After what feels like 100 years we finally have a fight night. Football has just broken me down over the last few weeks with every team I like sucking and every team I hate flourishing. Now I can just be broken down by losing money instead of heartbreak. This card is a little extra special because I will be in Vegas for it. Am I going to the Apex? No, but being in the same zip code will be good enough for me. Dana could’ve put a little more fire power on the card to start out the year, but this should at least make for some fun matchups. Ankalaev rematches the always entertaining Johnny Walker, Kape and Nicolau are rematching, Jim Miller is still fighting, Ricky Simon is there, and Andre Arlovski has his likely retirement fight (or what should be). Taking pretty much no dogs on the prelims then way too many dogs on the main card so this should make for a frustrating night. Alright enough rambling, let’s get into these picks.
Magomed Ankalaev vs. Johnny Walker Light Heavyweight Bout
I am more excited for this rematch than the line indicates. I don’t really know what happened in the first fight to make this line so inflated but I hope to take advantage of it. Johnny Walker went in lose and due to one missed shot he ended up on a knee against the cage. It’s not the worst position to be in and likely would’ve been able to stand up if not kneed in the head. Now is Ankalaev the better fighter? Probably. That won’t stop me from taking Johnny Walker with a +410 line.
Johnny Walker by 2nd Round TKO +410 1 unit
Matheus Nicolau vs. Manel Kape Flyweight Bout
This is a fun rematch but I am a little confused by the line. I know Kape has gotten better since their last matchup and Nicolau is coming off a loss but how do you make the guy 2-1 when he has lost to him already. I feel like these lines are making me go for the underdogs in position’s I’d normally try to take the favorite.
Matheus Nicolau by Decision +230 1 unit
Jim Miller vs. Gabriel Benítez Lightweight Bout
I have absolutely no idea how Jim Miller is still fighting. Dude is 40 and fought 2 million times. You do have to credit the UFC for giving him winnable matchmaking and not forcing him to fight killers all that often. Gabriel Benitez is pretty mediocre so I see Jim Miller getting to extend his career a little longer so he can fight at UFC 300.
Jim Miller by 1st Round TKO -148 1 unit
Ricky Simón vs. Mario Bautista Bantamweight Bout
Mario Bautista by Decision +160 1 unit
Phil Hawes vs. Brunno Ferreira Middleweight Bout
This will be a fun matchup. Both of these dudes are killers that do not want to take this the distance. They both are coming off of brutal KO losses but hope to bounce back. Bruno Ferreira is a very hot prospect who lost to a guy who is 7 inches taller than him. Hard to stand with a guy who can touch you from a mile away. Hawes is a bit taller but I see Ferreira able to get inside a bit easier and find the shot that puts him to sleep. Shocked this line is so close.
Brunno Ferreira by 2nd Round TKO -125 2 units
Andrei Arlovski vs. Waldo Cortes-Acosta Heavyweight Bout
Waldo Cortes-Acosta by 1st Round TKO (Prop Finish Line) -190 2 units
Matthew Semelsberger vs. Preston Parsons Welterweight Bout
Matthew Semelsberger by Decision -125 1 unit
Marcus McGhee vs. Gaston Bolanos Bantamweight Bout
Marcus McGhee by 2nd Round Submission (SGP Over 1.5 Rds) +130 1 unit
Farid Basharat vs. Taylor Lapilus Bantamweight Bout
Farid Basharat by Decision (To win in 3rd round or Decision) -165 1 unit
Westin Wilson vs. Jean Silva Featherweight Bout
Jean Silva by 2nd Round TKO (SGP Over .5 Rds) +135 1 unit
Tom Nolan vs. Nikolas Motta Lightweight Bout
Tom Nolan by 1st Round TKO (Prop TKO Line) Not posted yet
Joshua Van vs. Felipe Bunes Flyweight Bout
Joshua Van by Decision (SGP Over 1.5 Rds) Not posted yet
Alright posted this nice and early so I don’t have to bring my laptop to Vegas. If any weight cuts suck or people drop out I won’t be able to edit the blog but will tweet any pick changes. I am going to be blackout at a Vegas Knights game while the card is going on so may not be able to give and picks during the card, but will try my best. That is all I have for this card, remember to bet responsibly and stick to your units. As always, may luck be your lady tonight.