UFC on Fox 26 will be touching down in the cold Canadian city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, this Saturday (Dec. 16). Things will heat up in a hurry, though, as the card has the potential for serious fireworks.
The winner in the main event between Rafael dos Anjos and Robbie Lawler will be first in line for a shot at Tyron Woodley’s welterweight belt. If that’s not enough heat, there is bound to be an explosion when Mike Perry and Santiago Ponzinibbio exchange bombs. Both men have one mission and that is to end the fight in spectacular fashion. First punch wins?
Our weekly MMA deep dive got off to a great start last week at UFC Fight Night 123, hitting on two out of three underdog picks and both our prop suggestions. Hopefully you took that advice, but no worries if you didn’t; we’ve got more plays for this weekend’s card. Let’s keep the momentum going, shall we?
This week, I have four Golden Dogs that could be profitable and three intriguing prop bets. Let us know in the comments who you like and how it works out.
Jared Cannonier (-185) vs. Jan Blachowicz (+160): Light Heavyweight
This line was one of the first that stood out to me. I believe Blachowicz (20-7) is the true favorite against Cannonier (10-2), so snatch it while you can.
Both men can bang, but I give a slight advantage to Blachowicz on the feet. The 34-year-old also holds a size advantage, especially in height and reach, and should be able to control the fight and eventually take it to the mat. That’s where I think this fight will go and could ultimately end.
There is also value in a prop bet on this fight. More on that below.
My bet: $40 on Blachowicz (+160)
Potential payout: $64 profit
Nordine Taleb (-150) vs. Danny Roberts (+130): Welterweight
I understand why some feel Taleb (13-4) is the favorite in this fight. He’s a big welterweight who has a technical kickboxing game, great footwork, and improving wrestling. But Danny Roberts (14-2) has a striking game that could eat Taleb up.
Not only does Roberts have quick hands in the pocket, he also has an arsenal of nasty kicks that beat up opponents’ legs and body.
I would make a small bet on Roberts here at +130. Sure Taleb has a clear path to victory via takedowns, but Roberts’ grappling has improved enough that I think he can keep it standing. This smells like a decision win after a hard-fought three rounder.
My bet: $20 on Roberts at +130
Potential payout: $26 profit
John Makdessi (+175) vs. Abel Trujillo (-190): Lightweight
Neither of these guys is what he used to be. But John Makdessi (14-6) remains a very tough, durable fighter, and won’t be an easy out for Abel Trujillo (15-6). In fact, it’s Makdessi’s durability and technical striking that could win him the fight.
Trujillo has power in his hands and he likes to throw big shots, but we haven’t seen much of that power the last few years and, after round one, he could find himself drowning in deep waters. If Makdessi can weather an early storm, he could eventually take over on points and earn a decision win.
My bet: $50 on Makdessi at +175
Potential payout: $87.50 profit
Mike Perry (+165) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (-205)
This is going to be a real barnburner of a fight between two powerful punchers. Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) is on a five-fight win streak, including a first-round knockout over a favored Gunnar Nelson in Scotland in July. The Argentinian has fast hands and likes to be aggressive while looking to finish fights. But if he over-commits, he could find himself KOed by another power puncher in Mike Perry (10-1). The man has a number of highlight reel knockouts on his resume, including a sick elbow KO of Jake Ellenberger back in April.
It may come down to first clean shot wins, which makes it hard not to take Perry at +165. The kid is a rising star and this could be the fight that puts him on the map in the welterweight division.
My bet: $50 on Perry at +165
Potential payout: $82.50 profit
The Best Prop Bets
Time to up the degree of difficulty by throwing some money down on props. There isn’t much value in fights going the distance on this card, but I did find a couple interesting moneylines on method of victory that are worth a dollar or two.
Mike Perry by KO, TKO, Disqualification (+240)
Mike Perry is a knockout artist. All of his 11 wins are by KO or TKO. Given that I like his chances to win the fight straight-up, putting some coin down on Perry to finish Santiago Ponzinibbio doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I can’t ignore +240 for the finish.
My bet: $25 on Perry by KO, TKO, Disqualification at +240
Potential payout: $60 profit
Jan Blachowicz by Submission (+400)
Above in the Golden Dog picks, I mentioned that I like Jan Blachowicz taking Jared Cannonier to the ground and possibly finishing the fight there. The +400 odds for this prop have an implied probability of just 20%. If they fought ten times, I see Blachowicz winning at least three by submission. Value!
My bet: $25 on Blachowicz by submission at +400
Potential payout: $100 profit
The Parlay Plays
I really wish Rafael dos Anjos was still the underdog in his main-event fight against Robbie Lawler. Styles make fights and I believe Dos Anjos is a bad matchup for Lawler. Dos Anjos brings savage leg kicks, something Lawler doesn’t bother checking. He also brings a solid chin and murderous pressure that could overwhelm Lawler if he starts out slow.
I feel dos Anjos at -115 is a good bet to start a parlay. Add in Makdessi (the underdog I’m most confident in) at +165 makes for a seriously profitable parlay that has a good chance to hit.
My bet: $40 on Rafael dos Anjos at -115 plus John Makdessi at +165
Potential payout: $158 profit
Elsewhere on the card, I don’t see Ricardo Lamas (-285) losing to Josh Emmett, so I’m willing to grab that chalky line and match it with Blachowicz.
My bet: $50 on Ricardo Lamas at -285 plus Jan Blachowicz at +150
Potential payout: $118 profit
Let's have fun and keep it civil.