Machida v Anders
The UFC heads south to Belem, Brazil for the first card in South America of this year.
Surprisingly, it’s a rather shallow card with a few recognisable names on display, while lacking in narrative. I’ve picked the two most exciting fights and given my thoughts with 5Dimes, as always, providing the odds.
Dodson v Munhoz:
As the winner of TUF:14 John Dodson announced his arrival to the UFC, achieving the feat in spectacular fashion as the only main to stop the reigning 135lb kingpin, TJ Dillashaw. However, it was at 125lbs where Dodson made his mark en route to a title shot against Demetrious Johnson. Unsurprisingly, he came up short against Mighty Mouse, but he remains one of a small handful to have taken the P4P greatest the distance, even if it wasn’t close. He repeated the same feat two years later, with the same outcome. It was a defeat that put Dodson on the skids and he has alternated wins and losses since.
Pedro Munhoz is something of an enigma at this level. Now a veteran of the UFC, after 8 fights in the promotion I find him to be in a somewhat false position. I’m not sure whether he has a generally high fight IQ, or he has fought against opponents with a particularly low one. Three of his last four wins have come by guillotine choke, in fights that he was losing. He has a choke that he can latch on at will, and Russell Doane, Justin Scoggins and Rob Font have all demonstrated poor fight IQ and suffered the consequences.
Greg Jackson will have a simple instruction for Dodson; don’t leave your neck exposed. If he can do that then he should win comfortably. Dodson is too quick for Munhoz and is more rounded. It doesn’t want to stop me having a flier on Munhoz by submission though. I’m a believer of patterns in MMA and Dodson’s pattern tells me he’s due a win.
Recommendation: John Dodson – 2 units at -150 (4/6) @ 5Dimes
Machida v Anders:
He has been a tremendous talent, and an active competitor for 15 years but the clock is counting down on the career of Lyoto Machida. His career peaked in 2007-2009 and its been a steady decline ever since. Sure, there have been some flashes of brilliants, like his finish of Randy Couture and his loss in a Fight of the Year against Dan Henderson, but his last few years have been a little grim. Three defeats on the spin, two of them at either end of a ban for PED’s, leaves the once mighty Dragon staring at extinction. A fourth defeat could, and probably will, signal a deserved retirement.
Eryk Anders may not yet be a star in the world of MMA, but there is no denying that he is an elite level athlete. In a single discipline it doesn’t count for a huge amount, but in a sport like MMA it brings conditioning, competition, endurance, qualities which help elevate one above the part timers. Combine this with 6 years of experience and you have a fighter who could be the answer to many questions, although his ability at this level remains untested. A win over The Dragon, and his future looks a lot brighter, particularly with a marquee name on his resume.
I’m not buying the hype over Anders, at least not yet. But I must pick him over a battle worn Machida. The Brazilian has the tools to cause an upset, but he is more likely to be rocked and finished early because he doesn’t have 25 minutes left in him. Machida is a vastly different opponent to the one who outpointed Gegard Mousasi, Anders will slay the dragon, who’s clock sits and two minutes to midnight.
Recommendation: Eryk Anders Inside the Distance – 4 units at -192 (10/19) @ 5Dimes