This is another busy week for us with 2 Bellator events and 1 UFC. We have a Bellator on Thursday night and Saturday night, and I’ll be Live Betting both of them. If you’re a Prime Member don’t forget to join me for these cards. I’ll put reminders out on the Telegram Channel.
UFC Fight Night – Aldana vs Holm is the first event in a brand new month of betting on Fight Island.
Last month we went 5-2 on prefight bets for around 1.5 units of profit. Dern, Chimaev, Klein, Adesanya, and Marques were our winners. Kara-France and Reyes were our losers. We were a bit unlucky during the month of September because we had two solid bets on Alexander Romanov and Tyson Nam at around even money. Both bets were canceled due to their opponents pulling out, but both guys went on to perform very well later in the month. Had those bets stayed alive, it’s likely we would have made a much bigger profit.
We banked approximately 4.5 units of profit in Live Betting for September as we continue to grind out wins.
I will be recapping our performance in more detail for the whole month of September in the next breakdown video for the next bet that I find.
We now have an entire month of fights taking place in Abu Dhabi, which historically has been a very difficult environment to make money in. Just last weekend, we saw a questionable decision on the Tukhugov vs Dawodu fight, and I expect the judging to continue to be bad until we’re back in Vegas at the Apex Center.
Who could forget Marc Goddard and Herb Dean’s horrendous refereeing calls last time we were in Fight Island relating to Leonardo Santos and Jai Herbert, and unfortunately, we saw referees have a negative impact on a good number of fights at UFC 253. Thankfully the correct fighter won the vast majority of the time, but it doesn’t change the fact that refereeing seems to be getting worse and worse.
In the fight between Danilo Marques and Khadis Ibragimov, the referee repeatedly warned Ibragimov about cage grabs, but Ibragimov continued to do it without being penalized. In one instance, the leverage he gained from grabbing the cage enabled him to mount Marques briefly, and still, the referee did nothing. Luckily Marques was quickly able to sneak out the back door and go on to win the fight, but MMA is a game of inches and had Ibragimov held that position for longer, it could have had a very different outcome.
We then saw Brad Riddell hurt Alex da Silva with a clean left hook when da Silva was clearly starting to get tired. Da Silva claimed he got poked in the eye, and the ref stopped the action. Da Silva took a couple of minutes to recover in a fight that was 1-1 at that point in the 3rd round. Da Silva came out after the break from the foul with much more energy and had much more drive on his takedown entries. Had he been able to secure a takedown and end round 3 in top position, he likely would have won the fight 29-28. Fortunately, Riddell was able to stuff all takedown attempts and correctly won the fight, but again, this is a game of inches, and the referee’s inability to make the correct decision almost cost Riddell the fight.
We then saw Kara-France eat a borderline illegal knee early in round 1. The ref thought about stopping the action but then decided to let the fight continue only for Kara-France to get caught up in a frantic grappling exchange and then overwhelmed by Royval’s pressure. Had the ref stopped the fight and allowed Kara-France to clear his head and calm down, that fight could have played out very differently. There was a lot more reason to stop that fight for a foul than there was in the Riddell vs da Silva fight. Another example of officiating in MMA lacking consistency.
We then saw Ketlen Vieira obtain a very dominant position on Sijara Eubanks. She stayed really busy from top position hammering Eubanks with decent ground and pound, only for the ref to prematurely stand them up. What would have happened if that resulted in Eubanks finishing round 2 strong and then winning the 3rd round to steal the fight?
Thankfully Marques, Riddell, and Vieira were able to go on to win, but on another night, it may have gone down differently. So often in fights these tiny, but significant moments have a profound impact on the outcome of the matchup.
|Fight||Betting Tip||Who I think will win||Who I think is the better bet|
|Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana||No bet||Aldana||Aldana|
|Carlos Felipe vs Yorgan De Castro||No bet||De Castro||Felipe|
|Germaine De Randamie vs Julianna Pena||No bet||De Randamie||De Randamie|
|Dequan Townsend vs Dusko Todorovic||No bet||Todorovic||Townsend|
|Carlos Condit vs Court McGee||No bet||McGee||McGee|
|Charles Jourdain vs Joshua Culibao||No bet||Jourdain||Culibao|
|Cameron Else vs Kyler Phillips||No bet||Phillips||Phillips|
|Jordan Williams vs Nassourdine Imavov||No bet||Williams||Williams|
|Jinh Yu Frey vs Loma Lookboonmee||No bet||Lookboonmee||Lookboonmee|
|Casey Kenney vs Heili Alateng||No bet||Kenney||Kenney|
|Jessin Ayari vs Luigi Vendramini||No bet||Ayari||Ayari|
Court McGee vs Carlos Condit
Court McGee was the first name that jumped out at me as a potential bet this weekend, but he could be a dangerous style to bet on in a matchup on Fight Island largely because of how bad the judges are in Abu Dhabi. Court McGee is one of these guys that isn’t particularly great at anything, but he is tough as nails, has a great gas tank and throws a high volume of strikes per round. Similar to Shane Young last week, McGee looks to break guys down with volume and pressure, but he doesn’t really carry any power in his hands and therefore struggles to put his stamp on rounds. Betting on a guy that struggles to put his stamp on rounds when he’s competing under a set of judges that struggle to score rounds correctly, is probably not a good idea.
The easiest path to victory for McGee in this fight will be to use his wrestling to take Condit down and control him from top position. Condit has really bad takedown defense and he’s not great off his back. Problem is McGee isn’t the strongest offensive wrestler and doesn’t use his grappling enough for me to feel confident that he’ll build his gameplan around his grappling. This one turned out to be an easy pass for me.
Germaine De Randamie vs Julianna Pena
This is a classic striker vs grappler matchup with De Randamie having a giant advantage standing up and Pena having a giant advantage on the ground. De Randamie deserves to be the favourite here because all rounds start standing and she’s big and strong for the division. De Randamie’s physicality will make it really difficult for Pena to get this fight to the ground. Many of Pena’s takedown attempts come above hip height, which will make it hard for her to take De Randamie down because De Randamie is strong in the clinch and has great upper body strength.
The problem is that De Randamie is prone to slipping on a Banana Skin and giving up weak takedowns and on the ground, she’s not even white belt level. Pena will dominate if she can get De Randamie down. We’re looking at 10-8 rounds, submissions and stoppages due to strikes. De Randamie will struggle to survive.
De Randamie should win this but it doesn’t make sense to bet her as a favorite when she has a huge weakness in the one area that her opponent is strong. Very easy pass for me.
Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana
Holly Holm vs Irene Aldana is a striker vs striker matchup, but I actually feel that it’s most likely grappling that will decide the outcome of this matchup. Aldana has a Boxing base in striking and Holm has a kicks based style of striking. Holm has great Boxing footwork and striking defense, but offensively she’s very bad. She doesn’t carry any power in her hands, doesn’t have very good technique and her accuracy is poor. Holm focuses more on defense and uses footwork to try and chip away at her opponents with range finding leg kicks from the outside. Aldana is one of the best Boxers in the division and hits hard in the context of the Women’s Bantamweight division. If the fight stays standing, I do see Aldana outstriking Holm by a decent margin over the 5 rounds.
Holm is obviously a striker, but her striking is limited and for that reason we are seeing her go more and more to her grappling in an effort to win fights. She used grappling heavy gameplans in her last fight against Raquel Pennington as well as her fights against De Randamie and Megan Anderson. This speaks volumes and shows that Holm is aware of her limitations when it comes to striking. Aldana’s takedown defense is pretty good and she’s very physically strong, but just like De Randamie, Aldana does have a tendency to slip on Banana Skins and give up weak takedowns out of nowhere. Holm is very heavy from top position and has decent chain wrestling. If she gets Aldana down, she should be able to rack up a lot of control time.
If this fight stays standing, Aldana should win comfortably, but I don’t have any faith in her takedown defense. We always think of Holm as being a striker, but as she gets older she is starting to use heavier and heavier grappling gameplans. If she comes into this fight with a grappling heavy gameplan, she could cause Aldana big problems. Based on their past performances it’s tough to gauge whether Aldana is going to be able to keep the fight standing, because she hasn’t fought a chain wrestler as good as Holm.
Cameron Else vs Kyler Phillips
It’s impossible to form a strong opinion on this fight because there’s barely any recently footage available on Cameron Else. This fight is an easy pass.
Jinh Yu Frey vs Loma Lookboonmee
Jinh Yu Frey and Loma Lookboonmee are primarily strikers. There is no doubt that Lookboonmee has a big advantage if the fight stays standing. She’s faster than Frey, throws a wider range of strikes and also throws a much higher volume. If the fight stays standing, I would expect Lookboonmee to cruise to a win.
The problem with Lookboonmee is that she’s very young in her MMA career and still for the most part a Muay Thai fighter. She has not yet developed a ground game or takedown defense and so it’s dangerous to bet her at favorite odds over any well rounded Mixed Martial Artist. Frey doesn’t have the best ground game and she’s not the best offensive wrestler, but she probably doesn’t need to be to have some success grappling against Lookboonmee.
Lookboonmee is my most reluctant pass so far. I do think she wins this, but her odds of around 1.71 | -141 | 71/100 carry an implied probability of roughly 60% and I can’t give her a better chance than that of winning.
Charles Jourdain vs Joshua Culibao
Charles Jourdain is the rightful favorite here but in order to bet someone as a big favorite they have to have virtually no way to lose and no major weaknesses. That’s not the case here because Jourdain has bad striking defense, he’s wreckless and also has bad takedown defense. It’s unlikely that Joshua Culibao will be able to exploit these weaknesses, but it’s too much of a risk for me to bet Jourdain at the current odds. At the same time, I don’t see enough from Culibao to make me want to roll the dice on him.