Call the bookies to tell ‘em I am coming for them.
In an unprecedented move, Hot Take Jake is betting UFC. Now, do not save your money because it’s a first. It is still an all-things-right, no-things-wrong article with betting advice.
UFC 258 features a welterweight main event, Kamaru Usman vs. Gilbert Burns.
Usman is the favorite at -290. Burns’ 19–3 record enters the bout in classic underdog fashion at +225.
Usman is the favorite for many reasons. He holds the welterweight belt and a 17–1 record. “The Nigerian Nightmare” stands 6 feet tall, 170 pounds and has a dominating reach of 76 inches.
The size alone in this match-up has me leaning heavily toward Usman’s side of the octagon. He has a 5-inch reach advantage over Burns, not to mention a much better nickname.
Many fans consider Usman a boring fighter. The former Division II National Champion in wrestling has one goal and one goal only: take you down to the mat.
His last match was in July when he fought Jorge Masvidal. Usman landed 77 percent of his strikes but made bank on the ground and against the cage having control for 16:38. That is the equivalent of over three rounds of a fight.
However, Burns is a master grappler. His ability to pacify his opponents makes him a genuine threat to Usman’s title. He established himself as a top contender last May after defeating the former champion Tyron Woodly.
The fight was not close after going to the score cards and Burns’ winning by unanimous decision. He connected nearly 100 more punches and had 7:58 on the ground.
Despite all this, I still like Usman at -290. The fight will probably be primarily on the ground. In a division dominated by wrestlers, there will surely be double-digit takedown attempts.
Step aside Burns for the fight people actually want to see: Usman vs. Covington 2. At least you will be able to bank a small amount on this fight, but the co-main event looks better at sportsbooks.
The fight is in the women’s flyweight between Maycee Barber (+110) and Alexa Grasso (-134.)
They are the same exact build, same exact size, so there is no advantage in that category. The only difference is age. Grasso, the favorite, is five years more experienced than Barber.
She is coming off an ACL tear that has had her sidelined. Barber dubs herself as “the future,” and there is no better time to prove it than UFC 258.
Before the ACL tear, she was being fast tracked through the division. Going into the fight Barber was undefeated at 8–0. I will give her a pass on losing the last fight since that is when the injury happened, but this is not a simple injury it is a torn ACL.
I like the underdog in this fight anyway. Ignore the ACL injury because it has been a full year since that; plus, who does not love a comeback story, let alone an underdog story. Barber has a lot to prove, and I think she does just that.
The main card also features a middleweight matchup between Kelvin Gastelum (-220) and Ian Heinisch (+176.)
This is another fight in which both fighters want to prove their ability to compete for a title shot.
The fight is a little strange looking at the rankings. Gastelum is ranked No. 9, and Heinisch is No. 15 in the division. Gastelum is taking a big risk with his ranking and with a loss could put his title aspirations years back, especially after losing his last three.
The 29-year-old loves his finishes, and who could blame him. Gastelum has finished 11 of his 16 fights.
However, on the other side is a man looking to stamp his spot in the middleweight division. Heinisch will have a 2-inch advantage in the fight but does not have the big fights on his resume. The biggest fight he had was against Derek Brunson where he lost by unanimous decision.
I am leaning toward the favorite, Gastelum. Although he is on a losing streak, this is what would be considered a lesser opponent.
Combine that bet with the next: Gastelum along with the winner of the bantamweight.
The fight is between Pedro Munhoz (+126) and Jimmie Rivera (-154.)
An exciting fight and arguably the closest in talent as Munhoz comes in ranked No. 8, and Rivera is No. 9. Both are also the same in the last three at 1–2.
The fighting styles is about the only difference between them as Munhoz is a finisher who has 13 in his career, and Rivera is a guy who will tire you out and will hit the opponent at all three levels.
I, again, like the favorite with Rivera. He is a well-rounded fighter and can dominate a match up like this one. Also, I believe he will be able to drag the fight on and wear out Munhoz, plus who care overlook the 3.5 inch on reach advantage. Either way it should be a great fight.
So, all in all take Usman at -290 (single), Barber at +110 (single), and parlay Gastelum and Rivera at +140.
Sit down, shut up, take it to the bank.