Condit, Latifi Have Value In Different Ways At UFC 232

Thursday, December 27, 2018 2:07 PM UTC

Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018 2:07 PM UTC

Carlos Condit meets Michael Chiesa, who is moving up a weight class, while explosive finisher Ilir Latifi faces Corey Anderson and his glass chin. Here are two plus money lines to add to our UFC 232 plays.

UFC 232: Saturday in Inglewood, CaliforniaMichael Chiesa vs. Carlos ConditFree UFC Pick: Condit +150Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Carlos Condit has been on a bit of a skid lately. After losing to Georges St-Pierre for the unified title in 2012 in a fight where he sent St-Pierre flying with a head kick, he has gone on to win only two of eight fights. There seems to be an asterisk next to several of these losses and the record does not tell the whole story. Johnny Hendricks defeated Condit by decision and he was on the short list for rising pound-for-pound greats and beat St-Pierre within an inch of his life, but that was prior to the introduction of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to the sport. After the USADA started drug testing fighters, Hendricks disappeared and is now getting KO'd in low-budget bare-knuckle boxing matches. Tyron Woodley, the current welterweight champion, beat Condit by TKO; however, something happened to Condit’s leg during a takedown and Woodley doesn't even hit him. Condit got edged in an epic brawl against Robby Lawler and got submitted by Damien Mia on a fast turnaround. Finally, his last two losses are to Neil Magny by decision and submission to Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira.

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Technique is developed through slow, patient repetition. But victory is forged in the fires of intensity.

— Carlos Condit (@CarlosCondit) November 28, 2018

Let's look at Michael Chiesa. He is 14-4 and this will be his first fight at 170 pounds after the weight cut to 155 has taken its toll on him. Normally, I like fighters moving up a weight class when they show potential, but Chiesa is a hype train that never left the station. He was supposed to be the next champion at 155 but failed against every decent challenger he has faced. He was TKO’d by Joe Lauzon. Now, I'm a huge Joe Lauzon fan but when you are supposed to be aiming for a title, you DO NOT lose to Joe Lauzon by KO. Chiesa had two impressive performances, against Beneil Dariush and Jim Miller, both of whom have been on a skid in their careers. Then he lost a rising contender grudge match against Kevin Lee, who has also shown that he will fail against top talent as he was recently taken apart over 5 rounds by Al Iaquinta. Chiesa most recently got pieced up and dropped by Anthony Pettis, who has shown that he is far from the elite fighter he once was -- and here is the key for our play.

Pettis fought as low as 145. Condit is a career-long welterweight fighting at 170. Chiesa is a huge 155-pound fighter, but in his first fight up a class he might struggle with the size difference in his opponent. If 2018 Anthony Pettis can survive on the ground and get back to his feet and then crack Chiesa, so can Condit.

Corey Anderson vs. Ilir LatifiFree UFC Pick: Latifi Inside Distance +129Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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This fight is a fantastic showcase of 205-pound fighters at a crossroads in their career paths. The winner will rise back to the ranks of contenders, and in the light-heavyweight division that list is short, while the loser drops far out of the title picture. Ilir Latifi is 14-5 and has lost only to Jan Blachowicz, Gegard Mousasi, and Ryan Bader in the UFC. Two of those three hold gold in Bellator and were top-5 fighters in the UFC, while Blachowicz is riding a four-fight win streak and is looking for a title shot himself. Corey Anderson is 10-4, with three of his losses coming by KO. Both fighters are strong, explosive wrestlers, but Latifi has a solid chin whereas Anderson seems to get rocked in basically every fight. In pure wrestling I would tend to give the advantage to Anderson. However, this is MMA. Latifi has the power and the speed advantage as well as the striking skill advantage in this match. Even if Anderson is a better pure wrestler, Latifi is the shorter, stockier fighter, which makes getting takedowns far more difficult.

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This bet is pretty simple really. We are fading Anderson’s chin. There is some extra value to be had by taking the KO/TKO line at +165. However, Latifi is not without a ground game. He has two submission victories in the UFC and both have come after rocking his opponent and sinking the choke in. Because there is a very good change that when Anderson gets rocked he will shoot, I am taking "inside the distance" so we can cash in on that nasty guillotine. Just in case.

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