UFC Picks: Hunting Down Betting Value on the UFC 184 Undercard

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:24 PM GMT

UFC 184 will feature a women's bantamweight title clash between Ronda Rousey and top contender Cat Zingano but let's take a look at some of the other fights and see if we can exploit the UFC odds and turn that analysis into cold hard cash.

Raquel Pennington (5-4, 1 KO, 2 Subs) vs. Holly Holm (7-0, 6 KO's, 0 Subs)
The forces that be will keep their fingers and toes crossed that UFC newcomer Holly Holm will walk into the Octagon and slug her way to victory. She's the newest potion of pretty poison being welcomed into the sport's premier organization and has some serious boxing cred to back up her girl-next-door good looks. Holm has compiled a boxing record of 33-2-3 with nine KO's to her credit. She has become an 18-time world champion in three boxing weight categories which may say more about the absurd number of organizations and weight classes in professional boxing than it does her pugilistic prowess.

Raquel Pennington on the other hand is an MMA fighter with a nearly .500 record and is thus far 2-1 in the UFC. Her last bout with Ashlee Evans-Smith finished with Evans-Smith rendered unconscious due to an expertly locked bulldog choke as the horn sounded signaling the end of the first round. It was only the second submission victory for Pennington in her MMA career.

My initial instinct is to always go with the grappler over the striker but here I must defer to the girl with the iron fists. It must be noted that Pennington lost a match to another boxer of note when she bowed via unanimous decision to Jessica Rakoczy in an exhibition bout during the TUF 18 semi-final match. Holm is a thicker fighter with heavier hands and should derail Pennington early on unless Pennington can get the fight to the canvas. I'm not convinced Pennington is competent enough to take an opponent down at will and may just find herself on the receiving end of a barrage of elbows and fists if she hard-charges forward to take the fight to Holm. When the UFC odds become widely available I would make a wager on Holm as one of my UFC picks either straight up or added to a parlay.

UFC Pick: Holly Holm

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Gleison Tibau (33-10, 4 KO's, 13 Subs) vs. Tony Ferguson (17-3, 9 KO's, 5 Subs) 
Gleison Tibau is a late substitution for Yancy Medeiros but that should do little to detract from this UFC veteran's performance. Tibau has been battling in the major leagues of MMA since 2006 and the BJJ black belt fighting for American Top Team is seeking his fourth consecutive victory.

Meanwhile, Tony Ferguson has lost only once since being signed to a UFC contract after being declared the TUF 13 champion in June of 2011. Ferguson has reeled off seven victories with his only defeat coming at the hands of Michael Johnson via unanimous decision. It was in fact the very same Michael Johnson who KO'ed Tibau at UFC 168. Tibau will face a similarly deadly striker in Tony Ferguson who presses the action and takes command of the Octagon.

This has the makings of an explosive fight and it would be an error to discount Gleison Tibau's sheer power at 155 pounds. However, Tony Ferguson has a two-inch height advantage and a five inch reach advantage which should keep Tibau at bay and diminish his ability to shoot on Ferguson and take this fight to the mat. Should that occur, Ferguson is quite capable on the ground and is able to acquit himself nicely. When the UFC odds are released I would be looking to include Tony Ferguson as one of my UFC picks.

UFC Pick: Tony Ferguson

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