Aldo’s Out, Mendes Is In: 3 More Picks For July 11’s UFC 189 Card
Welcome to Part 2 of Online Sports Betting’s UFC 189 preview. For a look at our picks on who will come out victorious in the Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald welterweight title tilt and the Dennis Bermudez vs. Jeremy Stephens fight, just click this link. It also has a bit of analysis on the doomed Aldo/McGregor fight that’s now mostly academic.
#2 Chad Mendes (+125) vs. #3 Conor McGregor (-145) – Featherweight (Five Rounds)
It wasn’t the match that UFC 189 was built around, but it’ll have to do. (With a Lawler/MacDonald title fight on the same card, you can’t complain too much.) Chad Mendes is coming in on short notice to substitute for injured featherweight champ Jose Aldo. This bout, which involved the interim title, will have McGregor readjusting his strategy. Mendes will be aiming to flex his wrestling muscles in the Octagon if he can avoid getting knocked out by McGregor’s devastating fists. The charismatic Irish fighter has won fifteen bouts via KO and 12 of his finishes have come before the end of Round 1. Mendes has an accomplished career, but he wasn’t able to capitalize in either of his title bouts versus Jose Aldo. Can Mendes take a punch, of course? Can he take McGregor’s punches? Hard to say. If these two trade blows, the match dips in McGregor’s favour even with Mendes’ ability to go. We’ve got to give McGregor the edge here. He’s the guy that isn’t coming in on short notice, he holds an impressive body of KO work and he’s been clutch as the fights get more and more high profile. The way McGregor crushed Brandao, Poirier and Silver? Stunning. Give the Irishman his due.
Our Pick: McGregor
#15 Gunnar Nelson (+155) vs. Brandon Thatch (-180) – Welterweight (Three Rounds)
Hello Gunni! Originally slated to be Gunnar Nelson vs. John Hathaway, Brandon Thatch was tapped to replace Hathaway. Both fighters are looking to rebound after disappointing losses in their last bouts. We like Nelson’s chances in this fight. He can absorb punishment and take you out with his grappling and submission skills. Thatch was dispatched in his last fight thanks to a rear-naked choke courtesy of Benson Henderson. It’s not unreasonable to expect a similar finish on Saturday in Las Vegas.
Our Pick: Nelson
Brad Pickett (+600) vs. #14 Thomas Almeida (-900) – Bantamweight (Three Rounds)
Those odds aren’t a typo. This bantamweight bout is the biggest mismatch on the card. Almeida comes in with an undefeated record and double the strikes-per-minute average of his English opponent. Pickett’s an entertaining fighter that’s returning from the flyweight division to take this challenge, but Almeida is too good for anyone to dream of a massive upset taking place this weekend.
Our Pick: Almeida
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