As most of you have gathered by reading these introductions, I love talking about MMA, and most of that fanaticism was born of early Japanese promotions like Pancrase. Most current MMA fans harken back to the days of Royce Gracie running the field in Broomfield, Colorado at UFC 1, and are quick to dub him The Godfather of MMA.
However, if you want the full story, you’ll need to go back to the nascent days of Japanese MMA. In the late 1980’s, Masakazu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki were two Japanese pro wrestlers who had this novel thought: what if the scripted world of wrestling was real? Real kicks, open hand strikes and submissions would all be allowed.
They dubbed their promotion “Pancrase”, and while it’s obvious some of the early matches were “works”, the sport exploded in popularity. Pancrase is still around today as a legitimate MMA organization with standard MMA rules.
Do yourself a favor and find old Pancrase fights on YouTube like Funaki vs Bas Rutten, and Frank Shamrock vs Yuki Kondo, and pay homage to the true Godfathers of MMA. Let’s ride!
Jack Hermansson (+117) vs Martin Vettori (-141)
The Joker has had quite the two year run in the UFC: he has won five of his last six fights, with finishes in four of those wins. He’s a powerful striker who uses his length very well, and backs his striking up with excellent submission chops.
He also holds a significant edge in quality of opponent, as he has shared the cage (and beaten) the likes of Kelvin Gastelum and Jacare Souza.
Vettori is stepping in for Kevin Holland on a weeks notice, and regardless of what Vegas says, he may have bitten of more than he can chew here. 60% of Vettori’s wins have come via tapout, and Hermansson has only been submitted twice in 26 pro fights.
I love The Joker in GPPs as a very live dog. At Vettori’s price as a favorite, I just can’t justify paying for him. Maybe you can.
Jamahal Hill (-160) vs Ovince St. Preux (+140)
These odds make no sense to me. Don’t get me wrong, Hill is a great prospect. After making his way to the UFC via the Contenders Series, he won his UFC debut by decision over Darko Stosic. He then KO’d Klidson Abreu only to have the win ruled a No Cobtest after testing positive for smoking the Devil’s Lettuce.
I get that Hill has heavy hands, but OSP has been KO’d only twice in 39 pro fights. Plus Hill’s takedown defense and grappling game leave a lot to be desired, and that’s where OSP can take over.
Both of these fighters are GPP viable, although I prefer OSP to finish this fight inside the distance.
There is a preview of my breakdown article for this week. We will have the full article on our premium side!
We are currently running a great special, pay for a weekly membership ($6.99) and receive access to our premium content through the end of the year. The earlier you take advantage of this the more days you get for a great price!