UFC ESPN+ Cejudo vs. Dillashaw: A Gi grows in Brooklyn - 1/19/2019
W: 2 L: 4
Win: 33%
Result: -15

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to the inaugural card on the new ESPN+ platform. If early weigh-ins are any indication of things to come, the clarity, professionalism and depth of coverage for we consumers will be improved substantially.

As is customary, I’ll provide my main event breakdown published in VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ publication 1-16-19 first then update those thoughts with any other releases I feel offer gaming value.

Let’s Fight

 (All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  We employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for each Monday AM in the “Money Morning’ report.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events we work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and bottom line profitability up to date in real time.  It’s business).

--Insight the Octagon (originally published 1-16-19)--

Insight the Octagon wants to welcome all those savvy enough to have invested in VSiN’s Point Spread Weekly in 2019! Bang for the buck there is no better Profitable Sports Gaming weekly newsletter in my humble opinion.

Jon Jones dominating performance put an exclamation point on a profitable 2018 for fight Enthusiasts following my PSW releases. Jones finish of Gustafsson earned a total of 1.95 units as I had released Jones as the second leg of a parlay with Usman (earning +.95) and the ‘fight does not go the distance -110’ prop (later converted to Under 4.5 rds. -110) which earned another unit. So the final tally for 2018: 17-15 +3.90 units.

UFC Favorites in 2018 were 284-133-16 (65.5%) just 0.4% lower than in 2017’s 65.9% which is important to understand for all seeking value in underdogs. Understanding that only two or three ‘dogs per card win (on average) mandates that appropriate due diligence AND selection must be conducted in order to uncover dog value on any UFC card.

Value may also take the form of a favorite but I’ll admit that my approach is focused towards uncovering two (or more) live underdogs and wagering on them in pairs if possible allowing me to pocket profit in case of a split result. This is cornerstone to my approach to wagering on all sports utilizing a moneyline…why allow the counter to pick up all the pennies?

Here’s my breakdown of the inaugural ESPN+ fight card

Let’s Fight

Flyweight Championship (125lbs.) TJ Dillashaw -200 vs. Henry Cejudo +170 (Westgate LV)

Bantamweight (135lbs.) Champion TJ Dillashaw drops down a division in order to try to capture Henri Cejudo’s Flyweight title this Saturday night in Brooklyn, NY. Dillashaw is best known for two dominant performances in attaining then defending his 135lbs. title against Cody Garbrandt.

Dillashaw who is the taller fighter owns reach advantages over his opponent. He fights utilizing a combination of his collegiate wrestling base supplemented with BJJ (grappling) and Muay Thai (striking). Dillashaw is athletic, powerful, fast, and quite honestly as complete a fighter as is on the roster but that is based on his performances at 135lbs.

I saw Dillashaw in a recent interview where he claimed to be already down to 135 and he looked quite lean. My concerns in this fight when assessing Dillashaw’s chances to win center around how this weight cut will affect his power and stamina.

Flyweight Champion Henry Cejudo is a ‘world class’ wrester who will be fighting at a weight he is most accustomed too, he’ll have a wrestling advantage over Dillashaw (although that may be negated to an extent because Dillashaw will be much the larger/bigger man by the time they ring the opening bell).

I anticipate the extremely athletic Cejudo to try to utilize his speed and quickness to frustrate a Dillashaw that looked lighting quick against Garbrandt and other 135’ers but may look a bit pedestrian against the quicker more agile Flyweight. Cejudo’s evasiveness and ability to get Dillashaw to the floor are the keys to him winning Saturday and while Cejudo lacks real punching power what he does not lack is cardio, heart and championship mettle.

In this fight I expect Dillashaw to come straight at Cejudo, try to walk him down and turn out his lights early via a striking barrage for what quickness Dillashaw displays will be early in this fight. Dillashaw feels that Cejudo will not be able to hurt him and may underestimate the smaller Olympic gold medalist. Cejudo for his part understands exactly what’s coming and he’ll counter TJ’s determination with evasive movement, flashy footwork and strategic take down attempts. The plan is to frustrate as Dillashaw tries to navigate Cejudo’s movement.

So the question in this main event becomes this, Can Dillashaw contend with Cejudo’s quickness/evasiveness and eventually catch Henry with a haymaker? Will he be able to batter the smaller man with kicks/strikes to slow him initially then take him out?  Or…

Will Cejudo be able to draw upon his athletic ability and evasiveness to make Dillashaw look slow and premeditated at this lower weight? Will he be able to frustrate him while forcing Dillashaw to expend energy while taking this fight into the Championship rounds?

Cejudo’s best chance to win in my judgement is by taking Dillashaw very deep into this fight and hoping the weight cut was too much for him at 125 lbs. I believe that this may be a little too much to ask for based on the years of wrestling and weigh cuts each man has endured.

In this fight I made Dillashaw a -220 favorite so I can find no real value based on current pricing. I also view the total in the fight (4.5 Over -135) as spot on so in this first ever Fight Night via ESPN+ we’ll lean to TJ Dillashaw but not make any official release on this main event.

Te Edwards -130 vs. Dennis Bermudez +110

While I have no release in the main event I do like a position that is the main event of the early prelims. Dennis Bermudez who was a touch undersized in the Featherweight (145lbs.) Division moves up to the lightweight Division (155lbs.) to face Te Edwards.

Bermudez will be giving away size, height and reach to Edwards who is the younger man by three years. Bermudez who will hold a vast experience advantage may think that this is an easy fight since Edwards was KO’d in his last but I believe quite the opposite. Edwards is the more accomplished wrestler, he’s younger and he has abundant power in his right hand…abundant. Couple that ‘pop’ with Bermudez’s jaw which is as fragile as porcelain and we can determine value with Edwards. I’ll advise those that can get the prop ‘Edwards inside the Distance’ +160 to consider that angle for added value but for many of our PSW readers that do not have access to this prop I’ll offer this side position available to all.

Edwards -130

--Updated 1-19-19 11:30am EST—

I must say that I am impressed at how both main event combatants made weight and appear prior to this fight. My biggest question revolves around Dillashaw’s weight cut, as it is one thing to make weight but another to then be force to expend the amount of energy required to overtake another Championship fighter in a five round affair.

The over 4.5 rounds is lined at -122 which means the oddsmakers agree with me in my gut feeling that this fight goes to decision. We know Henry fights to decision 85.7% of the time so that with the general feeling that this is a long fight forces me to believe that Henry is hot tonight.

Cejudo +190 

(Pantheon full unit)

The other PSW release does have me nervous as Te Edwards was the last one on the scale in Brooklyn yesterday. I do concern myself with the weather in N.Y. specifically for the Arizona fighters who will unquestionably be distracted by the cold each and every second they are there.

Stewart -160 vs. Recountre +150

Stewart is an ex-Marine which sways me to him from the start. He’s talented, willing and will fight relentlessly. His transition to the MMALab is of key importance here for he was defeated in a recent LFA 46 bout by current badass and resident MMALab fighter James Nakashima. Stewart then joined the gym in Phoenix that Nakashima trains at (MMALAB) because he is dedicated to improve and he recognized that this is a gym with a deep diversity and depth of quality MMA fighters especially wrestlers.
Recountre is a wrestling, grinding based fighter so the question I pose is how quickly can one gain wrestling savvy and ability?  I will pass on this fight but go on record as saying that Recountre may be live here.

Neal -175 vs. Muhammad +165

Neal is explosive, athletic and powerful yet his depth of competition faced has me feeling that the less flashy, more experienced unrelenting wrestling based grinder that is Muhammad is in a fine spot tonight.

Muhammad +165

Sandhagen-480 vs. Bautista +430

Sandhagen has been looking at a revolving door of opponents for this fight and finally he gets what many feel is a cakewalk but I would caution people to feel that way. Sure Sandhagen has the UFC experience as well his game especially his striking looks phenomenal but Bautista is not piece of meat. He is another fighter in from Phoenix from the MMALab and having watched him train personally I can assure you he is no +430 dog to anyone in this division despite his youth and inexperience. Bautista will compete.

Sandhagen/Bautista over 1.5 -125

Benavidez -225 vs. Ortiz +205

This is a rematch of a 2014 fight where Joe B won a tight yet fair decision. Benavidez (who closed -560 in that fight) was at the absolute top of his game and Ortiz still developing his at that time. Ortiz enters the Octagon the taller, larger fighter as well he’s five years the younger fighter who is now more in his prime while it’s my belief that Joe may be just past his. I like the hunger/revenge factor here

Ortiz +205


Profitable Sports Gaming




Cejudo +195 pantheon 1
Result: +195
Ortiz +205
Result: -100
Edwards -125
Result: -100
Sandhagen/Bautista Ov 1.5 -125
Result: -100
Muhammad +165
Result: -100
Crowder/Hardy starts 2 +190 pantheon
Result: +190

UFC 232 Jones vs. Gustaffson II: 'roid Rage? - 12/30/2018
W: 4 L: 1
Win: 80%
Result: +390


Jones -255
Result: +100
Jones/Gus 'does not go distance' -110
Result: +100
Justino -240/Jones -255 +.95
Result: -100
Anderson +140
Result: +140
Volkanovski +150
Result: +150

UFC Fox Lee vs. Iaquinta II: Whizzers from Wisconsin - 12/15/2018
W: 3 L: 0
Win: 100%
Result: +330

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to FC Fox 31, Fox’s final fight card before the UFC heads to ESPN in 2019. This card has some interesting match-ups and as we steam towards the end of 2018 it is my goal to serve up a couple of profitable end of the year cards in order to enhance our profitability before beginning a new year in 2019.

As is the case since last January, I’ll offer my unedited article submitted each week to VSiN in their ‘Point Spread Weekly’ publication which by the way is one comprehensive weekly periodical that is laced with gaming intel and educational materials. For the dedicated handicapper this tool is without equal. Any interested in signing up use the promo code ‘LOU’ and you’ll receive an extra 20.00 busk off of your subscription. After the PSW submission I’ll add updated comments and releases now that weigh-ins and all formalities have been completed.

Today’s single point of focus is to profit by unmasking marauding mangy mutts in Milwaukee.

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  We employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for each Monday AM in the “Money Morning’ report.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events we work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and bottom line profitability up to date in real time.  It’s business).

--Originally published 12-12-18 ‘Point Spread Weekly’--

Saturday the UFC presents its final Fox fight card, UFC Fox 31 from Milwaukee, WI. as the UFC begins a new contract with ESPN in January. 2018’s final UFC fight card is UFC 232 which will be held in Las Vegas Dec. 29th featuring the return of Jon ‘Bones’ Jones who faces Alex ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson in a Light-Heavyweight title fight.

Saturday’s UFC Fox 31’s Main Event is a rematch.

Kevin Lee -300 vs. Al Iaquinta +250 Lightweight Main Event (155lbs.)

Iaquinta currently eighth ranked in the UFC lightweight division earned a unanimous decision win against Kevin Lee at UFC 169 early in 2014. In that fight Iaquinta closed a -285 favorite but much has changed in the four years since.

Iaquinta has had to endure an uneven fighting career since that victory having taken damage in training/previous fights which caused him to miss time in the cage to heal. He’s also had to endure issues with the UFC outside the cage over contract issues. Iaquinta actually left the organization to earn a real estate license and is an active realtor which is commendable but in today’s UFC and more significantly in the top fifteen in any UFC division, a fighter best be 110% focused if they expect to get their hand raised.  

In his last fight, a short notice fight against current Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Iaquinta earned tremendous respect as he displayed true grit, heart and fortitude in a competitive five round decision loss. It was as fine a display as Iaquinta could have given against a destroyer as Khabib. That said, the physical attrition he took in that fight and over his fight career, his relatively finite skill set, his lack of effective strike defense and his recent fight inactivity all make for a tough spot for Iaquinta Saturday.

Kevin Lee today is the fourth ranked Lightweight in the UFC. He’s six years younger than Al; he’s a DII wrestler who has learned how to parlay his wrestling base and toughness with movement, explosiveness and athleticism. Lee’s learned to strike effectively and more importantly to evade strikes since his loss to Iaquinta and he’ll look to display himself as a far different and more versed combatant Saturday against Iaquinta whose expertise (besides toughness, grit and determination) is kickboxing/striking with a bit of BJJ mixed in.

Lee’s competition level has been exemplary losing only twice since he last encountered Iaquinta. Lee’s been active which is also important as this will be his fifth fight since 2017 while Iaquinta has only tussled once in that same span which was April of last year. Kevin Lee must respect Iaquinta’s power early while the fight is fresh but as wrestlers do, Lee over time will grind on Iaquinta, force him up to and against the fence then eventually manage to drag him to the dirt for little ground and pound. This will steadily usurp the fight from Iaquinta as he will be forced to use his mental and physical energy keeping Lee off of him as opposed to offering any offense on his own. I regard Kevin Lee as a firm favorite in this fight and I expect him to look dominant Saturday.


Dan Hooker -125 v. Edson Barbosa +110 Lightweight Co-Main Event (155lbs.)

This is a more competitive fight and one in which I believe offers gaming value.

Dan Hooker is a rising Lightweight from New Zealand. He’s a Muay Thai, Kickboxing based striker who since moving up from Featherweight to Lightweight has run off four straight impressive wins. It’s the fighters he’s faced that force me to point out that this is going to be a substantial step up in class of opponent for the twenty-eight-year-old and fourteenth ranked Lightweight.

Hooker is brimming with confidence entering this fight as he fights to try to enter the top ten in the division. Some view Hooker as the fresher fighter as he’s four years younger than Barbosa and has endured well less damage over his short career while Barbosa recently had to endure two physical beat downs in his last two fights, both losses.

Steel sharpens steel in mixed martial arts so I can’t devalue a fighter (in this situation) for taking on the absolute top of the division as Barbosa has done in his last two fights against Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee…two dynamically sound wrestling based warriors who have earned their positions atop the division.

Across from Hooker is Brazilian and fifth ranked UFC Lightweight Edson Barbosa. Barbosa is a diversely trained fighter who is highly decorated in BJJ, Muay Thai, Taekwondo and Boxing. Barbosa prefers to and has displayed great technical kicking and striking which should present fight fans with great theatre for this fight sets up to be a standup war from bell to finish.

Barbosa’s BJJ and striking arsenal make him quite effective against every form of fighter. If there is kryptonite to Barbosa (and all world class BJJ practitioners) it takes its form as the developed wrestling based fighter. It is only wrestling based fighters with fluid striking and innate toughness (see Barbosa’s last two fights against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Kevin Lee) that have bested Barbosa and Hooker does not possess those wrestling skills.

On Saturday we’ll witness an excellent display of striking from these two men but I also believe that it will only be a matter of time before Barbosa’s brutal leg attack, precision striking and forward pressure present Hooker with his PhD. in MMA. Hooker is young and will benefit from the beating I believe he will receive Saturday night.

In my judgement the price on this fight is flawed by positive recency towards Hooker and a general belief that the last two wars took something out of Barbosa. I disagree with that thinking for at the top of each UFC division I find that ‘steel sharpens steel’ and Hooker’s going to feel Barbosa’s steel come Saturday night. 

I handicap Barbosa -135/-140 in this fight.  A Barbosa victory via finish may not be out of the question either. I’ll have a complete UFC Fox 31 breakdown updating this fight and others offering value after Friday’s weigh-ins at GambLou.com.

Barbosa +110

--Updated 12-15-18 11:30am EST—

Barbosa as of this writing is still +110. He’ll need to move forward and not allow Hooker to harass him by forcing Barbosa back. Looks like a good competitive fight.

Lee -330 vs. Iaquinta +300

Updated thoughts here are that Al may be getting a little underappreciated in this spot as I do not think that Lee’s going to just show up and walk through the proud Serra/Longo trained pugilist. Lee wants to finish Al and look impressive off Al’s five round tussle with Khabib but as the Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want but you find sometimes…. you get what you need”. I fully expect Lee to look impressive but Al’s no shill.

Over 2.5 -120

Klose -230 vs. Green +200

This is a fight of two fighters each moving their own separate ways. Klose is on the ascent while Green is clearly on the descent. In my estimation the weigh-in display by Green foretells exactly how and in what capacity he will attack Klose…mentally.

If Green can coerce Klose into emotion, anger and rage then he does have a change to out point Klose in this fight. That said, don’t think the leadership at the MMALab aren’t fully aware of Green’s grousing. They’ll have Klose on plan to remain focused, tight and on plan for this one against a guy in Green that is a master of movement, pitter-patter striking and inactivity. Klose will slowly and systematically wear Green down and administer a beating to Bobby Green.

Drakkar Klose has recently experience fatherhood which to me always adds a dimension of humility and focus to a fighter (and for that matter all men and women). Klose is going to clobber Green.

Current pricing is such that the only angle on this fight is Klose via decision -125 but instead of any release here we’ll watch Drakkar drag Green into the depths….

Font -160 vs. Pettis +150

Font’s power and fury against Pettis pitter-patter precision punching. Pettis’ chin is also of concern here but the move up in weight class as well his maturation may negate that weakness. If Pettis can stick, move, hit, run and evade the prowling power punching, front kicking Font, he can take this fight deep and potentially outpoint Font who can slow in the later rounds. Pettis may be a profitable pup here especially based on the “Fight goes to distance” prop being -175. We’ll take our chances here on Pettis being a stronger fighter with the added weight and propose this oh so rare parlay as we strive to attain value:

Klose -230/Font/Pettis Over 2.5 rounds -200 2 team parlay: +120

Additional releases if any will be released via @Twitter




Barbosa +110
Result: +110
Over 2.5 Main Event -120
Result: +100
Klose -230/Over 2.5 Pettis/Font +120
Result: +120

UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega: Tap-out in Toronto - 12/8/2018
W: 2 L: 2
Win: 50%
Result: +110

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC 231. This slate is stacked with talent and dynamic match-ups. Over the last several weeks I have been trying to remain selective in anticipation of this card and the upcoming UFC 232. I believe there are a few mangy mutts carousing this card. Let’s find them and convert their efforts into profit.

This Holloway vs. Ortega fight was originally scheduled for July so this week in ‘Point Spread Weekly’ I go back to the article published then and add to it based on my thoughts from this past Tuesday Dec. 4th which was the deadline for my position.

As usual I will have updates to this main event and other releases immediately following.

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  We employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for each Monday AM in the “Money Morning’ report.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events we work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and bottom line profitability up to date in real time.  It’s business).

--originally published 12-5-18—

After numerous obscure Fight Night events over the course of the last several weeks the UFC serves us filet mignon this week with a deeply talented UFC 231 slate from Toronto Canada. There are numerous fights on this card that feature well matched competition and interesting clashes of fighting styles.

Due diligence and selectivity are mandatory practices for profitable underdog bettors in the UFC as to date in 2018 Favorites are 268-125-15 (65.7%).

Let’s begin start Saturday’s main event which was originally scheduled for UFC 226 this past July. I’ll post my column submitted (and published) on Point Spread Weekly prior to that fight (but before it had been pulled) providing a glimpse of my thoughts at that time. After that column I’ll add comments which address the relatively important dynamics that have surfaced since that fight was cancelled and which I believe factor greatly in this outcome.  

Max Holloway -130 (Champion) vs. Brian Ortega +110 Featherweight Championship (145lbs.)

This fight features two abundantly talented, state of the art mixed martial artists each with their own dynamic expertise and approach to excellence.

In Brian Ortega we have a BJJ savant spoon fed by Rener Gracie. While Ortega is master class in BJJ he has also greatly improved his striking making him a relatively complete MMA fighter other than Ortega has shown limited ability to effectively wrestle.

Ortega has benefited by a substantial size advantage in recent fights as he’s been the larger, taller, longer man in the Octagon (save for his fight against Moicano) but this will not be the case Saturday as Holloway is the slightly taller combatant with relatively equal reach.

Ortega has been able to focus completely on his stand up in recent fights while offering little if any deterrent against the takedown as he is confident that any fighter foolish enough to take him to the floor will be submitted. This allows Ortega the freedom to strike with no fear of the floor.

Ortega’s striking while improved is still unrefined and is in no way on par with his opponent Saturday night. Ortega’s striking is power based and in the heat of battle he can be wide and at times wild while fighting upright.  Besides improving as a striker Ortega is also evolving in the area he needs most to improve upon, strike defense. How Ortega chooses to attack Holloway will be the intrigue of this fight for I see little chance of Ortega winning a stand-up battle.

Twenty-six-year-old Max Holloway will enter his fourth title defense a confident fighter who since his decision loss to Conor McGregor in 2013 has won twelve straight UFC fights (nine of those via the finish). Holloway will be the taller, faster fighter who will utilize a diverse and precision based Muay Thai/boxing striking arsenal to take this fight to the challenger. Holloway must utilize and maintain space to control Ortega and keep him at the end of his lethal strikes and kicks. Holloway’s effective striking will be utilized to force Ortega into pressing the fight to Holloway thus allowing Ortega to become predictable and open to Holloway’s precision striking attack while Ortega works to get inside.

I do not see Ortega being able to compete effectively against the striking and movement of Holloway as he did against the forward stalking, wild, swinging Moicano who in their fight one year ago took the fight directly to Ortega before getting caught in a guillotine in the third round. At the half way point of round two of that fight Moicano had landed forty-seven (47) head strikes on Ortega. This not only demonstrates that Ortega can take a shot but it also is evidence that his defense against a striker is suspect and Moicano is in no way as precision based or refined a striker as Holloway.

Holloway’s precision striking, awkward movement and counter attack coupled with his eighty-three percent (83%) take down defense will force Ortega to become predictable. Ortega will eventually need to gain his way inside to drag Holloway down or force him against the fence if he is to have any chance of getting his hand raised. When this happens Ortega plays right into the strength of the fluid moving lethal striking Max Holloway.

Holloway opened -180 in this fight and it’s my opinion that Ortega’s recent knock-out of Frankie Edgar (which the fighting public has fresh in their minds) is fueling favor to Ortega. This in turn is creating value for the Champion who in my judgement is poised to defend his title Saturday night in impressive fashion.

Holloway -130

Update 11-5-18

Fight pro’s that follow the UFC comprehensively were aware that just prior to that first fight in July, Holloway was displaying a unique lack of response to questions, an overall sluggishness and slurring leading up to the fight. The last minute cancellation was due to the fact that during fight week Holloway was forced into making a couple hospital visits for what was described as acute concussion-like symptoms*.

The result of the cancellation had Holloway and camp delving into what really had happened as they strived to get Max back to health. The information available from his interviews since July are a mix between the unknown, concussion symptoms and even the addressing of depression and mental health**.

So today as I assess this fight, I must say everything has changed except the lines on the scrap. Let’s begin with pricing. As you read above Holloway opened -180 in the first fight and at the time of cancellation was he -130. When this fight re-opened the price came as it had closed in July, Holloway -130 to Ortega +110 and it sits close to that number now.

While the betting line on the fight has remained mostly unaltered from their first scheduled fight in July it is my judgement that the total dynamic of the fight has been altered.

Athletes are at their essence and in their prime very insecure. Insecure because they realize their time is limited and they strive to take advantage of each and every opportunity to remain as relevant as possible both for their ego and for their business. Add to this that the UFC ‘had’ and ‘has’ another fighter on hand and primed to step in to fight Ortega in the case Holloway was unable to return to defend the Featherweight title or in the case that Holloway can’t make it to the Octagon Saturday. So to say Holloway is experiencing pressure from the UFC to defend and his own self-administered pressure to fight Ortega is not overstated.

Is Holloway rushing back? He could be feeling pressure to retain HIS title by defending it and he sure does not want to allow others the spotlight that he himself has worked so tirelessly to attain. But is he 110% healthy?

We’ll all know soon enough if Max is really ready to fire Saturday but as far as betting this fight is concerned I’ll allow the recent news to completely change my direction in this fight as I was vehemently for Holloway last July but now I am concerned.

Holloway still seems a bit off from my deep research for this title fight. His speech still seems a bit slippery and his manner deliberate. He’ll need to prove to me that the events of the last six months have had no effect on him as I can’t simply believe that four or five months can completely cure someone from issues so critical to a fighter as their ‘mental health’ and potential physiological effects of depression.

I do not believe that the Max Holloway of July is the same man and fighter as he is today. The forms of struggles he’s experienced can be complex and in the fight game mental and physical health is of major importance especially when we begin to address not only concussion-like symptoms but now we bring in depression. I know so little of each so I’ll hold off on commenting but this I will say:

Max Holloway’s absolute best performance will be required Saturday to defeat Brian Ortega and I’m not completely sure we’re getting Holloway at 100%.


I’ll have a complete UFC 231 slate breakdown at GambLou.com after Friday’s weigh-in results have taken place. Enjoy the fights.

* “Max Holloway breaks silence on UFC 226 withdrawal” By: Mike Bohn|July 6, 2018 2:40 pm MMA Junkie.com. Link: https://mmajunkie.com/2018/07/max-holloway-breaks-silence-on-ufc-226-withdrawal-addresses-ortega-mcgregor-khabib

** “Morning Report: Max Holloway opens up about battling depression after UFC 226” By Jed Meshew @JedKMeshew  Oct 11, 2018, 8:00am EDT Link: https://www.mmafighting.com/2018/10/11/17959694/morning-report-max-holloway-opens-up-about-battling-depression-after-ufc-226.

--Updated 12-8-18 11am EST--

Yesterday after closely scrutinizing both sets of weigh-ins and also enlisting the help of my MMA mentor and dear friend John Crouch who is the Coach and owner of the MMALab here in Phoenix I released:

Holloway +105

Crouch indicted that in his opinion the inner circle of Holloway would be very wary of Max’s condition and he felt they would never allow him to compromise himself. if he was not completely ready to do battle. This may seem like common sense and I still poked at Crouch regarding perhaps organizational pressure influencing Max to hide any issues etc. from camp which Crouch acknowledged as a possibility yet very difficult to actually pull off (these couches are like family to their fighters especially at the MMALab). Anyway I hope this helps you understand my back and forth regarding a final position for this fight.

Aubin-Mercier -135 vs. Burns +115

In a fight pitting two outstanding grapplers often times that the fight takes place on the feet. While both of these men have rapidly gained striking acumen it is Aubin-Mercier who I will give a slight edge to in the stand-up only because Burn’s beak has in the past show itself to be weak. So Burns will want to get this fight to the mat where he will have clear advantage over AB who on the floor is quite capable himself but nowhere near the level of BJJ artist that Burns is. AB will strive to keep this fight standing in my estimation and will try to touch the Brazilian on the teeth and control the fight from striking distance. I believe Burns is the more athletic, explosive fighter who will be able to manage this fight while upright until he can forge his way inside to get a grasp of AB and drag him down where Burns will manage to make this a maul on the matt eventually and earn this victory most likely via submission or decision.

Burns +115

Theodorou -135 vs. Anders +115

Theodorou is a well-rounded fighter who has several peripheral business opportunities working as he solidifies himself as a legitimate top fifteen fighter in the UFC’s Middleweight division. I find it amazing that this young man can manage movie parts, writing, doing commercials and training for top level UFC opponents. I wonder if his attentions are 110% focused on fighting although I completely respect and commend the young man for preparing for life after fighting (something very few fighters or athlete’s for that matter are able to undertake during their athletic careers). Theodorou is large for the weight class and while he has more experience in the cage than does Anders, it will be Anders that is the more explosive, athletic and powerful fighter. I feel this fight is guile against grit and in my estimation it should be lined as it was at opening (Anders -125) so we’ll take the line value on the former linebacker.

Anders +115

Dawado -195 vs. Bochniak +175

Dawado is an explosive local fighter who’ll have the crowd, athletic ability and a five-year youth advantage over the more deliberate well-rounded grinder in Bochniak. If Bochniak can navigate the first five minutes without taking too much damage from this explosive powerful Canadian and steer this fight into the final seven minutes, then I believe his unrelenting forward pressuring style and toughness may begin to ebb the explosion from Dawado. Bochniak gained mucho confidence after his performance last out on short notice against Magomedshapirov and he caught my eye in doing so. Flyer

Bochniak +175



Holloway +105
Result: +105
Bochniak +175
Result: -100
Burns +115
Result: +115
Anders +115
Result: -10

UFC FN 142 Dos Santos vs. Tuivasa: Kaurna KO - 12/2/2018
W: 0 L: 3
Win: %
Result: -300

Tonight’s UFC Fight Night event from Adelaide, Australia has some outstanding match-ups on the card. Below you’ll find my write up on its main event, Dos Santos vs. Tuivasa as it was originally published Wednesday of this past week on VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ newsletter and immediately following I’ll offer a couple of fighters I feel offer gaming value.

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  We employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for each Monday AM in the “Money Morning’ report.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events we work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and bottom line profitability up to date in real time.  It’s business).

Insight the Octagon UFC 230 (originally published 11-27-18)

The UFC closes November with Friday night’s TUF finale main event and welcomes the first of four fight cards in December with a Fight Night slate from Adelaide, Australia on Saturday. I’ll cover each main event in this weeks ‘Insight the Octagon’.

UFC Fight Night 142

Junior Dos Santos -150 vs. Tai Tuivasa +130 Heavyweight Main Event

It was just a few months ago in this column when I faded Junior (JDS) against a regionally talented fighter in Boise to poor results. In that fight and much to my astonishment JDS displayed tremendous fight IQ in choosing to employ a plan of movement and precision punching as opposed to standing toe to toe and trying to take his opponent out which is what I had expected.

This is important because at thirty four years old JDS has been through numerous physically/mentally oppressive fights and his ability to take shots is waning so enduring punishment from other heavyweight fighters is a risk JDS must not expose himself to.  He’s remained a relevant Heavyweight talent throughout twelve years of professional heavyweight battles. Age and fighting post USADA (mandatory testing agency for the UFC) are both obstacles JDS has had to navigate in order to get to this new and rejuvenated state. My question is can one take the stripes off of a Zebra?

Saturday JDS must display the diligence and self-control to execute the exact plan he did in his last fight if he is to have any chance at getting his hand raised. He’s been set up with a similar fighter to his last opponent though this one is certainly a step up in competition, power and durability. I expect this opponent to truly test whether JDS can stick to his fight plan or whether in the heat of heavyweight battle the sweat rinses the paint off JDS thus exposing the zebra’s stripes…..for instilled deep inside JDS psyche is a fighter who has always exchanges flat footed power punches with opponents.

The question that will get answered in Adelaide Saturday night this: Will JDS be able to follow his training and utilize movement/IQ to dictate the pace of this fight or will he stray from the plan when he gets clocked on the kisser and revert to trading power punches, a response his chin will no longer allow him to execute?

JDS travels to Australia Saturday to fight local fighter Tai Tuivasa who is a stocky ex-rugby player (Mother an indigenous Australian and his father Samoan) that if he were two inches taller would be perfectly square. Tuivasa is nine years the younger man, must cut weight to reach the 265lb. heavyweight limit and has profuse punching power. He is awarded this opportunity because he is the prodigy of local fight legend Mark Hunt (who will fight earlier on this card in what is possibly his final fight in the UFC) as well the UFC needs a few new faces in this part of the world as they try to export the brand so Tai gets this try.

As a mixed martial artist Tuivasa is lacking credibility of skill. He sports very little MMA acumen, in fact he is a telegraphing, slow, plodding, Sunday punch tossing, brawler who has a granite chin and absolutely no defense.  Tuivasa’s fought a very dubious level of competition and has only gone past the first round once and that was in his last fight against another old, tired warrior in Andrei Arlovski. Arlovski, it must be pointed out also has a very suspect chin and the Aussie was unable to finish him.

So in summary, the drama in this main event is whether JDS can stick to a plan of constant movement, precision striking and kicks from the outside to eventually wear the stalking Samoan down and try to take him out via attrition in the later rounds or simply win via decision…..or

Will the young, green, Aussie power puncher have success stalking JDS down and forcing him to brawl?

I’ll side with youthful power here tossing in front of the home Countrymen as I do not believe Dos Santos will be able to keep those stripes hidden and avoid exchanging with Tuivasa.

Tuivasa +130

(now +140)

--updated 12-1-18 11:30am EST--

Justin Willis -120 vs. Mark Hunt +110

Justin Willis is thirteen years the younger fighter, he’s five inches taller than the square Samoan slugger and he’ll own a six-inch reach advantage over Mark Hunt in what I handicap to be a striking affair. Those are numeric advantages we must acknowledge to Willis’ favor in this spot. Now Willis’ level of competition is dubious claiming only a decision win over Chase Sherman as his best victory while Hunt’s been in with and beaten many of the past decade’s best heavyweight fighters.  

Willis has arrived in Australia as the villain surely as he has decided to goad and chide Mark Hunt even coming into confrontation with him at yesterday’s weigh-ins. The young brash American arriving onto the local hero’s turf and poking, chiding and deriding him is a questionable tactic in my judgment unless you want to receive the absolute most astringent response from Hunt. That’s exactly what I do expect here.

This fight is going to come down to will for Willis is huge, hulking, explosive strong and sports a sturdy chin while the same can be said for Hunt though I will give Willis an explosion/quickness edge in the first round or so.

I see this fight going into the second round, Willis beginning to get a bit slower and telegraphing his shots to which Hunt will find his way inside of the pocket and then deliver a ‘bustin to Justin.

Hunt +110

Martin -115 vs. Matthews +105

Here’ another fight where Martin an American fighter has arrived ‘Down Under’ flapping and smacking at his local opponent. Now Martin has looked super since moving up to 170 from 115 but he’s done so against a couple of fighters I hold in less than top 15 regard. Martin’s show a great ability to evolve and compliment his stand up with some ground ability but make no mistake about the fact that Martin will not and must not allow this fight to hit the mat.

Matthews has also been recipient of the benefits of moving up in weight class to 170. He’s stronger, faster and quicker at the new weight as is Martin. Matthews will be giving away some size in this spot but he’s fighting at home and as I handicap this fight I make Matthews the -130 chalk or so therefore I feel there is value on Matthews who I believe will find his way inside on Martin and eventually be able to get this fight to the mat where he will hold superiority.

Matthews  +105

Tuivasa +140
Result: -100
Hunt +110
Result: -100
Matthews +105
Result: -100

UFC FN 141 Blaydes vs. Ngannou: Choked out in China - 11/24/2018
W: 3 L: 1
Win: 75%
Result: +120

UFC FN 141 from Beijing China goes off in the wee hours this Saturday morning. While I find the card relatively interesting I must admit that I will not view the prelims live choosing instead to study those early match-ups at a later date.

The main event does feature a fine rematch in the Heavyweight division as well the Co-main features Heavy’s also.

I did not provide a detailed write up for this main event this week so I’ll include a few ideas as to why I prefer each listed fighter below.

-Let’s Fight-

(All GambLou.com releases are understood to be a standard/hypothetical $100.00 per position unless otherwise stated.  We employ $100.00 to easily track results as every GambLou.com release is recorded and accounted for each Monday AM in the “Money Morning’ report.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events we work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the Gamblou.com webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and bottom line profitability up to date in real time.  It’s business).

Blaydes -220 vs. Ngannou +200

In the first fight Blaydes was supposed to wrestle the giant effectively. Instead what happened is Blaydes took an eye socket beating which caused the fight to be stopped by the doctors.

In this fight it’s my judgement that Blaydes arrives with the deeper cardio and certain advantage if/when this fight hits the floor. Blaydes will want to usurp the energy from the powerful giant, take him deep into the fight to tire him out then maul the monster on the mat.

Ngannou meanwhile has had to realize that one must offer more in an MMA match that fearsome, premeditated, plodding power. I am certain also that Ngannou is aware of his Octagon short comings, and has addressed them in preparation to get back into Heavyweight relevance. Ngannou is out to show fight fans that the first fight between he and Blaydes is going to have a similar result as the first. I do expect Ngannou’s best effort tonight but also believe that Blaydes has championship pedigree and abilities.

In their first fight Blaydes opened -140 and closed -190 so in my humble opinion this fight is lined appropriately and accurately. Where I find a bit of value is on the props.

Fight starts Round 3 +110

Pavlovich -130 vs. Overeem +115

Pavlovich will have to prove to me he is better than a local journeyman. While Overeem’s chin is as fragile as my grandmother’s porcelain nativity set, he does have vast advantages in size, athleticism, striking ability, ground game and most importantly experience. Overeem’s been training in Colorado with Blaydes for this camp so I feel confident when I say that Overeem is going to take this man to the mat and mop the floor with him which will not allow the Russian slugger to find any punching room while he’s being elbowed and hammer sited while on his back. I released this yesterday via @twitter and price is now a nickel more.

Overeem +115

Song -120 vs. Morono +110

Song gets a real opponent as opposed to a local tomato can so he’ll need to actually earn a victory here. He has the skills to win but he’ll need to prove to me he can fight an individual that is UFC experienced, tough, determined and aggressive. Morono will bring this fight to the local.

Morono +110 (half)

Yaozong -120 vs. Coulter +110

Yaozong has size and youth but after that he is but a regional talent who is lacking real MMA experience. He was a short notice stand in for the last card here in China and he got beat by journeyman in Cyril Asker. Yaozong is game but green.

Coulter has been overmatched and undersized in his Heavyweight fights and though he missed weight in this Light-heavyweight tussle by three pounds he has a vast experience edge, he’s more athletic than Yaozong and has abundant, explosive power. Coulter’s cardio has been in question in past fights but fighting 265’ers for an undersized man is no easy task as well now fighting at some 225 lbs. (by fight time) may well allow him to fight effectively for a full fifteen. Coulter opened -175 to Yaozong +155 and that line has reversed. Those folks are chasing the wrong fighter….

Coulter -110 (half)

Blaydes/Ngannou starts 3 +110
Result: -100
Overeem +115
Result: +115
Morono +110
Result: +55
Coulter -110
Result: +50

“Price is what you pay, Value is what you get”

Mr.Warren Buffet

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