UFC NEWS: UFC Fight Night 37: Gustafsson Vs. Manuwa Picks, Odds & Predictions - 3/8/14 - MMA NEWS
UFC Fight Night 37: Gustafsson Vs. Manuwa
March 8, 2014 @ 12:30PM EST
TV: The entire card can be seen on UFC Fight Pass starting at 12:30PM EST
Live from the O2 arena in London, England, the UFC is back with another show on UFC Fight Pass and it's another earlier card but not as early as last weeks. The bouts will kick off at 12:30PM EST and should go on to about 5:00PM EST. The main event pits Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson against British fighter Jimi Manuwa. The co-main event has early fight of the night candidate Melvin Guillard versus Michael Johnson. A slew of British and European fighters are being showcased throughout the card with the likes of Brad Pickett, Gunnar Nelson, Luke Barnatt, Brad Scott, and Davey Grant on the card. This is a pretty decent card and it should be fairly entertaining, since the event is being held in England, the time difference will make the fight occur earlier and enough time in between before the Canelo Alvarez Boxing match. I break down every single fight on the card and give you my predictions and best bets.
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport
Alexander "The Mauler" Gustafsson (15-2 MMA 7-2 UFC) Vs. Jimi Manuwa (14-0 MMA 3-0 UFC)
Light Heavyweight (205) bout between the big Swede Alexander Gustafsson and the super tough Brit Jimi Manuwa. Gustafsson is fresh off his title shot fight in which he came up short to Champ Jon Jones, but Gustafsson is pretty much one fight away from getting the rematch. In Gussy's way is the unbeaten and hard hitting Jimi Manuwa, who has gone 3-0 in the UFC with all three coming by way of TKO. Gustafsson comes in the big favourite at -470 and Manuwa the underdog at +375, I agree that Gustafsson should be the favourite and I believe his height and reach should give him a good advantage against Manuwa. I see Gussy using his jab and his up-tempo pace to disturb Manuwa's rhythm and that should be enough to out-point him throughout the fight. Manuwa's best chance will be early and he'll need to catch him with a big shot but if he doesn't he might get frustrated with Gustafsson's movement. I really like Gustafsson in this matchup and this card seems to have a lot of fights where we know who the UFC really wants to win.
Alexander Gustafsson -470
Melvin "The Young Assassin" Guillard (31-12-2 MMA 12-8-1 UFC) Vs. Michael Johnson (14-8 MMA 6-4 UFC)
Lightweight (155) bout between UFC vet Melvin Guillard and TUF 12 stand out Michael Johnson. Guillard was originally set to face Ross Pearson in a rematch but Pearson had to pull out due to injury and Johnson stepped in. This will be Johnson's toughest fight in the UFC and an impressive win for him here would probably put him the top ten. Guillard is coming off a NC against Ross Pearson and prior to that had knocked out Mac Danzig. Johnson has won his last two prior to losing two in a row. When the line came out Guillard was the favourite at -125 and Johnson the slight underdog at -115 but the line has jumped around and is currently at Johnson the favourite at -130 and Guillard the underdog at +110. With the original line, I liked Johnson at -115 but now that were getting Guillard at +110 I'm starting to like that number better. This should be a very entertaining fight and both guys match up well, Johnson is fast, but so is Guillard. Speed might be the difference and Guillard's jaw has been a little suspect of late. This is the toughest one to pick on this card but i'll take my chances with the underdog on this one.
Melvin Guillard +110
Brad "One Punch" Pickett (23-8 MMA 3-3 UFC) Vs. Neil Seery (13-9 MMA 0-0 UFC)
Flyweight (125) bout where England meets Ireland as Brad Pickett takes on promotional newcomer Neil Seery. This will be Pickett's first fight at 125 and was originally slated to meet Ian McCall, who had to pull out due to an injury. This seems like another gimme fight with Seery being set up to take a beating from the WEC veteran, Pickett, who comes in as the biggest favourite on the card at -700 and Seery the underdog at +500. I like Pickett in this matchup and with the number being so high I would suggest playing him in a parlay with Gustafsson, Nelson, and Barnatt.
Brad Pickett -700
Gunnar Nelson (11-0-1 MMA 2-0 UFC) Omari Akhmedov (12-1 MMA 1-0 UFC)
Welterweight (170) bout between two fighters who are undefeated in the UFC and look to string together a streak. Nelson is the favourite at -325 and Akhmedov the underdog at +265. I agree that Nelson should be the favourite in this matchup but I think the line is a little too high on him and I think Akhmedov is going to give him a good fight. I'm expecting Nelson to be a bit faster and if he can land a takedown he'll have a great chance on controlling the fight from there. Akhmedov has proven that he is durable and holds a little value at +265, but I believe that Nelson is a bit more athletic and should have an edge because of it.
Cyrille "The Snake" Diabate (19-9-1 MMA 4-3 UFC) Vs. Ilir Latifi (7-3 MMA 0-1 UFC)
Light Heavyweight (205) bout between veteran Cyrille Diabate and Swedish fighter Ilir Latifi. Both fighters are coming off losses and for Diabate who is 40 years old, this could be his last fight before he retires. This fight is a pick'em with both fighters lined at -110, Diabate has a reach and height advantage as well as more UFC bout under him. Latifi on the other hand is very durable and if he can find you he could hit pretty hard. When I first saw this matchup I was leaning towards Diabate but thinking about it a little more I am starting to lean towards Latifi. I'm not in love with this matchup and would personally stay away but if I had to side i'll lean towards Diabate.
Luke Barnatt (7-0 MMA 2-0 UFC) Vs. Mats Nilsson (11-2-1 MMA 0-0 UFC)
Middleweight (185) bout between TUF 17 standout and Team Sonnen member Luke Barnatt who welcomes promotional newcomer Mats Nilsson. 6'6 Luke Barnatt is extremely tall for the 185 division and his height should pose a lot of problems to most middleweights. Even though I haven't seen Nilsson fight before I can't help but think the UFC is setting him up to be a feeder fight for young Brit Barnatt, who comes in the favourite at -290 and Nilsson the underdog at +245. I really like Barnatt in this matchup and I could see him finishing this fight within the distance. At -290, I think its a decent price for Barnatt and is worthy of being put into a parlay.
Luke Barnatt -290
Brad Scott (9-2 MMA 1-1 UFC) Vs. Claudio Henrique da Silva (9-1 MMA 0-0 UFC)
Middleweight (185) bout between TUF Smashes standout Brad Scott and promotional newcomer da Silva. Hard to gauge with this one considering I haven't seen anything from da Silva before. Scott comes in the favourite at -185 and da Silva the underdog at +160. Scott has the benefit of fighting in his home country and he also has 2 UFC bouts under his belt. I would lean towards Scott via decision but i'm not very confident since I don't know what to expect from his opponent. The line is set at -170 for over 1.5 rounds and I believe this fight has a good chance it'll go past that.
Over 2.5 rounds at -170
"Dangerous" Davey Grant (8-2 MMA 0-1 UFC) Vs. Roland Delorme (9-2 MMA 3-1-1 UFC)
Bantamweight (135) bout where both fighters are hoping to bounce back from a loss and try to get in the mix in the 135 division. Both fighters are pretty good on the ground and I could see this one going back and forth. When the line originally opened, Delorme was favourites at -130 and Grant the slant underdog at -110, but the line has jumped around and currently Grant is the favourite at -115 and Delorme the slight underdog at -105. I agree with the lines being so close as these two match up fairly well and I could see this match going to decision, with the line at -170 for over 2.5 rounds. If it's a close fight that goes to the scorecards I can't see the judges giving it to Grant. I'm not in love with this fight but I would have to lean towards Grant via decision.
or Over 2.5 Rounds -170
Igor Araujo (24-6 MMA 1-0 UFC) Vs. Danny "The Cheesecake Assassin" Mitchell (14-4-1 0-0 UFC)
Welterweight (170) bout where Danny Mitchell will make his UFC debut up against TUF 16's Team Carwin member Igor Araujo. Both guys are BJJ black belts so that should make this very competitive on the ground and could be decided on their feet. Araujo comes in the favourite at -170 and Mitchell the underdog at +130, I think Mitchell has a really good chance in this fight and definitely worthy of a small play at +130. I could see this fight going back and forth and with Mitchell fighting in his backyard I like the chances of him winning atleast via decision.
Danny Mitchell +130
Louis "Goodnight" Gaudinot (6-3 MMA 1-2 UFC) Vs. Phil "Billy" Harris (22-11 MMA 1-2 UFC)
Flyweight (125) bout between two fighters who are fighting get to .500 in the UFC. Gaudinot comes in the favourite at -170 and Harris the underdog at +130. I like Gaudinot in this spot but he's fighting a guy on his home soil and if Phil Harris could keep it competitive he might have a chance to eek out a unanimous decision. I think Gaudinot's speed will be the difference in this bout and if he can't finish this fight within the distance he'll probably outpoint him in 3 rounds. Both guys have faced heavyhanded John Lineker and Harris lost to via TKO, while Gaudinot submitted him in the second round. I think Gaudinot is worthy of a small play or to be put in a parlay.
Louis Gauinot - 170
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