Last week’s UFC event -- as well the few cards preceding it -- reaffirmed to me that one shouldn’t get too confident in this business when on a run. The pick of Cynthia Calvillo as a slight favorite may be one of the most egregious errors that I have made since these columns began. The good news is like our athletes, we’ll get up on the mat, especially since we’re still very profitable to the 2021 year.
There is no time to pout nor gloat, as there is investment potential lying directly ahead. Here is my breakdown for UFC Fight Night: Viera vs. Tate.
Miesha Tate (+ 100) vs. Ketlen Vieira (-120)
Women's Bantamweight (135lbs.) main event
The seventh-ranked Brazilian Vieira is a black belt in BJJ and Judo. She’s 1-2 her last three against competition in the division that is just above average within the ladies’ bantamweights.
Tate took four years off and normally I would question the motivations of this form of comeback. However, upon further scrutiny, one must understand the clarity, focus and drive that this last run for a title will give Tate. Tate’s return puts a little spark into a division in fighting that has been dominated by Amanda Nunes.
Tate has faced far better competition, she’s more experienced and I feel she’s in a great position to grind out a late submission or decision victory.
Sean Brady (-155) vs. Michael Chiesa (+ 135)
Welterweight (170lbs.) co main event
Fourteenth-ranked Brady is an exceptional talent coming out of Philadelphia, the city of champions. It’s redundant to say his boxing and striking are top flight, but he also has earned a black belt in BJJ to complement his forceful forward striking attack.
Brady’s undefeated and this test against a legitimate top-10 fighter in the division is a jump deep into the water.
Chiesa is seventh ranked and he’s faced the division’s top talent, looking dynamic at times and anemic at others. Chiesa’s size and force often provide him with an advantage, and he feeds off that. However, if he is unable to bully and crowd his opponent and is forced backward himself, then he has a difficult time responding.
In this fight I give Brady the youth and mental advantage, yet experience and size lie with Chiesa. Brady opened -140 and has risen to current pricing. While I feel Chiesa is at least on par with Brady, I also question his dedication and heart, which will force me to wait for weigh-ins.
Total in the fight opened -120 Under and is now -120 Over.
Rafa Garcia (-110) vs. Nathan Levy (-110)
Don’t judge the book by the cover.
Levy is a sculpted athlete who looks like he was carved out of granite. He makes his debut here in the lightweight division. Levy’s issue is that most of his previous bouts have been at featherweight (145lbs.) thus my concern for a naturally smaller man to be debuting against proven talent from a larger division.
Garcia is no slouch. He’s been bested in his last couple by tough, durable talent in the division and the Mexican fighter will arrive proud, focused and prepared to offer his best effort as a natural 155-pounder.
Total for this fight: 2.5 Rds. Over -185