What’s up Scout Army?! It’s good to be back and breaking down some fights. As always, hit me up on Twitter (@Y2CASEY) anytime or in the slack if you have any questions. Here’s what you can expect here at Scout as we move forward with the MMA.
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UFC 227 goes down Saturday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, with two titles on the line set up with a stacked card. Leading the way will be the anticipated run back of current 135 champ TJ Dillashaw vs the ex-champ Cody Garbrandt. In their last go, we saw TJ taking the strap from former champ Garbrandt, after clipping him and finishing him with strikes, only after he was dropped himself. The co-main brings us Demetrious Johnson, who’s been the flyweight champion for the last five years with umpteen title defenses (aka 11 straight), facing off against former Olympic medalist Henry Cejudo, who’s back for a rematch and looking to take another crack at the gold. Just so you know how much more beer to buy for the night, here’s the rest of the schedule.
Breakdown time. Some quick reminders:
As mentioned in the tip sheet above, here’s my MMA DFS Heat Chart for UFC 227. As you can see, the chart is ranked based on fight finish odds. Fight finishes are where the points are at in MMA DFS. Take a quick glance at the stack, and we will break down the individual match-ups below.
Two key offensive metrics are strikes and takedowns. They get off on their opponents, watch your points rack up quick. Here's my Offensive Output Meter for UFC 227. With this chart, you can compare historical fighter averages in these two, key metrics as I rank all fighters participating Saturday night.
**Side note. We have a few cats that are making their UFC debut’s Saturday night, that have logged one fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Sayles, Jackson, and Holland all are fighters that have one fight sample sizes.
FIGHTS ODDS HAVE MOST LIKELY ENDING INSIDE THE DISTANCE:
- TJ Dillashaw vs Cody Garbrandt U2.5 +112 (5 round fight w/ a 2.5 O/U = boys will be swingin’)
- Thiago Santos vs Kevin Holland U1.5 -147 (Santos has a Thor like hammer tattooed across his chest and is fighting new guy Kevin Holland, who doesn’t have a Thor like hammer tattoo. Catch my drift.)
- Ricardo Ramos vs Kyung Ho Kang U1.5 +174 (Only other fight set at 1.5, but lean towards the over)
Below is the percent of offshore bets coming in on each fighter as of late Friday/early Saturday:
MATCH UP BREAKDOWNS
QUICK PREDICTIONS ON THE MATCH UPS:
OPENING ODDS: Dillashaw -135 Garbrandt -105
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Dillashaw -125 Garbrandt +115
Exposure to both in DFS. Five rounds, both will be busy, and very likely to see a finish. I highly doubt we see these guys waste any time, with both very familiar with each other’s skillset, they will look to expose each other on the biggest stage in combat sports. Not even a year ago, we saw Dillashaw get dropped at the end of round one in their first fight, a round Garbrandt was clearly winning, only to turn the tide in round two, and catch Garbrandt with a punch to the head at distance, which floored Garbrandt giving him his first defeat of his career. I’d like to see Garbrandt get some revenge here and finish what he started in that first round back in November. Looking at the two fighters, Dillashaw is the more elusive with a stronger mental game. Garbrandt throws some heat and can KO anyone in the division, but has to land. Garbrandt has been known to be a hot head, and easily gets sucked into mind games. All week he seemed very composed and mentally ready to go, yet of course someone has to dig out some old tweets he sent as a young buck. Questions circling about these could have rattled him abit and we will see soon enough. Again, you’d be smart to have exposure to both in DFS. I expect TJ to be the more popular play. I’m leaning Cody gets revenge and sets up a rubber match, or possibly a super fight with Mighty Mouse, if as well gets the job done.
OPENING ODDS: Johnson -475 Cejudo +325
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Johnson -435 Cejudo +385
Many consider Johnson the P4P best. He’s defended his belt a record 11 times, and has just about cleaned out his division and some. I’ve lost a lot of money on betting against DJ. There, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I feel better. Cejudo was knocked out in their first fight a few years back, and entered that fight uber confident, thinking he would run through the champ. Probably similar to how I felt about a lot of my bets against him in the past too! The former Olympic wrestling gold medalist has absolutely gotten better since their first run, and I expect him to have more success against the champ this go. That will be his moral victory. Expect Johnson to put on another show and collect another belt defense. Cejudo DFS price is just stupid though. He is getting zero respect and if he hangs around or shocks the world, he easily should reach value.
OPENING ODDS: Swanson +125 Moicano -165
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Swanson +265 Moicano -295
I agree with the line movement here. Moicano is a legit prospect who actually looked decent against Ortega (Moicano’s only L). He’s very technical with his striking and should be the quicker of the two, scoring points and taking rounds. Cub’s made some changes with his diet and such, and looks very motivated, but man, I’m on #TeamNoSleep as well with a little one occasionally crying in the middle of the night too. It wears on you, especially when you are involved. I see Cub is a great father to his little one in his YouTube series, and I have to think that unfortunately plays a little role Saturday night. I could be way off, but I only see Cub getting the nod, if there’s some blantant home town judging debacles going on. I like Moicano via DEC, but not reaching value in DFS with a price tag of $9200.
OPENING ODDS: Viana -210 Aldrich +160
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Viana -148 Aldrich +138
I really like Viana here. Standing, Viana has been the more accurate, but I see her looking to get it to the mat each round. I expect her to land some takedowns (exposing Aldrich’s 42% takedown defense) at some point and quite possibly lock in a RNC.
OPENING ODDS: Santos -275 Holland +215
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Santos -325 Holland +295
Santos was a huge letdown in his last fight, as he was KO’d by David Branch in the first round of their match. Looking to get back on track, I almost feel like the UFC gifted him the matchup against Holland. But its fights like these, when they seem too easy, when Santos folds. But I got to go with Santos. Odds makers are as well. I’m eying that KO/TKO -180 prop. Santos hasn’t seen 2 full rounds in his last eight fights, finishing five of them himself by KO, and getting finished in the other three. Expect fireworks and some DFS points.
OPENING ODDS: Munhoz -155 Johns +115
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Munhoz -210 Johns +190
Tough match up for Johns. Munhoz can crack and will be able to compete easily with Johns on the mat. I’m siding with Munhoz and look to see him get back on track with a victory Saturday night, with Johns dropping his second straight.
OPENING ODDS: Simon -175 Jackson +145
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Simon +110 Jackson -120
Should be a close one here. Line movement I’m guessing because of the size advantage the people saw at the weigh ins for Jackson. Jackson, another prospect making his debut off of the DWTNCS show will look to take his record to 4-0, but must get through the gritty Ricky Simon. Simon has proved to us that he can fight through adversity, and has amazing cardio along the way. Huge step up for Jackson, let’s see what he can do. Simon via DEC for me.
OPENING ODDS: Ramos -245 Kang +175
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Ramos -215 Kang +195
Although Kang was able to finish Guido Cannetti back in January, it was Kang’s first fight in like four years. The guy hasn’t been very busy. Ramos on the other hand is a wild card. He goes for weird offensive stuff which can sometimes get him in trouble. Kang to me is a live dog and could possibly steal a round or two with some takedowns, as long as doesn’t get caught along the way. DFS, I’ll have exposure to both, but lean Ramos most likely getting the nod.
OPENING ODDS: Sayles -115 Moraes -125
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Sayles -103 Moraes -107
Sayles has decent stand up, fairly accurate, and can throw some power, while Moraes is known for mixing up kicks, body shots, and punches, and just overall just more technical. With decent takedown defense, Moraes should be in control here. I’m still taking a shot with Sayles and his power.
OPENING ODDS: Perez -120 Torres -120
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Perez -135 Torres +125
I really liked how Perez looked against Erick Shelton in his last match and how he took it to the mat 5-6 times and controlled much of the fight. Shorty Torres just was gifted a victory by Jared Brooks, who knocked himself out while looking to slam Torres to the mat. Torres will be more aggressive, but may struggle with Perez on the grappling side. Close fight and I’m siding with Perez.
OPENING ODDS: Taylor +175 Zhang -245
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Taylor +240 Zhang -260
I was privileged enough to watch Taylor in person swing at air for three rounds against Maryna Moroz a couple years back, and have faded her ever since. She’s very small, usually has the shorter reach advantage, but has decent movement. This go, she’s matched up against China’s #1 ranked active fighter Weili Zhang. I watched some tape on Zhang and was surprised to see just how successful she was. (Again, based on what I saw) Zhang has a good mix of KO and Submission finishes, but against come cans. Taylor may actually be a step up here, but I have to side with Zhang’s more complete MMA skillset, versus Taylor’s windy standup.
OPENING ODDS: Vera -230 Buren +170
POST WEIGH IN ODDS: Vera -460 Buren +410
Vera set up here to get the LA crowd fired up. Vera should be able to finish this fight, or at the very least cruise to a decision victory. Anything else will be a huge let down.
Garbrandt/Dillashaw doesn’t go to decision -205
Moicano via DEC -145
Vera ITD +100
Alright crew.. hit me up on the Scout slack chat, or on Twitter at @Y2CASEY if you have any questions. #ScoutArmy