1. #1
    THE_LOCKSMITH
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    UFC 259: Blachowicz vs. Adesanya (March 06, 2021)



    Pay-per-view 10:00 pm ET
    Jan Blachowicz vs. Israel Adesanya (for light heavyweight title)
    Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson (for featherweight title)
    Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling (for bantamweight title)
    Drew Dober vs. Islam Makhachev
    Aleksandar Rakic vs. Thiago Santos

    ESPN 8:00 pm ET
    Dominick Cruz vs. Casey Kenney
    Kyler Phillips vs. Song Yadong
    Askar Askarov vs. Joseph Benavidez
    Amanda Lemos vs. Livinha Souza

    ESPN+ 6:00 pm ET
    Tim Elliott vs. Jordan Espinosa
    Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Carlos Ulberg
    Sean Brady vs. Jake Matthews
    Rogerio Bontorin vs. Kai Kara-France
    Aalon Cruz vs. Uros Medic
    Mario Bautista vs. Trevin Jones



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  2. #2
    richie360
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    God Tier card. Got to assume we will lose 1 or two fights. Really hope this card stays intact
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  3. #3
    Thrilla
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  4. #4
    frankieunits2685
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    Nice odds for this card. Lets find some winners!
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  5. #5
    WolfTicketDealer
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    Like Izzy, Nunes, and Sterling in the title fights. Seems like an appetizing betting card, really looking forward to this one!

  6. #6
    frankieunits2685
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    I'm really excited for Sterling/Yan.
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  7. #7
    WolfTicketDealer
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    Quote Originally Posted by frankieunits2685 View Post
    I'm really excited for Sterling/Yan.
    Best two guys in the division imo. Think the winner will be champ for a couple years.
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  8. #8
    Sato
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    Somebody bet Anderson ITD/KO/Round props. Astronomical juice.

  9. #9
    JIBBBY
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    Solid card. Very excite. Always bet on black with this card is in play.. Issy and Sterling should clean up.

  10. #10
    hankcream
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    The most stacked card I’ve seen in a long time. Really liking Kyler Phillips & Sterling @ current prices
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  11. #11
    Thrilla
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  12. #12
    jrgum3
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    Quote Originally Posted by richie360 View Post
    God Tier card. Got to assume we will lose 1 or two fights. Really hope this card stays intact
    Got to believe most of the fights stay intact even though it seems we lose 1 or 2 fights every week. At least that's what I'm hoping because this card promises to be exciting.
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  13. #13
    THE_LOCKSMITH
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    Yan/Sterling is currently a pick em' at most books, the way the line is moving Sterling might be the fav at fight time...
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  14. #14
    PaperTrail07
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    his body triangle is like a penetrate BkofAma constrictor-but Id have to lean Yan at that price.....
    Quote Originally Posted by THE_LOCKSMITH View Post
    Yan/Sterling is currently a pick em' at most books, the way the line is moving Sterling might be the fav at fight time...

  15. #15
    UncleChael
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    Aljo at a pickem? Vegas knows Aljo's gonna chew him up

  16. #16
    Unwritten Law
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    Aljo is currently the favorite now at -115 to Yan -109

  17. #17
    SEKTAUR
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    Eh decent card. No hot chick fights. Probably take a shot on Megan seeing as she’s getting those Holy Holm Ronda Rousey odds. And like Stylebender but worried obv about Jans power and he’s really good and checking those leg kicks. Don’t wanna see Izzy take a Anderson Silva leg snap.

  18. #18
    frankieunits2685
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEKTAUR View Post
    Eh decent card. No hot chick fights. Probably take a shot on Megan seeing as she’s getting those Holy Holm Ronda Rousey odds. And like Stylebender but worried obv about Jans power and he’s really good and checking those leg kicks. Don’t wanna see Izzy take a Anderson Silva leg snap.
    "decent" card??
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  19. #19
    PaperTrail07
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    Man I hate fights like Islam and Dober--Think Is wins but +300 to too much to pass up on----like Brady and Yan at first glance...

  20. #20
    WolfTicketDealer
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperTrail07 View Post
    Man I hate fights like Islam and Dober--Think Is wins but +300 to too much to pass up on----like Brady and Yan at first glance...
    Like Brady as a prospect but think he's a bit too wide against Matthews. Matthews by far the best guy Brady has faced to this point.

  21. #21
    povis
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    Is there are path to a victory for Algo besides submission? Yan is pretty sharp on a feet also good cardio

  22. #22
    UncleChael
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleChael View Post
    Call me a fool but I'll probably take Aljo everyime.. The FunkMaster gets it done tonight. +100 ML.
    This is year 4 of riding with Aljamain Sterling !!! Can't wait!! The Human Anaconda

  23. #23
    WolfTicketDealer
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    Quote Originally Posted by povis View Post
    Is there are path to a victory for Algo besides submission? Yan is pretty sharp on a feet also good cardio
    Sterling's striking has come a long way. I think he can keep things competitive on the feet with Yan for the first couple rounds as Yan at times has shown to be a slow starter (plus Aljo is a bit unorthodox in his style with a reach advantage). That said, I do think Sterling will need to grapple if he's gonna take this one.
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  24. #24
    PaperTrail07
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    They are both amazing fighter and honestly Id like to see AJ win it....just will take plus $ on this one...
    Quote Originally Posted by WolfTicketDealer View Post
    Sterling's striking has come a long way. I think he can keep things competitive on the feet with Yan for the first couple rounds as Yan at times has shown to be a slow starter (plus Aljo is a bit unorthodox in his style with a reach advantage). That said, I do think Sterling will need to grapple if he's gonna take this one.

  25. #25
    209 Life
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    I can't wait to see Islam vs Dober. That's a car crash/FOTN in the making
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  26. #26
    Hugo de Naranja
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    Quote Originally Posted by povis View Post
    Is there are path to a victory for Algo besides submission? Yan is pretty sharp on a feet also good cardio
    I think Decision is his best path.
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  27. #27
    Hugo de Naranja
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    Quote Originally Posted by 209 Life View Post
    I can't wait to see Islam vs Dober. That's a car crash/FOTN in the making
    I think Makhachev takes Dober down and grinds him.
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  28. #28
    PaperTrail07
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    I have to agree-sadly lol....LOVE both fighters.....A KO for Dober is not out of the question IMO however....Dober no clown at 3:1
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo de Naranja View Post
    I think Makhachev takes Dober down and grinds him.

  29. #29
    Hugo de Naranja
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperTrail07 View Post
    I have to agree-sadly lol....LOVE both fighters.....A KO for Dober is not out of the question IMO however....Dober no clown at 3:1
    Dober KO > Dober ML imo
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  30. #30
    209 Life
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo de Naranja View Post
    I think Makhachev takes Dober down and grinds him.
    AKA coach Javier Mendez is always glowing talking about Islam, He's supposed to be Khabib's successor from what Javier says.

  31. #31
    Hugo de Naranja
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    Quote Originally Posted by 209 Life View Post
    AKA coach Javier Mendez is always glowing talking about Islam, He's supposed to be Khabib's successor from what Javier says.
    Yeah I think he is awesome. One of the top prospects in the sport imo.
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  32. #32
    WolfTicketDealer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo de Naranja View Post
    Yeah I think he is awesome. One of the top prospects in the sport imo.
    Can Makhachev even be considered a prospect anymore? He's a ranked fighter and is 7-1 in the UFC.

  33. #33
    JIBBBY
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    Write up prelims..



    125 lbs.: Tim Elliott vs. Jordan Espinosa

    After initially leaving UFC on a three-fight skid back in 2015, Tim Elliott (16-11-1) returned with a successful The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) run and a 2-2 start to his Octagon comeback. Though he proceeded to lose his next three, he righted the ship in July 2020 with a narrow decision over Ryan Benoit.
    Though the taller of the two by one inch, he gives up two inches of reach.
    It took two finishes on “Contender Series,” but Jordan Espinosa (15-8) finally made his UFC debut in 2019 with a decision over TUF veteran Eric Shelton. He’s since lost three of four, most recently dropping a decision to rising prospect David Dvorak in Sept. 2020.
    Seven of his nine professional stoppages have come by submission.
    While both of these men have the tools to exploit the other’s weaknesses, this definitely looks like Espinosa’s fight to lose. Even after more than a decade in the sport, Elliott’s the same lumbering punching bag he’s always been on the feet, and Espinosa’s mobile striking style looks perfectly suited to taking him apart the way others have before. In addition, Espinosa’s strong takedown defense and ostensible ability to stay out of the pocket severely limit Elliott’s chances of getting his smothering wrestling attack going.
    Though painfully adept at shooting himself in the foot, Epinosa’s got the tools to play matador and defuse the aging Elliott with high-volume counters. So long as he doesn’t panic and initiate the wrestling himself, he wins a comfortable decision at long range.
    Prediction: Espinosa via unanimous decision
    Related
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    205 lbs.: Kennedy Nzechukwu vs. Carlos Ulberg

    Though a split decision over Anton Berzin wasn’t enough to get Kennedy Nzechukwu (7-1) a contract on “Contender Series,” an impressive head kick knockout in his second effort did the trick. He’s 1-1 in the Octagon itself, succumbing to one of Paul Craig’s signature comebacks in his debut before beating Darko Stosic by decision his next time out.
    This marks his first appearance in 19 months.
    City Kickboxing’s Carlos Ulberg (3-0) put together a strong run in that eponymous sport before shifting his focus full-time to mixed martial arts (MMA). “Mr. Marvelous” joined “Contender Series” in Nov. 2020, knocking out Bruno Oliveira with a vicious left hook to secure a UFC contract.
    He gives up six inches of reach to “African Savage.”
    I’ll be shocked if Ulberg doesn’t brutalize Nzechukwu. The Nigerian’s lack of interest in initiating the grappling gives Ulberg free rein to unleash his striking arsenal, which absolutely eclipses Nzechukwu’s in speed, power, technique, and versatility. To make matters worse for Nzechukwu, Ulberg is extremely adept at fighting southpaws; therefore, unless the bright lights leave Ulberg too tentative to let his offense go, Nzechukwu’s in for a whooping.
    Expect Ulberg to exploit the same weakness to low kicks that Stosic did, compromising Nzechukwu’s movement until the reach difference ceases to be a factor. From there, it’s really just a question of how Ulberg elects to finish it. I’m guessing a snap kick to the body, though a head kick isn’t outside the realm of possibility.
    Prediction: Ulberg via second-round technical knockout
    Related
    UFC 259 Poster Drops For ‘Blachowicz Vs. Adesanya’

    170 lbs.: Sean Brady vs. Jake Matthews

    Sean Brady (13-0) first made his name under the Cage Fury banner, claiming the promotion’s Welterweight title in 2017 and defending it twice before jumping ship to the Octagon. Since arriving, he’s kept his unbeaten record intact with three consecutive victories, including a “Performance of the Night” guillotine finish of Christian Aguilera last time out.
    He surrenders one inch each of height and reach to Jake Matthews (17-4).
    A controversial decision loss to Andrew Holbrook sent Matthews from Lightweight to Welterweight, where he’s now won six of his last seven. He was last seen handily dominating Diego Sanchez in Sept. 2020 for his third win since a submission loss to Anthony Rocco Martin.
    His 11 professional finishes include seven by submission.
    I’m trying to think of a thesis statement less reductive than, “Brady does what Matthews does, only better” and failing miserably. Though less of a finisher, especially on the mat, Brady looks like the stronger wrestler and the busier striker of the two, meaning Matthews needs to hurt him and/or tap him to get the win. Neither seem particularly likely, especially since a very dangerous kickboxer in Ismail Naurdiev failed to overpower Brady on the feet and “The Celtic Kid” has scored just one submission in almost five years.
    Brady looks like he has all the tools to make a real run, while Matthews’ inability to get over the hump against top competition seems chronic at this point. Superior output and occasional bursts of top control carry Brady to an increasingly one-sided victory.
    Prediction: Brady via unanimous decision
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    115 lbs.: Livinha Souza vs. Amanda Lemos

    Livinha Souza (14-2) — the former Invicta Strawweight champion — started her Octagon run with an 81-second submission of Alex Chambers and a subsequent split decision over Sarah Frota. Brianna Van Buren stepped up on short notice to hand Souza her first loss in three years five months later, though she bounced back in Aug. 2020, beating Ashley Yoder at UFC 252.
    Seven of her 10 professional stoppages have come in the first round.
    Amanda Lemos’ (8-1-1) Octagon debut went about as poorly as humanly possible, as she suffered a technical knockout loss to Leslie smith and was subsequently slapped with a lengthy suspension due to failing a drug test. She’s done better for herself since her return, tapping Miranda Granger and taking a decision over Mizuki Inoue.
    She’ll have one inch of height and two inches of reach on Souza.
    It seems like a weird thing to say about someone who’s 3-1 in UFC, but Souza has really underwhelmed in my eyes. Someone with her skills should not be barely scraping by the likes of Frota and Yoder. Indeed, despite her power and grappling pedigree, Souza’s been reluctant to actually let her hands go and has struggled to get any real top control going since the Chambers win.
    That’s not going to cut it against a bigger, more powerful, more technically savvy, and above all more active striker in Lemos. Souza’s best chance lies in smothering “Amandinha” against the fence like Inoue did, but despite her judo prowess, she’s not shown much inclination to do so during her Octagon tenure. In the end, Lemos beats her up at range to make it 3-0 since her suspension.
    Prediction: Lemos via unanimous decision
    Related
    Blachowicz Will KO Adesanya, Take Your UFC 259 Betting Line And Shove It

    155 lbs.: Aalon Cruz vs. Uros Medic

    Aalon Cruz (8-3) entered “Contender Series” with a three-fight win streak under his belt, and after landing a monster flying knee on Steven Nguyen, he left with a four-fight streak and a UFC contract. His Octagon debut didn’t go as planned, as Spike Carlyle battered him into submission just 85 seconds into the first round.
    He’ll have a seven-inch reach advantage over the slightly taller Uros Medic (6-0).
    Medic tore through Alaska FC en route to “Contender Series,” where he squared off against fellow striking specialist Mikey Gonzalez. “The Doctor” wound up doing harm, smashing Gonzalez in under half a round to secure a contract.
    None of his professional fights have gone past the first minute of the second round.
    This one’s a toughie. On one hand, Medic’s pre-”Contender Series” competition was absolute garbage, making Cruz the more proven fighter by a huge margin. On the other hand, Medic is both significantly larger and the bigger hitter of the two, while Cruz’s response to getting clipped by Carlyle got him destroyed in short order.
    Whatever outcome results, it’ll be illuminating.
    I favor Medic by a hair — the edge in physicality looks significant, and my concerns about Medic’s rawness are alleviated somewhat by the fact that he trains under Rafael Cordeiro. In short, he blitzes Cruz for an early finish.
    Prediction: Medic via first-round technical knockout
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    And New?

    135 lbs.: Mario Bautista vs. Trevin Jones

    Mario Bautista (8-1) stepped up on short notice to face Cory Sandhagen in his Octagon debut in 2019, which saw him tap to an armbar late in the first. Subsequent bouts proved more successful, as he earned “Fight of the Night” for his successful war with Jin Soo Son and “Performance of the Night” for his flying knee finish of Miles Johns.
    He replaces the injured Randy Costa.
    Trevin Jones (12-6) — whose only losses since 2013 came via split decision — likewise served as a late replacement against hot prospect Timur Valiev. Though he nearly succumbed to a body shot in the first round, Jones roared back to level the heavy favorite two minutes into the second, though a failed drug test for marijuana turned the victory into a “No Contest.”
    He is the shorter man by two inches, but will have a slight reach advantage.
    There are more unknowns here than I, an analyst, would like. That’s because Jones only really got the chance to demonstrate his toughness and power against Valiev, leaving it unclear whether the rest of his game can hold up on the world stage. Based on that tussle and his last pre-UFC win, a nice submission over Japanese MMA veteran Takafumi Otsuka, Bautista at least looks to be a step too far. The MMA Lab-trained product looks to be the more versatile and active striker, and his steady improvement in takedown defense figures to take Jones’ ground game out of the equation.
    While I do think Jones is probably better than his record would suggest, Bautista’s the more proven of the two and looks sufficiently durable to avoid Valiev’s fate. Superior stand up wins the day.
    Prediction: Bautista via unanimous decision



    135 lbs.: Dominick Cruz vs. Casey Kenney

    Once the undisputed emperor of the Bantamweight division, Dominick Cruz (22-3) enters the cage this weekend winless since 2016. Injury kept “The Dominator” on the shelf for nearly 3.5 years after his loss to Cody Garbrandt, and his return to action in May 2020 saw him stopped in two by Henry Cejudo.
    He gives up two inches of reach despite standing one inch taller than Kenney.
    Casey Kenney (16-2-1) — a former LFA double champ — started his Octagon run by upsetting Ray Borg on just eight days’ notice. He’s won five of six in the Octagon, including a “Fight of the Night” decision over Nathaniel Wood in Oct. 2020 that completed a 21-day turnaround.
    He’s tapped five professional foes and knocked out another two.
    Not to denigrate Kenney’s abilities, as I’m quite the fan of his and recognize him as a top-tier Bantamweight, but this is a referendum on what Cruz has left in the tank. Cruz’s takedown defense is too potent for Kenney’s lethal grappling to have any impact and the latter’s striking toolbox isn’t deep enough to handle Cruz’s legendarily offbeat offense.
    In other words, a peak-condition Cruz — or even a functional one — should run circles around him.
    This may be nostalgia talking, but losing to the best Cody Garbrandt that ever stepped into the cage and a genuine beast in Cejudo isn’t enough to convince me that we’ve seen the last of “The Dominator.” Kenney pushes forward as always, but Cruz’s lateral movement short-circuits his offense and carries him back to the win column.
    Prediction: Cruz via unanimous decision
    Related
    Watch UFC 259 ‘Countdown’ Video

    135 lbs.: Song Yadong vs. Kyler Phillips

    Team Alpha Male’s Song Song (16-4-1) has yet to taste defeat in the Octagon, amassing a 5-0-1 record and claiming three post-fight bonuses in the process. His last two efforts saw him draw with Cody Stamann in 2019 and subsequently take a narrow decision over Marlon Vera five months later.
    He faces a 3.5-inch reach disadvantage.
    A rapid knockout of James Gray on “Contender Series” sent Kyler Phillips (8-1) to The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), where he fell to eventual winner Brad Katona in the opening round. He’s found more success in UFC itself, debuting with a late-notice decision over Gabriel Silva and earning “Performance of the Night” for his mauling of Cameron Else.
    He has scored five professional knockouts and one win via calf slicer.
    Though he managed to keep his unbeaten UFC record intact, Song’s fights with Stamann and Vera showed that he’s still got work to do before he can mount a real assault on the Bantamweight division’s elite. That said, the 23-year-old’s crisp, powerful boxing should be sufficient to carry him past Phillips, who boasts comparable knockout power but can get overeager and leave himself open to return fire from a tighter puncher.
    Song’s cardio figures to be his biggest concern — he still put up a great fight well into the third round against Vera, but he was clearly having issues with the Ecuadorian’s refusal to stay out of his face. Phillips is going to give him a firefight, and if Song starts to wilt, that technical advantage will quickly cease to make a difference. After that learning experience last time out, though, I’ll be an optimist and say Song manages his gas tank enough to claim a highly entertaining decision.
    Prediction: Song via unanimous decision
    Related
    UFC 259 Poster Drops For ‘Blachowicz Vs. Adesanya’

    125 lbs.: Joseph Benavidez vs. Askar Askarov

    Joseph Benavidez (28-7) rebounded from his second loss to Demetrious Johnson by winning nine of his next 10 bouts, including a decision over Cejudo and knockouts of both Alex Perez and Jussier Formiga. The fun wasn’t to last, as he subsequently suffered a pair of gruesome stoppage losses to Deiveson Figueiredo.
    He faces two-inch disadvantages in both height and reach.
    Askar Askarov (13-0-1) ruled the Flyweight roost in ACB, winning and defending its Flyweight title en route to the Octagon. He’s perfect (2-0) since starting his UFC run with a split draw against Brandon Moreno, dominating Tim Elliott and wearing down Alexandre Pantoja during his 2020 campaign.
    All of his pre-UFC bouts ended inside the distance, including seven by submissions.
    Before the Figueiredo debacles, I’d have picked Benavidez to win this 10 out of 10 times. “Joe B” has spent his whole career dismantling scrambling specialists, and it’s not like Askarov is invincible on the ground. In fact, Moreno arguably got the better of him and he struggled with Pantoja until the attrition took effect.
    The question, then, is whether that Benavidez still exists. Figueiredo handed him two life-changing beatings in the span of five months. And while Askarov’s striking is nowhere near as lethal as “Deus da Guerra’s,” that damage could very easily degrade the rest of Benavidez’s game. Still, Benavidez has beaten too many members of Askarov’s archetype for me to pick against him here. He racks up enough top control to end his career in the winner’s circle.
    Prediction: Benavidez via unanimous decision
    Related
    UFC 259 Promo: Championship Triple Header!

    125 lbs.: Rogerio Bontorin vs. Kai Kara-France

    Rogerio Bontorin (16-2) followed his impressive comeback submission “Contender Series” with an upset of Magomed Bibulatov in his Octagon debut, then opened a gruesome cut to stop Raulian Paiva his second time out. An overweight Ray Borg proved more than he could handle, however, defeating the Brazilian by decision in Feb. 2020.
    He’s dispatched 11 professional opponents via submission.
    Kai Kara-France (21-9) — the only man to score a knockout on TUF 24 — extended his win streak to eight with UFC victories over Elias Garcia, Raulian Paiva and Mark De La Rosa. He’s since dropped two of three, though he walked away with a Fight of the Night bonus for his war with Brandon Royval in Nov. 2020.
    He gives up one inch of height and a half-inch of reach to Bontorin.
    This isn’t as clear-cut as the surface-level “grappler vs. striker-with-great-takedown-defense” vibes would suggest. Though neither Moreno nor Royval managed to land an official takedown on him, both overwhelmed him on the feet, and Bontorin had a ton of success against another lethal striker in Paiva. He might not be as ridiculous as Royval in the striking, but Bontorin’s tough as hell and absolutely relentless when he puts his mind to it.
    While Kara-France likely still wins this if he can keep it standing, his striking just hasn’t wowed me enough. In the end, Bontorin smothers Kara-France’s offense with sheer relentlessness and wears him down for a decision.
    Prediction: Bontorin via unanimous decision
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  34. #34
    Sanity Check
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    Quote Originally Posted by 209 Life View Post
    AKA coach Javier Mendez is always glowing talking about Islam, He's supposed to be Khabib's successor from what Javier says.



    Khabib's father said it years back ^
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  35. #35
    Hugo de Naranja
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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfTicketDealer View Post
    Can Makhachev even be considered a prospect anymore? He's a ranked fighter and is 7-1 in the UFC.
    Yeah that's a fair point. He's currently ranked #14 at Lightweight and hasn't had any main events yet (though he was scheduled for one against RDA). I think calling him a prospect or a darkhorse contender are both fine. Maybe the better classification than either of those would be "up and comer".
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