On Saturday September 23 the Sap Center in San Jose California will host Bellator 183: Henderson vs. Pitbull (Patricky Freire). The card is stacked with a multitude of exciting fights including the Bellator debut of MMA Heavyweight legend Roy Nelson as well as a much anticipated bout between dynamic strikers Lorenz Larkin and Paul Daley.
Former UFC and WEC champion Benson Henderson looks for his second victory over a Freire brother after beating Patricio it is now time to take on older brother Patricky. Patricky, known for his vicious power, is a formidable opponent for the former champion Henderson as he looks to continue his path to a Bellator title fight.
The stakes are about as high as they get for Lorenz Larkin and Paul Daley. With both men coming off losses to the top tier of the division each man needs a win to stay in title contention. Larkin fought for the Welterweight belt in his Bellator debut falling to champion Douglas Lima. Daley recently succumbed to the immense pressure of Rory MacDonald in Rory’s Bellator debut. With MacDonald up next for a title shot, both men could solidify the next shot at Bellator gold by making a statement on saturday night.
As for Roy Nelson: Big Country looks to revitalize his career in his Bellator debut against Javy Ayala. Winning only 3 of his last 10 fights, Nelson looks to Bellator for a fresh start. In an interview with MMAmania.com Nelson stated:
- “You know I’m excited. I’m excited to reunite the fans back with Roy Nelson, with Spike and myself so, I’m just excited. It’s just a breath of fresh air.”
We’re excited too. Excited and looking forward to Bellator 183 bringing us great fights this weekend.
TOKYO – All fighters but one have won their first battle of UFC Japan by beating the scale. Mizuto Hirota came in four pounds over the 146 pound featherweight limit at 150 lbs. Other than Hirota all fighters seemed to make weight without any notable health consequences. Full weigh in results listed below:
- Yushin Okami (203.5) vs. Ovince Saint Preux (206)
- Jessica Andrade (116) vs. Claudia Gadelha (115)
- Takanori Gomi (156) vs. “Maestro” Dong Hyun Kim (156)
- Henrique da Silva (206) vs. Gokhan Saki (205)
- Rolando Dy (145) vs. Teruto Ishihara (145)
- Mizuto Hirota (150)*MISSED WEIGHT* vs. Charles Rosa (145.5)
- Alex Morono (170) vs. Keita Nakamura (170)
- Jussier Formiga (126) vs. Ulka Sasaki (125.5)
- Chan-Mi Jeon (116) vs. Syrui Kondo (116)
- Shinsho Anzai (171) vs. Luke Jumeau (170)
- Daichi Abe (171) vs. Hyun Gyu Lim (170.5)
UFC Fight Night 116 went according to plans for Cage Prophet. As you can see we tacked on a few last minute reads on Anthony Smith and parlayed Smith with Mike Perry. Rather than just have a 5 unit max play tied up on Perry straight up, I decided to tie him into parlays. My only losing bet of the night was Aubin-Mercier/Martin Under 2.5 rounds. It was a great fight, however, and we stood on the winning side as OAB came out on top with a decision victory.
UFC Fight Night 116 is upon us. Here are my best bets on the card. I really like Aubin-Mercier to get the job done tonight over Tony Martin. I think Martin has shown some toughens in his UFC career but toughness-Mercier is an absolute nightmare to deal with on the ground and a fairly accurate and calculated striker on the feet. While Mercier isn’t a dynamic striker he takes accurate pot-shots and eventually finds a way to the ground where he inevitably takes his opponent’s back and finishes by rear naked choke. I like Aubin-Mercier to get the job done late round two or early round three.
Unfortunately, Thiago Alves pulled out of his fight against Mike Perry. So we are losing a lot of value on Perry as he has dropped from a -150 bet to -460 against Alex Reyes. -460 is a very thick line but I like pairing it up with Aubin-Mercier for +123.
As for Lombard vs. Smith. I think Smith will get the job done. However, this fight has sloppy written all over it and could be a three round war. I like over 1.5 rounds at -130. I think this fight could go the distance.
UFC Fight Night 116 early weigh ins have concluded and all 20 fighters taking part in Saturday’s fights successfully made weight. Results listed below.
- 185 lbs.: Luke Rockhold (185.5) vs. David Branch (186)
- 170 lbs.: Mike Perry (170.5) vs. Alex Reyes (167.5)
- 185 lbs.: Hector Lombard (186) vs. Anthony Smith (186)
- 155 lbs.: Gregor Gillespie (155.5) vs. Jason Gonzalez (156)
- 170 lbs.: Sergio Moraes (171) vs. Kamaru Usman (169.75)
- 265 lbs.: Justin Ledet (244.5) vs. Zu Anyanwu (263.5)
- 155 lbs.: Tony Martin (156) vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier (155)
- 265 lbs.: Anthony Hamilton (255.75) vs. Daniel Spitz (244)
- 185 lbs.: Uriah Hall (186) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (185)
- 155 lbs.: Gilbert Burns (156) vs. Jason Saggo (156)
Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee are officially set to headline UFC 216 for the Lightweight Interim Belt. The event will take place at the T-Mobile Arena on October 7, 2017.
Ferguson (23-3) has been inactive (not by choice) since November 2016 when he beat Rafael Dos Anjos by decision. Since Khabib notoriously didn’t make weight for UFC 209, Ferguson has been very vocal about wanting another Interim title shot. With Khabib allegedly not healthy enough to fight the UFC looked to fill the fight with another option.
Lee (16-2) made a lot of waves when he defeated Michael Chiesa in June. This came in the wake of a press conference that resulted in punches being thrown leading up to the fight. Aside from his talents inside the cage, Lee gained a lot of fans with his brash behavior and trash talking. In the current state of the UFC it seems the loudest mouth gets fed, in this case it led Kevin Lee straight to an interim bout with Tony Ferguson.
Ferguson has opened as a -260 favorite. Lee comes in at +180. Line movement is currently trending in Ferguson’s favor and Cage Prophet agrees with the trend. We’ll probably see the sharp money continue to fall on Ferguson but hope to see casual interest tighten the line as the fight approaches.
UFC 215 is in the books, and another profitable night for Cage Prophet despite a lot of surprises. With heavy favorites like Ashlee Evans-Smith, Gavin Tucker, and Adriano Martins all falling to their opponents the outcome of the night came down to my two favorite picks. Ilir Latifi and Jeremy Stephens delivered in a big way as we hoped. As the lines continued to shift in their opponents favors I decided to wait to parlay them until the day of the event when they were at maximum value. Latifi came in at +125 and Stephens tipped into dog territory at +105.
My most confident pick was Stephens, as you can see I played 3 units on him. As I outlined in my podcast Melendez hasn’t won since 2013 and dropping weight classes late in your career is usually a fighters last gasp. Stephens is still fresh and pushes pace and Melendez has a history of being lured into firefights. I liked Stephens a lot here and it cashed for me.
But why Latifi?
A lot of people were overly hyped on Tyson Pedro. I think Pedro is a very promising fighter and has a great career ahead of him but in my tape study I saw a few things that concerned me in this matchup against Latifi. Tyson tends to fight straight up, if you go back and watch his fight against Rountree you can’t miss when he got dropped. It was very close to a KO/TKO stoppage. My initial reaction to it was if he leaves his chin high in a striking exchange like that against Latifi’s power it will be lights out. Against Paul Craig (who’s an accomplished grappler) Tyson fought to keep the fight standing, which worked in his favor against Craig but Latifi is a high level wrestler. Being much shorter than Tyson is actually an advantage for Latifi as a wrestler, if he could punch his way into the pocket the takedown would be available once Tyson is concentrating on protecting his head. Overall, this stylistic matchup led me to place the bet on Latifi.
As for the losses: shit happens, and as you can see I kept the other parlays all at .5 units or below. I only wager 1 or more units on confident parlays. BIGGEST SURPRISE of the card was BY FAR Rick Glenn. in his past two fights it looked like his toughness was almost his biggest weakness, he endured a lot of punishment without really dishing much out. In Tucker’s UFC debut he displayed crisp combinations and a lot of movement putting him in great position to take creative angles on Sicilia. He had flashes of the gritty style of Cody Garbrandt and I thought he could put that same game plan on Glenn, boy was I wrong. Glenn is now training with Team Alpha Male and his game has elevated. The striking totals were ungodly and Tucker should have been saved by the ref. I took an L on Tucker but as they say, “Anything can happen in a fight.”
If you like my analysis follow @CageProphet on Twitter. Let’s talk fights.
Fight Night 115 was an exciting night of fights and a reminder of just how much I missed the UFC in August. The absence of UFC events in order to focus on the Mayweather vs. McGregor promotion left MMA fans salivating for a big MMA card. Fight Night 115 accomplished easing us back into UFC mode with a night of heavy favorites winning. I took a few chances on some dogs I thought would be able to pull the upset off. Most notably: Desmond Green lost by decision to what some called home cooking. Green really didn’t do enough to definitively get the nod, but on my score card it could have gone either way. Other than that my dog picks didn’t really come close, and that’s ok. I stacked some heavy favorites into parlays and had a profitable night.
Kevin runs through the UFC 215 lines and gives his favorite picks
The results are in and Cage Prophet scores another perfect 100% on bets for Bellator 182. Overall, Bellator 182 was a very exciting event with a few surprises along the way. Bruna Ellen pulled off a slight underdog upset (+135) over Veta Arteaga, and AJ Mckee went the distance with Blair Tugman. McKee vs. Tugman was a betting favorite to finish under 1.5 rounds.
Friend of the Cage Prophet Podcast: Fernando Gonzalez, finished Brennan Ward by submission in the third round. We bet this fight to go over 1.5 rounds at +100 because Fernando gets stronger as the fight goes on while Brennan will fade. Typically Brennan’s fights don’t make it past the first round, but didn’t think this fight would follow that pattern. Cage Prophet suspected that Fernando, being the seasoned vet that he is, would drag Brennan out of his comfort zone into the later rounds where he would look to finish the fight on a gassed out Ward. The sharp play paid, and Fernando won by third round submission.
In the main event Andrey Koreshkov defeated Chidi Njokuani by first round TKO. Koreshkov may have been the safest and best value bet on the card at -285 but I tend to get scared off by heavy favorites, I’m personally not a big fan of risking a lot to make a little when anything can happen in a fist fight (Looking at you Luke Rockhold). But still I laid a little cabbage and got the return. What was your favorite fight on the card?