UFC 203 – September 10, 2016 – Pre-Line Analysis

Before analyzing what the odds makers think, I try to progress my own views first. Pre-line thoughts include:

  • Miocic vs. Overeem: I’m biased to modestly favour the hungrier wolf in this heavyweight match, but it’s close to coin flip I think. Outside of KO/TKO (which is very likely), Reem is dangerous & unpredictable enough standing I think to favour Miocic requires the belief he can keep the pressure on, find a way to reliably secure the takedown or somehow turn this more into a boxing match (I don’t think Reem can take many shots…), and even then it’s not clear he decisively has the edge in all these areas. I might be overthinking it & should just favour Miocic, who has HTA and is perceived to have the better chin, faster / better hands & quicker feet, but without great confidence in his ability to defend Reem’s kicks, close distance without eating a knee and make the adjustment to approach this one using +2x the feints he typically does, it just isn’t enough.
  • Werdum vs. Browne: Have to go with Werdum, but I suspect this view is less sure than what the line implies for reasons I don’t hear many speak on. Never underestimate the man with his back against the wall, and it’s very common for just split moments to decide the outcome of heavyweight bouts, but I can’t find good reason to think it’s likely Browne’s chances are better this time around.
  • Punk vs. Gall: I’m thinking Gall mops the floor with Punk (no disrespect), likely with the most ridiculous odds on the card. I watched less than five minutes of Punk’s sparring footage and based on that, assuming they didn’t plant it to make him look bad to mess with Gall, don’t see how he can win a fight against an athletic 24 year old BJJ brown belt who started training boxing at 13. The odds here should be at least five to one.
  • Faber vs. Rivera: Call me crazy, but I slightly favour the old man here. Rivera looks like he belongs with the best in the division, I was impressed by his performance against Alcantara & Faber is in the homestretch of his career, but after watching film I just can’t find good enough reason to think Faber’s perceived decline / stasis, along with Rivera’s potential growth, is enough to make Rivera a clear favorite (although I do think this will be close).
  • Andrade vs. Calderwood: Taking Andrade on nickname alone. Won’t bet on it though.
  • Eye vs. Correia: I like Bethe here at first glance, but haven’t done enough work and don’t know enough already to have a strong view.

That’s it for now, will be back with the final six bouts soon.

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