Betting breakdown: UFC 224 Underdog Betting Pick

Disclaimer: any betting advice given here is for entertainment purposes only. If you choose to gamble on fights, please do so legally and responsibly and understand that it is at your own risk.

UFC 224 takes place May 12, at Jeunesse Arena, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Today we will be taking a in depth look at my underdog pick for the card.

Kelvin Gastelum ITD +195 (Bovada)

I really like Gastelum here. Jacare is a legend and he has the skill to submit anyone should the fight go to to the ground, however I think he will struggle to get Kelvin down. Souza is elite on the ground, but doesn’t necessarily have elite takedowns, unlike D1 All American Chris Weidman, who was able to take Kelvin down relatively easy.

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In the striking department, while Souza is still dangerous(evidenced by his spectacular headkick KO of Derek Brunson in January) I expect Kelvin to have a significant speed advantage, in addition to some of the best boxing in the division, if not the entire UFC. I expect Gastelum to be patient, avoid the takedown early and use his speed and crisp combinations to put Souza away in the first round.

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At 38 years old Jacare is nearing the end of his career, while Kelvin at 26 is still coming into his prime, as inevitably happens in this sport, I believe we will witness another changing of the guard Saturday night in Rio.

News: Alex Oliveira to replace injured Matt Brown against Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 29

Matt Brown may have dropped out, but the fight will go on for Carlos Condit as he gets a new opponent.

Long time Brazilian standout Alex Oliveira (18-4-1) will step in on short notice to face Condit (30-11) after Brown suffered a torn ACL and was forced to withdraw. The booking was first reported by Brazilian outlet Combate.

Oliveira is coming off of his fight of the year contender against Yancy Medeiros in December at UFC 218, which he lost by TKO. Prior to that he had won 5 straight.

Condit will also be looking to rebound. The former interim welterweight champion is riding a 3 fight losing streak, with losses to Robbie Lawler, Demain Maia and most recently a unanimous decision loss to Neil Magney in December at UFC 219.

UFC on FOX 29 takes place in just 10 days, on April 14th at Gila River Arena in Glendale Ariz. The card will air on FOX following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Breaking News: Santiago Ponzinibbio vs Kamaru Usman set for UFC Chile

The UFCs first card in Chile has its main event. Santiago Ponzinibbio will meet Kamaru Usman, on May 19th at the Movistar Arena.

Ponzinibbio (26-3) who is from nearby Argentina, but now trains out of Florida is riding a 6 fight win streak, most recently taking a decision over Mike Perry in December.

Usman (12-1) on the other hand is on a 11 fight win streak and is perfect in his 7 fights inside the Octagon. His last win was also a decision victory, over Emil Meek in January.

The UFC has yet to officially announce the bout, but is expected to shortly according to sources who spoke to MMAFighting.com on Friday.

Rumor: Darren Till vs Stephen Thompson set for UFC Liverpool

Per BJPenn.coms Chris Taylor, “Wonderboy” has agreed to face Till in the main event set for May 27th.

Till has pursued the fight with Thompson in the past, calling him out on several occasions.

The two were initially expected to fight on February 24th in London, but Thompson backed out citing a thumb injury he suffered at UFC 217 in a unanimous decision win over Jorge Masvidal in November.

For Till, his last fight was a fantastic showing in which he dominated and stopped long time UFC veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the very first round.

While the UFC has yet to officially confirm, if this fight takes place it is sure to be an exciting display of high-level striking. Who takes it?

Frankie Edgar vs Cub Swanson II set for UFC-Atlantic City

  • Cub Swanson has re-signed with the UFC, and will be taking no step down in competition when he faces the former lightweight champion for the second time.

Confirmed by Ariel Helwani, the rematch is set to take place in Edgars home state of New Jersey on April 21st, in Atlantic City. The event will air on FS1, with early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The first meeting between the two featherweight contenders took place over three years ago. In a fantastic showing, ”The Answer” would submit Swanson with just four seconds to go in the 5th round of their main event fight at UFC Fight Night 57 in Austin Texas.

Following that fight, ”Killer Cub” would take his second straight submission loss, at the hands of current featherweight champion Max Holloway. Swanson then bounced back with a four fight win streak, beating Hacran Dias, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Dooho Choi and Artem Lobov.

However, in December Swanson was submitted again, this time at the hands of now number one contender Brain Ortega. Following the loss, Cub’s UFC contract was up, and he briefly flirted with free agency, but the booking with Edgar means Cub will be staying after all.

As fate would have it, Frankie is also coming off a loss to Brian Ortega. Ortega KO’d Edgar with a vicious uppercut earlier this month, in the co-main event of UFC 222. It was the first time Edgar has ever been stopped.

Prior to that, Frankie had back to back wins over Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez, bouncing back from a title fight loss to Jose Aldo at UFC 200.

BREAKING: Nasrat Haqparast pulled from UFC London.

Nasrat Haqparast has been pulled from the card, just an hour before the event was scheduled to start.

According to UFC officials, Nasrat Haqparast was ruled out of his bout against Cage Warriors FW champion Nad Narimani due to an eye infection.

“Based on advice from the UFC medical team on Saturday morning, Nasrat Haqparast was deemed unfit to fight due to an infectious eye condition and his bout against Nad Narimani has been cancelled,” the promotion.

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News regarding my fight at UFC London. We’re sitting in the locker room and it’s just 1 hour left to the fight but unfortunately the UFC doctors stopped my fight. I got an eye infection on fight week, got 3 different medications and from day to day it became worst. I had sunglasses on on the official weigh ins to not show my infected eye and still try to fight. We tried everything possible to deliver the best performance of my life. I had the best fight camp in my life with my big brothers @hhiidro @firas_zahabi and @yasserhirch. I believe that everything happens for a reason, if you trust in god, you know thats everything happens for good. I have the best coaches , brother and supporters that why we gonna reach the top of this sport. Thank you to @chrispommier for the amazing help. Thank you to @seanshelby and the @ufc for this amazing week they really tried everything to make this fight possible. @kings_mma @aliabdelaziz000

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The lightweight bout was set to open the prelims at The O2 in London. The entire card streams live on Fight Pass.

BREAKING: Louis Smolka Exits the UFC.

Louis “Da Last Samurai” Smolka has signed with Gladiator Challenge and leaving the UFC.

The long time UFC flyweight went 5-5 in his 10 fights with the promotion, and leaves on a 4 fight losing streak.

Personally, I have always liked Smolka, his heart and insane scrambles on the ground made me a fan. I hope he finds success in this new chapter.

Smolka will be making his Gladiator Challenge debut on April 21st in Palm Springs at Agua Caliente Resort.

Betting: UFC London Underdog Pick

Disclaimer: any betting advice given here is for entertainment purposes only. If you choose to gamble on fights, please do so legally and responsibly and understand that it is at your own risk.

UFC Fight Night 127 takes place Saturday at The O2 in London. The entire card streams live on UFC Fight Pass. Today we are going to take an in depth look at a live underdog in Jan Blachowicz.

Blachowicz will be fighting Jimi Manuwa in a rematch of their 2015 bout, which took place at UFC Fight Night: Gonzaga vs Cro Cop 2.

The first fight between to two was a close, back and forth affair in which Manuwa would take the win by decision, despite Blachowicz landing more significant strikes. After that Jan went through a bit of a rough stretch losing decisions to Corey Anderson, Alexander Gustafsson and Patrick Cummins. Recently however he has turned things around, with a submission win over Devin Clark and a decision over Jared Cannonier, while looking better than ever.

Manuwa has also been active since the first fight, fighting four times. A KO loss to Anthony Johnson, KO wins over Ovince St. Preux and Corey Anderson, and most recently a KO loss to Volkan Oezdemir.

At 38 years old and coming off a vicious knockout loss, I feel Manuwa is on the decline, while Blachowicz has come into his prime. Jan is the more complete fighter, has never been KO’d and has the momentum coming into this fight. Manuwa will be looking for the KO as always, but Blachowicz has a granite chin. I expect him to use his jab and body kicks to keep Jimi at bay and frustrate him, while avoiding the power shots of Manuwa.

My play is Jan Blachowicz ML (money line) at +160 (Bovada) good luck if you choose to follow!0db410913a838a4dafd5540eb4ffd1a5.jpg

Opinion: Give Nick Newell a UFC contract.

The story of Nick Newell is nothing if not inspirational.

Newell was born with congenital amputation of his left arm, which ends just below his elbow. Looking at his accomplishments, you would never know it. Nick started wrestling in high school, he thought about quitting after his very first session saying it was “the hardest thing I had done in my life” but pushed by his mother, he stuck with it. Newell went on to win over 300 matches between high school and college.

Newells introduction to MMA came in college where his roommate was WWE wrestler Curt Hawkins. The two would watch The Ultimate Fighter together, which came on right after WWE Raw, and it was then that Nick was inspired to take up fighting.

His early career was a struggle because many other fighters didn’t want to fight a man with one arm. In 2011 Newell signed with XFC (Extreme Fighting Championships) where he won 3 fights in a row and received a lightweight title shot against Bellator vet Eric Reynolds. He won that fight by submission in the first round and became the XFC lightweight champion.

Newell was scheduled to defend his belt against Scott Holtzman, but turned the fight down saying he only wanted to fight ex UFC fighters. He was subsequently stripped.

In 2013 Newell signed with World Series of Fighting. After winning his first two fights with the promotion Nick was given a lightweight title shot against then WSOF lightweight champion Justin Gaethje. Gaethje would hand Newell his first professional loss, knocking him out in the second round. Newell rebounded from the loss, winning two more fights with WSOF before announcing his retirement from MMA on October 17th, 2015.

That brings us to the present day. On March 9th, 2018 Newell returned from retirement to fight Sonny Luque in a lightweight main event at LFA 35 in Houston. Newell won by a face crank submission in the very first round.

After the fight Nick called for a UFC shot saying; “Life is a cold hard place. It will chew you up and spit you out, but if you make it your bitch, you can do anything. You can either become a victim of circumstances or you can create your own. I’m out here, I’m creating my own circumstances. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I belong in the UFC. That’s it. That’s final. I gave you 14 reasons why I belong in the UFC. I’m one of the best fighters in the world and I proved it 14 times.”

In the past Dana White has expressed doubt about Newells ability to hang in the UFC, but at 14-1 as a professional fighter I think he has earn the chance to prove he can. If he hasn’t let his disability hold him back, then no one else should either.BrogqNCIgAAQTSX

Sam Alvey vs Gian Villante set for UFC Utica.

Sam Alvey (32-10, 1NC) called Gian Villante (16-9) out after his last fight, and it looks like he will get his wish.

It will be Alveys second fight at LHW following a knockout of Marcin Prachnio at UFC on Fox 28 in Florida. Prior to making the move to LHW, Alvey fought in the UFC middleweight division, racking up a 8-5 record since signing with the promotion in 2014.

Villante is also coming off a win, taking a split decision over Francimar Barroso at UFC 220 in Boston. A win over Alvey would put him back over .500 in the UFC. A former football and wrestling standout at Hofstra University, Villante was once a promising NFL linebacker prospect, but chose a career in MMA after he became close with NCAA All-American wrestler and future UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman. He has a 6-6 record in the UFC since signing with the promotion in 2013.

The light heavyweight bout is set to take place at #UFC Fight Night 131, scheduled for Friday, June 1 at the Adirondack Bank Center at Utica Memorial Auditorium.Untitled-1-53