UFC 225 Preview and Tips
UFC 225 this Sunday is set the take place in Chicago at the United Center with the most exciting card of the year to date. Three Aussies are competing on the main card billed by current Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. The main event a rematch from last July at UFC 213 sees Robert “the Reaper” Whittaker defend his belt for the first time against “The Soldier of God” Yoel Romero. Fight fans will also see the debut of highly touted Victorian Megan Anderson as she takes on former champion Holy Holm and Western Sydney’s own Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa goes one-on-one with UFC legend Andrei Arlovski for what should be a fight full of fireworks. The Wolf breaks down all 5 bouts on the main card and provides bet predictions, which also includes former WWE superstar CM Punk.
|CM Punk vs Mike Jackson||Best: CM Punk WIN ($2.70)
Value: CM Punk via Submission
|Andrei Arlovski vs Tai Tuivasa||Best: Tuivasa WIN ($1.36)
Value: Tai KO Round 1
|Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson||Best: Totals Over 2.5 Rounds ($1.30)
Value: Anderson WIN ($2.80)
|Rafael Dos Anjos vs Colby Covington||Best: Totals Overs 4.5 Rounds ($1.55)
Value: Dos Anjos WIN ($1.90)
|Robert Whittaker vs Yoel Romero||Best: Whittaker WIN ($1.40)
Value: Whittaker KO Round 4
|Multi||Combined Odds: 10.36 (Price Pump to $11.53)|
Phil “CM Punk” Brooks vs Mike Jackson
The first bout on the main card sees former WWE superstar CM Punk competing for the 2nd time in the Octagon against similarly matched 0-1 opponent Mike Jackson. Both men made their MMA debuts inside the UFC and were defeated easily by Mickey Gall Rnd 1 SUB (2.14) & Rnd 1 SUB (0.45) respectively. This bout which is only occurring to increase PPV buys has been shunned by MMA analysts, but is occurring and plays a key role for the attention of this card and our fellow Aussies.
The only advantage which lies in this bout should be the size of CM Punk and the expert game planning of his training camp at Roufus MMA, coached by MMA legend Duke Roufus. The fans can expect a more polished CM Punk in this bout as the former pro wrestler should look to take his opponent down and use a slight grappling advantage he may have. For Mike Jackson the obvious game-plan would be to keep the fight standing and look to pick Punk apart on the outside.
This one will be interesting to see who has made the bigger improvements since their last bouts with the result being a true flip of the coin given their very limited pro experience. The Wolf likes Punk in this one via 2nd round Submission.
Best Bet: CM Punk WIN ($2.70)
Value Bet: CM Punk via Submission
Andrei Arlovski vs Tai Tuivasa
The next bout on the main card sees hot Aussie MMA prospect, Tai “Bam Bam” Tuivasa take on Andrei “the Pitbull” Arlovski for what is the young Aussies biggest opportunity. Tuivasa a Kingswood native, has raised a lot of attention in his 2 fight UFC career continuing his 1st round KO streak, making short work of Rashad Coulter & Cyril Asker. The young Aussie has a large frame standing 6 ft 2 & 260 plus pounds and has a clear power advantage over everyone he has fought so far. The tactic for Bam Bam is to push forward and put the pressure on his opponent, he chains his strikes together well and has shown great athleticism particularly in his flying knee KO victory over Coulter last November in Sydney.
His opponent Andrei Arlovski, a veteran of 25 UFC fights has been in there with some of the best Heavyweights of all time and knows how to win on the big stages. He recently broke a 5 fight losing streak and has since won 2 in a row against Albini and Stefan Struve. A powerful athletic striker has the ability to knock any of his opponents out, has taken a more seasoned approach in his recent contests looking to fight smarter which the Wolf is sure he will try do against Tuivasa.
With both men at opposite ends of their career, now is the perfect time for Tuivasa to strike who will have the power, speed and momentum advantage coming into this one. If the fight leaves the 1st round, the advantage will go to the veteran Arlvoski but the Wolf believes the power and explosion should be to much for Andrei, look for Tuivasa to extend that KO streak to 8 as the Aussie primes himself for the headlights of being a top 10 UFC heavyweight should he defeat the Pitbull on Sunday.
Best Bet: Tuivasa WIN ($1.36)
Value Bet: Tai KO Round 1
Holly Holm vs Megan Anderson
The 3rd bout on the main card sees two top Featherweight (145 pound) contenders go head-to-head as Holly Holm, most known for her head kick KO of Ronda Rousey takes on Aussie debutant Megan Anderson.
Holly Holm who holds an MMA record of 11-4 is a former 19 time world champion boxer has risen to be one of the most popular figures in the UFC. Largely in-part to her highlight reel KO of Rousey, Holm has struggled lately in the Octagon. While being competitive in all of her fights, she is 1-4 in her last 5 bouts and needs a win against Anderson more then ever. Her best bet at winning this one is to stay elusive against the bigger Anderson, score points in the kickboxing range and punish Megan every time she steps forward.
The lady she is fighting, is Victorian born Megan Anderson who currently holds an 8-2 MMA record and is coming off a 4 fight KO streak, while this is a giant step-up in competition UFC fans are excited to see what this exciting prospect can do on the biggest stage of her career. She stands 6 ft tall and has a 72.5 inch reach, much like Holm she is striker based but has a more diverse Muay Thai style of fighting, which incorporates the art of 8 limbs. (Knees, elbows, fists and feet.)
She needs to enter the Octagon full of confidence in her ability and not let Holm get set at range, punish the former champion with big strikes and be willing to fight 3 hard rounds. The Wolf likes the underdog once again in this one, predicting a successful debut for the Aussie born fighter.
Best Bet: Totals Over 2.5 Rounds ($1.30)
Value Bet: Anderson WIN ($2.80)
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Colby Covington
The Co-main event presents a battle for the Interim Welterweight (170 pound) Championship between Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington. The highly anticipated contest has gained attention largely due to the trash talk of Colby and has many a UFC fan excited as both fighters possess similarly aggressive styles. The winner will fight current champ Tyron Woodley in a unifying fight later in the year
Dos Anjos a former lightweight (155 pound) champion, holds an MMA record of 28-9 and is a perfect 3-0 since moving up to Welterweight. The veteran of 24 UFC fights possess one of the most exciting fight styles in the sport as he constantly pressures his opponents with his Muay Thai striking combined with high level grappling. None more evident then his last 2 outings, first one against Neil Magny in which the Brazilian battered his man on the feet before finishing him late in the 1st round. Perhaps his best performance in the cage so far, was his most recent 5 round beating of former champion Robbie Lawler who he pressured and controlled for the entire fight with a relentless pace and versatility of attack.
The only time fans have seen Dos Anjos struggle, is against larger high level grapplers which is exactly what Covington is. A former collegiate wrestling champion the man they nicknamed “Chaos” holds an MMA record of 13-1. Riding a 5 fight win streak Covington has controlled and dominated just about all of his opponents in the UFC and will look to do the same come Sunday. The Wolf believes this is the hardest fight to pick on the main card and isn’t surprised by both fighters coming in at roughly $1.90 each. The championship experience and versatility of attack for Dos Anjos should be enough to get the victory in what could be a close decision.
Best Bet: Totals Overs 4.5 Rounds ($1.55)
Value Bet: Dos Anjos WIN ($1.90)
Robert Whittaker vs Yoel Romero
The main event highlights a battle for the Middleweight (185 pound) Championship of the world when Sydneys own Robert “the Reaper”Whittaker takes on the man he beat to win the title Yoel Romero in what promises to be a re-take of one of the most exciting title fights in UFC history.
The champion Whittaker who holds an MMA record of 19-4 has been inactive since their last bout nearly 12 months ago but is riding an 8 fight win streak since moving up to the 185 pound division. With a black belt in karate and high level wresting (Whittaker would have competed in this years Commonwealth games, had he not fallen ill) embodies one of the most well-rounded games in the UFC and is exciting to watch each and everytime he competes. With lazer precision power punches and phenomenal conditioning it is no surprise Whittaker has reached this stage in his career at just the age of 27. With highlight reel KOs of Jacare Souza, Clint Hester & Derek Brunson, Whittakers star power continues to grow with his most impressive feat taking place in his last bout. Roughly a minute into his title fight with Romero, the Reapers knee was shattered with a side kick and he continued to fight 24 more minutes eventually getting the Unanimous Decision nod to become champion.
Derailing a talent like Whittaker may only be achievable by a man with freakish talent, the former Silver medalist winning Olympian Yoel Romero who is branded as the best athlete to ever compete in the Octagon, embodies extreme talent with an unbelievable knack at finding victory no matter the challenge. Boasting an MMA record 13-2 the Cuban is known for his explosion and fight ending abilities. This is evident in his victories over former champions Lyoto Machida, Chris Weidman and most recently in February at the Perth Arena against Luke Rockhold. All came in the 3rd round, one shot is all it takes for Romero to end a fight and Robert must be weary of this at all times.
The Wolf couldn’t be more excited for this one and the future that is all so bright for Aussie superstar Robert Whittaker. Injury not inclusive expect the champion to come back and look as dominant as ever. Expect a cleaner and more prolific Whittaker in this bout with a possible late finish to the Aussie.
Best Bet: Whittaker WIN ($1.40)
Value Bet: Whittaker KO Round 4
Main Card Multi
– CM Punk WIN
– Tuivasa WIN
– Over 2.5 Rounds (Holm v Anderson)
– Over 4.5 Rounds (Dos Anjos v Covington)
– Whittaker WIN