UFC 186 Betting Q & Anik

Q & Anik is an article featured exclusively at MMAOddsBreaker.com that goes five 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_north 1st Round Q: What does Kyoji Horiguchi bring to the table that could give UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson problems compared to other contenders who have tried to take his title belt away? Anik: Well, I think it speaks to DJ’s greatness that he’s getting this type of respect from the oddsmakers once again because Kyoji Horiguchi doesn’t deserve to be +650 against anyone. That said, at almost whatever price with Horiguchi, it’s hard to sort of recommend even throwing $10 against Demetrious Johnson. It just seems like a losing proposition. I will say though, (Horiguchi) is a counter-puncher, he’s very fast. He’s extremely powerful. He has undeniable knockout power, which, as you well know is not running rampant across this flyweight division. But I just think that, more often than not – when you fight DJ – you’re not only on the wrong end of the speed equation, but you might be on the wrong end of the power equation, too. The public perception is that Horiguchi has more one-punch, fight-ending power. But I’m really not so sure that’s the case. In this era where we’re seeing guys becoming all-time greats like Jon Jones and Jose Aldo, DJ is inching into that class. I think he and Matt Hume, who is a master strategist, might be the best 1-2 punch in the game when it comes to fighter and coach. We interviewed DJ on our podcast last week, and he’s very much involved in that process of breaking down film and trying to pick on his opponents’ weaknesses. And what he has said about this fight is that because of the nature of Horiguchi’s style – he’d like to control the distance, he’d like to counter-punch – that DJ’s going to have to be the aggressor, which is obviously no problem for him. So I expect Johnson to be the guy that’s moving forward. I would expect this to be a takedown-heavy fight. One of my favorite stats is that DJ and Georges St-Pierre are the only two fighters in UFC history with 10 or more takedowns in at least two UFC fights. So I expect the game plan for DJ to be takedown-heavy, but I also think he can hurt Horiguchi on the feet. I’m really excited for this challenge because maybe unlike some past guys who I’ve seen DJ in this price range against, the guy he’s fighting really does have undeniable knockout power. I’m excited to see what Horiguchi can do with the opportunity. Japanese fighters are 0-5 in title fights in the UFC. Horiguchi has outstruck every opponent thus far in the Octagon, he’s won eight in a row. He certainly has earned the title shot. But again, you’re talking about perhaps the best guy in the world in the red corner. So to me, I don’t think really there’s any obvious betting involvement. I would just maybe look at a prop for this one not going the distance and go in that direction. 2nd Round Q: In your opinion, who is the No. 1 contender at flyweight who could challenge Johnson right now? Is it John Dodson or somebody like Henry Cejudo, an Olympian wrestler who has won a gold medal? Anik: I really think that when Dodson and Johnson fought the first time, Dodson fought Johnson tougher in this title run than anybody else. And were it not for those devastating clinch strikes of Demetrious Johnson, maybe Dodson wouldn’t have faded to such a great extent in rounds four and five. I believe when you look at this flyweight division, the fight that everybody wants to see is Demetrious Johnson against John Dodson, somebody who really can match a lot of the dynamic qualities that DJ brings to the table. I think it’s appropriate that you bring up Henry Cejudo and inject him into the conversation, (but) what’s working against him is just that he’s getting into the game fairly late, and DJ just gets better every fight. DJ is just so acutely aware of the fact that it can all go away so quickly, and he knows that one little mistake could take everything that’s he’s worked so hard for. So he really sort of prides himself on not making mistakes. He goes in there and tries to not get hit at all, and more often than not, he really doesn’t get hit clean and flush. I do think that Cejudo, given his wrestling pedigree and his physicality, is an intriguing name maybe 18 to 24 months down the line. But right now, the fight I think for a lot of people with all due respect to Horiguchi is Johnson-Dodson 2. A lot of it has to do with the calendar and injuries, but given the fact that these fights are taking place within a month of each other (Dodson returns on May 23rd against Zach Makovsky), then maybe you’re looking at September or October for the rematch between Dodson and Demetrious Johnson. 3rd Round Q: From a betting perspective, what do you think about the situation with Rampage Jackson, who recently saw the court injunction blocking his return to the UFC lifted? Will he be ready to fight Fabio Maldonado? Anik: I think you have to assume that Rampage kept himself in shape in the event that he got the injunction. Now, you couple that with the fact that, because of the relatively short notice, it’ll be fought at a catch weight so he doesn’t have to cut as much weight, and I think he could be even stronger. All of that said, with Maldonado’s chin and just his recent activity and success, I’m not going near Rampage in that -300 range. Maldonado really attacks the body beautifully but is also very adept at going upstairs to the head. And we all know he can take a shot with the best of them. So it is not my expectation that Rampage Jackson is going to come out and finish Fabio Maldonado. I think he’s going to have to grind him down for 15 minutes, and I think he’s going to have to mix it up, which I don’t think he’s necessarily inclined to do. First fight in the UFC for Rampage in more than two years, and even though he has fought in the interim, it’s a different ballgame. I think Maldonado, prior to the Stipe Miocic fight, was really an intriguing name at 205 pounds. So I guess if I had to lean in one direction, it would be Maldonado in that +240 range. I might be inclined to pull the trigger just because of his durability and his output and the ability for him to consistently score points over 15 minutes. But just given the backdrop of this, I’m not racing to the window. 4th Round Q: A featured middleweight bout between UFC veterans Michael Bisping and C.B. Dollaway is somewhat intriguing on an otherwise lackluster Pay-Per-View card, so what are your thoughts on this matchup? Anik: If C.B. Dollaway or Michael Bisping is ever going to realize a UFC middleweight title shot, you can certainly qualify this as a must-win for them. The middleweight division has never been stronger. I think you have three viable No. 1 contenders right now in Vitor Belfort, Luke Rockhold and Jacare Souza. So there’s just not a lot of margin for error at 185 pounds. If these guys want to get into title eliminator-type spots, they’ve really got to have this one. I’m interested to see how this fight plays out because C.B. Dollaway has really improved his striking, specifically his hands.  Unfortunately he didn’t get a chance to showcase it at all against Lyoto Machida. This has been a long wait for him since that quick fight with Lyoto back in December. I think this fight really could hinge on whether or not Dollaway is able to take Michael Bisping down. He said that they have figured out a way they think they can take this thing down consistently. But I don’t love him to out-point Michael Bisping on the feet over 15 minutes. I just wonder for Bisping, at what point are the MMA miles going to catch up with him? Obviously, he’s dealt with the eye injury. I find it exceedingly hard to believe that he’s seeing 20/20 on fight night out of both eyes. All of that said, as a slight favorite in that -140 range, I really like him Saturday night. Few guys can compete with Bisping’s UFC experience, C.B. Dolloway is actually not that far behind. But I saw Bisping a couple weeks ago in LA, I just really like his mindset going into this one. I really like the fight in general and think it has bonus money written all over it. I think it’s a great candidate for Fight of the Night. I just think it’s going to be hard for Dolloway to out-point Bisping over 15 minutes. 5th Round Q: What underdog has the most value on the UFC 186 card, or is there something else worth betting? Anik: I would maybe take a look at Shane Campbell in his 160-pound catchweight bout against John Makdessi. A really nice Muay Thai game and I think he’s more the finisher than Makdessi is. It’s his UFC debut, granted, but he’s 6-feet, got some size over the 5-foot-8-inch John Makdessi, so I might take a flier on Shane Campbell. It’s interesting because when we talk about value in this sport, we often talk about favorites coming through in the -200 to -300 range. There are a few favorites that I really, really like on this card. Randa Markos, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Chad Laprise. So if you throw the three of them together, I think it can pay you close to even money or maybe there’s a little vig. But I like Markos, Aubin-Mercier and Laprise all to hold serve as Canadians at home, so I would look at throwing the three of them together in a parlay. 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

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