UFC 190 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: UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey will step into the Octagon in Rio as the biggest betting favorite of her MMA career. She is taking on fellow unbeaten fighter Bethe Correia, who is Brazilian yet could have the fans rooting for the champ instead. Is this title bout even worth betting considering how Rousey seems intent on making Correia her eighth first-round victim in 12 fights? Anik: One question I like to ask, is that if Ronda Rousey wasn’t in the picture, would this No. 1 contender be a UFC champion? And when it comes to Cat Zingano or Miesha Tate or Julianna Pena, who I think will eventually get a title shot, those women are of a championship quality if Ronda Rousey wasn’t in the mix. I don’t necessarily see Bethe Correia as being cut from that same cloth. When I look at her, despite the undefeated record, what I’ve seen inside the Octagon – I’ve called one of her fights – she just doesn’t look the part of future champion. As Ronda Rousey has suggested, there’s something very powerful about being an undefeated fighter. The confidence that you bring with you inside the Octagon, I do think that counts for something. But in this matchup, I just think there are so many things working against (Correia), she’s not better than Ronda Rousey anywhere. There’s a massive athletic discrepancy and an even bigger speed discrepancy. Everything Ronda does inside the Octagon, she does faster than Bethe Correia does it, and she does it better than Correia does it. Now what kind of improvements has Bethe Correia made since August 30th of 2014? Probably a lot. That was the last time she fought, which could be another thing working against her in my opinion. She’s staring at an 11-month layoff here.  She only turned pro just over three years ago, so despite being 32 years old, she’s still relatively green in the MMA game. And her last win came against a very past her prime Shayna Baszler. Granted, she finished her, but that was 11 months ago. I (also) called her UFC debut, she got a lot of things done that night, I liked her physicality, I liked her counter-striking ability when she beat Julie Kedzie by split decision in what was Kedzie’s retirement fight. It was a very close fight. Should have probably finished Jessamyn Duke last April and then was able to finish Baszler. But with all due respect to her past opposition, nobody here is even close to Ronda Rousey. I’ve been searching all week, trying to outline a scenario where Bethe Correia can win this fight, and I don’t see it. One other thing that I think is important to point out…Ronda called for this fight in Bethe Correia’s backyard. And in Bethe Correia’s backyard, Ronda’s going to probably have the crowd as well. I do like Correia’s confidence, but I hope that she recognizes that it’s going to be a pretty humbling experience to not only fight an opponent of Rousey’s prowess, but to also be in Brazil and not have the crowd in her favor. I just think she has an avalanche of things working against her. So my prediction is Ronda by first-round stoppage. That said, I do see some value on Rousey to get a finish in the second round at +515 because I would be absolutely floored, completely stunned if we saw a third round. But I do think as much as a 16-second win can be humiliating to the opposition, I also think that Rousey really wants to beat her down. You’ve got to be careful keeping anybody around, but if Ronda does what she says she is going to do – try to embarrass Bethe – then maybe you see a second round and the finish comes early in Round 2. I expect the fight to be high-octane while it lasts but from a betting perspective, this main event screams stay away and just enjoy Rousey’s greatness 2nd Round Q: Assuming Rousey takes care of Correia as easily as the oddsmakers suggest, who’s next for the champ, and who has the best chance of handing her that first loss at some point in the near future? Miesha Tate seems to be next in line for a third fight against her following a dominant performance against Jessica Eye last week, but is there somebody else out there that you think poses a real threat? Anik: A lot has changed when it comes to Miesha Tate in the midst of this four-fight winning streak. (Trainer) Robert Follis has been huge in her corner, not just on fight night, with just how calm and concise he is with his directions. But how seemingly coachable she has become under his guidance. Miesha has bounced around a little bit and she really has a fight home now in Las Vegas. And I think you’ve seen a lot of mental and physical maturity, obviously much was made of her improved strength and conditioning on the broadcast last weekend. I think it’s very evident when you look at Miesha inside the Octagon. Based upon what she’s accomplished she’s hard to deny but I’m just not sure a third fight with Rousey is going to go any differently for her. That’s why I look at someone like Julianna Pena, most people think she’s got to get at least one more victory. But again, as you and I have talked about in the past, I always say that if I had to pick one woman on this Earth to beat Ronda Rousey to save my kid’s life, I’m plucking Julianna Pena and not Cyborg necessarily, which may surprise some people. I would have liked Cyborg a couple years ago, now I just don’t see it. It’s interesting, I think that part of them would like to strike while the iron is hot when it comes to Rousey-Tate III, because even though public perception differs as to how competitive that fight would be, that is as billable a fight as they have in that division with Cyborg not in the picture. But the Cyborg fight needs to be made here in relative short order, and maybe it ends up being a fight that is at a catchweight of 140 pounds, and it’s not for the title. I also think Holly Holm is on the short list as well and deservedly so. That’s potentially a very interesting fight for Rousey. But the one thing I always come back to with Ronda Rousey, is the competitor. She might be the best competitor in the UFC. And because of that, I think she doesn’t want to live her life and hear anybody say that she ducked or dodged Cyborg at any point in time. She is confident enough that she can beat Cyborg, so she doesn’t want to have to live with the fact that the fight didn’t happen for one reason or another. I eventually expect that Rousey will sign on the dotted line and fight Cyborg up five pounds at 140 if need be. Because she’s such a competitive person that she wants to prove to the world that she’s not ducking anybody. And if she needs to go up five pounds to make her statement against Cyborg, so be it. I do think the weight is an issue. Obviously, if the UFC really wanted that Cyborg fight to happen next, I think they could compel Ronda. And as I said, the competitor in her is such that I don’t think she would hesitate in a second. But I do think there are still some variables. Cyborg is not making 135 pounds. So then what do you do? Do you make it a non-title fight? That’s the issue. Then if Cyborg happens to beat the champion up five pounds, which to a lot of people doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to people in the fight game they know how big of a deal it is. Then what do you do? I think the weight unfortunately is a big issue. But I think in two or three years when Ronda has really cleaned out this division, maybe she’s taken out Miesha a third time, Julianna Pena, Holly Holm. Maybe that fight gets made, but time is definitely of the essence. Two years ago, I might have picked Cyborg to beat Ronda. Now I think Rousey’s probably a -500 favorite. 3rd Round Q: The co-main event pits two struggling Brazilian light heavyweights against each other in a rematch of their epic PRIDE fight from 10 years ago. What can bettors look for from Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira this time around since their best days are definitely behind both of them? Anik: I think what’s tricky with a lot of the fights on this UFC 190 main card is that on both sides there’s so many question marks with these fighters, so you’re just not racing to the window to plop your money down on any of these guys. Shogun Rua’s a 2-to-1 favorite over Rogerio Nogueira I think because he has more ways to win, he’s a more diverse striker. He’s certainly the more powerful, proven finisher, but he’s lost four of his last five. The Ovince Saint Preux fight only lasted 34 seconds, so I don’t know that I want to put too much stock in it except for the fact that Shogun just is not absorbing damage the way he used to be able to. Shogun is 3-6 since losing the belt to Jon Jones, 33rd professional fight, there’s just a ton of miles on the tank. What’s most interesting about this fight obviously is that 10 years ago these guys fought in PRIDE, it was the consensus Fight of the Year. I’ve gone back and watched it since and it was just incredible action. I think what some people lose sight of when it comes to Shogun, two months after that fight he finished Alistair Overeem and Ricardo Arona with punches on the same night to win the PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix. It was one of the greatest runs in MMA history. You can’t tell the history of modern-day MMA without Shogun Rua. I was pretty impressed actually with Little Nog in the win over Rashad Evans at UFC 156. Very close fight there. But you’re still talking about a guy who’s had two fights since 2011. So I wouldn’t expect bettors to go anywhere near a guy who has been that inactive, and I think the price on Shogun Rua is a little bit prohibitive. Definitely a lean to Shogun Rua to get it done inside the distance, but this fight is just not one that I can really feel confident giving any betting advice on for either side. 4th Round Q: Besides the main event, there is a more intriguing women’s bout on the UFC 190 card as Jessica Aguilar makes her highly-anticipated UFC debut against Brazil’s top strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha. Aguilar was the World Series of Fighting champ at 115 pounds and seems to be undervalued quite a bit versus Gadelha. MMAOB’s own Frank Trigg once told me Aguilar was the best women’s strawweight fighter in the world. So what are your thoughts on this matchup from a betting perspective? Anik: I’d be surprised if you could find any MMA expert who would tell you that price on Gadelha isn’t at least a little bit bloated. Of course she’s the No. 1 ranked strawweight, went toe-to-toe with (champ) Joanna Jedrzejczyk, which no one has been able to do since. Candidly, I think a rematch between Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha would probably be a bit more one-sided for the current champion. I just think she has improved tremendously since that fight. But Frank Trigg is not the only one who has long believed that Jessica Aguilar is the best strawweight in the world and she was at one time. She’s won 10 fights in a row, she has a great chance to prove here worth here because everyone is high on Gadelha. Aguilar is a very good, opportunistic grappler. Gadelha can really do it all…she just hasn’t been dominant in the UFC. Obviously, she’s had a lot of hype and a lot of pressure coming in, but I just don’t think Gadelha should be a near -500 favorite against really anybody in that Top 10. I do wonder for Jessica Aguilar making her UFC debut – doing so in Brazil – there are definitely some variables that she’ll be dealing with, but definite value in the blue corner, even if she isn’t my outright pick. 5th Round Q: Finally, are there a couple fighters that you really like and would parlay together for UFC 190? Anik: I would look at a two-leg parlay, two guys in the blue corner. Clint Hester against Vitor Miranda, and I would throw him in with Patrick Cummins against Feijao. It’s a great time to be betting Patrick Cummins, in my opinion. I was surprised at the Ovince Saint Preux fight, I really was. And I thought it’d be good to back Cummins his next time out, which is here versus Feijao. Given his amateur wrestling credentials and given how well his wrestling game translates to MMA, I think he’s going to be a real tough out for a lot of guys in this division. He’s ranked 14 right now, I think eventually he’s a guy who finds his way into the Top 10. I think there are a lot of light heavyweights right now in the Top 10 that I would favor Patrick Cummins to beat. No denying Feijao’s strength and power, but give me the wrestler here. And I thought Clint Hester would be well north of -200 in this spot. Just a tremendous athlete, he certainly will have the power edge here. So I think Hester and Cummins are very, very reasonably priced, and if you throw them together, you’re looking at plus-money there. I would look at a Hester-Cummins 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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