UFC Fight Night Fiziev vs. Gamrot: Lightweight elimination

The UFC APEX in Las Vegas hosts this week’s Fight Night offering a main event worthy of PPV status. Two top seven Lightweight contenders headline a fight slate consisting of eleven bouts ranging from Strawweight (115lbs.) to heavyweight (265lbs.).

Many of the combatants competing on this card may lack headliner status but with one great performance each/any/all could catapult themselves into higher profile bouts.

In the UFC combatants better finish opponents and/or put rear ends in seats (preferably both) in order to be highlighted and inserted into a main event situation.

Last week my release of Canadian Jas Jasudavicious lost which puts results to date 15-15 -0.85u. It’s time for a fourth quarter run!

Rafael Fiziev -155 vs. Mateusz Gamrot +135 Lightweight (155lbs.) main event

Polish warrior Gamrot enters this bout sixth ranked in the division and he’s utilized his world class wrestling base as the foundation for his success.

Gamrot’s supplemented his wrestling base with a black belt in BJJ which allows him to apply a forward pressing, heavy pressure grappling attack designed to back opponents up. Forward pressure is foundational to Gamrot success as he relies on grounding opponents then exercising dominance from the mat.

A couple bouts back against Beneil Dariush, Gamrot got caught off guard by a prepared, experienced well-rounded adversary. He next faced 6’3” monster and top ten lightweight power striker Jailin Turner on short notice and was able to earn victory in the most difficult of circumstances. He was focused on getting back into the win column after what he regarded as a learning experience.

Gamrot is a game, focused, experienced and confident athlete entering this bout and it matters little who is put in the cage with him for he’s competed against world class adversaries all possessing diverse, fight ending weaponry.

Sixth ranked Rafael Fiziev is a Kyrgyzstani fighter with an awareness of wrestling but he’s not near as fluent as is his opponent in that capacity. Rather, Fiziev employs a dynamic Muay Thai striking attack as his fighting base. From there he’s added a blue belt in BJJ to compliment his fighting repertoire.

Fiziev stands as the striking coach at the world-famous ‘Tiger Muay Thai’ gym in Phuket Thailand, so take it from me that his movement, strike defense, strike offense and his tactical abilities are unequaled.

Fiziev enters this fight as Gamrot did against Turner in his last, on the bounce off a loss to Justin Gaethje that in my judgment makes Fiziev extremely dangerous in this spot situationally.

That said, scouring Fiziev’s past opponents leaves me wondering why he has never faced as formidable or at least any formidable wrestling/sambo/grappling based opponents…. Could this have been by design?

Fiziev’s last opponent, Justin Gaethje painted Fiziev’s fence via striking this past March and with the humiliation of that beatdown in the rear view, Fiziev enters this fight with urgency and a singularity of focus.

Fiziev’s striking skills are refined, diverse and more damaging than are Gamrot’s and I must believe it’s Fiziev’s intention to make this a striking competition rather than allowing Gamrot to compete where he is most lethal (and Fiziev untested), against the fence and on the canvas.

Once this fight starts it will be fascinating to watch Fiziev address the immediate forward press and wrestling introduction from Gamrot. It will be critical for Gamrot to tax Fiziev and make him effort throughout the full length of the TWENTY-FIVE MINUTE fight for cardio is surely an advantage for Gamrot especially in a grueling, grinding, taxing wrestling competition which Gamrot must make this.

Fiziev is most likely to finish opponents via volume striking/kicking, he must maintain distance in order to launch and land. How he creates and maintains the necessary spacing to strike/kick is foundational to his success in this fight. How he handles Gamrot’s take down offense will also be important to his chances of earning victory.

Fiziev’s youth, his compact physique and how it translates into take down defense, the fact that he’s ‘on the bounce’ seem advantages for him in this bout.

The fact that he has not really competed against a forward pressing vice grip of a wrestling based mixed martial artist has me wondering how well prepared he may be for Gamrot’s twenty-five minutes of wrestling pressure.

For Gamrot, he must systematically break down this deft striker and force him backwards, force him to defend, force him to wrestle and force him to tire. Gamrot owns the sure way to sap the zip from any effective striker with his ability to wrestle for rounds…not minutes.

From a wrestling/grappling and mixed martial arts perspective it’s my belief that Gamrot holds advantage.

For Fiziev, it’s all about keeping this bout on the feet. He must maintain striking distance through movement and counterstriking to discourage Gamrot from rushing into the pocket to engage.

Fiziev’s take down defense will be foundational to his success because he’ll be as awkward and ineffective on the floor as Gamrot will be having to compete solely on the feet.

At the end of the day, I’ll take the wrestling-based athlete as underdog in this situation.

Gamrot +135

Total in this fight: 4.5Rds. Under -125

Charles Jourdain -135 vs. Ricardo Ramos +115 Featherweight (145lbs.)

Ramos from Brazil is well rounded in his fight makeup but specializes is striking and especially spinning kicks and elbows.

Jourdain is a kickboxing specialist at heart and while he sports BJJ skill he prefers to out point opponents with movement, precision strikes and kicks but with little power.

Early in this bout I look for both men to stand and measure the other with striking but as the bout wears on it surely makes sense for Ramos to find a way inside to engage then drag Jourdain down to the mat where Ramos is dangerous and Jourdain is somewhat exposed.

Lean to Ramos

Total in this Fight: 2.5Rds. Over -130

Lean to the over

GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast has earned a net 22.80 units in 2023 showing 15% ROI. The podcast drops each Friday there is a UFC card. Look for it across all podcast platforms.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the fights


UFC Noche Grasso vs. Shechenko: Bulletproof!

Never in my wildest imaginations did I believe that Sean Strickland would actually execute the proper plan of attack to clasp the middleweight title away from former middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Strickland with his one-sided decision win has left the MMA community dumbfounded heading into this week’s card.

Now this week from the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas comes ‘Noche UFC’ an event described by the UFC as, “The UFC brings an action-packed card to T-Mobile Arena on Mexican Independence Day for the first time ever. It has become a great tradition in combat sports to hold big fights on September 16th, and this year we’re honoring our UFC fans and fighters from Mexican communities with an inaugural Noche UFC.”

On this fight card are six true Mexican fighters and another three of Mexican heritage now residing in the US. They’ll take on other athletes from around the globe in this event highlighted by current Mexican flyweight champion Alexa Grasso’s first defense which is a rematch with former champion Valentina Shevchenko who Grasso submitted to earn the title this past March.

Last week we realized great displeasure by wagering on the ‘Pleasure man’ Anton Turkalj. We step back in profitability with the goal of enhancing that bottom line with this week’s release.

Champion Alexa Grasso +140 vs. Valentina Schevchenko -165 Women’s flyweight (125lbs.) title

This line opened months ago Schevchenko -225. Immediately after release I advised ‘Bout Business Podcast listeners to attack that Grasso +195 price. As we can see that price is long gone and the current number depicts a more realistic price on this bout in my judgement.

Shevchenko’s shown an ebb in her effectiveness for a couple of fights now and intertwined with that slight erosion of skill has been the evolution of seeing Valentina in evening wear, out on the town and actually enjoying life a little bit.

While she’s surely earned that right, I can only relay what I was taught by ol’ Angelo Dundee many years ago and I have found this to be so true of fighters.

Dundee would warn of the paradox in this manner; once a fighter who started with little to nothing earns the reputation and rich’s they’ve longed for from their fighting success, it’s that notoriety, money and distraction coming from the public accolades that end up diluting the fighter’s skills. Yes, success corrodes and dulls the focus, drive, desire of championship level fighters.

Valentina’s mind knows she can overcome most any obstacle because previously she has always been able to overcome any obstacle. However, she’s now thirty-five and has been competing with absolutely every world class adversary the organization put in front of her since 2015.

Valentina’s well rounded, she’s highly intelligent and keenly driven. In this fight it will be 70% of her pride yearning to recapture that title substantiated with 30% grit, determination and nasty.

For Grasso, she’s has months to reprepare for this second challenge. The old boxing saying that fighters become 35% better once they clasp the championship is not inaccurate in my judgement.

In March Grasso utilized speed, timing and her specific plan for success which ended up being enough to earn her the title. So now Grasso and camp know they had the formula to defeat the unbeatable ‘Bullet’ Valentina but as they enter the cage for this tussle, how will they adjust if at all?

Different in this fight is the pressure Grasso will carry into the cage for not only is she fighting the former champion but the crowd will be chalk full of Mexican fight enthusiasts all yearning to see their fighter dominate. So yes, there is pressure on Grasso entering this rematch.

Once the bell rings for this bout I look for Valentina to immediately try to bully Gasso and back her up.

Grasso will need to face the fire but she’ll realize too that it’s in her best interest to bully the bully, Valentina! In fact, Grasso taking this fight to Valentina seems a great way to instill doubt immediately into the Russian’s mind and let her know immediately that the ‘orgullo de los Mexicanos’ or Mexican pride will inspire Grasso in her attempt to retain her title.

Grasso +195 was surely a wrong price. Grasso +150 is more in line. It’s difficult for me to recommend Grasso +150 when I already hold her +195 so I’ll look to a bout other than tis main event to pad 2023 profitability.

Total in this fight: 4.5Rds. Over -155

This price indicates a potentially close, competitive decision

Tracy Cortez -125 vs. Jasmine Jasudavicious +105 women’s flyweight

Tracy Cortez comes from a family of wrestlers. Her forward pressure, clinch attack and cardio are what one would expect from a top end grinding wrestler.

Cortez has faced decent UFC caliber foes and she’s shown an ability to press the pace and utilize her wrestling in the cage. The issue here however is that this is mixed martial arts competition and Cortez, though apt as a pressure wrestler, is lacking with her striking and strike evasion which offers opponents a singularly versed opponent.

Jasmine enters this fight the larger lady, the older fighter and the athlete with deeper experience. She’s also been in the cage with a higher caliber set of opponents. Jasmine is coming off an impressive victory over another forward pressing wrestling- based athlete in Miranda Maverick, one I handicap to be at or above the ability of Ms. Cortez. The Maverick bout could not have come at a better time for Jasmine for it is a terrific precursor to Ms. Cortez as both are very similar in fighting style.

Jasmine’s experience, her size, the absolute bad intention she carries and above all her effective power striking will be the difference in this fight as she’s seen fighters similarly equipped as Cortez. Meanwhile Jasmine represents a substantial step up in class for Cortez and one that will do all she can to finish this fight.

The contention here is that Jasudavicious should be the athlete with the minus next to her name so I find it advantageous to invest in Jasudavicious +105.

Total in this fight: 2.5Rds Over -350

GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast drops every Friday there is a UFC fight card. This week the Pod will be available around 1pm PT!

Enjoy the fights and Thank you for reading


Profitable Sports Gaming


Money Morning: UFC sweep!

This week in the UFC ‘Bout Business Podcast did something that happens rarely, it swept the board. Interestingly it was done on a night when favorites ran 10-1 in the UFC. What’s more interesting than that was that all of the releases offered Saturday were chalk positions!

‘Bout Business Podcast enthusiasts realized a 3-0 +3.43u evening.

2023 BBP totals: 75-72 +23.81u 16%ROI (+128)

It’s not too late to step in and realize bottom line profitability from the last quarter of the UFC year!

My lesson learned from this past week is to get back to my underdog basics immediately while continuing to take advantage of the menu’s offered by the major sportsbooks which allow me to both obtain betting advantage while simultaneously providing that betting insight to loyal fight enthusiasts.

Tomorrow: I talk al about Deion…and yes, I am a believer!


UFC FN Paris Gane vs. Spivak: French toast?

This week the UFC returns to Paris, France after an outstanding fight card from Singapore last week where favorites rolled to another big night realizing a 10-3 result.

Nine athletes on this fight slate are making debuts or in the case of Rhys McKee debuting in his second stint in the UFC so there are but a handful actionable bouts in my judgement. I’ll choose to use the fights populated with debutants as ‘due diligence’ bouts where I collect the data for future consideration.

Favorite’s this year in the UFC stand 213-104-14 or 64.3%.

Michal Oleksiejczuk +100 did in fact weather a furious first few minutes from his opponent last Saturday before KO’ing the brute in the first round. Michal O pushes profitability for the year back into the black!

14-13 +0.15 for 2023

Cyril Gane -160 vs. Sergey Spivak +140 Heavyweight (265lbs.) main event

Gane, ranked number two in the heavyweight rankings has been impressive since hitting the heavyweight scene in 2019. He ran into Jon Jones this past March and was quickly shown that to compete against the elite in the UFC a fighter must be complete physically and mentally.

In his evolution Gane has shown aptitude with his athleticism, skill and stand-up ability and in this bout, we’ll witness how much growth there has been in his ability to defend take downs then once down, display an ability to get back up to his feet for this is the fulcrum to this fight!

A fighter with an elite kick boxing base, Gane is a unique specimen for he moves like a middleweight yet possesses the striking power of a heavyweight delivered with precision, speed, ferocity and intent.

Gane relies on deft footwork, evasive defense and precision volume striking often set up by the employment of damaging kicks to effectively maim opponents. From there compromised foes immobility further allows the nimbler Gane to close in for the stoppage.

A professional fighter since 2018, Gane’s 8-2 in the UFC and finds himself with a great opportunity in this bout to show the fight community that he’s addressed his lack of grappling defense off the heels of that magnificent gag against Jones.

In Spivak, Gane gets a similarly sized wrestling/grappling versed opponent who does have power in his hands but is not a natural striker. Winner of his last three straight and seven of his last eight, Spivak arrives with great momentum and a specific plan laid out by Jon Jones on how to defeat Gane.

Spivak will be focused on pressuring Gane, trying to negate his space, press him backwards then clasp onto him. The floor is ultimately where Spivak wants to take Gane for Spivak’s size and wrestling/grappling aptitude will provide him great advantage there.

Where Gane is quick, precise, athletic and fluid Spivak is premeditated, telegraphing and awkward on the feet. Standing and at distance is the last place Spivak can allow this fight to be contested for he needs to make this a slow dance at the high school prom or he’ll be shredded.

By Grappling Spivak can usurp some of the speed, zip and flash from Gane and in fact this is exactly his path to victory. He must find a way to wear the Frenchman down in order to make him more susceptible to Spivak’s grappling.

Once this fight begins it’s my belief that Gane’s athleticism, speed and focus off that loss will be on display only as long as it takes for Spivak to embrace him.

What remains to be seen is if Gane’s ability to defend a formidable take down attempt has been addressed since the Jones fight and any decent MMA trainer will tell you that the answer to that is a simple ‘NO’.

Spivak, though no Jon ‘Bones’ Jones is a formidable grappler whose immediate fight future lies in his ability to ground Gane in this bout. Will he be able to do so?

Gane opened -215 for this fight so there’s early Spivak interest in the market. Gane is currently priced -165 looks inviting but I’m wary of Spivak in this spot despite the fact that this fight in in Gane’s backyard.

I’ll await props for this bout but must say that this is no layup for Gane.

Total in this fight: 2.5Rds Under -260

Points: not available yet

Benoit St. Denis -155 vs. Thiago Moises +135 Lightweight (155lbs)

The fact that neither of these killers is ranked in the UFC’s Lightweight top fifteen seems to be proof that the lightweight division in the UFC is populated with nothing but world class talent.

In Brazilian Moises we get an elite grappler who is decorated with a black belt in BJJ. Eight of Moises seventeen professional wins have come via submission, three by KO.

Moises employs his stand-up game to set up his grappling for on the feet he realizes a negative strike differential (-1.5 significant strikes per minute) allowing 3.9 significant strikes per minute while connecting with only 2.4 significant strikes per minute.

Moises has had success against the middle tier of the division but when he steps into competition with top fifteen competition he has faltered. Moises enters this bout off two straight victories and it’s probable that the winner of this battle cracks into that top fifteen of the division.

In southpaw St. Denis we get an athlete that grew up with a father who was a judo instructor and if that was not enough this is a man is a former Navy Seal in the French military so not only can this man impose himself physically, mentally he cannot be overtaken.

St. Denis is a black belt in Judo and a brown belt in BJJ, he strikes with more volume/power than does his opponent but he also realizes a negative significant strike differential of -1.9 significant strikes per minute.

St. Denis is huge for the division and he’ll be much the larger man in the cage Saturday. He holds eleven professional victories of which nine have come via submission. Further, St. Denis has had success against Brazilian athletes with BJJ backgrounds though in this matchup it’s reasonable to believe that St. Denis will need to keep this fight standing.

Once this fight begins it will be Moises quickness and athleticism in competition against the forward pressure and striking aggression of St. Denis. On the feet St. Denis will need to crowd Moises press him against the cage and fight the Brazilian in close until he can soften him up and then attempt to take him out.

For Moises he’ll want to maintain distance in order to kick and counter the aggressive Frenchman on his way into engage for Moises must get this bout to the mat in order to realize success in my judgement.

Moises is durable, crafty and savvy and has only been submitted against current champion Makhachev. Each man will have difficulty finishing the other but the St. Denis size, ferocity and high-pressure pace coupled with a seasoned French crowd are the difference in this fight for me.

This bout opened St. Denis -120 and on Sunday I released St. Denis -125 with the feeling that this price would be higher by the time I submitted this column. St. Denis is currently -145 and rising…

Total in this fight 2.5Rds. Under -135 after opening -155.

Points: not available yet

GambLou ‘Bout Business Podcast: +20.38u 14% ROI (+128) on the year.

This week the Podcast drops midday Friday as the start time for the fights Saturday is 9am PT

Thank you for reading and enjoy the fights.


UFC Singapore: Holloway vs. Jung: Fight Zombie

UFC 292 shook the rafters in Boston’s TD Garden when after favorites steamrolled to a 9-1 start, they were thwarted by new champion Sean O’Malley’s counter right hand that was lighting fast, pinpoint precise and landed flush dropping Aljamain Sterling to his teeth. The finish came soon afterward for the new champion.

O’Malley now becomes the superstar the UFC and he have been envisioning. It remains to be determined if the UFC forces their new cash cow to perform against elite talent or with potentially handpicked opponents that may prove less threatening to the more singularly dimensioned O’Malley.

This week the Organization travels to Singapore for a production that will begin with preliminary action at 2am PST Saturday with main card dropping at 5am PT so prepare for early morning mauling from Singapore!

This fight card features many eastern hemisphere fighters many of which are making their debuts or are still very new into the UFC.  The card overall offers a handful of brilliant matchups.

This card excites me because handicapping diverse fighting skills coupled with athletes from diverse countries of origin is one of the most fascinating aspect of betting MMA bouts in my judgement.

We have a South Korea vs. Holland opening fight, a Dominican against a Pole heavyweight tussle as well as a Japan vs. a Mexico bantamweight bout set of the main card.

Don’t sleep on this fight card people!

UFC profitability to date: 13-13 -0.85u

Max Holloway -850 vs. Sung Yung Chan aka Korean Zombie +550 Featherweight (145lbs.) main event

Matchmaking for this main event had to be difficult for the UFC as they’re keenly focused on electrifying crowds with local/regional matchups often times placing selected regional talent into somewhat favorable positions for the benefit of fans.

In Singapore we get an eastern hemisphere favorite in the Zombie, currently ranked tenth in the division. More importantly the thirty-six-year-old Jung is from South Korea respectfully called for this fight and enters a large underdog with the opportunity to try to electrify the crowd as young O’Malley did last week.

Jung is decorated like a Christmas tree, he’s a 3rd dan black belt in Hapkido, a 2nd dan black belt in Taekwondo, a Black belt in Judo as well he holds a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu so he’s surely capable on his best night to find any opponent with volume, power and constancy.

Further his reputation in the region is unmatched based on the ferocity of his fight outcomes. Jung has Eight Performance of the Night bonuses, the fastest knockout in Featherweight history, he accomplished the first Twister in UFC history and has been a two-time title challenger.

In Holloway we have one of the greatest featherweight talents of all time, it just so happens that he and Alexander Volkanovski had to dwell in the same era.

Max does not have the listed decorations in various mixed martial arts specialties as does his opponent for he is simply a brown belt in BJJ. However, Holloway will be the younger man in the cage by better than five years, he’s 4” taller, holds an arm reach advantage of 3”, 4” with legs so physical and statistical advantage all favor Holloway.

Holloway came up fighting in the streets of Hawaii which by the way is no easy undertaking as Hawaiian culture has fighting in its DNA.  Holloway’s fighting skills may not be described by the awards, belts or degrees he has earned rather it can be described by his success against the world class competition he’s faced.

Holloway is a professor of fight tactics. He’s a deft boxer who knows how to shred opponents with his piston like jab which of course set’s up his combination attack. He applies ridiculous forward pressure to corner opponents then unleash slicing elbows, crushing knees and numbing kicks.

Holloway’s length, experience and aggressive combination striking have been what’s differentiated him from all but champion Volkanovski and it’s what’s differentiating him in this fight from Jung.

At thirty-one Holloway is out to prove that he has plenty of career remaining in him. He’s is a fighter from the American islands who will draw anywhere he fights.

The passionate fight fans in attendance will all be wanting to see their man, ‘the Zombie’ try to do to Holloway what only Volkanovski’s been able to do to him as a featherweight which seems a tall order from this perspective.

Holloway opened -950 for this fight and the total is set at 2.5Rds Over -225.

Points: Holloway -5.5 -350

Chidi Njokuani -120 vs. Michael Oleksiejczuc +100 Middleweight (185lbs.)

I’m glad I am writing this and not pronouncing it!

In this fight we have the American Njokuani who is a hulking 6’3”, ill-intentioned power striker. Not only will he be the larger man in the cage Saturday he’ll also hold a 6” reach advantage in what appears to be a classic stand up fight.

Michael O is a ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ fighter because he’s a somewhat of squirrely looking fellow but the experienced Polish striker competed in his early career at light heavyweight where he displayed focus, will and the ability to absorb heavy strikes.

At 205lbs, Michael O was very undersized but he fought like a wolverine cornered while competing against those larger fighters. Mikeal O has immense power in his hands, he’s willing to set up in the pocket and exchange Sunday shots, and he sports a granite beard.

Once the bell for round one rings Michael O will need to hunt cautiously early and be aware that his best chance to win is to get Chidi into the second round. Njokuani’s power is profuse, his pressure is constant and he knows no caution so challenging him early in a firefight is unwise.

Positive news for Michael O is that he’s already faced threats that hulked over him so this middleweight monster is no larger than the light heavies Michael O has been in with already.

Njokuani’s size and ferocity of fight will be nothing new to Michael O in fact I believe it motivates him to bring his best performance and that’s exactly what I believe he offers us Saturday.

Weather that early firestorm Michael!

Michael Oleksiejczuk +100

Total in this fight: 2.5 Under -245 (opened -215) so the wise guys feel like someone may be going to sleep here.


This week GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast drops early Friday morning because of the early Saturday AM start time of the bouts.

‘Bout Business also holds Blanchfield +114 as leg 2 incoming parlay!

Thank you for reading and enjoy the fights.


Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC 292 Sterling vs. O’Malley: Drowned Sugar?

UFC 292 takes place this week from Boston, MA. The thirteen-bout fight card is rife with competitive matchups and it features two, five round world championship title bouts.

Last week favorites realized a 9-4 result making favorites on the year: 194-99-14 or 63% which is about average for a typical UFC year. Last year’s 67.5% favorite result appears to be just an outlier.

Aljamain Sterling -260 vs. Sean O’Malley +210 Bantamweight (135lbs.) title

There are layers to this bout but whittled down to its most common denominator what we have here in Sterling is an elite all world grappler/wrestler who is an effective striker, he’s massive for the division and with his size comes incredible strength supplemented by cardio that is seemingly unending.

Sterling’s one of the most lethal bantamweight fighters in UFC history. He’s been in with the absolute elite of the division and has cleaned them all, he’s extremely intelligent, focused and he arrives swelling with confidence based on who he has defeated and who he is facing Saturday.

In second ranked O’Malley we have a long, tall athlete who effectively controls space/distance by utilizing his athleticism and fluidity of movement. O’Malley will be the younger, longer, quicker athlete in the cage Saturday.

Once this fight begins O’Malley’s unique fighting style will be on display. He’ll flow and parry to create striking angles. His use of unorthodox timing to try to stun, surprise and bewilder the incoming Sterling with straight strikes and kicks.

O’Malley’s a more singularly versed mixed martial artist despite the fact that he’s trained extensively on his take down defense and ability to get back to his feet.

O’Malley acknowledges openly that his priority in this bout is to absolutely NOT allow Sterling to clasp onto him, press him against the fence and by all means O’Malley is aware that he must not allow Sterling to drag this fight to the canvas.

If and when he does find himself there, he must be able to return to his feet or this will be a short night.

For Sterling, he will want to take this fight right to O’Malley and in measured, steady, aggressive fashion muscle him backwards and force him to exert his energy defending and evading as opposed to flowing and striking.

The Sterling camp believes that as the fight wears on, O’Malley, who has never been five full rounds and in fact has had cardio issues late in three round bouts, will begin to wane and as he does, Sterling will begin to press more.

Sterling’s focus is to systematically usurp the energy from O’Malley then in the late third or championship rounds when the kid is gassed and gored, find a way to take his back then choke him into unconsciousness.

O’Malley’s camp realizes (rightfully so) that Sterling cuts massive amounts of weight to make 135lbs. Further, they in conjunction with the UFC cooked up the idea that this fight should take place immediately on the heels of Sterling’s dominant title defense against Henry Cejudo in June!

Sterling and camp feel pressured into the very quick turn around here and have stated that the result of this will be that he’ll take it out on O’Malley who Sterling states is in this position only because of his ‘Dana privilege’.

Privileged or not, these two tussle Saturday and without question the weigh-ins are of ultra-importance in this one so I’ll hold off until later this week to make any position on this bout.

Total in this fight: 4.5Rds. Under -165

Points: Sterling -5.5 -130

Zhang Weili -310 vs. Amanda Lemos +250 woman’s strawweight (115lbs.) title

Champion Zhang won the title back in her last fight against then champion Carla Esparza. In this her second stint as champion it’s my belief that it will take something quite impressive to defeat her.

Zhang may be the most complete, fully equipped mixed martial artist in the organization. She’s intelligent, a workaholic who lives in the gym. She’s strong as an ox, fast as lightning and tough as a six-dollar steak.

In Brazilian Lemos we have an effective power striker who is forward pressing, aggressive and offensive. Eleven of her thirteen wins have been via the finish because she’ able to keep fights standing. Her take down defense is formidable based on the incredible power in her torso and legs. This allows Lemos to keep fights on the feet where her ferocity, might and power translate into advantage, finishing advantage.

When this fight starts it will be fascinating to watch how Zhang decides to usurp some of the zip from Lemos. Does she do that by counter striking, does she try to wrestle her up?

Either way it’s my judgement that Lemos has about six and a half to seven minutes of fight ending threat in her and it’s in these first minutes that Zhang must be wary and respect.

For Zhang, she needs to ensure that she takes this bout into the second round and beyond for even Zhang with her granite jaw has been slept and a fresh firing Lemos can put anyone in the division’s lights out with one elbow, kick or fist.

Zhang’s ability to use her fight intelligence, employ her full fight arsenal supplemented by her extreme athleticism must be used together to force Lemos to effort early in this fight so that Zhang can go offensive on the Brazilian finisher later as she begins to slow.

Provided Zhang does not run into something early I handicap this bout to be styled much to her favor and I look for Zhang to eventually finish the brazen Brazilian brute.

Zhang via finish -120 (DraftKings)

Total in this fight 3.5Rds. Under -175 after opening -140

Points: Zhang -5.5 -195

This week the GambLou ‘Bout Business Podcast drops Friday AM across all pod platforms. My final UFC 292 releases can be accessed there!

Enjoy the fights and thank you for reading


Profitable Sports Gaming 

Money Morning: Accounting for profitability

Last week in the UFC Favorites ran 9-4 putting them at 194-99-14 this year or 63%.

GambLou ‘Bout Business results after a modest return last week of just under one unit stands:

66-66 +17.48u 13% ROI (+127)

This week UFC 292 comes live from Boston, MA Saturday 3:30pm PST. I’ll have complete breakdowns up Friday morning on the ‘Bout Business Podcast!

Tune up the Tune in!


Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC LV78 Luque vs. Dos Anjos: Batalha das lendas Brasileiras

This week’s Fight Night will be the last event from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas for a few weeks as the organization readies itself for a worldwide tour over the course of the next month.

Meanwhile on this slate we have twelve scheduled matchups featuring athletes from 115lbs to the 265lb heavyweights with the main event a welterweight bout between two decorated Brazilian mixed martial artists.

Favorites in the UFC are realizing a 63% success rate thus far in 2023 and we fought ourselves back into profitability last week with the main event wager of Over 3.5Rds. -140 as Sandhagen and Font went to decision.

2023 profitability: 13-14 + 0.15u

Rafael Dos Anjos -120 vs. Vicente Luque +100 Welterweight (170lbs.) main event

RDA is the ninth ranked lightweight (155lbs.) in the organization but in this scrap, he’s stepping up in weight class to face his countryman Luque.

RDA, 32-14 has a wealth of fight experience in both the lightweight and welterweight divisions. He’s a well versed mixed martial artist as witnessed by the fact that he owns a fourth-degree black belt in BJJ as well he’s a Black prajied in Muay Thai.

RDA’s faced elite competition throughout his career and although he is thirty-eight years old, he can still perform and compete with world class mixed marital artists.

Last December RDA competing at welterweight, a division he is 5-4 in looked crisp in taking ‘Bam Bam’ Barbarena down to the mat for a submission win in the second round. He looked like the faster, quicker more skilled fighter that night but he faces an opponent well more dangerous than the singularly dimensioned Barbarena come this weekend.

Fellow Brazilian Vicente Luque is a cold finisher decorated with his own black belt in BJJ and a black belt in Luta Livre Esportiva. Ranked tenth in the welterweight division he arrives the legitimately sized welterweight, focused, driven and desperate after losing his last two bouts.

Luque’s seven years the younger man, he’s a couple inches taller and he’ll hold a 5” reach advantage in this bout on top of that, thirteen of Luque’s fourteen UFC wins have been via the finish!

Luque, is the far more dangerous, lethal striker between these men so it’s my belief that RDA will look to force this fight into the clinch, then pressed against the cage. At that point RDA must do all he can to take Luque to the mat where he may gain top position and performs his most effective work.

Material to this handicap is the fact that Luque enters this bout after being diagnosed with ‘brain hemorrhaging’ as a result of his last bout against Goeff Neal.

What we have been told is that Luque’s had the appropriate time off and is ‘medically cleared’ to compete per the rules mandated by the UFC which I believe must be relatively stringent given their exposure to litigation.

So, an important aspect when considering any wager on this fight is the physical, mental and emotional condition Luque hauls with him into this bout. This is something I’ll be looking closely at/for in the fighter interviews Wednesday.

On his game Luque is an aggressive, forward pressing, ’walk his opponent down’ buzzsaw of a power striker and that’s what I expect him to present once the bell for round one rings as he’s certain to yearn to get ack into the win column to improve upon his already top ten ranking and keep his potential title hopes alive.

Luque’s size, the fact he’s the legitimate welterweight power striker and the intense forward pressure he delivers into his bouts all signify advantage in this bout provided there are no lingering effects from that last bout.

For RDA I believe his tactics must revolve around forcing the proud, seasoned warrior into a mistake that may lead to RDA transferring this fight to the floor.  It’s from top position where RDA is most dangerous and it’s there where he stands the best chance at upsetting Vicente Luque.

At the end of the day, I lean to Luque.

Total in this fight: 4.5Rds. Under -145

Hakeem Dawodu -220 vs. Cub Swanson +190 Featherweight (145lbs.) co main event

Swanson is a grizzled UFC veteran with a professional record of 28-13.

The thirty-nine-year-old warrior is a black belt in BJJ and has competed in three descending weight divisions during his storied career, lightweight (155lbs) then featherweight (145lbs) and in his last bout, bantamweight (135lbs).

What’s worthy of mention is that after getting decisively finished in his last outing at bantamweight last fall Swanson is returning to featherweight in a change that at Cub’s age seems a move of desperation.

A precision striker with a well-rounded fight arsenal Swanson has shown the ability to out skill, out strategize and out execute lower-level UFC talent but he struggles mightily with competition that is top twenty worthy.

Dawodu, much like his foe Swanson, comes from the mean streets where his outward aggression was steering him straight to the ‘Graybar hotel’.

At fourteen though Dawodu was exposed to Muay Thai fighting as a release for his deep seeded anger and he excelled in the gym realizing a 42-5 record as an amateur then a 6-0 tally as a professional.

In this bout Dawodu will be the younger man by six years as well the thicker, larger, more explosive athlete who will hold a 3” reach advantage. He’ll look to use his footwork and length to maintain distance so he can club Cub on his way inside to engage.

Cub meanwhile may want to mute Dawodu’s power by clasping, clinching, pressing against the fence and wrestling. Swanson’s ability to force the younger more violent man to expend energy early and allow Dawodu’s arms to swell and slow seem the more logical approach to him getting his hand raised.

Dawodu appears to be in a favorable spot in this, a fight that can showcase his youth, speed, power and aggression.

Dawodu opened -325 for this bout which was hammered down to the current price of Dawodu -220.

Total in this fight: 2.5Rds. Over -145

This week’s release:

Luque/RDA Over 2.5Rds. -205 to Dawodu -220; parlay +114

GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast drops every Friday there is a UFC card. Get it across all podcast platforms!

Enjoy the fights and thank you for reading


Profitable Sports Gaming



UFC FN Nashville Sandhagen vs. Font: Rocky chop!

Justin Gaethje captured the UFC’s BMF title with last week’s dynamic head kick knockout of Justin Poirier.

Favorites ran 7-3-1 on the card and are realizing a 62.7%-win rate in 2023 down a full 5% from last year’s obtuse 67 plus percent!

My release of Justin Poirier ITD +130 leaves me on the wrong end of profitability for the first time since I began writing these columns some five years ago as results are 12-14 <.85u>.

A major correction is on the way.

Cory Sandhagen -265 vs. Rob Font +220 Bantamweight (135lbs.) main event

Seventh ranked Font steps into this fight on short notice which is as impressive for him as it is that Sandhagen had accepted this bout originally with Umar Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov, a Russian vice grip fell out of the fight due to injury so now Sandhagen faces a stylistically different athlete in Font.

With Font we have a fighter who arrives off of presenting young up and coming bantam Adrien Yanez with his PhD. in MMA as Font dominated the younger man in his last outing.

Font’s a slick boxer with a piston jab, good footwork and extreme durability, a brown belt in BJJ compliments his fight arsenal.

At thirty-six, on short notice and giving up three inches of height in this bout Font will have his work cut out for him Saturday.

Third ranked Sandhagen, a psychology major from Boulder is an accomplished kickboxer with a brown belt in BJJ. He prepares for a different challenge in striker Font than grappler Nurmagomedov but Sandhagen’s should familiar with elite striking adversaries as he’s tussled with the likes of Champion Aljo Sterling, Petr Yan, Song Yadong and other elite talent at the weight class.

Once this bout begins, I look for Sandhagen’s high fight IQ, his extremely well-rounded fight arsenal complete with footwork and cardio to simply be a little too much for a tough, grinding, unrelenting forward pressure striker like Font.

This fight as I handicap it revolves around cardio, striking volume and efficient movement. These are all Sandhagen assets and this is where he holds the advantages.

Sandhagen opened -165 and has shot up in price making playing the props necessary in order to derive value from this fight.

Total in the fight: 4.5Rds. Under -120

Over 3.5 Rds -140 (alternate total DraftKings)

I believe this bout has decision written all over it.

Kyler Phillips -195 vs. Raoni Barcelos +165 bantamweight (135lbs.)

Barcelos is an athletic Braznlian athlete with black belt in BJJ, a solid wrestling base, heavy hands and ill intention. 1-3 in his last 4 fights, Barcelos has displayed an inconsistency that makes it hard to predict what fighter steps into the cage on any particular occasion.

Dangerous to start but uneven after early violence seems to best describe Barcelos.

Phillips arrives off a suspension so he battles inactivity besides the freakishly talented Barcelos.

Phillip’s wrestling base, cardio and durability are all assets but perhaps his biggest weapon is his intelligence. It’s here where I believe these athletes vary most.

Once this fight begins, Phillips will need to navigate through the damage and destruction that Barcelos is sure to offer early. However, once and if Phillips is able to weather that first five minutes of fury then it’s my judgement that he’ll be in position to use his cardio, wrestling and pressure late in order to suck the will from Raoni.

I’ll await props for this bout

Total in this fight: 2.5Rds Over -185

The GambLou ‘Bout Business Podcast drops each Friday mid-day provided there is a UFC event. Look for us across all podcast platforms.

Enjoy the fights and thank you for reading


Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC 291 Poirier vs. Gaethje II: Diamond in the tough

The GambLou ‘Bout Business Podcast drops Friday early PM PT.

This article was originally published on VSiN’s digital magazine 7/26

Salt Lake City, UT hosts this week’s UFC 217 where fight fans will witness a much-anticipated rematch in the lightweight division where second ranked Dustin Poirier faces third ranked Justin Gaethje for the ‘BMF’ belt. Whether for a mythological belt, the lightweight championship or a backyard melee, all these two require to face one another in an epic rematch is time and place.

Dustin Poirier -145 vs. Justin Gaethje +125 Middleweight (155lbs.) main event

I was fortunate enough to be live at the first bout between these two in Phoenix 2018 when Poirier, who’d had his legs bludgeoned by the unrelenting forward striking pressure of Gaethje, ultimately ignored his injuries, persevered and finished Gaethje in the fourth in an ultra-impressive display of guts and grind.

What Gaethje took from that experience is what many did in that he realized then that his ‘go for broke’ fight style, though entertaining for fans had to be refined and a true fight plan had to be installed if he had any aspirations of taking the title for this division.

Attributes such as footwork, patience, strike defense and levelheadedness are required improvement areas to instill into Gaethje’s warrior mentality.

Trevor Wittman of team Elevation in Colorado has worked with Gaethje on his mental approach, especially his fight IQ once he finds himself in the blistering heat of the fight. This has been their focus since the first Poirier bout.

In Gaethje’s last fight we saw great evolution as we witnessed him systematically take apart a very accomplished, future lightweight elite in Rafael Fiziev. In that fight Gaethje displayed his fight evolution for he came with a plan, executed said plan, then allowed his raw aggression to put an exclamation on his systematic yet aggressive attack.

Gaethje believes that Poirier will step into the cage Saturday with a foe that is nowhere near the fighter or man he fought in 2018 and to an extent I believe that to be true.

For Poirier there only positivity. Aside from losses to Oliveira and Nurmagomedov which Poirier has moved beyond; he’s had his hand has raised in his last nine competitions. He’s a refined, precise, striker who is versed in grappling, has cardio for ten rounds, features a granite chin and is as determined as any athlete in the organization.

Poirier’s precision, athleticism, fight IQ and experience against the absolute elite in the division make him THE threat to the title in my opinion should he get his hand raised here.

A clarifying way to look at these maniacs is by their numbers.

Poirier lands 5.51 significant strikes per minute and only allows 4.25 for a +1.26 ratio. He averages 1.4 take downs per fight and he defends 63% of takedown attempts.

A well-rounded approach.

Gaethje’s numbers are more reflective of the reckless, aggressive Gaethje as his successful significant strikes are a whopping 7.38 but the significant strikes he receives is 7.66 for a negative .28 ratio. He attempts few to no take down attempts in his bouts though he’s got a solid wrestling base and defends 53% of takedowns.

A singularly dimensioned approach.

Both men, after losing to Oliveira had impressive victories to set them up for this fight which essentially props the winner into a final run at a title fight while the loser will have a long road back to contention realizing that each combatant is thirty-four.

It’s Poirier’s more diverse fight ability, his logic, calm demeanor and ability to remain on plan against the ‘natural born brawler’ in Gaethje who is claiming to be more patient and ‘Poirier-like’ in his approach.

My question, does that all change once Poirier pastes Gaethje with a two-piece to the teeth?

This fight opened Poirier -125

Total for this fight: 2.5 Rds. Over -130

This total surprised me based on the fact that these two went a ferocious four plus rounds in their first fight.

Each man seems to be entering this fight more dangerous as mixed martial artists than when they first fought despite the five-year gap in bouts.

The point spread of ‘Poirier -5.5 points -105’ most surprises me as this seems to indicate a relatively one-sided fight favoring Poirier.

I handicap this fight as very tight early but as the minutes elapse wears Poirier’s speed, precision, power, cardio and footwork will be the differentiating factors in this bout.

Poirier via KO, Submission or DQ +130

Jan Blachowicz -120 vs. Alex Pereira +100 Light Heavyweight (205lbs.) co main event

Brazilian Pereira we last saw being KO’d By Israel Adesanya in their rematch at middleweight this past April after KO’ing the then champion in the fifth round of their first bout.

Pereira moves up to the 205lb. weight class for obvious reasons. He walks around at 225-230lbs. normally. The cut to 185 made him a monster to face on fight day but as Adesanya displayed this past April, that cut took too much away from the Brazilian stalwart thus this move up.

Weight class or not Pereira, a decorated, elite, world class kickboxer is relatively inexperienced in the MMA realm as his 7-2 record indicates.

He was profoundly powerful and dangerous at the middleweight level and his power will more than translate to light heavyweight.

What he may have issues with are the size of combatants he’ll face as well foe’s whose fight arsenal is equipped with world class grappling and wrestling are sure to provide Pereira with plenty of challenge for his area of improvement is surely grappling.

In ex-champion Jan Blachowicz, we have a relatively understated Polish killing machine trained in Judo, dangerous on his feet and decorated with a black belt in BJJ.

Blachowicz has been in with the likes of Jared Cannonier, Glover Teixeira (Pereira’s coach and mentor) and Thiago Santos, so he’s prepared for structured, physical foes like Pereira.

What Blachowicz offers as his most valued asset in this fight is his well-rounded fight ability.

He can compete at a world class level anywhere this fight goes. Blachowicz’s certain edge in the grappling/wrestling department provide him the means to get his hand raised in this bout.

He’ll need to press and tax the Brazilian striker from the opening bell and try to back him up. Blachowicz does not benefit in any way by remaining at distance too long.

For Blachowicz, eliminating distance from Pereira, smothering him, clasping onto him, clinching then pressing him against the fence are signals he’s got the fight working by his parameters because the next move from fence is floor and once there this fight becomes Blachowicz’s to lose.

In summary, Blachowicz wants to fight forehead to forehead, then chest to chest while his Pereira must maintain distance in order to be effective with those long, vicious, damaging, knee’s, teeps, elbows and fists.

Blachowicz opened -145 for this fight because he is the experienced light heavyweight with more diverse weaponry. We’ve seen his price drop a bit leading into the week which in my estimation makes the Blachowicz side an interesting proposition.


Total in this Fight: 2.5Rds. Under -185

GambLou’s ‘Bout Business Podcast drops Friday mid-day PST. All my final releases can be found there. I’ll also appear on VSiN’s ‘Follow the Money’ program Friday 5:30AM PT.

Thank you for reading and enjoy the fights!