5th March 2016, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, USA
Paddy Power offer a wide range of bets on MMA events. If you would like to place a bet on UFC 196, or anything else, you would be greatly supporting MMA Flashback by clicking on the banner above and creating a Paddy Power account. Here are my thoughts on the card and how I’m betting. All odds quoted are from Paddy Power and are correct at the time of writing.
Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz
After Conor’s historic 155lbs meeting with Rafael Dos Anjos fell apart at the last minute, he instead takes on the always game Nate Diaz at 170lbs. Although he’s spent the last three years fighting at 145lbs, he looks every ounce a Welterweight this week. Nate is always tough, but Conor is a justifiably solid 2/9 favourite to win. Mystic Mac has been a little cagey about a round prediction. He says he hopes Nate can make it to the end of the 1st round, but he’s not sure. I like Conor McGregor in rounds 1, 2 or 3 at 4/11.
Holly Holme vs Miesha Tate
Using MMAth, Holly beat Ronda, and Ronda beat Miesha, so Holly must beat Miesha right? Actually, I like Miesha in this fight. Knocking Ronda Rousey out to win the title was impressive from Holly Holme, but she wasn’t anywhere near as convincing in her previous two UFC outings, going to a decision both times, one of them a split. Miesha has also gone to a decision in her last 4 fights, winning them all against tougher opponents. This is the opportunity of a life time for Miesha, fighting someone other than Ronda Rousey for the UFC title. I think she gets it done and most likely on points, although as neither have ever gone 5 full rounds, a straight win bet at 9/4 looks best.
Gian Villante vs Ilir Latifi
Paddy Power have Latifi as a 1/2 favourite here, but it looks like a fairly even match to me. Both fighters have a habit of winning or losing by 1st round KO, so it’ll be a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ fight, and it’s a brave man that would put his money on this one.
Corey Anderson vs Tom Lawler
Anderson is favourite at 4/11 here, but ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor is a spoiler. 2/1 on him is an interesting one. His last fight was a win over Gian Villante, who is Anderson’s only loss, (more MMAth) and he’s on a mission to get the respect he thinks he deserves. Possible upset here.
Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko
Paddy Power have this very close with Nunes only a very narrow favourite. She looks like a killer to me and although Shevchenko got her UFC contract off to a winning start against Sarah Kaufman in December and is putting together a decent 12-1 record, I like Nunes to stop her.
Brandon Thatch vs Siyar Bahadurzada
Thatch has lost his last two, although no shame in going down to Gunnar Neslon and Benson Henderson. Bahadurzada has also dropped his last two. Thatch is installed as favourite here, but you wouldn’t want to back either.
Erick Silva vs Nordine Taleb
Considering the hype around Silva when he entered the UFC, he’s been very hit and miss. His wins have been stunning but he’s 6-5 in the Octagon. Since his arrival, Taleb ground out three decision wins before getting choked by Warley Alves last August. Silva is favourite with the bookies, and it’ll probably be a case of win early or lose late for him. Hard to get the money on though.
Vitor Miranda vs Marcelo Guimaraes
Miranda has won his last couple by TKO and Guimaraes has had two split decision wins sandwiching a KO loss. Miranda has fought successfully at Heavyweight while Guimaraes straddles Welterweight and Middleweight. Miranda to win by KO at 6/5 looks tempting.
Darren Elkins vs Chas Skelly
Amazingly this is Elkins’ 13th UFC appearance and he’s alternating between wins and losses in his last 7 fights (due a loss next if that continues). Skelly is 15-1 overall and can win by KO or submission. Skelly is a justifiable favourite, so not appealing for a bet.
Fight Pass Preliminary card
Diego Sanchez vs Jim Miller
There was a time Jim Miller looked on track for a Lightweight title fight. When he met Benson Henderson in August 2011 he was 20-2, 9-1 in the UFC and on a 7 fight win streak. Unfortunately the loss to Henderson derailed him and he’s been 5-5 since. Sanchez went 6-0 in his first UFC appearances, which had him at 17-0 overall. Since then he’s been up and down in weight classes and fought some REALLY tough guys. Miller is slight favourite with the bookies, but at 11/10, I like Sanchez.
Don’t know enough about the four fighters in the opening two bouts to doubt Paddy Power’s assessment that Jason Saggo and Julian Erosa are 4/9 favourites to win.
So, where’s the value? Well at 4/11, getting on Conor McGregor to beat Nate Diaz within the first 3 rounds isn’t an exciting bet on its own, but as part of an accumulator, it’s worth going in. The upsets I like on the card are Miesha Tate to beat Holly Holme, Tom Lawler to beat Corey Anderson and Diego Sanchez to beat Jim Miller. I don’t see Nunes vs Shevchenko as close as Paddy Power do, and I like Miranda to win by KO.
The problem with including the Sanchez or Miranda fights in an accumulator when they happen so early in the night is it can spoil the whole bet if they lose, so I’m going to split into two bets:
Bet 1 – £5 returning £69.30
Diego Sanchez to beat Jim Miller @ 11/10
Vitor Miranda to beat Marcelo Guimaraes by KO @ 6/5
Tom Lawler to beat Corey Anderson @ 2/1
Bet 2 – £5 returning £39.89
Amanda Nunes to beat Valentina Shevchenko @ 4/5
Miesha Tate to beat Holly Holme @ 9/4
Conor McGregor to beat Nate Diaz in round 1, 2 or 3 @ 4/11
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