LAS VEGAS — FIGHT NIGHT has arrived! It’s so good to be out in Sin City again for the first time since COVID hit. I want to give a special thanks to Jay Kornegay at The Westgate for hooking me up in the (NO BS) Suzanne Somers Suite on the 29th floor. (I’ve looked for Suzanne in every room, but she’s not here.)
Okay, let’s talk some UFC 264. I’m on Dustin Poirier tonight against McGregor. As of early this afternoon, Dustin is still around -130 at most spots. I still believe late money will come in on Conor — like it always does — and suggest patience and waiting for a better number for Poirier tonight. (I’ll hit you with some links for more McGregor-Poirier goodies below in Bonus Nuggets.)
I also like a play on Carlos ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Condit as a +155 underdog against Max Griffin, who has won back-to-back fights via knockouts but is only 5-6 in the UFC. The most notable scalp of Griffin’s career? Well, perhaps not the most notable but undoubtedly the biggest name: Mike Perry.
As for Condit, he owns wins over the likes of Frank Trigg, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy, ‘The Stun Gun,’ Nick Diaz, Thiago Alves, Martin Kampmann and Matt Brown.
Like Griffin, Condit is off back-to-back wins. For those thinking the 37-year-old Condit is washed up, consider that Griffin isn’t a spring chicken at the age of 35. Condit should also have a win over Robbie Lawler on his resume, as I felt he was robbed in that epic slugfest for the 170-pound strap at UFC 195.
This is — by far — the most accomplished opponent Griffin has shared the Octagon with. I don’t think it’ll go well for him in this big step up in competition.
I’m also on ‘under’ 2.5 rounds at a -119 price for the middleweight contest between Trevin Giles and Dricus du Plessis. This battle kicks off the ESPN Prelims at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.
None of Du Plessis’ 17 career scraps have gone the distance. He is 15-2 with nine submissions and six knockouts, including a first-round KO win over Markus Perez in his Octagon debut last October on ‘Fight Island.’
Only three of Giles’s 16 career fights have gone the distance. He is 14-2 with six KOs and five submissions, and he’s been submitted twice.
I’m less bullish on this (amount-wise) but will have a small play on Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson as a -155 favorite in the co-main event vs. Gilbert Burns. I just think Thompson’s stellar takedown defense will keep the fight standing, where I think his movement and mastery of distance will allow him to pepper Burns with kicks from the outside.
Burns will have to find a way to get inside, but when he forces that he’ll run into counter kicks and punches from the South Carolina product who has been a karate and kickboxing prodigy since kindergarten (literally).
Now if Thompson’s price goes North of -160, perhaps the better strategy will be to put him in a parlay with Dustin (or maybe hit the prop for Wonderboy to win by three-round decision for a +140 payout?).
Finally, just a sprinkle of a play on Sean O’Malley to win in Round 1 at a -110 price vs. promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho, who took the fight on about 10 days of notice.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
–McGregor seemed to really be reaching at the press conference with the remarks about Dustin’s wife. The presser didn’t get as dark as the one with Khabib, but it was quite distasteful. I just don’t believe Conor has the unwavering confidence anymore. He sounds like he does with his words, especially in the interview with Stephen A. earlier this week. But the body language and his overall demeanor just seems a bit off. He’s not the savage he was from 2013-2017.
–Final face off at yesterday’s ceremonial weigh-ins:
–UFC 264 Cold Open:
–Good luck with your wagers and ya’ll enjoy The Show!