UFC 297: Three Best Moneyline Bets
Malcolm Gordon (14-7) vs Jimmy Flick (16-7)
UFC 297: THREE BEST MONEYLINE BETS – Riding a two-fight losing streak, Gordon competes in front of his home country for the first time in five years.
He is 2-4 since joining the UFC, showcasing that he may not have much longer with the company. Gordon is a BJJ black belt who has tried many times to improve his striking but is unable to do so. He is much better served on the mat where he can create submission or control opportunities for himself.
Flick returned from retirement last year but now finds himself on a two-fight losing streak, like his opponent this week. One of the slicker submission specialists we have on the roster, Flick has a flying triangle win in his UFC career, which is just the tip of the iceberg with how smooth he is on the mat.
His striking game mainly revolves around unorthodox kicks from distance, until he can drag the fight to the mat and find finishing opportunities.
Both guys are relatively in the same position and possess the same threats. However, I feel once this fight hits the mat, Flick will be the better of the two.
Flick’s BJJ style is far superior to Gordon’s, and I think that will eventually open up paths to finishes for him. Whether it’s a submission off his back or a reversal that gets him into a dominant position, look for Flick to get the finish. Line movement has indicated heavy action on Gordon, but I think that just works to our benefit to get a better number.
The Pick: Jimmy Flick +185
Charles Jourdain (15-6-1) vs Sean Woodson (10-1-1)
One of the more entertaining fighters on the roster, Jourdain looks to go on his longest UFC winning streak by notching his third straight this weekend.
He is an unorthodox and flashy striker that loves to let his fists and feet do the talking. In turn, many opponents have tried to grind him out on the mat, so he developed a nasty choke game to make opponents pay for shooting desperation takedowns. This normally allows him to play in the striking realm where he feels most comfortable.
This lanky featherweight comes in at a towering 6’3”, which is unheard of at 145lbs. He has yet to miss weight, so we can’t hold it against him in terms of being a “weight bully”.
Woodson normally relies on his boxing background to maintain distance and range by poking out his jab and the occasional kick of the pipe. He showed off his grappling chops in his last fight, but it’s obvious he is most comfortable playing at distance with his long-range weapons.
Woodson will have a 5” height and 9” reach advantage, which I fully expect to be the difference maker in this fight.
Jourdain’s unorthodox striking approach could help him close the distance in unexpected ways, but I think Woodson will be alert enough to avoid those spots. Look for Woodson to stay on his bicycle and let his jab do the brunt of the work on route to a decision victory for the underdog.
The Pick: Sean Woodson +185
Arnold Allen (19-2) vs Movsar Evloev (17-0)
Looking to rebound from his main event loss to Max Holloway last year, Allen comes into this fight with something to prove. That defeat was the first of his UFC career, although he had remained relatively inactive since making his debut with the promotion in 2015. He relies on a low volume striking approach to hurt his opponents on the feet and pull away with decision victories.
This 17-0 prospect is looking to break through into contendership with a win this weekend. Coming from a grappling background, Evloev has significantly improved his striking game with the help of one of the top gyms in the world, American Top Team.
Evloev sets a tough pace for his opponents to match, whether it’s with his chain wrestling, or with his striking output. He has found himself in sticky situations in recent fights but showcases elite discipline and technical work that allows him to get out unscathed.
Outside of an Allen knockout, I expect Evloev to control the pace of this fight. Evloev will be able to land more output, mix in his takedowns, and put together a convincing body of work for the judges to score it in his favor.
Unless Allen shows aspects of his game he has yet to, I think he will be rendered on the defensive for the majority of this 15-minute contest.