UFC Fight Night – Teixeira vs Evans

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April 16, 2016 at Amalie Arena, Tampa, Florida, USA.

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I was all ready to get my money on Tony Ferguson to ruin Khabib Nurmagomedov’s long-awaited return, but the damn Injury Bug struck and we’re denied that awesome fight. I was also planning on backing Dan Henderson to Shuffle-Shuffle-H Bomb his way to victory, but Lyoto Machida removed himself from the card due to an ‘accidental PED’ issue. There’s still plenty of great fights on the card though. Here are my picks from up and down the card:

Glover Teixeira vs Rashad Evans

Since losing his title shot against Jon Jones, then his next fight to Phil Davis. Glover has gotten back on track with two solid wins over Patrick Cummins and next week’s main event saviour, Ovince Saint Preux. Rashad’s last outing was a loss last October to Ryan Bader, which was his comeback fight after almost two years out. He hasn’t beaten a genuine Light Heavyweight since early 2012, and I don’t like his chances against Glover. Possible swan song for Rashad here, and Glover is a justifiable favourite at 1/2.

Rose Namajunis vs Tecia Torres

Since losing the title fight to Carla Esparza in the TUF finale, Thug Rose has looked great, beating Angela Hill in one round, and dominating Paige VanZant for five rounds in December. Against anyone else, I’d be happy to back her, but Tecia is 7-0 with 7 unanimous decision wins, including one over Rose. Paddy Power has Rose as favourite, but I like Tecia to win by decision at 23/10.

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Darrell Horcher

After two full years off, and multiple planned comebacks bailed on due to injury, this is a much more appropriate comeback fight for Nurmagomedov than the very dangerous Tony Ferguson. Darrell Horcher has put a 13-1 record together outside the UFC, but talk about being thrown to the wolves on your debut. This looks very much like a comeback win for Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately, he’s such a big favourite, I can’t really get a bet on him, other than in a big accumulator.

Cub Swanson vs Hacran Dias

Swanson has lost his last two, but that’s to a streaking Max Holloway and an always tough Frankie Edgar. Prior to that he won 6 straight against really tough opposition. Dias has put together a 23-3-1 record but Swanson is a big step up in class. The fact Dias has won his last 2 and Swanson has lost his last two convinces bookies to list this as a really close fight, but I think Swanson is a solid favourite to win.

Beneil Dariush vs Michael Chiesa

Dariush has won five straight, including some really tough guys. Chiesa has won his last two and is a tough fight for anyone at Lightweight, but I like Dariush to keep his win streak going here, and so do Paddy Power, listing him at 1/2.

Bethe Correia vs Raquel Pennington

Pennington is a tough girl, but she just can’t seem to put a run together. Correia on the other hand was destroying her opponents and was 9-0 until she ran into Ronda Rousey last time out. Correia will be looking to get back on track and I’m happy to put my money behind that, especially as Pennington is listed as favourite.

John Dodson vs Manny Gamburyan

Dodson is the second best Flyweight in the world. If Demetrious Johnson didn’t exist, he’d potentially be the dominant champion in the division. Gamburyan has won his two fights since moving back down to Bantamweight, but Dodson should bring that to a halt as he joins him in the division. Gamburyan hasn’t been finished since getting KO’d by Jose Aldo in 2010, so I like Dodson by decision.

There’s nothing else that on the card that jumps out at me, so I’m breaking my picks down into the following bets:

Bet 1 – £10 returning £74.25

Torres to beat Namajunis by decision

Dodson to beat Gamburyan by decision

Bet 2 – £10 returning £69.00

Dariush to beat Chiesa

Correia to beat Pennington

Swanson to beat Dias

 Bet 3 – £5 returning £212.92

Torres to beat Namajunis

Dodson to beat Gamburyan

Dariush to beat Chiesa

Correia to beat Pennington

Swanson to beat Dias

Nurmagomedov to beat Horcher

Teixeira to beat Evans

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