UFC FIGHT NIGHT 138: VOLKAN VS SMITH
TOP PLAY, VALUE PLAY AND PREMIUM BETS
For this card I highlighted the ‘Top Play’ to begin building your lineups around and a key value play that will free up a little bit of cash, allowing you to target some of the top end and middle range fighters so that you can potentially end up at the top of the leaderboards come Saturday night.
Steve and I broke down each fight in great detail on the podcast Tuesday night and gave some insight on what to look for in our articles going forward.
If you have any questions or ideas that you would like to see on the podcast or in the article contact me on twitter: @tyslice23.
MISHA CIRKUNOV ($9,300)-
Cirkunov comes into this fight losing his last two versus a lot tougher competition than he faces here in Cummins. Cummins has lost three of his last five and is seemingly on the downslope of his career. Both fighters are high volume offensive wrestlers, however, Cummins lacks the takedown defense to make the fight go his way. Cummins only stuffs 30 percent of the takedowns that are posed against him so far in his career. Cirkunov also has the edge in the striking exchanges too, he packs a lot of power and is high volume. Cirkunov had the striking edge and the wrestling/grappling edge so it is pretty much up to him where this fight takes place. I expect Cirkunov to test the shaky chin of Cummins and maybe get a knockdown at some point before taking control on the ground and finishing the fight early via submission or TKO.
JONATHAN MARTINEZ ($7,600)-
This is a fight that my counterpart (Steve) and I disagree on. I personally feel that Soukhamthath is a fighter that has a terrible fight IQ, and he tends to disregard his opponent’s strengths and get in ill-advised positions. that reason alone makes Martinez a viable play in GPPs. Martinez is a well-rounded fighter who is good on the feet and on the ground. Martinez was offered this fight on two weeks notice and accepted, however, he was supposed to fight in the LFA promotion last Friday so I tend to think that the late replacement aspect will not be a huge problem. The main part of this fight that I am concerned about is that Martinez is used to fighting at a 130lb catchweight and is making the five-pound jump in weight for this fight. I think the weight will only be an issue if Martinez tries to work in some wrestling, but I tend to think this fight will mainly be contested on the feet with Martinez leading and Soukhamthath looking for the counter. This is not a play I am supremely confident in, but this is an area where we can take advantage of a good prospect being put into a match in which he has a lot of opportunities to execute his gameplan and swing this fight to his advantage at a value price tag.
Volkan Oezdemir -163:
I think the Anthony Smith is highly overrated, he has picked up wins versus aging veterans who are in the twilight of their careers and now he is matched up with one of the top fighters in the light heavyweight division, Smith has also seemed to struggle with bigger fighters and now is fighting Oezdemir, who is big and powerful. I look for Oezdemir to KO Smith early in this fight, and I don’t mind a smaller play on the fight ending in Round 1 for +200 either.
Sean Strickland -105:
Strickland and Taleb are very similar fighters in the sense that they are well rounded and like to use their wrestling to dictate where the fight goes. The main difference is that Strickland has a 81 percent t takedown defense so I think that gives him the upper hand because it lessens Taleb’s chance to dictate this fight. I think Strickland controls the striking and gets Taleb down to grind out a decision victory. My main concern in backing Strickland is that in his last fight he was brutally KO’d so if he comes out gun shy, our money could be in trouble.
Gian Villante -230:
Herman’s only chance to win this fight is to use his wrestling and get this fight to the third round and hope Villante gasses. The problem with that is that Villante has a 82 percent takedown defense and Herman has chin issues. I think the Villante rocks Herman early and ends the fighting the first or early second round.
Oezdemir/Cirkunov/Garcia/Edwards PARLAY +256:
I think that these four fighters are pretty safe bets to win their contests and at the +256 odds, it is enough value to make a decent sized play on this parlay. I also wouldn’t mind adding Haqparast in the parlay also, especially if you can get him in for under -750 odds
I will also personally be playing Arjan Bhuller by decision +161, Chris Fishgold +230 and Jonathan Martinez +140 as small plays, but I am not officially recommending them as bets for the article.