Between today and October 4th there are five UFC events, which makes it seem like the Octagon’s next stop in Stockholm, Sweden is much further away than just a month, but such is life in the 2014 world of MMA. Although it used to be commonplace, it’s a bit dangerous opening up a full slate of lines a month out from a card, as we’ve seen how wholesale changes can be in a very short period of time. That said, perhaps the sheer amount of Swedish and European fighters who are getting a chance to compete close to home will keep the changes to a minimum on this event. I say “minimum” because we’ve already seen one big switch in the co-main event. Chan Sung Jung was forced out of his co-main event bout with Akira Corassani, but the UFC was able to quickly tap Max Holloway as a replacement, coming off of his impressive performance against Clay Collard just over a week ago. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting line for that recently changed bout, as well as the UFC Fight Night 53 undercard today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3pm ET) Gunnar Nelson -350 Rick Story +250 Max Holloway -475 Akira Corassani +325 Ilir Latifi -230 Jan Blachowicz +170 Niklas Backstrom -705 Mike Wilkinson +435 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 12pm ET) Magnus Cedenblad -140 Scott Askham +100 Nico Musoke -230 Alexander Yakovlev +170 Dennis Siver -260 Robert Whiteford +180 Cathal Pendred -130 Gasan Umalatov -110 Krzysztof Jotko -140 Tor Troeng +100 Mairbek Taisumov -215 Marcin Bandel +165 Zubaira Tukhugov -210 Ernest Chavez +160 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I thought the Korean Zombie was way overvalued against Corassani coming off of a year layoff due to injury, and taking into account the fact that he’s a very straight forward fighter, whereas Corassani uses excellent lateral movement. I was certainly thinking about a wager on Corassani in excess of +350. I doubt I’ll be playing Akira in this new spot however. Max Holloway won’t be stuck in first gear because of someone moving around against him. Clay Collard and Andre Fili both move around the cage a great deal, and Holloway did well against both men once he got his timing down. It’s very likely that Corassani will win the first round of this fight — as Holloway still remains a slow starter — but the Hawaiian could be worth a look after round one if live betting is offered on this bout. He should pick up the late rounds in this fight, or find himself yet another late stoppage. Scott Askham has a nice record coming into this fight, but I’ve really not been impressed by his game watching him come up through Cage Warriors and BAMMA. His best attribute is his clinch striking, but aside from that he doesn’t offer much at range or on the mat (although he usually ends up in top position in his bouts). Against Magnus Cedenbald, he’s going to be up against a middleweight who is just as long as him, but has better overall skills. I like Cedenblad a decent amount in this fight, and while his propensity to pull guard for his guillotine worries me in terms of losing rounds, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him grab that guillotine for the win here. Nico Musoke should simply be better than Alexander Yakovlev everywhere in this fight. Yakovlev survived 15 minutes against Demian Maia (most of which he spent mounted), and that may have people thinking he’s a bit better than he is. This is still the guy who was absolutely terrified of Paul Daley on the feet, and completely inept at defending takedowns or passes from Maia. Granted, those two are both better in their best areas than Musoke, but he has the well-rounded skills to beat Yakovlev standing or on the ground. If Musoke is available under -200, I like it as a parlay leg, and under -150 I’d feel comfortable playing straight. Dennis Siver is in the danger zone for when we start to see big declines in lighter weight fighters (he’s 35). Couple that with him coming off a ten-month layoff due to a drug suspension, and it’s hard to say what we’ll get from him in this bout. Robert Whiteford’s judo background could help him stay off his back (where Siver has done much of his work at 145). Yet even if that’s the case, the German has a better striking arsenal. I expect Siver to win, but I also think it will be closer than bettors anticipate and I certainly don’t trust Siver with my money here. Pedred/Umalatov is extremely close, as both guys are grinding type grapplers. Both guys still need a lot of work in all aspects of their games, and I’ve been back and forth as to who to pick. Pendred shouldn’t be undersized like he was against Mike King at middleweight, which is a positive for him, but his wrestling isn’t phenomenal and his striking is probably his worst attribute. Umalatov might be a bit better in the striking and wrestling departments, but Pendred probably has the edge in intangibles. While I only slightly lean to Umalatov in the fight from my preliminary analysis, I definitely think the bout goes the distance, so that could end up in a parlay. Tor Troeng seems to be regressing, which is strange because everyone else out of the Allstars Training Center in Sweden is making big strides. His grappling, which looked good against Adam Cella, and hung in there with Rafael Natal, was terrible against Trevor Smith, as was his cardio. If those areas aren’t significantly better against Jotko, he’s going to add another loss to his record. Jotko isn’t going to end up a title challenger at middleweight or anything, but he’s solid in all areas. His takedown defense is sound, his striking will be busier than Troeng’s, and he may even get a takedown or two of his own. To mean, this fight has Jotko decision written all over it, but given a pick em price I’d probably just play it straight. Poland has seen some very dangerous grapplers emerge lately, and Marcin Bandel is no exception. His last 11 wins have all come via first-round submission, and six have been by heel hook. That kind of aggressive grappling can give anyone trouble, but what happens to him if he doesn’t find the early sub? Mairbek Taisumov will try to use his takedown defense to avoid the ground at all costs here, but Michel Prazeres was able to take him down repeatedly in his last bout, so the path to victory for Bandel is certainly there. There are simply too many questions about Bandel to feel safe betting on (or against him), but if expanded props are offered for this bout, the ‘Bandel in Round 1’ and ‘Bandel By Submission’ props are worth taking a look at if they offer decent numbers. Zubaira Tukhugov’s bout with a clearly unready Douglas Silva was way too competitive for my liking. Against a significantly better fighter in Ernest Chavez (although nobody expected him to show much in his UFC career), I just think he’s going to be outworked. Chavez is the type of fighter that people just don’t want to face. He’s not great in any area, but he’s decent everywhere and he’s a nuisance who doesn’t seem to go away. I think he outlasts Tukhugov similarly to what he did against Yosdenis Cedeno and comes away with a win.