The Celtics had an impressive road victory in Milwaukee as predicted last night and my NBA Playoffs pick ticked up to 18-13 (58.1%) this season. But basketball takes another day today off today so I once again shift my focus to the UFC.
It is an interesting UFC main event with former champ Jan Blachowicz taking on Rakic. Blachowicz did not look at all in his last fight losing his belt to Glover Teixeira. The loss fueled speculation that Jan may be over the hill at age 39. But for my UFC pick of the night, I will be looking at the women’s flyweight division.
UFC Vegas 54: K Chookagian (-162) Vs Amanda Ribas $$
This is an unusual and unexpected matchup. Amanda Ribas is moving up a weight class primarily due to the log jam of fighters ahead of her in the strawweight division and there was no other fight that currently made sense for her. Amanda now gets the opportunity to take on the number one contender in the strawweight division. This is a massive move up in weight and competition for Ribas. I have bet her profitably in the past, but I don’t like her chances tonight.
Chookagian has a 6-inch height and a 2-inch reach advantage in addition to the likely 10-pound weight advantage. Ten pounds might not sound like much, but for these ladies it is significant. I do not see this fight finishing before the end of three rounds so you have to look at who is likely to win the decision. Katlyn will look to keep Amanda at distance, outpointing her in the striking. It is a strategy that has worked well for her in the past and should be effective again here.
Ribas is more of a grappler and will be looking to close the distance and possibly get takedowns. But with such a big weight advantage, I don’t see her finding success there either. I see a unanimous 30-27 decision for Chookagian in this matchup.
This fight is essentially a freeroll fight for Ribas so I don’t question why she took it. If she loses, she will simply return to her own division with no harm done. But if she does pull this one out, she can leapfrog right to the top of the flyweight division, avoiding the log jam currently ahead of her. I just do not think she is ready for such a leap.
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