Ric's Picks: TUF Nations Finale

Thanks to Sean Knowles for the design.

I last left you with Ric's Picks for UFC Fight Night 39 on Friday and you're already back for more? Okay, I'll oblige. You may even get two Ric's Picks articles this week, so stay tuned. As always, check out this competition's debut post to get a lay of the land if you're joining us for the first time.

Let's quickly review UFC Fight Night 39 before we look ahead to the TUF Nations Finale.

Bet: Parlay of Tatsuya Kawajiri (+120) and Ryan LaFlare (-280)

Wager: 15 units

Result: LOST 15 units

Both Clay Guida and John Howard performed better than I expected heading into the event. While I realized Guida's advantages in terms of speed and pace, I expected Kawajiri to create scrambles (which he did to an extent) and separate long enough to gain an edge. Guida never let up and suffocated Kawajiri for one of his most impressive wins in a while. I predicted this being LaFlare's toughest test to date and Howard made good on my word. Before the unfortunate low blow, it was anyone's fight and Howard was the one with momentum. LaFlare performed admirably, showing off his well-rounded arsenal, but Howard was more successful in the grappling game than I thought he'd be. LaFlare got it done, but Kawajiri did not, so this bet was a loser.

Bet: Roy Nelson wins inside the distance (+110)

Wager: 10 units

Result: WON 11 units

"I'm fading Nogueira hard because he can barely move these days, and being immobile with a questionable chin is the worst possible counter for what Nelson brings." - Me, in last week's article

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira once again looked very slow and very hittable. It was almost uncomfortable to watch after the first few clean shots landed, as the knockout was only a matter of time.

UFC Fight Night 38 Result: - 4 units

Total After Seven Events: 224.95 units

Two consecutive events (UFC Fight Night 38 and UFC Fight Night 39) where I essentially broke even was not what I had hoped/expected and these smaller cards are proving tough to find value. TUF Nations Finale does little to change that, especially considering the prop lines have not been posted for most fights as I write this. Crossing my fingers for some good values later this week (UFC on FOX 11), but let's not overlook the TUF Nations Finale just yet.

Bet: Michael Bisping wins by decision (+115)

Wager: 15 units

Potential Winnings: 17.25 units

When Bisping is the favorite, he wins. When Bisping is the underdog, he loses. The man is a staple of consistency, beating the guys he's "supposed to" and losing to that next level of competition. I see Tim Kennedy as a game opponent, but one that Bisping should be able to beat by showing up and performing to his regularly shown capabilities. Expect Bisping to outwork Kennedy with technical boxing, tight clinch work, and mixed-in takedown threats. Kennedy has shown he can go five rounds, so it won't be a blowout by any means, and Bisping's eye injury (including the lay-off) is certainly a concern, but I'm counting on the Count.

Bet: Kyle Noke (-120)

Wager: 10 units

Potential Winnings: 8.33 units

Patrick Cote is coming off a questionable decision win over Bobby Voelker and a DQ win over Alessio Sakara. Neither performance was very impressive. While Noke isn't setting the world on fire, Cote's latest UFC run has not inspired confidence. Cote will have a slight advantage on the feet, but Noke has been aggressive in hunting for takedowns and if it hits the mat, a submission is in play. With superior grappling, decent striking, and realistic submission threats, I see Noke getting a late finish or a decision win.

Bet: George Roop (-120)

Wager: 5 units

Potential Winnings: 4.17 units

George Roop keeps his chin high and has been touched there before; that's my one concern in this match-up. In terms of physical attributes, wrestling, striking, and being able to combine all those elements, Roop has clear advantages over Dustin Kimura. Kimura is a finisher and a submission threat, but I think he's more likely to land a big shot than snatch up an arm or neck. I'm predicting that Roop can stay out of trouble and put Kimura in real danger, a place he's been in all of his UFC fights thus far. Not supremely confident, but Roop has earned me some nice profits in the past.

I was eyeing Sam Stout for a bet over K.J. Noons, but the news of their unexpected mutual decision to fight at welterweight rather than lightweight causes concern due to the situation's many unknowns. Have to pass for now.

At Risk: 30 units

Potential Profit: 29.75 units

DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend betting units that resemble the amounts wagered in this competition. Due to its nature, I am attempting to profit at an advanced rate and risking significantly more than is advisable for proper bankroll management. Please evaluate the breakdowns provided and adjust accordingly.

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