The Ultimate Fighting Championship is set to hold two events within twenty for hours of each other, and literally, in cities within six hours (driving) from one another. Coincidentally, we get twenty four MMA bouts to enjoy - sort of - but even better than that, perhaps get a nice return on some of our MMA investment(s).
On Friday night, the promotion well set-up shop in Albany, NY with UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov, an event headlined and co-headlined with two heavyweight bouts. The obvious inclination and surface level prediction is that we will likely see finishes in both bouts … and I’m not jumping off that bandwagon.
The main event will see Derek Lewis (-210) take on Shamil Abdurakhimov (+175) and while they share a total of seven decisions on their records, they also have combined for 21 T/KO’s on their record. And that number is skewed towards Lewis, who holds 14 of them.
One would think to immediately search out the Lewis via T/KO prop and drop a few bucks on it. That’s seems like easy money, but we aren’t the only ones who believe that. The number is currently sitting at -150, which basically says that if paper fought paper, Lewis has the best chance at winning this fight, and compared to all the other available finishing props, he should win via T/KO. But be cautious with that number. Don’t get me wrong, I like it, but I like asymmetric risk as opposed to less than a dollar for dollar return.
In the co-main event, Francis Ngannou (-525) will square off against Anthony Hamilton (+415). If you had the chance to listen to this week’s Fightful MMA podcast with Sean Ross Sapp and yours truly, I spoke about how I’ve had to jump off the Hamilton ship, as his inconsistency worries me.
Instead, and after recently meeting Francis in Coral Gables, Fl during a Titan FC event, I understand why Ngannou is the biggest favorite on this card. This guy may be a gentle giant, but when it’s time to fight, he stalks and stalks and cuts the octagon off until he tees off. And when he does, he has a 100% finishing rate (should he emerge victorious).
He is currently 8-1 in MMA, and hasn’t lost since his second pro bout, almost three years to the date. Of his 8 victories, five have come by way of T/KO and three by submission, so perhaps there are two options to consider if you believe he will win this bout vs. Hamilton.
The -268 on Ngannou winning via T/KO is a tad to risky for me despite it being the “safest” prop bet. But how about Francis by submission at +1200. Now that’s a fun bet if I’ve ever seen one.
Moving on to Saturday’s UFC 206: Holloway vs. Pettis pay per view event, this one is many more bouts that will intrigue bettors across the MMA bubble. While many of them have the stats that showcase they will go the decision, that’s no fun (although I do know folks who choose those props as well, and profit nicely).
The main event between Max Holloway (-210) and Anthony Pettis (+175) is a difficult one to dissect. If Holloway pushes the pace, I believe he will win this bout via unanimous decision (+255) or via a split / majority decision (+685). That’s not to say he cannot finish Pettis, but in Anthony’s five losses, he’s never been stopped. They have all gone the distance.
And if you believe “Showtime” will return to his vintage form, you can get him via T/KO at +655 or heck, even via submission at +676. I would not sleep on those numbers. It can happen.
In the co-main event, Donald Cerrone _280) will more than likely go toe-to-toe with Matt Brown (+240). I’m still recovering from the aforementioned Sean Ross Sapp stealing my thunder during this week’s podcast, when he spoke about the blueprint to defeat Matt Brown. It seems trivial, but a body shot to his kidneys seems to be “The Immortal’s” mortality, especially if it seems to come from an opponent’s left kick.
When it comes to kicks in MMA, few are on Cowboy’s level, whose ambidexterity sees him launch them in a variety of trajectories with jaw dropping precision. Shockingly enough, you can get Cerrone via T/KO at +340. That is definitely a surprising number to see.
As for the rest of the UFC 206 card, here a few other fun bets to consider:
- Doo Hoo Choi via T/KO over Cub Swanson: +105
- Kelvin Gastelum to win (over Tim Kennedy): +125
- Misha Cirkunov over Nikita Krylov via T/KO: +400
- Misha Cirkunov over Nikita Krylov via submission: +250
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier over Drew Dober via submission: +350
- Drew Dober over Olivier Aubin-Mercier via T/KO: +500
And there are many more to consider, but I’ll leave that up to you to analyze. If you see something you like, feel free to share your thoughts on why, anytime, via my social media profiles, all of which can be found with @ShowdownJoe.