Garbrandt Begins the Climb as Woodley Defends the Apex | UFC 235 Best Bets

Jason Paglia

Friday, March 1, 2019 3:43 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 1, 2019 3:43 PM UTC

Finally a PPV event that we can sink our teeth into. Coming off the dreadful PPV that was UFC 234, the UFC has come through for MMA fans once again. UFC 235 is stacked with entertaining matchups and plenty of soft spots for the betting market to take advantage of, let's get it on.

<h2><strong>TYRON WOODLEY(19-3-1) vs KAMARU USMAN (14-1)</strong></h2><p>Personally, I don't understand why the betting market is backing Kamaru Usman here. The odds have fallen all week on Tyron Woodley and at this point, I think he is a bargain. Yes, Kamaru Usman is 14-1. Yes, he has recently beaten the likes of Damian Maia and Rafeal Dos Anjos. But, when breaking down fights in MMA, matchups are everything. It's more important to study how fighters win fights rather then looking at the win / loss columns. Kamaru Usman's striking game is largely unproven. Look no further then his last three decisions to see that, the keyword being decisions. Since 2016 Kamaru Usman has one TKO victory in the UFC and 6 of his last 7 wins have been by decision. Why is this important? It's important because almost every victory Usman has in the UFC has been predicated on his power wrestling game. He takes his opponents to the ground round after round and ground 'n' pounds his way to decision victories. This will not work Saturday night because as good of a wrestler as Usman is, he is probably the third best wrestler in the division. Enter UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley</p><p>Before Tyron Woodley became a mixed martial artist he was a former 2 time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri. Even though the UFC has added Ben Askren to the Welterweight mix, Woodley is still the best wrestler in the division. I have played this fight over in my head 100 times this week and every time I fail to see a way Usman can consistently take Woodley down. If that's the case and this fight turns into a striking exhibition, Tyron Woodley has a clear advantage. Woodley is at his best when a fighter is coming towards him. Usman is a pressure fighter which is perfect for Woodley's counter-striking game. One problem that Usman has that nobody has taken advantage of thus far is how high he keeps his chin when pressuring opponents. Kamara Usman has faced very little Octagon adversity in his young career, and we all know that Woodley has insane power in his gloves. Woodley's right hand probably finds Usman's chin and rocks him at some point in this fight. How Usman reacts to that adversity will go a long way in determining this fight. My guess is... it's not well.</p><ul> <li><strong>THE PICK: </strong>Tyron Woodley to win at 25/39 (1.64) <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="A+ Bookmaker">at Bet365</a></li></ul><p> </p><h2><strong>CODY GARBRANDT (11-2) vs PEDRO MUNHOZ (17-3)</strong></h2><p>The UFC has given Cody Garbrandt an interesting return fight off the layoff here. The only person on the planet that has been able to figure out the riddle that is Cody Garbrandt is TJ Dillishaw...twice. For someone that is as confident in his skills as Garbrandt is, you have to think he has been dreaming of knocking Pedro Munhoz out for the last 3 months. Cody's win over Dominick Cruz made me think it was almost impossible to touch him in the Octagon. If Cruz couldn't do it, then who was going to? That question was answered very quickly. TJ Dillishaw came in and made Cody look pedestrian at best when he scored back to back TKO victories over Garbrandt. After those 2 fights I had to reevaluate exactly how good Garbrandt really is against top 10 Bantamweights, and my answer is I'm still not sure. What I am sure of is styles make fights and stylistically Garbrandt has the edge against Munhoz.</p><p>Pedro Munhoz has been impressive. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights in the UFC and an argument can be made that he should be 7 for 7 due to a bad split decision loss to John Dodson. Munhoz does have the tools to make this a tough fight if he can get Garbrandt down to the ground. He has phenomenal BJJ but the problem is when he comes into Gabrandt's range, he will probably get knocked out before he successfully takes Cody to the ground. I'm not sure how hard it is to hit Cody Garbrandt after his last 2 outings in the Octagon but what I am sure of is it's not hard to hit Pedro Munhoz at all. Munhoz will be there for the taking and he hasn't faced anyone as fast as Cody Garbrandt. Even an older John Dodson doesn't have the hand speed that Cody has and I think that will be the difference here. Between the angles that Cody cuts on the mat and the fact that Munhoz will be in his range the entire fight, I have to pick Cody to get his career back on track and get the W.</p><ul> <li><strong>THE PICK:</strong> Cody Garbrandt to win at 5/8 (1.62) <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Bookmaker">at William Hill</a></li></ul><p> </p><h2><strong>One last note: The Underdogs</strong></h2><p>When <a href="https://www.oddsmarket.com/fighting/" target="_blank" title="OddsMarket Fighting Odds Board">betting MMA</a>, you only take an underdog when A) you think the wrong fighter is favored or B) when you can get a substantial + price on an underdog that has slightly more then the average punchers chance. When it's option B, you do so knowing you will probably lose the unit but it's still worth taking a small piece of the action.</p><p>An argument can be made that 2 fighters on Saturday's fight card fit into option B). Ben Askren should beat Robbie Lawler but he hasn't been tested against anyone with the pedigree of Robbie Lawler. Robbie is getting older and like I said, he should lose but I believe the odds are slightly inflated. At (3.05) 41/20 it's worth a 1/4 unit play. The exact same case can be made for Jeremy Stephens who again should lose his fight but he does have better then a punchers chance at (3.35) 47/20. Always remember, tread lightly when betting significant underdogs.</p><p>Watch UFC 235, it's going to be a banger. Good Luck!!!</p>
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