After a blockbuster debut, “Fight Island” continues this week (Weds., July 15, 2020) on ESPN/ESPN+ with a pair of exciting Featherweight contenders in the driver’s seat. UFC on ESPN 12’s main event sees Calvin Kattar look for his fifth UFC knockout victory against the scrappy Dan Ige, who’s won six straight against quality competition. The card will also feature a Flyweight tussle pitting Tim Elliott against Ryan Benoit and what could be another Featherweight banger between Bantamweight contenders Jimmie Rivera and Cody Stamann.
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What Went Wrong at UFC 251?
It would have been a success anyway, but thanks to some wonky judging in Muslim Salikhov vs. Eliezeu Zaleski dos Santos, “Fight Island’s” debut ended up a flawless victory. Jiri Prochazka and Davey Grant scored massive knockouts as underdogs, Petr Yan picked up a decisive finish of his own, Karol Rosa dominated Vanessa Melo as expected, and Salikhov, well, he got his hand raised.
UFC On ESPN 13 Odds For The Under Card:
Khamzat Chimaev (-335) vs. John Phillips (+275)
Ricardo Ramos (-155) vs. Lerone Murphy (+135)
Modestas Bukauskas (-230) vs. Andreas Michailidis (+190)
Jared Gordon (-145) vs. Chris Fishgold (+125)
Diana Belbita (-165) vs. Liana Jojua (+145)
Jack Shore (-700) vs. Aaron Philips (+500)
Kenneth Bergh (-150) vs. Jorge Gonzalez (+130)
Thoughts: Ricardo Ramos and
Kenneth Bergh look like reasonable investments just based on their significant grappling advantages, which figure to carry them to victory against dangerous strikers.
While Lerone Murphy did well to fight through early adversity against Zubaira Tukugov, “Warrior” still managed to take him down six times, continuing to land takedowns even at the point of total exhaustion. Ramos, though not as heavy-handed or devastating with his wrestling as the Chechen bruiser, is a far better submission artist and has the takedown chops to at least partially recreate Tukhugov’s efforts. Barring some serious improvements on Murphy’s part, Ramos should own this on the mat.
Jorge Gonzalez might be the new Light Heavyweight poster child for “puncher’s chance.” His striking technique is painfully limited, but he can sometimes make up for it with raw power. Unfortunately, that won’t serve him well against Bergh, who’s both decently capable on the feet and loath to waste time there when the takedown presents itself. Whether he drags Gonzalez to the mat of his own volition or capitalizes on the Mexican slugger’s occasional reactive takedowns with his patented guillotine, “Ymir” figures to tap him before long.
Bergh blew his weight cut, so he’s out (details). Put Tim Elliott in there instead — Ryan Benoit’s been taken down more than a dozen times in his last four fights.
UFC On ESPN 13 Odds For The Main Card:
Calvin Kattar (-290) vs. Dan Ige (+245)
Tim Elliott (-130) vs. Ryan Benoit (+110)
Jimmie Rivera (-140) vs. Cody Stamann (+120)
Molly McCann (-120) vs. Taila Santos (EVEN)
Abdul Razak Alhassan (-335) vs. Mounir Lazzez (+275)
Thoughts: Molly McCann looks terribly undervalued from where I’m sitting. The women have proven to be quality investments lately, so let’s give “Meatball” our faith.
Santos’ gaudy 15-1 record is almost entirely fluff; at least nine of those victories came against winless opponents. Though she does have significant height and reach advantages against McCann, her inability to keep Mara Romero Borella from closing the distance suggests that she’ll struggle with McCann’s newfound wrestling prowess. As against Diana Belbita and Ariane Lipski, McCann should be able to defuse a rangy, aggressive striker with regular takedowns.
Parlaying her with Jack Shore, who is going to obliterate Aaron Philips, results in positive odds. Go for it ...
UFC On ESPN 13 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Ricardo Ramos and Tim Elliott: Bet $50 to make $95.53
- Parlay — Molly McCann and Jack Shore: Bet $50 to make $55
Is UFC on ESPN 13 loaded with top contenders? Not really. Probably entertaining as hell? Definitely. See you Wednesday, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 13 fight card this week, starting with the ESPN+“Prelims” that are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the main card portion that will also stream on ESPN/ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.
To check out the latest and greatest UFC on ESPN 13: “Kattar vs. Ige” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.