Another week, another .500 record with my picks at UFC Auckland. Let’s try to go 2-0 this week as the octagon travels to Norfolk, Virigina for UFC Fight Night: Benavidez vs Figueiredo.
This is a rare UFC Fight Night event to feature a title fight, as the main event pits Joseph Benavidez and Deiveson Figueiredo for the vacant UFC Flyweight Championship (former champ Henry Cejudo relinquished the belt to defend his bantamweight title instead). Joe-Jitsu is the current betting favorite, clocking in at -138 (the Brazilian is +108).
Other than that, the rest of the card is meh, as the kids say (do kids still say that?!). The co-main event sees two women’s featherweights butting heads – Felicia Spencer (at -800 the biggest favorite on the card) and Zarah Fairn dos Santos (+500).
Ok, let’s go get that chedda. Read on, #degens
Megan Anderson (-235) vs Norma Dumont
Our lock pick is the big Aussie, Megan Anderson. At 6’0″, Anderson is a legit 145 pound fighter, having to actually cut weight to get down to the featherweight limit (she walks around in the 170-pound neighborhood normally). As is normally the case with the still nascent UFC women’s featherweight division, her opponent this weekend will be a bantamweight moving up to featherweight, Norma Dumont. Not only will Anderson have a five inch reach and six inch height advantage, she is greatly more experienced than the octagon newcomer Dumont (14 pro fights to four). She’s also shown to be very capable standing or on the ground, with half of her wins coming via (T)KO and 30% via submission. Anderson’s size, skill and experience should be too much in this one.
STONE COLD LOCK: Look for Anderson to make it two wins in a row Saturday night.
TJ Brown (+105) vs Jordan Griffin
For my second pick, I’m going with a slight underdog, and UFC newcomer (however he did fight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series) TJ Brown. Downtown Brown punched his ticket to the big show via his specialty – an arm-triangle choke (six of his nine submissions wins have come via this). His opponent on Saturday, Jordan Griffin, is coming off of two-straight UFC losses, his only two fights with the company. Meanwhile, Brown has won four straight, two via the aforementioned choke, and two via head kick knockouts. So obviously we’re looking at a well rounded fighter who can win fights standing or on the ground. While both fighters’ striking output is at a similar level, Brown gets hits three times less than Griffin does. Griffin has also been taken down four times in his UFC appearances.
UNDERDOG PICK: It could, and should, be a close one, but I’m thinking Brown is worth a splash of money given his current underdog status.
Overall Results for This Column
Earnings (based on $100 bet per): -($174.45)
Return on Investment: -3%
Earnings (based on $100 bet per): -($208.31)
Return on Investment: -21%