The UFC returns to Sydney, Australia where a clinical clash of Muay Thai will take place between Martin Kampmann and Thiago “Pitbull” Alves. Will Thiago’s power be the defining edge, or is Martin’s superior counter punching enough to give him the nod here?
UFC on FX 2: Thiago “Pitbull” Alves vs. Martin “Hitman” Kampmann
March 3rd marks the UFC’s return to Sydney, Australia as
Thiago Alves collides with Danish welterweight, Martin Kampmann.
On Jan 14th, Nick Kalikas opened the UFC betting lines at -110 on Alves. The action since then has steadily favored
Thiago, with an overall shift of around 20 cents. Currently, most sportsbooks are sitting at -128 after falling from -140 late last week. My guess is that the UFC odds will continue to trend in Thiago’s favor until reaching up to -155 after the weigh-ins.
Their respective performance against Rick Story is what’s
skewed the line here in my opinion. Martin deserves credit for doing a better
job at circling and fighting his way off the cage but in now way does that
justify his current price.
Aside from a slight power advantage, Thiago Alves has also
displayed a tighter overall defense between the two. Although Kampmann counters
well backing up, his defense gets a bit leaky once you put enough pressure on
him. In his last two fights, Rick Story and Diego Sanchez both managed to hurt
Marin while pressuring him against the cage.
Kampmann’s striking is as clean and precise as you’ll see in
the welterweight division. At times he likes to lead out with his right hook
and shortens his straight right nicely for the counter. I consider him to be a slightly better
counter puncher than Alves but he’s also shown that he can stalk and go on the
attack once he finds the proper range with his right.
Alves, meanwhile, is an equally equipped striker with an
overall edge in power. One of the more distinct advantages he has over Kampmann
is ability to utilize his heavy outside leg kicks. He generates what I consider
to be some of the nastiest torque and whip behind his right outside leg kick.
He also keeps a high guard where his hands are usually
perfectly positioned to defend and deflect opposing strikes. He fights well of the jab, and times his left
hook counter quite well anytime he’s being pressured.
Both men have slightly underrated takedown ability but I
give Kampmann an overall edge in the grappling department. I don’t think he can
hold Alves down if he does happen to earn a takedown, however he’s probably the
more likely of the two to lock in a submission.
At the current odds I have to advise a medium size sports betting play on Alves
here. I think the combination of his powerful leg kicks and the power behind
his basic combinations will be enough to earn him at least a decision. Kampmann’s
counter ability may very well be the difference here but I would have to see an
offering of +145 or higher before even considering a play on him
UFC Pick: Thiago Alves -128 (at Pinnacle.com)
vs. Ian “Uncle
Stage 1 of the UFC’s Flyweight Tourney kicks off with
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ian Mccall to
determine which fighter advances to the championship against either Joseph
Benavidez or Yasuhiro Urushitani.
Since opening at -280, the action has been largely in favor
of Johnson. At the moment he’s priced as high as -370 at 5dimes and a low as
-350 at Pinnacle.
A lot of that has to do with the casual fans relative
familiarity with Johnson’s recent accomplishments; however, he also holds a
considerable wrestling advantage to go along with the quicker strikes and more
diverse kicking attack.
In the Dominick Cruz fight, Johnson did an excellent job at
pressuring the champion into the fence where he managed to briefly score a few
takedowns of his own. He was perfectly feinting in with his lead hook while
stringing together his 3 and 4 punch/kick combinations. The fact that his speed
was able to bother a striker like Cruz was unquestionably factored into the
As a +190 underdog, Ian Mccall went
on to dethrone formed number one flyweight Jussier Da
Silva last year, which subsequently bought his way into this
Mccall double his jab up nicely in order to work his way
into the pocket and shows the more advanced lead hand. He likes to enter the
pocket with a forceful lead hook and usually disguises the punch quite well to
the body. From there he has a powerful right hand that you’ll often see him
come over the top with.
I consider Ian to be the crisper, cleaner striker of the two;
however, Johnson’s speed and ability to close the distance will likely negate a
lot of that throughout the fight. Johnson’s higher strike output is another massive concern for me of this
goes to a decision, which in a close fight could very well be the difference on
I expect Johnson’s speed and takedowns to be enough to earn the
decision, however +319 on Mccall is enough to warrant a small play on the
underdog. Giving him only a 24% chance to win here seem just a tad off to me.
UFC Pick: “Uncle Creepy” +319 (at sportbet.com)