We're back! It's been too long since we did a betting piece. We return with a hell of a card to look forward to. Uniondale New York's Nassau Coliseum will host this Saturday night's event. The UFC on Fox 25 card marks the UFC's first event at the famous venue.
The main event of the evening will see former middleweight king-pin Chris Weidman take on TUF season 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum; in a must win bout for the former champ.
The co-main event of the evening will be a featherweight bout between Darren Elkins and Dennis Bermudez. Elkins is riding a four fight win-streak coming into the fight, including a stunning come from behind victory over Mirsad Bektic. Bermudez is coming off a loss to the “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.
Elsewhere, we have New Jersey native Jimmie Rivera face Thomas Almeida in what many are calling the people's main event. Both men are seen as potential future title contenders in the stacked bantamweight division. A win for either man will take them one step closer to that elusive shot at the belt.
I believe there are a number of open fights and potential betting opportunities. With that said, lets take a look at the betting odds.
Dog Or Pass
There's two fights that I believe have betting value in the respective underdogs at current prices. To give you an idea why I pick fighters like this it's quite simple, we need a lower win percentage to make profit than if we're backing heavy favourites. If one of the two suggested underdogs win, we'll make a slight profit.
Patrick Cummins vs. Gian Villante
This is the quintessential striker versus grappler match-up that we would have expected ten years ago. Cummins is an excellent wrestler and has worked on his striking diligently to improve his all round mixed martial arts game. Whilst he has improved, he still is a long way from polished and has defensive holes that will make this a tough play.
Villante is a kick-boxer, he's a product of the famed Serra Longo Fight Team. Whilst primarily looking to keep the fight standing, Villante also has rather large defensive holes too in the striking departments.
Selection: The betting opened up with Cummins being a slight favourite. Since then, money has poured in on Villante. I think this largely comes down to whether Cummins can impose his wrestling or not. Despite both having questionable cardio and defensive striking skills, I would think this hits the judges scorecards more often than not. Cummins at 7/5 (+140 American Odds) is the pick for me. I'd also seriously contemplate betting on a Cummins decision at 7/2 (+350 American odds).
This is a really interesting welterweight fight when it comes to betting. Ryan LaFlare is very much known as a wrestler who works at a high pace. Most will point to Oliveira as a striker with a decent submission game.
I think this is closer than the betting odds suggest. When Oliveira is in trouble on the feet he's used his own wrestling and clinch game to buy himself opportunities. Similarly LaFlare tends to use his wrestling prowess when he can't point fight his way to victory. LaFlare throws a lot more than he lands. It's quite strange; LaFlare entered the UFC with six stoppage victories, but apart from his octagon debut his next six have gone to the scorecards.
Selection: I like Brazilian Cowboy here at 13/8 (+162.5 American Odds). I'm not saying he's going to stuff every take-down attempt, but I believe he can do enough on the feet to make LaFlare hesitant. I think his accuracy on the feet could just edge it for him.
Gastelum by Submission at 8/1 (+800 American Odds): I'm a big fan of both Weidman and Gastelum, however at this point in their careers I have to favour the younger man. I think if Gastelum gets through the first round then he can take over this bout. I can see him getting Weidman's back at some point and we've seen both in TUF and the UFC that Gastelum is quick to sink in that RNC. I'm hovering around the 0.5 units mark for this one. I could understand someone betting the straight price on a Gastelum victory also.
Grabowski vs. Sherman over 1.5 rounds at 6/5 (+120 American Odds): I hate betting on low level heavyweights but I think there's some value in the current over line. Sherman struggled to finish a man on one leg in his last fight and Grabowski has been equally awful offensively at times. It's a 1 unit play in the hope of getting an extra unit to play with.
Elkins Double Chance (KO or Points) at 23/10 (+230 American Odds): Let's just get this straight before we start; Bermudez is the better mixed martial artist. There is a but involved thankfully for us, his chin is drastically depleted and you practically have to murder Elkins to get him out of there. A lot of this depends on whether Elkins can tire Bermudez in the grappling exchanges and potentially tag him. I think this is feasible but stay to a max bet of 1 unit here as it is a risky play.
That's it from me for this card. Good luck with any plays you make this weekend. As ever, do not bet what you can not afford to lose. If you've any plays yourself that you fancy, feel free to add them in the comments section. Follow MMACS.net on Facebook and Twitter for the latest MMA news and gossip.
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