Well, it's something, which is always better than nothing, right?
What had the potential to be one of the most entertaining main events the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight division had to offer was sadly derailed this weekend when surging Swede Alexander Gustafsson was pulled from his mixed martial arts (MMA) showdown against former Strikeforce champion on account of a massive cut (or was it?).
Regardless, the controversial three-stitch glitch left UFC on Fuel TV 9 without a main event. Luckily for the Stockholm fans, however, Gustafsson's training partner Ilir Latifi, was up to the short-notice shot at the big time.
It's a disappointment, sure, but the card still features guaranteed slugfests like Brad Pickett vs. Mike Easton, Diego Brandao vs. Pablo Garza and Robbie Peralta vs. Akira Corassani. Indeed, the international event is short on names, but big on profit potential.
Speaking of potential, let's see if we can't wipe away the disappointment with cold hard cash. Follow me below for a closer look at the latest odds behind -- and best bets for -- UFC on FUEL TV 9: "Mousasi vs. Latifi:"
UFC On FUEL TV 9 Odds For The Under Card:
Michael Johnson (-230) vs. Reza Madadi (+190)
Adlan Amagov (-160) vs. Chris Spang (+140)
Conor McGregor (-170) vs. Marcus Brimage (+150)
Ryan LaFlare (-190) vs. Ben Alloway (+165)
Tom Lawlor (-190) vs. Michael Kuiper (+158)
Tor Troeng (-240) vs. Adam Cella (+200)
Papy Abedi (-140) vs. Besam Yousef (+120)
Thoughts: I’m sorely tempted to make a fool out of myself by once again betting big against Brimage, but I think I’ve learned my lesson by now. Instead, I’ve got my eyes on Madadi and Abedi.
Really, I just don’t know what to think of Johnson. One fight, he’s working brilliantly from the outside, landing shots and using effective footwork to stay out of takedown range, the next he’s being completely owned on the mat. His inconsistent takedown defense and flat-out atrocious bottom game match up very poorly with Madadi, who is in no way a technical striker, but is a big, strong, relentless submission grappler. Plus, Johnson is a Blackzillian, and we all know how they’ve been doing.
Therefore, a moderate bet on the Iranian wrestler should pay dividends.
Yes, Abedi has been a disappointment in the UFC, but in his defense, he has fought some really good fighters. Thiago Alves is an absolute monster when he’s on his game and James Head is both huge and vicious on the feet. Abedi still has boatloads of talent, a solid camp behind him, big power and a solid Judo base.
If all goes as expected, he should run over Yousef fairly easily, which means a decently large bet should work wonders.
Gegard Mousasi (-1850) vs. Ilir Latifi (+900)
Brad Pickett (-165) vs. Mike Easton (+145)
Ross Pearson (-400) vs. Ryan Couture (+325)
Matt Mitrione (-330) vs. Phil de Fries (+270)
Diego Brandao (-210) vs. Pablo Garza (+175)
Robert Peralta (-360) vs. Akira Corassani (+300)
Thoughts: Not seeing anything in the underdogs on the main card, so Pickett and Brandao are your best bets.
Easton, in my opinion, just isn’t that good. His defensive wrestling is solid and his leg kicks are powerful when he remembers to use them, but he’s got nowhere near as much power as he thinks he does and his offensive wrestling leaves much to be desired. He does his best work with short punches in the pocket, which is where Pickett excels to a much greater degree. Further, the British brawler has the wrestling to force Easton to exchange on the feet.
Pickett at better than -200 is an excellent bargain.
Maybe I’m just being a cynical bastard, but I’m just not impressed by Garza. His wrestling and striking looked mediocre against Dustin Poirier and Dennis Bermudez, and while he seemed greatly improved in the Mark Hominick fight, I’m not convinced "The Machine" isn’t actually an android originally piloted by Shawn Tompkins that does not possess the Artificial Intelligence to fight well independently. Yes, Brandao may have chin and cardio issues, but he’s got crazy fast and powerful hands, not to mention very solid wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu games.
I fully expect him to put away Garza before the aforementioned problems show up ... stick "Ceara" in a parlay.
UFC on FUEL TV 9 Best Bets:
- Single bet: Papy Abedi -- Bet $70 to make $50
- Parlay: Reza Madai and Diego Brandao -- Bet $30 to make $98.70
- Single bet: Brad Pickett -- Bet $60 to make $36.67
- Parlay: Brad Pickett and Papy Abedi-$30 to make $52.50
It's not the 205-pound marquee match up that we expected, but you know what they say about free fights: they're free ... and fights.
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC on FUEL TV 9: "Mousasi vs. Latifi" results this Saturday afternoon, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.