UFC on Versus 6 is finally upon us, as Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson get their hands dirty in tomorrow night's (Oct. 1) championship main event from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
And that means there's money to be made for the gamblers among us.
First you have to win, of course, and you should never bet what you can't afford to lose, but since I've recently started putting money down on the sport I love, I thought it might be prudent to share some wagering tips before major UFC and MMA events, pointing out the most profitable scraps.
And which bouts to avoid.
Included in the UFC on Versus 6 betting guide are all the odds for tomorrow night's show, but first check out my three important rules every bettor should follow right here.
Now then, let's get to it.
We have a fantastic-looking free card this weekend and any time you get a title fight for free, life is good. Plus, Pat Barry vs. Stefan Struve should be one of the funniest fights ever -- for however long it lasts.
Plus, we’ve got some tasty-looking odds.
Let’s break it down and see where we can make some cash on the side. As usual, the lines provided are from Bodog.com, and Odds Shark has side-by-side comparisons of various sites' odds if you're looking to shop around.
These lines are accurate as of today.
Thoughts: The two guys that strike me as bargains are Paul Sass and Joseph Sandoval. Johnson is a good, mid-tier fighter, but Paul Sass has proven surprisingly adept at taking out mid-tier fighters. A win over Rob Sinclair means a LOT, and in that fight, Paul also demonstrated very good wrestling to accompany his nasty guard game. As I mentioned in my breakdown, Johnson has four submission losses to his name, while Sass has ten submission finishes. Look for his grappling to frustrate Johnson into a late submission loss.
I haven’t seen too much of Sandoval besides rather grainy footage of his last effort, but what I saw impressed me enough to pick him over Watson. He’s primarily a standup fighter and his hands are above-average. The kicker for me, however, is Watson’s complete ignorance regarding how to react to punches. The man doesn’t use his range and he backs straight up, hands down when pressured. Don’t make him the focus of your parlays (I’m stretching Rule One as is), but at even odds, he’s worth at least a few bucks on the side.
Thoughts: Odds are a bit closer than last week, excluding the main event. Let’s break it down and see if we’ve got anything worth laying some money down on.
Brenneman is, without a doubt, the single best bargain on this entire card. His wrestling is damn good, even considering the wrestling monsters dominating his division. He was outgrappling Hendricks before the man’s ungodly left hand found Charlie’s jaw, and he dominated noted wrestlers Jason High and Rick Story.
Yes, Rumble is a wrestler, but that didn’t stop Clementi or Kos from taking him down and dominating him on the ground. Of course, Rumble can end the fight with any one of his limbs at any time, so it’s a bit risky, but I don’t anticipate Brenneman giving him the opportunity to plant himself and throw bombs.
Yes, I said most of this same hyperbole about Takanori Gomi last week, but my crippling devotion to all things PRIDE isn’t coming to play this time. Plus, I doubt anyone wants to see a Brenneman lay-and-pray fest, so putting money on him is a win/win: either you make a good amount of money, or you get to see Rumble splatter Brenneman’s skull across the Octagon. Go big here.
The odds on Barry-Struve look tempting, and Struve’s inability to shoot takedowns or defend punches with anything besides his face has me pretty convinced that Barry is going to paste him, but I just can’t shake the thought that Struve is going to find a way to wrap Barry into his guard and submit him from there. I’m also afraid that Barry, in traditional Barry fashion, is going to find some way to choke in the cusp of victory.
If you’re going to put money down, put it on Barry, but I can’t bring myself to recommend it with any degree of certainty.
Wiman has certainly done better than Danzig in recent times; knocking out Joe Stevenson doesn’t hold a candle to obliterating Cole Miller and giving Dennis Siver all he could handle. The only reason I’m not directing you towards emptying your wallet on Wiman is because I’ve seen approximately three minutes of Danzig in action: his fight with Stevenson and the first Wiman bout.
From what I HAVE seen, though, Wiman has the jaw, wrestling, and defensive grappling to avoid being finished in any fashion. I can see him putting Danzig on his back and dribbling his skull against the canvas for four minutes. He’s worth a parlay, and if he gets better than -180 by Saturday, go straight-up.
Let me say it flat-out: Dominick Cruz is not losing at 135 to the present crop of contenders. His wrestling, timing, cardio, and funky striking are too much for pretty much everyone I can think of. The only way I can see to beat him is to counter him on one of his hands-down lunges, and the only person I can see with the necessary power and speed to put him to sleep with that one blow is KID Yamamoto (who I don’t think will be challenging for the title any time soon).
Johnson is fast, Johnson is relentless, and Johnson is a very sound wrestler. Unfortunately, so was Urijah, so was Benavidez, and so was Jorgenson. Johnson simply doesn’t possess the sort of skillset necessary to take out Cruz. He doesn’t have the power to stop him standing, the takedown defense to avoid that inhuman knee-tap, or the takedown offense to put Cruz on his back. At -525, Cruz isn’t worth a straight bet at this time, but with the number of close lines, sticking him in a parlay can turn a – into a +.
My Current Bets:
Single Bet: Joseph Sandoval-$30 to win $30
Single Bet: Charlie Brenneman-$65 to win $100.75
Parlay: Dominick Cruz and Charlie Brenneman-$54.86 to win $111.68
Parlay: Paul Sass and Dominick Cruz-$36 to win $71.14
Yeah, I'm going a bit crazy this week after doing so badly last week. This will probably come back to bite me, but fortune favors the bold.
Remember: never bet more than you can lose, bet with your head, and don’t let betting get in the way of your enjoying MMA. We’ve got an excellent weekend of fights ahead of us, so have fun.