Cage 36 Betting Odds

Cage 36The landscape of European MMA has transformed multiple times over the past few years. For several years, Cage Warriors was one of the best paths fighters outside of the Americas had to get to the next level. However, when that promotion went on hiatus for nearly 18 months, it left a void in the scene. BAMMA and KSW stepped up somewhat, but those promotions have generally focused on more of a domestic scene, leaving fighters from elsewhere in Europe to ply their trade in obscurity. One of the promotions that benefited from that situation was Cage. The Finnish organization had often lost its best fighters to Cage Warriors, but over the past couple of years it has become a more viable option for Scandinavian fighters to move directly to the UFC. Now, the results haven’t always been great (Thibault Gouti, for instance, will probably be returning to Cage very shortly after an 0-3 stint in the Octagon, while Tom Niinimaki and Anton Kuivanen could each muster just one win in the UFC), but baby steps are being made in a market that was once only served by Swedish promotion Superior Challenge (which itself has gone over a year without an event). Cage will be putting on its 36th event this Saturday, and while the more recognizable names that compete in the promotion (notably Kuivanen) aren’t competing, there are a few names who could end up in the UFC along the way. The man most likely to make that jump is main eventer Janne Elonen-Kulmala, who started his MMA career a pedestrian 4-4, but has reeled off 10 straight wins to lay claim to the title of best bantamweight in Scandinavia. He’ll be taking on 19-year-old Czech fighter David Skrisovsky who was competing as a pro prior to his 16th birthday (yay European MMA regulation!) and has won his last three bouts with submission stoppages. The other fighter to keep an eye on is Rafael Domingos, a Brazilian who lives and trains in Oulu, Finland. Domingos started his career 7-0, but dropped his most recent bout by decision in the co-main event of Cage 35. He’ll look to get back on track against Joni Salovaara, a former Cage Warriors title challenger, and one of the longer tenured vets of the Finnish scene. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for those two fights, as well as the catchweight bout (161 lbs) between Tuuka Repo and Csaba Kolonyi, and the women’s bantamweight bout featuring Iren Racz (UFC debutante Veronica Macedo’s most recent opponent) and Suvi Salmimies, which is just plain fun to say. Check all four lines out at Several Bookmakers: ——————– Cage 36 Venue: Cultural Centre Location: Helsinki, Finland 09-03-2016 | 11:00 AM ET MAIN EVENT | CATCHWEIGHT | 139 LBS David Skrisovsky +500 Janne Elonen-Kulmala -900 CO-MAIN EVENT | FEATHERWEIGHT | 145 LBS Joni Salovaara +180 Rafael Domingos -260 MAIN CARD | CATCHWEIGHT | 161 LBS Csaba Kolonyi +600 Tuukka Repo -1200 MAIN CARD | BANTAMWEIGHT | 135 LBS Iren Racz +125 Suvi Salmimies -165 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: It’s obviously a bit tougher to find tape on some of these fighters, so I’ll give you what little insight I can muster here. Elonen-Kulmala could probably grapple his way to a victory against Skrisovsky, but all that the young Czech fighter offers at this point is a submission game. Elonen-Kulmala should want (and be able to) keep the fight standing where he has a massive advantage, and probably TKO the youngster. The fight was also changed to a catchweight of 139lbs because Skrisovsky took it on short notice and perhaps isn’t as physically ready as he’d like to be. Elonen-Kulmala might also be hanging out with WWE’s Enzo Amore, if his Tapology picture is any indication. I assume “Bonafidehki” means “Certified G and Bonafide Stud” in Finnish, and everyone knows you can’t teach that. This fight comes down to how much Domingos can impose his wrestling. If he gets top position, he’ll be able to control, if not submit, Salovaara. On the feet however, Domingos still has a long way to go, and Salovaara is a very long featherweight who has become more adept at using his frame recently. Domingos struggled in the wrestling department in his last fight, and if that’s something he’s fixed he’ll do just fine here. If not, he could be headed for his second consecutive loss. I’m shocked some of the European books even opened a line at all on this fight, but the recipe is right for Tuuka Repo to get an easy, impressive win. He’s a young prospect who advanced to the finals of the IMMAF World Amateur Championships, and they brought in an 0-1 guy from Hungary who made his pro debut just two months ago to fight him. Just based on the fact that she just went to a draw with a fighter who is now in the UFC, I could see Iren Racz getting too much respect here. She’s winless in her last four MMA fights (2 losses and 2 draws), and all four of her career losses have come by submission. Salmimies has struggled with stronger grapplers at times her career, but she actually has that as a strength in this fight. This could be a smart piece of booking by Cage that could see Salmimies get a call to one of the shallow UFC women’s divisions with a win.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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