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Ric's Picks: UFC on FOX 11

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Thanks to Sean Knowles for the design.
Thanks to Sean Knowles for the design.

I'm checking in for the second time this week as we enter the home stretch. Eight events have come and gone, with two left to claim victory. It's been a fun ride, but it's not over yet. If you're just joining us now, visit the competition's debut post and see where this whole thing started.

It does not feel good to relive your failures while the wounds are still fresh, but let's see what went wrong at the TUF Nations Finale before getting into UFC on FOX 11.

Bet: Michael Bisping wins by decision (+115)

Wager: 15 units

Result: LOST 15 units

Bisping did not look to be operating at 100%, but Tim Kennedy showed no mercy with a smothering top game, controlling Bisping in ways that even a dominant wrestler like Chael Sonnen could not. Factor in Kennedy's broken hand (sustained during the fight) and the blowout becomes even more impressive. I figured Bisping would be able to keep Kennedy off the way he has every opponent before him, but Kennedy was relentless.

Bet: Kyle Noke (-120)

Wager: 10 units

Result: LOST 10 units

I thought wrestling would be the difference in this fight, but unfortunately for me, it was Patrick Cote landing unimpeded takedowns. Noke looked helpless defending against Cote's attack. I was shocked by Bisping getting outgrappled so thoroughly, but much more shocked at how easily Noke was dumped by Cote. I almost passed on Noke, but it definitely wasn't because I thought he'd be on his back for half of each round. Most of you in the comments of the Ric's Picks: TUF Nations Finale article were on Cote, so kudos to my sharp readers out there.

Bet: George Roop (-120)

Wager: 5 units

Result: WON 4.17 units

I should have been more confident in Roop, as he made it look easy against Dustin Kimura. He was never in any real danger and controlled the action from start to finish.

TUF Nations Finale Result: - 20.83 units

Total After Eight Events: 204.12 units

Whereas a lot of recent cards have been hard to find value due to heavy favorites, this card is almost loaded with playable lines and close fights. If all goes well, I should be set up nicely for a final push at UFC 172. But first, UFC on FOX 11.

Bet: Edson Barboza wins by decision (+298)

Wager: 10 units

Potential Winnings: 29.8 units

While I am worried about Barboza being rocked by both Jamie Varner and Danny Castillo, the threat of the takedown set up those exchanges. Against Donald Cerrone, Barboza will have more time to find his range and attack to the body, head, and legs of a very hittable Cerrone. I don't foresee Cerrone's chin failing him, so it will most likely be a good back-and-forth with Barboza setting the pace and distance. If it hits the mat, Cerrone's at an advantage, but Barboza's takedown defense is rock solid.

Bet: Jorge Masvidal wins by decision (+110)

Wager: 10 units

Potential Winnings: 11 units

Pat Healy will look to drag Masvidal to the mat and has said as much in interviews recently. I don't think he can do it very easily, as Masvidal has faced better, more fluid wrestlers and kept it standing. On the feet, Masvidal picks Healy apart. He might drop a round, but I like Masvidal to ride out a decision comfortably.

Bet: Khabib Nurmagomedov wins by decision (-106)

Wager: 10 units

Potential Winnings: 9.43 units

I think the line (for straight bets on either fighter) is off here. Rafael dos Anjos is a fast improving, powerful striker and a very high level grappler. Nurmagomedov should be able to wear dos Anjos down with the unrelenting aggression, takedowns, and suplexes he's become known for, but it will be by far his toughest test to date. On the feet, I give Nurmagomedov a slight edge based on output and unpredictability, but he needs to be careful.

Bet: Yoel Romero (+105)

Wager: 10 units

Potential Winnings: 10.5 units

Romero tends to have stretches of listlessness (which was evident as he dropped two rounds to Derek Brunson before turning it around in the third), but he compensates for that with superhero power to match his superhero physique. Brad Tavares is definitely the more well rounded, reliable fighter, but he typically earns wins with a grinding style of efficient striking and takedowns. I don't see him having much success grappling-wise against Romero and on the feet, they're just about even (discounting the nuclear bomb thump Yoel brings). I could see Tavares scraping by with a decision the way he has recently, but I'm on Romero at plus odds. If Romero debuts his offensive wrestling game (we've yet to see him use it), the odds shift even more in his favor.

At Risk: 40 units

Potential Profit: 60.73 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.