UFC 182: Betting Q & Anik

Q & Anik is a new article featured exclusively at MMAOddsBreaker.com that goes 5 rounds with UFC commentator Jon Anik offering his betting tips and picks on some of the biggest UFC cards of the year. UFCUltimateInsiderJohnAnik_051_crop_north1st Round Q: UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is the smallest favorite of his entire MMA career (he was an underdog in his first two bouts in the organization). How much respect are oddsmakers giving former heavyweight Daniel Cormier, who remains unbeaten overall but is somewhat untested at 205 pounds? Anik: I think at first glance you sort of have to try to figure out why Las Vegas is giving so much respect to Daniel Cormier, why the oddsmakers are giving him so much respect when Jon Jones hasn’t been priced in this range in probably three or four years. And I think a lot of it as we’ve discussed has to do with not just Cormier’s dominance, but the fact that he’s done it primarily as a heavyweight. The fact that we do have an example of him going 25 hard minutes with one of the best heavyweights of all-time – going at him non-stop – in Josh Barnett. He’s fought 31 Mixed Martial Arts rounds, he’s 31-0. Most of those rounds have happened against qualified heavyweights. Granted, maybe they’re on the wrong side of their prime, Frank Mir and Josh Barnett and Roy Nelson. He hasn’t lost a round. He’s barely lost 30 seconds of a fight. He’s an outstanding athlete, he’s a physical freak. I know a lot of people who train with him who say, “you don’t realize how good he is until you feel him in the gym.” I think that strength is something that he is absolutely going to have to lean on here. But as you know, I’m somebody who already considers Jon Jones the greatest of all-time based upon his strength of schedule, his method of victory. He is just a monster unlike anything we have ever seen inside a Mixed Martial Arts cage. And to me, if you can get him anywhere below -190, I just think there’s so much value on that side of things. When I’m outlining scenarios where Daniel Cormier wins, I think he’s going to have to beat Jon Jones over 25 minutes. I think he’s going to have to out-point him. I think he’s going to have to take him down at least once a round. The whole fight to me hinges upon whether or not Cormier is able to keep Jon Jones down. I do think at some point DC will be able to get him there. I don’t think he’s going to be able to keep Jones down for an extended period of time. And when the fight is contested in the stand-up, I think there’s a technical advantage for Jon Jones. I think he has many more weapons, I think his mechanics are better. So much of Mixed Martial Arts success is predicated upon unpredictability, and Jon Jones is about as unpredictable as it gets, and every weapon seems to be sharpening with every passing fight. The other thing I would say is just the whole motivation factor. This is not a guy you want to give extra motivation to, and clearly Daniel with the preamble leading up this fight has given Jon Jones extra motivation. I expect to see the best Jon Jones. 2nd Round Q: Stylistically, how big of a factor do you think DC’s wrestling can be in this title bout against Jones? While DC obviously has an Olympic background and has a lot of experience beating heavier guys, isn’t Jones still a matchup nightmare for him and the more well-rounded MMA fighter overall? Anik: I think that the fight definitely could hinge upon Cormier’s ability to take Jon Jones down consistently and keep him there. But to me, I think Jon Jones is sort of this perpetually underrated wrestler. And if he had focused on wrestling before transitioning to MMA, this is a guy who when he wanted to be an elite wrestler, he was an elite wrestler. So in terms of the MMA application of wrestling, I think they’re a lot closer in that department than a lot of other people do. I also think they’re closer in the strength department than a lot of other people do. I think Jones is deceptively strong. We talk so much about his frame and his athleticism and his length and his reach, we don’t realize how strong he is. He’s also made a career of beating guys at their own game. If you’ve read some of his comments leading up to this one, he feels like the whole wrestling community is rooting for Cormier and going against him. I think he’s got something to prove. You know Jon Jones after what he said, he wants to take Daniel Cormier down. And I think he’s probably going to be able to do so. I think Jon is smart enough to not deviate too much from what his game plan or strategy is going in. But he does need to be careful against a guy like Cormier. I guess I just feel like give me the 27-year-old with the huge length advantage in his prime over the 35-year-old who really has maximized his utility. The other thing too is, Cormier has never fought under bright lights quite like this. He had a lot of pressure on him in the fight against Patrick Cummins because he was a massive favorite, short notice, he had everything to lose that night. This night, he has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But I’m not sure he sees it that way. I think he does put pressure on himself and feels like he does have everything to lose. He also knows that he’s going to have to beat Jon Jones twice. If he beats this guy, there’s a great chance they run it back for an immediate rematch. I’m really curious to see how it plays out, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t really surprised that Jon Jones isn’t a bigger betting favorite. 3rd Round Q: In the co-main event, undefeated lightweight contender Myles Jury faces the toughest opponent of his young career in 31-year-old veteran Donald Cerrone. The 26-year-old Jury has never fought anyone close to the same caliber of Cerrone, who will be fighting for the fifth time in the last 12 months. Does the eighth-ranked Jury have a shot at pulling off the upset as an underdog against fourth-ranked Cerrone? Anik: I always say when we talk about Donald Cerrone that I’m not rushing to the window with someone else’s money to try to bet against that guy because he really has a flair for rising to the occasion in these big spots. He’s just a completely different fighter than he was three or four years ago. We’ve seen just great strides made when it comes to his takedown defense, his wrestling, even his boxing defense. I feel like he’s moving his head better, his footwork is getting better. So this is a prime Donald Cerrone, he has never been better. The Eddie Alvarez performance I think proved a lot of things to any naysayers that he had. But Myles Jury, he is very much a three-dimensional guy without many glaring weaknesses. I feel like Eric Del Fierro might be the best cornerman in the game, and I think that’s a big advantage. Obviously, Greg Jackson is right there with him, and he’s going to be in the other corner. But I just feel like Myles is just wise beyond his years, and a guy who I really think is willing to stick to a game plan. He knows exactly what it’s going to take to beat Donald Cerrone. And I think he’s going to try to take him down at least once in a round and punish him when he does get there. He’s got to get a lot of things done in the counter-striking department as well. I’m pretty familiar with Myles Jury obviously from the live season of The Ultimate Fighter, and he was clearly a guy upon whom a lot of expectations were placed. He ran into Al Iaquinta, who was an eventual finalist there. My big thing that I look at is just the level of competition. When you break down Myles Jury, I think his best win was probably two years ago against Michael Johnson, at least in terms of the most qualified opponent that he has fought. Donald Cerrone has – for the last five or six years – been fighting the best lightweights in the world every time out. I think that definitely, in terms of strength of schedule, there’s an advantage for Donald Cerrone, in terms of high-profile fights. So I understand why he’s placed there. But to me, you’re getting an undefeated fighter in his prime at +155, +160. I think there’s definitely value on Myles Jury. And I do believe eventually Myles Jury’s going to find his way into a UFC title fight at some point. 4th Round Q: A battle of two middleweights desperate for a victory will also take place on the main card with Brad Tavares meeting Nate Marquardt in essentially a Pick’em fight. Tavares has lost two straight following a 12-1 start while Marquardt has dropped two of three in the UFC and three of four overall. Who wins? Anik: I’m hoping that we see a different Brad Tavares here. The one knock on him when he compiled that five-fight winning streak, all of the wins were by decision. Four of them were by unanimous decision, they were all fairly dominant victories. But he hasn’t had that killer instinct. And that’s what I think he needs in this spot. To me, when you have a Pick’em fight, I will always look at the guy who’s more likely to get the finish. When you look at Nate Marquardt’s body of work, I think Marquardt is more likely to get the finish. But I really think you’re going to get desperate-type performance out of Brad Tavares having lost his last two fights. Again, he is the younger fighter, he is the guy who is much closer to his prime. We saw Nate Marquardt turn the clock back his last time out in that main event spot against James Te Huna, but you’re not going to out-cardio Brad Tavares. I’m looking for more output from Tavares this time around. I think that’s really what has plagued him. Sometimes he’s sort of been content in there to just score points and win rounds without really having that look of somebody who wants to take you out. If Tavares has a different look about him and is trying to take Marquardt out, then maybe I would lean in that direction with him as a slight dog. But to me, when I see a Pick’em fight, I’m always looking at the finisher. And I think Nate Marquardt has proven to be more of a finisher than the Hawaiian. 5th Round Q: Are there any underdogs on the entire UFC 182 card that you think are worth wagering on? Or is there a parlay you would recommend that offers comparable value with so many big favorites on the board? Anik: I feel like a lot of people see value in that -200 to -260 range. Paul Felder really is an exciting young fighter and an undefeated fighter. But to me, I think Danny Castillo’s probably some good parlay fodder. You’re not going to beat him cardiovascularly. And even though he’s 35 years old, to me, he fights like a guy who’s 27, 28 years old. So I would be looking to maybe throw Danny Castillo in a parlay or two. I think he will out-point Paul Felder, if not finish him, and hand him his first loss. I feel like Hector Lombard is one of the top four welterweights in the world. I really think he’s on a collision course with Rory MacDonald or Robbie Lawler or Johny Hendricks. I look at those four, with all due respect to Tyron Woodley and Matt Brown, as the top four in the welterweight division. But at -800, -1000, I just think those are very prohibitive. I love Kyoji Horiguchi, I really think this is one of the better fighters to come out of Japan in years. But again, at that price? I think maybe Horiguchi, Lombard and Castillo, I think those are as close to slam dunks as we have on the card. So maybe try to tie those three together and see if you can get it to pay you -130 or something like that. I think those three are pretty safe bets. Overall, I don’t think it’s a great betting card. I think if you can find some value on that Tavares-Marquardt fight, I would look in that direction. And then as I said at the outset, I don’t think you’re going to be able to get Jon Jones in this (price range again). I think if Jon Jones rematches Alexander Gustafsson, he’ll be priced at like -260. Public perception I think differs a little bit as to who’s the more legitimate threat for Jones, Gustafsson in the second fight or Cormier here. But I can almost guarantee you that you’re not going to get Jon Jones at this price for his next fight. So if you do believe in Jon Jones the way I do, I think this is the time to take the plunge. Disclaimer: Mr. Anik is contractually prevented from wagering on UFC events. His betting tips and picks posted here are for information and entertainment purposes only.

Written by Matty

Leave a Reply

Evan Dunham vs Rodrigo Damm – UFC 182 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick

UFC 182 Fight Breakdown: Alexis Dufresne vs. Marion Reneau