I've got some pretty important things planned for Saturday. Like rearranging my sock drawers. Is this undercard worth my quality time?
Uhh, that's kind of a tough one. There are some name matchups, but not matchups that make you want to stand up and pump your firsts in the air.
You mean like Manvel Gamburyan vs. Nik Lentz?
Yea. Good names in the division, but I don't know that it will be the most exciting matchup. Lentz has quietly picked up his game since losing to Evan Dunham in ridiculous slugfest (see pic above). He beat a handful of solid fighters in Eiji Mitsuoka, Diego Nunes, and Hacran Dias before losing to Chad Mendes in a bout in which an overmatched Lentz revealed some serious stones in taking Chad to a decision.
Manvel, meanwhile, is quietly inconsistent. He hasn't lost his last three fights despite a resume that reads Dennis Siver, Cole Miller, and Michihiro Omigawa. And yet is there a 2-0-1 record more misleading than Gamburyan's? He hasn't looked dominant since knocking out Mike Brown, and he has a tendency to look awful (the KO loss to Rob Emerson is as bad a KO loss as you're gonna find that isn't on this list).
If he wins, he wins via smothering top control and I suspect Lentz will handle his predictable double leg and wild overhand right.
Or like Ed Herman vs. Rafael Natal?
I'm glad you've graduated from drunken 'hulk smash' posing to actually learning the names of the fighters. Ed Herman is all over the place. One day he's trying to do his best Jake Shields impression (vs. Alan Belcher), and the next day he's doing his best Chris Leben impression (vs. Trevor Smith).
So I should continue rearranging my sock drawers?
I thought you loved violence?
But you're saying there won't be any.
So are we talking Tommy vs. Spider?
Much more competitive, but probably with more blood. Eduardo is a savage on the feet, and likewise for Wineland. Wineland does an excellent job of sticking to the body. I was frankly impressed he was able to dispatch Yves Jabouin so comfortably, who I think is better than his record indicates. Wineland is the guy who as a matchmaker you actively avoid giving to uncertain prospects. He's tough as nails, can handle himself on the ground, and is more than capable of boxing an opponent's ears off with pressure, durability, and grit.
Wineland will have to watch for Eduardo's left hook, which is pretty nasty.
The Kyoji Horiguchi vs. Darrel Montague scrap is a can't-miss bout too.
Yea but Japan doesn't produce good fighters anymore, and judges will look for any way to screw them over.
I've talked about this before. It's true, we don't get any prime Gomi's, or Kawajiri's anymore, but Kyoji is an excellent prospect at just 23 years of age. His only loss was in 2012 to the very solid Masakatsu Ueda who himself was once considered to be a top fighter in the division.
In addition, his style is reminiscent of the Krazy Bee pedigree that birthed fighters like Kid Yamamoto. He's got a very active stance, constantly darting in and out of range while displaying some incredible takedown defense. His power is legitimate. Not only can he chamber stiff leg kicks, but he's got a brutal right hand that he nearly dusted the immensely underrated Ian Loveland with.
Montague is a pretty good matchup for him as well. It's not an easy fight by any stretch but Kyoji's power is a big deal in a scrap that will require the full three rounds for Darrel to win. Getting him to the ground, which is how he wins, will be a monstrous task.
Stars and Mavs eliminated. Sucker.
Plenty of bandwagon teams for me to barnacle. I'm kind of in love with PK Subban (and wishfully hoping Dallas signs him since Montreal inexplicably failed to snag him to a long term contract when they had the chance). He's a defenseman and Norris trophy winner (who for my money should win it again this year) on a ridiculous point streak bringing out the Donald Sterlings of hockey. I'd love to see him piss off the 'good ole' boys' club with just his presence by hoisting the cup.
Yea, yea. Racism ended with Rosa Parks, dummy.
You're a funny guy...that's why I'll kill you last.
Ok but you're still gonna make me some money right?
Well, let's see.
Lapsley at +160 sounds about right. The fight is sort of 50/50 ish. Tumenov still has plenty of room to grow, being only 22 and all, and it's not like he was blown out by Alcantara. Lapsley has been around forever, and is exactly the kind of fighter who could pose stylistic problems for Tumenov if it goes to the ground, where Anthony should have the clear advantage.
Ben Wall at +185 is an okay bet, but it won't matter. Wall is exactly the kind of fighter you expect to have a short shelf life in the UFC. He's not at all dynamic, nor is he an athlete.
Gamburyan at +280 is a solid bet. Move on that ASAP. I feel like Lentz is the better fighter, but not by that much. Manny has that stifling Jake Shields style where moving forward and clinching a lot can convince judges he's winning when he's not. Lentz continues to improve but he's not immune to a questionable performance.
Eduardo at +320 is a bit much when you consider their styles. Eduardo lost to Raphael Assuncao, who is on a very nice little run. This is another matchup where the styles will be good predictors of who wins. Wineland is rightfully the favorite but at +320, that's hard to avoid when you consider how tough this fight should be for both men on the feet.
Cummings against Cabral at +280 is also a decent bet. If nothing else, this card is a potential moneymaker. Cummings is a TUF'er that sneaks up on you. You don't expect much from him, but before you know it, he's 8 fights into the UFC, and still employed. He's sneaky good. With durability, a nose for fundamentals on the ground, and decent boxing, he has what it takes to upset Cabral, who is older than Cummings even though you'd never know it by looking at them.
As high as I am on Horiguchi, Montague's also an okay bet (in some places) at +145. He's a solid all around fighter, and in some ways, the perfect foil for Kyoji's exotic style: the kid simply has chops in all areas, and doesn't take unnecessary risks.
Finally, ignore betting on Herman vs. Natal.