Frank Mir vs. Andrei Arlovski
This is a really tough fight to bet. My general philosophy on heavyweight fights that I have trouble capping properly would be to go after the underdog. Something is holding me back here. For me, I think the major trouble with Mir has been speed and his ability to get hit. Against Arlovski, I don’t know if he can get the takedown or if he’d want to stand for long. I’m also not crazy about his pre-fight comments on how he’s not too excited to fight Arlovski since they get along well. It seems Mir thrives on going for the kill, and if this plays any factor at all, it could be trouble. On the flip side, Arlovski can also be hit and Mir is always a bit threat on the ground. In the end, I think I’m going to sit back on this one and either wait for Arlovski’s odds to drop or just pass. I do think the under 1.5 is fairly likely, but Mir’s comments have me held back a bit.
Anthony Johnson vs. Jimi Manuwa
I really don’t understand the odds for this one. Johnson’s striking isn’t quite as top notch as some people think. Without a doubt he has great power and a good arsenal since he has kicks as well, but it’s not so polished. He is very hittable and will often get into wild swinging exchanges. He had a lot of trouble against Belfort when it came to a throw down, and Arlovski had some success against him. There is nothing that makes me think he cruises easily through a guy like Manuwa. Manuwa is fast, accurate, and a scary guy to exchange with. Due to Johnson’s kicking game and wrestling, it’s not out of line he’s favored or even moderately favored, but there is no way he should be up around -500. Manuwa is the play here.
Jan Blachowicz vs Corey Anderson
I really think Blachowicz is still being overrated after the quick finish of Latifi. We saw this with his odds being way too close against Manuwa and I think we’re seeing it again with him being a clear favorite over Anderson. A lot of this can also be attributed to Anderson losing to Villante, but keep in mind he was winning most of that fight.
After Blachowicz’s first win over Latifi, I think a lot of people were mistaking him for a guy with a lot of power in his strikes that can finish. His stoppage over Latifi was his first finish in over 4 years. The fact that he’s not a finisher does not help him him against a grinder like Anderson. I look for Anderson to show superior wrestling and grinding against the cage to keep this as a close fight where he has the edge. Anderson at + odds is the play as he’s also my pick in a fairly close fight.
Paige VanZant vs. Alex Chambers
I’m going to keep this one short as there isn’t much to talk about with such steep odds. Many are putting a flyer on Chambers since her odds are so steep, but honestly, I don’t see value there. VanZant is superior in every aspect, and I feel the athleticism, pace, and aggression will be major factors here. I look for VanZant to completely overwhelm Chambers. It’s hard to predict if she finishes Chambers and during what round, but I think she very clearly wins this no matter how it happens.