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LineStar® Weekly Knockout (UFC) - UFC Paris Tuivasa vs. Gane

Chris Guy (MMA Expert)
Chris Guy (MMA Expert)
We’re Back With Another LineStar Weekly Knockout!
Written by LineStar contributor, combat sports enthusiast, and practitioner, Chris Guy.
Instagram: @therealsethgeko & Twitter: @DadHallOfFamer

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Pound for pound.  Head shot.  Dead.  
I’ve spent the last week vacationing in the Galapagos with Mary Jane, riding Komodo Dragons bareback and synchronize swimming with mermaids.  The G6 isn’t scheduled to pick me up for a few more days, and I’m afraid I’ll gain another ten pounds by then.  The food has been exquisite; compliments to the chef.
On tonight’s menu is a crusted Wagyu steak topped with a white truffle and Matsutake mushroom cream sauce.  This morning I feasted on an omelet made from a Tyrannosaurus Rex egg.  Apparently, it was one of only two remaining in the world and was over four million years old.  I’m not gonna lie; it was the most baller shit ever.
I thought I was the sole patron on the island until my third day when a spry older Weekly KO reader ran past me on the beach, laughing while I was sunbathing.  He yelled, “Thank you!” over his shoulder on his way by, and I gave him a wave.  After that, I decided maybe board short tan lines weren’t such a big deal after all. 
Throughout my travels, people keep asking me the secret to my success, and I assure them I’m no genius.  I didn’t discover a medical marvel; I’m not the heir of Chester Copperpot; no, I’m nothing special.  I just dropped a Twenty-Twen-Twen on a Leon Edwards TKO/KO two weeks ago.  
Much thanks to the new Champ.  They say when you die with your eyes open you deserved it.  Whether Kamaru Usman deserved it or not, he can take up with his maker; it was Leon Edwards’ job to arrange the meeting.  Maybe next week I’ll catch you on the island.  We can start a Michael Vick Gila monster fight club or do some other wild shit.  The world will be our oyster.
Main Card
Tai Tuivasa (+400) vs Ciryl Gane (-600)
Tuivasa: DK: $6.7k | Gane: DK:$9.5k
This is the ultimate style match-up, man vs. machine.  Tai Tuivasa is a wild mosh pit striker, and Ciryl Gane is a calculated Sky Net engineered human-computer.  Depending on what happens with Stipe Miocic and Bones Jones, this fight could end up being a title eliminator.  Tuivasa has quietly won five in a row, and had it not been for a blunder the equivalent of Bill Buckner down the first base line, Ciryl Gane would be the champ right meow.  The chances of this one going the distance are close to zero; they will have smelling salts on deck and the sleep apnea machines in the hole.   
Ciryl Gane was up two rounds to none against Francis Ngannou in his last bout before getting out-wrestled for rounds three and four.  The fight came down to the fifth round and which fighter would secure the takedown first.  That turned out to be Ciryl Gane, who scored the early takedown and only had to run out the clock to win the belt.  He then left the dub at the alter for an L he had been seeing on the side.  With top position controlled and Ngannou showing no signs of being able to get up or reverse, Gane decided to fall to his back and attempt a heel hook.  Spoiler Alert: it didn’t work, and Gane ended up with Ngannou on top of him for the rest of the round and lost the fight.
Live and learn.  Getting out-wrestled by Ngannou wasn’t a good look and exposed a big hole in Gane’s game, but it’s not one that Tai Tuivasa can take advantage of.  While Tuivasa has one path to victory lined with bear traps and IEDs, Gane has multiple taxpayer-funded, freshly paved paths lined with expertly trimmed topiary animals.  He can keep the fight standing and pick Tuivasa apart from the outside with his in/out karate-like movement, or tie up Tuivasa against the cage, trip him to the mat, and play the top game.
Tuivasa has never fought for five rounds, and eleven of his seventeen career fights ended in the first round.  If Gane can get Tuivasa to the mat, the late finish will be all but certain.  On the feet, it’s hard to engage Gane with combinations because he manages range better than any heavyweight I’ve ever seen.  He can attack with jabs, quick one-twos, and chip away with kicks while staying out of the opponent’s range.  Technically, he’s far superior to Tuivasa and will have plenty of opportunities to counter and use Tuivasa’s aggression against him.
Gane by the numbers:  For his career, Gane is 10-1 with four TKO/KO’s and three subs and 7-1 in the UFC with two TKO/KO’s and two subs.  Although he’s a classic one-punch striker, Gane averages just under five significant strikes landed per minute and landed over one hundred in two of three five-round fights.  Gane will be the massive (-575 favorite), and the fight will have to go longer than three and a half rounds to get into the plus money.  Betting Gane by a specific finish is the way to go.  A finish of any kind will return (-160) odds.  If Gane grinds out Tuivasa on the mat, the choke finish will be money in the bank.
Tai Tuivasa would make the worst poker player of all time; he’d go all-in on every hand and lose the house, the dog, and the lawn mower he never returned to Ned Flanders.  He’s a power puncher with a kill-or-be-killed approach and doesn’t waste much energy defending strikes.  If you watch a Tuivasa fight with the sound off and play “Blind” by Korn, it’ll look like Tuivasa is moshing in the crowd at Woodstock ’99.  He exchanges hands and elbows in the pocket with reckless abandon.  When the dust settles, he’s buried under ten feet of rubble, but more often than not, he crawls out of the smoldering wreckage alive. 
Tuivasa has consistently gotten better over his last five fights.  He’s had a wild UFC career, starting 3-0 and then going 0-3.  But, he’s currently riding a five-fight TKO/KO winning streak, and only two made it to the opening minutes of the second round.  Tuivasa won’t wow you with technical ability and fancy footwork, but he commits one hundred percent to every strike and consistently throws combinations.  Tai’s only shot is to trap Gane against the cage and draw him into mutual exchanges.  Tuivasa will have the power advantage and classic one-punch KO ability, while Gane relies more on accumulative damage.
The only way to play Tuivasa is to play a TKO/KO finish.  It’s his only path to victory; he won’t out-kickbox or out-grapple Gane for twenty-five minutes.  And who knows if Tuivasa’s cardio can hold up for twenty-five minutes?  The only way I’d play Tuivasa would be if I found a Hamilton between the couch coushions.  Leave it to me to hate on a five-fight winning streak but here goes: the level of competition is highly sus.  Harry Hunsucker…  Greg Hardy…  Augusto Sakai…  Derrick Lewis is the only real legit name on that list.
Two weeks ago, the main event-winning streak collapsed with just fifty-six seconds left in the fight.  But when you put your money where your mouth isn’t, it takes off a little bit of the sting.  I don’t know how Tuivasa can win this without an early grand slam Hail Mary bomb.  Ciryl Gane via TKO, round three.
Winner: Ciryl Gane | Method: TKO Rd.3
Gane 97
Gane 97
Ya love to see it
Ya love to see it
Marvin Vettori (+180) vs. Robert Whittaker (-220)
Vettori: DK: $7.4k | Whittaker: DK: $8.8k
This is a matchup of fighters with a combined 0-4 record against Israel Adesanya.  Marvin Vettori and Robert Whittaker exist in MMA purgatory, better than most in the division, but not good enough to beat the champ.  Mr. Sandman, Little Mac, Piston Honda, Don Flamenco, Soda Popinski, Vettori and Whittaker can beat them all, but they can’t beat the final boss.  These two fight for title shots and to kick ass, and it looks like they’re all outta title shots.
Straight up and down, straightjacket, Robert Whittaker is a better fighter than Marvin Vettori.  All around, in every category, Whittaker is the superior scrapper, and if it weren’t for Adesanya, he’d still be the champion.  Whittaker has a unique stand-up style, a karate/kickboxing blend with a herky-jerky cadence and protractor arm angles.  His special move is a same-side/same-time right-hand to left high kick combination.  It’s a technique that very few fighters have the dexterity to throw, including myself.  I’ve tried to master this technique for over fifteen years, and I still suck at it.  Whittaker throws his right cross and right-round kick at almost the same time.  And he lands it in every fight and is usually the catalyst for a fight-ending sequence.
Whittaker also has underrated wrestling/grappling and can set up level changes off his strikes as smoothly as the great Frankie Edgar.  His wrestling kept him in the second Adesanya fight until the end.  He was far more competitive the second time around because he was able to mix in the threat of the takedown.  Too many people sleep on Whittaker, and he’s one of the best middleweights in history.  Bobby Knuckles can win this fight how ever he chooses, standing or on the ground.  Vettori has strong offensive wrestling and top control but isn’t well rounded defensively.  
Whittaker will likely use his speed and ability to cover distance quickly, get in and out of the pocket quickly, to out-point Vettori for a full fifteen minutes.  In twenty-three career fights, Vettori has never been finished and has a Mount Rushmore granite chin.  Whittaker averages four and a half significant strikes per minute but only tops one hundred strikes in five-round fights.  His output will likely be around the sixty to eighty range with a long shot at initiating a fight-ending sequence.
Marvin Vettori is a souped-up Thomas Shelby.  There’s an air of “don’t f**k with me” that accompanies Vettori’s presence inside the cage.  Vettori is an aggressive power striker who rarely throws single punches.  Everything he throws is in combination and accompanied by heavy forward pressure.  There’s little to no feeling out process with Vettori, and he’s consistently the first to engage.  A southpaw and mostly pure boxer, Vettori will attack with short, basic, yet fundamentally sound combinations; double jabs, one-twos, and two-threes (cross-hook).
Marvin is a grinder and has the style to push opponents against the cage and drag them to the mat and rinse and repeat until his hand is raised.  Scoring takedowns and top control and limiting the number of exchanges on the feet are Vettori’s likely Plan A against Whittaker.  He can stand and bang with Whittaker, but he’ll likely test his wrestling before resigning to a kickboxing match.  
For his career, Vettori is 18-5 with two TKO/KO’s and noine subs.  Vettori is a sadist who takes pleasure in choking people and hiding the bodies in the walls, so he can use them as studs to hang pictures of Sylvester Stallone.  His career striking stats are almost identical to Whittaker’s, but Vettori might actually have a higher output in this matchup.  But Whittaker will have the more damaging strikes.  A Marvin Vettori decision, which is likely his only method of victory in this one, will return (+350) odds and a submission (+800).
The odds favor a full fifteen-minute scrap at (-235) odds.  A Whittaker TKO/KO will return (+380) odds, and I think he’s the only finishing threat.  But these two guys are too tough, and this one will likely go the distance.  Robert Whittaker via decision.  On wax.
Winner: Robert Whittaker | Method: Decision
Whittaker 79
Whittaker 79
Original name Vodka Drunkenski
Original name Vodka Drunkenski
Alessio Di Chirico (-115) vs. Roman Kopylov (-115)
Di Chirico: DK: $8.2k | Kopylov: DK: $8k
This one’s wearing a wire, an undercover banger.  Alessio Di Chirico and Roman Kopylov are kickboxers who will go toe-to-toe for fifteen minutes.  Di Chirico is a power striker who throws heavy bombs, and Roman Kopylov… well, he’ll show up and throw some punches once in a while.  He might even get a lil’ silly and sprinkle in some kicks. Sprinkle Me Mane.  
Di Chirico reminds me of a less aggressive Italian Shogun Rua.  Hold up… Haha.  I volcano’d my bubbler when I read that again.  Let me explain.  Di Chirico’s posture and stature in the cage reminds me of Shogun Rua.  He has a squared stance and uses intermittent blitzes, alternating left/rights like Shogun used to when he was the scariest dude on the planet. But the similarities end there.
Alessio is 13-6 for his career with six TKO/KO’s and four subs and 4-6 in the UFC with notable wins over Julian Marquez and Joaquin Buckley.  He head-kick KO’d Buckley in just over two minutes.  Then he turned around and fell victim to a seventeen-second head-kick KO in his last fight against Abdul Razak Alhassan.  This fight is favored to go the distance, but at (+475) for a TKO/KO, Di Chirico will be saturated in value, a slip and fall waiting to happen.  You know what to do; grab the Piso Mojado signs.  Roman Kopylov is built like Screech from Saved By The Bell, aka Dustin Diamond and Di Chirico has the power to finish him. 
Roman Kopylov was a Toraja corpse paraded around the Octagon in his last bout against Albert Duraev.  He got every square millimeter of his ass kicked.  But he showed he had some dog in him and fought until the bloody end and made it to a decision.  Kopylov also lost his debut to Karl Roberson and is currently riding a two-fight L streak to start his UFC career.  The last time Kopylov cracked an ass, his finger slipped through the Parks and Rec singly ply toilet paper.  
Before entering the UFC, Kopylov was 8-0 with seven TKO/KO’s and in very rare spurts has shown he has real stand-up skills.  But he’s just a little too flimsy to fight these monsters at middleweight.  These guys are cutting from well over two hundred pounds, and Kopylov looks like he soaks himself in water before weighing in.  Anywho, he has quick, tight hands and excellent round kicks and could cause Di Chirico some problems if he can find a consistent output.  In both his UFC bouts that went practically the full fifteen minutes, Kopylov landed forty-two and thirty-seven significant strikes.  You can’t overwhelm a mannequin with that kind of output.
The fight odds are basically a toss-up, and the favored method is for the fight to go the distance.  The way to bet this is to dabble with the props.  A Di Chirico decision will return (+175), and (+475) for a TKO/KO has crazy value.  Alessio Di Chirico via TKO, round two.  You know what to do with it.  Put it on wax.
Winner: Alessio Di Chirico | Method: TKO Rd.2
Di Chirico 57
Di Chirico 57
John Makdessi (+180) vs. Nasrat Haqparast (-230)
Makdessi: DK: $7.5k | Haqparast: DK: $8.7k
Another one.  This is another undercover banger.  John Makdessi is a little mf’er and eighteen-fight UFC veteran with slick kickboxing, and Nasrat Haqparast is a Kelvin Gastelum look-alike with sleeper stand-up and solid grappling.  More than likely, this one will be a fifteen-minute stand-up banger.
In his most recent bout, Makdessi dominated the highly touted moon-howler Ignacio Bahamondes.  He administered to the youngster a Nolan Ryan ass whooping in the first round that Bahamondes will never forget.  Makdessi is an unassuming, slick striker with short, tight punches and out-of-nowhere spinning kick attacks.  The boxer’s jab is Makdessi’s best weapon, and he’s one of the rare fighters that uses it ten-fold to any other attack.  A Doomsday Bunker striker, Makdessi dwells in the pocket, using subtle slips and counters to stay in the opponent’s chest.  He squats in the pocket and refuses to leave when the authorities show up to evict him. Eminent Domain can’t even get Makdessi out of the pocket.
For his career, Makdessi is 18-7 with noine TKO/KO’s and 11-7 in the UFC.  He averages five and a half significant strikes per minute and has the ability to top one hundred strikes against the right opponent.  I’m not sure Nasrat is that type of opponent.  Haqparast fights long and doesn’t tend to engage in extended exchanges, and likes to mix in takedown attempts and clinch work.  Nasrat’s only loss by finish in noine UFC bouts was to the little heathen Drew Dober.
Nasrat Haqparast is a fringe top fifteen-level fighter with some impressive wins and some L’s against the best competition he’s faced.  Unfortunately for Nasrat, he ran into my favorite fighter Bobby Green in his last outing and spent the evening gorging on eight-piece combos.  He’s 5-4 in the UFC with only one finish, but his left hand is a fight-changer.  He throws long, Randy Johnson overhands from the southpaw stance that can sleep Makdessi if he’s not careful.
Haqparast averages over five significant strikes per minute but is more of a one-strike fighter who rarely extends into combinations.  This will be a battle of range as Nasrat is excellent at staying on the outside and landing at the end of his left hand, while Makdessi will try to pressure and fight in a phone booth.  
Nasrat will be stepping in as the (-230) favorite and likely so; his length will be difficutlt for Makdessi to navigate around, but so was Bahamondes’ length and Makdessi had a lot of success, especially early.  At (+180), the value is strong for Makdessi.  A Makdessi win by decision will return (+300) odds and is his only real method to victory.  I don’t see a finish in this fight, but Makdessi will be a live dog and competitive until the final bell.  Fook it! John Makdessi via decision.  Wax on, wax off.  
Winner: John Makdessi | Method: Decision
Return of the Makdessi 41
Return of the Makdessi 41
Don't do it, Robin...
Don't do it, Robin...
William Gomis (-225) vs Jarno Errens (+175)
Gomis: DK: $8.6k | Errens: DK: $7.6k
This one snuck into the main card club through the back door during the bouncer’s shift change.  These guys are Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, rolling up to the main card like they’re best friends with the guys fighting in the main event.  This card takes place for the first time in Paris, France, and William Gomis vs. Jarno Errens was a late addition.  These are two highly touted regional fighters that I don’t know a lot about, but I had time to watch a fight for each of them, and I was impressed with both.  This right here could be a cheeky little banger.
William Gomis is fast as f**k boooooooy!  I don’t think you have any idea how fast he really is.  He’s fast as f**k booooy!  Come get some!  This dude gave me mini Israel Adesanya vibes; he’s long with a wide stance and uses every inch of his reach to manage distance and attack from the outside.  He’s also a southpaw who can mix both stances, and he has a special move, a lead-round kick that he can sneak over the shoulder of an orthodox fighter.  He slangs the kick out of nowhere at the end of combinations and lands it at a high rate.
From the brief grappling exchanges I saw, Gomis looks to have a serious ground game to compliment his kickboxing.  He can change levels in a blink and hit a double leg or tie you up in the clinch and take your back.  At first glance, this guy looks legit, and so does his opponent Jarno Errens.
Errens is a slick kickboxer with high-level experience, having fought for Brave CF and was a regional champion for a UFC Fight Pass promotion, NFC.  Jarno has tight, slick boxing and excellent aggression.  He’s a Be First & Be Often spokesman, a Makaveli track one, First To Bomb representative, who pressures with short combinations and is good at catching you at the end of his long reach.  Errens leaves little dead air between engagements and will be in Gomis’ face for the full fifteen minutes.  A red flag I noticed about Errens is his guard.  He has solid takedown defense but didn’t have much in the way of get-ups or submissions from his back.
For his career, Gomis is 10-2 with six TKO/KO’s and one sub, and Errens is 13-3-1 with three TKO/KO’s and five subs.  Before checking the odds, I had Gomis marked as the likely favorite; he’s a little more athletic with raw speed and showed some flashes of grappling prowess as well.  He will indeed by the (-220) favorite, and the fight is favored (-145) to end before the final bell.  A Gomis TKO/KO will return (+250) odds, but I think Errens is tough and has only been finished once by submission.  An Errens TKO/KO will provide (+550) odds and a decision (+450).  I think a decision is the likely method of victory for both of these guys, and Errens could be a live dog.  A Gomis decision will return (+185) and is dripping with value.  William Gomis via decision.
Winner: William Gomis | Method: Decision
Charles Jourdain (-145) vs Nathaniel Wood (+115)
Jourdain: DK: $8.4k | Wood: DK: $7.8k
This is a fight of the night candidate right here.  How do I know this?  Because every Charles Jourdain fight is a FOTN candidate.  I may have to use his likeness for the First Team All Moon Howlers logo like the NBA did with Jerry West.  I might bring back the 90’s Apex puffy jackets and sew on Charles Jourdain logo patches, purple and teal like the old Charlotte Hornets.
In the middle of the Nevada desert, there’s a Valero gas station that provides the only services for over one hundred square miles; it’s open from dusk ‘til dawn and has been the site of nefarious activities for going on two decades.  Countless UFC fighters have reported being robbed at gunpoint in the restrooms for their dubs by who they suspect are Nevada State Athletic Commission judges wearing dead presidents’ masks.  Despite extensive warning from this here publication, and repeated public service announcements, fighters continue to fall victim, and Charles Jourdain became another statistic after his most recent bout against Shane Burgos.
Jourdain is a notoriously slow starter who comes prepackaged with a set of jumper cables and subsequently has become one of the best come-from-behind fighters in the promotion.  Every fight goes down to the wire and usually ends with Jourdain howling at the moon and throwing knees, elbows, shins, and Sparta kicks all over the arena. Homie builds to a slow boil and is one of the best third-round fighters around.  Don’t let his 4-5 UFC record fool you; he’s far better than his record and has lost some tough decisions.  His mentality is like Chito Vera’s; they use every limb to create damage and don’t mind giving up a little ground on the stats sheet.
Nathaniel Wood is a sleeper who’s only UFC losses came to high-level competition in John Dobson and Casey Kenney.  Wood is a kickboxer with same day delivery hand speed who throws nothing but combinations.  Wood landed over one hundred and thirty significant strikes in two of his last three fights and was only three strikes away from hitting one hundred in his most recent bout, a decision win against Charles Rosa. 
I think people sleep on Nathaniel Wood because he goes by his full name and looks like his parents drop him off at Target where he plays the PS5 display all day.  Wood has classic, fundamental kickboxing and the only knock against him is he lacks power.  It’s rare to have power and speed; speed usually comes at the detriment of power and that’s the case for Wood.  But he scores knockdowns and started his UFC career with three straight submission wins.  Overall, Wood is 18-5 with noine TKO/KO’s and five subs and 5-2 in the UFC with three subs.
The odds are dead even for the fight going the distance, and I think the way to play this is by taking the decision for one of these guys.  A decision for Jourdain will return (+215) and Wood (+285).  Both fighters are absolute dogs, and a finish will be a long shot.  Jourdain is the surprising straight-up favorite at (-140), and plus money for Nathaniel Wood is a steal.  I think Wood will be the higher output fighter and can steal close rounds with better-looking stats, but he has to be careful not to run into a Jourdain knee or elbow when he’s extending combinations.   This is a toss-up.  Charles Jourdain via decision.
Winner: Charles Jourdain | Method: Decision
Charlie Hustle 69
Charlie Hustle 69
Prelims
Value Menu
Joaquin Buckley (+210) vs Nassourdine Imavov(-275)
Buckley: DK: $7.2k | Imavov: DK: $9k
This is a Ninja Turtle vs. Master Shredder.  Joaquin Buckley is built like the fifth member of the TMNTs and is a walking KO.  And Nassourdine Imavov is a silent undercover assassin and a dark horse in the middleweight division.  Imavov is the sizeable favorite at (-275) and Buckley the dog at (+205).  Nassourdine’s odds reflect his multiple paths to victory as he has solid stand-up and a suffocating top game. 
Both fighters are finishers; Imavov has five career TKO/KO’s and six subs in eleven pro wins, and Buckley has eleven TKO/KO’s in fifteen pro dubs.  How do you play this?  Buckley is always a KO threat and has a top three KO of all time on his highlight reel.  A Buckley TKO/KO victory will return (+350) odds and is likely his only path to victory.  He won’t out-point a better grappler and more technical striker.  But he sure can KO Imavov. 
But the play for me is an Imovov submission at (+475).  As the fight wanes, Buckley will slow down, and I can see Imavov ending up in the top position from a trip in the clinch or a knockdown and snatching Buckley’s neck.  Buckley is tough, and I don’t know if Imavov has enough pure power to put him away on the feet.  The other way is to play an Imavov win by points at (+185).  The safest path to victory against a guy with instant KO power like Buckley is to grind him out on the mat.  Imavov isn’t a takedown artist, but he can get it there. 
Imavov 88
Imavov 88
Always gotta show this some love
Always gotta show this some love
Gabriel Miranda (+230) vs Benoit St. Denis (-290)
Miranda: DK: $7.1k | St. Denis: DK: $9.1k
The winner by submission… I always wanted to start a Brewery named Winner By Submission.  Don’t steal my shit, homies.  Anywho, the play for this fight is flipping a coin and picking one of these guys to win by submission.  I don’t know much about the debuting Gabriel Miranda; I’m not sure how his grappling skills will translate against UFC competition, but he’s 16-5 for his career with fifteen subs and one lonely ass TKO/KO.  Miranda’s opponent is a highly touted grappler in Benoit St. Denis, who is 9-1 for his career with eight subs and a twin lonely ass TKO/KO. So if you’re keeping track, these guys both have one hundred percent finishing rates, most by submission.
St. Denis had a rough debut but faced an undercover CIA hitman in Elizeu Dos Santos.  Dos Santos all but caught a body in that fight.  The ref that allowed it to go the distance was fired on the spot.  No joke; they told him to kick rocks in socks immediately after the fight.  I say all that to say this; St. Denis rebounded with a submission win against Niklas Stolze and looked like the killer he was rumored to be.  St. Denis is a power grappler with chokes for forty days and forty nights.
The heavy favorite will be St. Denis at (-290), likely because of his UFC experience, but both fighters fought for Brave CF, and that’s big league competition.  I have a feeling this will be more competitive than the odds reflect.  But a St. Denis submission will return (+240) odds, and subs are his specialty.  A Miranda sub, also his specialty, will return (+550) odds.  Little is known about Miranda, and he could be a sleeper Fantasy pick with a high upside.
St. Denis 88
St. Denis 88
Twenty-Twen-Twen Sleepers
Twenty-Ten-Twen Sleepers
My hot streak continued for UFC 278.  I whiffed on Leonardo Santos but rebounded with a lucky Marcin Tybura dub that should’ve been a draw.  Then… then… Then I face-planted a good ol’ fashion Andy Jack on a Leon Edwards TKO/KO, and the rest is a ten-part tell-all documentary on the History Channel.  Spoiler alert, the final episode has footage of me pretending to be Daenerys Targaryen while riding a Komodo dragon around the deck of a yacht.
Unfortunately, this week’s dogs look mangy and neglected, and some are experiencing the final stages of rabies. But there are a couple of long shots with realistic paths to victory. Your gonna have to gamble on this card, but isn’t that what we’re here for?
Joaquin Buckley (+210): Nassourdine Imavov is the better fighter, likely in every category except for one-punch KO power. But that’s a helluva category to have an advantage. Buckley will be a KO threat until the final bell, and (+350) for a TKO/KO victory is a good look.
Nathaniel Wood (+110): My man Nate barely qualifies as a dog, but he’s a steal at plus money and on Fantasy rosters. He stays busy attacking with combos and nasty leg kicks and could win close rounds from output alone. This will be an FX Nip/Tuck back and forth affair and has split-decision written all over it.
Loooooong Shot: Jarno Errens (+175): This dude has serious skills and a similar resume to William Gomis. Like Nathaniel Wood, Errens uses a lot of short combos and is a polished fighter. It’s hard to tell how good either of these fighters is, and Errens should be in the fight until the final bell.
Pick ‘Em
Abusupiyan Magomedov (-275) vs. Dustin Stoltzfus (+220)
 
            Winner: Abusupiyan Magomedov
            Method: TKO Rd.2
Fares Ziam (+160) vs. Michal Figlak (-200)
 
            Winner: Michal Figlak
            Method: Decision
Nassourdine Imavov (-275) vs. Joaquin Buckley (+210)
    Winner: Nassourdine Imavov
            Method: Rear-Naked Choke Rd.3
Benoit St. Denis (-290) vs. Gabriel Miranda (+230)
    Winner: Benoit St. Denis
            Method: Rear-Naked Choke Rd.2
Khalid Taha (-125) vs. Cristian Quinonez (+100)
    Winner: Cristian Quinonez
            Method: Decision
Stephanie Egger (-285) vs. Ailin Perez (+225)
    Winner: Ailin Perez
            Method: TKO Rd.2
Thanks for reading LineStar Weekly Knockout! We’ll be back next Thursday with another one. Until then, good luck and support your local MMA Gym.
About Me
My name is Chris Guy, and I’m an avid combat sports enthusiast and practitioner. I’ve been a fan of MMA since the early 2000s when Limewire was still around, and I downloaded Bas Rutten’s Big Book of Combat. In 2004, I started training Muay Thai at City Boxing in San Diego, CA. I competed as an amateur for many years, and I’ve also dabbled in Jiu-Jitsu. I follow many different disciplines, such as Combat Ji-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Glory Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA.
I’m equally as enthusiastic about the craft of writing, and in addition to writing about combat sports, I also write short fiction and music. I hope to bring unique prose to sports writing, and along the way, encourage people to not only become Martial Arts fans but to also become Martial Artists themselves. 
In the future, you may see me refer to the Thunderdome; it’s an ode to the old Mad Max movie and refers to the world-class training facility I built in my one-car garage. It’s complete with throw dummies, wrestling mats, heavy bags, and six months’ worth of Chef Boyardee cans from when I thought the world was going to end back in March. I hope you enjoy my work, and if you don’t, the Thunderdome has an open door policy. 
Check out my Podcast The Whiskey (S)ick Podcast on Apple and Spotify. Parental Advisory Warning
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Chris Guy (MMA Expert)
Chris Guy (MMA Expert) @LineStarApp

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