UFC Fight Night 26: Sonnen vs Shogun is just a few days away now, going down this Saturday, August 17. The odds have been released for the full card and we’re here to provide our predictions. In the main event, we picked Sonnen to defeat Shogun. We also posted our full main card picks just a couple days ago. If our model is correct, this card could present the greatest value of any MMA card predicted by the fight predictor to date. The card is on cable TV and is the inaugural event on Fox’s new sports channel, Fox Sports 1.
The main event of the prelims features Brad Pickett going toe to toe with Michael McDonald. Pickett is the underdog, currently sitting at 3.15 to 1. Our model agrees with the odds and has McDonald winning a significant majority of the time. Since joining the UFC, McDonald has gone 4-1 with 2 knockouts and his lone loss coming to interim bantamweight division champ, Renan Barao. Pickett is 3-2 in UFC competitions, also holding a loss to Renan Barao, as well as a split decision loss to Eddie Wineland. McDonald holds a 3 inch height advantage and 2 inch reach advantage over Pickett (5’9″ to 5’6″ and 70″ to 68″). In terms of the in fight stats, on the feet, Pickett lands more punches with less accurracy, but also absorbs almost double the amount of significant strikes that McDonald does. Pickett also lands more takedowns, but also at a lower accuracy (57% to 75%). We agree with our model that McDonald will take this fight, at the current line of just 1.42 however, we will avoid placing a bet as the risk to reward is too great.
In the featherweight division, kicking off the main card is Daniel Pineda vs Diego Brandao. In our (and our model’s opinion), Daniel Pineda is not nearly as big an underdog as the odds currently suggest. Neither guy is particularly consistent, Brandao is 17-8 in his career and Pineda is 18-9. One thing that does stand out about Pineda, however is that he has finished all 18 of his victories. Brando also finishes at an impressive pace with 14 of his 17 wins coming inside the distance. The stat line on this fight tells us Pineda lands more strikes (3.21 to 2.19), absorbs approximately the same amount (2.84 to 2.72), lands more takedowns at a lower efficiency (2.8 to 1.57 and 57% to 80%) and goes for way more submissions (2.8 per fight to 0.78 per fight). We are very comfortable in recommending a 2 unit bet on Pineda at 3.12 to 1.
Also in the featherweight division, Mike Brown takes on Steven Siler. The 37 year old Brown is likely attempting one more run at the title before hanging them up, while the 26 year old Siler should have many good years in the sport. Brown has fought many of the top featherweights in the world, while Siler is looking to establish himself in the UFC’s featherweight division and a win over Brown would be a great start. Our model agrees with the oddsmakers on this one, favouring Brown to take home the W. We chose not to place a bet at the current line of 1.44 to 1.
In our final pick of the night, we have Manny Gamburyan defeating Cole Miller. Both men are an unimpressive 2-3 in their last 5 outings and probably getting close to the UFC’s cut line, especially with a couple more losses. Miller is very tall and lanky for the featherweight division, standing 6’1″ with a reach of 73.” Gamburyan is much stockier at 5’5″ tall and 69″ long. Gamburyan’s path to victory is taking down Miller and laying on top of him. While Gamburyan is not particularly accurate with his takedowns, landing just 29%, he is relentless, landing 3.34 per 15 minute fight. Gamburyan can win by being relentless with his takedowns because Miller is only able to defend 50% of the takedowns attempted against him and his lankiness may actually make it easier for Gamburyan to take him down once he gets on the inside. We placed a 2 unit bet on Gamburyan at 2.05 to 1.
Sonnen over Rua. 1.5 units at 1.74 to 1
Overeem vs Browne under 1.5 rounds. 1.5 units at 1.71 to 1
Alcantara over Faber. 2 units at 3.35 to 1
Johnson over Lauzon. 2 units at 3.10 to 1
Pineda over Brandao. 2 units at 3.12 to 1
Gamburyan over Miller. 2 units at 2.05 to 1
Overeem over Browne
Brown over Pyle
McDonald over Pickett
Brown over Siler
Here are the latest odds for UFC Fight Night 26 (AKA UFC on Fox Sports 1):