Two of the Featherweight division’s most entertaining sluggers duke it out inside Texas’ Moody Center this Saturday (June 18, 2022) when Calvin Kattar squares off with Josh Emmett on ESPN/ESPN2. UFC Austin also features a clash of legends between Donald Cerrone and Joe Lauzon, as well as intriguing battles pitting Tim Means against Kevin Holland and Albert Duraev against Joaquin Buckley.
It’s a doozy of a free card and one with the potential to produce some serious profit.
What Went Wrong at UFC 275?
And there’s my usual mid-year collapse, right on schedule. I can’t even blame this one on bad judges. Sadly, virtually all of my reads were wrong, from my underestimation of Silvana Gomez Juarez’s takedown defense and Josh Culibao’s boxing to my overestimation of Andre Fialho’s stand up. Glover Teixeira nearly managed to staunch the bleeding a bit, but alas.
Still plenty of time to turn this around. Let’s do it ...
Adrian Yanez (-350) vs. Tony Kelley (+270)
Jasmine Jasudavicius (-240) vs. Natalia Silva (+195)
Court McGee (-120) vs. Jeremiah Wells (EVEN)
Ricardo Ramos (-300) vs. Danny Chavez (+235)
Gloria de Paula (-265) vs. Maria Oliveira (+215)
Cody Stamann (-550) vs. Eddie Wineland (+400)
Phil Hawes (-260) vs. Deron Winn (+210)
Kyle Daukaus (-250) vs. Roman Dolidze (+200)
Thoughts: Alright, let’s get this comeback started. Adrian Yanez, Court McGee, Cody Stamann, Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukaus appear to be decent investments.
I’m genuinely worried that Yanez being the best fighter in his gym and lacking a high-level instructor after the untimely death of Saul Soliz could keep him from realizing his massive potential. Still, even a stagnant version should be more than sufficient to carry him past Tony Kelley thanks to his ludicrous durability and hellacious power, especially since Kelley absorbed more than 100 significant strikes from Kai Kamaka III in his UFC debut.
Indeed, “PrimeTime” is going to be eating through a straw if he leaves his chin that exposed against a striker of this caliber, so be in position to benefit.
It took him more than one decade in the Octagon to do it, but Court McGee is finally fighting in a way that maximizes his gifts. He absolutely demolished Claudio Silva’s and Ramiz Brahimaj’s cardio in his last two fights and figures to do the same to Wells, who doesn’t have the most fuel-efficient style in the world. Seeing as “The Crusher” is durable enough to withstand Wells’ bombs and a sufficiently skilled wrestler to take Wells’ top game out of the equation, I’d say he’s worth a look.
I don’t think I need to go too in-depth about the reason — despite his recent struggles — Cody Stamann will beat a man in Eddie Wineland who’s been a shell of his former self for years at this point. Slap “The Spartan” in with an underdog you’re keen on.
Even with that ugly knockout loss to Chris Curtis dangling over his head, Phil Hawes has every advantage in his fight with Deron Winn. He’s by far the more technical and powerful striker and boasts the wrestling skills to keep Winn, who’s struggled to translate his own impressive credentials into an effective mixed martial arts (MMA) game, from grinding things out. On top of that, Hawes has a half-foot of height and more than seven inches of reach on Winn. The only thing Hawes really has to worry about is Winn’s quick hands, which pack enough heat to crack the former’s historically shaky chin, but Hawes has so many advantages in the stand up that it’s hard to see Winn finding the mark.
In short, bank on “Megatron.”
It’s clear by now that Roman Dolidze has very, very little to offer outside of functional wrestling. Kyle Daukaus is by far the better striker, has the offensive wrestling to put Dolidze on his back more easily than Laureano Staropoli did, and boasts a lethal front choke series that Dolidze looks poised to jump right into. In the end, Daukaus should win however he wants.
UFC Austin Main Card Odds:
Calvin Kattar (-235) vs. Josh Emmett (+190)
Donald Cerrone (-165) vs. Joe Lauzon (+145)
Kevin Holland (-265) vs. Tim Means (+215)
Albert Duraev (-220) vs. Joaquin Buckley (+180)
Damir Ismagulov (-160) vs. Guram Kutateladze (+140)
Gregory Rodrigues (-190) vs. Julian Marquez (+160)
Thoughts: You know what? Let’s find some more pies to put our fingers into. Calvin Kattar, Kevin Holland, Albert Duraev and Gregory Rodrigues for the favorites and Joe Lauzon as the long-shot underdog.
It’s no secret that Kattar holds a clear technical striking advantage over Josh Emmett and is the only one of the two who’s proven his ability to fight for five hard rounds. Emmett’s best weapon in this match up is his raw power, but Kattar’s shown off utterly freakish durability in his most recent efforts. While there’s an argument to be made that none of those men held a candle to Emmett in terms of one-punch devastation, I’m comfortable saying that Emmett can’t knock him out, and if he can’t knock him out, he’s not winning.
The argument for Lauzon is that his fight with Jonathan Pearce proved he’s still capable of his usual first-round explosions, while Donald Cerrone’s current losing streak includes three first round knockout losses. Most of his struggles came against much more fearsome opponents than Lauzon, of course, but getting blitzed by a guy in Alex Morono who’s only scored two (technical) knockout finishes since 2015 is a bad look.
“Cowboy” is potentially worth the Hail Mary.
I do love me some Tim Means Muay Thai, and his current win streak proves that there’s still gas in the tank at 38 years old. Unfortunately, Holland’s got him beat in height, reach and chin. Though Means’ back up wrestling is a mild “X-factor,” I can’t pick Means against a younger, bigger, less shopworn striker when limited guys like Laureano Staropoli have found success against him.
As fun as Joaquin Buckley is, he doesn’t have the takedown defense to shut down Albert Duraev’s grappling attack ... and he’s nowhere near as sharp
The fact is that Gregory Rodrigues likes to make fights hard on himself, but he’s so capable that he should be 3-0 in the Octagon anyway. If he does the smart thing and leans on his wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, there’s very little Julian Marquez can do to stop him. Even if he does decide to slug it out, Rodrigues’ huge reach advantage and firepower mean he can hold his own, though it’s admittedly unlikely that he can put Marquez down for good.
UFC Austin Best Bets:
Parlay — Adrian Yanez and Court McGee: Bet $100 to make $136
Parlay — Cody Stamann and Joe Lauzon: Bet $60 to make $114
Parlay — Kevin Holland and Gregory Rodrigues: Bet $100 to make $110
Parlay — Kyle Daukaus and Calvin Kattar: Bet $150 to make $150
Parlay — Albert Duraev and Phil Hawes: Bet $150 to make $155
Initial Investment For 2022: $600
Current Total: $1,232.25
UFC Austin is genuinely one of the most stacked “Fight Night” cards in recent memory; therefore, be sure you don’t miss it. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Austin fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN/ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.
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