June turned out to be our first losing month of the year for prefight betting as we went -5.18 units. Live Betting was much better as we banked an overall profit of 8.28 units. We also head into July riding the wave of a 14 event winning streak in Live Betting.
It also looks likely that we will be able to Livebet all of the fights taking place this weekend because BT Sport Box Office have said on their website that they’re broadcasting the whole event from 11:30 PM UK Time.
All fights televised in the UK are usually listed for Live Betting on all major betting websites, so there’s a 90% chance we’ll be able to Livebet all the fights this weekend.
I am going to take this week off from producing Youtube videos because I’ve been suffering from some kind of sickness over the last few days. I look so bad right now that I can assure you that you wouldn’t want to see my face on camera anyway! I should be back next week.
Thanks again for all your support. I’ll work really hard to give us the best chance of banking a profit this weekend.
|Jon Jones vs Thiago Santos||3 unit, 3 leg parlay accumulator on Jon Jones, Edmen Shahbazyan and Michael Chiesa to win at odds of 1.80 | -125 | 4/5||Jones, Chiesa and Shahbazyan to win|
|Edmen Shahbazyan vs Jack Marshman|
|Diego Sanchez vs Michael Chiesa|
|Amanda Nunes vs Holly Holm||No bet||Holm to win|
|Ben Askren vs Jorge Masvidal||1 unit on Jorge Masvidal to win at odds of 2.80 | +180 | 9/5||Masvidal to win|
|Jan Blachowicz vs Luke Rockhold||3 unit, 2 leg parlay accumulator on Luke Rockhold and Marlon Vera to win at odds of 1.78 |
-128 | 39/50
|Rockhold and Vera to win|
|Marlon Vera vs Nohelin Hernandez|
|Arnold Allen vs Gilbert Melendez||1 unit on Gilbert Melendez to win at odds of 4.00 | +300 | 3/1||Melendez to win|
|Claudia Gadelha vs Randa Markos||No bet||Gadelha to win|
|Alejandro Perez vs Yadong Song||No bet||Song to win|
|Chance Rencountre vs Ismail Naurdiev||No bet||Naurdiev to win|
|Julia Avila vs Pannie Kianzad||No bet||Avila to win|
Arnold Allen vs Gilbert Melendez Betting Tip and Prediction
Betting on Gilbert Melendez this weekend breaks every rule in the book. He’s old as hell at 37 years old, he’s had his issues with USADA, and he hasn’t fought in almost 2 years. Those are 3 major red flags that will undoubtedly make him a risky bet against anyone.
Despite Melendez’s clear and obvious red flags, we can’t ignore the fact that he’s currently a 4.00 | +300 | 3/1 underdog against a young, inexperienced fighter that consistently underperforms and demonstrates bad Fight IQ. Melendez is well past his prime, but I haven’t seen anything from Arnold Allen that makes me think he can dominate this fight. When you see a guy at big favorite odds, you should be able to see very early on into research why they are likely to dominate. If you do not see this, then there is almost always value on their opponent.
The implied probability on Gilbert Melendez at his current odds of around 4.00 | +300 | 3/1 is just 25%, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that this is batshit crazy. I rarely use curse words in these breakdowns, but if you think Melendez only has a 25% chance of beating Arnold Allen, you are out of your god damn mind.
3 out of the 5 fights that Allen has had in the UFC have been razor close, and it’s not exactly like he’s been fighting high-level opponents. Allen always seems to get dragged into close fights because at times he gives up critical positions going for longshot submissions and at other times he is overly passive. I’m a big fan of Arnold Allen, but he’s one of those guys that is ok at everything but great at nothing. His striking is average, and while he’s a skilled grappler, his takedown defense is poor, and he often gives up position while chasing longshot submissions. He’s also very inconsistent. At times he shows up aggressive, fights with a high output and goes for the kill, while at other times he puts in passive performances.
Gilbert Melendez is 37 years old, but his chin, toughness, and cardio have never been in question. He also has solid takedown defense; he’s a high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, and he has excellent Boxing. He is also ruthlessly consistent and fights at a high pace. He’s constantly coming forward and attacking.
If the fight stays standing, I honestly don’t know what to expect because we’ve never seen Allen fight anyone like Melendez before who will get in his face and force him to engage. Allen is your typical Tristar type fighter [didn’t train there for this fight though] who likes to control the pace of the fight and dictate where the fight takes place. Melendez won’t allow him to do that. Melendez will be in his face, from the 1st second. That’s why this is such a compelling matchup and also the reason why I feel the odds are so badly inaccurate. Nobody can know how Allen will deal with Melendez’s Skrap Pack based pressure style because we haven’t seen him pressured before. This is why a bet on Melendez is such a great gamble. Maybe Allen is one of those guys that’s great at being the hammer, but not so good at being the nail. We’ve never even seen how he performs when forced to counter strike!
I don’t expect this fight to go to the ground because Melendez usually tries to keep fights standing, but if it does go to the ground, I would have to give Melendez a pretty sizable advantage. Both guys have poor takedown defense, but Melendez is a much higher level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt. We’ve seen Allen get himself into a lot of trouble against grapplers in the past, so it’s possible that Melendez does look to take him down.
I don’t know if Gilbert Melendez will win this fight or not, but I am 75% sure he’ll make it competitive, which means there’s great value in betting him at his current odds that carry an Implied Probability of just 25%.
In the first 5 months of this year, we won a large amount of money on these kinds of high risk / high reward bets, but in June we lost 4 of them consecutively [Cerrone, Dantas, Formiga, and Moret]. We are in substantial profit for the year on these kinds of bets and even though sustaining a large number of losses like this in a short space of time can be frustrating, it’s essential to remain consistent. We have already made an excellent profit on prefight betting this year and placing these kinds of high risk / high reward bets have largely contributed to that.
Gilbert Melendez is not a safe bet, but there’s definite value here, and there’s also a great risk to reward ratio. We lost 4 units on these kinds of high-risk bets last month, but if Melendez wins, that’ll put a huge dent in those losses and take us to an overall loss of just 1 unit. I’m not saying Melendez will win, but we have crushed it on these kinds of bets in 2019, and we’re likely going to start racking up wins with them again soon.
As ever, with this kind of bet, I need to make it clear that it’s more likely that it will lose than win. If you can’t deal with losing, you might want to avoid tailing this bet. If you’re with me for the long haul and understand that losing is just part of the game like paying taxes, then I highly recommend that you bet Melendez this weekend. Win or lose he’s a fantastic bet at these odds — one of my most favorite bets in a while.
Reasons for betting on Gilbert Melendez
Risk Factors with betting on Gilbert Melendez
My Betting Tip
Gilbert Melendez to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 4.00
Moneyline = +300
Fractional = 3/1
The bookies believe that Gilbert Melendez has a 25% chance of beating Arnold Allen based on their current odds.
Ben Askren vs Jorge Masvidal Betting Tip and Prediction
Researching fights is a continual process where in the leadup to a fight you must constantly be foraging for new information. You have to watch fighter interviews, compare how fighters look at weigh-ins to their previous weigh-ins and try to identify any clues in Social Media posts, weigh-ins and the things that fighters say during interviews that may give you a stronger indication of how a fight might play out. This stage of research is just as crucial as studying fight footage, and it is often the difference between deciding to place a bet or pass.
This is a classic striker vs grappler matchup, but it’s fair to say that Masvidal is a better grappler than Askren is a striker. Masvidal’s takedown defense has always been pretty decent, but in his fight against Demian Maia and his matchup against Benson Henderson back in 2015 he continuously made the rookie mistake of throwing strikes when his opponents were working for takedowns instead of focusing on defending the takedowns, fighting for underhooks or breaking the grip of his opponents. Masvidal’s excellent balance and ability to scramble enabled him to get away with this weakness against guys like Henderson and Rustam Khabilov back in 2013, but it finally caught up with him when he fought Demian Maia, and this tiny detail was the difference between Masvidal being able to keep the fight standing against Maia and being taken down.
If you want to see what I am talking about for yourself, go back and watch Masvidal’s fight against Maia. In the 1st round, he does a great job of initially stuffing Maia’s single leg entry but then starts to throw short punches instead of fighting for underhooks. This gave Maia a window of opportunity to change levels and complete the takedown. He made a similar mistake midway through the 2nd round. Masvidal was doing a great job of sprawling out of Maia’s takedown entries but then got complacent in the 2nd round and started to throw strikes while sprawling instead of focusing on clearing his legs. Again, Maia was able to capitalize on this mistake by tieing up Masvidal’s legs and completing the takedown.
These rookie mistakes are easily addressed, Masvidal just has to focus on using his excellent takedown defense to defend positions instead of trying to inflict damage. Earlier in the week, it was these rookie mistakes that prevented me from betting on Masvidal to beat Askren.
In terms of takedown defense, Masvidal absolutely has the skills and technique to keep the majority of this fight standing, but he needs to stay disciplined and avoid the same rookie mistakes he made against Maia. If he does just focus on defending takedowns and not throwing strikes while defending takedowns, I think he keeps the majority of this fight standing and turns Askren into a panic wrestler.
So what is the probability that Masvidal will tighten up this weakness in his game?
Well at the beginning of the week I wasn’t hopeful that he would. Afterall Masvidal is 34 years old, he’s been training at ATT for the last 7 years with some of the best fighters and coaches in the world, and he’s had over 40 pro fights. If he hasn’t learned not to make the rookie mistake of throwing strikes while defending takedowns by now, he’ll never learn. This was my reasoning for initially passing on a bet on Masvidal. Then I watched this interview with Dan Hardy that was released yesterday:
In that interview, Masvidal acknowledges mistakes that he made in the Maia fight and said that he’s tightened them up and he’ll never make the same mistakes again. The only mistake I can identify from watching the Maia fight was throwing strikes while defending takedowns, so we have to assume that is what he’s talking about.
If Masvidal does just focus on defending takedowns and not trying to throw strikes when defending takedowns, Askren is going to have a tough time taking him down and holding him down.
Masvidal’s not one of those guys like Jose Aldo who is pretty much impossible to take down, but his balance and ability to create scrambles is second to none. The best example I can point to of this is his 2013 matchup against Rustam Khabilov. Masvidal will have improved his grappling a hell of a lot since then, but there are clues in that matchup that suggest Masvidal is a slippery guy who is tough to control.
Masvidal uses the Team Alpha Male style of takedown defense where he is continuously moving when you take him down. He won’t let you establish a dominant position, he’s always scrambling, always twisting and this makes it hard to trap him in a bad position.
This detail is important because like a lot of Olympic style wrestlers who transition into MMA, Askren gives his opponents a lot of space to improve their position. It’s something I’ve noticed over the years that Cejudo and DC do too. If you give Masvidal space, he will create scrambles and explode out of positions. This should cause Askren a lot of problems. To see what I mean, I recommend checking out Askren’s 2016 fight against Nikolay Aleksakhin:
Aleksakhin makes the mistake earlier in the fight of allowing Askren to flatten his shoulders out on the canvass and control him from side control. As soon as Aleksakhin starts to create more scrambles on the ground later in the fight, Askren starts to struggle to establish dominant positions. Masvidal is much more adept at creating scrambles than Aleksakhin. This is a key detail to pay attention to.
It’s also important to note that Askren looked very basic against Aleksakhin and got thrown around the cage like a child in his 2015 fight against Luis Santos:
It’s worth noting that Askren will have been in his prime at 30 years old when those fights took place and with no strict drug-testing program in ONE, he was probably taking supplements and possibly PEDs that are prohibited for use in the UFC.
4 years later he will likely have declined and look worse than he did against Aleksakhin because he’s older now, he’s been inactive, and he also isn’t able to use weight cutting aids, prohibited supplements or PEDs. If Askren shows up and performs like he did in 2016 against Aleksakhin, I think Masvidal beats him. With there being a good chance Askren shows up looking even worse, Masvidal becomes a no brainer bet here now that he has alluded to the fact that he has tightened up the weaknesses that cost him against Demian Maia.
It’s also worth noting that even if Askren can take Masvidal down, it’s EXTREMELY unlikely that he finishes Masvidal. This means that Masvidal has an opportunity at the beginning of each round to score a KO. We just saw Masvidal KO Darren Till dead. Till has a granite chin and he’s a huge Welterweight. If Masvidal was able to flatline a guy like Till, he can absolutely do the same to a guy like Askren who has ZERO striking defense.
We also have to take into account the fact that Askren doesn’t do much damage with his control unless he can advance to mount and it’s extremely unlikely he’ll be able to obtain mount position and hold it for any period of time against Masvidal. This is significant because Askren’s style of fighting where he doesn’t do much with grappling control is penalized under the new judges scoring criteria. Before you leave a comment reminding me of all the TKO wins Askren has picked up through Ground and Pound, just remember that these TKO based ground and pound wins have come against much lower level guys than Masvidal. To win a fight by Ground and Pound you have to trap your opponent in a bad position and be able to uncork enough strikes for the ref to stop the fight. It will be very difficult to do this against Masvidal because he’s continuously scrambling. Askren will have to battle for position constantly. He won’t have time to get off damage with ground and pound.
It’s also worth noting that Masvidal has been very inconsistent throughout his career. He famously showed up for his fight against Stephen Thompson with a Dad bod and looked very flat. But it’s clear that he hates Askren bad and wants to win this fight. At yesterday’s weighin, Masvidal showed up looking the best he has looked in a long time. I haven’t seen him in this good shape since he first started fighting in the UFC back in 2011. To me, this is a clear sign that he is taking this fight very seriously and he’s coming to win.
Masvidal’s current odds of around 2.80 | +180 | 9/5 give him an Implied Probability of around 36%. If he shows up and focuses on defending takedowns instead of throwing strikes while defending takedowns, I think he keeps the majority of this fight standing and turns Askren into a panic wrestler. He alluded in his interview with Dan Hardy yesterday that he was tightening up this weakness, so at the current odds, I believe he’s a good value gamble. He’s not a rock-solid bet by any means, but a good gamble.
The fact is that Askren was once a high-level wrestler, but at this stage in his career, he has huge holes. He’s slow, he has no striking, and he’s not athletic enough to shoot in deep on his opponent’s hips anymore. We saw a similar decline in former Olympic wrestler, Dan Henderson. After hundreds of wrestling matches and weight cuts, it looks like Father Time might be starting to catch up with Askren because his wrestling is very basic at this stage in his career. He may win this if Masvidal makes the same mistakes he did against Maia, but if both guys show up and perform to their full potential, Masvidal will kill him.
Reasons for betting on Jorge Masvidal
Risk Factors with betting on Jorge Masvidal
My Betting Tip
Jorge Masvidal to win
[1% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 2.80
Moneyline = +180
Fractional = 9/5
The bookies believe that Jorge Masvidal has a 36% chance of beating Ben Askren based on their current odds.
Jan Blachowicz vs Luke Rockhold Parlay / Accumulator reasoning
Many people have dismissed Rockhold in this fight and looked towards Jan Blachowicz as a potential good value underdog bet, but I feel that the rationale behind betting Blachowicz to beat Rockhold ignores Blachowicz’s weaknesses. At the same time, the logic of betting Blachowicz overestimates what he is good at, while at the same time playing down just how damn incredible Luke Rockhold is on the ground.
It cannot be ignored that Luke Rockhold has looked chinny over the last couple of years, but it’s also worth noting that guys often struggle to take a punch when they put their bodies through extreme weight cuts. Daniel Cormier is the Heavyweight Champion of the world, and Rockhold towers over him. Rockhold is similar in size to Jon Jones. Yet Rockhold killed himself throughout his career to make the 185 Middleweight limit.
When Anthony Smith fought at Middleweight, he looked fragile, awkward, slow and chinny, yet at 205 he looks sharp, technical and durable. Rockhold looked chinny at Middleweight, but there’s a good chance he’ll look much better now that he’s competing in his natural weight class at 205 pounds.
Having said all this, I would be a fool to ignore the fact that Rockhold’s chin might be questionable, but I like to work in facts, and the fact is that even if Rockhold is chinny, Blachowicz probably isn’t the guy to make him pay for it…
Blachowicz’s style of striking is all kicks based, which won’t cause Rockhold a problem because Rockhold is too tall and fights too long for Blachowicz to be able to land a head kick. Blachowicz’s Boxing is very basic and predictable, and he also has bad cardio, which means he’s slows down significantly as the fight progresses and becomes a lot less dangerous as each round passes. Blachowicz has slow hand speed and struggles to get inside on his opponents. This is the main reason why Blachowicz hasn’t knocked anyone out in 9 YEARS. That’s right… 9 YEARS. Remember you have to discount his TKO win over Ilir Latifi because he folded Latifi with a body kick. In terms of straight-up turning someone’s lights out with strikes, Blachowicz hasn’t scored a KO in 9 years…
As you can see, Blachowicz has had a lot of fights since KOing Julio Cezar De Lima back in 2010, and it’s not like he’s been fighting elite level competition the whole time. Fact is that Blachowicz just isn’t that dangerous with his striking. Can he KO Rockhold? Absolutely. Anything can happen in MMA. But is it likely?
Based on his style of fighting, basic Boxing and MMA record it seems unlikely.
The current implied probability on Rockhold’s odds of around 1.44 | -227 | 11/25 is 69%. I strongly believe, for reasons I will explain in a moment that Rockhold will dominate if he can just avoid being knocked out. Based on Blachowicz’s lack of KO power, I believe that there’s a good amount of value in Rockhold here since Rockhold only really has one way to lose, and Blachowicz historically hasn’t demonstrated the skills or power capable of exploiting that weakness.
So now that we have got the elephant in the room out of the way and evaluated what threat Blachowicz poses to Rockhold standing let us look at what threats Rockhold poses to Blachowicz…
Rockhold is, in my opinion, one of the highest level grapplers in the UFC. He doesn’t get praised for it because for the majority of his career he was branded a Kick Boxer, but please trust me when I tell you that Rockhold is as Elite as it gets. He’s up there with Daniel Cormier, Demian Maia, and Khabib Nurmagomedov. He’s just that damn good. If Rockhold gets this fight to the ground, he will DOMINATE. This is not up for discussion. If Rockhold can take Blachowicz down and has 2 or 3 minutes to work in the round, he’ll pass Jan’s guard like butter, mount him and destroy him.
So what is the likelihood that Rockhold will be able to take Blachowicz down?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
It turns out it’s pretty damn likely because Blachowicz’s takedown defense is absolutely terrible:
As you can see, Blachowicz has only defended 53% of takedowns in his 11 fights in the UFC. This is pretty bad considering he hasn’t fought that many high-level wrestlers. Remember that Corey Anderson was nowhere near as good as he is now when they fought back in 2015.
Rockhold is a strong wrestler with a high-level ground game who will be able to dominate this fight if he can get Blachowicz to the ground and Blachowicz’s takedown defense is very bad, so Rockhold should be able to get him down.
The way I look at this fight is that we have two guys with huge weaknesses. Rockhold is a little chinny and Blachowicz has no takedown defense and no ground game.
Based on past performances it doesn’t look that likely that Blachowicz will be able to exploit Rockhold’s weakness of having a bad chin, but it looks extremely likely that Rockhold will be able to drag him to the ground and dominate. For these reasons, I believe Rockhold is a solid bet this weekend. Remember that there will be risks with every bet. You can find weaknesses in every fighter and reasons not to place every bet. Our job is to assess the level of risk of a bet losing and then determine if the risk is worth the reward. Blachowicz can absolutely KO Rockhold tonight, but in my opinion, the risk is worth the reward because it’s far more likely that Rockhold drags him to the ground and dominates.
Reasons for betting on Luke Rockhold
Risk Factors with betting on Luke Rockhold
Marlon Vera vs Nohelin Hernandez Parlay / Accumulator reasoning
We have to start this breakdown by highlighting the fact that a massive percentage of fighters lose when they make their UFC debut and an even bigger percentage of fighters lose when they make their debut on short notice. Nohelin Hernandez is stepping up to take this fight on just 1 week’s notice which means that he has a huge mountain to climb here.
Nohelin Hernandez is one of those average fighters that is reasonably good at everything, but great at nothing. He also struggles to put his stamp on rounds because he doesn’t have that much power in his hands. He’s primarily a Boxer but trains at American Kickboxing Academy, so he can definitely handle himself on the ground.
This is a bad stylistic matchup for Hernandez because Marlon Vera is just better than him everywhere and Vera is also making big improvements from fight to fight.
I hate to keep this breakdown short, but there’s not too much I can say about this fight. If the fight stays standing, Vera should be able to pick Hernandez apart with his wider range of strikes, and if it goes to the ground, Vera should have an even bigger advantage there.
Reasons for betting on Marlon Vera
Risk Factors with betting on Marlon Vera
My Betting Tip
Luke Rockhold and Marlon Vera to win
[3% of your bankroll]
Decimal = 1.78
Moneyline = -128
Fractional = 39/50
The bookies believe that this parlay / accumulator has a 56% chance of winning based on their current odds.