Under 2.5 Rounds @ +110
Bet of the Card: (2.5u) Under 2.5 Rounds @ +110 (to Return 5.25 Units)
(1u) FOXBet “Bet Boost”: Alex Morono to Win in Rounds 1-3 @ +270 (to Return 3.7 Units)
Alex Morono vs. Rhys McKee
Preliminary Card Welterweight (170lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 6:15 p.m. EST.
- 12 of Rhys McKee’s 14 pro MMA fights have ended inside the distance, and all 8 of his amateur bouts also ended inside the distance.
My bet of the card for this week is on Morono vs. McKee to end in under 2.5 rounds (2:30 seconds of round 3).
McKee (pictured above) has only just joined the UFC, and his first fight within the promotion saw him get fed to the sport’s latest and hottest prospect, Khamzat Chimaev. The fight was an absolute mauling, and considering the difference in ability between Chimaev and Morono, I think it’s fair to completely throw out that result and look further back into McKee’s MMA career. All of his wins have come inside the distance, and the bulk of them have come via round 1 KO. He has displayed a well-roundedness to his game, as he has shown a propensity to finish fights by knockout and submission.
Morono (pictured below: fighting Kenan Song) was also predominately a finisher when he was fighting outside the UFC, but since he joined the organisation, his finishing rate has dropped significantly. Part of this is due to the increase in competition, but it’s also down to the sheer toughness of the many fighters that he’s faced. I’m not going to run down the list, but everyone he’s gone to a decision against has typically been seen as a difficult person to put away. In this fight however, I see a lot of holes to McKee’s game, and a lot of potential for Morono to grab the finish. Not only does he hit hard on the feet, but he has a clear advantage on the ground as well, and I could easily see him getting a ground and pound stoppage, or a submission in this fight. There is big one concern with Morono, and that’s his chin. It has been largely okay, but we’ve seen him get put away twice now in the UFC, with the most recent coming in his last fight, a 27 second round 1 KO loss to Khaos Williams.
All things considered, I love this fight to end inside 2.5 rounds and Morono to win in rounds 1-3 (inside the distance, or ITD). When this fight is standing, both fighters will be a KO threat, and if Morono takes this fight to the mat, I can see that being even more dangerous for McKee. The reason that I like taking the under 2.5 rounds prop as a bigger bet than Morono’s ITD line, is so that it covers me in case McKee gets Morono out of there, as it’s entirely possible with his kill-or-be-killed style.
Alex Morono to Win in Rounds 1-3 @ +270
Fight Goes the Distance @ +225
1.6u) Fight Goes the Distance @ +225 (to Return 5.2 Units)
Don'Tale Mayes vs. Roque Martinez
Preliminary Card Opener Heavyweight (265lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 4:15 p.m. EST.
- Don'Tale Mayes has only ever been finished once via KO/TKO, and that was in large part due to cardio issues, which he looks to have considerably improved upon.
- Roque Martinez has suffered just two KO/TKO losses, one came due to a cut stoppage, and the other occurred nearly a decade ago, late into a 5 round main event (per Sherdog.com).
My third bet of the night is on the opening fight of the card to go to the judges’ scorecards.
Between Mayes and Martinez, they’ve got 3 UFC fights, with all coming as submission losses. But don’t let this foul you into thinking that these guys are pushovers and can’t take the heat. Both guys have had their early UFC careers stifled by coming up against significantly better opposition, all with notable advantages in grappling. Mayes was able to hold up for almost 3 full rounds against elite kickboxer and surging heavyweight contender, Ciryl Gane, before succumbing to a last second heel hook. Following that, he was then simply outclassed on the ground by the then undefeated, Rodrigo Nascimento. Martinez on the other hand, was rag dolled from wall to wall, before being submitted late in the second round by the now 13-0 Moldovan grappler, Alexander Romanov (pictured below).
Thankfully for this fight, neither guy will have to worry about the other’s grappling pedigree. Both guys like to keep fights standing and strike, and both are reluctant to engage in ground fighting, if it can be avoided. Taking that into account, this should play out as a striking match, and a fairly low-volume one at that. Mayes should be the fighter throwing more strikes, but he’ll have to take care, so to avoid Martinez’ returning power shots. Despite both guys having most of their wins via KO/TKO, they don’t actually yield too much power. Of course, this is heavyweight, and anything can happen, but I do see both guys as durable fighters who should be able to hold up to the other’s best shots. For that reason, I see the goes the distance prop holding a great deal of value at +220, and I’ll take it for 1.5 units.
Main Event Pick: Paul Felder +168 (PASS)
Paul Felder vs. Rafael dos Anjos
Main Event Lightweight (155lbs) Bout – Approx. Start Time: 9:45 p.m. EST.
- Paul Felder is 6-3 as an underdog in the UFC (per Tapology.com).
This is one of the most perfectly lined main events I’ve seen in a while. I see each fighter’s moneyline and props as being pretty spot on, and I think the totals are about where they should be too.
Should Paul Felder (pictured above: fighting Mike Perry)not be coming into this fight on extremely late notice, I could certainly make a case for betting him at his current +168 moneyline (best odds), but given the situation, it’s just a straight up pass for me. I always aim to produce a bet for the main event, but for this week, I’m just going to have to give my prediction and straight up pass on betting it, or at least keep it to a small wager.
With this being said, I’m going to pick Rafael dos Anjos (RDA) to win. He’s got a clear advantage in the grappling (pictured below: working to submit Neil Magny), and with him preparing to initially take on Islam Makhachev, he should be prepared for five hard rounds wherever the fight takes place. One thing I will say against RDA, is that with him now dropping back down to 155lbs, there are some questions to be asked about his gas tank. Afterall, he was struggling with his durability and conditioning a few years ago when he was fighting at lightweight, whereas now he’s a little older, and the weight cut will likely only be more strenuous.
With Felder, you can almost guarantee that he’s going to show up and display his excellent cardio, an attribute that might only be aided by his preparation for his up-coming triathlon. With this potential bump to his already solid conditioning, on top of the uncertainty about the effect of RDA’s weight cut, that does lead me think Felder could look like the much fresher and active fighter in the latter rounds.
Ultimately, RDA is who I’m picking to win the fight, but if I was forced to make a bet, I like Felder as I think he holds some minimal value as the +168 underdog. It’s a fun fight, but it’s packed with uncertainty and question marks due to Felder stepping in as a last-minute replacement, and RDA moving down in weight. Sadly, I’m not able to offer up a definitive bet for this week’s main event, but you know where I’m leaning, and if nothing else, it’s going to be one hell of a scrap.