UFC 226: Miocic vs. Cormier
Date: July 7
Arena: T-Mobile Center
City: Las Vegas, NV
Here are my plays…
Heavyweight bout: Francis Ngannou (-365) vs. Derrick Lewis (+305)
Gabe’s Thoughts: Simply put, I think this heavyweight showdown is a lot closer than the betting odds suggest. While I do think that Ngannou by T/KO is the most likely outcome, I could see Lewis winning this fight by T/KO or decision. At +305, I think he is the right side for a play.
Gabe’s Call: Ngannou by T/KO (strikes, 1:07 round 1)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Lewis (+305)
Lightweight bout: Michael Chiesa (-165) vs. Anthony Pettis (+145)
Gabe’s Thoughts: Contrary to popular opinion, I favor Pettis to get his hand raised in this matchup, thus I think he holds value at his current underdog price of +145, though I am not personally locking the bet in yet, as I expect the public will continue to drive up the line. This fight, like any other in MMA, will start out on the feet, where I believe Pettis has a massive advantage. In order to get his hand raised, I believe that not only does Chiesa have to take him down, but he needs to be able to pull off his famed rear naked choke submission. He would have to do that within the first two rounds, because he has a history of gassing after two rounds. I am not convinced Chiesa will be able to take Pettis down, but if he does, I don’t like his chances of submitting him. I think Pettis can knock Chiesa out early in this fight or outpoint him on the scorecards. If Chiesa is able to find success with his wrestling, then I think he will be gassed out in the third round, where Pettis will stop his takedowns and put him away. I am going against the grain here and picking Pettis to get back in the winner’s circle on July 7th.
Gabe’s Call: Pettis by T/KO (strikes, 3:33 round 3)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Pettis (+145)
Lightweight bout: Gokhan Saki (-165) vs. Khalil Rountree (+145)
Gabe’s Thoughts: Anything could happen in the first round of this contest, but if the fight makes it to the second round, then I think it’s Rountree’s to lose. I see Rountree stopping Saki in the second round., though I think a first round finish by either fighter is a likely outcome, as well.
Gabe’s Call: Rountree by T/KO (strikes, 1:44 round 2)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Rountree (+145)