That’s right folks, we’ve all survived another week of bullshit and as a reward, we get some primo violence all weekend long. Not only do we get that sweet sweet violence, we also get some juicy winners procured by yours truly. We’ve got Eagle FC, LFA, PFL Challenger Series, Cage Warriors, Bellator, and UFC to pick from and no shortage of good spots, so let’s dig in.
Opening a lovely weekend of gambling on human cockfighting, Khabib Nurmagomedov brings us Eagle FC’s second foray into the states. I actually have 2 spots I like here, and they just so happen to be friends of the progrum.
First, we have Dylan “The Quiet Man” Mantello (4-1) taking on Archie Colgan (3-0). A massive lightweight at 6’1”, Dylan boasts first round stoppages with both strikes and submissions and can be had at +400 as of this writing. There’s a simple reason for this price tag, Archie is a credentialed wrestler who competed at the D1 level in college at Wyoming and amassed a 125-44 career record.
In his last fight, Dylan was bested by an opponent who wrestled relentlessly (though he didn’t do much damage). The key difference here is that fight took place in a small cage, and Dylan will have a significant advantage in both height (5 inches) and reach, and that coupled with a bigger cage with more ways to avoid cage grappling make him worth at least a sprinkle at the price in my completely unbiased, always correct opinion.
Dylan Mantello +400 1u
Next up, another friend of the progrum coming in at plus money. Impa Kasanganay (9-2) draws Raimond Magomedaliev (9-1) in his debut fight for the promotion and his first fight since leaving the UFC. Impa had a tumultuous UFC tenure amassing a 2-2 record and landing on both sides of the highlight reel, but at only 28, his ceiling is still incredibly high.
Not to mention, fans were pretty universally surprised with the promotions decision not to renew Impa’s contract, with many viewing it as a misstep. All that aside, Impa comes in as a +170 underdog. Khabib is trying to feed our sweet boy to the wolves!
The way I see it, both of these guys are killers, and they’ve fought very comparable competition. Impa’s opponents have a combined record of 63-20, while Raimond’s opponents combine for 66-27. This is a dog or pass fight, and I’m riding with the dog.
Impa +170 1u
Man, it warms the heart to see LFA and MMA in general returning to its natural habitat, Brazil. LFA usually crushes these Brazilian cards and this weekend should be no exception, and I have my eye on the main event.
Jonas Bilharinho (9-1-1) was probably the biggest snub of last years season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He scored a gorgeous 3rd round wheel kick to seal the deal and for some reason wasn’t given a contract, ho hum. Jonas returns to action for the first time since that spectacular knockout against Jose Delano (9-2).
No slouch in his own right, Delano comes into this fight riding an 8 fight win streak that dates all the way back to 2015. He picked up 5 finishes along the way. I came into this fully expecting to bet Jonas because I enjoyed watching him fight and his unorthodox striking, but watching Delano, he seems to have an ideal style to give Jonas some problems, especially on the ground.
Jonas carry’s a hefty -225 price, and I think a lot of that is probably name value coming off that crazy finish. Both men were originally slated to face other opponents on this card and have not put together a camp for the other, with all that variance I can’t resist a little sprinkle on the dog. Recurring theme I guess.
Jose Delano +165 .5u
PFL Challenger Series
This is a tough card to bet but I think I have another tasty + money play here. I was planning on dabbling in some Boston Salmon almost solely because he’s faced better competition than Do Gyeom Lee, but the weight miss from Lee scared me off. No thank you!
I think this may actually be my favorite play on this card, but you can get the under in the Edwin Cooper Jr. (5-1) v. Troy Lamson (13-4) bout at +140. Cooper Jr. is easily my favorite prospect on this card and one of my favorites of the season. His only loss was a very bad stoppage where the ref somehow saw a tap that never happened and called the fight. In his 5 victories he has 3 stoppages, and his wrestling is just a delight to watch. Lots of cool slams and heavy pressure.
While more of a journeyman, Lamson has also racked up 10 stoppages in his career, albeit against subpar competition. Cooper Jr. is a heavy favorite at -340 but frankly, it’s warranted. I think he gets Lamson out of there fairly early and likely by submission. I would feel perfectly comfortable throwing Cooper Jr. in some parlays I wanted to make a little juicer as well, but the under is the play.
U2.5 +140 2.5u, Edwin Cooper Jr. in parlays
Make sure you’re following @sportwatcherpro this weekend for live coverage from Bellator 276 all night. There’s a few good spots here, and I’ll post the full card on twitter as always but there’s one in particular I’d like to key in on.
Jose “gugu” Augusto (7-3) returns to the cage after his loss to Rumble Johnson in the first round of Bellator’s light heavyweight Grand Prix against Alex Polizzi (9-1). The records here are a bit deceptive, Gugu suffered 2 losses in the first 4 fights of his career and then ripped off 5 straight before getting finished by Rumble.
While we’re on the topic, Gugu impressed the hell out of me in that fight. He became the first man to ever knock down Rumble, and he did it with a broken hand. The power mixed with the pure grit he exhibited in that fight made me promise myself I’d bet him in the next one, and here he is as a +125 dog to Polizzi, who has never personally impressed me very much and got beat thoroughly by Julius Anglickas in his only real step up in competition. No, I will not count a win over a rapidly deteriorating Rafael Carvahlo as good.
Jose Augusto +125 1u
I think I’ve cracked the code with this one. The board and I sat down and we had a nice long chat. We talked about life, purpose, and 12 to 1 winners. I think we both learned a lot and grew from the experience, and that’s what really matters.
You’re gonna need to bear with me here, but I’ve convinced myself I have the read. Marlon Moraes will knock out Song Yadong in the first round. Take it to the bank.
Marlon is a flawed fighter at this stage of his career, I am not here to dispute that. The cardio and the chin both just aren’t what they used to be. What I am here to shrewdly point out is that for the first 3 or so minutes of a fight, Marlon is as dangerous a striker as there is in the bantamweight division. Just look at the Merab fight. There are probably 2 or 3 spots that fight could have been stopped and no one would have batted an eye. Now Merab happens to be an actual machine, but anybody else is getting put out there.
Now let me be clear, as soon as this fight exits that 3-4 minute Marlon sweet spot, it’s gonna go bad for him. Like, really really bad for him. But if he comes out blitzing like he tends to do, Song has been knocked out before and way crazier things have happened as far as I’m concerned. At +1200, I think we’re getting fantastic value on an outcome that isn’t *that* unlikely.
Marlon Moraes by first round T/KO +1200 .5u