The UFC is back this week after 2 weeks off with UFC 209 from Las Vegas, Nevada. This card is headlined by the rematch for the UFC Welterweight Title between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson.
In their last match at UFC 205, 5 rounds just wasn’t enough for them as they went to a majority draw. They will now go at it for 5 more rounds and a winner will be decided!
Tyson Pedro (5-0) vs. Paul Craig (9-0)
Tyson Pedro made his UFC debut back on UFC Fight Night 101 on November 26, 2016. He took on Khalil Roundtree and won by 1st round submission/choke. He has 4 wins by submission and 1 by KO. All of his fights in his professional career have ended in the very first round.
Paul Craig made his UFC debut back on UFC on Fox 22 on December 17, 2016. He defeated Luis Henrique Da Silva by 2nd round armlock as a heavy underdog. He has 8 wins by submission and 1 by KO. All of his fights have been decided before the 3rd round. He has 7 wins in the 1st round and 2 wins in the 2nd round.
Normally, I wouldn’t suggest playing a fight like this with two grapplers to end early because their ground games usually offset each others but this fight stands out above the rest. Both of these guys have low level striking so the fight will go to the ground and someone is getting submitted. I will go against my better judgement and routine in this one and play this fight UNDER 1.5 Rounds.
- Pick: Tyson Pedro vs. Paul Craig to go Under 1.5 Rounds at -190 for 4 Units
Rashad Evans (19-5-1) vs. Daniel Kelly (12-1)
Rashad Evans is coming of a series of events that have led to 2 fights back to back getting cancelled. He was scheduled to fight Tim Kennedy at UFC 205 but Evans failed his medicals (CT Scan). The fight was then rescheduled for UFC 206 but again, Evans wasn’t cleared medically. Evans is now cleared and will fight Daniel Kelly. Evans is off 2 back to back losses in the light heavyweight division against Glover Teixeira and Ryan Bader.
Daniel Kelly is a decorated 4 time judo olympian for Team Australia. Since entering the UFC, he has gone 5-1 with his only loss coming against Sam Alvey by 1st round KO. He has 5 wins in the UFC but none of those 5 wins come against a quality opponent.
Rashad Evans caught a lot of slack for getting KO’d against Glover Teixeira but it can happen to anyone. In my opinion, Evans wasn’t fit to be fighting at 205. He was extremely small for the weight division and will be much better suited at 185 lbs. He will now face a judo specialist who relies on his submission game to beat opponents. That won’t play out well against Evans due to Evans wrestling background. Evans was the National Junior College Wrestling Champion in 2000 and later a member of the Michigan State Spartans wrestling team. He is one of only 4 people to ever defeat wrestling legend Greg Jones. Evans has NEVER been submitted in 25 professional fights and I look for him to get a win here at UFC 209.
- Pick: Rashad Evans -211 over Daniel Kelly as a 3 Unit Play
Mark Godbeer (11-3) vs. Daniel Spitz (5-0)
Mark Godbeer made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 99 on November 19, 2016 and lost by 1st round submission. He will now get another chance to rebound against a fighter making his UFC debut on short notice. Godbeer is a heavy handed striker with 1 punch KO power. In his 11 wins, 9 are by KO/TKO. Godbeer has finished all of his opponents before the final bell and all 3 of his losses also come before the final bell.
Daniel Spitz will be making his UFC debut with a limited amount of fights to really review. In the fights you watch of Spitz, his opposition is less than impressive. If you add up all of the fighters he has stepped in the cage with, at the time he fought them their record is 38-34, which is far from respectable.
Spitz is extremely over his head in this fight and taking the fight on short notice is only going to hurt him. Godbeer was originally scheduled to welcome Todd Duffee back to the UFC but Duffee pulled out. Godbeer will be looking to get a win here and shouldn’t have troubles getting his first UFC win.
- Pick: Mark Godbeer -140 over Daniel Spitz 2 Unit Play