Posted action in BB thread:

3*Dusko Todorovic -140
1*Max Holloway -180
1*Tom Breese -122;

3*Makhmud Muradov +103
2*Ottman Azaitar -147
2*Amir Albazi +120
1*Amir Albazi +105 1/10/21
2*Julianna Pena +110
1*Under 2.5 McGregor/Poirier -116
1*Hakeem Dawodu +174
1*Amanda Ribas -253
1*Arman Tsarukyan -172
1*Under 2.5 Michael Chandler/Dan Hooker -110

3*Diego Ferreira -110;
2*Alexander Volkov -160
2*Alex da Silva -115
1*Danilo Marques +205
1*Alexandre Pantoja -125

1*Gabe Green +103
1*Maycee Barber +159
1*Kelvin Gastelum -219;

2*Thiago Santos +232
2*Kyler Phillips +169

2*Derek Brunson +145

UFC 1/16/21

Dusko Todorovich -140 (74" Reach) vs Punahele Soriano (72" reach)
Current line: Dusko -160 widely available. Personally got down on -140, -120, and -115.

Punahele Soriano has been a heavily hyped fighter since making his debut on the contender series. He is 7-0 overall and 2-0 within the UFC, finishing all but 1 fight in the first round. Fights within the UFC have been against two bottom of the barrel fighters; Jamie Pickett (UFC 1-3, only win coming in contender series vs a guy never offered a ufc contract) and Oskar Piechota (UFC 2-5, currently on a 4 fight losing streak). Puna has shown heavy hands and an ability to take a shot. Like many undefeated heavy handed up and comers, Puna is heavily reliant on his power and the assumption that he should be able to finish his opponent quickly. Exerting alot of energy early and winding up/telegraphing power shots. He is willing to take a shot to land a more powerful one. Due to this approach, in both UFC fights, his output has slowed dramatically after about 2.5 minutes into the 1st round. The fact that this occurred two fights in a row leads me to believe that jitters/adrenaline dump aren't to blame and the cardio is just not there. These deficiencies loom large in my opinion vs a fighter as skilled as Dusko Todorovich. To put it simply Dusko is just a more complete fighter and someone I view as a future title contender. At just 26 years of age, he possesses great head movement, rolls with strikes well, good foot work, solid in all facets of grappling, fluid kicks/punches, heavy hands, great chin, outstanding pace, and last but not least incredible cardio. Like Puna, he is undefeated with a littany of 1st round finishes but he has proven he can go the distance and maintain the pace (which many high level vets can't attest to). Averaging an absurd 8 strikes landed per minute (vs 5 absorbed) and 80 strikes thrown per round, Dusko's pace and strikes landed are elite. If theres any deficiency in his game, its that his confidence in his head movement can lead him to leave his chin a little too available at times. Aside from that, I don't see anywhere that Puna is superior. If Dusko can survive the first 2:30 and flurry of winging haymakers from Soriano, I see this fight being heavily in his favor. Of all lined fights in 2021 this is my personal favorite. I expected this line to be -220+ and predict a 2nd round TKO in Duskos favor.
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Max Holloway -180 (69" Reach) vs Calvin Kattar (72" reach)
Current line: Max -170. Personally got down on -180, -155. Missed the opener at -135

Calvin Kattar. Presents with heavy hands, good cardio, solid chin, and slick boxing. His fighting style is very one dimensional. Almost no kicking, no grappling, and just boxing. However, he is so good with that limited skill set he has gone quite far in the loaded 145 division. Where is he weak? Defense. Kattar absorbs alot of strikes and seems to be willing to test the chin of his opponent at the expense of his own. Absorbing 5.66 strikes per minute while dishing out 5.01. Equating to a negative -0.65. Aside from being willing to eat punches, in all fights he has shown a total inability to defend calf kicks. This led to his demise vs Renato Moicano, where his leg got brutalized and lead to an eventual loss. That fight was in April 7 2018, and in 2 years has shown almost no improvement in that area. The only other fighter who was able to really expose that weakness was Zabit Magomodsharipov who won by decision (Stephens landed a ton before getting KO'd). Zabits diversity of strikes and distance control had Kattar totally confused until Zabits poor cardio became a factor in the 3rd and Kattar started delivering some damage. The two fighters Kattar has loss to (Zabit & Renato) are the two most similar fighters to Holloway he has faced. Both with diverse array of strikes and good distance management. The difference being Max is about as high level as it gets with elite cardio. Kattar has never faced an opponent with output like Max (6.47 landed vs 4.5 absorbed per min) and Kattars incredible punching power is negated by Max's ridiculous chin (Has never been KO'd and has not been finished in 9 years). Not to mention, Max incorporated a calf kick heavily in his arsenal vs Volkanovski in their last fight which should bode well in this fight.

Kattar's lack of offensive diversity should make defense alot simpler compared to Max's recent opponents ( Volkanovski, Poirier, Edgar, Aldo, Pettis) and Max's distance control will be the difference here. Max outclasses him by unanimous decision.
Tom Breese -122 (73" Reach) vs Omari Akhmedov (73" reach)
Current line: Breese -150

Not a ton to comment on here. Smaller play for me. Classic striker vs grappler. Breese wants to keep it on the feet and Omari wants to take it to the mat. Omari doesn't really threaten to end fights ever (1 finish in 12 UFC fights. No finishes in last 11). Striking is average at best and is mostly a positional grappler. Trying to maintain control rather than go for submissions and/or ground and pound. Cardio is 1.5-2 rounds. Usually looks like garbage in the 3rd but is ahead enough on points by maintaining ground control through rounds 1 and 2. Breese possesses slick striking and movement w/ good cardio. 75% takedown defense and good getupability (not sure if thats a word) when taken to the mat. I'm banking on Breese making Akhmedov work to keep it on the mat and spoil a few takedowns by getting up to his feet. FInishing him late in the 3rd via strikes.

Under 2.5 Rounds -110
Dan Hooker/Michael Chandler
Current line: 2.5 Rounds -105

Hooker is a high end 2.5 round fighter. Really advanced striking, good defensive grappling, great chin and solid foot movement. As the fight goes on, his cardio tends to wither rapidly, output decreases and his defense goes to shit. His chin is ridiculous at times but its allowed him to take a beating in his last few fights (Absorbed 100+ strikes in 3 of his last 5 fights, looked like death at the end of all 3 too). How many more big shots can he take? Not sure. The play is mostly based on the style of fighting Michael Chandler brings to the table. Like Hooker, he is a real high output offensive fighter early on and he is most likely the most powerful fighter Hooker has ever faced. Relies on his speed to close distance and either take you down (elite d1 wrestler) with vicious ground and pound or finish you on the feet with big punches. Long story short he tries to make quick work of people. Since 2015 only 3/11 of his fights have gone the distance with most ending in the first round. And I expect the approach to be the same. Chandler is trying hard to enter the title mix as a UFC newcomer and knows he has to make a splash to do so. Publicly saying he only has a few years left in his prime to prove himself in the UFC. With that being said, I think his aggressive forward style is going to give ample opportunity for Hooker to counter at his chin. Hooker also never backs down from a fire fight which should give Chandler chances to take it to the mat or land a big shot. With my questions on Hookers durability and me expecting real high intensity 2 rounds, I think someone ends up waking up on the mat.

Under 2.5 Rounds -116 Conor McGregor/Dustin Poirier
Current line: 2.5 Rounds -145

I expect a similar high intensity fight for McGregor/Poirier. Except from a skill and power perspective, I think Conor is far superior. People forget how elite and powerful of a striker Conor is after his fights with Diaz and Khabib. Diaz is a zombie (survived 3 knockdowns in their last fight) that has a unique ability to just eat shots in hopes of you wearing down and beating you late. Khabib is just Khabib and Conor is the only one imo who has made it a real fight with him. However, it is hard to back Conor in a 5 round fight because of his cardio issues. Conor is an uber high energy starter. Uses loads of energy to maintain distance defensively and land big combos offensively. But this fighting style saps energy quick. If Poirier can weather the storm, I think he has a clear cardio/output advantage in rounds 3-5. Rewatching their fight in 2014, it's clear whos strikes carry more weight. I understand it was 6 years ago, but I have a hard time believing the power differential has changed. The play is based on my expectation that Conor finishes the fight in the first 2 rounds if he wins and laying -116 on the total is far more appealing than laying -240 on Conor.
Makhmud Muradov +103 (75" Reach) vs Andrew Sanchez (74" reach)
Current line: Muradov -135 Personally on +100 and -110

This is a buy low situation for me. Somehow Muradov has gone 2-0 in the UFC in extremely impressive fashion and no one has taken notice. Even after TKO'ing two former UFC fighters leading up to his debut in the UFC. A great athlete with outstanding fluidity, speed, and creativity in his striking. Fights at distance and makes it look pretty as evidenced by his 2:1 strikes given to absorbed ratio. Thus far has defended takedowns very well and landed a few of his own. If there's any chink in the armor he gassed out in the last 2.5 minutes of his debut but seemed to shore that issue up in his most recent bout by looking extremely nimble in the 3rd. His opponent Andrew Sanchez is solid. I like Sanchez as a fighter. Very good durability, solid striking, solid grappling, and solid cardio. He just isn't great anywhere and his defense definitely wanes as the fight goes on (-0.35 strikes landed-absorbed). Sanchez prefers to fight at distance and seldomly uses his collegiate wrestling skills. I think this bodes well for Muradov who should outclass Sanchez at his own game. Keeping distance and sniping in for strikes and fighting off the occasional takedown attempt. If he performs well, I doubt we see him as a dog again until he starts fighting the elite. Favorite fight on the card. Muradov by unanimous decision.
Arman Tsarukyan -172 (72" Reach) vs Nasrat Haqparast (72" reach)
Current line: Tsarukyan -235 Personally on -175

Tsarukyan is a 24 year old man child. Took Islam Mackhachev into deep water on short notice and lost a close decision at age 22. Has since defeated Aubin Mercier and Davi Ramos. Two quality opponents in impressive fashion. Grappling is elite but he couples that with a variety of heavy well timed strikes. Cardio and chin are also top notch. Aside from experience there aren't a whole lot of negative things to say about his game. He has the ability to dictate where he wants the fight to take place and can excel on the feet or on the mat. And at his age, he is only getting better. Nasrat is a scary striker and young himself at 25. Lightning quick strikes, good power and good durability. I just think stylistically this is just a poor matchup for him. Nasrat probably has a slight edge on the feet but I don't think he will get to choose where he wants the fight to be. If Tsarukyan does not feel comfortable standing he can take it to the ground and unleash his high level grappling or if he is getting the better of Haqparast striking he can keep it on the feet. Tsarukyan should be able to dictate the fight and I am predicting a submission in the 3rd.
Ottman Azaitar -147 (71" Reach) vs Matt Frevola (71" reach)
Current line: Azaitar -160/165 Personally on -150

Another striker vs grappler bout. The former Brave champ, Ottman Azaitar, has burst onto the scene with two quick KO's in his first two UFC fights. Possessing true 1 punch KO power, he is 13-0 overall, with 10 1st round finishes. Azaitar has a great chin and average takedown defense/defense in general. He does tend to find a way back to the feet or reverse position when taken down. Frevola on the other hand relies purely on his wrestling. He is a very strong gritty fighter and can often muscle his opponents to the mat. However, his striking is amateur and bjj is average. Very much a control fighter and doesn't threaten with fight finishing ability. His ground control is far from elite, often getting caught in sub attempts or allowing the opponent to escape/reverse position. He is a frustrating fighter to watch because most bouts he wins you are left feeling "did he really win that fight?". Often inflicting very little damage but winning on points. With that being said, you got to respect that he has a firm understanding of his strengths and weaknesses and does what he can to tip the scorecards in his favor. I just don't think this skill set will take you far in the UFC. When you lack the ability to finish and you fight fight a guy like Azaitar you have to be perfect for 15 minutes because one shot can mean naptime. Under might be a decent play if you side with Azaitar.

Both fighters cardio is questionable. Both slow considerably after about 1.5 rounds. Frevola seems to look more physically compromised as the fight goes on but still has the capability to muscle takedowns when necessary. Normally this would be a 1 unit play for me as I could see Frevola laying and praying for 3 rounds on his way to another decision victory given Azaitars questionable cardio and average takedown defense. But I'm going 2u and that has to do with my bias thinking Frevola's 8-1 record is fraudulent. I think Azaitar catches him coming in and makes him pay mightily. Azaitar KO 1st round.
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Amir Albazi +120 (68" reach) vs Zhalgas Zhumagulov (66" reach)
Current line: Albazi +105 Personally on +120 +105

The fighting styles of these two fighters are very similar. Zhumagulov is a pest. The former FNG champ, lacks athleticism but is fundamentally sound and durable (no finishes in the last 6 years). Never seems to be out of a fight and just tends to hang around. He was able to defeat former UFC fighter Ali Bagautinov and current UFC fighter Tyson Nam by narrowly outpointing the two. He should be 1-0 in the UFC. I had bet on his opponent Raulian Paiva in Zhalgas' debut and should not have won my wager. Zhalgas easily outpointed him in rounds 2 and 3 despite probably taking more damage overall. His striking is average, but his constant movement allows him to avoid taking serious damage in the octagon and maintain distance. When feeling pressured on the feet, he lacks the power to keep opponents at bay and often relies on his sound wrestling to take things to the mat. Albazi similarly likes to fight at distance, mixing in crisp punches as he closes distance as well as takedowns. Albazi is 13-1 overall (1-0 UFC), submitting his only foe in the UFC in the first round. His only loss coming to a good former UFC fighter Jose Torres by narrow decision. The difference between the two I feel is Albazi is just a little better everywhere. Cardio should be a wash between these two. Albazi has more power, more reach, more size, and a far more decorated grappler. Taking home several BJJ championships in Europe, USA, and the middle east. For Zhalgas, I don't think the luxury of grappling when in danger on the feet will be there without putting himself in serious danger on the mat. My expectation is Zhalgas gets outclassed but his durability allows the fight to go the distance. Albazi by unanimous decision.
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Julianna Pena +110 (69" reach) vs Sara McMann (66" reach)
Current line: Pena +100 Personally on +110

Sara McMann still doing the damn thing at 41 years old. A former Olympic silver medalist in wrestling, she likes her fights on the ground. Preferably with her on top. Historically entering majority of her fights with a significant power advantage and slamming her opponents to the mat. The power is still there but the speed and agility to my eyes have started to fade. Striking is robotic and ground control is average. While being able to land some vicious ground and pound she allows her foes to escape and reverse position regularly. Often looking totally lost when reversed and having to defend off her back. McMann is 4-4 in her last 8, losing 3/4 via submission. Further emphasizing her deficiencies on the ground. So when pitted against jiu jitsu ace Julianna Pena (a physically imposing woman herself), on paper backing Julianna makes sense. I don't think McMann will carry her normal power advantage against Pena's strong frame either. Pena is 5-2 in the UFC losing only to Germaine DeRandamie and Valentina Shevchenko, the two best fighters not named Amanda Nunes. And in both fights she was starting to take control before surprisingly getting caught in submissions by these two decorated strikers. I think Pena has significant advantages on the ground and the feet and wins this fight via submission
Amanda Ribas -253 (66" reach) vs Marina Rodriguez (65" reach)
Current line: Ribas -315 Personally on -255

Marina Rodriguez is an outstanding striker. But she can't defend a takedown to save her life. Marina is 3-1-2 in the UFC. In her 1 loss and 2 draws, she got taken down 10 times. Ribas will do whatever she wants. Most likely repeatedly getting Rodriguez to the mat to showcase her high level jiu jitsu and on her way to a 5-0 record. Her striking, pace, grappling, and cardio are high level. I am not sure how her power will stack up with the divisions elite but with lesser fighters like Marina, she should dominate. Ribas by 2nd round submission.
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Diego Ferreira -110 (74" reach) vs Beneil Dariush (72" reach)
Current line: Diego -110 Personally on -110

Diego looks to avenge his loss to Beneil Dariush 6.5 years ago. A fight where Dariush was just the more skilled fighter. Landing strikes from distance and maintaining top control in rounds 2 and 3. An intelligent fight strategy that put points on the scorecards. Ferreira was never in any real trouble but couldn't mount any substantial offense against Dariush and loss easily by unanimous decision. Ferriera went on to lose to future interim champ Poirier by TKO a few months later in April 2015. After that fight Diego began training at now rising gym Fortis MMA under Sayif Saud (he was previously coaching himself). Debuting under his new camp in January 2016. Since 2016, the two fighters careers have gone in opposite directions. Dariush going 7-3-1 while narrowly escaping defeat against Drew Dober and Drakkar Klose. Being nearly out on his feet in both matches and rallying with miraculous comebacks. He could easily be 5-5-1. Ferriera on the other hand, has gone 6-0 with a near 2:1 strikes landed to absorbed ratio in the process. W Anthony Pettis (UFC 16-10), W Mairbek Taisumov (7-2 UFC), W Rustam Khabilov (10-3 UFC), W Kyle Nelson (1-3 UFC), W Jared Gordon (4-3 UFC), W Olivier Aubin-Mercier (7-5 UFC). Besting 3 top 15 foes in a row.

His move to Fortis transformed his striking in a major way. His grappling was never in doubt being a world class jiu jitsu practicioner, but his striking was raw and lacked finesse. Over the years he has developed outstanding striking defense and quick counters. Parlaying that with outstanding cardio, constant pressure, and incredible pace. Diego has become a real problem on the feet, easily handling high level strikers Taisumov and Pettis in his last two bouts. Comparing footage from his loss to Dariush to the win against Pettis, he was a shadow of his current self. Needless to say, I expect this fight to play out quite differently this time around. Ferriera has blossomed into a contender while Dariush has seemed to remain stagnant as a fringe top 10 gatekeeper. Ferreira by 2nd round TKO.
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Alexander Volkov -160 (80" reach) vs Alistair Overeem (80" reach)
Current line: Volkov -175 Personally on -160

In this heavyweight strikers delight, Alexander Volkov looks to continue his ascent to the top of the UFC ranks. Volkov's record is extremely misleading. His 2 defeats have come at the hands of Derrick Lewis and Curtis Blaydes. In the fight against Lewis, he absolutely dominated Derrick for 2.99999 rounds. Getting clipped and knocked out with a few seconds left (by the 2nd heaviest hitter in the UFC) and preventing an easy 30-27 victory. While the fight against Blaydes, he continually got taken down by the best takedown artist in the UFC but suffered very little damage. Volkov dominated the 5th and final round and if the fight was a few minutes longer most likely would have finished Blaydes. Alot was learned from the fight with Blaydes. #1 His takedown defense was no match for Blaydes wrestling (Hard to say if anyones is as he averages a whopping 7 takedowns per contest) #2 Volkov's cardio is high level for HW division (looked very nimble in the 5th despite being tackled for 4 rounds straight), #3 Defensive jiu jitsu is outstanding (Mitigated damage on the ground tremendously against a fearsome ground and pounder). His standup game is rarely in question. Volkov maintains distance very well and uses 6'7 frame effectively. Dominating some of the heaviest hitters in the UFC on the feet (Lewis, Hardy, Harris, Nelson). I have a hard time finding where Overeem is superior in this matchup. At this point in his career his striking is inferior, chin is extremely questionable, and won't be able to fight at distance (this being one of the rare instances that he is the smaller fighter). If he has any advantage, it's in the grappling. The question is can he get Volkov to the mat? I doubt it. Overeems level of grappling is eons away from the likes of Blaydes. In fact, if you were to subtract the Blaydes fight which I feel is reasonable as I consider Blaydes ability to get people to the mat as an outlier (averages 2 more takedowns per contest than Khabib). Opponents have only been successful on 5/30 attempts. 83% stuff rate, which is very high level. I think Volkov gets the finish here and may be adding a unit on him finishing within the distance closer to fight time. Volkov by 2nd round TKO.
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Alex da Silva -115 (73" reach) vs Devonte Smith (76" reach)
Current line: da Silva -110 Personally on -115

Devonte Smith burst onto the scene with 3 fabulous 1st round KO's before being KO'd by his own training partner Khama Worthy. His 3 wins were against lackluster competition. Joe Lowry (0-2 UFC), Julian Erosa (3-5 UFC), Dong Hyun Ma (3-5 UFC). Aside from Smith's raw punching power, not alot can be taken away from his 4 fights because all finished early in the 1st round. The only fight lasting longer than the 1st round against UFC caliber competition was against John Gunther in 2017. A bout in which he loss by 3rd round TKO in the promotion RFO. Smith's power was still present in the fight but Gunther is a zombie and absorbed his big shots early and continually took Smith to the mat. Smith used his superior athleticism to explode back to his feet a few times but like alot of heavy hitting fast starters, the cardio ran out quite quickly. Not only did the grappling defense wither as the fight progressed the pop on his shots did as well. Essentially rolling over and giving up to Gunther in the 3rd. Enter Alex da Silva. At only 24 years of age, he has 24 professional bouts (21-3) in which he has only been stopped once by submission. Even more impressively finishing his opponent in 20 of his 21 wins. Alex da Silva loss his UFC debut vs Alexander Yakovlev on short notice in Russia. Having Alexander in some bad grappling positions before being reversed and submitted in the 2nd. In his last loss he fell short in a close decision to the rising New Zealand City KickBoxing fighter Brad Riddell. I view Riddell as a future contender and his performance against him was quite impressive. Riddell is a decorated striker. A former kickboxing champion who competed professionally in Glory. His striking is very high level. Alex held his own and even got the better of Riddell on the feet in the 1st before Riddell rallied in the 2nd and 3rd to win on the scorecards. Despite his impressive striking performance I think viewers were impressed most by his durability. Was able to eat Riddells heavy shots and keep plodding forward the entire fight. His chin is similar to that of John Gunther but parlayed with far better skills and athleticism.

In this fight, Alex will be the more durable fighter and just has more ways to win. He possesses plus takedown ability, good bjj, good striking, solid cardio, and plus athleticism. His deficiency is his striking defense and he relies heavily on his godlike chin. With Smith's power he always has a punchers chance but da Silva has a zombies chin. I think his durability will allow him to drag Smith into deep water and end with a da Silva 3rd round submission.
Danilo Marques +205 (77" reach) vs Mike Rodriguez (82.5" reach)
Current line: Marques +205 Personally on +205

Another striker vs grappler matchup. Mike "Slow-Mo" Rodriguez is an outstanding striker. Possessing a variety of techniques and raw power to boot. At 3-4 in the UFC, Mike has got all of his wins via 1st round KO. In all fights going past the first round (Except KO loss to Da Un Jung) have resulted in losses. He should have won his last bout vs Ed Herman and a terrible referee call ruined a TKO for Mike. He eventually got submitted via Kimura shortly thereafter (I was very fortunate to win the wager).

On the feet, Marques skill level does not compare to what Mike brings to the table. Conversely, the opposite is true for the skill mismatch on the ground. Mike not only defends takedowns poorly (40%), he seems absolutely helpless once he gets there. Also when opponents force Mike into grappling exchanges his cardio depletes rapidly. The winner of this fight will be determined by who dictates where the fight takes place. If Marques can't get the fight to the mat, I expect him to get KO'd early. But if he lands takedowns, his top control should allow for an easy victory. With how poor Mike is defending takedowns and how amateur he is off his back, +205 seems to be definitely worth a wager.
Smartz-How good do you think Khamzat Chimaiev could end up being? He hasn’t fought the best competition yet but in my opinion he could have the most complete combination of combined style skills I’ve ever seen.
He's looked super impressive. I think we will learn alot when he fights Leon Edwards. Edwards is crazy underrated IMO.

Normally I wouldn't buy into the hype but he comes from the same camp as Alexander Gustaffson. They've publicly come out and said he holds his own/gets the better of Gus which is crazy because Gus is very good and also a way bigger man. I think Chimaev's shown his grappling is elite and his pace is absurd. But can he maintain that pace over 3-5 rounds? How good is his striking if his takedowns get stuffed? People are saying his standup is legit after his last fight but he only threw 4 strikes total and caught Meerschaert on the 2nd punch he threw. So I still have questions.

Like I said, Leon is going to be a good measuring stick. To me, Leon seems like way too much too soon for Chimaev. Going from fighting fringe UFC fighters to a legit top 3 guy. My one concern for Leon is Kamaru Usman was able to take him down repeatedly and win a decision when they fought. Granted Leon has gotten better, but if Chimaev's grappling is as good as Usman we could see history repeat itself. I might wager on Leon and take the +money. But Id be betting 1u max.