Q & Anik is an article featured exclusively at MMAOddsBreaker.com that goes five rounds with UFC commentator Jon Anik offering his betting tips and picks on some of the biggest UFC cards of the year. Q: The main event at UFC 195 for the welterweight title has seen some solid line movement in favor of challenger Carlos Condit against champion Robbie Lawler, who opened at -145 in what is now a Pick’em fight. What have you heard about why that might be the case, and do you think the move is justified? Anik: A lot of people are asking me about rumors that Lawler has been limited in training. I’d imagine that has something to do with the line movement. (But) my buddies I talk to who are either UFC fighters, current champions or UFC veterans, it seems like most of them are picking Robbie Lawler. On our podcast, I picked Carlos Condit and I’ve been on the Condit side since the fight was announced. But the timing and the price isn’t great for betting on Condit right now. He had been plus-money for the entire build-up to the fight until I saw him as the favorite for the first time (Thursday) morning. I think maybe it speaks to some of those rumors, but oftentimes when you hear about pre-fight injuries or guys being limited leading up to the fight, it doesn’t necessarily result in that guy losing or looking any different. Robbie Lawler’s current form is such, that if you’re basing your wager largely on what we’ve seen inside the Octagon, if you can get him as an underdog right now, I’ve got to say there’s value there. Lawler has essentially shored up everything that maybe in the past could have been perceived as weaknesses. He has parlayed a real cerebral approach with his natural gifts – his power, his overall striking, his takedown defense – and he’s a hard guy to get out of there. He hasn’t been knocked out since 2004. So if Lawler is at plus-money on Saturday night, I’ve got to think that’s going to be appetizing to a lot of bettors. 2nd Round Q: Lawler has made just one title defense since winning the belt from Johny Hendrick via split decision at UFC 181 and was extremely impressive in his fifth-round TKO of No. 1 contender Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 on July 11. You picked Condit to pull off the victory, so what does he bring to the table that Lawler has not seen during his illustrious pro MMA career that started way back in 2001? Anik: I do think that Carlos Condit is a different type of fighter than he has ever fought before. The last time Brian Stann and I called his fight against Thiago Alves, Brian called Condit a kickboxing tornado. You just have no idea what’s coming from which angle, with which limb, and all of it is coming with a fight-ending intention. The Natural Born Killer is as appropriate a nickname as we have in the sport. If you ask most pro fighters to a man who their favorite fighter to watch is, I think the most popular answers might be Carlos Condit one and Robbie Lawler two. It’s about as good a fight as we can put together, but I picked Condit because I believe he has more weapons, and I’m staying on that. I just feel like some of the betting value has gone away. I think for me it’s more an intangible thing than it is a stylistic thing. And also just sort of a curiosity to see if at some point Lawler’s chin might just show to be human and give out. I also think Carlos has a great fluidity about everything he does on the ground. I expect this largely to be a striking affair, but Carlos has great finishing instincts on the ground, if it goes there. I think Condit is the more likely guy to get the finish. To me, given the way these guys dole out violence, I find it hard to believe that within 25 minutes, we won’t see a finish. Even if it’s a fourth- or fifth-round stoppage like we saw with Lawler against Rory MacDonald, I think at some point somebody is going to get finished. I think Condit wins, and there’s a good chance he gets Lawler out of there. 3rd Round Q: What do you think of the heavyweight matchup in the UFC 195 co-main event between Stipe Miocic and Andrei Arlovski, which some might view as a title eliminator for the right to fight champ Fabricio Werdum after his rematch with Cain Velasquez at UFC 196 on Feb. 6? Anik: I think Stipe Miocic has many more ways to win, and I think Stipe right now might be the best heavyweight in the world, with respect to Fabricio Werdum. And that’s a fight that I really want to see, so this is the showcase fight that Stipe really needs to take advantage of. Sometimes you’ve just got to swallow the price and bet on the guy who is in his prime. I think Miocic can take Arlovski down with relative ease if he doesn’t like the way things are going on the feet. I also like the fact that this is a 15-minute fight for Miocic. Stipe has had his taste of 25-minute fights recently and has fared quite well. But now he’s fighting a 15-minute fight, a co-main event on Pay-Per-View, and he can really go for it from horn to horn. Arlovski’s performance against Frank Mir at UFC 191 left a lot to be desired. Sure, Arlovski can get that right hand going and end any heavyweight’s night, so nothing is a slam dunk in this sport. And his resurgence has been awesome to watch. But to me, Stipe is the real deal, and I look for him to show it here against the former champion. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the finish, even though most pundits are forecasting the fight to go the distance. If it does, I think it will be Stipe by a wide decision. 4th Round Q: In another intriguing welterweight matchup on the UFC 195 main card, Lorenz Larkin looks to build on consecutive knockouts in his first two bouts at 170 pounds versus maybe the division’s most underrated and dangerous fighter in Albert Tumenov. Who do you like in this featured fight and why? Anik: Well, I wouldn’t bet against Albert Tumenov with your money right now. But I do think that there’s a little bit of value on Lorenz Larkin. I just wouldn’t place the bet. I’ve witnessed Tumenov’s knockout power first-hand, and he’s just a super technical guy who has added a bevy of kicks to his already strong boxing arsenal. I do like Larkin in this division, and I think the speed and the power are both there for him at 170 pounds. That said, some of his tendencies in previous fights, maybe backing up a little bit, could bite him here. I think he’s got to keep off of the fence because Tumenov just has great finishing instincts and will not stop in his pursuit of the stoppage. 5th Round Q: What other UFC 195 wagers should bettors consider on the rest of the main card and/or prelims? Anik: I see some value on Diego Brandao as an underdog against Brian Ortega, who I’m pretty high on. I like UFC experience, and that’s why I think there’s value on Dustin Poirier, too. I understand why Joe Duffy, at 14-1, and now, under Firas Zahabi, tightening up what is already an outstanding base, is a fighter people have pegged for big things. But I like Poirier’s attitude, I like his self-belief, I love his striking, I love him at 155 pounds. I think he takes a better punch in this division. And given the way things seem to be going recently in MMA, favorites scare me at almost any price, even though, of course, I’m backing Stipe. So I think Dustin’s a live underdog. I like Tony Sims. Elevation Fight Team – very good coaches there – emerging team. There are a lot of guys who believe Tony Sims has the best hands on that team. I think Brandon Thatch said that Sims has the best hands on the team. People like to spar with him because he gives you a lot of different looks. Switches stances constantly. Donald Cerrone likes to spar with him. This is a guy who I think is already a big asset to T.J. Dillashaw now that he’s moved there. Tony Sims’ last fight against Olivier Aubin-Mercier literally couldn’t be a worse matchup on the roster. In this strikers’ delight here (against Abel Trujillo), I like Tony Sims. Disclaimer: Mr. Anik is contractually prevented from wagering on UFC events. His betting tips and picks posted here are for information and entertainment purposes only.
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