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UFC Fight Night Smith vs. Rakic Rundown

UFC Fight Night: Smith vs. Rakic at the Apex in Las Vegas Odds from 5Dimes as of 8/28/2020

By Claude Baker Jr @cbjr30

What to Expect:

I will be taking over this week’s UFC Rundown. You can typically find me answering questions about your account or content at NumberBall Support. I am an avid fan of the UFC, and I practice Muay Thai. I love the sport. Evan’s robots are getting updated and will be back better and sharper than ever soon. Of note: I know many of you look for the five-round fights for the potential extra points. Well, this week, every fight is only three rounds, including the main event. So let’s have some fun.

 

Aleksander Rakic (-250) – $8,700 vs Anthony Smith (+230) – $7,500

Now that Jon Jones has officially vacated his Light Heavyweight Belt. This fight could see the winner in contention for a title shot. The Main Event features a very talented fighter in Aleksander Rakic. Rakic is coming off a split decision loss to Volkan Oezdemir. Before that, he had won 12 (four) consecutive fights. You can say losing as he did by a split decision may have Rakic focused on a finish. I think his striking is too much for Anthony Smith to handle. The Inside the Distance line is -170 for this fight. If you are looking for a good bet, you can bet Rakic wins by TKO/KO +140.  Anthony Smith, for his part, is a worthy opponent. Smith is coming off a late 5th round loss to Glover Teixeira by KO. He, too, fought Volkan Oezdemir and won by submission in round three. So I am not saying MMA Math is a thing because it isn’t. What I am saying if Anthony Smith wants to win this fight, he will need to take Rakic down and work for a submission.  I will side with Rakic’s ability to keep this fight standing.

Rakic by Finish TKO

 

Neil Magny (-230) – $8,600 vs Robbie Lawler (+210) – $7,600

Neil Magny comes in as a pretty sizable favorite against veteran Robbie Lawler. Magny is a lean and rangy fighter. Magny showed off his grappling a couple of fights ago when he bested Jingliang Li in a three-round Decision win and scored four takedowns. I think for Magny to win, he won’t want to stand in the pocket and exchange against the power of Lawler. He will likely need to mix in a couple of takedowns with his distance striking. Lawler now 38 comes in this fight, having lost his last three fights, including one versus Ben Askren (now retired because he wasn’t a UFC caliber fighter). Lawler’s only hope is for Magny to want to get in exchange. I don’t see that happening.

Magny by Decision

 

Alexa Grasso (-280) – $9,100 vs Ji Yeon Kim (+255) – $7,100

Alexa Grasso just can’t be played on DraftKings at this price. If I am wrong, I will live with that. Grasso would need a finish to pay off this salary. Her last finish you ask…how about never in the UFC and going back to December 5, 2014. Checking in on the Inside the Distance line at Vegas, we see it is at +285. Do you see something wrong there? Grasso will throw punches in bunches. Two fights ago, she was credited with 148 significant strikes in a decision win versus Kowalkiewicz. She would need to replicate that to have any chance at landing on the optimal lineup. Ji Yeon Kim had an impressive KO against Nadia Kassem nearly a year ago. She has also never been stopped, which takes me back to Grasso likely being mispriced. This fight will probably stay standing, and both fighters will score in their exchanges. I think Grasso is the better fighter and will win this one.

Grasso by Decision

 

Ricardo Lamas (-305) – $9,200 vs Bill Algeo (+275) – $7,000

Ricardo Lamas has a new opponent now that Ryan Hall is out injured. We have seen what these late fighter changes have been able to do in the Octagon. Taking a look at Algeo’s resume, you can see he has fought and lost to eventual UFC (Jared Gordon and Shane Burgos) and Bellator (John de Jesus) fighters. Am I making a case for Algeo? I think he is a live dog. However, I will side with Lamas in this fight. I will also build a lineup with Algeo. This fight will not likely see the scorecard. Take the inside the distance on the fight at -165.

Lamas by Finish TKO

 

Magomed Ankalaev (-290) – $9,000 vs Ion Cutelaba (+260) – $7,200

We get a rematch here with this matchup, so this one should be fun. If you missed the first fight, it lasted all of 38 seconds. Cutelaba was visibly stunned and shaky, but he was firing back haymakers. And just as it seemed  Cutelaba was regaining his composure, Referee Kevin MacDonald stepped in and stopped the fight. To Cutelaba’s defense, it was premature. Now to the rematch. I think Cutelaba will come into this fight more aware of the power Ankalaev has in his hands. Magomed Ankalaev, while from Dagestan, is a vicious striker and would prefer striking versus the expected grappling you usually see from a fighter out of Dagestan (UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov is from Dagestan and arguably the best wrestler in the UFC). For Ion Cutelaba to get the victory, he will need to circle and avoid Ankalaev’s right hand if he can do that he can pull off the upset. The inside the distance for the fight is -285. While the most likely outcome is a KO by either fighter that line is sitting at plus money. If you have a lean by all means, grab it. For DraftKing purposes, I will have more shares of Cutelaba only for leverage against the field. I am going with Anklaev, and the bet is Ankalaev wins in round 1 at +225.

Ankalaev by Finish TKO

 

Impa Kasanganay (-130) – $8,500 vs Maki Pitolo (+120) – $7,700

Impa Kasanganay winner on DWCS just a couple of weeks ago is taking the step up and making his debut in the UFC Octagon. I am not sure what Dana’s rush is in getting these fighters into the Octagon? Kasanganay is a talented fighter. He is ripped, and he is lean. But you have to start thinking of his legs coming in on a shortened camp. Will they hold up? Maki Pitolo, for his part, fought his way to the UFC by winning DWCS just over a year ago. Since then, he has had three fights going 1-2 in those bouts. His recent loss was only three weeks ago when he lost be submission to Darren Stewart. This is a bout of who’s body will respond better? As a fan of the sport, I wouldn’t say I like that the UFC made this fight this soon. But we can still pick a winner, and I will side with the dog in this one. Should be a close razor-thin victory, and either fighter could have their hand raised.

Pitolo by Decision

 

Mallory Martin (-325) – $8,900 vs Hannah Cifers (+265) – $7,300

This fight has a decision written all over it. Fight Goes to Decision is currently at -225. This typically would make Cifers a live dog but keep reading. Mallory Martin has fought on DWCS and Invicta before making her UFC debut in December 2019; she lost by submission to my favorite fighter from a couple of weeks ago Virna Jandiroba. So what can we expect from her nearly nine months later? Martin is a talented fighter and could secure a submission herself if she can control Cifers on the mat. Hannah Cifers, for her part, will want to do everything she can to keep this fight standing. She is not strong off her back at all. But Cifers has shown not to be strong on the feet either. This should be a fight the Martin wins.  If you want to take a stab at an Inside the Distance with Martin winning…I wouldn’t fault you for that.

Martin by Decision

 

Alessio Di Chirico (-115) – $7,800 – vs Zak Cummings (+105) – $8,400

DraftKings pricing is off here. When you see the favorite under $8k on DK, you can expect ownership to follow. And likewise, when the underdog is missed priced by $400-500 higher than value, you will see that generally reflected in ownership as well. The winner of this fight is likely to be low scoring. Even in a fight where Di Chirico landed four takedowns, he managed just 81 DraftKings points. That would be good, but it’s not something he’s done consistently. Zak Cummings is a pure striker with not much volume. His ceiling thus far with DraftKings scoring has been 72 points. He does have power and could score a KO. Even with the mispricing of the fighters, this fight is an easy fade for me. If you believe Cummings can work his way to KO, you likely will have him lower owned on your optimal lineup.

Di Chirico by Decision

 

Alex Caceres (-185) – $7,400 vs Austin Springer (+160) – $7,200

Alex Caceres was initially set to fight rising UFC Star Giga Chikadze, who withdrew with an undisclosed reason. He will now face the last guy to beat Chikadze, Austin Springer. While the pricing is off considerably, don’t rush to throw Caceres in your lineup. He isn’t known of late as being a finisher. One thing of note is that Austin Springer did come in five pounds overweight for this fight. So Caceres could get that finish solely by being in better shape at this point. This fight looks like a Caceres win by decision win.  Austin Springer has to be one disgruntled guy coming into this match. As I stated, he was the last fighter to be Chikadze. Not only did he beat Chikadze, but he also scored a third-round submission victory. Oh, did I mention this one on DWCS, and he didn’t get the contract to fight in the UFC? Dana likely told him this is his one shot. So he will probably bring the heat. I know I have laid a narrative that may or may not be playing in Springer’s head…but I know if I were in his shoes and seeing all the hype around a guy I beat via submission, I would leave everything in the Octagon. I will pick Springer for that reason and hope that his skills can translate to the UFC Octagon. For DraftKings, you will want exposure to both sides because it ensures you have a winner in the $7k range. You may need that value to allow you to spend up where necessary.

Springer by TKO

 

Emily Whitmire (-140) – $8,200 vs Polyana Viana (+130) – $8,000

This is an evenly matched fight. Emily Whitmire had not fought in over a year when she lost by submission to Amanda Ribas. Whitmire has won once both by decision and submission. But has lost twice in the UFC by submission. Keep that in mind. Polyana Viana is on a three-fight losing streak, and she lost a split decision to Hannah Cifers. That’s not good. But she is a live dog here. If she can get Whitmire down, she can work for submission, and as we know, Whitmire is susceptible to losing by submission. Not the strongest of confidence in this fights direction, but I will side with the slight underdog.

Viana by Decision/Submission is possible

 

Sean Brady (-410) – $9,300 vs Christian Aguilera (+365) – $6,900

Sean Brady, in his first two fights in the UFC, has shown striking (he landed 119 significant strikes in his debut fight and won by decision) and grappling securing four takedowns and six advances in wrapping up his second fight by decision. He is a real mixed martial artist. I suspect he will be the highest owned fighter on the card. Christian Aguilera looked great in his debut just two months ago. Scoring a first-round KO victory over Anthony Ivy. In Aguilera’s career, most of his stoppages have come early in his fights. This is where he will need to get the victory. The longer this fight goes, the more of the skills of the proper mixed martial artist will take over. I am willing to take a shot and build a lineup or two with Aguilera. But I think Brady will win this fight.

Brady by Decision