UFC 250: QUICK HITS
by Jason Paglia
With UFC 250 later today, I figured it was time to give some quick thoughts about the card and make a couple picks along the way. UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard has given us a phenomenal card. The card is stacked with entertaining fights, and some possible angles to make a little cash.
If you guys are reading this on Saturday, you are ready for some quick thoughts and opinions before you place a few wagers, and time might be an issue. That being said, let’s do it.
Main Event: Amanda Nunes vs. Felicia Spencer
If there is one fight that you probably don’t need help on, it’s this one. Amanda Nunes is the best female mixed martial artist ever. It’s not even close. Her hands are a nightmare, she throws a ton of volume, and her ground game is top-notch.
So, how does Felicia Spencer wins this fight? She doesn’t. She has no striking offense, and she has zero defensive striking skills. Amanda Nunes will not fear her striking like she respected de Randamie. She should get it done inside the first two rounds. Currently, you can Nunes by KO/TKO/Submission at (-160) at BET365. That seems like a bargain to me. I think she gets it done inside five rounds.
Co-main Event: Cody Garbrandt vs. Raphael Assuncao
This is a fight where I can’t blame anyone for being on either side of this fight. When you think about where Cody Garbrandt was on New Years’ Eve 2016 and where he is now, it’s crazy. He was on top of the world, winning the bantamweight strap from Dominick Cruz in 2016. Now, more than 3.5 years later, he might be fighting for his UFC survival. He has been knocked out three fights in a row. Twice by Dillashaw and in his last fight versus Munhoz. Cody’s chin appears gone and made of glass. Will that chin gets in the way of this fight?
Raphael Assuncao has been a top 5 staple in the division for a long time. However, he is old and does not have a dangerous striking game like Garbrandt’s last two opponents. Assuncao is a wizard on the mat, but Cody’s sprawl is pretty strong. This comes down to one thing. I don’t think Assuncao’s striking game scares me enough not to back Cody’s weak chin. You can get Cody Garbrandt at (-150) at BET365, and I think it’s worth supporting him one more time. He never burned me before because I faded him in his last three fights. For those that have been burned, I completely understand why you would fade him here, but I can’t.
Aljamain Sterling vs. Corey Sandhagen
This is the best fight on the card by a large margin. The winner of this fight will get an eventual title shot, and deservedly so. It’s a classic striker versus grappler matchup. Sterling is the best wrestler in the division and Sandhagen has some of the best strikings in the division. Corey is excellent in the pocket and at range. The question becomes, can Sandhagen stay on his feet. If he can, he should win this fight. That is a ig if. Sterling’s wrestling is so damn good.
I can’t bet on a side here. If one of these guys were +125 I would take them. Both of them. If this was a 5 round fight, I would take Sandhagen because of his excellent stamina, but in a three round fight Sterling has the stamina to be game late. The only angle I see here is the fight should go the distance. However, they are making you pay for it. The odds are -225. If you don’t like laying big numbers, stay away and enjoy the fight because it should be epic.
Neil Magny vs Anthony Rocco Martin
Anthony Martin has shown flashes of a really good fighter the last two years. He still has not impressed for an entire fight though. The fight comes down to one thing for me, and that’s Neil Magny. Is Magny for real at this late stage in his career? I was shocked at his performance in his last fight against the leech. He absolutely destroyed my bet.
I faded him, and the guy that showed up against Jinliang should beat Rocco Martin. Magny sat down on his punches and specifically sat down on his jab last fight. The leech was a counter striker. Now Magny faces another counter striker. Martin doesn’t really lead exchanges. He is very comfortable off his back foot. It’sthe reason he will give up a takedown or two early in fights. He is gauging the range for his counter game. He does not do great in the clinch, and these are all things that Neil Magny did flawlessly against Jingliang.
If that Magny doesn’t show up and the tentative Magny that has been destroyed by other fighters counter game shows up, Magny can be in trouble. His performance his last time out is burned into my brain and I lean Magny but haven’t bet him. If you want to back Magny you can get him at (-138) at BET365.