We are SO bach. I won’t sit here and pretend the picks were good for the 3 UFC Jacksonville cards. They stunk and we lost BUT to my credit I think there were 5 fights over 3 cards where I got fucked by terrible no good downright bad judging. The good news is now we’re moving to Vegas and the UFC Apex training center and the judging physically cannot be as bad as the last few cards. I hope.
Before we dive right into some winners, a quick note on the Octagon at the Apex –
The Apex Octagon is generally used for The Contender Series and is about 30% smaller than a standard Octagon. While this may seem inconsequential, the finish rate jumps 12% in the Apex Octagon and that is significant. Less room to run around = more standing and banging, more fighting in a phone booth, and more finishing. Yes please! Don’t mind if I do! In theory we should see some great close quarters fights and the judges should have less of a chance to fuck it up for everyone, a true win-win. But, I know you’re all here for real winners, so let’s dive in.
Antonina Shevchenko -140 v. Katlyn Chookagian +110
This is an interesting fight on paper. Chookagian is coming off a tough loss to the younger Shevchenko sister, Valentina, while Shevchenko has had a mixed bag over her last few fights including a decision loss to Roxanne Modafieri. This should actually be a really good fight that helps paint the picture of whether or not Shevchenko is a real contender at flyweight but from what this brain knows, Chookagian IS a real contender and at plus money the value is too good for me to pass up. Toss a unit at Chookagian +110.
Billy Quarantillo -135 v. Spike Carlyle +105
Some names that casual fight fans may not know, Quarantillo burst into the scene with a wild Contender Series TKO last summer and followed up with a triangle choke finish of up and comer Jacob Killburn in his UFC debut. Quarantillo has ripped off 6 straight and while Carlyle has an impressive 5 fight win streak going for him, Quarantillo should represent a clear step up in competition and I don’t think ole Spike is ready to make that jump just yet. Lock in Quarantillo -135 for a unit and the o2.5 at +115.
Blagoy Ivanov -115 v. Augusto Sakai -115
I’ll be honest here, I have NO read on this fight. Blagoy has been an up and down 2-2 in the UFC with losses to Derrick Lewis and Junior Dos Santos. Sakai on the other hand is surging off wins against Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura and a win here would really solidify him as a contender at heavyweight and probably push him into the top 10. These are big boys so the natural inclination is someone’s gonna sleep but Blagoy has a hell of a chin and Sakai hasn’t really been tested that much. I think this one winds up in deep waters and the reverse brain over prevails. O2.5 -190 is the pick.
Jamahal Hill -130 v. Klidson Abreu even
I am not going to pretend I know very much about Klidson Abreu here. What I do know however is that Jamahal Hill looks like a legit prospect at 205. He sports an undefeated 8-0 all time record in the cage including a dominant TKO win on the Contender Series and a unanimous decision win in his UFC debut over Darko Stoscic. I believe Hill might be the real deal and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. I may fuck around and bet Hill to win inside distance at +350 but for now I’m sticking with Hill -130.
Mackenzie Dern -450 v. Hannah Cifers +325
I think Dern is wayyyyyy overpriced here frankly. Dern is 7-1 and one of the faster rising stars in the strawweight division despite a decision loss to Amanda Ribas in her last fight. Dern has fantastic jiu jitsu but Cifers is the more battle tested of the 2 and if Hannah can use the jab to keep Dern from locking up and engaging in the clinch I do see a path to victory for her. So, there’s definite value in Cifers +325 but actually, that’s not even the play. I’m taking o2.5 at +125. Women rarely finish fights and that value is too good to pass up.
Roosevelt Roberts -360 v. Brok Weaver +270
This should be a real interesting fight for sure. Unfortunately for Weaver, his UFC debut was cut short after he ate an illegal knee and couldn’t continue the fight. Roberts on the other hand has fought 3 UFC bouts and is 2-1 in that time. I believe the experience is the biggest factor in the line because there’s nothing physically that separates these men that much. I have no choice but to dabble half a unit on Weaver +270 and throw a full unit at u2.5 +135. Someone go to sleep.
Side note – I like Tim Elliot but not enough to bet him at -170. If the price drops keep on eye on it.
And now, IT’S TIIIIIIIME for our main event of the evening.
The return of Tyron Woodley is something I am very excited for. Is Twood a terrible rapper? Yes. Is he kind of cringey? Also yes. Is he also the greatest welterweight champ of all time? You guessed it, a resounding yes. TWood may have gotten his day ruined by Marty from Nebraska but that doesn’t change his run as king of the division. Gilbert “Durinho” Burns has been one of the promotion’s fastest rising stars at welter and now he gets a true test. The winner of this fight is absolutely on the short list for a shot at the strap and at the end of the day I think we see a revitalized, hungry TWood give Burns more than he can take with the wrestling and with the hands. I am housing Woodley -185 and Woodley inside distance +110.
TLDR picks for degens:
Quarantillo -135 and o2.5 +190
Ivanov o2.5 -190
Dern o2.5 +125
.5 unit Weaver +270, u2.5 +125
Woodley -185 and inside distance +110
Let’s get fucking violent everyone. I’ll leave you with this to get the juices flowing.