After what can only be described as one of the wildest fight weekend’s in UFC history last week the promotion is likely breathing a sigh of relief that tonight’s UFC Fight Night Poirier vs Gaethje on Fox has been much more routine. No melees, no freak injuries, and no missed weight by main card fighters gives fans a really fun card in Glendale, AZ tonight.
There has been a thousand articles written about UFC 223, Conor McGregor, and the chaos of the previous week so we’ll skip rehashing it anymore and just jump into this underrated free card on Fox. Casual fans typically tune into fights for one reason: they want to see two warriors clobber each other until one is stopped by the ref or knocked completely unconscious. The main event tonight of Poirier vs Gaethje should deliver this outcome. Throw in a return of the Michelle Waterson and Carlos Condit, two fan favorites who always put on good showings win or lose, and this card is a solid night of fights. We bring back the Burger-meter to get fans ready for the tastiest fights on the card. The Burger meter will look at the fight matchup (how good is it, how important, how entertaining) and associate it with its hamburger equivalent. I’ll breakdown the main card by relating it to its “burger form” and offer some fight predictions to hopefully help your bank accounts. Let’s get to the card:
(100% Imported Kobe Beef Burger): Ridiculously luxurious & best of the best
Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier(5th) vs Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (6th) (Lightweight 155lbs )
Preview: The UFC Lightweight division I think is by far the most stacked division in the promotion. Take the main event of Saturday’s card, two absolute monster’s in Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje who are trying to use the other to get into the McGregor, Kabib, and Ferguson dance that is going on at the top of the weight class. Both men utilize a ‘blitzkrieg’ style of attack to overwhelm their opponents. Each man has been involved in multiple “fights of the night” and even when they taste defeat their opponent had to go through hell and back to beat them. Gaethje enters this fight relatively quick after suffering his first ever professional loss to Eddie Alvarez in a absolute war at UFC 218. Many have wondered how long Gaethje’s go for broke style can hold up long term against the top fighters in the world. Alvarez showed the first cracks in that style in his last fight, and a quick turn against another upper echelon fighter like Poirier is a huge risk for Gaethje. However, Poirier is not in for a walk in the park either. He’s coming into the fight essentially riding a 3 fight win streak despite his fight against Eddie Alvarez being ruled a no contest due to an illegal blow and Alvarez refusing to continue. Those watching that fight knew Poirier was getting the better of Alvarez and if it was not for an accidental illegal shot he was likely going to finish Alvarez legally. I expect fireworks from the opening bell. Both men think they are good enough to fight the best in the division and both men know the other is capable of stopping the other if they can connect, its just a matter of who will get their shots off first. Gaethje has a little bit of height advantage against Poirier but I don’t anticipate reach to be much of a factor as both of these men like to fight inside a phone booth in the center of the Octagon. I will be shocked if this fight somehow goes the distance.
Odds: Poirier (-115) vs Gaethje (-115)
Prediction: Vegas per usual has this fight pegged correctly as a dead even contest. My initial lean was Poirier because I typically like to fade a guy coming off his first loss, particularly when its a violent one like Gaethje had against Alvarez. However, Poirier has been known to trust his chin a little too much against these big brawlers and has gotten caught against like McGregor and Micheal Johnson. I worry his “win” over Alvarez led him to believe he can fight like that against Gaethje instead of being more tactical and countering Gaethje which would give him a far better chance of winning this fight. Both men can absolutely win this fight but my gut is now telling me Gaethje bounces back to avenge his first loss of his career in a violent stoppage over Poirier. I also love the under 2.5 rounds for this fight, and its a great hedge if you are worried about who wins this coin flip. (Gaethje +160 by stoppage & Under 2.5 Rounds -125)
(In & Out): Lives up to the Hype & always worth it
None but that’s okay because the main event is fantastic.
(Home Cooked Burger): Solid, reliable, and hits the spot
Carlos “The Natural Born Kilelr” Condit (12th) vs Alex”The Cowboy” Oliveira (Unranked) (Welterweight 170 lbs)
Preview: Carlos Condit is a longtime MMA war dog, whose fought and won at the highest levels of the sport. Unfortunately, it appears he’s now come to that point in his career where retirement is very much a possibility. Despite fighting for a title only two years ago in a controversial split decision loss, Condit has gone on to drop two more consecutive bouts against guys he previously would have walked right through. He may only be 33 years old but he’s had over 40+ professional fights and it just appears like he doesn’t have the same quickness and unrelenting pressure that made him a nightmare for his opponents. His opponent Alex Oliveira is a bit of an anomaly. He’s unranked but he’s beaten really good opponents throughout his career like Will Brooks and Tim Means; only to turn around and have some head scratching losses to guys like Gilbert Burns or his weird no contest in his first bout with Tim Means. He absolutely possesses finishing skills and will not hesitate to try to convince Condit the game has now passed him by. However, he has question marks on the ground having been submitted a few times and if Condit’s gas tank is full he could be in for a war heading into the late stages of the fight.
Odds: Condit (+200) vs Oliveira (-170)
Prediction: If this fight happened two years ago, Condit is likely a 2-1 or higher favorite but age has a funny way of making top-tier guys suddenly beatable and that’s what Condit will have to overcome against Oliveira. Condit has hinted at possible retirement and even took close to a year off prior to his last fight considering that option. Fighters thinking about retirement is always a red flag for me and as much as my heart will be rooting for Carlos, my fight brain tells me to take the younger fighter whose still looking to make a name for himself. (Oliveira -170 by Decision)
Preview: It’s tough not be a huge Michelle Waterson fan. Talk to anyone in the MMA world and you’d be hard pressed to find someone say a negative word about her. She’s skilled and she always comes ready to fight no matter who the promotion puts in front of her. However, she just has not been able to translate all that likability into wins against the top woman at 115lbs since joining the UFC in 2015. She appears to be more of a really tough gate keeper in the straw weight division which is interesting she gets Cortney Casey as her opponent in this fight. Casey is a 30 year old whose alternated wins and losses since joining the UFC. A win over Waterson would put her in the top 10 but no one is expecting Casey to compete for a title one day or even a top 5 ranking. Its an odd matchup to say the least but I always enjoy Waterson’s fights so hoepfully it will deliver some interesting moments. The interesting angle for me will be how does Waterson deal with the big height disparity as she is nearly 5 inches shorter than Casey but relies on her kicks to keep her opponents off balance. She will likely have to take some risks to effectively use her striking against the taller and longer Casey.
Odds: Waterson (+120) vs Casey (-145)
Prediction: Something is off about this line and this fight. Waterson is by far the bigger name, more storied career, and despite coming off two losses would appear to be a clear favorite against more of journey woman fighter like Casey. However, Vegas has reported some ‘sharp’ money on Casey coming in the last 48hrs making her an even bigger favorite than the opening line. I don’t know how or why, maybe Waterson is thinking about retirement or is dealing with an undisclosed injury but in a fight that is odd I’ll roll with the sharp bettors and take Casey even if I’ll be rooting for Waterson. (Casey -145 by Decision)
Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya (-255) vs Marvin “The Italian Dream” Vettori (+215): Adesanya who might have one of the goofiest nicknames in the UFC will look to build off his impressive knockout debut against a very game Marvin Vettori. The hype is around Adesanya who has not lost in his professional career but is still just a rookie in terms of UFC pedigree. He’s used to quick finishes and Vettori is not a guy you can finish easily. I think if Vettori can weather an early storm from Adesanya and frustrate him, he’ll begin to hurt and tire him out in the later rounds. This is my biggest upset pick for the card. I like Vettori’s experience against a guy whose talented but still unproven. (Vettori by Decision +215)
(Waffle House Burger): It won’t kill you but high quality it is not
(Gas Station Burger): Hello darkness my old friend
Prediction Record since 2016 to Date (70-53-1) (+$1048.50)
- UFC Record & predictions based on Win vs Loss predictions only. Unless specified otherwise I use increments of $100 (for + odds predictions) & $110 (for – odds bets) as hypothetical wagers for each prediction.
- UFC Predictions & Records are for entertainment value only
- Stats provided from http://UFC.COM & http://www.fightmetric.com/
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