UFC heads to Kansas City, Missouri this week for UFC on Fox 24: Johnson vs. Reis. Last week, the Spooky Express went 1-1 in the UFC 210 winning our Shane Burgos play but losing our Chris Weidman play. As many of you are aware, we probably shouldn’t have lost that play but due to commissions mistake but it is what it is and no sense crying over spilled milk. We are going to come back strong this week to make up for last weeks debacle.
Rose Namajunas vs. Michelle Waterson
“Thug” Rose Namajunas is 5-3 overall and 3-2 in the UFC. She is coming into this fight off a loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz via 3 round split decision as a -175 favorite.
“The Karate Hottie” Michelle Waterson is 14-4 overall and is 2-0 in the UFC. She is on a 2 fight win streak beating Paige VanZant in her last fight and defeating Angela Magana by 3rd round submission 2 fights back. Waterson’s last 4 wins all come by way of finish, 3 submissions and 1 KO.
Namajunas has struggled with talented strikers. Her three losses come against Kowalkiewicz, Carla Esparza and Tecia Torres, all three who are talented strikers. Waterson has one of the best striking games in women's MMA and trains out of the world renown Jackson-Wink MMA. I think Waterson is simply too talented and too experienced for these odds to be what they are. Waterson is currently a +118 underdog in this fight.
My suggestion is if you are going to play this fight, play it early as the odds will drop drastically when the late money comes in and the casual bettor sees that records of both fighters. I am all in on Waterson as I think she is a better fighter all over and will completely dominate this fight. This will be only our third 5 Unit Play of the Year, with our last two 5 unit plays both cashing.
Pick: Michelle Waterson +130 for 5 Units
Tom Duquesnoy vs. Patrick Williams
The next fight I am handicapping in Tom Duquesnoy vs. Patrick Williams. Tom Duquesnoy is 14-1 overall and will be making his long-awaited UFC debut. Duquesnoy has fought 8 times for the national promotion BAMMA and has gone 7-0 with 1 no contest in the organization. He has fought a very high level of opponents with his opponents combined record of those 8 fights in BAMMA totalling 93-33. In those 8 fights, he has finished 6 opponents and won the other fight b a 3 round split decision.
Patrick Williams is 8-4 overall and is 1-1 in the UFC. Williams has not stepped inside the octagon since June 2015, so expect some cage rust and cardio issues. In his last fight, he fought Alejandro Perez and won via a first round submission. He made his UFC debut 1 year prior against Chris Beal and was KO’d in the 2nd round of the fight.
Williams has only fought 3 times since 2013 and will be squaring off with Duquesnoy who is 12 years younger than the 35-year-old Williams. Duquesnoy is a well rounded, talented fighter that has high expectations in the UFC. He will NOT lose this fight. I normally do NOT recommend playing fighters making their UFC debut but Duquesnoy is an exception to the rule and we will lay 4 Units on him in this fight.
Pick: Tom Duquesnoy -450 for 4 Units
Aljamain Sterling vs. Augusto Mendes
Aljamain Sterling is coming into this fight off back to back loses and the only 2 losses on his resume. Sterling lost to Bryan Caraway two fights back and lost to Raphael Assuncao in his last fight, both by split decision. I personally had Sterling winning at a minimum the Assuncao fight but could argue he won both fights.
Sterling will fight Augusto Mendes, who is coming into this fight off a split decision victory over Frankie Saenz. Mendes made his UFC debut back in February 2016 against current UFC Bantamweight Champion Cody Garbrandt. Mendes lost the fight by 1st round KO as a +325 underdog but keep in mind that he made that debut on very short notice, 5 days, after Garbrandt’s originally opponent John Lineker got Dengue Fever and was forced to pull out of the fight.
Aljamain Sterling is one of the top bantamweights in the world and Augusto Mendes, although a talented fighter, is in over his head here. I think Aljo gets back on track with an impressive performance capped off by a submission victory.
Pick: Aljamain Sterling -250 for 3 Units.