Tell that Friday night hangover to sit down and shut up because we've got a boatload of mixed martial arts (MMA) fights to watch this Saturday (May 31, 2014).
Indeed, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has scheduled simultaneous events on opposite sides of the Atlantic, beginning with UFC Fight Night 41 from O2 World Berlin in Berlin, Germany. At its conclusion, The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Brazil 3" Finale will kickoff from Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
In the main event of the former, recent Lyoto Machida victims Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi will attempt to regain their honor at each others' expenses, while C.B. Dollaway will look to continue his unexpected resurgence against Francis Carmont in the co-featured fight of the afternoon.
Then, later on FOX Sports 1, Stipe Miocic will battle Fabio Maldonado in a five-round main event and the TUF: "Brazil 3" tournament final winners will be determined live.
Let's take a look:
UFC Fight Night 41 and TUF: "Brazil 3" Finale Odds For The Under Cards:
Nick Hein (-130) vs. Drew Dober (+110)
Krsysztof Jotko (-120) vs. Magnus Cedenblad (EVEN)
Iuri Alcantara (-370) vs. Vaughan Lee (+310)
Pawel Pawlak (-190) vs. Peter Sobotta (+165)
Maximo Blanco (-200) vs. Andy Ogle (+170)
Ruslan Magomedov (-210) vs. Viktor Pesta (+175)
Rashid Magomedov (-315) vs. Rodrigo Damm (+235)
Elias Silverio (-475) vs. Ernest Chavez (+325)
Paulo Thiago (-230) vs. Gasan Umalatov (+170)
Edimilson Souza (-400) vs. Mark Eddiva (+280)
Ricardo Abreu (-350) vs. Wagner Silva (+250)
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (-150) vs. Richardson Moreira (+110)
Pedro Munhoz (-265) vs. Matt Hobar (+185)
Thoughts: There’s a "water, water, everywhere but not a drop to drink" reference here, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to make it witty. Therefore, I feel you’d be best served focusing on Hein and Cedenblad with Souza as a parlay stuffer.
Hein’s striking is a work-in-progress, true, and his takedown defense is a bit lacking for someone with his Judo pedigree. Luckily, he’s fighting a paragon of mediocrity in Dober. Dober’s striking isn’t devastating enough to punish Hein and I doubt he’s strong enough to deny the German’s clinchwork.
Add that to hometown advantage and you have a solid bet in Hein.
As I mentioned in my preview, my confidence in Cedenblad’s victory may be a result of my residual grumpiness toward Jotko’s last fight, but I think there’s some logic behind it. Cedenblad’s the bigger man and has shown some very solid grappling in his two UFC fights. He should also be the superior striker considering his length advantage. He poses a much more varied threat than Bruno Santos and, as such, I’m not sure why Jotko’s the favorite.
Capitalize on that error.
Souza, in my estimation, has every advantage over Eddiva save takedown offense. He’s bigger, has tremendous punching power and is much more experienced. Though I hyped up Tuerxun, there’s a difference between beating a bantamweight wrestler with more than one year out of the cage and beating a 6’0" featherweight with a wrecking ball of a right hand.
Use Souza to sweeten the deal.
UFC Fight Night 41 and TUF: "Brazil 3" Finale Odds For The Main Cards:
Gegard Mousasi (-300) vs. Mark Munoz (+250)
Francis Carmont (-160) vs. C.B. Dollaway (+140)
Luke Barnatt (-190) vs. Sean Strickland (+165)
Tom Niinimaki (-250) vs. Niklas Backstrom (+210)
Stipe Miocic (-500) vs. Fabio Maldonado (+400)
Antonio Carlos, Jr. (-180) vs. Vitor Miranda (+140)
Warlley Alves (-230) vs. Marco Alexandre, Jr. (+170)
Demian Maia (-530) vs. Alexander Yakovlev (+350)
Rony Mariano Bezerra (-310) vs. Robbie Peralta (+230)
Thoughts: The stupid part of my brain (roughly 80 percent of its total mass) keeps telling me to recommend Munoz and Maldonado. Mousasi’s spotty takedown defense combined with Munoz’s Earth-shattering ground-and-pound seems a recipe for upset, while Maldonado’s attrition style seems well-suited for a five-round fight. Then the logical part kicks in and I remember that Mousasi has shored up his wrestling and is notoriously hard to manipulate on the mat and Miocic has both the takedowns and long-range arsenal to shut down the plodding "Iron Hillbilly."
Let’s look elsewhere.
Since the "Prelims" under card was dominated by favorites, let’s look at underdogs. Dollaway and Miranda look like solid investments.
If you discount that atrocious decision in the Tim Boetsch fight, Dollaway’s riding a four-fight win streak. While Carmont recently had a massive streak snapped, it’s worth noting that his win over Tom Lawlor was questionable and his win over Lorenz Larkin was downright criminal. Against equally-adept wrestlers, Carmont seems a bit lost and is reticent to use his size and varied striking arsenal. I’m not saying Dollaway is a boxing genius for starching "Mutante" while the latter was swinging like an idiot, but he does seem like a solid upset pick just based on his grappling ability.
"Cara de Sapato" is a very legit grappler. He also has two wins over winless fighters and one over someone who is now 1-6 making up his entire career. Miranda’s a devastating striker who should be able to steer clear of Carlos’ clinch and power punching to light him up with body shots. His record may be padded as well, but he debuted in 2003 while Carlos debuted in 2013; that experience gap is going to make the difference.
Miranda scores the knockout and pays off handsomely.
UFC Fight Night 41 and TUF: "Brazil 3" Finale Best Bets:
- Parlay -- Nick Hein and Edimilson Souza: Bet $40 to make $48.40
- Parlay -- Magnus Cedenblad and Edimilson Souza: Bet $40 to make $60
- Single bet -- C.B. Dollaway: Bet $30 to make $42
- Single bet -- Vitor Miranda: Bet $30 to make $42
**Elton John reference:** See you Saturday morning/afternoon/evening, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will offer live UFC Fight Night 41 results RIGHT HERE and TUF: "Brazil 3" Finale results RIGHT HERE this weekend, 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.
Running Profit For 2014 Based On This Column: -$299.40