: Fenichel’s Fantasy Freak Out :
FREE UFC150 & MMA Betting Picks
Welcome to the newest edition of Fenichel’s Fantasy Freak Out. As always, I’ll be giving you the 2 fights I think are solid bets, 2 fights to stay away from, and a 4 fight parlay for you to feast on. Today, we’ll be taking a look at UFC 150. Before we get to that, let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from UFC on FOX 4.
The good: A solid main event bet, and a good no-bet on the fight of the year.
Thoughts: Shogun was as easy money as they come. As I had outlined, I saw very few possibilities for Vera to win this fight. What happened on Saturday night was worst case scenario, Vera at his best and Shogun at his worst. In the end, it didn’t matter. Shogun was going to win this fight no matter where it went, and we bet it hard accordingly. On the flip side, a no bet on Varner v Lauzon was clearly the right play. That fight was a back and forth war that could have gone either way. The odds reflected it, and a no bet was the right call.
The bad: My lack of faith in Machida.
Thoughts: The odds were steep, but after watching the fight they clearly weren’t steep enough. I recommended staying away from this fight because I was concerned about Bader’s power and wrestling prowess. Neither of which were even close to a factor, as Bader did not mount a single solitary moment of offense. In the end, Machida brutally finished him in impressive fashion. A missed opportunity here.
The Ugly: Oli Oli Oh No.
Thoughts: After watching Oli Thompson’s putrid performance against awful competition in Defries, I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea in the first place. While he had a solid strongman background and physical advantages heading into this fight, it was clear that he had little to no MMA skills. It didn’t matter whether they were standing or on the mat, he was a fish out of water and got dominated in every aspect of the sport. My gut tells me that was the last we’ll ever see of him, and good riddance.
UFC 150 Picks:
Frankie Edgar (+170) over Benson Henderson (-200)
Thoughts: Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely hate this card from a betting standpoint. I don’t see a ton of value ANYWHERE on this card. With that being said, I’m taking a flyer on the main event. As everyone knows, Benson Henderson took Edgar’s belt in somewhat controversial fashion when they fought at UFC Japan back in February.
Edgar could win this fight for a lot of reasons. In the first fight, he out-struck Henderson and landed more takedowns. The main reason that Henderson got the nod was because he did far more damage to Edgar, and it seemed to sway the judges. The majority of this damage stemmed from one devastating upkick that occurred in the 2nd round. I view this as a bit fluky, and unlikely to happen again. Furthermore, Edgar has shown in past rematches that he makes adjustments incredibly well from fight to fight. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him dominate this one from start to finish, using his sharper boxing to frustrate Henderson en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Don’t Bet This:
Jake Shields (-190) v Ed Herman (+165)
Thoughts: Under most circumstances, Jake Shields would be a very strong play here at these odds. While his standup isn’t great, Herman’s isn’t all that spectacular either. The truth is, both of these guys want their fights on the ground. The problem for Herman is that Shields is both the better wrestler and better ground fighter.
The reason I’m staying away from this fight is because it takes place in Denver. As we saw from the last card in Denver, several fighters that don’t normally have cardio issues tanked due to the mile high air. Shields has had cardio problems in the past, most notably against Jason Mayhem Miller a couple years back. This is an enormous red flag for me, and enough for me to stay away from betting this fight.
Dennis Bermudez (-280) over Tom Hayden (+240)
Thoughts: Tom Hayden is a submissions specialist that isn’t all that good on the ground. In his first UFC fight, he was completely dominated on the ground by Fabricio Camoes and submitted in the first round. While Dennis Bermudez has fallen victim to submissions in the past, he was able to avoid the grappling game of Pablo Garza pretty easily in his last fight.
In my opinion, Garza has a much more solid ground game than Hayden, so it’s realistic to think that Bermudez can do what he always does here – take Hayden down and hold him there for 3 rounds. From a betting standpoint, I think -280 is a steal. Comparatively speaking, Nik Lentz is a bigger favorite over Elji Mitsuoka in his fight. While I expect Lentz to win that fight handily, Elji has more ways to win that fight than Hayden does here. I would have expected both lines to be closer to where Lentz’s line is. Therefore, a bet on Bermudez has great value to me.
Don’t Bet this:
Justin Lawrence (-110) v Max Holloway (-110)
Thoughts: A lot of people smarter than me love a bet on Lawrence here, but I’m going to steer you away from that. There are two reasons that I am going to do so. First, Holloway has shown very good technical standup skills in his past fights. He has struggled with wrestlers who get him to the ground. If this sounds familiar, that’s exactly how one would describe Justin Lawrence. Both guys will want to keep this fight standing. While Lawrence is considered to be the superior fighter, his strengths may not match up particularly well with Holloway’s weaknesses. The second reason that worries me about a bet here is the same reason I’m staying away from Jake Shields. Lawrence showed some cardio issues on the TUF show, and the Denver air will not help him. On the flip side, Holloway has not shown the all around game to dare a bet on him at even odds here. Stay away from this fight.
Fenichel’s Four Fight Parlay – Cerrone + Okami + Bermudez + Lentz
Cerrone over Guillard – Cerrone is a much more technical fighter. He has a much better all around standup game, and is light years ahead of Guillard on the ground. Couple this with a great chin, and there’s very few avenues for Guillard to be successful in this fight.
Okami over Roberts – Roberts is a late replacement and is clearly outclassed here. Okami can dominate this fight wherever it goes, and should do so easily.
Bermudez over Hayden – There’s not much to add to this that I did not detail above.
Lentz over Mitsuoka – Lentz is a grinder who fights smart and should be able to control Mitsuoka with his wrestling and win a convincing decision.
That’s it for this week – enjoy the fights!
(David Fenichel is the CEO of Fenichel’s Fantasy Fight League. The new season starts October 1st, with the winner getting two tickets to the UFC, including hotel and airfare. You can sign up for the new season at FantasyMMAworld.com)