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MMAjunkie Radio co-host and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night 134’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at betting and fantasy options for the card.
UFC Fight Night 134 takes place Sunday at Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg, Germany, and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
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Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (July 21, 2018).
Possible parlay pieces:
Summary: Although parlaying the outcomes of MMA fights is a practice of near insanity, this section represents my most confident picks (that are within a reasonable price range) which could serve as a potential leg for whatever play you’re trying to put together.
Given the amount of deceptively close matchups on paper that this card presents, I elected to go with a spot that I believe is more straightforward by backing Danny Roberts (15-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC), who welcomes UFC newcomer David Zawada (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
With the previous prices on Roberts reaching well-north of a 3-1 favorite, I was initially going to pass on touching this one. However, with recent action on the underdog leveling out the line to a more reasonable range, I believe that Roberts qualifies as chalk that is worth your consideration.
I get why Zawada may be getting some love from bettors, especially when looking at the damage trend of Roberts – who has been visibly stung or stopped in recent outings. But as I state in my main-card breakdown, I believe that Roberts should have a considerable speed and technical edge standing, as well as an underrated takedown and ground game he can use when things get hairy.
Zawada is deceptively experienced and gets after it, but he’s not exactly an athletic phenom on the feet despite his disproportionate amount of TKO wins. Couple that with the fact that he’s coming in on a week’s notice, and I believe that the Englishman is worth a gander if you’re in search of chalk.
This is a tricky play being that I’m admittedly betting against a fighter in Liu, who has a sketchy sample size, to say the least. Not only is the Chinese fighter young in his career and ripe for a natural uptrend in skill, but Liu is also amongst the sponsored athletes from his country who have been granted training opportunities abroad, including stints at Jackson Wink MMA and this camp at Team Alpha Male.
Perhaps those intangibles and the recent success of his Chinese stablemates in similar situations (like Song Yadong) is what caused Stasiak to open, and now trend toward dog money against the debutant. Stasiak does not appear to have a lot to write home about (especially athletically) upon first glance, but the Pole is deceptively well-rounded and about as tough as they come.
Stasiak doesn’t work at the highest rate for this division, but his karate-influenced striking style makes for a difficult read for most fighters to make. He also has an underrated understanding of wrestling exchanges and has multiple ways to get a fight down to the mat, including, dare I say, Demian Maia-like half-guard pulls that the Polish fighter uses to sit up and sweep in a similar fashion.
I’m sure Liu is getting a lot of submission looks and healthy scramble sessions in at Team Alpha Male, but he appears to be much too willing to enter into disadvantageous grappling entanglements from the tape I’ve seen – something common amongst young fighters. And given that he’ll be tangling with a tried-and-true Brazilain jiu-jitsu black belt, I’m not sure I like Liu’s chances if elects to grapple.
Ultimately, I don’t see why the more experience and proven man in Stasiak is trending toward an underdog, especially against a fighter in Liu, who has to travel a long way to prove much more on paper. And for the current price of -105, I’m willing to take a 1.5-unit shot to find out why.
As I detail in my main-card breakdown, this is a matchup between two well-rounded and skilled heavyweights who I ultimately believe will make for a slogging affair when this thing makes it off paper. Both men are not beyond being hurt on the feet, but offensively, neither are one-shot knockout artists. Though each fighter is very skilled when it comes to submissions, I also have a hard time seeing either side sink something in soberly, which means that most grappling wars will be for positional grounds.
Heavyweight overs can be considered a degenerate angle when it comes to MMA gambling, but many recent affairs have reminded us of the “first round or bust” nature of most of the matchups that are contested north of 205 pounds. And for an over set at 1.5 rounds in a stylistic matchup that has me worried for my entertainment value (and I like both fighters, mind you), I’ll take the shot for 1.75 units.
Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):
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