UFC Copenhagen Main Card Preview
Fresh off the dumpster fire that was UFC Mexico I am chomping at the bit for more MMA action. UFC Mexico ended in the absolute worst way possible. Not only did our parlay get cracked by some terrible judging, but we had a big underdog in Brandon Moreno who was the clear winner of his fight and somehow we were stuck with a draw. After that travesty Alexa Grasso was also robbed by the judges in a fight that WORST CASE should have been a draw. Finally, the main event ended in a No Contest when Yair Rodriguez raked Jeremy Stephens eyes and he was unable to continue only seconds into the fight. All in all we escaped going 1-1 but it was a severely disappointing end to an awesome night of MMA action.
This week we have our sights set on UFC Copenhagen and after the injustice of UFC Mexico we are coming with a VENGEANCE.
Nicolas Dalby vs Alex Oliveira
The main card kicks off with a barn burner featuring fan favorite Alex Oliveira welcoming Nicolas Dalby to the UFC. Dalby has amassed a 17-3 record and fights out of Denmark. Dalby is currently coming off a 3-0-1 run and is getting his shot at the big show, but has a tough challenge ahead of him. The action junkie Oliveria is 19-7 and is coming off a 2 fight skid and that will make him dangerous. In the UFC you never want to go on a 3 fight losing streak because that can and usually does mean the chopping block. While Olivera is not likely to get cut from the UFC since he is such a fun fighter 0-3 doesn’t look good, so you can count on the fact that he will bring it. Alex Olivera is currently a -165 favorite and while I do favor him this week to bounce back that’s too much juice to lay on a fighter who has been inconsistent lately.
Michal Oleksiejczuk vs Ovince Saint Preux
The main card of UFC Copenhagen gets off to a quick start and we have action packed fights right out the gate. In just our second fight we have a fight that might produce either the knockout of the night or the submission of the night $50,000 bonus. Michal “Lord’ Oleksiejzuk returns to the cage in a “passing of the torch’ fight against gatekeeper OSP and I fully expect that he will pass this test with flying colors.
Michal Oleksiejczuk (-210) Stats:
- 24 years old
- 74 inch reach
- 5.66 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
- 3.87 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
- 100% Takedown Defense
- Record: 14 – 2
- Thunderstrike Fight League Light Heavyweight Champion
- 10 wins by KO (71%)
Ovince Saint Preux (+190) Stats:
- 36 years old
- 80 inch reach
- 2.62 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
- 2.80 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
- 40% Takedown Accuracy
Ovince Saint Preux Notable Facts:
- Record: 23 – 13
- BJJ Brown Belt
- 11 wins by KO (48%)
- 7 Wins by Submission (30%)
Michal “Lord’ is on the rise and he reminds me of a 205 pound Khabib. He might be smaller than some of his competition but that allows him to put an absolute pace on his foes. OSP will have the height and reach advantage in this fight, but he is a Jeckle and Hyde fighter where you never know if you are getting a motivated OSP or not. When OSP shows up he is a force to be reckoned with, but when he coasts he gets dominated at the UFC level not to mention he is getting older. OSP has dropped 2 of his last 3 after being unable to get Dominick Reyes to the mat and gassing out in a grappling match against Nikita Krylov. This is a step up for Michal to show what he is capable of and I think he will push a pace that will cause OSP to wilt. Lord will be difficult for OSP to take down, as shown by his 100% takedown defense, and once OSP realized he is forced to stand with the younger faster man I think he will break. I expect this to be a grappling match and OSP will end up on his back unable to stop the fury of Michal “Lord’ and he will tap to strikes or rely on the ref to step in and save him.
Pick: Michal Oleksiejczuk -210 with Bookmaker
Ion Cutelaba vs Khalil Rountree
You probably remember these fighters for VERY different reasons. Ion Cutelaba made his entrance to the UFC known when he showed up in full green body paint for his first weigh in making it clear he took his fight name “The Hulk’ very seriously. Ion is physically intimidating and brings a viciousness to the fight that the Big Green would be proud of. Khalil Rountree was on The Ultimate Fighter Joanna vs Claudia and was the “SHUT UP MA!!!!’ guy. At that point in his career he was severely lacking in his ground game, but was athletic and a quick learner so he got a chance to hang around the UFC.
Ion Cutelaba (+120) Stats:
- 25 years old
- 11 wins by knockout (79%)
- 88% finish rate
Khalil Rountree (-140) Stats:
- 29 years old
- 5 wins by KO (63%)
This is a fight where your favorite beverage or some popcorn and passing might be the best play. These two are going to bring it and both are physical specimens who pack some serious heat. Ion comes forward with reckless abandon looking for the knockout. Khalil has recently doubled down on his MMA career and moved his main training to Thailand turning his athleticism into a well honed weapon. Khalil faced Gokhan Saki who is a decorated striker in 2018 and demolished him in the first round shocking everybody with how much his striking has improved. While Ion leaves himself open to counters, the former heavyweight has yet to be knocked out in his career and Khalil has been known to be a bit chinny. If Ion gets the take down Khalil may find himself in some trouble as well if he hasn’t worked on getting back to his feet. Ion is coming off a loss to Glover Teixeira and the former heavyweight will be hungry to find himself back in the win column at all costs.
Gunnar Nelson vs Gilbert Burns
Gunnar Nelson has been on a big of a rough road at 170 of late and he is in for a serious challenge as he faces Gilbert Burns in his 2nd fight at 170. Nelson stormed onto the UFC stage with 4 straight wins, and 3 of them coming by submission. Since being derailed in a split decision loss to Rick Story the SBG product seems to be having trouble finding his mojo.
Gunnar Nelson (+121) Stats:
- 31 years old
- 72 inch reach
- 1.76 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
- 3.51 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
- 1.95 Takedowns per 15 minutes
- 60% Takedown accuracy
Gunnar Nelson Notable Facts:
- Record: 17 – 4
- 2nd Degree BJJ Blackbelt
- 12 wins by submission (71%)
Gilbert Burns (-137) Stats:
- 33 years old
- 71 inch reach
- 3.22 Significant Strikes Landed Per Minute
- 3.25 Significant Strikes Absorbed Per Minute
- 2.60 Takedowns per 15 minutes
- 39% Takedown accuracy
Gilbert Burns Notable Facts:
- Record: 16 – 3
- 2nd Degree BJJ Blackbelt
- 8 wins by KO (50%)
When you throw two 2nd degree blackbelts in a cage there is a decent chance that the fight will end up being a striking battle. Both fighters in this case are so well versed in the ground game that they may both believe that they have the advantage on the feet. Gilbert Burns is making the move from 155 where he was suffering making that weight limit up to 170 where he looks to be filling out very nicely. Burns took a short notice fight against Alexey Kunchenko in August where he shocked most of the MMA bettors by dominating the then undefeated fighter for a full 15 minutes. Not only did Burns looks completely at home at 170 on short notice, but he appeared to be the bigger fighter. With a full training camp behind him and Gunner being a hot and cold fighter, for our UFC Picks I like Burns to continue his assault on the 170 pound division at -137 on UFC Odds.
Pick: Gilbert Burns -137 with Pinnacle