Laprise Finishes Lima At UFC 231; Anders & Oliveira Are Live

Laprise Vs. Lima

Clint MacLean

Thursday, December 6, 2018 1:23 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018 1:23 PM UTC

UFC 231 is a great card from top to bottom and we have several situations outside of the main event that I am liking as plays for this card.

Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego LimaFree UFC Pick: Laprise Inside DistanceBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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On the undercard we have a battle of aging MMA veterans in Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima. Lima is only 29 years old but he still seems almost like a shop-worn fighter at this point. Lima made it to the UFC in 2014 where he lost his UFC debut and went 3-1 before being dropped by the promotion. Lima went back to the drawing board and put two back to back decision wins together in smaller promotions before being brought back under the bright lights for UFC to face Jason Jackson in December 2016 where he promptly got TKO'd in the first round. Since then, Lima has been submitted by Jesse Taylor and dropped a decision to Yushin Okami.

Let me repeat that: In the year 2018 Dhiego Lima lost to Yushin Okami.

That really should be all you need to know that this guy is fade material at this level. Laprise was just recently KO’d by Vicente Luque, but there isnt much shame in that as Luque is 7-1 in his last 8. Prior to the loss, Laprise was on a 3 fight win streak all by KO. I think this is a “get back on the horse” fight for Laprise and Lima is just being used to highlight a fighter who needs a nice bounce back spot before he gets his walking papers. The inside the distance prop is better than the KO prop in my opinion just in the event of a choke being applied after Laprise rocks Lima. Take Laprise to win inside the distance and get a bowl of popcorn for this one!

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Thanks to @BazookaJoeV for sharing some great knowledge with me! #ufc231 pic.twitter.com/e3E3RfaeAy

— Chad Laprise (@ChadLaprise) October 26, 2018
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Eryk Anders vs. Elias TheodorouFree UFC Pick: AndersBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Elias Theodorou is on a nice little run. Since entering the UFC he has gone 9-2 with wins over Sam Alvey, Cesar Ferreira, and Dan Kelly. Theodorou has been a regular bet for me and if you have been betting on him he’s made you a nice chunk of change coming through when a lot of people have counted him out. He has an elusive “stick and move” kind of game that allows him to look flashy for the judges and avoid damage. While he doesnt land many damaging strikes himself, he does out land his opponents and is an expert at winning decisions. In fact his last 6 fights have all gone to decision.

This line opened as a pick-em or with Eryk Anders slightly favored. That line quickly flipped as money came in on Theodorou. I do not agree with the line movement in this case and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to get Eryk Anders as a dog!

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.@erykanders is a man on a mission heading into his #UFC231 fight with @EliasTheodorou.https://t.co/ZBQnp8FOp9

— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) December 5, 2018
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Only one of these two fighters has the capability to end this fight inside the distance. That's Anders. He has won 8 of his 11 victories inside the distance, with only 1 of them coming by decision. In grappling exchanges I would give the strength advantage to Anders. I do not expect Theodorou to be able to out clinch or grapple Anders for long and I do not expect Theodorou to be able to take him down repeatedly if at all. If Theodorou decides to strike with Anders, I would expect Anders to be more explosive and land some significant shots that will outweigh the soft punches of Theodorou and get the nod even if this fight was to go to decision. Eryk “Ya Boi” Anders can win by KO, submission, OR by decision. Theodorou can only win this fight by decision. I’ll take the guy with more ways to win.

Gunnar Nelson vs. Alex OliveraFree UFC Pick: OliveraBest Line Offered: Pinnacle

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On the main card we get a fantastic fight between Gunnar Nelson and Alex “Cowboy” Olivera. Gunnar Nelson is primarily a grappler with a very dangerous submission game. Nelson is 16-3 with 12 of those wins coming by submission and entered the UFC undefeated and tearing through the division with 4 straight submission wins. Nelson then went 3-3 in his last 6 fights with his most recent loss coming at the hands of Santiago Ponzinibbio by KO just 1:22 in the first round. The KO loss to Ponz was in July, so Nelson has given himself enough time to recover from a concussive KO loss and he has put on a decent amount of muscle and gotten into phenomenal shape for this fight.

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One week #UFC231 pic.twitter.com/mui7fGu1XI

— Gunnar Nelson (@GunniNelson) December 1, 2018
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The one muscle that you cannot work out is your chin.

Olivera opened as a +120 underdog and I agree with all the money coming on him pushing this line down. Your best option is Pinnacle, but I would expect that to dry up too as all the other books have him at +110 and even as low as +100. "Cowboy" 19-5 is a powerful fighter with an excellent, well-rounded, game. He has an iron chin, an unbreakable will to win and is an explosive striker with 12 KOs and a solid grappler with 4 submissions and a great scramble and counter-wrestling game. I expect "Cowboy" to use his wrestling in reverse here and make Gunnar stand and strike with him. Gunnar’s missing piece of his game has been his striking and if "Cowboy" can make him stand and bang I expect it to be a short night.

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