Three Not For Me: The Fights To Pass On for UFC on ESPN 11

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Week #2 of the ‘Three Not For Me: The Fights To Pass On’ is back! First, apologies for last week at it was the ‘Two Not For Me’ as one of the fights fell out but I’ve got 3 solid fights that I feel you should pass on this weekend.

**NOTE: The perspective being given in this article is from where current odds sit — early fight week. Also, my analysis in regards to passing on these fights is from a straight/total perspective. If you’re looking for sneaky props, this isn’t the article for that.

Alright, let’s jump in!


Marion Reneau (+130) vs Raquel Pennington (-150)

This matchup pits two girls together who’ve been around the game for many years now.

Pennington’s been fighting top girls for well over 5 years and Reneau hasn’t been fighting “jobbers” either. Pennington is well-rounded but a boxing first type of fighter. Her issues have come against world-class strikers and when she just hasn’t let her hands go.

Reneau’s a BJJ based-girl who’s had varying amounts of success in her career. She’s largely been a hail-mary kind of fighter as well often being down before pulling something out — Marion just isn’t a perennial ‘round-winner’.

In terms of the odds, I think they’re right where they should be. This is one of those situations where it’s Pennington’s fight to lose. I’m nervous she’ll engage the ground with Reneau and I’m also nervous that she won’t let her hands go allowing this fight to play closer on the feet than it should. The Over also currently sits almost 3-1 so that’s unplayable as well. Rocky should get the job done but I just have a feeling that she’ll make this one more difficult than it needs to be.

Save your money on this one as Father’s Day is around the corner. Go get your Pops something nice!


Josh Emmett (+120) vs Shane Burgos (-140)

This is probably the most anticipated matchup on the card for me – mainly because I think a strong case can be made for both fighters.

Emmett’s now in his 5th year with the company and a guy whose largely been undervalued at the window (this will be his 6th fight as an underdog – his UFC record is 6-2). He’s a former collegiate wrestler whose got some dogs in his hands and has beat some solid guys to boot. Mainly where Emmett has struggled has been with effective pressure from opponents.

Burgos is a volume striker with some crisp boxing and excellent TDD. The knock on him is that he’ll fight with his hands down and largely rely on his head-movement and chin as his first line of defense. However, it’s largely worked out for him so far as he’s amassed a 7-1 UFC record. Important to note though, he’s now entering the top 10 in a very deep division full of killers.

I’ve went back forth on this one but ultimately lined Burgos (-150) – pretty close to the current line. I think the main narrative here is that if the fight goes all 3 rounds, it’s Burgos all day. If it ends ITD, it’s Emmett all day. I don’t necessarily buy that (you can check out my full-card breakdown on my site as I go into this matchup in detail). Ultimately, I can see both guys having varying degrees of success in this fight in many aspects. Burgos could win on volume. Emmett could mix in his wrestling to steal rounds/limit damage to win on the cards. Burgos could overwhelm him with volume in the latter rounds and get a late finish. Or Emmett could catch Burgos with a big a hook and turn the lights out. Ultimately, I just want to sit back and see how this one plays out.

My advice, there’s no edge either side so best to pass and eliminate as much guess work as possible.


Alexander Volkov (+320) vs Curtis Blaydes (-390)

To be honest, this one’s a bummer from a betting perspective.

Curtis Blaydes has proved his dominance in the division given his strong wrestling acumen making a bad matchup for just about everyone — unless your name is Francis Ngannou. His striking is decent but he is hittable on the feet for the limited amount of time his fights are there.

Volkov has amassed a 5-1 UFC record and should probably be 6-0 if it wasn’t for the Lewis ‘hail mary’ at the horn. He’s very long for the division and does best when he can utilize that range and be the aggressor. However, we’ve seen him struggle in the grappling against guys like Tim Johnson, Roy Nelson (early) and Werdum (early). Similar to Blaydes, his striking defense isn’t very good either. Volkov isn’t exactly Lance Armstrong either but opponents have gassed worse than him fights allowing him to take over in latter rounds.

This is a fight where if you got in early on Blaydes under –250, I think that’s where there was value on this fight. Now, the line on Blaydes is too inflated but there is still not enough value to take the shot on Volkov in my opinion. The totals don’t have much value either, at least at 4.5 rounds.

Save your money! Fight Island is approaching and we’ve gotten a slew of fight announcements in these past couple weeks. Best to look down the line!


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Written by Luke Lampe - Sparring with Reality Betting

Writer/Fight Connoisseur
Contributor @mmaoddsbreaker
UFC Betting Advice

Follow on Twitter: @SWR_Betting

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