UFC 187 – Johnson vs. Cormier Betting Results

Just a quick post to analyse the results for UFC 187 – Johnson vs. Cormier.
Overall profit was +7.81 units. +111.57% ROI (7 units bet), taking me to over 105 units profit in 4 events, so far.

This card absolutely sucked for value and it was seriously hard to drag some profit out of it. The only fight that I bet straight up was Cormier. I went into watching tape thinking “this is a pretty clear pick for Cormier” but it really wasn’t. If you watched the Phil Davis fight, Johnson looked an absolute beast and I think Cormier really had to be on his best to beat Johnson. Anyway, that pick came off just fine, with my breakdown of how it would go being spot on.

“These are, in my opinion, without a doubt the two top fighters in the weightclass outside of Jon Jones. As a result, this is a fascinating fight to try and break down. I would personally put the line at around -145 Cormier, so really, I wouldn’t normally bet something I think is so close to the proper line…. However, this fight seems to be a bit of a “chopper on the block” sort of pick for tipsters, so it’s only right to make a pick one way or another.

To find the key to this fight, for me, you have to go back to Johnson vs Belfort… Going into watching the tape I had one major question – what does Johnson do when he’s put on his back? Well, Belfort tooled him, took his back and choked him out, whilst Johnson did absolutely nothing to escape the position. Now, that fight is not one in general to use for predicting because Johnson missed weight MASSIVELY, so he was obviously not in a great place. However, you don’t suddenly lose all technique just cos you missed weight and technically, he just had nothing on the ground for Vitor. On the other side of the equation, Daniel Cormier has one of the best controlling top games I’ve ever seen. He never gives up dominant position.

So can he get the fight there? Johnson stuffed 8 of 8 takedowns from Phil Davis, a national wrestling champion so obviously you have to go with “hell, that’s some good takedown defense!” However, Phil Davis and Daniel Cormier are not the same fighter and they don’t go for the same style of takedowns. Phil Davis was going for desperate diving double legs because he was outmatched on the feet. Cormier goes predominantly for clinch based takedowns and trip takedowns in transitions. Very technical. What’s more, Cormier is a vastly superior striker to Phil Davis. Yeah, he probably doesn’t hit as hard as Anthony Johnson, but he still hits hard and has a really solid chin, fights at a good range and throws a real mix of strikes. He’d more than likely lose this fight if it was a standup only fight but he wouldn’t get tooled.

Obviously the elephant in the room is whether Johnson will get the KO. Yeah, maybe. But like I say, this is chopper on the block time and I’m saying he won’t. I’m saying Cormier manages to get a takedown, manages to wear out Johnson much like he did to Dan Henderson and either wins a solid decision or gets a finish in R3-5. Fingers crossed :P”

The rest of the card was, as I said in my CapperTek writeup, full of favourites that should win but were far too wide favourites. As it was, the favourites to lose were Uriah Hall, a guy with serious skill but a nack of finding ways to lose, and Travis Browne. Now, Browne was a -400 favourite I believe… I watched the Johnson vs Arlovski fight in preparation for both fights. Arlovski does not have as bad a chin as I thought. He took some serious shots from Anthony Johnson and just fired back… it’s just a fact of fighting at heavyweight that there are a crap load of knockouts, so I guess Arlovski has built up the glass chin repuatation by having a lot of high profile fights. This isn’t to say he has a good chin though; I would place it as slightly below average for a heavyweight.

Anyway, let’s have a look at my prop parlays.

Parlay 1 @ +240
Cerrone by decision (+132) WRONG
Dodson wins (-500) RIGHT
Benavidez wins (-605) RIGHT
Not Natal by KO/TKO (-2060) RIGHT

Unfortunately, Makdessi’s jaw broke due to a high kick. Other than that, this was a decision win for Cerrone all day long.

Parlay 2 @ +629
Covington inside distance (+125) WRONG
Scoggins by decision (+165) RIGHT
Not Natal by KO/TKO (-2060) RIGHT
Benavidez wins (-605) RIGHT

This was a bad pick (Covington). When I was breaking down that fight I started by watching Covington as I’d never heard of him before. My conclusion was that he wasn’t that good and Mike Pyle should beat him, if he was as good as I remembered… so I started watching Pyle fights to convince myself of that pick. My gawd, Pyle was nowhere near as good as I remembered and on top of it, had a really, really bad chin. So I think this was a little bit of a searching for value pick that made sense for a very short period of time. Hitting a +2000 parlay last event made me greedy I think and I wasn’t satisfied with a mere +300 parlay on here with just Covington win, so I was stretching, looking for value. Anyway, it won’t happen again (hopefully).

Parlay 3 @ +541
Kim vs Burkman starts R2 (-515) RIGHT
Benavidez wins (-660) RIGHT
Natal vs Hall starts R2 (-230) RIGHT
Cormier wins (+110) RIGHT
Cerrone vs Makdessi starts R2 (-281) RIGHT
John Dodson wins (-705) RIGHT

This parlay came off, which was nice. Cormier obviously is the big bit of value but Cerrone vs Makdessi and Natal vs Hall were two of the most undervalued props I could find. Both fights were fairly evenly matched but at the same time, pretty much all fighters involved were fairly low output. The only exception being Cerrone but Makdessi is a high level striker, so Cerrone was never going to come out all guns blazing. I would say there was actually more chance of a first round finish in Kim vs Burkman than Cerrone vs Makdessi.

Anyway, if you were wondering where you get that sort of bet, you’ll need an account at 5Dimes. They allow you to parlay in all sorts of weird and wonderful bets.

All in all another successful event. This one, as I say, was a lot harder to find any value than the last couple of events. The next event in Brazil looks much the same, so expect to see a few more unusual prop parlays!