One of the finest examples of the “Australia vs. New Zealand” rivalry gets another installment this Saturday (Feb. 12, 2022) when Rob Whittaker takes another crack at Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, at UFC 271 in Houston, Texas. Local hero Derrick Lewis returns to action in the pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event against Aussie slugger Tai Tuivasa, while Jared Cannonier takes on Derek Brunson in a fight that could earn the winner a future shot at the 185-pound title.
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What Went Wrong at UFC Vegas 47?
I must say, of all the ways I pictured Denys Bondar losing to Malcom Bondar, “arm implosion” wasn’t among them. Still, effective performances from Alexis Davis and Sean Strickland alongside a terrific debut from Chidi Njokuani produced a second straight week of profit.
UFC 271 Odds For The Undercard:
Andrei Arlovski (-145) vs. Jared Vanderaa (+125)
Casey O’Neill (-380) vs. Roxanne Modafferi (+290)
Alex Perez (-380) vs. Matt Schnell (+290)
Maxim Grishin (-170) vs. William Knight (+150)
Ronnie Lawrence (-305) vs. Mana Martinez (+240)
Renato Moicano (-170) vs. Alex Hernandez (+150)
Carlos Ulberg (-235) vs. Fabio Cherant (+190)
A.J. Dobson (-115) vs. Jacob Malkoun (-105)
Sergey Morozov (-210) vs. Douglas Silva de Andrade (+175)
Jeremiah Wells (-235) vs. Mike Mathetha (+190)
Thoughts: There’s definitely a lot to like here: Casey O’Neill, Maxim Grishin, Renato Moicano, Carlos Ulberg and Jacob Malkoun strike me as quality investments.
As someone who greatly respects Roxanne Modafferi for what she’s been able to accomplish, I just can’t picture her winning this. The big upsets that have kept her in contention these last few years have come against opponents with limited wrestling, but there’s nothing limited about O’Neill’s ground game. “King” Casey has the skills to match Modafferi just about everywhere and is 15 years younger to boot.
Indeed, as heartwarming as it would be to see “The Happy Warrior” teach another whippersnapper what-for, O’Neill’s just too damn good ... use her as a parlay stuffer.
Grishin may be 1-2 in his last three bouts, but one of those was a short-notice Heavyweight fight and the other was a narrow decision against a top-notch striker that could have easily been scored for him. William Knight, meanwhile, is taking this on short notice and should be coming off a loss to the physically impressive, but technically limited, Alonzo Menifield. Grishin is exponentially more experienced and capable on the feet, so expect him to piece Knight apart.
With respect to Alexander Hernandez, he’s struggled to make his style work at the highest level ever since Donald Cerrone beat the brakes off of him. The fact that he couldn’t bully a man in Thiago Moises who constantly struggles off the back foot was a major red flag, and smashing a short-notice regional guy like Mike Breeden isn’t enough to convince me that he’s ready for Moicano. That’s because Moicano has cruised past better strikers and overpowered better Brazilian jiu-jitsu players than Hernandez, so as long as he doesn’t get chin-checked in the first two minutes, he’ll win comfortably.
I got a bit overzealous in my support for Ulberg ahead of his UFC debut and completely forgot about how durable Kennedy Nzechukwu is. Luckily, this won’t go nearly as poorly for “Black Jag.” So long as he paces himself, he’ll eat Cherant alive on the feet, and “Water Buffalo” isn’t a good enough wrestler to turn it into a ground battle.
In the end, make it three consecutive first-round stoppage losses for the former LFA champ.
While a number of underdogs here have the capacity for sudden finishes, Malkoun’s the only one I see winning his match up more often than not. Between his ADCC experience and professional boxing record, his credentials blow Dobson’s out of the water, and we just saw him dominate an explosive one-punch finisher in Abdul Razak Alhassan.
In short, I like “Mamba” to grind him into oblivion, so be sure you’re in position to benefit.
UFC 271 Odds For The Main Card:
Israel Adesanya (-280) vs. Robert Whittaker (+225)
Derrick Lewis (-180) vs. Tai Tuivasa (+155)
Jared Cannonier (-165) vs. Derek Brunson (+145)
Kyler Phillips (-400) vs. Marcelo Rojo (+300)
Bobby Green (-140) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (+120)
Thoughts: I honestly like Tai Tuivasa as an underdog here, and Bobby Green seems fairly undervalued as well.
If there’s anyone who can hit Derrick Lewis head-on in the Heavyweight division, it’s Tuivasa. The man’s incredibly durable — his only (technical) knockout loss came against Junior dos Santos, a man who also pummeled Lewis into oblivion. “Bam Bam” hits hard enough to put Lewis to sleep and is more compact with his punches, making him a worthwhile investment.
I had incredibly high hopes for Nasrat Haqparast early in his UFC career, and though he’s done well for himself overall, I can’t help but be a bit disappointed. He was remarkably ineffective against the two best strikers he’s faced thus far in Drew Dober and Dan Hooker, while Green’s looked better than ever even in defeat. “King” can match Haqparast’s output, is too durable to get stopped on the feet, and might have the takedown prowess to neutralize Haqparast the way Hooker did.
He’s worth a look, I’d say.
UFC 271 Best Bets:
- Parlay — Casey O’Neill and Jacob Malkoun: Bet $60 to make $88.20
- Parlay — Maxim Grishin and Carlos Ulberg: Bet $60 to make $75.60
- Parlay — Renato Moicano and Bobby Green: Bet $50 to make $86
- Single bet — Tai Tuivasa: Bet $60 to make $93
One thing’s for sure: we’re getting a lot of quality highlights out of this one. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
*** As always, remember this is not investment advice nor is it an invitation to gamble. Be responsible and always do your own due diligence.***
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $394.80
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 271 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV. Bet on UFC 271 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
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