Louis Smolka vs. Ray Borg
Both fighters come in with a remarkably similar resume. Borg ran up a 9-1 record before losing his stiffest test in February to Justin Scroggins. Smolka was 11-1 before his loss to Brendan Moreno just two months ago. It’s an incredibly tough fight to call, but in the end, the power in Smolka’s hands makes him worth the plus price. Borg is the more technical fighter, but one good shot from Smolka could turn the fight on its head at any moment.
Pick: Smolka +110
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Tarec Saffiedine
Dong Hyun Kim is one of the best fighters in the 170 pound division, he’s just never been able to get through the titans of the division. Kim is 23-3-1 in his career; the losses are to the current champion (Woodley), Damian Maia, and Carlos Condit. As much as I like Tarec, there’s just no way this current version of Saffiedine puts him in that upper echelon category. Having lost two of his last three, including a rough unanimous decision to Rick Story, the best Saffiedine is no longer around. Kim will pick him apart and win on cards.
Pick: Kim -115
T.J. Dillashaw vs. John Lineker
Lineker has been on quite the little run lately with wins over John Dodson, Michael McDonald, Rob Font, and Francisco Rivera. However, Dillashaw is a different story. Think all the way back to the first time T.J. fought Raphael Assuncao. He lost a split decision (one many thought he won), but either way, it was a close fight. Fast forward to UFC 200 in July, Dillashaw dominated the very same opponent. He’s in a class above the rest of the 135 pound division… except for one guy, Dominick Cruz. On this night, he fights before Cruz.
Pick: Dillashaw -230
Dominick Cruz (c) vs. Cody Garbrandt
If you’ve ever bet on sports, this is your classic under/over dilemma. If you bet an under, you are simply sitting there waiting for the clock to run out. If it happens in time, you win. If you bet an over, you know you are always behind, but there’s always a fighting chance. Cruz is the under, Garbrandt is the over. If Garbrandt does not land a monster shot on Cruz’s chin, Dom will win. There are only two outcomes, either Cruz on the cards, or Garbrandt by KO. Cody has 25 minutes to get it done, otherwise, he’ll probably lose all five rounds. I NEVER bet unders, so…
Pick: Garbrandt +165
Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Ronda Rousey
A little over a year ago, Ronda Rousey was an unstoppable force, possibly the most dominant athlete in any sport at any time. Then she ran into the counter striking of Holly Holm. In that fight, Rousey was pushing -1000. Had she won that fight and was now matched up with Nunes, she might be pushing -2000. Instead, she lost to Holm, took a year off and now she’s barely a favorite over a fighter most people have never heard of. It comes down to one thing: mentality. We know Nunes is going to give it everything she’s got, with Ronda, we can’t be so sure. If Ronda’s all there, she’ll win…and quick. My guess is she’ll be all there. She saw what winning did to regain Conor McGregor’s MO and she wants to do the exact same thing. I expect Nunes to charge at Rousey, Ronda will find a way to judo throw Nunes, jump on top of her, and grab her arm. It’s up to Nunes as to how long she wants to last.
Pick: Rousey by Submission (armbar) at 0:55 First R