UFC Fight Night 153, Stockholm, Sweden 1st June 2019

Not the greatest card I’ve ever seen but some half decent fights and some half decent opportunities for us. A bit disappointed that Ilir Latifi has had to withdraw because I thought Oezdemir was a very nice price to beat him here but I guess you can’t have it all.

Let’s take a look at some bets we an actually have!

Leonardo Santos v Stevie Ray

An interesting match up here. Ray has been fairly lacklustre since joining the UFC and there is a chance that he is fighting for his promotional life here.

And, if I’m honest, I don’t give him much of chance at all in this match up. He’s a decent fighter and a tough guy but…

Leonardo Santos is a VERY good fighter.

In addition to being one of best BJJ practitioners in the UFC, he holds the distinction of being the only man to ever TKO Kevin Lee. He hasn’t lost a fight in over a decade and he comes from one of the strongest MMA teams in the world. I think, as long as he is he is fully fit after this 3 year lay off, he should make this look pretty comfortable.

If it wasn’t for my slight concern over ring rust and whether he retains all of his ability after 3 years on the sidleines, I would be going much stronger on Santos here. I still make him decent value at 1.57 with Sky.

Additionally, I like the the look of the 2/1 generally available for Santos to win by submission. Lets have a small interest on that as well.

Advice: 1 pt Leonardo Santos to beat Stevie Ray @ 1.57 with Sky.

Advice 0.5 pt Leonardo Santos to win by Submission at 3.0 with BFSB, Betfred.

Jimi Manuwa v Aleksandar Rakic

These two have been heading in opposite directions of late. Rakic is a dynamic prospect with an awful lot of potential in the light heavyweight division and Manuwa has been on quite the slide, losing his last three, two of them by KO.

At one time, Manuwa was one good win away from a title shot and was comfortably ensconced in the upper tier of the division. Now, while not yet fighting for his spot in the UFC, his star has waned dramatically and he finds himself being inserted into a difficult match up with an up and coming prospect in Rakic.

When assessing these type of fights we need to look very closely at the quality of opposition each man has faced.

Manuwa has fought nothing but top 10 guys in the last half decade and beaten a good few of them. While his chin has started to look suspect in recent fights, it’s worth noting that the guys who have put him out are noted knockout artists.

In the same time frame, Rakic has fought (and, yes, beaten) a succession of guys on the Austrian regional circuit that I have never heard of plus a couple of OK but unranked UFC guys in Ledet and Clark.

Yet, and this often happens in these type of match ups, the up and comer is installed as a hefty favourite. Recent form is important no doubt but I struggle to see how Manuwa can possibly be priced at 2.8 for this. I see this as a coin toss and, that being the case, I feel obliged to back Manuwa at the price.

Advice: 1 pt Jimi Manuwa to beat Aleksander Rakic @2.8 with Bet365 ( 2.75 generally)

Alexander Gustaffson v Anthony Smith

Both these men are coming off comprehensive losses to the Champ (and possibly greatest of all time) Jon Jones and are looking to bounce back with a strong showing here.

Gustaffson has a far better record at light heavyweight and has consistently fought the best of the best. He has been in the top three for half a decade and fights in front of 50k+ adoring home fans – he is rightfully installed as favourite here.

Smith is a newcomer to light heavyweight – how he ever made it down to middleweight standing at 6’4″ with a big frame is beyond me. Apart from the loss to Jones, he has looked at home in the division and ditching that horrendous weight cut has suited him down to the ground.

If all goes as it should, Gustaffson will win this a shade cosily.

However, he didn’t look anything like himself in the loss to Jones and I’m not convinced he is the same fighter anymore. Smith on the other hand, while looking shitty against Jones (as so many do) , has looked rejuvenated since the move up.

I can’t let Smith go unbacked at the 3.7 generally available. That is too big a price and we would make out like bandits if we could make the same bet 100 times. On balance we are more likely than not to lose our money but that’s value betting.

Advice: 1pt Anthony Smith to beat Alexander Gustaffson @ 3.70 generally.

Finally I will put the above 3 straight win bets in a 0.25pt trixie just in case!

That’s it from me for today. Next weekend sees a very good card for UFC 238 – I’ll let you know if I find any value there.

Have a great weekend and be lucky

Kieran

Summary:

Advice: 1 pt Leonardo Santos to beat Stevie Ray @ 1.57 with Sky.

Advice 0.5 pt Leonardo Santos to win by Submission at 3.0 with BFSB, Betfred

Advice: 1 pt Jimi Manuwa to beat Aleksander Rakic @2.8 with Bet365 ( 2.75 generally)

Advice: 1pt Anthony Smith to beat Alexander Gustaffson @ 3.70 generally.

Advice: 0.25 pt Trixie Santos, Manuwa, Smith

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