It is incredibly rare in MMA to have two undefeated fighters fighting for a title (we consider Jones undefeated since his loss to Matt Hamill was a dumb DQ). Add to that the animosity that Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier have for each other and January 3rd has all the makings for a legendary UFC pay-per-view. As we announced earlier today, our betting tips will be absolutely free for the forseeable future thanks to our partnership with Draft Kings. Draft Kings offers daily fantasy sports games and will kick off its MMA offerings with UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier. By signing up with Draft Kings and making your first deposit (which you get a 100% bonus on), you ensure our picks can continue to be free! In terms of our recent betting performance, November was incredibly hot, but December was cold. We’ll be looking to start 2015 with a bang and UFC 182 will be our first chance to do so. Remember to follow us on Twitter for all our latest updates!
In the much publicized fight, Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier will square off for Jon Jones’s UFC light heavyweight title. We said undefeated in the intro because the only loss between the two men was when Jon Jones “lost” to Matt Hammill in a fight he was absolutely dominating due to the 12 to 6 elbows on a grounded opponent. Most MMA fans do not like that these elbows have been banned, but the rules are the rules and it was probably the right call to award the fight to Hammill. Regardless, in our opinion, Jones is basically undefeated since that was a pretty questionable loss. For the champ, Jones, Saturday will be his eighth attempt at defending the light heavyweight strap. At 27 years old, he is still young in his career and is likely to be at the top of whatever division he chooses to compete in for years to come. The opponent is former Olympian, Daniel Cormier. His 15-0 record is very impressive on paper, but when you dig into it a little deeper you see only 2 of those wins have been at light heavyweight and there is a serious lack of top 10 guys even at heavyweight. We won’t deny that Cormier has a lot of athleticism. The problem is, he will be facing a steep step up in competition when he steps into the cage with Jones. Jones has already successfully defeated 7 top light heavyweights in defending his title while Cormier has only beat Pat Cummins and a washed up Dan Henderson at light heavyweight. The other two question marks on Cormier are his age and his ability to make 205. At 35 years old, he will start slowing down at some point and he could be hard pressed to keep up with the 27 year old Jones. In addition, he has only made 205 lbs twice and it took him a while to finally cut down so who knows how easily he can do it for a third time. The line on this fight is closer than expected with the current best line on Jones around 1.61 (-163). We made Jones the first leg of our first parlay at the event.
The second leg of our first parlay will be Danny Castillo to defeat Paul Felder. Castillo is 35 years old and 24-7 overall in MMA. In the UFC, he is 7-4, but could easily be 7-3-1 had the judges scored his one fight against Edson Barboza properly. The big concern with betting Castillo is whether he will have slowed down since he is now on the wrong side of 35. The answer won’t be clear until fight night, but we take the fact that he was able to fight to a split decision with Tony Ferguson in August as a decent indication that he hasn’t slowed down too much. Also in 2014, he showed his power remains in TKOing Charlie Brenneman 21 seconds into the second round of their fight. For Felder, Saturday will be the second time he steps into the Octagon. Castillo will be a huge step up in competition having faced Jason Saggo in his previous fight, who was only fighting in the Octagon for the second time. At 29 years old, age is one factor that favours Felder, but without any evidence to suggest Castillo is slowing down, this is a favourite or pass situation. We placed a 3 unit parlay bet on Danny Castillo and Jon Jones at 2.35 (+135) at BetOnline.
Our second parlay betting tip for the event features a couple fights on the main card of UFC 182. Firstly, in a very close (at least in terms of odds) match-up, Nate Marquardt and Brad Tavares will fight it out in the middle of the main card. This is a very interesting fight between a couple of guys who really have no glaring weaknesses. One potential weakness for Marquardt is his chin, which has let him down in several big fights. It is not as bad as some fighters though and with only 3 of his 13 losses coming by way of TKO, we are hoping it will be a non-factor on Saturday. Most of Brad Tavares’s fights tend to play out on the feet, but he hasn’t really shown knockout power as of late so as long as Marquardt keeps moving, he should be able to keep his consciousness for the full 15 minutes. In terms of their overall records, Tavares in 12-3 and is the younger fighter at 27 years old. He is 7-3 for the UFC. Marquardt is 33-13-2 and 35 years old and 11-5 for the UFC. Tavares has shown the ability to beat the mid-tier middleweights in the UFC, but hasn’t yet shown the ability to beat the more upper tier competition. He lost his last two to Tim Boetsch and Yoel Romero. We believe Marquardt still fits into the upper tier of the UFC middleweight division, especially when he’s on his game. We expect Marquardt to take Tavares down and lock up a submission sometime in round 2. For that reason, we made Marquardt the first leg of our second parlay.
The second leg of our Nate Marquardt parlay is Hector Lombard. Lombard will be facing the WSOF crossover Josh Burkman. At 36 years old, obviously the big concern with Lombard is that he may be slowing down (sensing a trend in this post?). His overall record in MMA is 34-4-1 and he is 3-2 so far fighting in the UFC. He is a former judo national champion and has incredible athleticism. His opponent, Josh Burkman had been fighting for WSOF since it began in 2012 and managed a 4-1 record for the promotion. His wins over former UFC fighters Jon Fitch and Aaron Simpson indicate that he won’t be a cake walk for UFC fighters. Burkman did previously fight for the UFC, compiling a 5-5 record from 2005-2008. When the dust settles we expect Burkman to fall somewhere in the middle tier of UFC welterweights. That means he will lose to upper tier guys like Hector Lombard the vast majority of the time. That’s why we made Lombard the second leg of our second parlay. We bet 3 units on our Lombard/Marquardt parlay at 2.00 (+100) at BetOnline.
Like having our full betting tips for free? Make sure you sign up and deposit at Draft Kings to support our efforts! Also remember to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest! Our full UFC 182: Jones vs Cormier betting tips will be out late this week. Also, stay tuned for a fantasy preview for the event which will be coming out mid-week.