UFC 231 – Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega – Betting Predictions
From a fan’s perspective, UFC 231 is a fantastic occasion. Concerning betting opportunities, I am feeling lukewarm. But here are my hints of the fights that I’m trying to playwith. Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Decorated jiu-jitsu winner and second degree black belt, Gilbert Burns, has been operating on his striking in recent years. Training under famed Dutch kickboxer, Henri Hooft, Burns is now comfortable wherever the battle occurs.
With his newfound striking abilities, Burns scored emphatic knockout victories over Jason Saggo and Dan Moret. Regrettably, opting to bang with Dan Hooker was disastrous and Burns was violently finished in his last struggle. I dropped money thinking Burns would grapple — oh well!
Even though a solid striker, Burns takes risks defensively and heaps on his own shots. Dan Hooker is the type of fighter that could capitalize on defensive lapses — but I am not sure Olivier Aubin-Mercier is.
Coming out of a judo background, Aubin-Mercier is immensely strong in the clinch and hefty from leading position. While he’s a whole lot more skilled on the toes than he was, Aubin-Mercier still lacks the fluidity of someone that’s a pure striker. He is light on his feet, out and in with his motion and slightly tentative — but is true when he flames.
While Aubin-Mercier is a jiu-jitsu brown belt, I doubt he wants to go to the mat with Burns. The muscle-bound human blanket, Michel Prazeres, refused to dive into the protector of Gilbert Burns — which speaks volumes.
In his last fight, Aubin-Mercier looked a step behind in the scrambles from Alexander Hernandez and I’d expect a master of body manipulation such as Gilbert Burns to control on the mat as well (though I wish there was more footage of Burns fighting his back to create a much better assessment).
I think that the striking trades will be aggressive, but I provide Burns a slight edge. Stylistically, this looks tricky for Aubin-Mercier and that I can not predict his strategy. Perhaps the Canadian will try and restrain his opponent against the weapon, but minus shooting takedowns?
I really do believe Aubin-Mercier is the better athlete and certainly has the cardio. However, I’ll take my chances of Gilbert Burns as a +120 underdog like I believe he must be a slight favorite.
Elias Theodorou vs. Eryk Anders
In a middleweight showdown between two boxers with contrasting styles (and personalities), Eryk Anders takes on Elias Theodorou.
A great athletic, Anders is volatile yet has good cardio. Struggling out of the southpaw stance, Anders packs enormous electricity in his left hand but in my view, goes head hunting a little too much. In his final bout, Thiago Santos was prepared for the key weapon of Anders — which restricted his offensive success.
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