Man, there have been a lot of good fight cards lately, both in MMA and boxing. It’s been keeping me very busy, but also keeping money in my pocket! Hopefully, you’ve been Streak’n with me and not just sitting on the sidelines.
Last weekend we had three incredible fight cards. I went 6-0 of my Friday night UFC picks, and 8-2 on Saturday with my UFC and boxing picks for a 14-2 (88%) weekend. Find another combat sports handicapper in the world giving you returns like that, I dare ya!
We’ve got a really good PPV card on Saturday, December 8, including a couple of title fights. Make sure you claim your 50% deposit bonus up to $1,000 at You Wager and register at Streak’n Sports to ensure you get all my picks.
Overall Record: 69-21 (77%)
Lock of the Night: 10-2 (83%)
Upset of the Night: 9-2 (82%)
Jimi Manuwa (#7) vs. Thiago Santos (#15)
The heavy handed (and aging) Manuwa is coming off of back to back losses in the UFC, although he is still ranked as the #7 Light Heavyweight in the division. He began his MMA career on a 14-fight win streak before going just 3-4 in his last seven. Manuwa does own fifteen KOs, so is always a threat on the feet to end it with one swing.
Thiago Santos, a TUF alum, is on a two-fight win streak and has won six out of seven coming into this match. He is looking to rise up the LHW rankings and put his name into title talks. I see Santos taking this one, and possibly ending Manuwa’s run in the UFC with a third straight loss.
My Pick: Santos (-195)
Other UFC 231 Picks:
Nina Ansaroff vs. Claudia Gadelha – My Pick: Gadelha (-330)
Jessica Eye vs. Katlyn Chookagain – My Pick: Chookagain (-210)
Aleksandar Rakic vs. Devin Clark – My Pick: Rakic (-600)
Chad Laprise vs. Dhiego Lima – My Pick: Laprise (-380)
UFC 231 Co-Main Event & Lock of the Night
Valentina Shevchenko (#1) vs Joanna Jedrzejczyk (#1)
This will be a great fight for the vacant Women’s Flyweight Title. Shevchenko is a world renowned Muay Thai kickboxer, going 56-2 over a twelve year span in kickboxing matches and winning eight gold medals in IFMA world championships. In just her third UFC fight, she defeated former champ Holly Holm (who won the strap by ending the streak of the great Ronda Rousey). “The Bullet” has only lost twice, both coming in tough decisions to Bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk , former #1 pound for pound female MMA fighter in the world, is returning to flyweight after losing her Strawweight Title to one of my favorite female MMA fighters, Rose Namajunas, by first round KO. “Joanna Violence” is a phenomenal fighter, but – and here’s the kicker (pun intended) – she was beaten on three separate occasions by Shevchenko in kickboxing matches.
My Pick: Shevchenko (-335)
UFC 231 Main Event & Upset of the Night
Max Holloway (C) vs. Brian Ortega (#1)
You know how much I love these fights where the higher ranked fighter is the underdog – and this time the Champion is the ‘dog! Holloway, currently ranked as the #5 pound for pound fighter in the world, is defending his title in a bout that was supposed to happen in July until the champ had to pull out due to injury. Holloway was supposed to step in on six days notice a few months ago and fight Khabib for the Lightweight belt, but was pulled by medical officials due to his quick weight cut. Max, who hasn’t lost since 2013 (to Conor McGregor, nonetheless), is looking to defend his undisputed-title for the second time.
Brian Ortega has never been defeated in his eight-year professional MMA career. Ortega, who is more of a submission fighter than Holloway, is going to look to take this fight to the ground, as he has won half of his fights by submission. Holloway is coming off of Fighter of the Year accolades in 2017 after defeating all-time great Jose Aldo twice. I just think “Blessed”” is going to be too much for the challenger.