Welcome to the 8th edition of Fenichel’s Fantasy Freakout. As always, I’ll hit you with two fights to bet, two fights to stay away from, and a 2 Fight Parlay! Let’s take a look at the results for UFC 152:
The Good – 2 for 2 on bets!
I thought Michael Bisping was an undervalued play against Brian Stann, and I was correct. That fight wasn’t nearly as close as some people thought. Bisping dominated the standup, the wrestling, and the ground game. Other than getting clipped once, Bisping completely controlled the fight. I was also correct in my assertion that TJ Grant was a very live underdog and worth a play. Overall, a very successful night from yours truly.
The Bad – Fenichel’s Four Fight Parlay goes up in smoke….again.
I can’t be too upset over the outcome here. As expected, Jones and Bisping held up their end of the bargain. Hettes and Benevidez both lost close, competitive fights. Nonetheless, we only care about results here on the Freakout. Another card gone by, another parlay to the wasteside.
The Ugly – My face!
Let’s face it, other than the parlay I had a pretty good week here. There’s really nothing too egregious that needs to be harped on. Onto greener pastures.
Our next card is UFC on Fuel in Nottingham, England. Unlike some of the recent cards, I see a ton of value in the lines here. Without further ado, here are my two strongest plays.
Bet This: Stipe Miocic (-200) over Stefan Struve (+175)
Thoughts: I love this fight for Miocic, and I don’t think the odds justify just how big of an edge he has here. I think Miocic has the edge EVERYWHERE in this fight. Sure, Stefan Struve is an enormous guy with a ridiculous reach. However, he doesn’t tend to use his reach in his fights, choosing to instead get in close quarters. Furthermore, his chin is TERRIBLE. ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! Miocic is a former golden gloves champion with underrated power. Additionally, Struve’s so called “vaunted ground game” has really only been effective against guys that really don’t have a clue what to do on the ground. The jiu jitsu of Lavar Johnson and Pat Barry doesn’t strike fear into very many hearts. In addition to the aforementioned golden gloves experience, Stipe is an accomplished wrestler. If he wants to keep this fight standing, he will. I fully expect him to do so, land a couple bombs on Struve’s suspect chin, and put him away early. Bet this fight HARD!
Don’t Bet This: Che Mills (-210) v Duane “Bang” Ludwig (+160)
Thoughts: Call me crazy, but I absolutely love Ludwig. He might have the best technical standup in all of MMA. This was on full display as he completely picked apart Amir Sadollah two fights ago. He’s so much technically better than Che Mills that if there weren’t other circumstances, I’d jump all over this line all day. Unfortunately, as Ludwig has shown recently, he may also have the worst chin in MMA. The fact is, he just can’t take a punch anymore. Che Mills is faster and hits harder than Dan Hardy, and will most likely win this fight in vicious fashion. However, I’m almost never willing to bet a line that big when the favorite is so technically inferior. If you’re that high on Mills, throw him in a parlay. Otherwise, stay away from this fight.
Bet this: Yves Jabouin (+180) over Brad Pickett (-260)
Thoughts: Another line I just can’t wrap my brain around. Since dropping down to 135, Jabouin has looked like an absolutely monster. He looked incredible against Jeff Houghland in his last fight, and has now won 3 fights in a row. For the life of me, I just can’t figure out why Brad Pickett is so heavily hyped. All he’s done recently is get destroyed by Renan Barao, and beat Demacio Page. That’s right, Demacio Page. When has beating him ever made you a legit contender? The truth is, Pickett is well rounded but not particularly good at any one aspect of the game. Jabouin should enjoy size and athleticism advantages, as well as a decided striking edge. I tend to think Jabouin wins this fight 65 to 70% of the time, making these odds a must bet.
Don’t bet this: Dan Hardy (-195) v Amir Sadollah (+155)
Thoughts: I’m staying away from this fight because both fighters are incredibly unpredictable when it comes to their performances. Sadollah’s big knock is that he’s got average at best striking and doesn’t possess strong enough wrestling to get the fight to the ground where he’d like it to be. Hardy on the other hand, has big power in both hands, but pretty poor standup technique and a horrendous wrestling game. What makes this fight really hard to bet is that both fighters are very up and down with their performances, looking like a world beater in one fight and like a guy who doesn’t belong in the UFC in the next. I’d rather find my bets elsewhere on the card.
Fenichel’s TWO FIGHT Parlay: Miocic + Hathaway.
No matter how hard I try, I just cannot justify a 4 fight parlay on this card. I see lots of value in the lines here, but not a lot of slam dunks for the parlay. Rather than steer you in the wrong direction, I’ll leave you with a 2 fight parlay that looks like a sure thing.
Miocic over Struve – This has been detailed in the above section.
John Hathaway over John McGuire – The odds reflect what appears to be a pretty unevent matchup on paper. Hathaway is bigger, strong, has better standup, and should be able to keep the fight off the mat where he could potentially find trouble. A decision win looks like a very sure bet here.
(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)