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Phew, as we hit the third UFC event in just seven days I feel like I haven’t stopped tipping winners. If you followed over the weekend, and from the noises on my Twitter feed a lot more people did, then you would have backed another four winners. At very nice prices there were wins for Poirier, Rothwell, Mendes and Barnett. I would have potentially had another clean sweep, but quite frankly only an idiot would have backed Pettis by submission in the first round!

Due to this, my profitability increased from £32.76 to £40.01 for 2013. Putting that into perspective it represents a Return on Investment (ROI) of 43% from 88 bets. If you were lucky, Barclays may give you 2%……It also puts me at 91% accuracy from the last two cards. My wife is always telling me I cannot be right all the time, but the stats don’t lie.

Once again we dip into a Brazilian card, and so little time to think that we just need to go on instinct. These Brazil cards are very difficult to pick from given the unknown quantities on offer and limited research material available. I think there are some winning bets available and hopefully I’ll help you line your pockets. Keen eyed readers will notice that there are only three picks this week. Although the card is six deep, the bookies have been very slow in pricing up the majority of the other fights so unless something gets released in the next few hours then it will just be a half-card for this week, apologies.

Benavidez v Formiga:

The most legitimate challenger to Demetrious Johnson seems to be more than content to bide his time and wait for his title shot to come. Joseph Benavidez entered the Flyweight Tournament two years ago as the heavy favourite for the title. He did his part by beating Urushitani and convincing one judge that he beat Johnson too. He will be confident that a win here must give him the next shot at Johnson, and for the UFC it’s one of the few marketable Flyweight fights around.

Firstly he needs to get pat Jussier Da Silva, an extremely capable submission wrestler who prefers to fight under the name Jussier Formiga. Formiga finds himself in a similar position to his opponent, where he should/could have been fighting for the title now, but dropped a loss to John Dodson who got the shot instead. With the Flyweight division being arguably the shallowest in the division when two excellent fighters meet in a match like this then the winner must be confident of a title shot soon after.

At this stage in their careers, I believe that Benavidez is the more legitimate challenger and for me will take the win. Normally I would be all over the decision win for the Team Alpha Male fighter, however, since the introduction of Duane Ludwig to the coaching staff then the knockout is the name of the game. The bookies are offering 13/10 on the decision and 5/4 on the knockout. In this instance I’ll let the head rule the heart and look for Benavidez by KO.

Recommendation: Method of Victory: Joseph Benavidez by KO/TKO – 5/4 (+125) @ Ladbrokes

Souza v Okami:

My experience of watching Yushin Okami is so poor that my heart sinks every time he has a fight added to a card. While an extremely effective wrestler, his style just isn’t for me and I find myself looking for a Tim Boetsch moment every time he steps into the octagon.

Okami finds himself on a three fight win streak and looking for another win against a high level opponent to push himself back into title contention. Decisions over Lombard and Belcher have certainly made him relevant again, if unexciting to watch.

His opponent is Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza who makes his second UFC appearance after transitioning from Strikeforce. Jacare is a submission king with 78% of all victories coming via the tap in a wide range of techniques. Jacare made short work of Chris Camozzi last time out, taking the submission inside the first round. Sadly for him, he is up against a man who has never tapped in a 36 fight career.

I hope to God that this doesn’t end up in another lay and pray for 15 minutes, but I fear that it may. It may also play straight into Jacare’s ballpark. As a highly decorated ADCC Submission Wrestler his skills may be enough to counter Okami and beat him at his own game.

Normally I would be all over the submission here, I successfully tipped the method over Camozzi earlier in the year but this is a different opponent. While he certainly can submit Okami, I don’t think he will. This has 15 minutes written all over it and I fancy/hope Jacare does enough to take the decision.

Recommendation: Method of Victory: Ronaldo Souza by Decision – 7/5 (+140) @ Ladbrokes

Teixeira v Bader:

So, the rumour surrounding this fight is that if Teixeira wins he gets a title shot, whereas if Bader wins then he’ll just be very happy. After a fairly promising start on TUF Ryan Bader has limped his way into this main event, going 3-3 from his last six isn’t really main event material, yet here we are.

His opponent is probably the second most exciting man in the Light Heavyweight division right now behind Jon Jones, Glover Teixeira. Glover is vastly experienced with a stand up and ground game to rival anyone in the world right now. In his four UFC fights to date he has submitted, stopped and won decisions after the first, second and third rounds; hardly predictable material! Glover has dropped only two fights in his entire career and is unbeaten in eight years (or 19 fights, depending on your perspective) so he knows how to win and is pretty good at it.

Barring a shock loss to Tito, Bader only loses against very high level opponents such as Jones and Machida, and there is genuinely no shame in that. I am picking Glover; I don’t think I have hidden that from the write up so far as he is genuinely high level. I cannot conceivably consider a vision of Bader winning unless it’s a sub-10 second knockout at the start of the fight due to a lucky punch.

For me, the question comes about how he wins. Glover is unbackable at 2/9, so round betting or method of victory comes into play. Round betting is speculative and lucky at best. For me the method of victory gives the biggest insight into profit. The bookies have KO as the favourite at 8/11, and perhaps rightly so. Personally, I’ll be making a play on Glover by submission and here is why; he has won two of his four UFC fights by submission whereas Bader has been submitted in two of his three losses. The sample size is very small by 50% success v 66% failure is about all I have to go on. The value is there as well at a top price of 10/3.

Recommendation: Method of Victory: Glover Teixeira by Submission – 10/3 (+333.33) @ BetVictor

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