UFC Orlando Gambling Preview – Does Kevin Holland have the secret to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson’s power?

UFC Fight Night: Gane v Tuivasa

It’s been awhile! After a light week following UFC 281 and an off-week for Thanksgiving, the UFC is finally back with another offering as the move into their final stretch of events for 2022, and this one is quite good. UFC Orlando is headlined by a welterweight clash between former title challenger Stephen Thompson and rising star Kevin Holland, and backed up with 14 more fights, including a top 10 heavyweight slugfest. This fight card has a lot to offer and is sure to be fun.

As always, all odds are courtesy of our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook.

UFC Fight Night: Gane v Tuivasa

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Straight Bets

Tai Tuivasa, +190

This betting line really puzzles me. Don’t get me wrong, Sergei Pavlovich is damn good, but Tuivasa has been a revelation in 2022. If surviving huge shots from Derrick Lewis wasn’t enough to convince you that Tuivasa is legit, him nearly clobbering Ciryl Gane in September should have earned him more respect than the books and the public are somehow giving him. The same Pavlovich that was beaten by Alistair Overeem in 2004 is this one. He’s been through a lot, and he doesn’t seem to be an invincible monster. And when push comes to shove, I know that Tuivasa can eat Pavlovich’s best shots and keep going, but I have no idea if Pavlovich can do the same. I expected Tuivasa to be the favorite in this one and so I love a bet on him at these odds.

P.S. Since it’s basically the same to bet Tuivasa straight or by KO/TKO, this is the preferred bet, in case both men can take the big shots and we make it the full 15.

Michael Johnson, +260

Let me hit you with some stats here: Marc Diakiese is 2-5 in the UFC win scoring fewer than three takedowns in a fight. Michael Johnson has only given up three or more takedowns in a fight once since 2013 (Clay Guida, who shot seven times). I’m not here to tell you that Michael Johnson is a world-beater, but the man has fought some of the toughest competition the world has to offer for a decade, and he is a very solid defensive wrestler. This is a good value bet, considering that Johnson is a more skilled striker than Diakiese and a stronger southpaw. Because Diakiese has never been knocked out (though he has been hurt), I’m not also recommending a bet on Johnson by KO at +800, but that line is also very interesting.

Scott Holtzman, -170

Another perplexing line for me. Clay Guida is 40 years old (turning 41 next week) going on 57. Since beating B.J., the man hasn’t looked great in fights. Penn in 2019. Credit to him for pulling out the comeback against Leonardo Santos, but that first round saw him batted around the cage like a beach ball. Yes, Holtzman is also old, but he has fewer fight miles on him and he’s looked fine recently. There’s no shame in losing to Mateusz Gamrot and Beneil Dariush, and the truth is, Holtzman is a good takedown defender and the more dangerous striker of the two. Guida’s gas tank and “never say die” attitude account for a lot, but this should be too much for him.

UFC Fight Night: Thompson v Muhammad

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Prop Bets

Stephen Thompson by Decision, +400

You may have noticed a theme with many of these fights and that is that this fight card is populated by aging (or just plain old) veterans, trying to turn back the clock, and nowhere is that more evident than in the main event. Thompson was defeated by Gilbert Burns in the first round and Belal Mohammed in the second. And while those performances, and his age (he turns 40 in February) are cause for concern, the fact remains that Thompson is an incredibly difficult opponent to beat purely with striking. Sure, Anthony Pettis did it (probably Pettis’ last great performance) but Kevin Holland is a far cry from peak Pretty Tony. Holland is dangerous and fun and a top 15 welterweight, but I think he’s going to struggle to navigate the range Thompson sets and find consistence offense. And if Holland looks to wrestle, I’m not sure that will work out for him either. “Wonderboy” is a pretty good defensive wrestler, Muhammad and Burns are just good offensive ones, and we don’t have a ton of evidence that Holland is to their caliber in that regard.

I won’t be surprised if Thompson is simply too old to compete against a young, dangerous opponent, and gets blasted out of the cage by some big piece of violence, but I still think he’s got some juice left in favorable style matchups, and this appears to be that.

Francis Marshall by KO/TKO, Submission, or DQ, +140

*I don’t normally recommend betting on debuting fighters as you never know what young talent will do. However, I am going to be making an exception for this fight because of a few reasons. The first is that I like Marshall’s game. He’s 6-0 as a professional and 5-0 as an amateur and he’s shown solid development each time out (I particularly like his use of the double jab). At 23-years-old, the man is full of potential. But the true reason I’m backing him Inside The Distance this week is that Marcelo Rojo simply loves to be finished. Outside of his time on The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 3, Rojo has not been to a decision since 2012. The man goes out there to get or get got, and lately, it’s the latter. This fight is set up for Marshall to face a winnable step up in competition, and I expect him to pass with flying colors.

UFC Fight Night: Amirkhani v Pearce

Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Parlay of the Week

Stephen Thompson/Kevin Holland Over 1. 5 Rounds (-285) + Angela Hill/Emily Ducote Goes To Decision (-360) + Jonathan Pearce (-460)

Since I’m on Thompson by decision, the first leg should be no surprise. Wonderboy should keep his range and use the pot-shot throughout the fight. Burns and Muhammad could not finish Thompson so Holland is unlikely to score any takedowns.

Angela Hill has gone to a decision in 19 of her 26 career fights, including her past eight in a row. Ducote is only 10 for 18 on the career decision front, but she’s seen the cards in five of her eight UFC/Bellator fights.

At this point in their careers, Jonathan Pearce simply is better than Darren Elkins. I don’t think there is much else to say. For a reason, he’s the most popular cardholder.

Parlay these three bets together for +110 odds.

MMA: JUL 02 UFC 276

Photo by Alejandro Salazar/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Long Shot of the Week

Parlay Bryan Barberena (+430) and Tai Tuivasa (+190) for +1437 odds

I’m sorry, I know. I broke my rules with the parlaying subdogs again. But Rule No. 1 is and always has been that gambling is supposed to be fun, and what could possibly be more fun that the “Bam Bam” Parlay?!?!

We’ve already discussed Tuivasa. I won’t repeat that, but Barberena is a very live breed. Rafael dos Anjos is an all-time great and probably a bad style matchup for Barberena, but he’s also 38 years old, and we’re talking city miles. RDA has been fighting a lot of tough competition over the past decade. At some point that will catch up with you. If Barberena can survive what I imagine will be a tough first round and then ugly this fight up, then we can all sing Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran.

Wrap Up

Since we took the week off for UFC Vegas 65, the last time we did this was UFC 281, and that was a good evening for us. We went 3 for 3 on prop bets plus hit on Ryan Spann at +185, and hit our All-In on Zhang Weili. Let’s shoot for a similar outcome this weekend.

Until next week, enjoy the fights, good luck, and gamble responsibly!

All information in this article is provided to readers of MMA Fighting for entertainment, news, and amusement purposes only. It is the responsibility of the reader to learn and abide by online gambling laws in their region before placing any online sports betting wagers.

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/2/23488637/ufc-orlando-gambling-preview-does-kevin-holland-know-the-secret-to-stephen-wonderboy-thompson-powers?rand=96749