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.