Fighters of the Week

Luke Irwin:

1. Lyoto Machida: It didn’t have fireworks, but Lyoto showed off his technical brilliance against one of the best strikers in the world.
2. Nick Marable: Marable snapped Jordan Burroughs’s international undefeated streak with a narrow, narrow victory via points at the Grand Prix of Paris.
3. Erick Silva: Took care of business in his home crowd, dispatching Sato in violent form as he should’ve.
4. Josh Berkovic: In an upset, Berkovic submitted Anthony Avila in the first round of Westcoast Fighting Championship 8, taking the featherweight belt that was last held by Andre Fili.
5. Tyson Fury: Yes, he came in rusty and absurdly heavy. He still looked great and battered a game Joey Abell all over the ring.
6. Chris Algieri: In front of his hometown crowd on Friday Night Fights, Algieri took a big step up in competition in Emanuel Taylor and took home the decision in a spirited bout.
7. Ronaldo Souza: Yes, I’m happy Jacare took down that fraud Carmont, but Francis was game enough to stop any chomp chomp from happening.
8. Sam Alvey: Smilin’ Sam made his WCK Muay Thai debut in the main event and took home a stoppage win over Sergio Pique.
9. Derek Chisora: Well, it wasn’t pretty, as Kevin Johnson fights seldom are, but Chisora took care of business to keep his winning streak alive.
10. Fidel Maldonado Jr.: On the ever-rare Monday televised card, Maldonado got a fourth-round stoppage on Fox Sports 1 over John Nater.
11. Errol Spence: In the co-main event of the Monday Fox Sports 1 card, Spence scored a fourth-round TKO over Peter Oluoch.
12. Charles Oliviera: In the main card of UFC Fight Night, Do Bronx pulled out a triangle choke over Angle Ogle to keep himself in the picture at 145.
13. Sam Alvey: Took a fight outside of his comfort zone and beat his opponent to where he couldn’t answer the bell in the third round.
14. Jeremy Bryan: In a rather dull co-main of FNF, Bryan pulled a modest upset over Issouf Kinda.
t15. Ernest James: Thanks to a 3-0 heavyweight bout, Edinboro’s James took down PJ Tasser in an upset of #6-ranked Pitt.
t15. Cory Tait: In the main event of Cage Warriors 64, Tait took home a first-round guillotine victory over James Pennington.


Dan Galvan:

1. Lyoto Machida – Sure, Machida didn’t add another clip to his highlight reel of knockouts against Gegard Mousasi on Saturday, but he still impressed with by out-striking Mousasi through five rounds in enjoyable, technical bout.
2. Erick Silva – How bad was last week in the world of combat sports? A win over Takenori Soto earned Erick Silva the number two spot on my list.
3. Iuri Alcantara and Wilson Reis – Both fighters take my third place vote because they provided the single bout on the preliminary card of Fight Night 36 that didn’t make me question what I am doing with my life.
4. Nick Marable – Marable wowed by breaking Jordan Burroughs’s 69 match international win streak at the 2014 Grand Prix of Paris with a 4-4 win on criteria.
5. Josh Berkovic – Berkovic rose up my featherweight prospect board with an impressive submission victory against Team Alpha Male product Anthony Avila. Berkovic, the new WFC champ, is a name to keep an eye on.
6. Charles Oliveira – Oliveira blessed us with one of the two finishes on the Fight Night 36 card. Thank-you sir.
7. Ronaldo Souza – The win itself left more to be desired, but Souza still got his hand-raised, without question, against a top ten middleweight.
8. Zubaira Tukhogov – Out of all the fighters on the prelims not named Iuri Alcantara, Tukhogov looked the most promising. He looked a bit raw against Douglas Andrade, but he showcased quite a bit of potential in all areas of the game.
9. Gegard Mousasi – While Mousasi lost, he didn’t get blown out of the water, and that still says something against a tough opponent in Lyoto Machida. Honestly, Mousasi impressed more with what he showed against Machida than he did with his win over Ilir Latifi.
10. Felipe Arantas – I fully anticipated Maximo Blanco to run through Felipe Arantas. As usual, I was wrong. Arantas looked solid and was able to win a close decision.



Charles Oliveira [defeated Andy Ogle, R2 Submission, UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi]



Ronaldo Souza [defeated Francis Carmont, UD, UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi]



Josh Berkovic [defeated Anthony Avila, R1 Submission, Westcoast Fighting Championship 8]



Nick Marable [defeated Jordan Burroughs, PTS, Grand Prix of Paris 2014]



Erick Silva [defeated Takenori Sato, R1 KO, UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi]



Lyoto Machida [defeated Gegard Mousasi, UD, UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi]

Undercard Superstar Jersey Retirement: Tim Bernier

As the end of each year, we’ll take a look back and honor those that have hung up the pencil and have their moment of IMMORTALITY!  Or, as immortal as a sub-section of a small fight blog can grant you.  So, not much.

In 2014, our ballots had but one name, TIM FREAKING BERNIER.

Tim was a founding father of Undercard Superstar, coming on in February as a charter member and kicked all kinds of ass until stepping down to focus on his studies.  Tim was one of the original guys who stepped out on a ledge into the unknown and trusted in me and the site, and for that, he gets ALL THE BEERS whenever I’m in Chicago.  Plus, he’s a kindred spirit when it comes to long-suffering baseball team fandom.  His love of cheap bars, cheap beer, and cheap women are still felt around the hallways here.


Josh Hall:

“There are men that participate in death pools, and there are men that WIN death pools.  Doing this in spite of being a Cubs fans is Hall of Fame worthy in itself.  Congrats to the first member of the Undercard Superstar HOF, Tim Bernier.”


TC Engel:

“There are few people I have met online whose friendship I treasure as much as Tim Bernier’s. chicubs23, as he was originally known, is one of the coolest and most down to earth people I know. He’s always down for a chat about Javier Baez or the Blackhawks, and always down for butt stuff. While his writing has and will be missed, myself and the rest of the staff of UCS wish Tim and the Cubs the best in his future endeavours.”


Nolan Howell:

“Tim Bernier is a helluva nice guy and a good writer. Shame to see him go, even if we didn’t see eye to eye on everything under the sun. Big things for him in the future and I enjoyed seeing his work here on Undercard.  Tim, I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.”


Here are some of Tim’s best pieces here.

Fox and the UFC Are Gaining Sponsors: Can a Pay-Per-View-less Business Model Succeed?

Chris Weidman’s Giant Balls

Could the UFC Survive a Death in the Octagon?

MMA Needs its own Marvin Miller


And with that, we raise Bernier’s jersey to the rafters of UCS, to be awed and admired and thrown hot dogs at.



UFC Fight For the Troops 3 Picks


Middleweight Bout: Rafael Natal (17-4-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (16-4)

Luke Irwin: Natal on a main event. In the UFC. I can’t even. Kennedy via UD.

Josh Hall: This is actually a UFC main event. At least the troops should get to see their guy get a win here, albeit via ugly ground control. Kennedy via unanimous decision.

Nolan Howell: Nothing can get me excited for this. Kennedy is just better everywhere, pretty much. Natal is capable of brilliance, but Kennedy is too elite and too smothering. Kennedy by UD.


Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Alexis Davis (14-5) vs. Liz Carmouche (9-3)

Luke Irwin: FOTN right here. Two tough, tough females who can dish out some serious punishment. I think Carmouche does enough with ground-and-pound to get the nod. Carmouche via SD.

Josh Hall: Does everyone remember the ungodly beating Jessica Andrade put on Rosi Sexton? Liz Carmouche trainwrecked her. I think she is the second best women’s BW in the world. Carmouche via unanimous decision.

Nolan Howell: Carmouche is good at what she does, but I think Davis is the more well-rounded fighter here. I expect Liz to try and get top control to pound out the win, but Davis will avoid that. Davis by UD.


Middleweight Bout: Ronny Markes (14-1) vs. Yoel Romero (5-1)

Luke Irwin: Markes is a bulldozer at middlweight, but he’s not going to have his way with an Olympic silver-medalist wrestler. Two big oxen ramming each other repeatedly, and I, for one, am looking forward to it. Romero via R2 TKO.

Josh Hall: Yoel Romero is capable of ultraviolence, but Markes is great at winning ugly fights. I don’t think he can survive the onslaught here though to drag it to the the later rounds. Romero via 1st round KO.

Nolan Howell: I’m high on Markes and he wins by any means necessary. Romero is capable of breaking faces and stuff with his power and has great wrestling credentials, but I just see him struggling against the younger prospect with more skills. Markes by UD.


Lightweight Bout: Jorge Masvidal (25-7) vs. Rustam Khabilov (16-1)

Luke Irwin: Masvidal is going to try and use his boxing to keep Khabilov at bay. It won’t work. Khabilov will walk through his assault like the Russian machine he is and proceed to toss Gamebred around. Khabilov via UD.

Josh Hall: If we don’t see at least one German Suplex in this fight I am going to be very disappointed. Khabilov via lopsided unanimous decision.

Nolan Howell: I love Khabilov, but Masvidal is the type of guy who can prove he is a one-trick pony if he shows up motivated. I believe he will and will show how underrated he is because of his ability to be in trouble in any fight. Masvidal by first-round TKO.


Lightweight Bout: Colton Smith (3-2) vs. Michael Chiesa (9-1)

Luke Irwin: ULTIMATE FIGHTER WINNERS COLLIIIDDEEE! Smith is going to try and smother Chiesa, but Chiesa is adept enough to catch Smith in a choke. Chiesa via R1 submission.

Josh Hall: Michael Chiesa looked great against Jorge Masvidal before getting caught, and I think Smith takes a beating in front of his fellow soldiers. Chiesa via 1st round submission.

Nolan Howell: Smith is a blanket, but Chiesa is a tricky grappler who can also stand fairly well with his lanky frame. Chiesa has more tools and it will show here. Chiesa by first-round submission.


Lightweight Bout: Bobby Green (20-5) vs. James Krause (20-4)

Luke Irwin: Toughest fight to pick here, hate to see either guy lose. I just think Green’s faced better-calibur of fighters and is a little more skilled, especially on the ground than Krause. Green via R3 submission.

Josh Hall: The LW division is so stacked that both of these guys need a win to become even a little bit relevant in the weight class. I think Krause is a little more well-rounded as uses his BJJ to eventually win the fight. Krause via second round submission.

Nolan Howell: This is my FOTN. Both guys are as scrappy as they come, but Krause is just more technical in all areas. Green will be game though and could eek out the win. Coin flip for me, but the technique sways it to Krause. Krause by unanimous decision.


Bantamweight Bout: Francisco Rivera (9-2) vs. George Roop (14-9-1)

Luke Irwin: Roop will show up to fight, but Rivera has the second-hardest hands in the division behind Michael McDonald. Roop will try to trade and will be dealt with swiftly. Rivera via R2 KO.

Josh Hall: This might be the toughest fight to call on the card. Roop has the better wins but he is very hittable and Rivera is one of the hardest hitters at BW. I’ll take the experience here in a close fight. Roop via unanimous decision.

Nolan Howell: I like both fighters here and Rivera’s boxing technique could present a lot of trouble. However, Roop’s length and variety of attack could negate that. Still, I love the power of Rivera and expect it to pay off here. Rivera by first-round KO.


Featherweight Bout: Dennis Bermudez (11-3) vs. Steven Siler (23-10)

Luke Irwin: Bermudez is one of my favorite fighters alive, but Siler is always tough and is 5-1 in the UFC. This is for a spot at the big boys’ table in the featherweight division. Bermudez is fun, but doesn’t have the ground game or submission game to get Siler in trouble. Siler via SD.

Josh Hall: Bermudez has all the physical tools to overwhelm Siler, but he has had problems with making mistakes leading to early submissions. Siler via 1st round guillotine.

Nolan Howell: Bermudez’s power could end this really quickly, but Siler is slick from his back and Bermudez is prone to have his Lenny moments. Siler by first-round submission.


Women’s Bantamweight Bout: Amanda Nunes (8-3) vs. Germaine de Randamie (4-2)

Luke Irwin: GDR has great kickboxing and muay thai credentials, but hasn’t used it yet much in her MMA career, relying on a lot of clinch and work in tight. Nunes, on the other hand, without the background de Randamie possesses, has been trucking tough, tough women at featherweight, no less. She’s a nasty, hard hitter, and if GDR feels like slugging it out, we could be in for a treat. Nunes via R3 TKO.

Josh Hall: I think this is likely to be a stand up fight, and de Randamie has very good technical striking. De Randamie via unanimous decision.

Nolan Howell: Don’t like de Randamie’s slow Thai style and Nunes should take advantage with a blitz. Nunes by first-round TKO.


Middleweight Bout: Chris Camozzi (19-6) vs. Lorenz Larkin (13-1)

Luke Irwin: Both tough guys, but Camozzi is going to take Larkin down and control the entire fight. Camozzi via UD.

Josh Hall: I can’t see any way Chris Camozzi can replicate the wrestling utilized by Francis Carmont, and on the feet he could be in big trouble. Larkin via 1st round KO.

Nolan Howell: Camozzi is a tough SOB, but Larkin is a woodchipper on the feet and I don’t think Camozzi will able to get much done. Larkin by second-round TKO.


Lightweight Bout: Yancy Medeiros (9-1) vs. Yves Edwards (42-20-1)

Luke Irwin: Yves has been hosed on two consecutive split-decisions. He’ll make sure it won’t happen again. Edwards via R1 TKO.

Josh Hall: Thugjitsu. That is all. Edwards via 2nd round KO.

Nolan Howell: People saying Edwards is over the hill are right, but he’s still fighting Yancy Medeiros. Edwards by UD.


Welterweight Bout: Neil Magny (8-2) vs. Seth Baczynski (18-10)

Luke Irwin: Baczynski is a question mark. The man finished Matt Brown, and got knocked out by Brian Melancon and just about everything in between. No clue how this is going to go. Magny via UD.

Josh Hall: Both of Magny’s defeats have come via submission and that happens to be Baczynski’s specialty. Baczynski via 2nd round submission.

Nolan Howell: Seth Baczynski is an underrated talent, but not unlike Masvidal, he puts in some ugly performances to warrant it. Magny just isn’t better anywhere here. Baczynski by second-round submission.


Middleweight Bout: Brian Houston (4-0) vs. Derek Brunson (10-2)

Luke Irwin: This is waaaayyyy too much, too soon for Houston. Brunson via a huge UD.

Josh Hall: Houston has 4 pro wins and 3 of them came over guys that had 0 wins each at the time he fought them. Brunson has at least beaten zombie Chris Leben. Brunson via unanimous decision.

Nolan Howell: Brunson is good and Houston is being thrown in against too decent of a fighter, considering his lack of regional credentials. Brunson by UD.

Nolan Howell’s Get Po’ Quick Lessons: UFC 166

Contributor: Nolan Howell

Need to disappoint your family and gamble away some early Christmas present money? Trading in caviar and champagne for Spam and Pabst Blue Ribbon?

Welcome to Undercard Superstar’s guide to gambling, where you can get po’ in one night if you play your cards right! As your resident financial adviser in MMA gambling, it is my duty to inform you that nobody affiliated with Undercard Superstar is accountable for any losses. In fact, you probably brought it upon yourself for reading this. So, seriously, you’ve been warned.

This time around, we are looking at UFC 166 The card is full of big names and seems to be stacked from top to bottom. However, will that translate to any worthwhile betting value?

Fortunately for you, I am here to ensure that all your ex’s that live in Texas do not get their child support for a few months. Let’s talk cheddar.

All lines provided by Bovada.

Undercard Values

  • Kyoji Horiguchi: -150 vs. Dustin Pague: +120
  • Andre Fili: -225 vs. Jeremy Larsen: +175
  • Sarah Kaufman: -225 vs. Jessica Eye: +175
  • Adlan Amagov: -175 vs. TJ Waldburger: +145
  • Tony Ferguson: -450 vs. Mike Rio: +325
  • KJ Noons: -165 vs. George Sotiropoulos: +130
  • Hector Lombard: -175 vs. Nate Marquardt: +145
  • Tim Boetsch: -190 vs. CB Dollaway: +155

At first glance, there are some really solid values on this undercard. Many favorites here are reasonable enough to be parlayed, while some underdogs you can be confident enough to bet in or put in a little risk, high reward parlay of minimal cost.

Starting at the bottom, Horiguchi vs. Pague is a coin flip fight. While Horiguchi has run through Shooto, he is at a height disadvantage against the sleek grappler in Pague. Pague is also no slouch on his feet and can take it in addition to dishing it out. Look at Pague as a live dog here and maybe some prop bets because this will not last the distance.

Friend of Undercard Andre Fili has a little value as a not too huge favorite in a parlay, as do Sarah Kaufman, Adlan Amagov, KJ Noons, and Tim Boetsch. The most risky out of those names are probably Amagov and Noons, but both have matchups suited to their liking against grapplers with iffy chins.

One fight to look really closely at is the Hector Lombard vs. Nate Marquardt matchup. This is the first cut to welterweight for Lombard and he hasn’t had success against competition the caliber of Marquardt just yet (save for Palhares). However, counting on Marquardt to fight intelligently is iffy as well, but I like the underdog here as well.

Main Card Values

  • John Dodson: -365 vs. Darrell Montague: +275
  • Shawn Jordan: -200 vs. Gabriel Gonzaga: +160
  • Daniel Cormier: -600 vs. Roy Nelson: +400
  • Gilbert Melendez: -700 vs. Diego Sanchez: +450
  • Cain Velasquez: -205 vs. Junior dos Santos: +165

The main card is pretty ugly. The only potential value here is Jordan as a favorite in a parlay in the main event. Look for some prop bets or do some live betting here for some fun, on the fly gambling.

However, the main event is compelling both from a matchup and gambling standpoint. Velasquez is a small enough favorite and was dominant enough in the last fight to be given heavy consideration in a parlay, while dos Santos is good for a singular bet.

Final Thoughts

While the main card is pretty brutal, there are some fun matchups from a gambling perspective. Also, make sure to look at live betting if you know a fighter’s capabilities from round to round for a fun experience. Keep the cost low there.

My budget: $29

My bets: $4 on Nate Marquardt and Dustin Pague to win $20. $4 on KJ Noons, Tim Boetsch, and Adlan Amagov to win $12. $5 on Junior dos Santos to win $8. $15 on live bets and prop bets.

Remember, folks, to never bet anything you can’t afford to lose.


-Nolan can be reached @nolanhowell.

Ben’s Breakdowns: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos


Contributor: Ben Kohn

The trilogy between two of the very best Heavyweights of all time will commence in the main event of UFC 166 and finally settle who the true Heavyweight king really is. The trail of beaten fighters these two have laid waste to reads as a who’s who of Heavyweights. Antonio Silva 2x, Brock Lesnar, Big Nog, Junior Dos Santos, Ben Rothwell, and Cheick Kongo (when it still meant something) have fallen victim to Cain. Junior’s list is no less impressive with wins over Cain Velasquez, Mark Hunt, Frank Mir, Shane Carwin, Roy Nelson, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Fabricio Werdum. These two men are undoubtedly the two best Heavyweights in the world and with each having a win over each other and each having a very clear path to victory, the MMA world waits with baited breathe to see who will establish themselves as number one.

We have already seen what these two men can do against each other in their previous two fights with one another but of these two fights, which gives us the best clue as to how Saturday night’s fight will play out? Junior’s one minute KO over Cain on the very first Fox card shows us that he can put Cain away with one punch (and some nice follow up punches for good measure). However, Cain’s complete and utter domination of Junior from pillar to post in their second fight at UFC 155 shows us that Cain can absolutely control and dominate Junior for five rounds without letting up for a moment. Both have entered their fights with injuries and both know they need to repeat their previous performances in order to repeat the outcomes. The problem is figuring out whose game plan is more easily replicable. Let’s take a look at how these two will stack up in the trilogy fight.

The striking aspect of this fight is not so cut-and-dry. While Junior is clearly the more skilled pure striker of the two, Cain uses the threat of his takedown to set up his striking. In their first fight, Cain shot for a takedown a whopping 33 times while succeeding 11 times. The missed attempts, especially in the first round, did serve a purpose. By not allowing Junior to have the space and distance with which he likes to work his game, he never allowed Junior to set himself and throw with the power and base he is known for. Take a look at their first fight for a moment if you have the fight, if not then visualize it. The fight, while only lasting about a minute, took place almost entirely, save a few seconds, inside the center of the cage. The black mini-octagon line inside the cage is pretty much the free space in the cage and Junior was allowed to remain there, unpressured and free-roaming, to work his striking. Now let’s contrast it to the second fight and we can immediately see the difference between them. Cain right off the bat pushes Junior back behind that black line forcing him close to the cage, not allowing Junior to get comfortable and control the striking range. Before even looking at how they mold their striking, we already see how much the control of the octagon changed over the course of their two fights.

Now moving on too how these two actually use their striking to set up their primary objectives. For Junior, it’s to land a KO punch to Cain’s head while Cain will seek to do what he did in their second fight and overwhelm Junior. In the first fight, Junior effectively used his powerful body jabs and straight punches to get Cain to drop his hands. 6 of his 10 strikes attempted on the feet were directed towards the body (including the knockdown punch) and re-watching the footage clearly shows Cain didn’t enjoy those punches. In fact Junior immediately preceded his massive cross counter right with a jab to the chest which got Cain to drop his hands slightly before returning a jab that Junior landed the cross counter over the top. Junior loves to use this technique of attacking the body to expose the head of his opponent and it has worked incredibly well over the course of his career. The problem is that he needs space to effectively implement this gameplan of long straight punches to the body. Cain did a masterful job of taking away that space in the rematch. Let’s take a look at how he accomplished this.

As mentioned before, Cain immediately began pressuring Junior right off the bat thus removing the space Junior needed to generate power in his punches. See, Junior’s preferred method of movement is of the linear kind. Darting in and out of striking range with hard shots before his opponent can retaliate, almost like a fencer. Junior’s lateral movement is effective but his punching is generally not nearly as effective when he is backing away/circling away from his opponents and is relegated to weak jabs and left hooks (which incidentally was the punch that he threw before getting dropped in the first round). By forcing Junior to stay both on his back foot it did not allow Junior to get into his usual rhythm of that fencing linear movement. Junior was able to land shots here and there but many were thrown from a squared up stance in which it’s very hard to generate real power from the hips. Cain’s constant forward movement and takedown attempts forced Junior to lower his hands to prevent them, opening him up to Cain’s punches. It was really amazing to watch as Junior’s hands crept lower and lower as the round went on and Cain landed more and more before landing that huge right hand that dropped Junior. Cain’s ability to use his wrestling to force Junior to be completely focused on defending the takedown attempts rather than defending his face is what made all the difference in the second fight. This was aided in part by Junior’s inexplicable unwillingness to attempt to punish Cain for those failed takedown attempts. Each time Cain shot in desperately, Junior would shake his leg free with Cain belly down and just walk away. To change Cain’s spamming takedowns, he needs to attempt to hurt Cain for missing on those attempts. This could be a huge factor in making this fight not look like a repeat of their second fight.

Overall, it will not come down to who hits harder or even who’s the better striker. This fight on the feet will simply come down to who controls the range and where the fight takes place when standing. If Junior can keep the fight in the center, and makes sure to punish Cain for missed takedowns, then his chances of scoring the KO shot increase dramatically. If Cain can use his constant pressure and force Junior to continuously back up and keep circling with his back to the cage, Cain can turn in another dominant performance and cement himself as the #1 Heavyweight in the world. I honestly don’t know who to give the striking edge too as both dominate in different ranges of that aspect. I will call it even though because both have the ability to win this and none has a clear edge. Striking is even, no edge.

While I think everyone can acknowledge that Cain has the wrestling advantage, both free-range and clinch, we cannot ignore the fact that JDS has some pretty damn good offensive wrestling to go with his defensive skills. Against Shane Carwin, he landed two perfectly timed double legs ducking right under the punches of Carwin and driving through with authority. Granted this was against a very tired and beaten to hell Carwin but he has shown and ability to get it to the mat recently when he shot in on Mark Hunt with a great single leg driving through and finishing well. When JDS shoots in on you, he doesn’t just half-heartedly shoot but he will drive through hard and with his size and strength, it’s really hard to stop his takedowns. Once on top, JDS will use a very BJJ oriented style of control and prefers to hit his opponents hard as opposed to searching for subs. He can do some serious damage from top control and he has the ability to get the fight there should he actually attempt it. The problem is, we know Cain can do tons of damage from top control and his wrestling is top notch. He will shoot for takedowns, drag it down to the ground from the clinch, trip and throw you, and basically can get you down from anywhere. Just looking at his second JDS fight, you can tell he doesn’t mind missing takedowns as long as it advances his position in some way. Once on top, he is relentless with the ground and pound, ignoring submissions for the most part. He doesn’t always throw ultra-powerful shots but he will damn sure always be throwing and usually landing something on your head or body. The edge in wrestling most definitely goes to Cain although JDS can make things interesting in this department.

Grappling is very interesting when you throw in the fact that this is an MMA fight and not a grappling match. In pure submission grappling terms, JDS probably has an edge but with Cain’s wrestling and ground and pound, it’s not so clear. JDS bases his MMA grappling game mostly on staying up or getting back to his feet once taken down which he accomplished against every fighter who’s gotten him down. Despite Cain’s onslaught, JDS was able to repeatedly stop the takedown and get up once taken down. Cain is the exact same way if he is taken down and does not play guard when put on his back. So how do we judge who is the more effective grappler? Well by looking at their objectives, JDS would seem to be the more effective grappler. Cain, while incredibly effective obviously, still struggled mightily to get JDS down after the second round despite beating the fuck out of JDS. When he did get him down, JDS popped up right away. This is effective grappling and for this reason JDS will get the edge in my book. Edge in grappling goes to JDS.

Cardio and chin are two other factors that will play major roles in this fight. We know JDS has an iron chin and we know Cain has limitless cardio. We also know Cain does not have an iron chin by any means (although definitely not a glass-jaw) and JDS can get worn out badly. Both of these men know this as well so this fight is extremely compelling because of it. If Cain pressures JDS again and forces him to fight at a pace that he doesn’t want to, the balance shifts totally in favor of Cain. If JDS can hurt Cain early and force him back by touching his chin, JDS will have control of the fight. These two are so equal in so many ways but they are on the opposite ends of the spectrum here. However, that cancels any edge one may have so there is no edge in Cardio vs. Chin.

Before giving my conclusion on how this fight will go, I want to add a final thought. JDS should absolutely fuck with Cain’s head by attempting to take him down right off the bat. We have seen it work multiple times that the supposedly better wrestler is completely thrown off his game by being taken down (Gus vs. Jones, Fitch vs. Maia, and Penn vs. Fitch). JDS can most likely muscle through a double leg against Cain and damage him from on top, possibly depleting his gas tank and doing serious damage. It will also force Cain to worry about another weapon that JDS can successfully harm him with and would change the dynamic of the fight completely. Sadly, because of the confidence in his hands, I don’t think JDS will consider this but I truly hope he does.

The bottom line is that this fight is a complete toss-up in my opinion. Whoever can control what part of the cage this fight happens; either in the middle of the cage which favors JDS or the edge where it favors Cain will most likely win the fight. The problem is, Cain was able to force JDS back because he would not punish Cain for those missed takedowns. JDS seems to fully trust in his hands and chin and that will most likely be his downfall. As much as it pains me to lean in this direction, I am going to have to go with Cain on this one. I don’t think he will finish JDS and I do think JDS will look better this fight then in the second fight, I feel Cain will win a clear decision.

Final Prediction: Cain Velsaquez by Unanimous Decision.

-Ben can be reached at or @agentbenten.

Loretta Hunt’s Review of The Ultimate Fighter is Awful

Listen, I have no room to talk about anything fight-related.  I’m a blogger.  That’s all I am.

I don’t have access, I don’t have connections, and I barely can pay the power bill to keep this site running.  What I do have, however, is envy and plenty of it.  With that envy comes disdain and with that disdain comes the dissatisfaction of writing that is supposed to be the gold standard of this business.  Writing that is supposed to make us proud in the fight community.  I don’t have a voice, so I trust others to have the voice for me.

And every now and then, that voice disappoints me.  This is one of those times.

“The Ultimate Fighter 18 made its debut on Fox Sports 1 on Wednesday and for the first time in a long time, there’s a lot to like.”

Neat!  Can’t wait to read about it, Ms. Hunt!

“Of course, the twist this season (and it’s a big one) is the addition of women fighters for the first time, not only as coaches with arch rivals Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate…”

Well, it’s arch-rivals or archrivals, but the hell do I know?  You’re employed by Sports Illustrated, of all publications.

“For the last two years on, I haven’t hidden the fact that I’m a big proponent for women’s fighting. I write about female fighters every chance I get. Not only do they have intriguing stories; you get the vibe that’s there’s been just a little bit more adversity to overcome because, well, they’re women in one of the manliest of man’s worlds.”

God dammit, Loretta, you are right.  You take a look at the arduous road Ronda Rousey had to hoe and you take a guy like Urijah Faber, this guy had it easy, what with taking an entire sister company on his shoulders and building it on his sweat and labor and keeping it a viable television commodity and thus opening the doors for hundreds of smaller fighters, even at the expense of his prime and serious injuries.  Wow, he really got breezed in to the UFC, didn’t he?

“‘If you ask my three-and-a-half-year-old son what his mom does for a living, he’s says she fights in a lion’s cage,” said Peggy Morgan, of Nashua, N.H., who advanced to the house with a first-round TKO.”

That’s sweet, but the fact that your child believes you fight lions doesn’t endear you to me, it makes me question what kind of bedtime stories you read to the poor lad.

“What I like about women’s MMA is that there’s still a much smaller pool of talent to work with, which makes it much easier to follow.”

So, you enjoy WMMA because it’s less work you have to do?

“…Jessica Rakoczy, the weepy, single mother trying to make a better life for her son…”

Weepy?!  You described a struggling single mother trying to put goddamned food on her table for her child as WEEPY?!  If a man had penned that sentence, Jezebel would have burned his house to the ground.  Weepy.  Fucking weepy.

“…Roxanne Modafferi, the lovable, bespectacled nerd you’d never think could fight, let alone be good at it.”

Yes, Roxy, that stowed away fighter that fought on a CBS card and who fought for the undisputed Women’s Bantamweight Championship on Showtime and who, unfortunately, made SportsCenter’s Top-10 plays via her loss.  You know, that unknown.  Also, way to judge Rox’s ability by her looks.  Aren’t you supposed to be helping WMMA, instead of pigeonholing fighters?

“…Shayna Bazsler, the cocky veteran who thinks the world owes her something.”

What?  She does?  Well hell, if you were in the Top-5 in your profession, which you certainly aren’t, would you want to be featured on a national tryout show?

“UFC Dana White wasn’t kidding when he told the male contestants that they have their work cut out for them this season.”

‘UFC Dana White’.  This actually went out in print.  SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.  Just a fantastic effort by all.

“The women are the shiny, new toys”

This is what an MMA writer wrote.  What an MMA writer published.  Online.  For the world to see.  SHINY. NEW. TOYS.  A female MMA writer compared female mixed martial artists to shiny toys, BUT GOD FORBID THOSE AWFUL MEN LOOK AT THEM LIKE OBJECTS.  No, Loretta, we don’t, but apparently you see them as GoBots.

“Even coach Tate isn’t quite sure how the men will pan out on the series, editing-wise.
“That’s the good question,” Tate said, “and I don’t have the answer to that one.”

Fantastic reporting, Loretta.  That’s why you get the big bucks.  Hard-hitting answers.

“Personally, I’m hoping for a love connection, which eventually leads to a wedding in the Octagon. Hey, I met my husband on the job, so why not?”

Yes, Loretta, these aren’t fighters desperately trying to make a living for themselves, it’s your own Love Connection.  Way to make it about yourself at the tidy end.  Jesus.


Nolan Howell’s Get Po’ Quick Lessons: UFC Fight Night Bader vs. Teixeira



Contributor: Nolan Howell

Tired of your wealth? Sick of being happy while swimming in your pool of coins with beautiful women by your side, Scrooge McDuck?

Welcome to Undercard Superstar’s guide to gambling, where you can get po’ in one night if you play your cards right! As your resident financial adviser in MMA gambling, it is my duty to inform you that nobody affiliated with Undercard Superstar is accountable for any losses. In fact, you probably brought it upon yourself for ready this. So, seriously, you’ve been warned.

This week, we will be touching on UFC Fight Night 28 from Brazil. A bevvy of Brazilians will be on the card as expected, but is there any value or a sure thing that you can place a pretty penny on to make enough to buy you a McChicken for lunch tomorrow? Heck, maybe you can score enough to buy a pizza from Little Caesar’s!

Poor dietary choices behind us, let’s look at the card.

All lines provided by Bovada.

Undercard Values:

Yuri Villefort: -130 vs. Sean Spencer: Even

Keith Wisniewski: +190 vs. Ivan Jorge: -240

Lucas Martins: -140 vs. Ramiro Hernandez, Jr.: +110

Joao Zeferino: Even vs. Elias Silverio: -130

Felipe Arantes: -210 vs. Edimilson Souza: +170

While the undercard here isn’t a total bargain bin, there are some good opportunities. The first person to strike me going down the list is Keith Wisniewski. His opponent, Ivan Jorge, is coming out of Jungle Fight with their lightweight belt in hand. However, Jorge is known for his submission game and has fought a shoddy mixed bag of competition in the Brazilian circuit. Wisniewski is a very adept grappler who can throw as well. His gameness and consistent tests against very solid competition should be taken into account here. Look to put a small, but worthwhile bet on Wisniewski here to earn some cash. That, or put him in a small underdog parlay, which is one of my favorite betting moves.

Another underdog worth taking a look at is Ramiro Hernandez, Jr. Lucas Martins has not looked impressive in his two outings in the UFC, being thrashed by Edson Barboza and looking sloppy against TUF veteran Jeremy Larsen en route to victory. Hernandez has seen fighters of that caliber and defeated them. Guys like Chris Tickle, Drew Dober, and Brian Davidson have credibility on the regional scene and have all been finished by Hernandez. Additionally, Hernandez has fought men like Pat Curran and Michael Johnson in his time on the circuit. His well-rounded game and elite regional level could very well get him a victory against the plodding Martins.

Another consideration is to put both Felipe Arantes and Joao Zeferino in a favorite’s parlay. Betting on them singularly won’t yield much if you are a small-money guy, but the two seem fairly likely to win and the odds don’t reflect that as much as they should.

Main Card Values:

Marcus Vinicius: +240 vs. Ali Bagautinov: -310

Rafael Natal: -270 vs. Tor Troeng: +210

Francisco Trinaldo: -315 vs. Piotr Hallmann: +245

Joseph Benavidez: -600 vs. Jussier da Silva: +400

Ronaldo Souza: -260 vs. Yushin Okami: +200

Glover Teixeira: -450 vs. Ryan Bader: +325

The main card is seemingly devoid of any terrific value, save for one sleeper and plenty of risky, but feasible outcomes. None of the favorite look attractively low enough to risk in a parlay or a singular bet.

My sleeper pick is Yushin Okami. Being a pretty heavy underdog with great takedown defense and the ability to pick “Jacare” apart with a jab, Okami is actually my pick to win the fight. If anything, he can at least stay off the ground and dictate where he wants the fight. I would consider throwing Okami in a parlay with a couple of surer things to beef up the potential earnings, but if you have the money, he might be worth something here.

The other two underdogs that aren’t out of the realm of possibility are Tor Troeng and Ryan Bader. The former has a much better chance, given Rafael Natal’s penchant for starting slow and leaving himself open on the feet. Troeng’s reach and unique frame could present some trouble and a small bet on him that you’re willing to risk couldn’t hurt.

Bader, on the other hand, has a slim margin of opportunity. However, should he find that chance, he will likely be able to take home the fight fairly easily. Bader could exploit a potential wrestling flaw in Teixeira’s game for five rounds. This is a very risky bet, but stranger things have happened.

Final Thoughts:

Brazilian cards are a crapshoot. The mixture of regional Brazilian fighters against average American or other counterparts often yield some surprising results. The fights for the Brazilians can range anywhere from easy showcase to competitive for either side, with the truth landing somewhere in the middle as the UFC attempts to build UFC stars in the country with favorable, but challenging matchmaking.

My Budget: $7.50

My Bets: My bets: $4.50 on Okami, Zeferino parlay to win $22.95, $3.00 on Hernandez, Wisniewski, and Arantes to win $24.44

Remember, folks, to never bet anything you can’t afford to lose.

-Nolan can be reached @nolanhowell.


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