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Insight the Octagon: UFC on ESPN 4 from San Antonio

By Lou Finocchiaro  () 

Last week’s column centered on the importance of weigh-ins if one is attempting to gain advantage over the UFC betting market. As anticipated, Aspen Ladd struggled to make the 135- pound limit. She did so on grit, determination and youth, but it was as bad a weight cut as

I have witnessed and I have watched 99% of all UFC weigh-ins for the last six years and for decades previous in boxing.

While Ladd was on the scale and some 15 minutes prior to Germain De Randomie hitting the scales for her verification, I released De Randomie 150 via Twitter. Ladd closed -120 vs. De Randomie 100 when the bell for Round 1 rang. Ladd was TKO’d 15 seconds later with the first measured straight right hand De Randomie delivered.

The effects that dramatic weight cuts take on a UFC fighter’s body, more specifically a fighter’s brain, is just beginning to be understood. There is scientific evidence that massive weight cuts result in fluid reduction in the brain. Brain fluid is critical in muffling the effect of shock or head trauma. It’s not understood how much time it takes the brain to recapture lost fluid, but in the case of Ladd . . . not enough.

In my judgment, this is what transpired Saturday. Insight the Octagon readers that also follow me on Twitter were in a time position to obtain a 50-cent advantage over the betting market from the closing number. While it’s mandatory to jump a price when it comes to hold market advantage, it’s also true that in many instances’ patience will prove profitable.

This week the UFC visits San Antonio, where two top-10 mixed martial artists will face off in a deeply talented welterweight division.

LEON EDWARDS -120 VS.

RAFAEL DOS ANJOS 100

Welterweight (170 pounds) Main Event

RDA’s last four fights have all been main events, so we know him well. This will be his fifth main event in 19 months. He is 2-2 in those four bouts, all against the division’s elite talent. Dos Anjos is also 34, and I believe age may be becoming a factor for his performances, especially when considering the level of competition in his last four bouts: Lawler W, Usman L, Covington L, Lee W.

RDA has advanced BJJ and Muay Thai skills. He’s coming off a big win over Kevin Lee, which some see as a larger accomplishment than I do. That was Lee’s first foray into the welterweight division, and jumping divisions carries its own risk.

I do not regard RDA as a top-8 fighter in this division despite having respect for him as a sure top 10 despite the fact that his is currently ranked No. 4.

Leon Edwards, a Jamaican who fights out of England, is a man troubled because no one wants to fight him. We’ll see why come Saturday as Edwards will hold a 3-inch height advantage,

  1. 4-inch arm reach advantage and a 5-inch leg reach advantage.

Edwards has won his last seven fights. His last loss was a three-round decision to current champion Kamau Usman in December 2015. Edwards has faced wrestlers, Judo specialists, strikers and grapplers and has bested them all. One worry might be overconfidence, however. I believe this young fighter is so incensed that no one would accept a fight with him (until RDA) that his focus and fury are running fairly high. I expect to see the best version of Edwards to date.

Edwards has vast physical advantages, yet he rarely displays enough power to put competitors lights out. RDA is an undersized grinder and, while he is somewhat predictable and plodding, he

is a true professional and will display the heart and grit of a proud warrior. But it’s my belief that Edwards wins this fight via decision.

Edwards -120

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