Long time no see, folks. The previous edition of Ric's Picks dropped almost three weeks ago, but have no fear; I back. Trust me, I back.
The final four events in this challenge take place over roughly a two week span, so the finish line is fast approaching. It should be exciting and there's no better time than now to follow along if you haven't been already. Check out the debut post and join us.
UFC Fight Night 38 was a strange one all the way around. Let's dive back into the madness of a few weeks ago and then swim to the other side for UFC Fight Night 39.
Wager: 15 units
I jumped on this parlay early and got a very good price. My thinking going in: Brandao is a stylistic nightmare for Will Chope and Parke is too well rounded to fall into the traps set by Leonardo Santos.
Hours before the event, Will Chope is removed from the card and subsequently released. This caused my original parlay to become a straight bet on Parke. At this point, I was expecting a marginal gain.
Then the draw happened. Santos was doing much better than expected against Parke, but a point deduction for grabbing the shorts produced no action betting-wise and Ric's Picks' first push. A very odd way to break even.
Bet: Parlay of Gian Villante (-110) and Norman Parke wins by decision (+100)
Wager: 10 units
Result: LOST 10 units
Both legs of this parlay got busted. Villante gassed after a dominant first round against Fabio Maldonado and Parke earned a draw rather than a decision win. I knew about Villante's cardio issues going in, but figured he'd be able to use a heavy top game to rest and control the fight. He used the heavy top game early, but somehow gassed out in the process. It was a bad performance and a bad bet.
Bet: CB Dollaway (+188)
Wager: 5 units
Result: WON 9.4 units
Early knockout wasn't exactly my prediction, but I did see it as a possibility and almost laid units on Dollaway wins by TKO and Dollaway wins by submission (each near +700 at the time). I was pleasantly surprised when I didn't have to sweat out a decision, as Dollaway put Cezar Ferreira away quickly.
Bet: Ronny Markes wins inside the distance (+110)
Wager: 5 units
Result: LOST 5 units
Markes missed weight by a ridiculous amount and got smoked. Disaster.
UFC Fight Night 38 Result: -5.6 units
Total After Six Events: 228.95 units
On a card that featured wins by nine underdogs, one favorite, and a draw, I was very happy to escape relatively unscathed. It was a wild night for anybody eyeing upsets, but I wasn't sold on many going in. My convictions were with a few favorites who ended up being removed from the card (Brandao), badly missing weight (Markes), gassing out from top control (Villante), and losing a point without warning for grabbing shorts, en route to a draw (Parke). Dollaway saved the day, but it could have been a lot worse.
I was glad to forget about that one for a while, so let's bury UFC Fight Night 38 again and look ahead to UFC Fight Night 39.
Wager: 15 units
Potential Winnings: 29.79 units
Kawajiri opened as a -155 favorite, but climbed as high as +125 at one point. I'm not seeing the reason. Clay Guida is facing a better wrestler and that typically spells doom for him. It's evident simply by looking at the names on his record, but Michael Carroll of Fightmetric provided a stat that really drives the point home: Guida is 2-6 in UFC competition when he gives up a takedown and 8-2 when he doesn't. While Guida will have the speed advantage, Kawajiri showed an aggressiveness in his UFC debut that makes me believe he can get this fight to the ground and control Guida. On the feet, Guida might be able to use his endless gas tank to execute a gameplan focused on outworking Kawajiri, but I could see defensive lapses leading to some power shots that send Guida reeling.
John Howard will be LaFlare's toughest test to date. Howard has solid boxing/muay thai and good power, but LaFlare will more likely have to fend off clinches and takedowns from Howard's grappling game that somehow still catches people off guard -- he's never been one to stand and bang exclusively, preferring to mix punches, kicks, and takedowns in combination. LaFlare is as well rounded as they come, showing off improved striking (including shockingly high offensive output) against Court McGee and an always impressive wrestling game. I can't see this being his first finish in the UFC, as Howard is very difficult to put away, but the longer and stronger LaFlare will get it done.
Bet: Roy Nelson wins inside the distance (+110)
Wager: 10 units
Potential Winnings: 11 units
Theoretically, Nelson has five rounds to land a clean shot (that same clean shot he's landed a dozen times before) on Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's chin. In actuality, it's more like two or three rounds. If Nelson can't take him out early, I fully expect Nogueira to pick up the pace as Nelson fades in the Abu Dhabi heat. 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. I'm predicting the knockout that most others are also forecasting, but I could easily see Nelson losing steam and a decision.
That's it. Another lean week of wagering, as I really only liked the early lines on Kawajiri and LaFlare.
At Risk: 25 units
Potential Profit: 40.79 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.