UFC on ESPN+ 19 Betting Tips, Picks and Predictions

We kicked off October with a solid win on prefight bets last weekend. Live Betting also went great. We went 3-1 across Bellator 229 and UFC 243 for a total profit of around 5 units.

We now turn our attention to Bellator 230 and UFC on ESPN+ 19. Both events take place this Saturday night.

Last month I recommended a big 4 unit bet on Marvin Vettori to beat Andrew Sanchez at odds of around 1.44 | -227 | 11/25. You can read the original breakdown for that bet by clicking here.

It is important to remember that we beat the odds movement in a big way when we initially bet Vettori. Now that his fight has been rescheduled onto the event this weekend, his odds have declined significantly. For this reason, I need to research the fight for a second time to gauge whether or not he’s worth betting at his new odds.

Fight Betting Tip Pick
Joanna Jędrzejczyk vs Michelle Waterson No bet Jędrzejczyk to win
Cub Swanson vs Kron Gracie 1 unit on Cub Swanson to win at odds of 2.50 | +150 | 3/2 Swanson to win
Mike Davis vs Thomas Gifford No bet Davis to win
Amanda Ribas vs Mackenzie Dern No bet Ribas to win
Luis Pena vs Matt Frevola No bet Pena to win
Eryk Anders vs Gerald Meerschaert No bet Anders to win
James Vick vs Niko Price No bet Price to win
Devin Clark vs Ryan Spann No bet Clark to win
Alex Morono vs Max Griffin No bet Griffin to win
Deiveson Figueiredo vs Tim Elliott No bet Figueiredo to win
Andre Ewell vs Marlon Vera No bet Vera to win
Hector Aldana vs Miguel Baeza No bet Aldana to win
Andrew Sanchez vs Marvin Vettori No bet Vettori to win
JJ Aldrich vs Lauren Mueller No bet Aldrich to win

Cub Swanson vs Kron Gracie Betting Tip and Prediction

By now, most of you guys know exactly how I work.

I wake up on a Monday morning, and I scan through all the fights taking place that week. I then prioritize researching the fights where I feel there may be the best betting opportunities.

Cub Swanson as an underdog to Kron Gracie was the 1st thing that jumped out at me when I scanned through all the fights taking place this weekend.

I have just completed my research for this fight, and my initial thoughts have been confirmed. Cub Swanson is an excellent bet.

Obviously, this is a classic Striker vs. Grappler matchup, so on the most basic of levels, the only real question we need to answer is whether or not Gracie will be able to take Swanson down. Based on their past performances, I don’t think he can.

Swanson’s takedown defense is not entirely bulletproof, but he does have strong hips, great balance, and it’s not easy to get him to the ground. His major weakness is that he is extremely weak off his back. It’s difficult to take Swanson down, but when you do get him down, he’s pretty bad. It’s easy to control him, and he’s not very good at working his way back to his feet. This is the first and possibly only risk factor that we have to deal with when it comes to this bet.

We also have to take into consideration the fact that Cub Swanson has been submitted multiple times throughout his career, and Kron Gracie is a high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner.

Swanson’s takedown defense is pretty decent, though. Far better offensive wrestlers than Kron Gracie have struggled to take him down and hold him down.

To take a guy like Swanson down, you usually need to get in really deep on their hips and upset their balance with a traditional double leg, single-leg, or body lock takedown. Using one of those techniques is also unlikely going to be enough to get him down, you’ll need to be able to chain those different techniques together.

If you go back and watch Kron Gracie’s past fights, you’ll see that he does not have any clinch game, he has no offensive wrestling and all of his takedowns come high above the hips of his opponents. Based on Gracie’s past fights, it is EXTREMELY unlikely that he’ll be able to take Swanson down. Take a look and see for yourself:

As you can also see in those videos, Kron Gracie has no striking to set up his takedowns, and he has extremely poor striking defense. When I watch those fights, all I can visualize is Swanson lighting Gracie up and Gracie getting NOWHERE NEAR a takedown.

Obviously, those fights took place 3 years ago, and Gracie may have improved a lot since then, but he still showed flashes of the same weaknesses in his UFC debut against Alex Caceres earlier this year. Unfortunately, that fight only lasted 3 minutes, and Caceres gave up a really weak takedown, so it’s impossible to gauge how Gracie will look on Saturday night in his fight against Swanson.

Making money from betting on MMA is all about trying to make the best decision possible with incomplete sets of information. Right now, we don’t know how Gracie will look since he fought back in Rizin in 2016, but we can make some assumptions based on where he trains and what his lifestyle is like.

You should never base a betting decision purely on assumptions, but when there are big gaps in information, and the odds are very generous on the fighter you think maybe a good bet, assumptions can be a good way to help you evaluate the overall risk to reward ratio you are dealing with.

We can’t know how much Gracie has improved, but we do know that he trains MMA with the Diaz brothers and the Skrap Pack.

If we look at this fight objectively and try to gauge how much Gracie may have improved his striking, offensive wrestling and clinch game, it’s unlikely that he will have improved those areas that much based on who he has been training with. Afterall… The Diaz brothers haven’t evolved that much in the last 10 years. If you watch a Nate Diaz fight in 2019, he doesn’t look that different from the Nate Diaz that fought on the Ultimate Fighter 10 years ago. Leslie Smith never improved that much either, and Joe Schilling trained with the Diaz brothers for many, many years, and still can’t defend a takedown. Gilbert Melendez and Jake Shields also failed to evolve. They looked exactly the same in Strikeforce as they did in the UFC.

It’s also worth noting that none of those fighters are strong offensive wrestlers: not even Jake Shields, a guy who built a career wet blanketing his opponents.

These findings suggest to me that it is UNLIKELY that Gracie has improved all that much since fighters who train with the Diaz brothers and the Skrap Pack generally don’t ever tend to evolve or improve that much. Furthermore, the one area Gracie really needs to sharpen up, in order to cause Swanson problems is his offensive wrestling, and there aren’t any strong wrestlers in those camps.

Maybe Gracie will show up on Saturday night, look completely different, demonstrate strong wrestling and blow Swanson out the water, but based on all the information we have available to us right now, it’s a lot more likely that he will look pretty similar to how he looked in Rizin.

We also have to take into consideration the fact that Kron is busy holding Worldwide seminars, running a large chain of Jiu-Jitsu gyms, and also producing BJJ related instructional content. How much time has he had in the last 3 years to dedicate to improving as an MMA fighter?

It’s also worth noting that Gracie didn’t look particularly dangerous on the ground in his fights against Tatsuya Kawajiri and Erson Yamamoto. On multiple occasions, he gave both guys ample opportunity to escape bad positions and stand back up; they often never took it, and subsequently gifted Gracie wins.

It is fair to say that no matter how much Gracie has improved, if the fight stays standing, it will not be a contest. In 3 years, there’s no way that Gracie could have improved enough to be competitive with Swanson when it comes to striking. Gracie is going to get smoked if this fight stays standing.

We are always looking for opportunities to put our money in strong positions, and based on all the information we have available right now, it’s downright disrespectful to have Cub Swanson as an underdog here. Win or lose this is a great bet. The current odds on Swanson are completely mad. This is a no brainer bet.

Reasons for betting on Cub Swanson

  • Cub Swanson is lightyears ahead of Kron Gracie when it comes to striking.
  • Kron Gracie has very low level striking and very poor striking defense.
  • Kron Gracie has a very weak clinch game.
  • Kron Gracie has no offensive wrestling.
  • Kron Gracie’s takdown entries come very high above the hips of his opponents. Historically Swanson defends these kinds of takedowns very well.
  • Kron Gracie has no chain wrestling.
  • Kron Gracie hasn’t looked that dangerous on the ground. He gives his opponents a lot of time and space to escape bad positions, hit reversals or simply disengage from a grappling exchange and stand back up.
  • Cub Swanson is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He’s not completely outmatched if these two tie up. He understands positions well enough to survive until he can get the fight back into striking range.
  • Kron Gracie trains with the Diaz brothers and the Skrap Pack. Fighters who train with these camps rarely improve that much.
  • Cub Swanson trains with TJ Dillashaw, Saad Awad, Georgi Karakhanyan and Juan Archuleta. All these guys are strong wrestlers and high level grapplers.
  • Cub Swanson throws a high volume of strikes.
  • Cub Swanson has a diverse range of strikes in his Arsenal. It’ll be tough to deal with for an inexperienced, low level striker like Gracie.
  • We’ve never seen Kron Gracie compete properly under USADA Drug Testing.
  • We don’t know anything about Kron Gracie’s chin or cardio. We know that Swanson has an excellent chin and cardio for days.

Risk Factors with betting on Cub Swanson

  • It’s possible that Kron Gracie could have made big improvements since his fights in Rizin.
  • Cub Swanson is on a decline. He’s 35 years old, he’s had over 30 pro fights and Father Time is definitely catching up with him.
  • Cub Swanson is very weak off his back if you can get him down.
  • Kron Gracie is a high level Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Practioner.

My Betting Tip

Cub Swanson to win

Recommended Stake

1 Unit

[1% of your bankroll]

Odds

Decimal = 2.50
Moneyline = +150
Fractional = 3/2

40%

Implied Probability

The bookies believe that Cub Swanson has a 40% chance of beating Kron Gracie based on their current odds.

50%

Our Probability

I believe that Cub Swanson has a 50% chance of beating Kron Gracie based on my extensive research and analysis.

Allsopp
I'm a Professional Gambler from the UK. I specialize in betting on MMA. I've got 1 kid, a Shih Tzu and I've been making money from gambling for around 8 years now.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply