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Rick’s UFC Blachowicz vs Rakic Preview

What a roller coaster UFC 274 we had last week. Ranging from Namajunas vs Esparza’s worst title fight of all time to Michael Chandler with a front-kick knockout of Tony after a back-and-forth first round. If there’s one thing we can be assured of in a Chandler fight, it’s entertainment. We sealed the night with another brilliant performance from Charles Oliveira. I’m convinced he isn’t truly getting cracked at this point but is falling to welcome people into that guard. However, he’s good enough to stand and trade with the best, knocking down Gaethje in just over 2 minutes and immediately taking the back to finish by RNC.

For these UFC columns I’m going to provide my plays with some quick analysis of the fight I’m referencing. I will be on Twitter @RickHHSports where you can ask for a longer explanation if you desire. If I did a complete analysis for every fight, it would be much too long. With that said, let's get the fight night plays for today going!

Maximov (-400) vs Petroski (+290)

We all know what Maximov is by this point, he’s going to wrestle until he can’t move anymore. In two fights he’s logged well over 20 takedown attempts, and surely he’ll continue those efforts today. Petroski himself is a well-established wrestler with a distinct advantage in the standup. If he can thwart Maximov or be able to get back to his feet from a takedown, I think he can do some damage to Maximov and force him to shoot with little success.

Pick: Petroski +290 (0.5u)

Tatsuro vs Candelario (+235)

Two fighters with a combined 1 loss between them, this should be a scrappy affair with two great grapplers. In short, I think there will be an opportunity deadly enough for a stoppage, whether it by TKO or submission.

Pick: Fight not to go to decision -135 (1u)

Jandiroba vs Hill (+165)

Angela Hill, the queen of fighting to her opponent’s level. A solid striker that prefers to have the fight on the feet, Angela will struggle with Jandiroba’s grappling heavy attack. Jandiroba coming in as a winner of 3 of her last 5, her losses have come against superior grapplers. If she can take Hill to the mat, she should be able to dominate the rounds and end with a decision victory.

Pick: Jandiroba -200 (1u)

Johnson vs Patrick (+125)

In an absolutely gross fight, veteran Michael Johnson (20-17) has his clear strengths and weaknesses. While he’s quick and powerful on the feet, he couldn’t stop a toddler from taking him down. Patrick isn’t great on the feet but he should use his wrestling to get Johnson to the ground and get a possible submission.

Pick: Patrick +125 (.5u)

Araujo vs Lee (-125)

Lee is a fighter that each time you see she adds a wrinkle to her game that shows her and her camp are working to evolve her game. Her consistent approach and fight IQ should lead her to a decision victory over Araujo who is power heavy but struggles to pick up points.

Pick: Lee -125 (1u)

Hadley vs Nascimento (+176)

Not too much to say about this fight, Nascimento has phenomenal jiu-jitsu but tends to get out wrestled in his fights which is a concern especially against Hadley. Playing this as a value play, as I think the line Hadley should only be a slight favorite.

Pick: Nascimento +176 (.5u)

Camacho vs Torres (-134)

Camacho is a very solid grappler who doesn’t choose to use it often. Sounds odd? That’s because it is. Torres has a very balanced skill-set being adept at every level and I expect him to be able to direct where this fight takes place

Pick: Torres -134 (1u)

Chookagian vs Ribas (+145)

One of the loudest fighters in MMA, some say Chookagian’s one-two punch can be heard around the world. In all seriousness, she’s a fighter that racks up points with volume and I think her massive size advantage does wonders here against Ribas, who beat our earlier pick in Jandiroba last time out.

Pick: Chookagian -170

Grant vs Smolka (+220)

Davey Grant is better in nearly every area of this fight and Smolka’s durability has gone down over time. I think Grant wins and while I won’t be playing it inside the distance, I don’t mind the bet if you’re looking for value.

Pick: Grant / Jandiroba Parlay -100 (1u)

Spann vs Cutelaba (-240)

Spann has almost become notorious for leaving his head to the side while going for takedowns and having it elbowed into his shoulders. With that said he is tall, lanky, and has submission capabilities. Cutelaba tends to start strong and wane as the rounds go on. I think Spann wins a decision victory in a grueling 29-28 decision.

Pick: Spann +200 (0.5u) Spann by Dec +500 (.25u)

Blachowicz vs Rakic (-210)

Not the same fighter he used to be, at 39 this could be a changing of the guard up at heavyweight with the much younger Rakic coming in. While Blachowicz is great on the feet and has solid takedown defense, he tends to get held on the ground for minutes at a time. That is where Rakic’s path to victory lies, though he is good enough to win it anywhere. I think that while Rakic is hungry, Blachowicz is desperate to return to prominence after a massively underwhelming title fight against Glover.

Pick: Blachowicz +170 (1u)

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