Steve Seufert | June 5th, 2020
We are back with another card, this time a pay-per-view card that looked like it was headed in the wrong direction. Less than three weeks ago, the now first fight of the evening looked like it was headed to the main card, causing a panic. I’m actually excited for this card. I think Felicia Spencer is tough and will be one of the tougher fighters that Amanda Nunes has faced in her career. Will Spencer have enough? Read and find out below!
Amanda Nunes (-500) vs Felicia Spencer (+450)
Nunes is already the best female fighter of all-time and she’s on the verge of becoming the best fighter of all-time, in my opinion. No female is as physically imposing, but Spencer is tough as nails. She has a shorter build with a thick lower half making it difficult for opponents to run right through her. She showed that in the Cris Cyborg fight where she was able to survive all five rounds.
It’s just not going to be enough. Spencer has an elite ground game but Nunes is also a dominant black belt that people seem to forget about. It’s certainly easy to forget about someone’s ground game when they just knock everyone out cold. If this stays on the feet, which it probably will, I think Spencer gets destroyed. Can she take it to a decision? I doubt it.
Prediction: Nunes wins by TKO/KO in round three. Spencer takes a lot of damage.
The Bet: Parlay Nunes comfortably with your favorite bets. Nunes by submission is interesting at +750. She has two belts. She knocks everyone out. Amanda Nunes is chasing greatness. What better way than submitting the girl that people think has a shot at submitting you? Narrative street!
Raphael Assuncao (+125) vs Cody Garbrandt (-135)
At first glance, I thought this was a brutal fight for Garbrandt to take after getting knocked out three straight fights and a decent layoff. I still believe that. Assuncao has certainly been around the block and beaten some great fighters. He’s also coming off two straight losses and at 37 years old, this might be his last shot to chase the title that has always evaded him.
The only times Garbrandt has been put in real danger, he’s been knocked out three times and won the belt off an older Dominick Cruz, in the best fight of his life. I like Garbrandt, and I like his attitude. I just think he’s been coddled and he might be a tad overrated. Not only that, but his chin is completely shot on the feet. He’s a good boxer and has some good wrestling. If he can keep this standing, and that’s a big if, I think he could win by decision. If it were to hit the mat, it would Assuncao.
Here’s the catch, though. Garbrandt hasn’t been taken down in his UFC career. But he also hasn’t faced a pure grappler or one of Assuncao’s caliber. I’m not sold this gets to the mat, but I also don’t think Assuncao would get dominated on the feet. Late round takedown’s or clinch work could win it here. I like Assuncao.
Prediction: Assuncao wins a close decision, maybe even a 29-28 split.
The Bet: I think the +125 is good value, and I might bet it myself. This is more of a pick em’ fight for me. Way too many flaws and holes going against Garbrandt but maybe the new camp and layoff will workout. I kinda hope so.
Eddie Wineland (+435) vs Sean O’Malley (-500)
O’Malley is such a likable guy and I think he handled the USADA suspension like a champion. For those that are unaware, he ingested a tainted supplement and failed another test because the Ostarine that was ingested stayed in his system for a long time. He was out for two years. He didn’t dwell but he transformed his game, earning a purple belt in BJJ and he’s nearing a brown belt.
Wineland is a true veteran in this game, and he’s probably the guy that Garbrandt should’ve fought, rather than jumping back into the top five shark pool. Is Wineland the best bantamweight pure boxer of all-time? I think that a discussion that be made. On the feet, this thing is was closer than the odds indicate. However, the length and ground game from O’Malley will be too overwhelming. Not too mention the age and the fading chin of Wineland.
Prediction: O’Malley is taking the right fights and slowly moving up the ladder. His fight IQ and maturity are ahead of his age. He’s going to win by a round two TKO/KO.
The Bet: Parlay O’Malley with Nunes and your favorite pick. I think he’s a near-lock. Wineland’s boxing is good, but the range and defense from O’Malley has superstar written all over.
Neil Magny (-120) vs Anthony Rocco Martin (+110)
Magny looked really good in his last fight, like really good. Now all the DraftKings users and recency bias bettors are looking to place money on Magny. Recency bias is one hell of a drug. Before his last fight vs Li Jingliang, everyone was eating up his legs with leg kicks even if he won or lost. What is Rocco Martin’s biggest tool? Those nasty and heavy leg kicks. Magny is a brown belt grappler but really uses it. Rocco Martin counters it with a black belt and really good wrestling.
I love the way Magny looked against Jingliang but Jingliang fought with the IQ of a cucumber. The leg kicks from Rocco Martin will brutalize the legs and he should finish this thing on the ground. I’ll even go as far as calling a D’arce choke.
Prediction: Rocco Martin wins via submission in round three (D’arce choke).
The Bet: Give me Rocco Martin at underdog odds all day. Rocco Martin by submission is in the +600’s which I will find and bet.
Aljamain Sterling (-108) vs Cory Sandhagen (-102)
The odds are right and you can flip a coin with this one. Both of these guys throw with a ton of volume and neither get hit. Especially Sterling who only gets hit with 1.45 strikes per minute. On the ground, Sandhagen hasn’t been taken down in his UFC career. He’s a legit athlete and even was a really good high school basketball player before entering into combat starts. He’s now a brown belt in BJJ. Sterling is also an excellent athlete and former two-time Division III all-American. Not to mention a black belt in BJJ.
I really think it’s Sterling’s time, but Sandhagen matches him in athleticism and volume. They have a similar reach advantage but Sandhagen is towering at 5’11. If this goes to the ground, Sterling has a slight advantage but I would imagine Sandhagen has a solid standup game, thanks to his length and athleticism. I think Sandhagen wins with volume and clinch work but as I said, it’s a toss-up.
Prediction: Sandhagen wins via split decision in high-paced fight.
The Bet: Just enjoy this fight! I am.
Alex Caceres (+170) vs Chase Hooper (-185)
Oh boy, this is a perfect match up for Hooper. I’m not sure there’s anyone in the UFC that gives up their back more than Caceres. Hooper has been practicing BJJ since he was four years old and both of his parents have black belts. Hooper himself is a brown belt at just 20 years old. Here’s the catch though, he has zero striking and was dropped in his first UFC fight. And when I say no striking, I mean he is no threat and not even a threat on his feet at an amateur level.
That could cause some problems with Caceres, who is a Kung Fu expert and just a wild standup fighter. Half of his wins are by decision and he’s not physically imposing. This is a tough fight to handicap because we are talking about a kid vs a veteran with 22 UFC fights. Grown man strength and maturity is a thing. When Hooper fills out his body, he will one day end up in the 155 or even 170-pound division. Caceres is always a fight of the night candidate but he has seven submission losses. Hooper should weather the storm and take his back at some point. I’ll rock with a young kid by submission.
Prediction: Hooper is losing the fight but takes his back in late round two via submission. Rear-naked choke.
The Bet: Hooper by submission (+130). It’s literally the only way he wins. Betting -170 and rising would be a joke.
Cody Stamann (-230) vs Brian Kelleher (+210)
Stamann will be fighting with a heavy heart this weekend, as his younger brother died just last week. His younger brother loved watching him fight and my thoughts are with his family. Stamann is strong for moving forward and taking this fight and deserves all the credit in the world.
Although I love the toughness of Kelleher and this fight is on relatively short notice, this is a perfect match up for Stamann. Stamann has boxed since the age of 16 and has legit striking on his feet and in the clinch. Kelleher is a tough guy with a wicked guillotine, but I don’t think that fools the former division II wrestler. Stamann also has a motor and gas tank that is tough to compete with. I think he gets the job done for his brother.
Prediction: Stamann wins by dominant decision.
The Bet: If you’re one of those guys with money that’ll bet big odds, this is the fight to do it. I’m comfortable with Stamann in any parlays.
Charles Byrd (-165) vs Maki Pitolo (+155)
This low key an exciting fight because of the clash of styles but both of these guys aren’t UFC material. Byrd is 100 percent the better fight, all around. It’s really not close. However, Pitolo is an absolute banger, and although he isn’t very good, he is looking to take your head off.
I usually don’t do this but I’ve seen Byrd rocked on occasion. I won’t personally take this bet but Pitolo has the gas tank to land the overhand right in the later rounds. Taking a shot on the one-dimensional fighter is interesting, especially on Draftkings.
Prediction: Pitolo probably gets cut if he loses this fight. I think he lands the big one in round two.
The Bet: Pitolo via TKO/KO is +300 and that might be his only path to victory.
Jussier Formiga (+120) vs Alex Perez (-130)
Perez is a legit wrestler and was a Juco All-American at a community college in Fresno. He’s also a good grappler and striker. He’s really an all-around fighter. Formiga on the other hand is a black belt in Judo and BJJ. I just saw him go toe-to-toe with Brandon Moreno who is literally the future champion.
On the feet, Formiga has never won by knock out and doesn’t have the ability to put Perez away or win a striking battle. However, I think it’s inevitable that this hits the mat. I truly think Formiga ends up taking the back of Perez and winning by submission. However, if they get to scrambling, I think Formiga wins in those situations, too. He can win a decision. There are multiple paths to victory for the underdog and that’s a good recipe.
Prediction: I think Formiga catches the back and wins by submission.
The Bet: Formiga +120 is a good bet for a guy with multiple paths to victory.
Alonzo Menifield (-220) vs Devin Clark (+200)
Clark is a legit wrestler but he doesn’t have any other skills. He was a prospect that was fed easy fights but once he got to the next tier, he was destroyed. Despite being a really good athlete, his chin is really questionable on the feet and he’s about to run into an undefeated freak of nature.
Even if Clark gets it to the ground, Menifield has the explosiveness to get back up. The gas tank is questionable on both fighters so I don’t expect Clark to steal rounds with takedowns. Due to the questionable chin and athleticism, I’ve got Menifield running through him and winning by knockout.
Prediction: Menifield wins by TKO/KO in round one.
The Bet: This fight is a little risky due to the cardio of both guys. It could get sloppy in round two or three. No bet.
Evan Dunham (+190) vs Herbert Burns (-230)
Dunham was done two years ago and now he’s back and making a bigger cut to a catchweight at 150. This is a recipe for disaster because Burns is a legit prospect. He has wicked knees in the clinch and he has a really good ground game. I expect Burns to hammer the body and win by TKO.
Prediction: Burns wins via TKO due to shots to the body.
The Bet: Burns -230 is good parlays. I’m pretty confident in this simple breakdown.
Questions and comments?
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