UFC on FOX 28: Stephens vs. Emmett
Date: February 24
Arena: Bamway Center
City: Orlando, FL
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed back to Orlando, FL for the third time in promotional history with UFC on FOX 28: Stephens vs. Emmett. The 13 fight card is scheduled to kick off with preliminary action on UFC Fight Pass at 4:15 p.m. ET. Prelims will continue on FOX at 6 p.m., and the main card will be underway on the same channel at 8 p.m. My Fights to AVOID betting are:
Welterweight bout: Alan Jouban (-270) vs. Ben Saunders (+230)
Gabe’s Thoughts: This is a 170 pound matchup between two friends and I see it playing out two ways; either there is a highlight reel finish, or we witness a lackluster three rounds of action where Jouban outpoints Saunders for a unanimous decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. I think both fighters are capable of finishing the other by T/KO, though I think it is more likely that Jouban would earn a finish via strikes. Saunders, on the other hand, is also capable of winning this fight by submission. If he is able to secure takedowns but fails to find a submission, I could see him pulling off an upset win on the scorecards, as well. I think Jouban should be a -170 betting favorite heading into this bout, so at the current odds, I don’t believe he is worth a play. I do think Saunders holds value at his current offering underdog price of +230, but I cannot confidently back him with my wallet. I can’t blame anyone for taking a shot on Saunders at this price, as he has several route to victory, I just can’t personally trust him with my money, especially when he is fighting a friend of his. For me, and hopefully for you, this is a fight to avoid at the sportsbook this weekend.
Gabe’s Call: Jouban by T/KO (strikes, 3:18, round 2)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: AVOID
Bantamweight bout: Manny Bermudez (-170) vs. Albert Morales (+150)
Gabe’s Thoughts: Bermudez is making his promotional debut in this 135 pound contest against Morales, who is already a veteran of the Octagon and is making a quick turnaround for this contest following a unanimous decision loss to another UFC newcomer in Benito Lopez back in December. I think Bermudez should be a -180 betting favorite in this bout, so at the current odds, I see no value for a play on either side. I favor Bermudez to get his hand raised, however I am not confident about it, as I do not know how big of a factor Octagon jitters will play with him. If he does not secure an early finish, there is a chance that he could experience an adrenaline dump, at which point we would see Morales take over and win the second half of the fight, and potentially secure a late stoppage over the newcomer. To conclude, at the current betting odds, I feel this is a fight that is best left avoided at the sportsbook this Saturday night.
Gabe’s Call: Bermudez by Submission (guillotine or triangle choke, 2:13 round 1)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: AVOID
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