Two of the most brutal finishers in the heavyweight division complete the week-long UFC relay in Jacksonville this Saturday when Walt Harris jumps with Alistair Overeem. At the other end of the size spectrum, Claudia Gadelha faces off against the straw piler Angela Hill, while Dan Ige takes on Edson Barboza in what could be a Featherweight banger.
This is a quality card, which could bring you a net sum. Here’s how.
What’s wrong with UFC “Jacksonville? “
I was initially grumpy about the failure of Marvin Vettori’s fight, but a solid performance by Andrei Arlovski against the other half of this parlay, Philipe Lins, made this debate theoretical. Yet Brian Kelleher kept us in the dark.
UFC on ESPN 8 Odds for the Undercard:
Miguel Baeza (-210) against Matt Brown (+175)
Anthony Hernandez (-105) against Kevin Holland (-115)
Mike Davis (-200) against Giga Chikadze (+170)
Darren Elkins (-120) against Nate Landwehr (EVEN)
Cortney Casey (-165) against Mara Romero Borella (+145)
Don’Tale Mayes (-120) against Rodrigo Nascimento (EVEN)
Thoughts: Now this that’s what I’m talking about. Matt Brown, Anthony Hernandez and Darren Elkins are all worthwhile investments.
Besides Jake Ellenberger, Matt Brown has not lost to anyone who was not a former or future title challenger since he called on Seth Baczynski’s guillotine in 2011. Although he lost a step or two , he is still infinitely more tested than Miguel Baeza, who was passable on the Contender Series and whose first opponent of the UFC, Hector Aldana, never managed to gain a victory in the Octagon. Unless Baeza can mulch Brown’s liver like Ellenberger and the others have, “The Immortal” should overpower him in a fight.
“Fluffy” Hernandez had a brief stint as an underdog at the end of last week, which would have been a great catch, but there is still value. Kevin Holland is disturbingly nonchalant in his defense against the withdrawal, which should have cost him the decision against Gerald Meerschaert, and Hernandez managed to pull Jun Yong Park to the mat six times before finally finding his neck. Hernandez’s front chokes are too powerful a weapon for Holland to try to move around, and I expect him to catch “Trail Blazer” in transition at some point.
Although I’m worried about Darren Elkins’s recent fights, Landwehr is the kind of opponent that The Damage has always dominated. The berserker’s offensive on The Train comes at the expense of strike defense and, more importantly, disassembly defense, which Elkins is more than good enough to cross. Landwehr has pop, of course, but not as much as Michael Johnson or Alexander Volkanovski. Elkins still has enough in the tank to win this.
UFC on ESPN 8 Dimensions for the main card:
Walt Harris (-160) against Alistair Overeem (+140)
Claudia Gadelha (-190) against Angela Hill (+165)
Edson Barboza (-130) against Dan Ige (+110)
Krzysztof Jotko (-160) against Eryk Anders (+140)
Song Yadong (-190) against Marlon Vera (+165)
Thoughts: Dan Ige is an absolute +110 flight, and I say this as a huge Edson Barboza fan.
Not only does Barboza make his first cut at 145 pounds in non-ideal conditions, he does so against an excessively hard murderer with the same mixture of pressure strikes and dominant struggle that has always upset the Brazilian. Ige would be a badass, even in a semi-normal world, and to see him end up being the underdog against a guy who cuts an additional 10 pounds in a pandemic is too tempting to pass up. The Hawaiian has made six straight games.
UFC on ESPN 8 Best bets:
- Single bet – Matt Brown: bet $ 40 to win $ 70
- Parlay – Anthony Hernandez and Darren Elkins: bet $ 40 to win $ 103.20
- Single bet – Dan Ige: bet $ 50 to win $ 55
The UFC on the main event of ESPN 8, Dan Ige against Edson Barboza, and Song Yadong against Marlon Vera are worth the price of entry by themselves, and the supporting cast is not too shabby either. See you on Saturday, Maniacs.
Don’t forget that MMAmania.com will offer live, turn-based, turn-by-turn coverage of the entire UFC on the ESPN 8 combat map this weekend right here, starting with ESPN /ESPN + “Prélims” undercard fights at 6 p.m. AND, followed by ESPN /ESPN + main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.