Love Him or Hate Him, Tito Ortiz Is an Excellent Coach

The former long-standing UFC light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz often has been criticized in his 13-year career.
Not for his fighting abilities, but because of the overwhelming sense of bravado that fans have come to expect from the man also known as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”
Since the early “caveman” days of the UFC, Ortiz has […]

UFC Betting

Love Him or Hate Him, Tito Ortiz Is an Excellent Coach

The former long-standing UFC light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz often has been criticized in his 13-year career.
Not for his fighting abilities, but because of the overwhelming sense of bravado that fans have come to expect from the man also known as “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy.”
Since the early “caveman” days of the UFC, Ortiz has […]

UFC Betting

Love Him or Hate Him, Tito Ortiz Is an Excellent Coach

UFC 112: Gather Around and I Will Tell You a Story… Rick Story, That Is

Brave Legion fighter and UFC welterweight Rick Story is set to take his career overseas when he takes on Nick Osipczak at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
Currently on a two-fight win streak, Story comes into Saturday’s event with the momentum to beat down his British opponent like it was the Revolutionary War all over again.
Apart […]

UFC Betting

UFC 112: Gather Around and I Will Tell You a Story… Rick Story, That Is

Brave Legion fighter and UFC welterweight Rick Story is set to take his career overseas when he takes on Nick Osipczak at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.
Currently on a two-fight win streak, Story comes into Saturday’s event with the momentum to beat down his British opponent like it was the Revolutionary War all over again.
Apart […]

UFC Betting

UFC 112: Gather Around and I Will Tell You a Story… Rick Story, That Is

Rick Story and a Fighters Mentality

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC – Admit it – you’ve looked at a fight on television at one point or another and said ‘I could do that.’
Well, instead of just crushing your dreams with a simple ‘no, you can’t,’ let’s use Rick Story’s UFC 103 bout with Brian Foster as an illustration. Forget the fact that mixed martial arts is a sport that requires years of training in various combat sports disciplines, athleticism, etc. I just want you to look at one aspect of the game.

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC – Admit it – you’ve looked at a fight on television at one point or another and said ‘I could do that.’
Well, instead of just crushing your dreams with a simple ‘no, you can’t,’ let’s use Rick Story’s UFC 103 bout with Brian Foster as an illustration. Forget the fact that mixed martial arts is a sport that requires years of training in various combat sports disciplines, athleticism, etc. I just want you to look at one aspect of the game.

The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz -Episode Two Recap

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – 14 middleweight fighters have earned spots in the house for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz competition, and the road to the ultimate finale has begun. But before further eliminations can begin, coaches Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz must select the teams that they will lead into battle.

CAUTION: SPOILERS INCLUDED – 14 middleweight fighters have earned spots in the house for The Ultimate Fighter: Team Liddell vs Team Ortiz competition, and the road to the ultimate finale has begun. But before further eliminations can begin, coaches Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz must select the teams that they will lead into battle.

Mike Hammersmith’s TUF 11 Analysis

Hey folks! This is Mike Hammersmith from www.mmamafia.net, doing a guest blog for MMA Moneyline on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter.
TUF is a huge vehicle for UFC and MMA in general, and for anyone who is looking to clean up on fantasy or online betting, it’s that necessary viewing on your Wednesday night. […]

Hey folks! This is Mike Hammersmith from www.mmamafia.net, doing a guest blog for MMA Moneyline on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter.

TUF is a huge vehicle for UFC and MMA in general, and for anyone who is looking to clean up on fantasy or online betting, it’s that necessary viewing on your Wednesday night. Granted, some people can hardly stomach the ridiculous antics inside the house, and a large chunk of the talent on the show is thrown to the wayside shortly after filming, but the fact remains TUF turns out a great deal of fighters. In fact, nearly 30% of the current UFC roster is comprised of fighters who have been on TUF, either as coaches or fighters, making this one of the single largest talent pools for the UFC. So, if we have to watch TUF to pick up on future stars and betting prospects for the TUF Finale every season, why not make some money off the show itself?

Considering this is the prime source of MMA gambling info on the net, MMA Moneyline and myself decided we should run an article concerning TUF 11, and Betus unique wagering system concerning the show. As explained in a previous blog post, Betus runs a series of lines for TUF, where you can bet on who wins the season, and have a chance to win some serious money if you do your homework. These lines will change over time, and often reappear a day or two before each episode, with new odds for each fighter. Considering the smallest line for this show was +600 to start, you can see how getting in a smart pick early can make you cash in the long run.

What I will be doing here in my guest blog is posting critiques and information on fighters as the season progresses, and giving you the best possible chance of cashing in on these odds early. The tactic here is to pick up two or three fighters early who you think will make it all the way to the end of the show. Your best possible scenario is that you end up with BOTH fighters in the finale, and guaranteed money at the conclusion of the show, often at odds around +500 as the season progresses.

I recommend you bet 1u per fighter, and keep track of the lowest odds you’ve taken thus far, and make sure your bets don’t exceed your lowest possible income from the winner. For instance, if you take Kyle Noke at +600, you should make a maximum of 5 bets, including Noke, throughout the season. That way, as long as one of your bets goes through, you make a profit. I recommend you take two bets initially, and pick up other fighters if and when one of those is eliminated during the course of the competition. So, without further delay, here is my rundown of the cast after Episode one, a recap of Episode Two, and a list of the best bets, in my mind, for the season thus far:

Opening Lines:
Kyle Noke +600
Josh Bryant +700
Kris McCray +800
Kyacey Uscola +800
Clayton McKinney +900
Chris Camozzi +1200
Court McGee +1200
Rich Attonito +1500
James Hammortree +1500
Nick Ring +1500
Brad Tavares +1500
Jamie Yager +1500
Charles Blanchard +1800
Joseph Henle +1800

Kyle Noke: The early favorite in the lines, Kyle Noke went to the score cards after a bloody fight with Warren Thompson, in a bout he controlled from top position. Noke is certainly a talented fighter and has, at worst, even odds to beat anyone on this show. As long as the injury bug avoids him and there are no surprises, I see Noke being one of the two men in the finals.

Josh Bryant: Another 10-0 fighter, Josh Bryant comes in here as a strong favorite, although after his opening round fight with Greg Rebello, I’m not sold on him. He appears to be one of several wrestlers in this tournament, and I don’t see him being the best out of any of them. Unless he shows something new in his next bout, I’d avoid wagers on him, as I feel he’s over-valued at Betus.

Kris McCray: One of the early favorites coming into TUF, Kris McCray made short work of Cleburn Walker in the opening round when Walker’s shoulder dislocated off of a belly to belly suplex. While the fight was short, it showed McCray as a wild and ferocious fighter, but with several technical flaws. Being aggressive can be enough to plow through weaker competition, but considering some of the veterans in this competition, I couldn’t see taking McCray unless he really blooms on this show.

Kyacey Uscola: The most experienced fighter on this season, Uscola is a fighter who can beat anyone on any given day, but is so defensively poor, he finds himself being finished just as often. Uscola is a tough match for anyone in the house, but could just as easily lose here, and I’d personally avoid putting money on him unless it’s late in the season.

Clayton McKinney: An odd looking fighter for sure, but Clayton McKinney showed he’s a serious contender on this show, displaying fast double leg takedowns and accurate power punches, breaking Charley Lynch’s nose with a series of punches and knees. McKinney could be a dark horse here, and is definitely one to keep your eye on early.

Chris Camozzi: Camozzi was victorious after a very tough fight against Victor O’Donnell, which saw both men reeling from blows and nearly finished several times. Camozzi showed vicious knee strikes and powerful punching skills, although his positional grappling needs a lot of work, making him a target against some of the strong wrestlers on this season. While I can’t be sure about this season, after doing some preliminary detective work before the show, Chris Camozzi mentions on his twitter that he suffers some sort of serious jaw injury during the show. I can’t think of an injury to your jaw where you’re not medically cleared to fight again for six weeks, that doesn’t mean you were knocked out badly, and while I could be wrong, I don’t recommend anyone place money on Camozzi to win this season.

Court McGee: In one of the most heavily contested fights of the opening round, Court McGee was able to out-wrestle and ultimately out-point opponent Seth Baczynski in an exciting bout. McGee showed good composure under pressure, some heavy hands and a sturdy chin in his bout, which went to sudden victory. While McGee didn’t look like a world-beater, I expect him to be a tough test for anyone on this show, and he could play spoiler in the early rounds.

Rich Attonito: Perhaps the best wrestler on the show this season, Attonito is going to be a real problem for just about anyone, and he easily defeated Lyle Steffens in the opening round. While we’ve yet to see his full skill-set, taking him at +1500 may have proven to be a wise move if you got him in the initial betting phase. Failing that, we’ll have to see how he pans out across this season, but I expect him to make the final four.

James Hammortree: The real story of this fight was Hammortree’s opponent and his proclamation of showing the world French fighters are tough….moments before quitting on the stool. Hammortree showed a good amount of endurance and grittiness, but also showed less than stellar takedown defense, which will be a major issue for him if he can’t get that ironed out. As of now, he showed too many holes in his game to take him early in this.

Nick Ring: Nick Ring flew under the radar into this tournament, but after easily defeating tough fighter Woody Weatherby, he seems to have turned some heads. If you were lucky enough to jump on this early like myself, you got him at +1500, which is practically theft. With high-level Muay Thai, street-fighter toughness, and excellent no-gi grappling skills, Ring has potential to make it to the finals.

Brad Tavares: Tavares made short work of 10-0 Jordan Smith in the opening round, and showed some decent boxing skills, killer instinct, and a good wrestling base standing. If Smith’s 10-0 record was against solid competition, I’d say this looks like an opportunity, but unfortunately his record was severely padded, and we can’t know the value of him as a fighter from that. Despite this, Tavares remains a fighter to keep an eye on this season.

Jamie Yager: Four kicks are all we got to see of Jamie Yager as he dispatched Ben Stark in the first round. While the kicks looked great, we can’t really evaluate a fighter based on so little footage, and his time in the Iron Ring doesn’t count for all that much in my eyes. He may have potential, but until we see some ground game or striking fundamentals money on Yagers is a waste.

Charles Blanchard: Showing dominant wrestling and ground and pound against BJJ blackbelt Jacen Flynn, Blanchard showed himself to be seriously undervalued at +1800 in the initial betting. He looks to be a very difficult fight for just about anyone in the house, and could make considerable money if he continues to be over-looked.

Joseph Henle: A bit of a surprise in the opening round, Henle was able to pull off an armbar against highly-regarded Costantinos Philippou in the second round, after being man-handled by the strong grappler in the first. Henle is a bear of a man and will give some fighters a lot of trouble with the pressure he can put on fighters, but will find himself out-wrestled more often than not in this season.

An overview of the season: Fight predictions are all about styles and how they match up with each other, and particularly in a long tournament setting, knowing who can put away most of the field is paramount. Stylistically, this season reminds me a lot of TUF 7, as the majority of the fighters who made it into the house are wrestlers or sprawl and brawlers, leaving little variety amongst the contestants. As we’re dealing with primarily wrestlers, we need to look at who can defeat a wrestler, and try to get strong odds on those fighters early to maximize profit. The fighters that commonly give wrestlers trouble are better wrestlers, comparable wrestlers with superior striking skills, or grapplers with strong bottom games. With this in mind, I’m ranking the fighters in order of their chances of success on this show, based on their abilities to defeat other fighters:

Nick Ring
Kyle Noke
Kyacey Uscola
Rich Attonito
Clayton McKinney
Charles Blanchard
Court McGee
Josh Bryant
James Hammortree
Joseph Henle

Fighters who I haven’t seen enough of to determine where they fit into the above line-up:

Kris McCray
Chris Camozzi
Brad Tavares
Jamie Yager

In keeping with the TUF 7 comparison, when you’re dealing with wrestlers, you’ve got to find your Amir Sadollah. With his crisp Muay Thai striking and high-level bottom game submissions, Nick Ring would be someone who can defeat just about anyone in the house this season. After him, we have well-rounded fighters like Kyle Noke and Kyacey Uscola who an potentially beat anyone, although they’ll need to work hard against the wrestlers in the competition to avoid being out-pointed. Attonito and Blanchard are, from what I’ve seen, the best wrestlers of the bunch and should handle most of the lower-tier grapplers in the line-up. The bottom of the bracket are guys who I think will be out-wrestled by the top of the bracket, or who aren’t well-rounded enough to compete with most of the other fighters. Considering there were some short fights, I don’t know where McCray, Tavares and Yager fit in, and due to the injury Camozzi suffers, I’m loathe to put him anywhere in the mix, as he’s not a viable bet in this tournament as far as we know.

Episode 2: Episode two didn’t show us anything terribly useful after the end of the show. It was shown that McKinney has injured his shoulder, and although it didn’t turn out to be serious, it did pose a question about his heart. There is always one or two people per season who are injured and either bow out or lose their next fight. While some injuries are truly career threatening, and some aren’t able to compete due to this injuries, some guys use it as a convenient excuse to lose. Being in the house is a tremendously draining experience, and while everyone who goes into the house is able to train and fight, not everyone can handle the hours of boredom and extreme training conditions. On the flip-side of this was Chris Camozzi, who’s broken tooth and jaw infection are causing him harm, but he appears to be game to fight. As you saw above though, he is later found to be medically unfit to fight due to a jaw injury, and this tooth and infection might be the root of the problem. Whether that has something to do with his time on the show, or if it’s something that develops after, we don’t know, but I still feel him an unwise bet to make it to the end.

A vital piece of information in this episode was the team selection. It has become all but confirmed by the UFC, that Tito Ortiz is removed from the show at some point. We don’t know the particulars, such as if his team goes with him, or if it’s late in the season, but this puts a bit of a stigma over picking Ortiz guys to go far. If Ortiz leaves early in the show and takes his team with him, that will have a severe effect on the fighters in his charge, as any team coming in will have to get to know the fighters in short time, and be completely in the dark concerning the other team’s fighters. Unlike Dana White, I feel Liddell ended up with the more solid team, and with Ortiz leaving, I recommend a careful look at the coach before making picks. Consider fighters who are already at UFC level, and those who could be with the right direction. If those who aren’t quite there are on Ortiz team, they might not be worth the wager.

The most important aspect of the episode is the fight of course, where Kyle Noke, my number 2 pick, took on the injured Kyle McKinney, my number 5 pick. This showed much more about Noke than McKinney, whom I don’t expect to see again in the wild card due to the lack of competitiveness in the fight, and his injury. Noke looked less comfortable on the feet than I’d have though, and while there aren’t too many killer stand-up fighters in this season, Ortiz has ended up with two of them; Nick Ring and Kyacey Uscola. Noke showed merit on his back though, which could get him far against some of the suffocating wrestlers in this competition, although the two men mentioned above may still have his number.

Here is my list of picks, revised as of Episode 2, and with team designation added:

O/ Nick Ring
O/ Kyacey Uscola
L/ Kyle Noke
L/ Rich Attonito
L/ Charles Blanchard
L/ Court McGee
L/ Josh Bryant
O/ James Hammortree
L/ Joseph Henle

Fighters who I haven’t seen enough of to determine where they fit into the above line-up:

O/ Kris McCray
O/ Chris Camozzi
L/ Brad Tavares
O/ Jamie Yager

I have moved Uscola over Noke, as Noke’s stand-up defense doesn’t look like he’ll be capable of handling aggressive striking, which has been an issue in his career. While Uscola is yet to move into the next round, he has a solid chance of beating almost anyone on Liddell’s team, with the only issues coming from Rich Attonito and Court McGee. I still haven’t seen much of the four men I’ve left off the list. I do find it odd that every single clip of Jamie Yager is of him throwing a kick. The sole exception was of him incorrectly ground and pounding a dummy and being corrected. If all Yager brings to the table are kicks, expect him to drop just about any fight he’s given, as kicks are the easiest attack to avoid if you know it’s coming.

That’s it for this week, so keep an eye on Betus and make some sound wagers when the opportunity arises. We’ll be back next week with an episode recap and updated fighter list, so stay tuned!

Mike Hammersmith appears courtesy of www.mmamafia.net

Terry Etim: The Big Time

Elliot Worsell, UFC – Terry Etim has been stealing shows and post-fight bonuses for the past 18 months of his UFC career. The 24-year-old Englishman is a phenomenal talent in the eyes of teammates, opponents, fans, commentators, Octagonside reporters and anybody that has ever seen the lightweight contender in the flesh.

Elliot Worsell, UFC – Terry Etim has been stealing shows and post-fight bonuses for the past 18 months of his UFC career. The 24-year-old Englishman is a phenomenal talent in the eyes of teammates, opponents, fans, commentators, Octagonside reporters and anybody that has ever seen the lightweight contender in the flesh.