UFC Fight Night 99 Cherry Picks: Main Card Values

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Gegard Mousasi is out for revenge at UFC Fight Night 99. Don’t hate because it’s a Fight Pass card – there are some good fights here.

The last time Mousasi met Uriah Hall, this happened:

Ouch. Not only did Hall derail Mousasi’s title hopes for about half a year, he produced one of the year’s best highlights at the Dutch-Armenian’s expense. In terms of personal humiliation, this GIF ranks somewhere between Vince Carter jumping over Frederic Weis and the Mark Sanchez Butt Fumble.

What makes it worse for Mousasi is that he likely beats “Primetime” 99 times out of 100. I don’t know about you, but watching an angry Gegard try to even the score sounds like a great time.

UFC Coming to Ireland

The pair will square off in the main event of this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 99 in Belfast. Also on the main card is Scotland’s Steven Ray, the debut of heavyweight knockout artist Alexander Volkov, and Ireland’s Artem Lobov defending his home soil.

Let’s take a look at your UFC betting options, courtesy of BookMaker.eu.


Gegard Mousasi (-502) vs Uriah Hall (+380)

Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -145, under +115

UFC Betting Analysis

If you look up “fluke knockout” in the dictionary, you’ll find the above GIF. That’s it – no words needed for a definition. At least that’s how oddsmakers are treating this matchup, with Mousasi as a -502 favorite in the UFC odds. We’ve covered the talent disparity between the two in detail earlier this week, so there’s no need to break it down again.

Mousasi to win is the safe, solid play. But the price is steep – you’d have to lay down over $500 to win a measly Benjamin. If you’re looking for value, try your hand at the over/under. This is a five-rounder with the round total split down the middle at 2.5. That equates to the 2:30 mark of the third round.

Although “The Dreamcatcher” is royally pissed off, he’s never been a guy that fights emotional. In fact, we’ve seen him happily jab opponents to death to the frustration of fans in attendance. While I do think he scores a finish, he’s not going to force it. Hall was knocked out in his last fight, but he is generally durable.

Cherry Pick:

Over 2.5 rounds at -145

Note: A Cherry Pick is a Big On Sports exclusive recommendation for UFC picks, based on select criteria such as value and probability. Our Cherry Pick record for the year is 13-3-1.


 

Ross Pearson (-115) vs Steven Ray (-105)

Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -220, under +180

UFC Betting Analysis

You probably don’t realize that Ross Pearson will be making his 22nd UFC appearance in his matchup with Steven Ray. You don’t stick around that long in the world’s best MMA organization without some skills. While Pearson has never sniffed title contention, he’s faced some very good fighters – like Al Iaquinta, Will Brooks and Gray Maynard.

Lately, though, Pearson has had some trouble being a .500 fighter. Just 4-6 in his past 10, Pearson just suffered the first back-to-back defeats of his career. Consecutive losses to Will Brooks and Jorge Masvidal are nothing to be ashamed of, but it also shows that Pearson is closing in on the end of a respectable UFC career.

Ray is far less experienced than Pearson, but is also six years younger at 26. He’s got far less miles on his body, and plays a key factor against a guy that’s been in a ton of wars. However, he’s got a glaring Achilles heel in wrestling. He has yet to beat a decent wrestler. While Pearson isn’t a great takedown threat, he’s been fighting long enough to know how to get a fight to the mat.

This is a Tough Call

Pearson has beaten better fighters than Ray, but he’s at a point in his career where taking on young bucks is a dangerous proposition. Still, I like his experience against Ray’s youth, who has some very real deficiencies in key MMA phases.

Our Prediction:

Pearson UD Ray


 

Timothy Johnson (-130) vs Alexander Volkov (+110)

Over/under 1.5 rounds, over -175, under +155

MMA Betting Analysis

Volkov is making his UFC debut, and it’s hard not to be intrigued by a 6’7” heavyweight with 18 KOs in 26 career victories. But like a lot of knockout artists, the Russian has problems against stifling clinch fighters and wrestlers.

While being the size of an NBA forward is a blessing in terms of range, having a lean frame is a curse against barrel-chested opponents who want to take you down.

Suddenly Volkov Doesn’t Look So Imposing…

Johnson is going to force the issue from the onset since he loves to press guys into the cage and go to work with dirty boxing. The key is whether Volkov has the power and elusiveness to keep his back off the wall.

I gotta admit that I’m tempted by Volkov’s power. But considering that he lost to guys like a creaky Cheick Kongo and an unheralded Tony Johnson, I’m not so confident in his ability to fend off a grinder like the moustachio’d Timothy Johnson.

Our Prediction:

Johnson UD Volkov


 

Artem Lobov (+230) vs Teruto Ishihara (-280)

Over/under 1.5 rounds, over -155, under +135

UFC Betting Analysis

Lobov gets the assignment of defending home court as the lone Irishman on the main card. A teammate of Conor McGregor, Lobov will meet Japan’s Teruto Ishihara in a winnable – but difficult – matchup. Artem is a guy that loves to brawl, and Ishihara is a fighter who will likely oblige.

Let’s Talk About Knockout Power

But there is a key difference here: Ishihara has knockout power while Lobov does not. That does not bode well for the SBG Ireland product, who often throws defense to the wind. While Lobov has a solid chin, it’s guaranteed he’s going to eat a few punches.

Having said that, Ishihara isn’t a very disciplined fighter either. In front of a fired up crowd, it’s too easy to see this turning into a punchfest. Although that slightly favors Ishihara in the fight picks, a small bet on Lobov could net a solid payout.

Our prediction:

Ishihara SD Lobov

For more UFC betting news, check out UFC Fight Night 100 Odds: Previews and Picks

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