Best bets for UFC Fight Night: Song vs. Gutierrez
This week’s UFC event was originally scheduled for Shanghai but was rerouted to the UFC APEX just weeks ago. The location change surely affects the athletes who now must travel from the eastern hemisphere to Las Vegas as they originally planned to be competing closer to home.
Meanwhile, athletes from the West benefit from the lack of travel. The odds have not reflected this for certain fights in my estimation. Athletes traveling to Las Vegas from the eastern part of the globe have more to manage now than was previously expected, something I don’t believe has been baked into these current prices.
Last week in Dallas, Drakkar Klose -120 slammed Joe Solecki into unconsciousness in the first round of their bout, adding a unit of profit to this year’s bottom line.
2023 profitability now stands: 21-18 +3.3u with two remaining events.
Song Yadong -395 vs. Chris Gutierrez +320
Bantamweight (135 pounds) main event
Fourteenth-ranked Gutierrez steps in on short notice to test his mettle against an under-regarded, seventh-ranked Song Yadong.
Gutierrez, a brown belt in BJJ, relies on forward pressure while unleashing numbing leg kicks. With Texas roots and South American heritage, he fights with great focus, toughness, durability and pride.
Though older at 32, Gutierrez steps up substantially for this fight against an athlete who’s going to give him his wish of meeting in the middle of the cage for a hammer down.
Yadong will give up an inch of height and reach to his foe, though it is Song who has competed against more elite championship-caliber competition.
Yadong’s fight game is based in Chinese Sanda. However, he’s trained exclusively these past few years with Uriah Faber at Team Alpha Male. There, Yadong has refined his striking and enhanced his wrestling acumen, cardio, and confidence.
Yadong is coming in off an impressive fifth-round finish of Ricky Simon, so he’s prepared for and has excelled in the main event spotlight, while Gutierrez will make his first foray into main event status.
Gutierrez is a patient, systematic fighter, so I expect once this bout begins, he’ll be pressing forward with a calculated determination. He’ll want to establish respect from Yadong initially, then eventually impose his size and maturity upon him by backing him up and battering his legs with kicks.
On the other hand, Yadong is looking to make a statement. Many in the UFC fight handicapping business do not regard Gutierrez on par with Simon, to be honest. That form of math will get one scaped in the fight business because each fight is its own expression and has little to do with anything previous.
Yadong’s youth, experience and complete mixed martial arts weaponry surely provide him an advantage in this bout.
I handicap Yadong as the legitimate favorite in this fight, but honestly, this price has gotten too steep to consider. In fact, there’s actually some value on Gutierrez.
Total in this fight: 3.5 Rds. Over -185
Nasrat Haqparast -210 vs. Jamie Mullarkey +180
Lightweight (155 pounds)
I must admit to being surprised when I saw this opening number of Haqparast -175, then a little more when the market took him higher.
The Afghani Haqparast hit the UFC with plenty of hype, but his body of work has disappointed. He’s a kickboxing-based fighter that lacks strike defense and possesses little finishing power on the feet.
Fighting out of TriStar gym, Haqparast enters this bout off two straight wins, so his confidence is high, but his competition level has been pedestrian.
In Aussie Jamie Mullarkey, we get one of the most inconsistent athletes on the roster. That said, he’s aware of his lapses of fight IQ during bouts and will look to win his second straight bout, thus positioning himself for a potential run at the top fifteen of the division.
It’s Mullarkey who is the more complete mixed martial artist. Although he tends to leave himself open for counterpunches, it’s my belief that his height/reach advantages coupled with his power are enough to make Mullarkey live in a fight that I handicap to be a very close decision.
Mullarkey opened +150 and has been bet to +180.
I’ll take Mullarkey via decision +400 for .50 unit. (BetOnline)
Total in this fight: 2.5 Over -240
GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast drops this Friday at mid-day PT on all podcast platforms. Get all my final releases and proposition bets there.
Enjoy the fights and thank you for reading!