3 Best Bets for UFC 231
Katlyn Chookagian (-210)
Katlyn Chookagian has looked outstanding in the UFC, and she’s a rising up the ranks at a relatively fast rate. She lost a split decision to Liz Carmouche in 2016, while winning each of her other four fights, including a dominant performance against Alexis Davis. She’ll face off against Jessica Eye, who has won two fights after a five fight losing streak in the UFC. This fight will likely play out similarly to the Chookagian/Davis fight, where Chookagian uses her reach advantage to frustrate Eye on the feet. If it happens to go to the ground, Chookagian is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt under Renzo Gracie. Chookagian has the advantage regardless of where this fight takes place, and she should win another impressive decision this weekend.
Bet 3 units on Chookagian to win 1.4 units
Thiago Santos (-195)
The majority of this fight is going to take place standing, nearly guaranteeing this fight will end with a knockout, regardless of the side. Jimi Manuwa has been a knockout artist throughout his career, but he has been knocked out in three of his last seven fights. He’s an aging fighter, who will face off against another knockout specialist. Thiago Santos has won six of his last seven wins by (T)KO, Overall, 19 of his 25 wins in his career have come via (T)KO. He’s an active striker, landing 4.89 significant strikes per minute in the UFC. Manuwa, on the other hand, is a very reckless fighter, absorbing 3.74 significant strikes per minute. He simply cannot handle that many strikes from an elite power striker like Santos, especially with a questionable, declining chin. I expect Santos to continue his rise up the light heavyweight division, and that rise will come in the form of another knockout.
Bet 2 units on Santos by KO, TKO, DQ, or Submission to win 1.3 units
Elias Theodorou (-120)
This is not going to be the most exciting fight of the evening by any stretch of the imagination, but it could yield some profit, which makes watching it easier. Elias Theodorou is an intelligent fighter. He is not going to get lured into a fire fight with anyone, and if Eryk Anders is able to take him down, he has the ability to tie him up and wait for the ref to stand them up. Theodorou will not tire, either. He could fight five rounds easily, if he had to. Eryk Anders, on the other hand, does gas from time to time. He is a very powerful fighter, and he is coming back down to middleweight after a loss to Thiago Santos at light heavyweight. Ironically, Santos is one of Theodorou’s two professional loses, but at middleweight. Anders is also sporting two professional losses. Theodorou’s second comes to Brad Tavares, while Anders comes via a split decision to Lyoto Machida. To be fair, Theodorou has fought more stout competition. Theodorou should be able to frustrate Anders with his in-and-out striking, on his way to a decision victory. Basically, if this fight goes the distance, Theodorou will win. If it ends early, Anders will win. So, what’s the catch? Vegas has the odds to go over 2.5 rounds at -265, while Theodorou’s odds to win are only -120. Bettors should take advantage of this discrepancy.
Bet 1.2 units on Theodorou to win 1 unit
Parlay 1 unit on Brian Ortega, Thiago Santos, Claudia Gadelha, Olivier Aubin-Mercier, and Aleksandar Rakic to win 6.8 units