‘Three Not For Me’ is back this week for UFC Fight Island 2! I had a bit of a hiatus due to some technical issues but we’re back on normal schedule! If this is the first time you’re reading this piece, I go through 3 fights on the upcoming UFC card that you should stay away from a betting perspective and the reasoning why.
**NOTE: The perspective being given in this article is from where current odds sit at the time writing. 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!
Carlos Felipe (+130) vs Sergey Spivak (-150)
If you want to look up a betting “pass” in the dictionary, this matchup comes at the top of the list.
Felipe is a younger, Brazilian-based fighter with an extremely padded record. He was actually supposed to make his UFC debut back in 2017 but got popped by USADA and handed a 2-year suspension for the steroid, Stanozolol. There isn’t much footage on him either but throws in heavy combinations and has possesses good TDD. Important to note, I’ve never seen Felipe on his back. Side note, as bettors, just because we haven’t seen an aspect of a fighter’s game, don’t make the assumption that in turn, they are bad in that area. I learned that the hard way earlier in my betting career.
Spivak, similar to Felipe, largely rolled through all of his regional scene competition before getting the call to the UFC back in 2019. Since, he’s 1-2 and hasn’t impressed me at all. Spivak’s a grappling-based fighter with good submission acumen. The issue is, if those TDs don’t come, he’ll struggle on the feet and in the grappling as well. Spivak is one of those guys I feel like needs everything to go “well” in his fights and because of that, he doesn’t handle adversity well. RED FLAG!
A lot of money has recently come in on Spivak which makes some sense because he’s fought the better competition. However, I think there are a lot of assumptions being made towards Felipe given the layoff and lack off footage. When there are too many question marks, it’s always just best to pass in my opinion.
Marc Diakiese (-150) vs Rafael Fiziev (+130)
This will undoubtably be a fun one and interesting clash of strong strikers in Diakiese and Fiziev.
Diakiese is a fighter who I think has a pretty high ceiling but one I’ve always been skeptical on. He came into the UFC strong, then hit a 3-fight skid and is now back on a 2-fight win streak. He’s an explosive striker, good kicks and decent wrestling when he decides to go to it. The issue is that everywhere I’ve seen him excel, I’ve also seen him struggle. He’s looked solid in his two most recent fights but over “so-so” competition. Ultimately, the guy is still a question mark to me but if he can harness his full potential, look out lightweight division.
Fiziev is also a bit of a question mark for me, not so much from a stylistic perspective but in terms of his ceiling. He’s a Tiger Muay Thai fighter and one of the head trainers at the main gym in Phuket. He took his first career L in his debut against Mustafaev where he ate nasty spinning hook kick (would drop most guys) and then dismantled Alex White over the course of three rounds. Fiziev is a shorter, compactor guy for the division who is going to come forward. He hits like a truck, kicks like a truck and shown perfect TDD so far in his career. The knock on him is that he can be hittable as well but his chin has largely held up.
This line has bounced around a bit but has held roughly around Diakiese at –150, 60% implied. Why I’m not as confident in Diakiese as the public are in this spot is that I’m not sure he’ll come with the correct game plan here. If this is standup battle for 15 minutes, it’s more of a 50/50 to me. But if Diakiese mixes in his wrestling; albeit, will be a tough task against Fiziev, the line may be more justified. Being that Diakiese is the more tested guy, I capped him only a slight favorite which is why I don’t see much value on either guy here. It’s another fight with a few too many question marks for me.
Jack Hermansson (-110) vs Kelvin Gastelum (-110)
This bout is the one I’m probably most intrigued about on this card from a stylistic perspective.
Hermansson is a fighter that I’ve undervalued a bit historically and wrongfully so. Despite getting finished in his last bout against Cannonier, Hermansson’s looked solid. One doesn’t simply submit David Branch in under a minute and out grapple/out strike Jacare Souza over the course of 25 minutes. Stylistically, his wrestling his good but not great, good BJJ, good top-pressure/control, strikes at a high output, is accurate BUT is very hittable. With that, he’s proven to be a tough out in recent years.
Gastelum has always been an interesting case study to me as I’ve always thought he would be better suited for 170lbs but doesn’t take his diet very seriously. That aside, the guy brings a very well-rounded skillset to the cage. Kelvin’s beat some of the divisions best but when he draws the elite of the elite, he tends to struggle. In fairness, he gave Adesanya one heck of fight. Overall, he’s not a guy opponents can take lightly despite being under-sized.
The line currently sits at pick em as Hermansson money has slowly rolled in throughout the past few weeks. I capped Hermansson as a slight favorite so the line is roughly right around where it should be. The fight really all comes down if Jack can land TDs. That’s not to say that he can’t strike with Gastelum but over the course of 15 minutes, I think he loses there. But, if Jack can land TDs and get solid top time, he should be able to take two rounds of the fight. If you got in on Hermansson early at around +120, I think that’s where the value was but at current price, that value is gone and would recommend you stay away.
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