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Category Archives: Combat

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Premier Boxing Champions on FOX Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


WBC World Junior Middleweight Championship: Jermell Charlo (c) (31-0) vs. Tony Harrison (27-2)
Nolan Howell: Harrison is a similarly tough, but not nearly on the same level type of opponent for Jermell Charlo and is a bit more of a rebound after Jermell struggled a bit and stunk up the joint against Austin Trout. This card seems designed to get the Charlos some highlight reel material on a major network and they should both deliver. Jermell Charlo by ninth-round TKO.

Interim WBC World Middleweight Championship: Jermall Charlo (c) (27-0) vs. Matt Korobov (28-1)
Nolan: Korobov takes the place of Willie Monroe Jr. here after a drug test failure and probably gives us a more exciting, though less competitive fight in the process. Jermall Charlo has been on a KO streak and it is hard to see that ending here, but Korobov is a tough cookie even if his sell-by date has come and gone. Jermall Charlo by fifth-round TKO.

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Top Rank on ESPN/SKY Sports Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


IBF World Featherweight Championship: Josh Warrington (c) (27-0) vs. Carl Frampton (26-1)
Nolan Howell: After taking a few tune-up fights following his brutal split series with Leo Santa Cruz, Carl Frampton takes a much tougher fight here against IBF Featherweight Champion Josh Warrington, who won the title from Lee Selby last time out. Frampton will be at a height and reach disadvantage against the taller Warrington here, but that really shouldn’t matter too much after Frampton found a way to get inside on Leo Santa Cruz. Warrington also doesn’t have the power necessary to keep Frampton cautious enough on the outside and avoid getting the fight at his range. Where Warrington might trouble Frampton is using his reach and output to not allow Frampton inside until his punching power fades later on in the fight, no matter the lack of power.
Still, Frampton has shown an ability to keep the pressure inside on taller fighters before and he has faced better opposition than Warrington in his career. Given that and the power advantage that could trouble Warrington from peppering Frampton, Frampton is the rightful favorite here. Carl Frampton by unanimous decision.

Vacant BBBofC British Middleweight Championship: Liam Williams (18-2-1) vs. Mark Heffron (21-0)
Nolan: Williams looks to move up in weight here after two losses to Liam Smith at super welterweight and some severe can crushing to get here. Heffron’s power gives him the edge in this domestic title matchup for the vacant BBBofC British Middleweight Title. Mark Heffron by seventh-round TKO.

Middleweight Bout: Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (36-3) vs. Martin Murray (37-4-1)
Nolan: Murray still has a bit left in the tank after his loss to George Groves in 2016 and his subsequent rebound tour, while N’Dam’s best win was Curtis Stevens and tends to struggle against fighters below the level of Murray’s best losses. It all depends how Murray looks here, but it should be a winnable fight for him even on an aging decline. Martin Murray by unanimous decision.

Featherweight Bout: Jason Cunningham (24-5) vs. Michael Conlan (9-0)
Nolan: Showcase for Conlan. Michael Conlan by third-round TKO.

Super Middleweight Bout: Billy Joe Saunders (26-0) vs. Charles Adamu (32-13)
Nolan: Clearly a showcase for the return of Saunders here, but the matchmaking is particularly dreadful even with all that in consideration. Billy Joe Saunders by first-round TKO.

Heavyweight Bout: Dereck Chisora (29-8) vs. Dillian Whyte (24-1)
Nolan: Chisora was able to keep his name near the top of the division last time out with an eighth-round TKO over Carlos Takam, while Whyte picked up what may be the best victory in his career when he defeated Joseph Parker in July.
Overall, Chisora looked like the more impressive fighter of the two the last time they fought in December of 2016. Chisora crowded Whyte against the ropes throughout and seemed untroubled by the power of Whyte as he exchanged inside, rocking him throughout the last half of the fight. Whyte picked up the decision on the scorecards though and has looked like the more impressive fighter as of late while Chisora seems to be hanging on to relevancy at heavyweight after the losses to Whyte and Kubrat Pulev in 2016 and a bit of a stunner against Agit Kabayel in November of last year.
Having defeated a more technical fighter like Parker and unlikely to be goaded into going toe-to-toe throughout again with Chisora in what may be the declining Del Boy’s only chance at winning, Whyte should be able to stay out of trouble here and only mix it up inside when Chisora is slowed down a bit. At this stage, it simply looks like Whyte is a fighter who could perhaps surprise a few and put his name in the same league as the likes of Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, and Anthony Joshua (despite being outmatched by Joshua when they met in 2015), while Chisora was always on the outside of those more elite fighters even in his best days. Barring a complete lapse into a brawl by Whyte, this fight looks like his to lose. Dillian Whyte by sixth-round TKO.

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UFC Fight Night: dos Santos vs. Tuivasa Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


Heavyweight Bout: Junior dos Santos (19-5) vs. Tai Tuivasa (8-0)
Nolan Howell: Though he has traded wins and losses over the last half decade, this fight seems like a winner for dos Santos, who should be able to slow down Tuivasa with punches as he comes forward and pick up a finish late when Tuivasa loses the gas tank to continue chasing and eating punches in doing so. Junior dos Santos by third-round TKO.

Heavyweight Bout: Justin Willis (7-1) vs. Mark Hunt (13-13-1)
Nolan: Hunt’s main trouble still seems to be grapplers after loses to Blaydes and Oleynik and Willis doesn’t necessarily present the sort of striking threat someone like Overeem or dos Santos has for Hunt. Aside from a quick, pressuring start, I like Hunt to wait it out for the knockout. Mark Hunt by second-round KO.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Mauricio Rua (25-11) vs. Tyson Pedro (7-2)
Nolan: I could try and muster up some hope for Shogun supporters here by saying Tyson Pedro doesn’t really have monster power that should threaten Shogun, but really, Shogun is who he is at this stage. Tyson Pedro by second-round submission.

Welterweight Bout: Jake Matthews (14-3) vs. Tony Martin (14-4)
Nolan: A bit of a coin flip here between two good grapplers here, but I like Matthews’s game more overall. Jake Matthews by unanimous decision.

Featherweight Bout: Sodiq Yusuff (7-1) vs. Suman Mokhtarian (8-0)
Nolan: Pains to pick a Lloyd Irvin fighter, but here we are. Sodiq Yusuff by second-round TKO.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Jim Crute (8-0) vs. Paul Craig (10-2)
Nolan: Jim Crute by first-round submission.

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Golden Boy MMA: Liddell vs. Ortiz III Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


Light Heavyweight Bout: Chuck Liddell (21-8) vs. Tito Ortiz (19-12-1)
Nolan Howell: Hahahahahaha, holy fuck, this is actually happening, huh? Jesus. Liddell has been retired for closer to ten years and Ortiz is probably still a competent enough grappler. While Liddell has always had Ortiz’s number, all his training videos look awful and nothing tells me he is fast enough these days to sprawl and brawl. Simply put, Ortiz looks like a decent enough low-tier fighter, while Liddell has no business being anywhere near a cage ever again. Tito Ortiz by first-round submission.

Light Heavyweight Bout: Deron Winn (4-0) vs. Tom Lawlor (10-6)
Nolan: Winn looks to be better at Lawlor’s bread-and-butter than he is and has shown some powerful striking. Lawlor is splitting his time between MMA and pro wrestling and this could very well just be a quick paycheck for him. While Lawlor is the more tested of the two, this seems like name value vs. prospect and I will take the prospect. Deron Winn by second-round TKO.
Lightweight Bout: Efrain Escudero (30-13) vs. Gleison Tibau (33-14)
Nolan: Escudero is probably the less shot of these two fighters and has been having success since his UFC release. However, Luke has told me that I will be fired if I do not pick the Patron Saint and namesake of Undercard Superstar, so we have to go with the only way he knows how. Gleison Tibau by split decision.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Jay Silva (11-12-1) vs. Oscar Ivan Cota (8-1)
Nolan: Jay Silva lost to Mariusz Pudzianowski in the year of our lord 2017 and was, somehow, someway, at some point, a UFC fighter. No analysis there, just some facts for you. Oscar Ivan Cota by first-round KO.

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UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs. Ngannou II Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


Heavyweight Bout: Curtis Blaydes (10-1) vs. Francis Ngannou (11-3)
Nolan Howell: After their last matchup, it seems like one fighter has improved leaps and bounds and one has regressed. Blaydes has put together a solid striking game in addition to his wrestling, while Ngannou put on an all-time bad performance against a severely hindered Derrick Lewis. The threat of the takedown plus the suddenly improved boxing of Blaydes may make Ngannou unable to pull the trigger here once again. Curtis Blaydes by third-round TKO.

Heavyweight Bout: Alistair Overeem (43-17) vs. Sergey Pavlovich (12-0)
Nolan: Pavlovich can strike fairly well and has power. At this point, that is simply enough to trouble Overeem, who has become pretty plodding in addition to a declining chin. Sergey Pavlovich by first-round KO.

Bantamweight Bout: Song Yadong (12-3) vs. Vince Morales (8-3)
Nolan: Song Yadong looked impressive last time out against Felipe Arantes, a good enough fighter, and Vince Morales is coming in off a loss on Dana White’s Contenders series. Seems like a hometown vs. enhancement talent bout. Song Yadong by second-round submission.

Welterweight Bout: David Zawada (16-4) vs. Jingliang Li (15-5)
Nolan: Li Jingliang by unanimous decision.

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Fighters of the Week

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar

  1. Oleksandr Usyk: Remained the best cruiserweight walking God’s green Earth after starching a very game Tony Bellew. His team then called out Anthony Joshua. Eddie Hearn, AJ’s promoter? Less than enthused. Let’s see it.
  2. Yair Rodriguez: I mean, just what the hell was even this? With ONE SECOND left?!
  3. Kevin Belingon: Finally slayed the dragon and pryed the OneFC bantamweight title from Bibiano Fernandes via a split-decision, avenging a previous starching, and for the first time since May 30, 2013, Bibi is no longer bantamweight champion of OneFC.
  4. Krzysztof Glowacki: Bafflingly, Glowacki came in as the underdog, and to the delight of my wallet, took care of business over Maksim Vlasov, moving on the face Mairis Briedis in the WBSS semis after he reached via dubious judging.
  5. Donald Cerrone: He’s not dead yet! He’s feeling much better! He doesn’t want to go on the cart! Got a much-needed win in a pretty sizable upset over Mike Perry by finding an armbar near the end of the first results.
6. Gianni Grippo: Came out the victor of a loaded tournament at KASAI Pro 4 in Manhattan, winning a 3-2 decision over Paulo Miyao in the finals.
7. Dakota Cochrane: How the mighty have fallen. Johny Hendricks was world champion, a point or two away from defeating Georges St. Pierre…and here he is getting his nose broken by last-minute replacement Cochrane for Bare-Knuckle Boxing.
8. Anthony Crolla: Topped Daud Yordan on the Usyk-Bellew co-main event to become the WBA mandatory to a man you may have heard named Vasyl Lomachenko.
9. Iman Barlow: Retained her MTGP Bantamweight title in a back-and-forth contest with hard-hitting up-and-comer Hannah Brady.
10. Casey Kenney: Kenney was supposed to fight for the LFA flyweight title, but Maikel Perez had to pull out mid-week, so Kenney had to fight for the interim title, which he has, and now Perez is back on deck.
11. Osvaldo Queixinho Moizinho: Is the new Fight To Win Masters Black Belt Featherweight champ after a win over Josh Rodriguez via Omaplata.
12. Devonte Smith: One hell of a proper debut in the UFC, landing an absolutely-flush 1-2 on Julian Erosa in under a minute.
13. Davi Ramos: Put on an absolute dominant performance over John Gunther, controlling him from pillar-to-post and earning a submission in utterly dominant fashion.
14. Yazmin Rivas: Defended her WBA junior featherweight crown in her native Mexico.
15. Tony Bellew: Went out on his shield like a true warrior. Put up a valiant fight against Usyk, then retired afterward. About as graceful as you can go out in this game.

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UFC 230: Cormier vs. Lewis Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


UFC Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Cormier (c) (21-1) vs. Derrick Lewis (21-5)
Nolan Howell: Derrick Lewis managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat less than a month ago fighting Alexander Volkov, but took a jab at his own cardio after managing a last-second knockout in a fight where he took nearly three full rounds of damage. Taking on Daniel Cormier is a tough task for the most elite of fighters at heavyweight and light heavyweight, much less someone who fought last month and struggled while taking arguably fight-stoppage worthy damage. All Lewis has is a Hail Mary here, but it won’t matter with the wrestling of Cormier. Daniel Cormier by second-round submission.

Middleweight Bout: Chris Weidman (14-3) vs. Ronaldo Souza (25-6)
Nolan: Weidman is the more polished striker of the two and has ability to control where this fight takes place because of his pressuring on the feet. While that has led to lapses in both his cardio and fight IQ at times, against someone who struggles at times to get to his bread and butter against good wrestlers like Jacare and can fade as well, look for Weidman to keep it in the center of the cage and pick Jacare apart on the feet while avoiding the power counter right and takedown attempts. Chris Weidman by unanimous decision.

Middleweight Bout: David Branch (22-4) vs. Jared Cannonier (10-4)
Nolan: Cannonier can win this early with his power, but Branch isn’t bad on his feet even if he lacks anything too flashy or gamechanging. Branch is just the more well-rounded fighter and could give someone looking for a finish like Cannonier fits with his ability to wear down opponents in the grappling. Look for Branch to utilize that. David Branch by second-round submission.

Middleweight Bout: Jack Marshman (22-7) vs. Karl Roberson (6-1)
Nolan: Roberson is the more dangerous and proven striker of the two and that should be enough against someone as uninspiring as Marshman has been during his UFC run. Barring Roberson losing his wits in a brawl, he picks his spots and finds one. Karl Roberson by first-round knockout.

Middleweight Bout: Derek Brunson (18-6) vs. Israel Adesanya (14-0)
Nolan: Adesanya has shown some really solid takedown defense with his angling, reach, and strength coming into play and that should keep Brunson from getting his only advantage going in this fight. Brunson tends to swarm for either the takedown or strikes off the threat of it and Robert Whittaker showed how to take that apart. Adesanya may be capable of doing it even more brutally. Israel Adesanya by second-round TKO.

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The Betting Window for October 26-28

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar

Here at Undercard Superstar, we’re in the business of your business! Just follow our sound betting advice, and you too can afford the same schooling that produced such math-whizzes as this!
As usual, we’ll take a hundred dollars and divide it among five fights.
Let’s make some cashola.

Anthony Smith +155 over Volkan Oezdemir ($10)
Anthony Yigit +375 over Ivan Baranchyk ($5)
Regis Prograis -1100 over Terry Flanagan ($50)
Alex Garcia -190 over Court McGee ($20)
Andre Soukhamthath -205 over Jonathan Martinez ($15)

Fairly surprised that Smith was the dog, here. I know Oezdemir is dangerous, but Smith is a totally different fighter since moving up in weight, and Oezdemir is coming off of his first career TKO loss. Sometimes that changes a fighter a little, even if it’s just a small flinch, or a reluctance to pull the trigger and leave them open to a counter. Did it change Volkan? Worth a gamble to find out.
I really don’t like the line on Prograis, and I hate betting on relatively close fights with enormous lines, but I’m taking Regis to win this fight 90 times out of 100, so I have to shrug it off and spend big to make moderate.
Last Week: $+1.46
Year To Date: $-128.18
-All lines courtesy of Bovada at time of wager.

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The Betting Window for October 19-21

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar

Here at Undercard Superstar, we’re in the business of your business! Just follow our sound betting advice, and you too can own a network that has shows like The Handmaid’s Take, 11/22/63, The Path, and Runaways amongst others but please, no dressing up as the characters you’ve paid us to watch!
As usual, we’ll take a hundred dollars and divide it among five fights.
Let’s make some cashola.

Katie Taylor -3000 over Cindy Serrano ($50)
Yunier Dorticos -650 over Mateusz Masternak ($10)
Demetrius Andrade -1600 over Walter Kautondokwa ($30)
Toka Khan Clary +250 over Kid Galahad ($5)
Tevin Farmer -365 over James Tennyson ($5)

This is Katie Taylor’s third foray into the States, but her first in Boston, which, in case you’ve been in a coma since the 1800s, is a tad Irish-friendly. This is her debut on DAZN, and it’s a showcase. The only true peer she has at her weight is Delfine Persoon.
Farmer, I think, is one of those fighters that stumble early due to poor matchmaking or his skills being over-celebrated like Daniel Roman or Cristofer Rosales. I’ll still take him here, even though he’s not a huge favorite in my mind, but a world champion with that kind of line is worth a few sheckles.
Last Week: $+17.41
Year To Date: $-129.64
-All lines courtesy of Bovada at time of wager.

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Top Rank Boxing on ESPN: Crawford vs. Benavidez Picks

Category : Combat , MMA , Undercard Superstar


WBO World Welterweight Championship: Terence Crawford (c) (33-0) vs. Jose Benavidez Jr. (27-0)
Nolan Howell: While Benavidez is a solid enough prospect with the names like Jorge Paez you need on your record to legitimize yourself, Crawford is a few steps too far for someone who hasn’t proven himself against the higher-level competition needed to prepare for one of the best in the world pound-for-pound. With the heat behind it, this doesn’t feel like a fight Crawford is going to test some things out, like the stance switches against John Molina Jr. Crawford is going to be looking for a quick stoppage and he should get it. Terence Crawford by fourth-round TKO.

Vacant WBC Continental Americas Featherweight Championship: Shakur Stevenson (8-0) vs. Viorel Simion (21-2)
Nolan: Simion is sort of an import fighter for domestic fighters and prospects to test their mettle against, so he will be a good measuring stick for a former Olympian trying to figure out how deep the water is. Shakur Stevenson by unanimous decision.

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