After a successful TUF Finale, we’re back with more tips and predictions to lead to a profitable UFC 213. Due to a busy week, I was unable to find much footage on the 2 newcomer fights, so those will unfortunately be omitted from this article. But, there’s still plenty of other fights, so let’s get to it!
Rob Font vs Douglas “d’Silva” Silva de Andrade
A battle of arguably the simplest names in the UFC against one of the most complicated.
This fight should largely be a kickboxing match, those both guys are competent on the mat. Rob Font has a 3 inch reach advantage, which I feel he will be able to use effectively to keep D’Silva at range and set up big strikes down the middle. Neither man has ever been finished, so this fight is likely to go to decision, but both guys do pack some power. I like Font here, but the current odds greater than -300 are too steep for me to take in this fight. I considered his -3.5 point spread, but I could easily see D’Silva taking a round, so I’m passing here unless lines shift.
PREDICTION: Rob Font by Decision
Jordan Mein vs Belal Muhammad
The odds have shifted a lot in this fight, and “sharp money” appears to be on Belal Muhammad. Both guys have shown solid striking, with Belal showcasing good boxing and hard leg kicks in his last fight against Randy Brown. Jordan Mein has been kickboxing for close to 20 years at this point, and has shown himself to be a very technical striker with a variety of weapons. From a grappling standpoint, Belal has shown the ability to utilize a double-leg against the fence, but Mein’s grappling has held up in his previous fights.
The biggest knock on Mein is his mental game. He has given up in fights before, including in his most recent fight against Emil Meek. In this fight, he was taken down and made virtually no effort to get back to his feet in the later rounds. Belal Muhammad has shown that he does not have an ounce of quit in him, so this could favor him.
However, I still consider Mein to be the better fighter, who also has more ways to win. He is the better striker, has a slight size advantage, and should be the better grappler as well. He is also a very smart fighter, and rarely puts himself in danger when he’s on his game. If the good version of Jordan Mein shows up, I think he wins this fight far more often than not. At +odds, I’m willing to take the chance on which Mein comes to fight.
PREDICTION: Jordan Mein by Decision (UPSET ALERT)
Thiago Santos vs Gerald Meerschaert
Another fight with some major odds shifting, and “sharp money” is on Thiago Santos. Thiago should have a major striking advantage, and enough grappling to avoid being put in a bad position by Meerschaert. However, Thiago has been known to make mental mistakes in the past, which could put a win in jeopardy.
I did bet Thiago when he was at even money (missed +150 unfortunately), but I am not as confident as most. Meerschaert has shown solid striking, though against a lower level competition. He has also never been finished by strikes in his career, which is Santos’ most likely path to victory. Thiago, on paper, should be able to control this fight, but I think Meerschaert’s striking is being underestimated slightly.
With all that in mind, I don’t think that I would personally play Santos at the current -155 that he’s at, but it’s close. I may actually buy out of some of my action with a play on Meerschaert given the line movement.
PREDICTION: Thiago Santos by TKO/KO
Chad Laprise vs Brian Camozzi
Laprise is better everywhere, but this line is artificially inflated and way out of control. Laprise is no worldbeater, is taking this fight on short notice, and is moving up in weight for the first time. Those are all red flags.
Again, Laprise is better, and Camozzi just outright isn’t great, but +500 on this is a line that can be considered worthy of a small play, as Camozzi’s chances of winning are greater than the line shows. His points handicap of +3.5 is also interesting at +170, as Laprise has not been known as a finisher in his career.
PREDICTION: Chad Laprise by Decision
Travis Browne vs Oleksiy Oliynyk
Travis Browne has struggled immensely as of late; losing fights he should have won, and just performing poorly all around. The blame for Browne’s struggles is often attributed to his choice of camp, but regardless of what the cause is, the outcomes have been poor.
Oliynyk represents a favorable matchup for Browne, as he is not much of a threat on the feet and relies on his submission game. While his submission game is very good for the heavyweight division, Browne has shown great (and even dangerous) takedown defense in his career, so Oliynyk could have a hard time getting the fight where he wants it to go. Browne should be able to use his superior striking to keep Oliynyk at bay, and possibly find a finish.
I expect Browne to be a little cautious this fight knowing that he needs a win, and weary of ending up on the ground. I like Browne to win, and will make small plays on the long odds for his decision line. I also like the over 1.5 rounds prop around +150. I think all are good plays.
PREDICTION: Travis Browne by Decision
Anthony Pettis vs Jim Miller
Similar to Travis Browne, Pettis has also been going through a rough patch in his career, though not nearly as bad as Browne’s. Pettis will be making his return to 155 against the seasoned veteran, Jim Miller.
Jim Miller can never be fully counted out of a fight, as he always finds a way to keep it close and often finds a way to win. But on paper, Pettis is the better striker with a dangerous arsenal of kicks, similar to those that have given Miller problems in the past. Showtime Pettis has also shown a good chin in his previous fights, and a solid jiu-jitsu game that keeps him off of his back, and has gotten him several finishes.
Jim Miller’s likely path to victory here will be pressuring Pettis on the feet, and using it to push him against the fence or secure some takedowns. A knock on both of the Pettis brothers has been their takedown defense, though it has improved over the years. I expect Pettis to win, but Miller has a clear path to victory. Additionally, a lot of question marks surround Anthony Pettis, so I would not play him at these current odds around -250. I will likely be passing on the fight, but Jim Miller over +200 is not a bad play.
PREDICTION: Anthony Pettis by Decision (Or late finish, projecting a lot of decisions)
Fabricio Werdum vs Alistair Overeem
Overeem definitely has the striking advantage while Werdum has the obvious grappling advantage. However, I believe it will be easier for Overeem to keep this fight on the feet than it will be for Werdum to get it to the ground, if he even tries to. Overeem has been fighting very cautiously in his past few fights, well aware that he has a weak chin. I see overeem frustrating Werdum on the feet, and eventually finding a finish.
At the current odds, I would still be betting Overeem.
PREDICTION: Alistair Overeem by TKO/KO
Daniel Omielanczuk vs Curtis Blaydes
Blaydes should be able to have his way with Danny O, ragdolling him with his ferocious wrestling. There is no value in betting him at his crazy line though. A small play on Omie for action wouldn’t be horrible since the line is a little off, but he should be thrown around tonight.
PREDICTION: Curtis Blaydes by TKO/KO (Ground and pound)
Yoel Romero vs Robert Whittaker
I had a nice piece planned for Nunes vs Shevchenko about how live betting is the optimal play, but that fight got scrapped. Luckily, it works here too! Check out my article about the importance of live betting for the full breakdown!
Anyways, this is a great fight. Romero has insane power, tremendous freestyle wrestling, and unparalleled explosiveness. Whittaker has tremendous striking with knockout power of his own. This should be a fun fight.
Both men have the ability to end the fight at any moment with their striking, but only Romero has the ability to put his opponent on their back and control the fight on the ground. However, Romero is known to have issues with his cardio. While he is always dangerous, he does slow down, and Whittaker can capitalize on this with his technical striking.
I will be placing a bet on Romero ITD, and then live betting Whittaker is the fight goes on and Romero slows down. I believe that this is the optimal way to play the fight. While Whittaker can win the fight early, I am willing to take that risk.
PREDICTION: Robert Whittaker by TKO/KO (Later rounds)
Hopefully tonight is a great card, and good luck to everyone betting!