The undercard to UFC 146 presents a unique challenge in the way of spotting betting value. Find out where potential value can be found on the card, and where to track down the best prices on you wagers.
UFC 146: Complete Under-card Breakdown with
Mike Brown vs. Daniel Pineda
Don’t let yourself be fooled by Pineda’s
mediocre, 15-7 record. He’s just 26 years old and has only just now begun to
find his stride.
In his last two fights he has shown remarkable UFC betting value at prices of -145 against Pat Schilling, and +130 against Mackens
Semerzier. Both opponents were hurt on the feet before being mounted and
subsequently finished with a submission.
His striking has rapidly improved over the last
few years as he’s now feinting and countering far more effectively in his last
few bouts. He tends to lead and feint into his combinations with his right
uppercut, and has displayed tremendous accuracy and timing behind his lead hook
– which is what he used to drop Semerzier before mounting him and transitioning
into a fight ending triangle choke.
What is there left to really say about Mike
I think at 36 years old he’s clearly begun
regressing as a fighter. This was none more evident then in a recent bout with
Rani Yahya, where he closed as a -350 favorite and proceeded to drop a decisive
3 round decision. Then there’s the fact that he faded considerably after the
first rounds against both Diego Nunes and Nam Phan, which seems to be a
reoccurring issue of late.
Though I still believe Brown to be a threat to
anyone outside of the top 10 featherweights, Pineda’s recent rate of
progression trumps any of Browns prior accomplishments in this sport, and I
have to put my money on him at the +190 opener
UFC Play: Daniel Pineda +190
Diego Brandao vs. Darren
Last season’s Ultimate Fighter winner, Diego
Brandao, enters his second fight with the UFC against 15-2 Darren Elkins.
Simply put, Brandao is a 5’6'', tightly wound
ball of violence. The kid throws his right hand with more force than most
welterweights, and possesses some of the nastiest whip in the division behind
his leg kicks. Once he finds his stalking range, it’s usually game over for his
I can only see one scenario where Elkins walks
away with his hand raised in this match-up. He’ll need to survive the
first round onslaught from which he can then possibly grind a decision away
from Diego in the last two rounds.
The issue is we haven’t seen Diego make it out
of the first round in the last 3 years. In the 4 fights where he did go the
distance, he has a losing record of 1-3. Though to be fair, most of those
losses were during the infancy of his MMA career and before he had joined an
elite camp like Greg Jacksons. Still though, you have to factor in the fact
Diego throws a lot off high energy strikes early in his fights, which is always
a recipe for late round fatigue.
Elkins’ overall skill-set is fairly bland, but
he does have a nice single leg and decent top control, which he showcased in
his last fight against Tiequan Zhang.
Several times during the bout he was able to reverse position off Zhang’s
guillotine attempts and achieve both back control and full mount throughout the
I see this fight ending almost the same way as
Brandao’s last 4: him getting inside early and finding a home for that menacing
right hand. Most of the value in this fight will probably be on Diego in round
1, and a possible flyer on Elkins by decision.
UFC Pick: Diego Brandao
Edson Barboza vs. Jamie Varner
Jamie Varner presents the first real threat to
the unknowns surrounding Edson’s takedown defense.
What we do know is that Barboza was inexcusably
taken down in his last fight during both the first and second round by an
outside double leg from Terry Etim. Despite his ability to bounce right back to
his feet on both occasions, the mere fact that someone of Etim’s caliber had
success taking him down is a bit troubling considering he’s now up against his
first opponent with competent wrestling credentials.
Barboza has proven to be massively overvalued
in all three of his latest fights. First, as a 1/3 favorite against Anthony
Njokuani, he barely squeaked out a competitive decision in which he
clearly lost the second round. Then, against Ross Pearson,
he again closed at nearly -300 and took a split decision than many felt he
The latest instance of his hype directly
affecting the betting line was against Terry Etim, who he again closed at
nearly -300 against. The fight was fairly even going into the third round as
most outlets had Etim winning the second frame.
This time Barboza is coming in at almost -500
against a former WEC champion whose demonstrated perhaps the most well rounded
game he’s ever faced inside the octagon.
If it wasn’t for Varner taking this fight on
such short notice, I’d probably be or inclined to take a shot on the long odds
of him winning a decision. At the moment though, I have to side with Barboza’s
fierce leg kicks and much quicker counters on the feet.
UFC Pick: Edson Barboza
Jason Miller vs. C.B. Dollaway
After a disappointing debut last year, Jason
Miller is now being given a redemptive opportunity against ASU wrestler C.B
First off, for as long as these guys have been
competing in MMA, their striking is downright offensive. However, at least with
Dollaway he’s demonstrated legit power in his right hand as well as the much
crisper delivery behind his punches. That said, he’s still overly predicable
with his right hand and he has trouble chaining anything more than a 2 punch
The fact he was able to get through with his
right hand and repeatedly stagger Jared Hamman in his last fight is enough for
me to give him a slight edge if this stays standing.
The biggest issue for Dollaway in that fight
was a lack of conditioning. At the start of the second round his punches
were a lot more labored, and his first double leg attempt was easily stuffed
and shrugged off against the fence. From there it was only a matter of time
before Jared poured it on with his strikes, forcing a stoppage just halfway
into the second round.
While Miller’s cardio was equally horrendous
against Bisping, he still shown a more sustainable output throughout his
career. I think the most likely scenario here is Miller subbing Dollaway
sometime after the second round, however, the only real betting value I can
envision there being on this fight is Dollaway by decision. Though I’m picking
Miller here, I have no interest in betting on either of these flakes.
UFC Pick: Jason Miller
vs. Duane Ludwig
In the premier striking match on the card, Dan
Hardy will look to snap out of an 0-4 losing streak against the recently
surging, Duane Ludwig.
I’d categorize both of these guys as counter
punches. Ludwig loves to time his short right hand when pressured, whereas
Hardy is constantly looking to sit down on his counter left hook.
As far as the recent betting history on these
two, Hardy has been overvalued with UFC odds of -160 against Condit and +140
against Anthony Johnson, while Ludwig has shown tremendous value at +350
against Sadollah and +150 against Josh Neer—despite losing, he looked good
I think you could make a case for playing
either guy as a small underdog in this match-up. With Hardy, he’s the more
durable of the two and possesses a clear edge in power Ludwig, meanwhile,
maintains a higher output with a more persistent leg attack.
Ultimately, I have to side with the more
resilient fighter in Dan Hardy. I think he can absorb most of what Ludwig
throws at him, but don’t see Ludwig walking through any on Dan’s clean left
UFC Play: Dan Hardy -145
Jacob Volkmann vs. Paul Sass
Grappling supremacy will be on the line when
Jacob Volkmann attempts to derail the recently attained hype behind unbeaten
British fighter, Paul Sass.
Sass is best known for his guard game where
he’s secured 8 of his 12 victories by triangle choke. Most notably he holds
wins over current UFC fighters Jason Young and Michael Johnson, submitting both
fighters within the first round.
Volkmann, meanwhile, has been on a tear of his
own with 5 straight victories since he decided to make the drop down to the
lightweight division in 2010.
This fight is extremely straight forward from a
betting perspective. Simply put, Volkmann has been able to suffocate far
superior grapplers in the past. There’s nothing in his past performances that
would leave us to believe that Sass has any chance at negating his highly
developed top control.
UFC Play: Jacob Volkmann -150
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Glover Teixeira
UFC newcomer, Glover Teixeria, is the latest
Brazilian to invade the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Over the last 6 years, he’s put a 15 fight
winning streak together, consisting of victories over notable UFC vets such as
Ricco Rodriguez and Rameau Sokoudjou.
There are 2 clear advantages I give him over
Kingsbury in this match, up. Obviously his grappling credentials speak for
themselves, but then there’s the fact that he’s much more fluid and instinctual
with his punches in the pocket—better counters and more deceptive delivery
overall, especially with his short right hook on the inside.
Kingsbury’s advantages, meanwhile, lie in his
general bruteness in the clinch. and his takedown ability from the outside.
His knees have proven to be trouble for anyone
who has the misfortune of clinching with him. They were his most significant
offense against Fabio Maldonado, and against Ricardo Romero, it took him less
than 45 seconds into the first round to break several ribs with a knee against
While neither guy has shown great conditioning
of late, I feel slightly more reassured about Kyle’s potential effectiveness
late in a fight since he’s recently gone 3 rounds twice. As gassed as he
appeared after the first round against Fabio, he was still hitting the
occasional double leg from the outside while still maintaining briefly
effective bursts of offense in the clinch.
On the feet, Kyle will need to use his rangier
attack to keep Glover on the outside of the pocket. Just as he showed early
against Fabio, his push kicks and stiff jab have the ability to dictate the
pace of the action. Glover may be the better pure boxer, but he eats way too
many punches and tends to get complacent at times in the clinch- two things
that were exposed against a very mediocre opponent in Marvin Eastman.
Glover’s meager level of competition, combined
with a noticeable size disadvantage makes me favor Kyle by a slight margin in
this match-up. However, the only way I’d personally bet this fight is if I was
offered +140 or better on Teixeira. At that price, I like his chance of eeking
out a close decision, or securing a possible submission late in the fight.
UFC Play: Glover Teixeria