After UFC 214 a lot of questions arose about what would be next for the most recent Welterweight title challenger Damian Maia. Today those questions are answered. Combate reported today that Damian Maia will be fighting Colby Covington at UFN 119 in Sao Paolo, Brazil on October 28.
Covington has been making headlines recently for being outspoken about current champion Tyron Woodley calling him a “boring” fighter and claiming to be on the road to a title shot. For the most part, these claims have been met with eye rolls and disparaging twitter replies. But with the signing of a bout agreement to Maia, Covington could be on the road to a title shot with a victory over the Jiu Jitsu king.
Cage Prophet Prediction: Covington uses a grinding wrestling style to maintain top position and uses ground and pound to keep the fight down and secure rounds. Covington’s entire game plan revolves around going to the ground, except in this instance he will be going to the ground against one of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the world. It’s a bad idea and if he wants to win the fight he will have to adopt the exact game plan he criticized Tyron Woodley for. I think he’ll stick to his strengths which will be proven inferior to Maia’s legendary ground game. I’m hoping to see Maia come in as a slight favorite in the -150 range, if so I will be betting Maia heavily.
After hard fought battles in front of the boss man, Joby Sanchez and Benito Lopez both earned their UFC contracts last night in the seventh installment of the Contender Series. The addition of Joby will add to the talent pool jockeying for position under Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson, while Team Alpha Male member Benito Lopez joins the ranks of the UFC Bantamweight division ruled by his teammate Cody “No Love” Garbrandt.
As we all know I love the contender series. I think this is the most pure form of competition that allows fighters an option to compete to enter the UFC without having to endure the bullshit drama of a Big Brother reality TV show experience. I think that it’s amazing that this opportunity revolves solely around a contestant’s ability to fight. With that being said some of the fights turn out to be stinkers. Anton Berzin vs. Kennedy Nzechukwu was a stinker. After showing an inability to capitalize on dominate positions in the first round Berzin faded quickly. By round three, Berzin was completely unable to competently defend himself or even work any form of an offensive game plan. He leaned against the fence, shot for a lazy take downs, and even needed to be told by the ref to stand after taking a seat out of exhaustion. It was bad. So, how did Kennedy Nzechukwu capitalize on the situation? He didn’t. He resulted to peppering combos at Berzin with no real intent on putting the fight away. In my opinion this was a fight where both fighters deserved to lose, but the one with more volume thrown won. Berzin being a -310 favorite in this fight was way off and I bought into the hype, bad bet on my part but we live to see another day.
What does UFC 217 have in store for us? A LOT. The UFC looks to impress as it returns to Madison Square Garden in New York City to conduct it’s second card in the world’s most famous arena. This card is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated of the year very quickly.
UFC 217 will be headlined by Michael Bisping’s UFC middleweight title defense against returning former welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre
Cody Garbrandt will be defending his Bantamweight Title against former champion, teammate and current nemesis TJ Dillashaw.
Stephen Thompson will meet Jorge Masvidal in a matchup of welterweight contenders. Thompson is coming off of two consecutive title shots where he failed to secure the strap while Masvidal is coming off of a loss to the most recent title challenger Damien Maia. Both men are looking to get back in the win column and as a result the winner should be in a good position to earn a shot at the Title.
These three fights alone could headline and sell a card by themselves, as more bout agreements continue to be signed this card can only get better.
Garbrandt vs. Dillashaw for the UFC Bantamweight Title is officially set for UFC 217. After the bout was cancelled from UFC 213 fans have waited anxiously to hear the results of Garbrandt’s back rehab. It seems that whatever the doctor has been cooking up for Garbrandt has worked and Cody will be putting his Bantamweight title on the line against former Team Alpha Male member and current nemesis: TJ Dillashaw.
With all the smack talk since TUF and the cancellation of UFC 213, it’s a relief to see these two with a date set to finally settle the score. Dominick Cruz is no doubt waiting in the wings to challenge whoever wins for a shot at redemption.
Another entertaining night of fights is in the books for the Contender Series. Dana White wrapped up his sixth episode by awarding 2 more UFC contracts. This week Charles Byrd (Middleweight) and Grant Dawson (Featherweight) both earned their way into the UFC by way of rear naked choke victories. Charles Byrd’s victory also sets a record of its own, being the first and only fighter to win twice on the contender series.
As for the bets: Cage Prophet went 100% on the night. However, it was a light betting card. It’s tough with the limited tape available to make good reads on who to bet in these fights on the Contender Series. I mostly watch to get a feel for the new blood coming down the pipe, but I saw a few things I liked on this card. Alvarez is a versatile fighter with the ability to finish fights standing or grappling, he has a solid chin too. When I was looking at his opponent Martin Day, I think Day has a lot of potential and will grow, but is still green. He has gone to decision a fair bit and only has one KO win on his record, I saw Alvarez as a solid bet and it panned out for me. And for the first female fight on the Contender Series, a quick glance at these ladies’ records on paper sent me straight to the over 1.5 rounds line. Colleen takes fights into deep water, she has multiple 5 round fights, Tiffany is green and while she finishes early, her level of competition has been low. Both women performed well but as we expected well over 1.5 rounds.
I also saw a few things I didn’t like. Karl Reed at 2-0 as a professional and -310 favorite over a seasoned 8-3 pro in Cameron Olson. That’s a pass for me. Sorry to those who lost coin on betting Reed, but in the future don’t buy the hype on unproven fighters. Olson +255 was… Disrespect.
It’s finally here! today is the day we get to see UFC 214 and it seems as though we can finally breath easy knowing that all fighters have weighed in successfully and made it to fight night. Here are my quick picks!
- Manuwa -175
- Knight -115
- Fili by KO/TKO +200
- Albu -158
- Ortega +155
Those are my favorite picks to play and I’ve been involving Dober at -300 in parlays. I mostly want to enjoy the main card so I’m not advising bets. But you can see my main card picks in Cage Prophet vs. Everyone.
Another successful episode of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series is in the books and this week we welcome two new fighters to the UFC. Geoff Neal and Karl Roberson both earned their way into the UFC with first round KOs. Dana White likes emphatic finishes and these two men got it done with quick powerful strikes.
Much like Week 2 there were still crowd pleasers left on the outside looking in at the end of the night. Both Dan Ige and Kyle Stewart looked to have done enough to earn a contract. Both Ige and Stewart came in as underdogs, Ige completely dominated his opponent until securing a submission in round 3. Stewart weathered an early storm of Jason Jackson and came back to secure a victory by TKO in round 2. Alas, their performances were overshadowed by the two quick KOs.
There is hope for the guys who did not earn a contract tonight however. White stated, “There’s some guys that I’m not going to pick right now that I like a lot. All they need to do is keep fighting and building their records and we will pick them up.”
Full results are listed below:
- Karl Roberson def. Ryan Spann via knockout (strikes) at :15 of round 1
- Kyle Stewart def. Jason Jackson via TKO (leg injury) at :21 of round 2
- Geoff Neal def. Chase Waldon via knockout (punches) at 1:56 of round 1
- Alonzo Menifield def. Daniel Jolly via TKO (doctor’s stoppage – eye injury) at 5:00 of round 1
- Dan Ige def. Luis Gomez via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:23 of round 3
The odds are in, the fighters are ready, Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series week 3 is about to kick off. This week’s card has very close lines in comparison to week 2, the heaviest favorite comes in at -200. While lines don’t always directly reflect the level of competition in a bout, on paper this card looks to be filled with closely contested fights.
Best bet: Look for Dan Ige +125 to keep his five fight win streak rolling tonight. I expect Dan to capitalize on his opponents inexperience Gomez Alvarez only 4-0 is still relatively untested in his pro career and this may be too much too soon for him. I like the dog at +125 in the first fight of the night.
Other than that I’m going to sit back and enjoy the show! Let us know on twitter who you think deserves the contract tonight.
Paul Daley (39-15-2) is set to meet Lorenz Larkin (18-6) at Bellator 183. Both fighters are looking to jump back into the win column on September 23. Daley is coming off a second round submission loss to Rory Macdonald at Bellator 179 and Larkin lost his Bellator debut on the judges score cards against current Welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
This fight is set to be a strikers delight as both men are primarily stand and bang practitioners. Larkin typically finds early success with heavy leg kicks and with little threat of Daley wanting to take this fight to the ground I expect to see dynamic striking on full display right away. However, after seeing Rory MacDonald absolutely dismantle Daley by quickly taking the fight to the floor will we see Lorenz follow a similar game plan? Only time will tell, but on paper this fight jumps out as must see TV.
Bellator 183 takes place at SAP Center in San Jose, California on September 23. The card airs on Spike.
The Bellator 183 card currently includes the following fights:
- Benson Henderson vs. Patricky Freire
- Javy Ayala vs. Roy Nelson
- Paul Daley vs. Lorenz Larkin
- Aaron Pico vs. opponent TBA
This weeks podcast features Bellator fighter Fernando Gonzalez (26-14). Fernando discusses his upcoming fight against Brennan Ward at Bellator 182 on August 25, 2017. Kevin and Fernando also discuss Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather, and Fernando’s path to success over the course of his 14 year pro career.