The UFC returns to Brazil on Saturday for UFC 212 and features a featherweight unification bout between Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. Right off the bat I'm going to tell you that I'm not an Aldo fan. He seems to pull out of every other fight he's in and I think he's a sore loser. But with odds of -125 to win, I'm picking him to win because I won't let my personal feelings interfere with my bankroll. Justin what is your take on this fight?
My take is going to be not that hot because it's going to be razor thin. This is one of the hardest fights to predict. It's really going to in my mind come down to Aldo's defense versus Holloway's offense. Aldo is so accurate and he's so good at timing his punches and as he's aged he's learned to kind of overcome a little bit of kind of his deteriorating speed and it's so technically brilliant.
Not the flashiest, but he's so good at counter striking a little slow to start to find that range but once he does it's devastating. And then we look at Holloway, Holloway also very technically proficient not the flashiest, he'll throw the occasional wheel kick in here and there but he's all about aggression. He likes to walk down his opponent and when he can get their back on the cage he sets his feet and throws these beautiful combinations, he's very smart knowing when to kind of change it up between head and body and I think that's going to be the big thing, can Aldo avoid being pushed against the cage in this one. So you're on Holloway? Yeah I'm going to take Holloway. Your entire reputation is on Holloway.
All one of my reputation is on Holloway. Okay great. So as I said off the top Aldo is in the -125 range coming into this fight but if you're looking to get more bang for your buck with a plus money bet I advise taking him to win by decision at +200. I'd like him in this spot for two reasons, six of his eight wins in the UFC had been by decision and because Holloway has only been finished once in 20 career fights.
How do you think this one finishes? I want to be ballsy and I want to be the guy that says Holloway can finish Aldo, really for the first time ever except for McGregor, but I can't, I can't do it even at the +370 value I can't do it. I think this is Holloway by decision which you can get around +240, +250 depending on where you're at. Like you said these guys don't get stopped. Aldo has been stopped twice in his 28 pro fights and Holloway just once and those came back a very long time ago for both guys, again aside from the McGregor one, and speaking of McGregor, Holloway in McGregor fought and he couldn't put away Holloway either.
That is true. So in the co-main event we have a very interesting women strawweight fight between Claudia Gadelha and Karolina Kowalkiewicz, you nailed that, we're not Polish. So I know Claudia has a significant grappling advantage but I'd argue that Karolina's elite level striking evens things out, and as one of the biggest underdogs on the card at +250 she offers UFC 212's best betting value. You disagree, why? I like Karolina. I think she's a fantastic striker I think she has great take down defense but Claudia is a whole other animal.
Her takedown wrestling is so good she's so strong and now she's even training at Jackson Wink which will help round out her game. Her striking wasn't her best feature but it was always crisp and technical but it'll only get better now that she has actual female sparring partners and she has that really good in depth training. To be perfectly honest I don't think anybody in the 115-pound division can beat Claudia right now in 15 minutes. I think she won two of the first three rounds versus double J when they fought back in the summer.
Yeah she was pounding double J in that fight. We were at the, down in Vegas for that one and let's just say by the time the third round ended I ripped up my ticket. In the UFC's senior division we have the swan song of The Phenom Vitor Belfort who has been anything but phenomenal recently. Despite being on the receiving end of three straight ass-kickings he's a -150 favorite over Nate "the Great" Marquardt who coincidentally has been anything but great lately. In fights like this I'm just going to take the plus money.