: Fenichel’s Fantasy Freak Out :
FREE UFC152 & MMA Betting Picks
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, chickens, donkeys and goats. Welcome to another edition of Fenichel’s Fantasy Freakout. I’m Dave Fenichel – CEO of Fenichel’s Fantasy Fight League, and as always, I’ll be giving you 2 fights to bet, 2 fights to stay away from, and a juicy 4 fight parlay.
Last card’s results – PARLAY CITY!!!
The Good: Finally hitting the parlay!
Our parlay of Cerrone, Okami, Bermudez and Lentz was a winner, as all 4 won their fights in dominant fashion. This is the first parlay we’ve hit since starting the column, and I’m ecstatic about it.
The Bad: No faith in Jake Shields
I thought Herman would give Shields a much bigger problem than he did. Shields dominated him from beginning to end and a bet on him turned out to be the right play.
The Ugly: Another judging disaster!
Edgar over Henderson looked like the right call to everyone watching the fight except the judges. Another terrible decision, and it underlines one of the pitfalls in betting on MMA. These guys REALLY need to shape up.
Moving on, UFC 152 is a tremendous card on paper. From top to bottom, the card promises both big names and lots of in cage action. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to hear a ton of “can’t miss bets” on it. Alas, we’ll still try to give this our best shot.
Bet this: Michael Bisping (-175) over Brian Stann (+155)
Thoughts: I have to think that all of the anti Bisbing sentiment out there is the only reason this line is staying as low as it is. I just can’t see Stann winning this fight in any way shape or form. Bisbing is a better grappler, better striker, and has better cardio than Stann. The truth is, Stann’s best wins are over Jorge Santiago and Alessio Sakara. These are journeymen at best. Every time that he’s taken a step up in competition, he’s lost. While Bisping isn’t nearly the caliber of wrestler that Chael Sonnen is, his wrestling is probably good enough to take this one to the ground. From there, he can capitalize on Stann’s weak ground game and either pound out a TKO or submit him. If the fight stays standing, Bisping’s technical superiority will be evident. He will batter Stann to a one sided decision or a late TKO. While Stann has great power, he doesn’t really bring anything else to the table. Outside of the miracle home run right hand, Stann doesn’t have a chance here.
Don’t bet this: Matt Hamill (-395) v Roger Hollett (+275)
Thoughts: Hollett is a very trendy upset pick here, but I’m going to steer you clear of him. Yes, Matt Hamill’s desire to fight is questionable. Yes, Hamill’s chin has never been all that great. Yes, Roger Hollett is an enormous man who hits like a truck. However, being a big strong guy does not mean that you’re a good fighter. The truth is, Matt Hamill in his prime destroys Hollett easily. I’d be a lot more inclined to bet Hamill as the favorite than Hollett as the underdog. The long odds as well as the layoff don’t justify that either, so this is a no bet for me.
Bet this: TJ Grant (+150) over Evan Dunham (-180)
Thoughts: This line appears to be skewed due to Evan Dunham’s familiar name. Dunham was perceived to be a big prospect mainly due to a win over Tyson Griffin and a loss to Sean Sherk that most felt he won. The truth is, history has not been kind towards how those wins are viewed. A split decision win over Tyson Griffin now looks more unimpressive than it does impressive. While he may have deserved the win against Sean Sherk, the fact remains that he had a very close fight with a guy who at the time was getting beat handily by everyone else he fought. A further look at his next few fights don’t really add much to his resume either. He was drilled by Melvin Guillard, he beat a guy who shouldn’t be in the UFC in Shamar Bailey, and he beat a fighter that immediately dropped a weight class in Nik Lentz. We aren’t talking about a world beater here. TJ Grant on the other hand, has looked like an absolute beast ever since he dropped down to 155. He’s got strong enough wrestling to take Dunham down, and a good enough ground game to at least keep him there, if not win via submission. I love Grant as an underdog here.
Don’t bet this: Charles Oliveira (-240) v Cub Swanson (+180)
Thoughts: I love everything about this fight. Oliveira is an enormous prospect for good reason. He has decent striking and a ridiculous ground game. Swanson on the other hand, is a veteran whose stock has never been higher. He just KO’d a very good fighter in Ross Pearson. The problem with betting this fight is that I fully expect Oliveira to win. He is the more well rounded fighter, and Swanson has generally struggled every time he’s had that big fight to get him into the title picture. However, Oliveira’s takedowns aren’t THAT good, and Swanson showed great takedown defense in his last fight. Stylistically, Swanson could POTENTIALLY give him trouble here. If the odds were closer to -150 for Oliveira I might take a play on him here, but in this case I’m going to pass.
Fenichel’s Four Fight Parlay: Jon Jones + Joseph Benevidez + Michael Bisping + Jim Hettes
Jon Jones over Vitor Belfort – Jon Jones is the best fighter on the planet right now. Vitor Belfort is a middleweight fighting at light heavyweight and hasn’t beaten anyone in the top ten in years. A Belfort win here would be on par with Matt Serra beating GSP for the title.
Joseph Benevidez over Demetrius Johnson – Benevidez is bigger, stronger, and has a better submission game. DJ’s biggest strengths are also in areas that Benevidez excels. I expect JB to consistently get the better of Mighty Mouse over the course of 5 rounds, winning a reasonably exciting decision.
Michael Bisping over Brian Stann – I think I’ve said all I need to say about this one.
Jim Hettes over Marcus Brimage – The odds are steep on this one for a reason. Jim Hettes is a huge prospect coming off a win against Nam Pham where he looked like an absolute beast. Marcus Brimage is a mid level guy fresh off a bad season of The Ultimate Fighter. He’s got a couple of a lackluster wins against subpar competition, and should be in for a rude awakening here. Hettes wins this easily.
(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)