What a fantastic weekend of fights we got from Singapore at UFC 275 as we saw a new champion, Jiri Prochazka (-204), crowned to end off the night. Before that, we saw many impressive performances, like Jake Matthews (+138) getting the finish on the main card and Joshua Culibao (+215) getting a split decision on the prelims. With lots to go over from a betting perspective, let us see what we learned from each fight.
This fight was unbelievable from start to finish, with one of the most unexpected ends in UFC history as Prochazka gets the submission in the final minute. As a Prochazka by knockout bettor, I am disappointed but must learn a lesson from this: if the line is close, just bet the fighter to win inside the distance rather than knockout, as it covers wild scenarios like this. Glover did what he does in this fight which is outperform his price tag; however, his wild streak did come to an end, but he is set to keep fighting, and if he is an underdog again with the right matchup somehow, a forty-two-year-old Glover could still be a good bet in the future.
The first of the two title fights on this card was a close split decision that saw the champ retain her belt. I scored it for Valentina and expected the judges to do the same as we have seen damage take significant priority over control in many recent close decisions, as it did again here, if they do a rematch I will likely still favor Shevchenko and I hope the line is much closer. Santos had the best performance we have seen against Shevchenko, but she faded badly in the later stages of the fight, which many will blame on the clash of heads; however, I believe she was tired as this was her first-ever five-round fight, and I still think she could have used some more time before getting this shot.
What a showing this was from Weili as she destroyed the former champ with devastating ground and pound and a knockout shot on the feet. Weili Zhang will be fighting for the title next, and I will be betting on her no matter the price, as based on what I saw this weekend, Carla Esparza has no chance in that matchup. Joanna has retired following this performance which is sad, but she has nothing left to prove and will go down with the greats as she should; congrats, champ.
This went even better than I expected as a Matthews bettor as he looked to have found a new level with his striking this weekend. Matthews surprised me by not trying to take this fight to the ground at all, but why would he when he was having non-stop success standing as it felt like he could not miss all fight. Tough loss for Fialho, who just looked lost in the cage; perhaps a little layoff and focus on more development is what should be next.
To open the main card, we had a great round of action with Maddalena escaping a submission attempt to eventually secure the finish for himself. Maddalena had to fight through some adversity in this one but still impressed as he became the first to finish Emeev in the UFC. Despite almost getting the finish, Emeev comes out with a loss that I am not sure what to make of, but I believe we do know what we will get from him in the future based on past performances.
This was a wild one that saw the underdog put on a show and get the hard-fought win on the scorecards. Culibao showed him power in this fight by making sure he got the best of each early exchange. Choi never seemed to recover fully after eating a lot of shots in a wild first round; not a bad performance, and I think more of a case of a betting line just being wrong going into a fight.
I severely underestimated Jacob Malkouns wrestling ability in this fight, which nearly cost me big time. Allen got the win but certainly did not cover his price tag as he was controlled for long sections of the fight and needed a solid third round to get the win. Malkoun did what he has done in all his fights by sticking himself to Allen and staying there for long chunks of rounds; however, he will need to figure out a way to produce some damage or a submission threat if I am ever willing to back him with my money.
This was an impressive display from the young Maheshate as he showed his finishing ability early with a couple of knockdowns and the finish. Maheshate gets a good win here and proves his striking is real, and he is a prospect to watch for future fights. Garcia had a bad night here as it seemed his defense abandoned him early, costing him the fight.
Back and forth brawl in this one that saw the jab of Kang control the fight enough to get his hand raised. Kang looked good in this fight despite not using his grappling at all; he showed an ability to fight behind a strong jab which has proven to be able to win a fight. Danaa has some work to do as he has a lot of power, but when that fails him, he can't land enough volume or defend well enough to win a decision.
Big knockout win by Gomez Juarez to get the first finish of the night as she avoids the grappling and lands her shot. This is what will happen when a striker like Gomez Juarez can keep a fight standing long enough as she has real power, but I still have a hard time betting her as she did grab the fence, and I am still very concerned about her submission skills. Liang could not get this one down and paid for it, this was simply a failure to execute the game plan.
The first fight of the night had some good action and saw the favorite take home a close decision win. Edwards struggled early but eventually found her rhythm in the later stages of the fight; despite the win, I was not impressed with Edwards and am hoping I get an opportunity to bet against her in her next matchup. Pascual looked better than I expected in the striking but could not implement her wrestling enough to get the job done.
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