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Cashing In On The Big Ticket in Phoenix
Eric Roberts 2017-01-11 in MMA Tips
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger vs. Nina Ansaroff
If you’re not familiar with Nina Ansaroff’s performances inside the octagon, you might recognise her as being the partner of Women’s Bantamweight Champion, Amanda Nunes. Being in a relationship with a dominant UFC Champion sure has its perks, and Ansaroff is the main sparring partner of Nunes and has the additional benefit of support from a like-minded person around her. Ansaroff recently spoke about the motivational boost that she receives by living and working with Amanda Nunes and claims she’ll win this fight in impressive fashion. Ansaroff enters this fight with a 0-2 record in the UFC.
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger entered the UFC in December 2015 after going 6-1 in other promotions. Her two fights in the UFC have ended in decision losses, and in fact, all but one of her nine fights have ended in a decision outcome. I remember watching Jones-Lybarger in her bout with Randa Markos and being initially impressed with her length and use of the jab, however, she was unable to keep her opponent away and often gave up her reach and engaged in dirty boxing.
Nunes believes that Ansaroff can be a champion in the UFC and make it all the way. While I’m not a believer just yet, I sense that there’s a lot more to come from Ansaroff in the UFC. Her rise will begin this weekend by picking apart Jones-Lybarger with strikes in convincing fashion and winning this one by decision.
Nina Ansaroff to Win by Decision
Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman
Walt Harris is an athletic heavyweight who has had an interesting ride in the UFC so far. After joining the UFC in November 2013, he went 0-2, losing to Jared Rosholt and Nikita Krylov before being released and moving back to Titan. He knocked out his opponent in the first round and came back to the UFC in November 2014 and since then has managed a 1-2 record and a total of 1-4 in the UFC. All of his professional wins have come via the way of knockout and his last four have been first round finishes.
Chase Sherman ‘The Vanilla Gorilla’, is looking for his first win in the UFC after losing his debut fight to Justin Ledit. Sherman is now 9-2 as a professional with all nine of his wins coming by way of first-round knockout.
Walt Harris is big, strong and athletic and should cause problems for the similarly stylistic Chase Sherman. Both of these guys love to stand and bang, and there’s every chance this doesn’t make it out of the first round. This fight is a contest to see who lands first with a clean shot, and I’m banking on Harris.
Walt Harris to Win by KO/TKO
Joachim Christensen vs. Bojan Mihajilovic
Joachim Christensen is a BJJ Black Belt who has somehow managed to never really impress me with his ground game. This was evident in his last bout with Luis Henrique Da Silva, who is more of a stand-up guy, when Christensen was controlled on the ground and eventually gave up an armbar. For that reason, I’ve never really been sure of what Christensen’s strengths in the octagon are.
Bojan Mihajilovic is dropping down to Light Heavyweight after losing his UFC debut at Heavyweight against the much bigger Francis N’Gannou. Imagine finally getting into the UFC and witnessing first-hand the size and power of the Heavyweight division, I’d drop a weight-class as well. Bojan has powerful striking ability but wasn’t able to engage with N’Gannou because of the difference in size.
I’m interested to see how Mihajilovic’s striking and judo translate into the Light Heavyweight division now after first testing himself against a Heavyweight. While most will be leaning Christensen in this one, I’m opting for the alternate approach and backing in Mihajilovic to take this one out.
Bojan Mihajilovic to Win
Cyril Asker vs. Dmitry Smolyakov
I remember previewing Smolyakov’s UFC debut against Luis Henrique and wondering how he could be the favourite upon entering the fight. He went on to lose by rear-naked choke in the second round. Smolyakov’s experience before the UFC was limited, with eight fights and eight wins in the first round, four each by KO/TKO and submission. He was dominating his opponents, but they weren’t anything special. He relies on his size as a Heavyweight to smother opponents and overwhelming them – in lower class promotions, which often works.
Cyril Asker lost his UFC debut to Jared Cannonier in April 2016 after being knocked out 2:44 into the first round. Asker has boxing experience and tries to play the strategic fight with his opponents by patiently looking for openings.
While Asker can pick someone apart over the course of the fight with crisp punching, he won’t have the ability to do so against Smolyakov who often resembles a hyper-aggressive psycho in the cage. Smolyakov will limit the range and striking of Asker and probably manage a finish within the first two rounds. These two fighters leave much to be desired, however, and it could be an absolute slugfest.
Dmitry Smolyakov to Win
Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger vs. Nina Ansaroff Nina Ansaroff to Win by Decision Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 6/52.20+1201.201.20-0.83 – BetVictor
Walt Harris vs. Chase Sherman Walt Harris to Win by KO/TKO Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 3/22.50+1501.501.50-0.67 – BetVictor
Joachim Christensen vs. Bojan Mihajilovic Bojan Mihajilovic to Win Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 19/102.90+1901.901.90-0.53 – William Hill
Cyril Asker vs. Dmitry Smolyakov Dmitry Smolyakov to Win Sunday 15th January, 01:00 GMT Odds: 1/12.00+1001.001.00-1.00 – Bet365
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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