UFC 291: Poirier vs Gaethje Best Bets


Bet #1: Jan Blachowicz -110 – To Win 1 Unit (DraftKings)

Really fun Co-Main event we have here. The former Light Heavyweight Champion gets to take on one of the scariest KO punchers in the division. Pereira will almost certainly hold the striking and knock out edge against Jan. He’s making his 205 debut after cutting a ridiculous amount of weight to get down 185 but I don’t think he is going to be a small LHW. When Izzy fought Jan, he was a substantially smaller fighter. That won’t be the case for Pereira. Although I think Jan will have to tread very carefully and it’s likely this fight gets scary for him at times. I like Jan to come out on top for a couple of reasons. First and foremost is the grappling upside for Jan in this fight. He’s primarily keeping his fights on the feet but he has shown that against dangerous strikers, he has no issue taking the fight to the mat. Against Izzy, Jan landed 3 of 5 takedowns for over 7 minutes of control time. Several years back against Cannonier he landed 4 of 5 takedowns. I think Pereira has some real holes in his defensive grappling and I think Izzy is a much better defensive grappler than Pereira is. Sure, Pereira is the bigger and stronger fighter compared to Izzy but I don’t think he will be able to consistently stuff Jan’s takedown attempts. As I mentioned, this fight will be scary for Jan at all times and getting in range for the takedowns could be difficult but I think he will ultimately find some success. Additionally, Pereira was just brutally knocked out 3 months ago. I’ve got to take the guy with the grappling upside in this spot. Like Ivan Drago says “If he dies, he dies.”

Bet #2: Marcos Rogerio de Lima by KO/TKO +105 – Risk 1 Unit (FanDuel)

We got a couple big boys going at it in our lone heavyweight bout of the night. Lewis has dropped 3 of his last 4 fights and is on a 3 fight losing skid. We know what we are getting with the Black Beast. He is about as one-dimensional as they come. He comes with the heaviest hands you can possess and that is about it. He’s a slow paced fighter and doesn’t put together a ton of volume. He is looking to land that one shot that will end everything. Late in his career Lewis’s heart has really come into question. It seems that once he starts getting hit and gets overwhelmed with pressure he is quick to fold and go down. Lewis isn’t the only fighter with heavy hands. De Lima is a super explosive fighter and is always dangerous early on in fights. 7 of his 10 UFC wins have ended inside 1 round. De Lima, unlike Lewis, is not a one-dimensional fighter. He utilizes leg kicks extremely well. Throwing heavy kicks. Additionally, he has some good grappling skills and holds a huge advantage over Lewis in that department. 2 fights ago he was able to submit Arlovski in under 2 minutes and in his most recent fight against Cortes-Acosta he had 3 takedowns for over 5 minutes of top control.
Both of these guys have the power to put the other out and I wouldn’t be shocked to see either of these guys get an early finish. However, I think de Lima has Lewis covered everywhere outside of a massive shot. De Lima is likely going to absolutely abuse Lewis’s lead leg. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Lewis crumble from a leg kick to be honest. If this goes to the mat, de Lima will easily be able to finish him.

Bet #3: Claudio Ribeiro +172 – Risk 1 Unit (FanDuel)

Excited for this fight here. Kopylov has shown to be a real problem on the feet. His last 9 wins have come by KO and is going to want to keep this fight standing. He pushes the pace on you but I have concerns about his cardio. He seems to slow down the longer the fight goes and the more adversity he has to go through. Ribeiro is super explosive. All 11 of his pro wins have come by KO. He has some real power in his hands but I love the way he utilizes leg kicks. Heavy calf kicks, front kicks, etc. He has some grappling upside as he averages just over a takedown per 15 minutes but make no mistake, he wants to keep this on the feet. I like Ribeiro to get a late finish. I think he is the heavier hitter and I think the leg kicks from Ribeiro will be a real issue for Kop. Not to mention if this goes to the mat for whatever reason, I favor Ribeiro there as well. I think the odds are just a little wide and I like the value with Ribeiro.


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