UFC 288: Cejudo vs Sterling Best Bets

BEST BETS:

Bet #1: Aljamain Sterling -105 – To Win 1 Unit
Bet #2: Aljamain Sterling by Decision +250 – Risk 0.25 Units

Really fun fight here with two guys who like to lean on their grappling. Cejudo is obviously the more decorated wrestler but Aljo is a super crafty grappler who will give Henry some unique looks. He mixes in his striking really well with his grappling exchanges. He isn’t just spamming takedown attempts. A couple edges that I think Aljo has and that’s his size and the fact Henry is coming off a 3 year layoff. Henry has fought at flyweight and Aljo kills himself just to make weight at 135. He is going to be the much bigger and stronger fighter in this fight for sure. I think that in itself will provide difficulties for Henry. Additionally, Henry has been out of the sport for 3 years and while I know he has helped fighters like Jon Jones, Figueiredo, etc. get ready for their fights, he has also gotten married, had a kid and got out of shape. He wasn’t fully submerged into mixed martial arts during his time off and for me, that’s an issue. I think the pathway for Henry is if Aljo gets tired late in this fight, as that has been an issue for him in the past at times. He cuts a lot of weight to make 135 and that has potential to zap his gas tank. Overall, I think Aljo has some success and I think Henry struggles to get Aljo down and keep him down when he does.

Bet #2: Belal Muhammed +110 – Risk 1.5 Units

Another really fun fight on tap here. I love Burns and it pains me to go against him but I favor Belal in this spot for a few reasons. I rate Belal as the better overall wrestler. Burns definitely has the edge in the grappling sequences from a BJJ perspective, no doubt, but Belal puts together much better takedown attempts than Burns does. From a striking perspective, I think Belal is the more technical striker and puts together some really clean combinations. I would give Burns the edge in power, though. Now this is where I really start to favor Belal and that’s the cardio edge. This is a 5 round fight and Belal is a workhorse and while I don’t view Gilbert as a guy who traditionally gets gassed, he is taking this fight after just fighting less than a month ago. Regardless of how easily he handled Masvidal, there is just no way that Gilbert is at his peak for this fight. As a fighter, you have a training camp to get you in fight shape and allow you to peak at a specific time. It’s one thing if you’re fighting bottom of the barrel fighters but fighting twice in a month against a guy like Belal is just not a long term recipe for success. I think Belal has a lot of edges in this spot and I think he gets a big win here and fights for the title next. 

Bet #3: Yan Xiaonan +170 – Risk 0.75 Units

Before diving into this fight I didn’t anticipate backing Yan in this spot. I’m a fan of Andrade and think she is a really solid fighter. She has some heavy hands and clean grappling abilities. However, I just think Yan is underappreciated and likely getting overlooked here. She is a good fighter as well. Solid on the feet, good takedown defense and has avoided taking too much damage on the feet. I think she’s a pretty high IQ fighter that doesn’t make a ton of mistakes. Sure, Andrade is going to have the ability to put her away due to her power but I think this fight will be closely contested and likely a split decision if Andrade doesn’t finish her. If I think it’s going to be a competitive fight and both women will have their moments, give me the +170. I think taking underdogs around this price for WMMA is a good long term strategy.

Bet #4: Movsar Evloev by Decision +135 – Risk 1 Unit

Really like Evloev as a fighter and had planned on backing him big against Mitchell before he had to pull out. He’s pretty solid on his feet but I rate him pretty highly in the grappling department. I think he will have the edge everywhere in this spot. He has 6 fights in the UFC and all 6 of them he has won by decision. His opponent is taking this on super short notice, which is scary but I think this kid is super durable. Ultimately, we are getting a guy who is a -1000 favorite to win the fight and getting him at a dog price to win by decision which is the outcome that he traditionally wins by. There is no doubt that Lopes taking this fight on short notice makes it scary but I’m hoping his durability and gamesmanship allows him to take a beating for 15 minutes.

Bet #5: Drew Dober ITD -125 – To Win 1 Unit

This fight should be an absolute banger. Dober is one of my favorite fighters to watch as this guy comes out to bang every single time. In my opinion, I think this fight comes down heavily to what Frevola looks to do. He almost certainly would have a grappling advantage if he looked to wrestle but this has always been the issue for Frevola. He’s not a smart fighter and has won back to back fights by KO in the first round. I think this guy has fallen in love with the KO and I think that’s a recipe for disaster against Dober. Frevola has power, no doubt, but technically he’s not on the same planet as Dober standing up. If he chooses to stand and trade, he’s going to get hurt and get finished. I think Dober KO/TKO’s him here but the price is only 10 cents off from the ITD so I think taking the -125 on ITD is the play in case we see a club and sub from Dober. Frevola by sub would be the play if we knew he would put his ego down and do what gave him the best path to victory but you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.

Bet #6: Virna Jandiroba +125 – Risk 1 Unit

As I mentioned above in the Yan / Andrade fight, taking dogs in WMMA is going to be a profitable long term strategy. Especially when I view the underdog as the more well rounded fighter. No doubt that Marina is the better striker. She has some really slick stand up game and throws a decent amount of volume. However, I view Marina as a major liability to be taken down and controlled. Which is exactly what Virna does best. Her last fight against Angela Hill she took Hill down 3 times with over 7 minutes of control time. Marina is also coming off of her first loss by KO, how will that affect her? As I said, she will surely have the advantage on the feet and probably the advantage in round 1. I think as the fight goes on, Virna will have more and more success with the grappling and if this fight is as close I think it could be, give me the dog here again.

Full Card Picks:

– Sterling by Decision
– Belal by TKO/KO
– Yan by Decision
– Evloev by Decision
– Jourdain by TKO/KO
– Dober by TKO/KO
– Clark by Decision
– Khaos by TKO/KO
– Virna by Decision
– Porter by TKO/KO
– Hawes by Decision
– Ribeiro by KO/TKO



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