Aljamain Sterling agrees with internet: He 'really did do the dab' after scary KO at UFC-Fresno

When we look at exciting, highlight-reel knockouts, it’s easy to forget that there’s someone on the wrong end of them.

Sometimes, though, we get stark reminders.

That was the case at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123, when a vicious knee by Marlon Moraes landed flush on Aljamain Sterling’s chin after 67 seconds. While the perfectly-timed blow made for one eye-popping sight, the awe turned into apprehension as Sterling lay on the mat for minutes before leaving on a stretcher.

Sterling, however, was coherent backstage and would soon appease everyone with a tweet. And, two days later, he’s showing that his sense of humor is still very much intact. (via Twitter)

The “dab” happens the moment Sterling lands, with his hands to his right side. (via Twitter)

While it’s probably not as bad as feeling it, watching yourself get knocked out can’t be fun. Still, that’s what Sterling did – pin-pointing the exact moment in which he realized the takedown he thought he’d timed down so perfectly wasn’t such a great idea. (via Twitter)

Thankfully, despite having a two-fight winning streak violently snapped, Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) seems to be alright. Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), of course, is doing a tad better – now two wins removed from a narrow loss to Raphael Assuncao in his UFC debut, he also took home a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus.

For what it’s worth, Sterling probably got some added fan appreciation in the process. And we all got a lesson in post-fight class from both bantamweights.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 post-event facts: Brian Ortega proving to be one of UFC's best finishers

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Brian Ortega continued to make his presence felt in the UFC featherweight division on Saturday when he turned from prospect to contender with a victory over Cub Swanson in the UFC Fight Night 123 main event.

Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) added to his perfect record when he locked up a fight-ending second-round submission on Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC) in their headlining bout, which took place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

It hasn’t taken long, but “T-City” has already made a mark in the UFC record books. For more on the numbers behind his performance, as well as other figures and footnotes to come from the UFC’s final “Fight Night” event of the year, check below for 50 post-event facts from UFC Fight Night 123.

* * * *

General

Save Mart Center

The UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting payout for the event totaled $117,500.

Debuting fighters went 2-2 at the event.

Swanson and Marlon Moraes earned $50,000 UFC Fight Night 123 fight-night bonuses. Ortega received two bonuses worth $100,000 total.

UFC Fight Night 123 drew an announced attendance of 7,605 for a live gate of $568,290.

Betting favorites went 8-5 on the card.

Total fight time for the 13-bout card was 2:25:46.

Main card

Brian Ortega

Ortega’s 14-fight MMA unbeaten streak is the longest among active UFC featherweights.

Ortega’s five-fight UFC winning streak in featherweight competition is tied with Darren Elkins for the second longest active streak in the division behind champ Max Holloway (11).

Ortega has earned eight of his 13 career victories by stoppage. That includes all five of his UFC wins.

Ortega’s five-fight stoppage streak in UFC competition is tied with heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic and Mairbek Taisumov for the second longest active streak in the company behind Francis Ngannou (six).

Ortega’s five-fight stoppage streak in UFC featherweight bouts is the longest active streak in the division.

Cub Swanson and Brian Ortega

Swanson had his four-fight winning streak snapped for his first defeat since April 2015.

Swanson has suffered seven of his eight career losses by stoppage.

Swanson has suffered all four of his UFC losses by submission.

Swanson’s 11 fight-night bonuses for UFC/WEC featherweight bouts are the most in combined divisional history.

Swanson’s seven fight-night bonuses in UFC featherweight bouts are the most in divisional history.

Gabriel Benitez (20-6 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has alternated wins and losses over his past five fights.

Jason Knight (20-4 MMA, 4-3 UFC) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in his career.

Knight has suffered three of his career four losses by decision.

Marlon Moraes

Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) earned his second UFC victory in a 28-day span. He defeated John Dodson at UFC Fight Night 120 this past month.

Aljamain Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Scott Holtzman (11-2 MMA, 4-2 UFC) earned consecutive victories for the first time in his UFC career.

Holtzman has earned six of his past eight victories by decision.

Markus Perez (9-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) had his nine-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Preliminary card

Alexis Davis

Alexis Davis (19-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC) was successful in her UFC flyweight debut. It was her first fight in the weight class since November 2010.

Davis improved to 2-1 since she returned from a nearly two-year layoff in December 2016.

Davis has earned five of her six UFC victories by decision.

Liz Carmouche (11-6 MMA, 3-4 UFC) was unsuccessful in her UFC flyweight debut.

Carmouche fell to 5-6 in her past 11 professional bouts.

Carmouche has suffered four of her six career losses by decision.

Andre Soukhamthath

Andre Soukhamthath (12-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has earned 11 of his 12 career victories by stoppage.

Luke Sanders (11-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) has suffered consecutive losses after starting his career on an 11-fight winning streak.

Sanders suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

Carls John de Tomas (6-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) has suffered consecutive losses after starting his career on a six-fight winning streak.

De Thomas suffered the first stoppage loss of his career.

Frankie Saenz

Frankie Saenz (12-4 MMA, 4-2 UFC) has earned all four of his UFC victories by decision.

Merab Dvalishvili (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has suffered all three of his career losses by decision.

Dvalishvili’s 11 takedowns landed tied the single-fight UFC/WEC bantamweight record.

Dvalishvili’s 11 takedowns landed tied the single-fight UFC record for most in a loss.

Iuri Alcantara (34-9 MMA, 9-6 UFC) fell to 7-5 with one no-contest since he dropped to the UFC bantamweight division in January 2013.

Alcantara has suffered five of his six UFC losses by decision.

Davi Ramos

Davi Ramos (7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has earned six of his seven career victories by stoppage.

Ramos earned his first submission victory since Nov. 15, 2013 – a span of 1,485 days (more than four years) and five fights.

Chris Gruetzemacher (13-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) was unsuccessful in his return to the UFC lightweight division. He fell to 1-1 in UFC lightweight competition.

Gruetzemacher suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in his career.

Gruetzemacher has suffered all three of his career losses by submission.

Trevin Giles

Trevin Giles (11-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) was successful in his UFC middleweight debut.

Giles has earned 10 of his 11 career victories by stoppage.

Antonio Braga Neto (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) was unsuccessful in his return to MMA competition following a three-and-a-half year layoff.

Braga Neto suffered the first knockout loss of his career.

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

FightMetric research analyst and live statistics producer Michael Carroll contributed to this story. Follow him on Twitter @MJCflipdascript.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Score a scary knockout win? Handle it like the ultra-classy Marlon Moraes

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Dann StuppIf you’re going to blast an opponent with a scary knockout, you can win over a lot of fans if you handle it the way Marlon Moraes has.

On Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 main card, Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), a former WSOF bantamweight champion, fought for the second time in less than a month and blasted Aljamain Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC).

The 67-second knockout win was impressive – after a wild exchange, Moraes tagged Sterling with a violent fight-ending knee – but the aftermath was a little scary.

As the FS1-televised bout was called off, Sterling remained on the canvas at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. He eventually was carried out of the cage on a stretcher.

Immediately after the bout, MMAjunkie’s John Morgan reported Sterling was coherent backstage and transported to a hospital for precautionary reasons. Sterling then posted an update to assure fans he was OK.

After the fight, Moraes discussed why it can be bittersweet to win in such a manner.

“You don’t want to see your friend – he’s my friend, you know, because he does the same sport I do,” the 29-year-old Brazilian told MMAjunkie. “I don’t hate anybody in this sport.

“I’m just in this sport for my legacy and my family. That’s my job. But I don’t want to hurt my friends. I don’t want to hurt a guy. But man, if you have to, it is what it is. Hopefully he has a speedy recovery and he can come back to the cage soon.”

Moraes, a longtime WSOF titleholder who suffered a split-decision loss to Raphael Assuncao in his UFC debut, now has wins over former title challenger John Dodson and Sterling, who entered UFC Fight Night 123 in the No. 12 spot in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings.

“For me, it’s not about being a UFC fighter,” No. 6-ranked Moraes said. “I’m one of the best. I don’t want to be a UFC fighter just to say I’m a UFC fighter. I want to prove to everyone I’m one of the best. That’s it.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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UFC Fight Night 123 Athlete Outfitting pay: Cub Swanson only $20,000 recipient

FRESNO, Calif. – Fighters from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 event took home UFC Athlete Outfitting pay, a program that launched after the UFC’s deal with Reebok, totaling $117,500.

UFC Fight Night 123 took place at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. The card aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Leading the way was Cub Swanson (25-8 MMA, 10-4 UFC), who suffered a submission loss to Brian Ortega (13-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the event headliner, but received a $20,000 for his 20-plus fight UFC/WEC tenure.

The full UFC Fight Night 123 UFC Athlete Outfitting payouts included:

Brian Ortega: $5,000
def. Cub Swanson: $20,000

Gabriel Benitez: $5,000
def. Jason Knight: $5,000

Marlon Moraes: $2,500
def. Aljamain Sterling: $5,000

Scott Holtzman: $5,000
def. Darrell Horcher: $2,500

Eryk Anders: $2,500
def. Markus Perez: $2,500

Benito Lopez: $2,500
def. Albert Morales: $2,500

Alexis Davis: $5,000
def. Liz Carmouche: $5,000

Andre Soukhamthath: $2,500
def. Luke Sanders: $2,500

Alex Perez: $2,500
def. Carls John de Tomas: $2,500

Frankie Saenz: $5,000
def. Merab Dvalishvili: $2,500

Alejandro Perez: $5,000
def. Iuri Alcantara: $15,000

Davi Ramos: $2,500
def. Chris Gruetzemacher: $2,500

Trevin Giles: $2,500
def. Antonio Braga Neto: $2,500

Under the UFC Athlete Outfitting program’s payout tiers, which appropriate the money generated by Reebok’s multi-year sponsorship with the UFC, fighters are paid based on their total number of UFC bouts, as well as Zuffa-era WEC fights (January 2007 and later) and Zuffa-era Strikeforce bouts (April 2011 and later). Fighters with 1-5 bouts receive $2,500 per appearance; 6-10 bouts get $5,000; 11-15 bouts earn $10,000; 16-20 bouts pocket $15,000; and 21 bouts and more get $20,000. Additionally, champions earn $40,000 while title challengers get $30,000.

In addition to experience-based pay, UFC fighters will receive in perpetuity royalty payments amounting to 20-30 percent of any UFC merchandise sold that bears their likeness, according to officials.

Full 2017 UFC-Reebok sponsorship payouts:

Year-to-date total: $5,965,000
2016 total: $7,138,000
2015 total: $3,185,000
Program-to-date total: $16,288,000

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Fight Tracks: The walkout songs of UFC Fight Night 123

While it takes intense training, world-class skills and maybe even a bit of luck to register a UFC win, picking the right song to accompany you to the cage is a key talent, as well.

See what the fighters of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 123 in Fresno, Calif., went with as their backing tracks.

* * * *

Brian Ortega def. Cub Swanson via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 3:22

Brian Ortega: “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” by DMX

Cub Swanson: “Wake N Bake/4AM” by Machine Gun Kelly/2 Chainz

Gabriel Benitez def. Jason Knight via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)

Jason Knight: “Mama Said Knock You Out” by L.L. Cool J

Gabriel Benitez: “Tierra Santa” by Mejor Morir en pie

Marlon Moraes def. Aljamain Sterling via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 1:07

Aljamain Sterling: “InfraRed” by Vybz Kartel & Masicka

Marlon Moraes: “Coming Home” by Diddy Dirty Money feat. Skylar Grey

Scott Holtzman def. Darrell Horcher via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Scott Holtzman: “Nothin’ But a Good Time” by Poison

Darrell Horcher: “Miracle” by Nonpoint

Eryk Anders def. Markus Perez via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 29-28)

Eryk Anders: “Set it Off” by Lil’ Boosie

Markus Perez: “Ecstacy of Gold (Bandini Remix)” by Ennio Morricone

Benito Lopez def. Albert Morales via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Benito Lopez: “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G.

Albert Morales: “Belizean Warrior” by Fuego

Alexis Davis def. Liz Carmouche via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Alexis Davis: “The Mission” by Puscifer

Liz Carmouche: “Satisfaction” by Benny Enassi

Andre Soukhamthath def. Luke Sanders via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:06

Andre Soukhamthath: “All of the Above” by Maino feat. T-Pain

Luke Sanders: “Hair of the Dog” by Nazareth

Alex Perez def. Carls John de Tomas via submission (D’arce choke) – Round 2, 1:54

Alex Perez: “Bad Mother(expletive)” by MGK

Carls John de Tomas: “Noypi” by Bamboo

Frankie Saenz def. Merab Dvalishvili via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Frankie Saenz: “Calm Like a Bomb” by Rage Against The Machine

Merab Dvalishvili: “Chveni Samshoblo” by Jgufi Bano

N/A
Alejandro Perez def. Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Alejandro Perez: “Originala” by Movimiento Original

Iuri Alcantara: “El Rey” by Vincente Fernandez

Davi Ramos def. Chris Gruetzemacher via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 0:50

Davi Ramos: “Till I Collapse” by Eminem

Chris Gruetzemacher: “Till It’s Gone” by Yelawolf

Trevin Giles def. Antonio Braga Neto via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:27

Trevin Giles: “Wait a Minute” by Phresher

Antonio Braga Neto: “Without Me” by Eminem

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 video highlight: Marlon Moraes viciously KOs Aljamain Sterling

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

Fighting for the second time in a month, Marlon Moraes made a major statement to the UFC’s bantamweight division with a brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling.

Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) took out Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a vicious knee to the chin. The knee landed before Moraes’ high kick could get to the mark. The end came 67 seconds into the bout.

The bantamweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Check out the brutal finish in the video above.

Also see:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Twitter reacts to Marlon Moraes' 'KO of the Year' contender vs. Aljamain Sterling at UFC-Fresno

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In an important clash of bantamweight contender, Marlon Moraes came out on top Saturday when he defeated Aljamain Sterling in memorable fashion at UFC Fight Night 123.

Former WSOF champion Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) picked up his second win in a 28-day span when he defeated Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a perfect knee knockout just 67 seconds into the FS1-televised bout at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Early prelims streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

Check below for the top Twitter reactions to Moraes’ victory over Sterling at UFC Fight Night 123.

* * * *

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 results: Marlon Moraes KOs Aljamain Sterling with ridiculous knee

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Fighting for the second time in a month, Marlon Moraes made a major statement to the UFC’s bantamweight division with a brutal knockout of Aljamain Sterling.

Moraes (20-5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) took out Sterling (14-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) with a knee to the chin. The knee landed before Moraes’ high kick could get to the mark. The end came 67 seconds into the bout.

The bantamweight bout was part of the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 123 event at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Moraes caught a kick early and tossed Sterling to the canvas, but refused to drop down with him. Sterling popped back up and threw a low kick, then danced outside. Moraes tried to press forward, but couldn’t find a home for a right.

Then things got crazy in a hurry. Moraes hurt Sterling with a left and dropped him. He followed him down and landed punches on the canvas, but Sterling grabbed his arm in search of an armbar. Moraes worked his way out of it, leaving Sterling on his back.

Moraes retreated to the center of the canvas, and when Sterling got back to his feet and approached, things were over before they even could get restarted.

Moraes threw a left kick to the head, but before the foot could get there, Sterling lowered his stance and tried to close the distance, and that allowed Moraes’ knee to drill him in the chin. He was out cold before he hit the canvas. No follow-up shots were needed.

“I want to be active. I want to fight again. I fought one month ago, and Sean Shelby gave me an opportunity to be here, and I’m here. Watching on the TV is something, but being in here, feeling this cage, it’s unbelievable. But I think I’m starting to like it here and I think I’m going to give some trouble to the ’35ers. … I went for the kick, but I caught him with the knee.”

Moraes, a former WSOF champion, won for the second straight time after suffering a split-decision loss in his promotional debut to Raphael Assuncao in June. Sterling had a two-fight winning streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 123 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan contributed to this report on site in Fresno.)

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 breakdown: Betting advice, possible prop bets and fantasy studs

MMAjunkie Radio cohost and MMAjunkie contributor Dan Tom provides an in-depth breakdown of all of UFC Fight Night’s main-card bouts. Today, we look at the first four fights on the main card.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

ALSO SEE:

* * * *

Disclaimer: The following section is designed for entertainment purposes only. The unit sizes serve as a rough representation of the percentage of bankroll risked, as well as my confidence in said plays. If you intend on gambling, I suggest that you do so responsibly and legally, as it is at your own risk. All lines are drawn from 5Dimes.eu on the day this article was published (Dec. 8, 2017).

Dan’s plays

Playable parlay pieces (my most confident favorites):

  • Eryk Anders -310
  • Iuri Alcantara-210
  • Trevin Giles -270

Summary: My recommended parlay pieces are typically my most confident picks that could serve as potential legs for whatever play you’re trying to put together.

First up is Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who is facing Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC). Essentially, we have a battle between a process-driven fighter and a flamboyant opportunist.

For reasons that I elaborate on in my in-depth breakdown, I believe that Anders should be the better fighter with a clear path to victory here.

Next, I elected to with Iuri Alcantara (35-8 MMA, 9-5 UFC), who comes in at a reasonable -210 should you still have faith in the veteran. Alcantara is facing Alejandro Perez (18-6-1 MMA, 4-1-1 UFC), a scrappy Mexican fighter who is coming off of two close and controversial fights.

Although Perez’s style of engagement can be frustrating for his opposition (and sometimes even his coaches), Alcantara is an experienced fighter who has shown he can work through much worse weather than what Perez will likely offer. Furthermore, Alcantara’s patented counter left-hand should serve him well considering the success we saw Andre Soukhamthath have against Perez in their last outing.

Lastly, I feel that Trevin Giles (10-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) could be worth a gander for your potential plays. Giles – an undefeated fighter with promise – reminds me of a young Rashad Evans given his skill-set. Giles appears to have some savvy in his striking, whether it be by the way that he moves his feet or throws his hands.

Carrying a natural feel for takedowns, Giles seems more than capable of taking a fight to the floor when he chooses to. And it is in grappling exchanges where Giles’ intelligence and potential shine through. From his positional choices, rides and overall awareness, there a lot there to tell me that he won’t be a fish out of the water if he finds himself swimming with Antonio Braga Neto (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), a fighter who is coming off of a three-year layoff from competition).

Straight plays:

  • Aljamain Sterling +115 (0.5 unit)
  • Merab Dvalishvili -160 (1 unit)

Summary: For straight plays, I typically look for fighters who I not only feel confident about (whether it be by their sample size or the matchup at hand), but also have a low asking price. And though it is admittedly hard to feel too confident on either side of Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) vs. Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), there could be value in playing the underdog in this spot.

As stated in my main-card breakdown, Moraes is making a quick four-week turnaround into what could be one of the tougher stylistic matchups for him in the division. And with Sterling being one of my few official underdog picks, I am willing to put my money (at least a small portion of it) where my mouth is to find out.

I also elected to take a shot on Merab Dvalishvili (7-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who has an asking price of -160 as of this writing. Although Dvalishvili is a debuting fighter (which can always be a potential flag for plays), there is a lot to like about the Georgian’s game.

Hailing from a region that is rich in Sambo, Dvalishvili carries some skills that will likely serve him well against Frankie Saenz (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC). Saenz, a former collegiate wrestler who found success in MMA, tends to do some of his best work (as well as takes needed/brief breaks) from the clinch. The problem, however, is that this is also where Dvalishvili – an accoladed sambo player and judo black belt – makes his money.

Coupled with the fact that Saenz is coming off a long layoff, and I could see a successful debut for the Georgian fighter who is over a decade younger than his counterpart.

Props worth looking at:

  • Iuri Alcantara/Alejandro Perez over 2.5: -120 (1 unit)
  • Eryk Anders “inside the distance”: -125 (1.5 units)

Summary: My first prop is a total, as I elected to go with the over 2.5 in the Alcantara-Perez matchup. With the pecking prodding nature of Perez’s game, he tends to find himself in close contests.

For that reason, it can be tricky in betting for or against Perez, as a play on the over could serve as a hedge for taking a side on the fight (e.g. Alcantara as my parlay piece).

My second prop is also chalk, as I have Anders inside the distance. Insanely heavy-hands aside, I believe that Anders – as stated in my breakdown – has a tangible path to put his opponent away both on the ground and in transition.

Fights to avoid (live dogs, high intangibles, etc.):

  • Albert Morales vs. Benito Lopez
  • Luke Sanders vs. Andre Soukhamthath
  • Scott Holtzman vs. Darrell Horcher
  • Alexis Davis vs. Liz Carmouche

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 123 staff picks: Who's the runaway choice between Cub Swanson, Brian Ortega?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

 

Swanson
vs.
Ortega
Benitez
vs.
Knight
Moraes
vs.
Sterling
Holtzman
vs.
Horcher
Anders
vs.
Perez
Lopez
vs.
Morales
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 120-81
swanson2017
Swanson
(64%)
knight2017
Knight
(92%)
sterling2017
Sterling
(51%)
horcher2017
Horcher
(55%)
anders2017
Anders
(73%)
blopez2017
Lopez
(58%)
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 127-74
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 126-75
trophy copy 2015 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
horcher2017
Horcher
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 126-75
ortega2017
Ortega
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
horcher2017
Horcher
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 125-76
trophy copy 2016 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 124-77
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 119-82
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 118-83
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 117-84
trophy copy 2014 Champion
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
mmoraes2017
Moraes
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 117-84
swanson2017
Swanson
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
amorales2017
Morales
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 115-86
ortega2017
Ortega
knight2017
Knight
sterling2017
Sterling
holtzman2017
Holtzman
anders2017
Anders
blopez2017
Lopez

The UFC has set up camp in Fresno, Calif., this week for the first time, and a featherweight barnburner headlines the show.

UFC Fight Night 123 takes place Saturday at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif., and it airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) will try to hand Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) the first loss of his pro career. Swanson is going after his fifth straight win, and he’s the pick of eight of our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts – even though Ortega is a mild betting favorite.

In the co-feature, Gabriel Benitez (19-6 MMA, 3-2 UFC) meets Jason Knight (20-3 MMA, 4-2 UFC) in another featherweight clash. Knight is a 3-1 favorite and one of two unanimous picks on the main card. The other unanimous choice comes in the form of middleweight Eryk Anders (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who is a 3-0 favorite against Markus Perez (9-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) in a battle of unbeatens. Anders has all 10 of our pickers siding with him.

Also on the main card, former WSOF bantamweight champion Marlon Moraes (19-5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) meets Aljamain Sterling (14-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC). In a close one, it’s Moraes with a 6-4 edge in the picks. Lightweight Scott Holtzman (10-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) goes after his first UFC winning streak when he meets Darrell Horcher (13-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), and Holtzman has an 8-2 edge. And to open the main card, Benito Lopez (8-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) meets Albert Morales (7-2-1 MMA, 1-2-1 UFC) in a bantamweight bout that is deadlocked at 5-5.

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Swanson, Knight, Sterling, Horcher, Anders and Lopez are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 123, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie