If you have been following the UFC gambling drama that has been unfolding you are probably aware that Ontario, Canada has banned betting on UFC. Shortly after Alberta joined them, also requiring that sportsbooks operating in the provinces of Ontario and Alberta remove...
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Let’s talk about fights! More importantly, let’s talk about specific fights at UFC Orlando. This slate is absolutely stacked. In fact it very likely could be the most entertaining lineup of fights we have for the remainder of the year now that the main event has...
With the break behind us, this week we head into UFC Orlando and we have a great DraftKings slate to navigate. First things first, before we get into the plays, lets make sure we have the details of the event locked in so we don't miss out on any of the action. This...
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This is the 26th edition of RAPID FIRE QUICK PICKS and it is a rather special one because UFC 280 is finally upon us. It's safe to say that this is the most anticipated card of the year and I'm feeling like a kid on Christmas morning as we head into a massive PPV week.
As far as my picks for last week's Vegas 62 card I went 10-2 and made $400 on all of betting/dfs action, I probably should have made more but because I had been on a bit of a losing skid I kept my bets rather small which proves that “scared money don't make money ” or in my case don't make as much money as it could have made, but ultimately I'm happy I managed to snap my losing skid as we head into UFC 280. Without further ado these are my picks and my actual bets for what figures to be the biggest fight card of the year. Hopefully I can make it two profitable weeks in a row and help our readers make some cash.
KAROL ROSA-255(15-4)VS LINA LANDSBERG+215(10-6):
I'm picking ROSA to win here. I think she is the superior fighter. I expect her to keep this fight on the feet and out strike LANDSBERG rather handily but I'm not counting out the possibility that LANDSBERG could bully her up against the fence and make this a grimy clinch battle. On paper LANDSBERG is the better wrestler but at 40 yrs old she is the much older fighter in this match up. ROSA is a BJJ blackbelt so if this fight hits the ground she should be able to scramble and get back to her feet. However I thought the same thing about ROSA'S last outing when she faced a 40 something Sarah MCMANN and MCMANN won a unanimous decision that time so perhaps I'm undervaluing LANDSBERG. However, I don't think LANDSBERG possesses the same wrestling ability that MCMANN has. ROSA is a high volume striker and she puts on a fierce pace so I really believe that she will be able to dictate where this fight takes place. Hopefully she has sharpened her skills since her loss to MCMANN and she will be ready for whatever LANDSBERG offers up. I will be playing ROSA by decision and I might use her as a parlay piece piece.
MUHAMMAD MOKAEV-730 (8-0) VS MALCOLM GORDON+530(14-5):
There are no guarantees when it comes to betting MMA but to my mind this match up is about as close to a sure thing as we're going to get. MOKAEV is a super prospect who is well on his way to the top of the flyweight rankings and he will likely be fighting for the title at some point in the not too distant future. His wrestling/grappling is elite and he has excellent striking to compliment his ground game. GORDON has had mixed results thus far in his UFC campaign but he has won his last two fights after dropping his first two, which speaks to his acquired experience in the Octagon. He is a BJJ blackbelt and and he packs a fair bit of power but his chin is somewhat of a liability. Not all blackbelts are created equal though and outside of an egregious mistake on MOKAEV'S part or a “banana peel” moment, I'm just not seeing where GORDON wins this fight. This is clearly a showcase fight for the surging MOKAEV but I can't play his ML at these odds and there is no way of telling what the method of victory will be so I'm not going to be playing any props. If I had to guess I'd say MOKAEV gets it done by submission but I'm not ruling out a KO or a decision victory so I'm just going to pass on this one.
ARMAN PETROSYAN-205(7-2) VS AJ DOBSON+175(6-1):
I like PETROSYAN quite a bit here. He is undeniably the superior striker in this matchup and as long as he can keep this fight standing he should cruise in this spot. However PETROSYAN is predominantly a stand up fighter so if DOBSON can get this to the ground he should have a significant advantage(in theory) but PETROSYAN was able to withstand the fierce grappling of GREGORY RODRIGUES in his UFC debut and come away with a razor close split decision victory which is aging like fine wine given what we've seen from RODRIGUES of late. Admittedly I am not overly familiar with either one of these fighters but I absolutely love what I've seen from PETROSYAN and I expect him to get it done with relative ease if he stays vertical. I will probably play him to win by KO and I will parlay him with another favorite. Let's hope he does not disappoint.
ABUBAKAR NURMAGOMEDOV-175(16-3) VS GADZHI OMARGADZHIEV+150 (13-1):
When two high level grapplers face off and one of them is named NURMAGOMEDOV it is almost inconceivable to pick against him. That said, the oddsmakers who set this line clearly believe that OMARGADZHIEV has a bonafide chance to beat NURMAGOMEDOV. I was high on OMARGADZHIEV when he came into his UFC debut from the DWCS but CAIO BORRALHO kind of exposed him in that fight. We've seen high level fighters falter in their debuts before and oftentimes they come back as a much better version of themselves so I don't think OMARGADZHIEV can totally be counted out in this spot. In fact NURMAGOMEDOV lost his UFC debut by submission against David Zawada so the UFC debut jitters are a very real thing for a lot of fighters. However betting against any fighter named NURMAGOMEDOV is generally a bad idea so I'm not doing it. Both of these guys are fantastic grapplers with a Sambo background but I think NURMAGOMEDOV is superior in all aspects of MMA, particularly when it comes to the striking where OMARGADZHIEV seems to be a little lacking. I'm going to bet NURMAGOMEDOV to win ITD and I will probably play as a parlay piece. Hopefully Khabib has his boys ready to do the damn thing.
MAGOMED MUSTAFAEV-550(14-1) VS YAMOTO NISHIKAWA+400(21-3):
MUSTAFAEV is an extremely well rounded fighter and he's extremely dangerous. In fact he has a win over ABUBAKAR NURMAGOMEDOV by doctor stoppage due to a cut that he inflicted with a spinning back elbow. I was almost going to auto bet him here until I watched the tape on NISHIKAWA. I was very impressed with what I saw even though a lot of it was against lower level opponents from regional promotions. NISHIKAWA is very explosive and very game. He is also quite durable and creative. He rolls for leg locks, pulls guard and climbs guys like they are trees looking for chokes. In fact if he were facing anyone other than MUSTAFAEV in his debut I'd probably take the dog shot on him. I think this guy is a great addition to the UFC roster and I expect that he will win his fair share of fights in the world's biggest combat sports promotion but I can't get past the fact that this will be his debut and that he will be facing a Russian monster. That said, I think this will be a great fight if he doesn't let the moment get the best of him because he seems to have all the skills to compete at this level. Unfortunately for him he drew MUSTAFAEV for his debut and I think he will probably take an L here. I'm still really tempted to back him though because the tape on him is pretty impressive but I'm just going to pass altogether on this one. This could be the dark horse candidate for FOTN, which speaks volumes considering the depth and star power on this card.
ZUBAIRA TUKHUGOV-155(20-5) VS LUCAS ALMEIDA +135(14-1):
At first glance I thought ALMEIDA would be a viable underdog play but after watching the tape I think TUKHUGOV is just too tough. He walks forward and throws bombs, he can mix in the takedowns and he has a good ground game. He's also very durable. I'm not counting out ALMEIDA though because he too is very tough and quite durable in his own right. He throws big volume and when he sits down on his punches he hurts his opponents. Based on what I've seen from these two fighters I still think this is a dog or pass situation but I'm not willing to bet against TUKHUGOV so I'm gonna have to pass. This should be a helluva fight for as long as it lasts.
VOLKAN OEZDEMIR+140-165(18-6) VS NIKITA KRYLOV (28-9):
This is a close fight between two evenly matched veterans but I'm leaning KRYLOV because I think he has a grappling advantage. However OEZDEMIR probably has a slight edge when it comes to striking so it's difficult to say who will get it done in this match up. Both fighters have had moments of sheer brilliance in the Octagon and both of them have faltered when they were supposed to shine. A lot of the fights on this undercard could qualify as fight night main events which speaks to the high skill level we are being treated to but it also makes it hard to pick a side with any level of confidence. However I have to go with KRYLOV in this one. To my mind he is the tougher fighter and he has a bit more skill than OEZDEMIR. That doesn't mean that OEZDEMIR can't get it done in this spot but I do think that KRYLOV probably wins this fight at least 60-65% of the time. I'm going to pass on betting this one though because it's way too volatile for my liking but whoever you decide to back here you should most definitely proceed with caution because this essentially a coin toss.
MAKHMUD MURADOV+170(25-7) VS CAIO BORRALHO-200 (12-1):
I'm going with BORRALHO in this one. He has shown a tremendously high fight IQ thus far in his UFC campaign and he seems to have all the skills to match. His jiujitsu is outstanding and his striking is somewhat underrated but very effective and defensively sound. I was entertaining the idea of taking the plus money shot of MURADOV because he is an excellent striker but after seeing the way he fell apart when he fought GERALD MEERSCHART I don't think I can do it. While MMA math doesn't always pan out, BORRALHO'S jiujitsu and striking are probably better than MEERSCHART'S and in the absence of any other metric I have to believe that BORRALHO will be able to get it done here. Again this is a high level fight so neither man can be counted out but if I had to count on one of these guys it would be BORRALHO. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to take any action on this one but if I do, my money will be on CAIO BORRALHO.
BELAL MUHAMMAD+125(21-3)VS SEAN BRADY-145(15-0):
I'm going with the undefeated BRADY in this spot. He has cashed for me every time I've bet on him and I'm fairly certain he can cash for me against MUHAMMAD. This will be BRADY'S toughest test to date but I think he passes with flying colors. However I've been on the wrong side of MUHAMMAD fights before so I'm not sure how to go about betting this one but I will ride the BRADY train until someone bounces him from the ranks of the undefeated. MUHAMMAD is a skilled wrestler and he has excellent boxing. He also blends them really well so he could very well be the guy to snatch the coveted 0 from BRADY. I still think the strength and jiujitsu that BRADY possesses will win the day yet again. Admittedly I am a big fan of what BRADY brings to the table so I am probably biased on this one. Perhaps I can't be trusted to make an informed decision about this match up but my pick is BRADY and my money will be on him come fight night. Hopefully he remains undefeated.
KATLYN CHOOKAGIAN+180 (18-4) VS MANON FIOROT-210 (9-1):
I'm going with FIOROT in this match up. She has shown herself to be a nasty striker and she has a good ground game. So far she has bested everyone the UFC has matched her up with and I have to believe she will continue to make improvements in her game. CHOOKAGIAN is a perennial contender who has been relegated to a gatekeeper role since her loss to champion Valentina SHEVCHENKO but she is no slouch and I think she will prove to be a tough test for FIOROT. CHOOKAGIAN is also an excellent striker who is well rounded and very experienced so she could definitely derail the FIOROT hype train but I'm leaning FIOROT by split decision in this spot. I'm probably not going to bet this one though because I think this will be the true litmus test for us to see just how good FIOROT actually is. If I do decide to bet on this one I might actually take a dog shot on CHOOKAGIAN. Sometimes you have to play the number no matter how counter intuitive it may feel. My pick is FIOROT but this is a dog or pass for me at this time.
MATEUSZ GAMROT+165(21-4) VS BENEIL DARIUSH-195(21-1):
This is another amazing fight that could easily be a main event. Both of these guys are top of the food chain fighters and if they fought 10 times we'd probably get 10 different outcomes. I want to say this is dog or pass but GAMROT has not shown many weak spots in his game whereas DARIUSH has been caught before. I realize that doesn't mean much because every fight is different but it speaks to momentum and possibly even career trajectory, which is a fancy way of saying that I've seen DARIUSH fall but I have yet to see it out of GAMROT. I'm picking GAMROT here and I think he wins by decision but I won't be betting this fight because there are just too many variables for my liking.
PETR YAN-280(16-3) VS SEAN O'MALLEY+235(15-1):
The fact that “Suga” Sean O'MALLEY is +235 underdog in this spot tells you all you need to know about Petr “no mercy ” YAN. If you believe any of O'MALLEY's declarations (about KO'ing YAN)leading up to this fight then this is a buy low spot on the high profile Suga and if he manages to pull off the upset here you will never see him at underdog prices again. O'MALLEY is an awesome striker and although we haven't seen much of it, he does have good skills on the ground. So I'm not about to say that he can't come away with a victory in this spot but YAN is an assassin. To me he's almost like the male version of VALENTINA SHEVCHENKO. He's extremely well rounded and extremely mean, as per his nickname he shows “no mercy”. He lost a questionable decision to champion ALJAMAIN STERLING in his last outing and he probably intends to keep the judges out of it this time. Of course O'MALLEY has also publicly declared his intentions to finish YAN so I have to believe that someone is going down here and I think that someone is Suga. I'm a massive O'MALLEY fan, I've cashed several big tickets betting on him but I think YAN will download him and end him at some point before the final bell. At very least I think YAN wins a convincing decision so as much as I want to take the beautiful plus money they're hanging on O'MALLEY I have a feeling it would be like throwing money away. I'm not betting on this fight but I will be very impressed if Suga pulls off the upset here. I'm a huge fan of both fighters so I'm just going to watch this one as a neutral observer. May the best man win.
ALJAMAIN STERLING-180(21-3) VS TJ DILLASHAW+155(18-4):
I'm going to pick STERLING to win here. It's not a high confidence pick but the narrative about DILLASHAW's USADA suspension and his subsequent return to the Octagon verses Cory SANDHAGEN (a fight I thought he lost) have me questioning whether or not DILLASHAW is still the DILLASHAW of old. If he is DILLASHAW of old this is absolutely a dog or pass spot but there is no way of knowing what DILLASHAW we are getting whereas we can be fairly certain that a championship form STERLING will be front and center come fight time. From a technical standpoint STERLING has the grappling edge and DILLASHAW has the striking advantage but both guys are very well rounded so I don't think this will be about skill so much as it will be about heart and desire. We're talking about two champion caliber athletes who will be looking to impose their will on each other so anything can happen here. In fact if these odds widen at all I might have to take the dog shot on DILLASHAW but for now this will be another pass for me.
CHARLES OLIVEIRA+150(33-8) VS ISLAM MAKHACHEV -175(22-1):
This has to be the most epic main event of the modern era and quite frankly I have no idea what to do with this fight. “Do Bronx ” OLIVEIRA is a master jiujitsu player with insanely technical Muay-Thai while MAKHACHEV is a master of sport in multiple disciplines who is a wrestling/submission juggernaut. Anyone who has a good read on this fight is a far better analyst than me because I honestly have no idea what will happen here. I'm a huge fan of OLIVEIRA and I hope he pulls this off but my gut tells me that he will lose here. The deciding factor for me is that he was badly hurt in his last 3 fights before he managed to turn the tide and win those outings. If MAKHACHEV hurts him the same way Chandler, Poirier and Gaethje I have to believe that he will not allow OLIVEIRA back into the fight the way they did. There is an air of near invincibility that surrounds the fighters in Khabib Nurmagomedov's stable and it is very prevalent in MAKHACHEV, he has been dubbed KHABIB 2.0. I think OLIVEIRA is the better striker here so I'm hoping he can catch MAKHACHEV on the feet but as I said my gut tells me that MAKHACHEV finds a way to get it done. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going to have any action on this fight but if I do I will probably have to bet on the MAKHACHEV side. Whatever happens here I feel like we are in for a real treat as MMA fans and I cannot wait for this.
These are some of the very best MMA fighters on planet earth so the only guarantee here is that we are about to witness some amazing fights. Whoever you decide to back with your hard earned money can win or lose at any moment so proceed with caution folks. We are about to witness true athletic greatness.
As always fade me or follow me at your own peril and above all enjoy the gift that is mixed martial arts at the very highest level.
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