Let me start by saying there are some fights on this card I simply would not lay actual money on. Fights with intangibles like guys coming off of considerable layoffs, guys fighting out of their weight class, fighters with more UFC fights but only a win or two against top flight guys and some up and comers poised to transition to the top 5 or top 10 of their division.
In short, dangerous fights on which to wager cash.
I've gone 17 correct and 7 incorrect picks across the most recent 2 UFC events. Not bad.
I don't know how much Thiago Alves has left in the tank. I haven't seen him fighting enough recently to feel certain he will top Jordan Mein.
Woodley has only one top flight win on his resume (Koscheck, the Condit fight was a knee injury accident) and Gastelum has been surging as of late. That being said, Woodley has never lost by submission, and I don't see Gastelum KO'ing Woodley.
Boetsch has only lost in the UFC to the likes of guys near the top of the division however unspectacular his fighting style may be and I'm not completely sold on Thales Leites as of yet. Boetsch's come from behind win against Okami shows he's that guy well on his way to losing and you winning your money until he clips the guy in the 3rd round up against the cage.
Those are 3 fights that I just would not bet money on personally.
Well, maybe 4. This will sound crazy, but every fighter gets old.
Is Saturday the day Silva gets old?
I don't know.
Diaz always finds a way to blow it when it matters most, and Silva has looked bigger than the opponent even when fighting at LHW and Diaz is long of frame, but fights at welterweight.
This sounds crazy, but I wouldn't bet money on that fight either.
There's a lot of intangibles when I look at the fights for Saturday. Guys who haven't loss by submission fighting guys who won the majority of their fights by submission are the easy picks for wagering your dollars for example. Other fights with guys who have been inconsistent or not fought recently are tough to handicap.
I see no reason why Ian McCall won't exercise the same gameplan he did in his last outing and pull of a stick and move win over Lineker. They talk up Lineker all the time and his "hands of stone" moniker but the guy has missed weight several times, fades as the fight progresses and I've never seen him do much other than really look for one big punch. McCall fights smart when he chooses to and I see him stamping his way toward another eventual title shot here.
Hettes returns to action and Brandao looked terrible in his last outing, I see Hettes breaking Brandao here with his transitions and submission attempts, though I don't like the fight because I haven't seen Hettes fight in quite awhile either. Herman has looked progressively worse in his Octagon appearances as of late and Brunson is a beast. Brunson losing to Romero who is poised to claim a title shot should he get by Jacare is no slouch and I see Brunson battering Herman to a late stoppage.