Colton Smith vs Robert Whittaker prediction
At the current lines on both props and straight lines, I’m having a hard time finding something worthwhile. The opening line on Colton at -130 was definitely appealing, but he’s sitting at -220 now. My line of thinking is that Colton’s wrestling will be too much for Whittaker. His style of greco wrestling is very hard to prepare for. You can learn to defend a double leg rather quickly, but adapting to takedowns from the clinch, trips, bodylocks, etc. takes some time. With all that said, it’s hard to get a read on both of these fighters at this point. I’d be hesitant to pull the trigger on anything.
Dennis Bermudez vs Max Holloway prediction
This seems like an awful matchup for Holloway, but odds aren’t depicting it this way. I mentioned prior to Bermudez fighting Grice that Bermudez appears to get wobbled fairly easily, but I think he has shown that he can recover from that and still move forward. Against heavy strikers who also have a good wrestling base, I am hesitant on a play against Bermudez. My line of thinking is that an opponent like that can prevent the takedowns from Bermudez after he is rocked and land some more. With Holloway, I think Bermudez can bully him. We saw it with Poirier once he wanted the fight to the ground, and Bermudez definitely shows a stronger takedown game than Poirier.
I think the straight line on Bermudez is fair below -300, but I also like the line of Bermudez via decision at + odds if you are looking to play the fight smaller.
Nah-Shon Burrell vs Stephen Thompson prediction
This is a hard fight to read. Burrell has shown great athleticism, but he has not looked great overall. Thompson is a great striker, but I’m not sure how well that will transfer into MMA. This is a really hard fight for me to cap, but I do have a slight lean towards Thompson. He is definitely the better striker, and the only place I give a definite edge to Burrell is in pure athleticism. In the end, I actually think the most likely route to victory for both is decision. Burrell can use his athleticism to get takedowns and Thompson can look to strike from the outside. The fight goes to decision line is at +130, but the fight at over 2.5 is safer +105. I figure it will take both a while to gauge their opponent and distances, so a finish is more likely later in the fight – especially if one gasses and their defense drops.
Estevan Payan vs Jeremy Stephens prediction
I firmly believe that Stephens should not be a heavy favorite over fighters unless it’s someone he can completely bully like Danny Downes. His striking style is not dominant and his takedowns aren’t really that great. His power is something everyone has to watch for, but that doesn’t justify heavy favorite status. With that said, Payan is taking a big step up in competition. He is training with great fighters out of Arizona Combat Sports and he does look in great shape. Due to the above factors, a stab on Payan around +200 seems reasonable, and Payan via decision at +350 is also attractive.
Brian Bowles vs George Roop prediction
Roop is a fighter to never count out given his style. You never know how someone will react to his reach and size. Good strikers like Hominick and Swanson can figure it out quickly, but others can’t seem to get inside comfortably. Roop also brings a high output that can be frustrating. Given that Bowles has had quite the layoff and has shown less than a fighter’s heart, I think Roop can frustrate him here. There are two lines worth looking at here: Roop straight at +240 and Roop via decision at +375. Playing Bowles in any way would be a mistake here.