Clements straight up (+226) and Nordine Taleb to win the decision (+171). I’m edging towards a Taleb Decision but I just don’t see the guy as a finisher. He has a good jab, perhaps some power but he does not commit to a finish. When he takes people down he’s more than happy to just sit in half guard and drop ponderous elbows. Chris Clements is a bulldoze fowards, winging looping punches striker with a lot of power. He telegraphs his shots but still lands. He does land a lot of kicks, which I think could work against Taleb. The guy’s tough as nails. He got tooled by Matt Riddle but Riddle is basically a polar opposite of Taleb in terms of aggression.

Jessica Rakoczy vs Valerie Letourneau
I saw another (very prominent but less successful than he makes out) tipster say these two were lacking in technique. My god. Rakoczy was an 8 time world boxing champion. Letourneau has extremely good technique. We haven’t seen anything of Letourneau on the ground in the UFC so I think this one’s impossible to call personally and nobody should be betting it… There are just soooo many unknowns. Age (Rakoczy is nearly 40), long layoffs, insufficient data, Letourneau seems to cut easily. Blurgh…. still, I do think it will be a good fight! If I was forced to pick I would maybe say Rakoczy was a better bet because she’s the underdog.

Aisling Daly vs Randa Markos
I would side with Markos here. This was one of my initial bets but I watched Daly vs Chambers yesterday and Daly beasted her and looked very slick on the ground, so I am not betting it. I’m pretty sure this will end up as a decision one way or the other but at -185 I don’t think it’s that worth betting.

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