The UFC heads over to Nashville, Tennessee for the latest instalment of its Fight Night series.
After the highs of UFC 190 comes the relative lows of this card as Glover Teixeira faces off against Ovince St. Preux in a fight that can ramifications for the top of the 205lb division. Although there is a large supporting cast most of these carry little interest or relevance so I have picked out the fights that interest me most. Let’s take a look at the odds provided by 5Dimes to see what’s what.
Johnson v Dariush:
It doesn’t feel right to label a five year veteran of the UFC as a rising star, particularly when they were a losing finalist in a TUF series. That is a label that seems to fit Michael Johnson. From being the only man in the UFC to defeat Tony Ferguson to losing back to back bouts against Myles Jury and Reza Madadi, Johnson now finds himself winning four in a row. While only ranked at #5 this is a win that could propel him to within touching distance of the winner of dos Anjos and Cerrone, failing that then it could be against a returning Pettis.
After experiencing his only career defeat to Ramsey Nijem, Beneil Dariush has rebounded with a four fight streak of his own. While not quite as impressive from a reputation standpoint it has been enough to push him to #12 in a very deep division. He will enter the octagon on Saturday knowing that a win could see his position jump to the highest level it has ever reached. With that the Iranian-American could find himself dreaming of his own tilt at the gold.
Johnson is arguably the more rounded fighter of the two and the one with more paths to victory. His experience, wrestling and, in particular, his recent roll call of names should be enough to give him the edge. I am going to play the percentages here and go with a Dariush win though. Dariush has a wealth of experience in the one area where Johnson has been found wanting; submissions. Johnson has been submitted six times in his career and it just happens to be the forte of his opponent.
Recommendation: Beneil Dariush Wins by Submission -1 unit at +270 (11/4) @ 5Dimes
Teixeira v St. Preux:
Glover Teixeira, according to Joe Rogan, was the heir apparent to Jon Jones, the person most likely to dethrone or seriously test the former champion. That didn’t work out so well and his follow up loss to Phil Davis has put the Brazilian on the verge of three defeats in a row. Win or lose its unlikely that this protégé of Chuck Liddell is going anywhere but it will ask serious questions of where he stands in the division as a whole once everything has played out.
Ovince St. Preux is one of those fighters that is somewhat of an enigma, for unknown reasons. When making the jump from Strikeforce he came with a burgeoning reputation but he hasn’t really been able to build upon that. While he has only lost once in the UFC, a decision to Ryan Bader, he has failed to truly catch fire yet. Barring a win over an ageing Shogun Rua his wins are against lower level fighters and this lack of name recognition arguably goes some way to explaining the lack of faith in him.
While this fight is scheduled for five rounds it feels unlikely that it goes that far, not when two out and out finishers face off. It isn’t hard to make a cogent argument for either fighter to win, and the odds accurately reflect that at almost pick’em prices. Although he has been rocked a few times I think that Glover possesses more keys to victory and I see him ending the fight somewhere around the third round. Still, if OSP comes out of the blocks and catches Glover cold then the fight takes a very different turn.
For this weeks parlay I hope not to disappoint as those that have recently gone before me have disappointed; so I’ll be taking Ray Borg at -500 (1/5), Uriah Hall at -400 (1/4) and Frankie Saenz at -125 (4/5) for a +170 (17/10) treble for two units.