The year started with a big 9/1 Prelim fourfold coming home for us in Phoenix and keeping us in profit all night. This week we have UFC on Fox 23 from the Pepsi Centre in Denver, Colorado and the main event featuring Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena fighting it out to get a shot at Women’s Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
Here are all the top tips for the upcoming UFC on FOX 23 card from Denver.
Valentina Shevchenko (13-2) 2/3 vs. Julianna Pena (8-2) 5/4 – Women’s Bantamweight
At UFC on Fox 23, Valentina Shevchenko and Julianna Pena will go head-to-head in a Woman’s Bantamweight clash in Denver this weekend that could well see a clear number one contender emerge.
Everyone talks about this being a typical “striker vs. grappler” match-up however Shevchenko is a more complete fighter which makes her the rightful favourite going into this fight. She has fought the tougher opponents including a narrow decision loss to current champion Amanda Nunes and a win over former champion Holly Holm and seems to be at a higher level than I consider Pena to be.
Pena keeps herself in the public eye through social media and her reputation is helped by this. Although she is a great wrestler, she has struggled against better fighters in the past but has always managed to grind out the victory in the end but that stops this weekend.
Look for Pena to struggle to find the takedowns and although she might perform well early on, she will fade throughout this long five round fight. “The Bullet” meanwhile has excellent cardio, important in high altitude Denver, and will use angles and movement to open up opportunities to land her powerful left hand. Regardless of who you go for, look for the overs or decision markets for the best value but I can’t see past Shevchenko.
Main Event Betting Tip: – Valentina Shevchenko to win by Unanimous Decision at 29/10
Donald Cerrone (32-7) 20/31 vs. Jorge Masvidal (31-11) 13/10 – Welterweight
Andrei Arlovski (25-13) 10/3 vs. Francis N’Gannou (9-1) 2/9 – Heavyweight
Jason Knight (16-2) 2/3 vs. Alex Caceres (12-9) 5/4 – Featherweight
All week I’ve been going back-and-forth on whether to back Donald Cerrone or Jorge Masvidal in Denver this weekend but if you want to give me “Gamebred” as the underdog then I’m on board all day long. “Cowboy” has taken a lot of fights recently and the train must come to a halt at some point. If Cerrone marches forward towards a fresh and motivated Masvidal, this could get ugly.
Silly odds time for the bookies as they give us absolutely no room to move on Francis Ngannou. Although he looks the real deal, this is his first proper test against someone with the skills and experience of Arlovski so for that, I expected a better deal. “The Pitbull” though looks susceptible to a strong gust of wind these days so pile into the KO markets.
The times of laughing my way to the bank with Jason Knight have now gone as the bookies have finally woken up and realised the skill set of the scrappy Featherweight. Tough as old leather and with a brash and cocky attitude, expect him to get in Caceres’ face for all three rounds and take a decision win although it won’t be pretty.
Tip: Masvidal, Knight to win and Ngannou to win by KO/TKO – 9/2
Sam Alvey (29-8) 2/3 vs. Nate Marquadt (35-16-2) 5/4 – Middleweight
Raphael Assuncao (23-5) 7/10 vs. Aljamain Sterling (12-1) 6/5 – Bantamweight
Jingliang Li (11-4) 2/3 vs. Bobby Nash (8-1) 5/4 – Welterweight
Henrique da Silva (12-1) 9/5 vs. Jordon Johnson (6-0) 5/11 – Light-Heavyweight
Alessio Di Chirico (10-1) 20/21 vs. Eric Spicely (9-1) 20/23 – Middleweight
Marcos Rogerio de Lima (14-4-1) 4/7 vs. Jeremy Kimball (14-5) 3/2 – Light-Heavyweight
Eric Shelton (10-2) 4/5 vs. Alexandre Pantoja (16-2) 21/20 – Flyweight
Jason Gonzalez (10-3) 5/4 vs. JC Cottrell (17-4) 2/3 – Lightweight
After winning big with a 9/1 fourfold on last week’s prelims, let’s look to go big again and find where the value lies.
Firstly, Sam Alvey is my boy and I’m always filling with pockets with “Smilin” Sam. Against an ageing Nate Marquardt with a questionable chin, Alvey should find a home to land his bombs and put “The Great” to sleep.
Next, Aljamain Sterling at underdog prices against a Raphael Assuncao who’s looked nothing like his former self. That’s a gift, my friends. You are taking a 34-year-old Brazilian, putting him at altitude in Denver, Colorado and putting him against a young, hungry fighter. Take my money.
Let’s look for some mega profit this week by adding two underdog Light-Heavyweights who both have paths to victory in Kimball and da Silva and finally get on Eric Shelton to continue his good form from TUF: Tournament of Champions.
Tip: Alvey, Sterling, Kimball, da Silva and Shelton all to win at 45/1
All odds for the UFC Denver Betting Guide provided by Ladbrokes.com and correct as of time of writing.