I cannot wait for this main event as it should be a classic. The rampant Cory Sandhagen faces off against TJ Dillashaw who makes his return from his two years USADA suspension. In the co-main Aspen Ladd makes her comeback from knee surgery against Macy Chiasson and former UFC golden girl Maycee Barber meets up and coming star Miranda Maverick in a Women’s Flyweight bout. I am beyond excited for this card and it should provide plenty of entertainment. We look at my best three bets below.
Let’s get this out of the way first. TJ blatantly cheated and the reasons as to why do not matter but the fact is it was the only sample that ever came back positive and all were retested so to discredit his achievements in the sport would be plain ridiculous. The fact remains that as long as a now 35-year-old Dillashaw hasn’t faded badly since the last time we saw him, he is still one of the top Bantamweights in the world and has every chance of reclaiming UFC gold if he gets through Sandhagen. Cory Sandhagen rebounded from a quick submission loss to current titleholder Aljamain Sterling with highlight KO’s of Marlon Moraes and Frankie Edgar.
Realistically both men are proven finishers and neither are likely to engage too much in the grappling realm so it likely boils down to who is the better striker. I admit the odds on offer for Dillashaw are enticing. A former champion back with a point to prove and he is a force to be reckoned with. However, I just believe Sandhagen is more diverse on the feet. TJ often telegraphs his kicks and they can be easily avoided. Sandhagen throws a lot of unorthodox strikes and can mix up his kicks and strikes incredibly well.
Despite seeing the line on TJ as possible value, I believe Sandhagen catches TJ with something nasty. He out worked Marlon Moraes before he stopped him, and if you beat Moraes in the first round you are unbelievably good. The $1.50 on offer for Sandhagen is no value and too risky for my liking so I recommend a dabble on him to win by stoppage.
There are only three women in MMA I can see being a challenge for either Nunes or Shevchenko in the future. Tatiana Suarez (who returns in September) is one, Kayla Harrison (who fights in PFL) is another and the third one is Aspen Ladd. Ladd is still fresh in MMA at just 26 years of age and comes into this fight off of knee surgery. Usually this would concern me but I just see her still being way too good for Macy Chiasson. Ladd is 9-1 in her MMA career and that one loss came to Germaine de Randamie in a fight where she had one of the worst weight cuts I have seen, seriously look up the videos.
She fell to virtually the first punch she was hit with and I am happy to completely scrap that as any form of technical deficiency on her part. Chiasson is decent everywhere but great nowhere. I expect Ladd to take her down and beat her up until the referee calls a stop to the contest. The American will work to mount or to Chiasson’s back and just unleash. This will be a statement win for Ladd and I hope it sets up a fight with a big name to get her closer to the title shot, such as Holly Holm or even Irene Aldana.
Julio Arce is a well rounded mixed martial artist. He has the technical skill on the feet built off of a versatile kickboxing arsenal, and has the wrestling and ground skill required to take opponents down if needed. Last time out he lost a split decision to highly touted prospect Hakeem Dawodu but that was a fight where he showed glimpses of how good he can be without putting it all together.
Arce also has wins inside the Octagon over the likes of Julian Erosa and Dan Ige. Ewell on the other hand is lucky to have as good a record as he has. Of his last four wins, three have come by split decision and he has been comfortably beat every time he faces stiff competition. Expect Arce to be better on the feet and if he gets in any trouble, he can easily drag Ewell down and control him on the mat.
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