UFC 193 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 193 will be the first time ever that the two women’s title belts are on the line the same night in the main and co-main event. That being said, the two champions – bantamweight Ronda Rousey and strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk – are such massive favorites that bettors could have a hard time betting on them. Then again, there could also be a huge payoff by taking either of the two underdogs, Holly Holm against Rousey or Valerie Letourneau versus Jedrzejczyk. Do either of the dogs have a chance? Anik: It’s hard to talk about these types of fights because in one breath you’re talking about how amazing and dominant the champions are, and in another breath you’re sort of cutting down the No. 1 contender. It’s amazing – MMA sort of prides itself on being unpredictable and having underdogs cash and the whole “anything can happen” notion as a mantra for the sport. Yet in these two championship fights, anything can’t happen. Anything is not possible Saturday night. I just don’t see it that way, and I think it’s far more a statement about how dominant these two women are than it is a knock on the level of the competition. As far as Jedrzejczyk is concerned, you can make an argument that she is the best pure striker in the sport, in any division, male or female. That’s how special she is. And she has that requisite mean streak that Ronda Rousey has. When you and I have talked before about high-profile women’s fights and I haven’t necessarily had a lean one way or the other, I’ve said just give me the meaner fighter. Rousey and Jedrzejczyk are going to be the meaner party in most matchups in their divisions. 2nd Round Q: Many fans and bettors know that Holm is a former boxing champion who crossed over into MMA, making her UFC debut a little more than a year ago. But what can you tell them that they don’t know regarding her fighting style and how you think she will approach this bout. And what do you expect? Anik: Holly has finished more with kicks than she has with punches. She’s taller here, she has a three-inch reach advantage. And of course if any bantamweight is capable of controlling distance and trying to use range against Ronda Rousey, it is Holly Holm. I just think the problem is that she’s not that powerful and doesn’t overwhelm you with speed, either. She had Marion Reneau on the ropes, she had broken her rib early, and yet just didn’t have the killer instinct to get Reneau out of there until the final two minutes, when she really picked up the intensity. A lot of people think I’m crazy for saying Holly Holm needs to do something a little bit reckless here if she wants to win. I think 90 percent of the experts tell you she needs to control distance and be conservative. But Ronda’s not going to give her the opportunity to do that. She’ll find a way inside and, in all likelihood, get Holm to the mat rather easily. So to me, is the goal to see a second round with Rousey? Is the goal to extend her, or is the goal to shock the world? Because if the goal is to shock the world, then I’m not convinced some crazy approach that involves racing to the center of the Octagon and throwing a spinning head kick or back-to-back head kicks is a bad idea. I think you’re going to see Holly pawing out that jab, being super conservative, getting on her bike, circling and trying to at least inflict some damage with her jab. But I just don’t see it. I see Rousey winning by first-round submission, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a TKO on the ground, by just hammer-fisting Holm’s face through the canvas or something. 3rd Round Q: I know you’re a big fan of Jedrzejczyk, who like Rousey does not have much competition in her division. What does Letrouneau bring to the table, if anything, and how would you bet this fight? Anik: Valerie Letourneu certainly has improved a lot, (but) there’s a few things working against her here, other than the obvious (the opposition). She’s not necessarily a natural strawweight. Two fights ago against Jessica Rakoczy was her strawweight debut, and it’s not an easy cut for her. I just don’t think, on her best night, that she’s good enough to hang with Jedrzejczyk, never mind beat her. I think it’s a first-round TKO, and that’s why if you’re thinking big picture…a lot of our readers don’t have the gambling options that others do in terms of inside the distance props and knockout props and submission props.  But if you can shop around for props like that and they actually let you parlay props, -200 for Rousey and Jedrzejczyk parlayed together to both finish inside the distance seems like tremendous value and a bet that should be -400. I feel just as good about Jedrzejczyk getting it done early on as I do with Rousey. You’ll certainly be happy after Jedrzejczyk cashes and then all you need is Ronda inside 25 minutes to cash a -200 wager. 4th Round Q: There are also two key heavyweight matchups on the UFC 193 main card in that the winners will remain in title contention while the losers may not last much longer in the organization. What are your thoughts on Mark Hunt vs. Antonio Silva and Stefan Struve vs. Jared Rosholt from a betting perspective? Anik: (Hunt and Silva) have just one win apiece over their last five fights, largely against elite competition. Mark Hunt’s chin is in better shape right now. And had Hunt won his previous fight against Stipe Miocic, he could very well be headlining this stadium show card against Fabricio Werdum for the heavyweight championship. You knew he was going to get a showcase fight on this card, and now I think he just gets a more winnable one. I think his current form is better than Bigfoot’s, even though on paper he doesn’t have the results that he would like of late. I’m just not sure you can back Silva with everything he has had to deal with late in his career; the head surgery, the whole testosterone replacement therapy ban. And then obviously having his chin tested and fail to hold up against Frank Mir, most recently. It was nice to see him come back against Soa Palelei, but I just don’t see it here. As far as value, Hunt at -265 certainly doesn’t scream value to me given the fact that a heavyweight can knock out the other on any given Saturday night. So to me, I think you have to look at a Mark Hunt prop inside the distance or maybe try to find another favorite to parlay him with. But I definitely have a strong lean on the Hunt side there at home. I certainly see value on Stefan Struve, though. Jared Rosholt is a credentialed wrestler, and his wrestling game has translated fairly well to MMA. But he’s just not finishing anyone, and he really left a little bit to be desired his last fight out against Timothy Johnson. He won the fight but just really didn’t look good doing it. I think a lot of fans after that fight said they were more looking forward to Timothy Johnson’s next fight than they were Jared Rosholt’s. Struve is an interesting case. He’s obviously had a lot of time on the sidelines, which plays on you mentally. I love the fact that he’s working with Henri Hooft. I think Henri in his corner and on pads is really a good source of confidence for Struve. I do think that increasingly he has used his length and reach better by employing knees and getting that jab out there. No secret stylistically to what Rosholt’s going to be trying to do here, and I think the reason why the fight is so evenly matched at least as far as Vegas is concerned is because a lot of people can see Rosholt grounding Struve for 15 minutes and running clock and staying on top of him. But that’s gotta be a huge part of the focus for Struve coming in here, to be able to get back up once taken down. So I think Struve will get the fight upright enough to catch Jared Rosholt, and if he doesn’t finish him, he’ll outpoint him. And you are only laying -125. 5th Round Q: The other remaining bout on the UFC 193 main card features middleweights Robert Whittaker and Uriah Hall. Whittaker was originally scheduled to face Michael Bisping, but an elbow injury forced him out, with Hall serving as the replacement after he defeated Gegard Mousasi in Japan less than two months ago on short notice as well. Who do you like in this battle between two former TUF fighters and why? Anik: The one fight I would bet just for fun, to have some action, would be Uriah Hall versus Robert Whittaker. I would probably just take the underdog Whittaker because he’s plus-money, and he’s fighting closer to home. I think the one thing that scares me about Whittaker is that he’s fought just 44 seconds in 2015 – a knockout of Brad Tavares – whereas Uriah Hall will be making his fifth appearance of 2015. And, of course, course confidence couldn’t be higher for him after beating Gegard Mousasi. But generally speaking, in these situations, I’m more inclined to not only to take the underdog, but to take the guy who was always scheduled on this fight card. Just a few weeks ago, Uriah Hall was fighting Gegard Mousasi in Japan. Another short notice fight for him here, so I always like backing the guy who has been on the fight card from the beginning, which Whittaker was against Michael Bisping. I also like the fact that he doesn’t cut much weight…this will be his second fight since returning to middleweight. Both guys can finish the other, but I would definitely play that fight for fun because it’s going to be bananas. 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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