Saturday July 20th 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Main Card: 9pm ET on ESPN
Preliminary Card: 6pm ET on ESPN
After yet another profit filled event for our UFC picks, we now head into UFC: Sacramento to make it four on the bounce! Last week’s card looked fairly underwhelming coming in, but it majorly over delivered with plenty of fun fights and some shocking early finishes at the top of the billing.
This week the UFC hosts their fourth full live card on ESPN, and it looks to provide plenty of entertainment and betting spots. Let’s jump into this week’s picks for UFC on ESPN 4: Dos Anjos vs. Edwards!
Main Card Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski (27-18-0) vs. Ben Rothwell (36-11-0):
The main card opener stars two long-time heavyweight veterans, in Andrei Arlovski and Ben Rothwell. These two fort once before in the infamous ‘Affliction 1: Banned’ show, in a bout which saw Arlovski stop Rothwell in the third. They now square-off 11 years on from that bout, and I’m leaning heavily towards this going the other way.
Arlovski has a very different fighting to style to what he did back in 2008. He’s now far more cautious and calculated, as opposed to his gun slinger style he was once known for. The unfortunate thing with this shift of style for this bout is that I now expect the still durable Rothwell, to simply out volume him, and stuff most of The Pitbull’s takedown attempts. I’ve been a fan of Arlovski for years now, but I’m going to have to pick against him here, due to the unfavorable fighting style of Big Ben Rothwell.
2u – Ben Rothwell @-175
Main Card Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Greg Hardy (4-1-0) vs. Juan “The Kraken” Adams (5-1-0):
Greg Hardy fights up until now have generally guarantee entertainment, or at the very least some controversy. When looking back on his DQ loss to Allen Crowder, only six months ago, it’s clear to see that Hardy still possess a lot of holes in his game. We know he can pack a lot of power, but there has to be questions here for what could happen in this fight should Juan Adams be able to withstand Hardy’s early attack.
Adams has never been stopped, which leads me to believe that he could fair very well with Hardy’s power. Add on top that he should hold a significant grappling advantage due to his history of wrestling, and the possibility of Adams getting this fight to the mat, dramatically increases.
I think there’s a good chance this fight gets out of the first, with both fighters looking fairly fatigued and ready for a long drawn-out brawl. Obviously at heavyweight, there’s always a chance for a big KO early, but with these two unfinished behemoths, I feel like their chins will hold up and this one will make it to the judge's scorecards. It's a big price and we're going to bet it at +330.
In addition to our GTD bet, we’re also going to make a small contradictory value play on Adams to win via submission. I know that I’ve got this going all three, but I think there is unmissable value on Juan Adams to win via submission. He’s no expert in that field, but with his added grappling experience, a submission opportunity could very well open up for himself in this fight. It's a massive number and it's well worth a small value punt on him to do so at +1800.
1u – Fight to Go the Distance @+333
0.5u – Juan Adams via Submission @+1800
Co-Main Event Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout - #9 Alexey “The Boa Constrictor” Oleinik (57-12-1) vs. #14 Walt “The Big Ticket” Harris (12-7-0):
The co-main event brings us up to a hat-trick of heavyweight bouts! We have the submission expert Alexey Oleinik take on the power puncher Walt Harris. I can see this being a back and forth affair in the early going, with both fighters beginning to slow down mid-way through the second.
Oleinik went for a high volume striking approach in his last bout early, although it has to be said that his power was severely lacking given that he fights at heavyweight. He’ll going searching for submissions, either by pulling guard, locking up a standing submission and taking it to the ground, or a rare takedown attempt. I feel this could be a struggle for Oleinik given that Walt Harris is incredibly strong and has decent take down defense. He’s only been subbed once in his career, and that came against Fabricio Werdum, a heavyweight legend on extremely late notice, who could challenge Harris anywhere the fight would take place. I’m not ruling out a submission from Oleinik, but given Harris’ strength and history, I think it could be very difficult for the Russian vet to lock anything up.
Add in Oleinik’s known durability and willingness to continue, no matter what kind of adversity he faces, then combine that with Harris’ patience to strike and low output, and this one could see definitely reach the later rounds. Providing Harris doesn’t land anything massive early, I could easily see him steadily striking on Oleinik and taking this on the scorecards. It's yet another big line, but one I feel very comfortable taking.
1u – Walt Harris to Win via Decision @+600
Main Event Welterweight (170lbs) Bout – #4 Rafael “RDA” dos Anjos (29-11-0) vs. #12 Leon “Rocky” Edwards (17-3-0):
In our main event we have an intriguing welterweight clash between the former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, and the surging Leon Edwards. “Rocky” enters this bout on a seven fight win streak, with his last loss coming against the (now) champ Kamaru Usman, way back in 2015. Since then Edwards has rounded off his game nicely and he’s become one of the most complete guys at welterweight in the organisation. His Jiu-Jitsu is decent, his wrestling is strong but not elite, and his striking is crisp and clean, yet not world beating. Add in his above average cardio and that he’s never been finished, and it’s no surprise that he’s risen up through the division.
It’s high praise for the British-Jamaican, but unfortunately for “Rocky”, this is one of those spots where a complete mixed martial artist, will meet an elite mixed martial artist. Dos Anjos comes into this fresh off the back of his exceptional performance against Kevin Lee. In that fight he displayed exactly why he’s someone to never be slept on. His quality wrestling nullified Lee’s, his striking made it very difficult for Lee to stand with him, and ultimately his cardio and Jiu-jitsu gave him the stoppage win.
I think RDA wins this fight wherever it takes place. I respect Leon Edwards, and understand that he’s been overlooked by many (myself included) in fights before, but I’m struggling to see where exactly that he’s going to be better than RDA. I would have dos Anjos as a favorite, which makes it pretty shocking that we're getting him at plus money. We’re going to put a hefty 2.5 units on him to get it done, probably by decision, but a finish isn’t out of the question.
2.5u – Rafael dos Anjos @+114