UFC Fight Night 26 is the UFC’s inaugural event on Fox’s new channel, Fox Sports 1. The card is this Saturday, August, 17 live from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. We already posted our main event prediction as well as our first bet of the night. The odds for the rest of the main card were released this weekend and we’re back to provide our picks!
First up, in the heavyweight division, rising star, 6’7″ Travis Browne takes on 6’4″ Alistair Overeem. Overeem has tasted defeat just once since September, 2007 and that was in his previous outing vs Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. In the fight against Silva, Overeem controlled the action for 2 full rounds before becoming hyper aggressive for some unknown reason in the third round. Silva took advantage of the changed pace, landing several undefended strikes against the cage and taking the victory. The loss by Overeem makes us pretty wary of placing bets on him, at least in the near future. Browne is a rising star in the UFC’s heavyweight division. He has gone 4-1-1 since debuting for the promotion with his lone defeat also coming to the aforementioned Silva. His loss as well, however can be marked with an asterisk as he tweaked his knee early in the fight and Silva was able to take advantage of a much slower Travis Browne. Browne vs Overeem has big implications for the heavyweight division, with the winner likely having their next fight be a title eliminator. Our model has Overeem as a very slight favourite, but at just over 1.5 to 1 and with his performance against Silva, we are not going to place a bet. Instead, we have decided to bet on the fight being under 1.5 rounds. We feel there is huge value at the current line of 1.71 to 1 so we placed a 1.5 unit bet.
In the welterweight division, Matt “The Immortal” Brown will face off with Mike “Quicksand” Pyle. Brown has been on quite a tear over the last year and a half or so, going 5-0 and knocking out 4 of his opponents. Pyle has also put together an impressive streak, going 4-0 and knocking out 3 of 4. Interestingly, both guys were more known for their jiu jitsu early in their careers, but their striking training has showed off lately with the knockouts in their recent streaks. The tale of the tape for this fight shows even more similarities, especially in terms of grappling stats. Brown lands 1.72 takedowns per fight with 45% of his attempts landing while Pyle lands 1.71 with 30% of his attempts landing. Brown defends 66% of takedowns against while Pyle defends 69%. Both guys are busy with the submission attempts on the ground, Brown goes for 2.06 submissions per 15 minute fight and Pyle goes for 1.45. In the stand up game however, Brown has the advantage with 3.55 strikes landed per minute to Pyle’s 2.56. The rate of strikes absorbed is pretty similar at 2.35 and 2.56 respectively. This fight, too is close in our model, but we have Matt Brown winning 59% of the time. At the current line of 1.63 to 1, we will avoid placing a bet as there still a strong possibility of Pyle taking home the win. Both guys finish a high percentage of their opponents, but at 2.2 to 1, the over 1.5 rounds line could be deserving of a strong look.
In our final prediction for this article, we will look at Joe Lauzon vs Michael Johnson. Joe Lauzon is a middle of the road lightweight, looking to win a couple big fights to establish himself in the division. Michael Johnson is a guy who is likely on his way out with another loss after losing his last two. Lauzon has an amazing 11 UFC fight night bonuses and this fight is a likely great candidate for fight of the night, especially after the stats we revealed in our fight night bonus article. Our model has Johnson winning this fight 78% of the time. Assuming that number is correct, we placed a 2 unit bet at 3.10 to 1 on Johnson to take the victory.
Predictions And Bets
Sonnen over Shogun. 1.5 units at 1.74 to 1.
Overeem over Browne. No bet at 1.53 to 1. (1.5 units at 1.71 to 1 on under 1.5 rounds)
Alcantara over Faber. 2 units at 3.35 to 1.
Brown over Pyle. No bet at 1.62 to 1.
Johnson over Lauzon. 2 unit bet at 3.10 to 1.
Stay tuned this week as we bring you the rest of our picks for UFC Fight Night 26. Also coming up are UFC Fight Night 27 on August 28 and UFC 164: Henderson vs Pettis on August 31.
Here are the latest odds for UFC Fight Night 26 (AKA UFC on Fox Sports 1):