Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. The Korean Zombie

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Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. The Korean Zombie

UFC 292 shook the rafters in Boston’s TD Garden when after favorites steamrolled to a 9-1 start, they were thwarted by new champion Sean O’Malley’s counter right hand that was lighting fast, pinpoint precise, and landed flush dropping Aljamain Sterling to his teeth. The finish came soon afterward for the new champion.

 

O’Malley now becomes the superstar the UFC and he have been envisioning. It remains to be determined if the UFC forces their new cash cow to perform against elite talent or with potentially handpicked opponents that may prove less threatening to the more singularly dimensioned O’Malley.

This week the Organization travels to Singapore for a production that will begin with preliminary action at 2 a.m. PT on Saturday with the main card dropping at 5 a.m. PT so prepare for early morning mauling from Singapore!

This fight card features many Eastern hemisphere fighters, many of whom are making their debuts or are still very new in the UFC.  The card overall offers a handful of brilliant matchups.

This card excites me because handicapping diverse fighting skills coupled with athletes from diverse countries of origin is one of the most fascinating aspects of betting MMA bouts in my judgment.

We have a South Korea vs. Holland opening fight, a Dominican against a Polish heavyweight tussle as well as a Japan vs. Mexico bantamweight bout set of the main card.

Don’t sleep on this fight card people!

UFC profitability to date: 13-13 -0.85u

Max Holloway -850 vs. Sung Yung Chan, aka The Korean Zombie +550

Featherweight (145 pounds) main event

Matchmaking for this main event had to be difficult for the UFC as they’re keenly focused on electrifying crowds with local/regional matchups, oftentimes placing selected regional talent into somewhat favorable positions for the benefit of fans.  

In Singapore, we get an eastern hemisphere favorite in the Korean Zombie, currently ranked tenth in the division. More importantly, the 36-year-old Jung is from South Korea respectfully called for this fight and enters a large underdog with the opportunity to try to electrify the crowd as young O’Malley did last week.

Jung is decorated like a Christmas tree, he’s a third dan black belt in Hapkido, a second dan black belt in Taekwondo, a Black belt in Judo, and he holds a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, so he’s surely capable on his best night to find any opponent with volume, power and constancy.

Further, his reputation in the region is unmatched based on the ferocity of his fight outcomes. Jung has eight Performance of the Night bonuses and the fastest knockout in Featherweight history. He accomplished the first Twister in UFC history and has been a two-time title challenger.

In Holloway, we have one of the greatest featherweight talents of all time, it just so happens that he and Alexander Volkanovski had to dwell in the same era.

Holloway does not have the listed decorations in various mixed martial arts specialties as does his opponent for he is simply a brown belt in BJJ. However, Holloway will be the younger man in the cage by more than five years. He’s four inches taller and holds an arm reach advantage of three inches and a four-inch leg edge, so physical and statistical advantages all favor Holloway.

Holloway came up fighting in the streets of Hawaii, which by the way is no easy undertaking as Hawaiian culture has fighting in its DNA.  Holloway’s fighting skills may not be described by the awards, belts or degrees he has earned, rather it can be described by his success against the world-class competition he’s faced.

Holloway is a professor of fight tactics. He’s a deft boxer who knows how to shred opponents with his piston-like jab which of course sets up his combination attack. He applies ridiculous forward pressure to corner opponents then unleashes slicing elbows, crushing knees and numbing kicks.

Holoway’s length, experience and aggressive combination striking have been what’s differentiated him from all but champion Volkanovski, and it’s what’s differentiating him in this fight from Jung. 

At 31, Holloway is out to prove that he has plenty of career remaining in him. He is a fighter from the American islands who will draw anywhere he fights.  

The passionate fight fans in attendance will all be wanting to see their man, ‘the Zombie’ try to do to Holloway what only Volkanovski’s been able to do to him as a featherweight which seems a tall order from this perspective.

Holloway opened -950 for this fight, and the total is set at 2.5 Rds Over -225.

Points: Holloway -5.5 -350

Chidi Njokuani -120 vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk +100

Middleweight (185 pounds)

I’m glad I am writing this and not pronouncing it!

In this fight, we have the American Njokuani who is a hulking, six-foot-three ill-intentioned power striker. Not only will he be the larger man in the cage Saturday, but he’ll also hold a six-inch reach advantage in what appears to be a classic stand-up fight.

Michal O is a “don’t judge a book by its cover” fighter because he’s somewhat of a squirrely-looking fellow, but the experienced Polish striker competed in his early career at light heavyweight where he displayed focus, will and the ability to absorb heavy strikes.

At 205 pounds, Michal O was very undersized, but he fought like a wolverine cornered while competing against those larger fighters. Michal O has immense power in his hands, he’s willing to set up in the pocket and exchange Sunday shots, and he sports a granite beard.

Once the bell for round one rings, Michal O will need to hunt cautiously early and be aware that his best chance to win is to get Chidi into the second round. Njokuani’s power is profuse, his pressure is constant, and he knows no caution so challenging him early in a firefight is unwise.  

Positive news for Michal O is that he’s already faced threats that hulked over him so this middleweight monster is no larger than the light heavies Michal O has been in with already.

Njokuani’s size and ferocity of fight will be nothing new to Michal O. In fact, I believe it motivates him to bring his best performance, and that’s exactly what I believe he offers us on Saturday.

Weather that early firestorm, Michal!

Pick: Michal Oleksiejczuk +100

Total in this fight: 2.5 Under -245 (opened -215), so the wise guys feel like someone may be going to sleep here.

This week GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast drops early Friday morning because of the early Saturday a.m. start time of the bouts.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the fights.