The Octagon heads south to Belem, Brazil for the first card in South America of this year – UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Anders.
Though it’s not the deepest card there are a few recognisable names on display with a few lines with some value according to FO’s Matt White. He’s made picks for his two most compelling fights with 5Dimes, as always, providing the odds.
Middleweight: Lyoto Machida vs. Eryk Anders
He has been a tremendous talent, and a top competitor for 15 years, but the clock is counting down on the career of Lyoto Machida. His career peaked in 2007-2009 and its been a steady decline ever since. Sure, there have been some flashes of brilliance, but his last few years have been a little grim. Three defeats on the spin, two of them at either end of a ban for PEDs, leaves the once mighty ‘Dragon’ staring at extinction. A fourth straight defeat could, and probably will, usher in retirement.
Eryk Anders may not yet be a star in the world of MMA, but there is no denying that he is an elite athlete. A former college football player for the Alabama Crimson Tide, he has the qualities which help elevate one above the part-timers. Combine this with six years of experience and you have a fighter who can cause trouble in the UFC’s top 15, though he’s untested against anyone with Machida’s striking skills.
I’m not buying the hype for Anders, at least not yet, but I must pick him over a battle-worn Machida. The Brazilian has the tools to cause an upset, but he is more likely to be rocked and finished early because he doesn’t have 25 minutes left in him. Machida is a vastly different opponent to the one who outpointed Gegard Mousasi over 25 minutes almost four years ago. Anders will slay ‘The Dragon’, who’s clock sits and two minutes to midnight.
The Pick: Eryk Anders Inside the distance – 4 units at -192 (10/19) @ 5Dimes
John Dodson vs. Munhoz
As the winner of TUF 14, John Dodson announced his arrival to the UFC in spectacular fashion as the only main to stop the reigning 135lb kingpin, TJ Dillashaw. However, it was at 125lb where Dodson made his mark en route to a title shot against Demetrious Johnson. Unsurprisingly, he came up short against Mighty Mouse, but he remains one of a small handful to have taken the P4P greatest the distance and put ‘Mighty Mouse’ in danger. He earned a rematch two years later, but lost by a far wider margin. Since then he has alternated wins and losses back at bantamweight since then.
Pedro Munhoz is now a veteran of the UFC, after eight fights in the Octagon. He’s also finally becoming a fixture on main cards after earning four wins in a row, which included three Performance of the Night Bonuses. Those victories came by guillotine choke, in fights that he was losing. He can latch one on almost at will and has taken advantage of poor decisions from Russell Doane, Justin Scoggins and Rob Font.
Greg Jackson will have a simple instruction for Dodson; don’t leave your neck exposed. If he can do that, he should win comfortably. Dodson is too quick for Munhoz and is more well-rounded. I’m tempted to have a flier on Munhoz by submission, but I’m a believer of patterns in MMA and Dodson’s pattern tells me he’s due a win.
The pick: John Dodson – 2 units at -150 (4/6) @ 5Dimes