Bets to Make for UFC 215

Here are the bets to make for tomorrow’s UFC 215 PPV:

Odds from

1. Ashlee Evans-Smith (-250) over Sarah Moras (+200)

Smith is a more tenacious striker, much physically stronger, and the more accomplished wrestler. She has seemed motivated coming off of a loss in the past and, quite frankly, Moras has not looked impressive thus far.

This is Smith’s fight to lose and -250 is a great value. Moras’ takedown defense has been exposed more than once, her physical fitness is not on par with Smith, and Smith should be able to outpower wherever the fight goes.

What could go wrong: Moras pulling a submission from her back, as she can be very active from this position at time. Evans was caught slipping against Raquel Pennington and left herself open to a submission out of nowhere in a fight she was winning, and could happen again. Also, although Smith is better on her feet, she is only about a 79 in the standup game, while Moras is about a 72. But that is a significant enough difference to where if Moras does outland her, Smith should be able to use grappling, which she has a more than 10 point advantage. So for Smith to lose, both that seven point gap would have be voided and her 10 point grappling advantage would have to be as well. This is not a sure thing, but a strong bet very worthy of a main ticket.

Adriano Martins (-500) vs. Kajan Johnson (+375)

This match is an example of what I’ll call going forward, the “bet test.” The bet test is when after researching the fighters in every possible way, especially through film study, you then consider the fight a must-bet. This must be before you lay eyes on the betting odds. And then, when you lay eyes on the betting odds, the oddsmakers agree wholeheartedly with you. Martins opened as a -400 favorite and the line continues to grow. With the Johnson/Borg main event scrapped, he is now the biggest favorite on the card. So this passes the bet test and is more than worthy of a bet. Before the odds were released, this was already the first fight that I put on my main ticket.

Kajan Johnson’s advantages coming into this fight is his movement and speed advantage. If he can keep away from the power shots and stay upright, his best chance is to win by a decision (probably a split decision).

What is much more likely to happen, however, is Martins using his power advantage both standing and in grappling to come out victorious. Johnson is coming off of a two-year layoff and he is facing an opponent who holds victories over Rustan Khabilov and is the only man to defeat Islam Makhachev.

Any exchange in the pocket will favor the stronger Martins. Johnson’s path to victory, distance, is unlikely because even if he is successful with this approach at first, Martins should be aware that a takedown is in order. Martins is the better grappler, so this should be a strong plan B. Martins has shown he can finish, with 3 of his 4 UFC wins coming by stoppage. But he also has shown, with 12 decision victories, that he is able to grind out a victory, which, if Johnson fights better than expected and uses his movement, Martins should be able to find a way to do.

Henry Cejudo (-340) over Wilson Reis (+ 265)

This is another passer of the bet test.

Reis usually goes for the takedown so that he can work his high-level BJJ. Not happening against the Olympian Henry Cejudo. Cejudo will probably keep the fight standing like he has in most of his fights and this will probably look similar to the Benavidez fight. Only I see Reis tiring where Benavidez didn’t. Benavidez is a cleaner striker than Reis, and one could argue that Cejudo got the better of the standup even though the decision went to Benavidez. I expect Cejudo to have much greater success over Reis and take rounds more handedly.

Cejudo is likely to keep a better pace over the course of three rounds. Reis’s best chance to win is in the first 1 and ½ rounds with a TKO. He has the power to get it done, but Cejudo has yet to be rocked with a punch like that and all in all has very strong standup defense.

I feel that the line for this fight is just right. Cejudo is a comfortable favorite but Reis is extremely dangerous and could score the upset. Reis is better with submissions, is quicker, and has more KO power. But 1)Reis is highly unlikely to get him down for any submission. And Cejudo, knowing Reis’ BJJ skills, will probably keep the fight standing where he can outpace him for three rounds. 2) Reis’ quickness advantage in this fight applies with strikes, but after the first round or so, those punches will come slower. Also, Cejudo, though not the best standup fighter, has excellent defensive IQ standing up and I expect him to outsmart and outstrike Reis in volume. And 3)Cejudo has yet to be rocked by a power strike mostly due to the aforementioned standup IQ. Not saying that Reis can’t do it, but you should feel comfortable betting that he won’t.

Those are the three main bets. No matter where you bet, and how the spread varies, you should make a little bit more than even money on this parlay.

Optional Add-Ons for More Money:

Sara McMann (-205) over Ketlen Vieira (+175)

McMann’s standup defense has looked suspect in the past, even though her standup offense has improved. Vieira also has a wrestling background so she may be able to stuff the takedown and keep the fight standing up which could spell trouble for McMann because Vieira’s striking looked superb in her last outing against Evans-SMith. But this is still a good backup bet or add-on bet if you are trying to win big because McMann’s standup has improved, she has looked more powerful every fight, and even though Vieira has strong takedown defense, she has never gone against an Olympic wrestler who has more power than her.

My philosophy is, as long as the wrestler is consistent standing up (Unlike Mitch Clarke, hence him not being on any ticket), and they’re not going against a straight killer, you should usually find a way to put some money on the wrestler….especially if it’s a Division I or Olympic level wrestler…even if it’s just a bet on a small, back-up parlay ticket, which is what I’m doing with McMann.

Valentina Shevchenko (-125) over Amanda Nunes (-105)

This is an extremely close fight, and whenever you see two fighters in the minus, then it’s probably a toss-up. But I think this is great value for Valentina for a backup bet. Nunes’ biggest strength is bullying weaker opponents with deadly combinations that they cannot handle. Well, Valentina can handle it. She’s shown she can handle it. And since her loss to Nunes,she has shown that she can outstrike accomplished boxers like Holly Holm and that if Nunes tries to take it to the mat, that she is not a one-dimensional fighter but rather an evolving fighter who is full of surprises, as Julianna Pena found out.

I feel that it’s Valentina’s time. I feel she is more equipped mentally and physically to go five rounds, even if she gives up the first couple to Nunes, and I feel that she is very, very determined. But admittedly, there is more conjecture on many of these claims than the other fights, which is why I would advise against putting this on a main ticket.

My tickets:

MAIN: Adriano Martins (-500), Henry Cejudo (-340), Ashlee Evans Smith (-250)

Small Bonus Ticket: Adriano Martins (-500), Cejudo/Reis OVER 2 1/2 Rounds (-280), Ashlee Evans Smith (-250), Sara McMann (-220), Valentina Shevchenko (-130)

If you do not live in a gambling city, you can easily make deposits and gamble on online websites like You can also check to see how much tickets could win here or any online parlay calculator:

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UFC Fight Night Long Island Summary: Personal Bets, Predictions, Gambling Tips, and Ranking the Fights

UFC Fight Night Long Island airs tomorrow night live from the new Nassau Coliseum. Here are the bets I plan on making:

My Main Parlay:
Dennis Bermudez
Jeremy Kennedy
Timothy Johnson
Chris Wade

Bonus Parlay:
Kennedy/Bochniak OVER 2 ½ Rounds
Timothy Johnson
Chris Wade
Jimmie Rivera
Ryan LaFlare/Oliviera OVER 2 ½ Rounds

I left Bermudez out of the second one in case he craps the bed again. Both parlays would win a lot of money regardless of how much you put down, and each bet is wise. Below, you will see my somewhat detailed analysis for each fight as well as a ranking from least interesting fight to most interesting fight. Although of course, I am interested in all 13 fights.

My Most Interesting Fight List (From Least Interesting to Most Interesting)

13. Good/Zaleski:
This is probably too low for many, especially seeing as how it is the feature bout on Fox. But for one thing, I have a feeling this fight will be a dud much to the surprise of many people. And even if I’m wrong and it is an awesome fight, which it very well could be….I do not see either of these two men breaking into the elite ranks of their divisions. Therefore, I am less interested in the fight.

12. Sherman/Grabowski.
This is also probably too low for most. But at the end of the day, they have a combined UFC record of 1-4. I am adept at seeing beyond hoopla and looking at facts. Although, Sherman is more than capable of putting on a great show as he displayed in his classic against Coulter.

11.Johnson/Albini: It’s always interesting to see a new face against a veteran. That curiosity puts this fight slightly above Sherman/Grabowski. And Timothy Johnson is a fighter’s fighter so I’m interested to see how he approaches the newcomer.

10. Cummins/Villante

9. Bochniak/Kennedy

8. Kelleher/Vera

I have this placed above Bochniak/Kennedy because although I am very interested in Kennedy keeping his undefeated record, I am more interested in this fight because I want to see more than one UFC round out of Kelleher, because from the little bit of him that I saw, I saw a lot of potential.

7. Wade/Perez

6. Natal/Anders

5. Bermudez/Elkins

4. Burgos/Pepey

This may be too high for most. But I see a lot of star potential in Shane Burgos’ fighting style, especially in him being undefeated. And stylistically, I am curious to see how Burgos’ fights against another aggressive fighter with experience.

3. LaFlare/Oliviera

2. Rivera/Almeida


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UFC Fight Night Predictions and Betting Guide: Damian Grabowski vs. Chase Sherman

Damian Grabowski (20-4) vs. Chase Sherman (10-3)

I saw a public proclamation by MMA journalist Adam Martin stating that Chase Sherman is the #1 pick for the weekend’s card on Draft Kings. Now, I’m not sure if that’s because of the value that you’d get for what you spend, but Mr. Martin is not the only journalist who seems very confident in Sherman. The only reason I can think of for such confidence is due to the LACK of confidence in Mr. Grabowski.

I created this page to say what other MMA journalists cannot or are too afraid to say. And a big reason why they may lack confidence in Grabowski is because he has looked like total shit in his only two UFC outings. Grabowski boasts many years of experience and is a high-level submission grappler, but if his last two UFC contests are any indication, the 37-year-old heavyweight is on the swift decline at the worst possible time.

But here’s the thing, Chase Sherman is 1-2 in the Octagon, and though that one victory was a classic barnburner against Rashad Coulter, let’s be honest, he hasn’t looked that great, either. Mr. Martin goes on to say that Chase Sherman has star potential. Based on what exactly? One Fight of the Night against someone making his UFC debut? Of all the heavyweights that could be a rising star, why proclaim a fighter with an under .500 record as someone with star potential? This is a very questionable statement at best, and can only be based on Sherman’s appearance, because it sure as hell isn’t based on his 1-2 appearances in the Octagon.

What we have ladies and gentlemen is a fight where the fighters boast a combined UFC record of 1-4, and yet this is a televised bout. Meanwhile, Burgos and Kennedy – two undefeated fighters, as well as Wade/Perez are on Fight Pass.

Perhaps the scheduling is meant to try to boost Fight Pass, but it is also….to Mr. Martin’s point…probably meant to begin pushing Chase Sherman by feeding him an aging fighter who has been KO’d in both trips to the Octagon and making sure the world will be watching. I am willing to bet that with a KO over Grabowski, Sherman’s next fight will make it to a main card. Hopefully, if Sherman does get a major push, he earns his way with more impressive performances. However, Sherman just happens to be in the toughest division to do that. So whatever “star power” he may have might just blow through Grabowski, but it might not be able to hold up the crushing weight of a very top-heavy division.

As for who will win, Grabowski hasn’t shown anything in the Octagon to put faith in him, but he didn’t make it to the UFC or go 20-4 by luck. It’s simply a question of will Chase Sherman join the list of men who knocked him out, or will his star power fade before it got to be turned on, by being submitted by the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt?

I’ll tell you one thing. If you think this is a sure thing or even one of the best bets of the night….you’re wrong. Although I do pick Sherman to win, I’m not betting on it.

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