Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC LV32. This has been an unusual handicapping week as I have had quite the irregular schedule, that said, my focus has been set squarely on this set of bouts for I believe there are a handful of profit opportunities that lie within this card. Let’s dig 'em out.
As is customary the article from VSiN’s magazine will appear below followed by my final releases and updated comments. Good luck tonight and enjoy the fisticuffs, grappling and ill intent!
Sandhagen -195 vs. Dillashaw + 170
I’ll sidestep any wager involving a side here as I believe TJ will be privy to ‘mother’s little helper’ in some way shape or form and I believe it translates into a pretty solid performance by him. Right, wrong or indifferent my trust in the young man has been broken and I’ll need to assess him in his next bout or two before I can deliver any further commentary on the young man.
Sandhagen’s ready, he has momentum and he has physical traits that TJ has not competed against prior. For this reason, I feel that this bout goes well longer than the ‘Makers believe it does.
Over 3.5 + 155 Fight goes to decision + 225
*half unit wagers
Phillips -280 vs. Paiva + 235
Paiva will make it competitive but he’s not yet a natural Bantamweight and he’ll find the speed, power and diversity of attack too much to overcome in this short notice opportunity.
I’ve tied Phillips to last week’s parlay leg of Gamrot -210 for a potential return of + 110. For those without the first side please use Phillips in a parlay leg.
Soriano –120 vs. Allan + 110
Soriano’s a Hawaiian that brings devastating punch. Allen’s weakness is that he stops strikes of any form striking with his face. Allan on the other hand is a savant ground talent that will dominate on the mat as completely as Soriano will on the feet provided, he can drag the hunky Hawaiian down for a roll. This will be a fascinating stylistic matchup but at the end of the day it is Allan whom I believe is the fighter that gets his hand raised in this one.
Allan + 110
Yanez -235 vs. Costa + 200
This will be a tremendous fight. Yanez is the fighter with slick striking, deft movement and evasive defensive capability. He’s also the fighter with more experience. A relative newcomer to the UFC he’s finished his last two (ordinary) opponents via finish.
Costa arrives the man with less experience but he’ll be the physically larger fighter with a couple of inches of height advantage, three inches of reach advantage as well he’s a switch stance fighter that is always pressing forward to make the fight. Can Costa get to the counter striking slickster or will his aggression be the formula Ynez needs to further his momentum?
Costa opened + 155 so most believe that Yanez will own advantage. I come from the early Springsteen era when he states in the song, Growing up “When they said sit down, I stood up”.
==From PSW earlier in the week==
Last week favorites ran 7-3 in UFC LV31 while Insight the Octagon’s release of Miesha Tate -125 won via finish, pushing profitability up over the + 10-units mark thus far in 2021. In our update on Friday, Mateusz Gamrot -220 was released as the first leg of a two-fighter parlay. I’ll use the second leg of that parlay in my best bet below.
This week I’ll again submit to VSiN a final Insight the Octagon release column Friday for publication before Saturday’s 1 p.m. PT opening bell.
CORY SANDHAGEN -180 VS. TJ DILLASHAW + 160
Bantamweight (135 pounds) Main Event
Former bantamweight champion Dillashaw lost his opportunity to be a two-division king when he was drubbed by Henry Cejudo in a flyweight (125 pounds) bout in January of 2019. In the pre- and post-fight drug screens, Dillashaw tested hotter than Chernobyl when doping tests were read.
Dillashaw is decorated in Muay Thai and BJJ to supplement his world-class wrestling base. He looked dominant on his path to the bantamweight title he won in 2017. He’s an elite wrestler with great athleticism, cardio and striking.
Dillashaw has the tools to bully, smother and press Sandhagen, which is how he’ll have to defeat him, but it won’t be easy considering Sandhagen is the No. 2-ranked bantamweight.
Sandhagen arrives with great momentum, physical advantages, mental advantage and confidence. He’s 7-1 since entering the UFC and has won two straight since his loss to Aljamain Sterling last June. Sandhagen has been busy improving and competing in the octagon entering this opportunity to put a Dillashaw pelt on his mantle.
Sandhagen's physical advantages are stacked in this matchup as he’s five inches taller, five years younger and has the arm and leg reach over his shorter, wrestling-based opponent. Sandhagen will be the first and only athlete Dillashaw has faced in his career who owns such dynamic length, reach and height advantages over him.
I look for Dillashaw to test Sandhagen’s 30% takedown defense and do all he can to compete against Sandhagen from inside position, to try to fight him with his head pressing against Sandhagen’s chest. From inside the pocket, Dillashaw will be able to clasp, grasp and to maul the longer, taller athlete, then force him to the mat for advantage.
For Sandhagen it’s all about keeping mental composure and punishing Dillashaw with elbows, fists, knees and kicks as he maintains effective striking distance on the incoming wrestler. This will be one fascinating aspect of this fight because there will be more opportunity for inside fighting and clinch work in the small APEX cage.
If Sandhagen can keep this fight on the feet and maintain appropriate distance, he has the chance to accumulate points and rain damage on Dillashaw. However, if Dillashaw can manage this fight to the mat and gain top position, this fight becomes highly competitive and will swing to the favor of the sawed-off wrestler.
Total for this fight: 3.5 rounds Under -180
KYLER PHILLIPS -235 VS. RAULIAN PAIVA + 215
Bantamweight (135 pounds)
Paiva steps up in weight class and integrity of opponent when he faces Phillips, the 14th-ranked and ascending bantamweight.
The 5-foot-8 Paiva had competed at flyweight (125 pounds) until his last fight, when he failed to make weight. At bantamweight, he won’t be giving away height to his opponent, but he will be at a disadvantage when it comes to his opponent’s overall size, speed, power and balanced fight arsenal.
Phillips, who trains at the MMALab, a top national MMA gym rife with top-ranked bantamweight fighters across all organizations, is decorated in BJJ, Nikidokai, Sambo and wrestling. Standing, rolling, clinching or grappling, Phillips, a lifelong MMA-trained athlete, is lethal anywhere the fight goes. He’s a legitimate top-five talent in this stacked bantamweight division, even if few realize it.
Phillips' physical advantages as well his multi-dimensional attack will challenge the more singularly versed but determined Pavia. This fight will be competitive early, but from the second round on, the more structured, legitimately sized bantamweight Phillips will begin to display his completeness and unrelenting forward pressure. This fight is not a match of athletes with similar fight acumen.
For use as leg 2 of Gamrot -210 parlay (pays + 110) or to begin a new one. Bet this immediately. Most readers understand that I invest frugally and strive to limit expenditures to 1.0 unit per wager.
ADRIAN YANEZ -210 VS. RANDY COSTA + 180
Bantamweight (135 pounds)
Holy haymaker, what a fight! Yanez, out of Houston, is a boxing/striking-based fighter with speed, quickness, fight IQ, power, explosion and deft defensive movement. He’s 2-0 in the UFC but quite experienced as a professional. He’s finished his last two opponents yet he’s stepping up in competition here.
Costa, who switched camps to Sanford MMA, is larger and longer than Yanez. Costa is not as experienced as Yanez, having seven pro fights under his belt to 16 for Yanez, but he’s striking-based and has also finished opponents in his last two fights.
He, too, steps up from the level of his previous competition to face a slick, cute, fluid-moving striker-counter striker in Yanez.
In a bout featuring two talented up-and-comers, it’s Yanez with the advantage in experience, quickness and defensive capability while Costa has the edge in size, aggressiveness and power. What a fine matchup.
Total for this fight: 1.5 Over -140
There are other betting opportunities on this card. Tune back in at the end of the week for my final releases and updated comments.