We’re on the heels of UFC Fight Island 4 where Holly Holm put together a phenomenal performance over Irene Aldana. We now turn to UFC Fight Island 5; a main event in which holds title implications between Marlon Moraes and Cory Sandhagen.
First time reading this piece? I go through 3 fights on the upcoming UFC card that you should avoid from a betting perspective and the reasoning why. As bettors, we’re constantly looking to find our betting opportunities but identifying those spots to stay away are just as important.
**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 betting perspective.
Let’s jump into it!
Giga Chikadze is looking to improve to 4-0 in the UFC and Omar Morales is aiming to keep is undefeated record.
This is one of the fights on the card I’m most intrigued about. We have two, solid kickboxers squaring off so I largely anticipate this to be a striking affair. I give the aggression and cardio edge to Morales but I give the range game edge to Chikadze. A big factor in some of Chikadze close fights have been partially attributed to opponents going to the wrestling and making Chikadze work there. I just don’t think you can trust Morales to be shooting TDs. With that, I do think we see Chikadze display some better cardio. But overall, I think both guys will have success in the striking exchanges and this fight should prove to be a close one.
Assuming we see no wrestling/grappling in this fight, if you’re backing either fighter, you’re assuming they’ll get the better of the striking exchanges. In saying that, I think there is a solid case for either fighter in that sense. The issue is from a betting perspective in a fight that should prove to be close, you’re not getting enough value on either fighter to justify a bet.
I’d sit back and enjoy the violence in this one!
Edson Barboza (-260) vs Makwan Amirkhani (+220)
Edson Barboza is looking to get out of a rough patch in his career and Makwan Amirkhani is seeking his 7th UFC win.
This is another fight that I have a lot of intrigue in from a stylistic perspective. It’s fair to say that Barboza has struggled with grinding-based fighters which Makwan is. But it’s also fair to say that Makwan has struggled with strong-strikers as well which Barboza is. So to me, the fight comes down to a few things. First, how much wrestling success does Makwan have and can he finish Barboza? Secondly, in an extended fight, can Makwan avoid getting sparked? Makwan usually comes out very strong in the first round but really tires after that 5-minute mark. If he gasses, I feel Makwan is a very big liability on the feet against a guy like Barboza. But if he can consistently close distance and stay on Barboza’s legs, he’s got a good shot at an upset. I’m just not convinced he’ll be able to survive any extended, range striking exchanges.
I can’t hate on anyone taking the shot on Makwan here as I think he’s the side if you are to bet this fight. But for me, there still isn’t enough value on him to take that shot. I think you should require a bigger plus number closer to that +300 mark with the explosive nature of Barboza. On the other side though, I really can’t advocate a bet on Barboza here. It’s just one of those fights of who’s really able to get off on their game.
I’d save your money pre-fight and maybe look to live-bet this one.
Ben Rothwell (-160) vs Marcin Tybura (+140)
Ben Rothwell is looking to extend his winning streak to 3, along with is opponent Marcin Tybura.
This is my last fight that I really want no part of. I see Rothwell having a lot of success with his straight shots behind Tybura legs kicks. But Tybura could just come forward, spam volume and get some cage push time as well. Historically, when Tybura has been able to extended success is when he’s able to mix in his wrestling. I don’t think he’s going to be able to do that against Rothwell and even if he does, he’s playing with a bit of fire on the ground with Rothwell. In recent years, Rothwell hasn’t been subbing guys left and right but he’s one of a handful of heavyweights with a good BJJ acumen. So largely I see this being a standing affair with Rothwell eating all of Tybura’s shots, while going forward and winning on the cards. But a KO from Rothwell I think is in play as well as Tybura isn’t the most durable guy in the world.
I think the line is roughly where it should be. Rothwell just isn’t the kind of guy I would want to back at current chalk and given the stylistic matchup, it’s a tough one for Tybura in my opinion. It’s one of those fights where I think either guy has the potential of looking like a decent favorite or we could be looking at a split decision.
Given that, I’d stay away and let the big boys duke it out.
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