Top Selections for UFC 301: Pantoja vs. Erceg

Oh, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, folks. They’ve gone all out for their first bash post-UFC 300. Picture this: Rio de Janeiro, buzzing with excitement. It’s been a hot minute since they’ve hosted, and boy, did they make it count. Each fight’s got a Brazilian squaring off against an international fighter. Talk about home turf advantage, right? The odds? Leaning heavily towards the locals, with a bunch of them pegged as favorites.

Now, let’s dive into the UFC 301 edition of Prime Picks. It’s like swinging through a jungle of matches, grabbing onto the reigning champ while keeping an eye on the former top dogs. Quite the adventure, huh?

Alright, let’s talk straight-up cash. Alexandre Pantoja, sitting pretty at -185. This guy’s opponent, Steve Erceg, has been climbing the ranks faster than anyone expected. But, facing a top 5? That’s a whole new ball game. Erceg managed to hold his own against Matt Schnell, even after a solid hit. Kept his cool, went for a takedown, and got back to business. But Pantoja? That’s a different beast. There’s value in betting on “The Cannibal” till he hits -200, or even a bit beyond.

Erceg, only 28, can last three rounds, no sweat. His past fights with Alessandro Costa and David Dvorak show he’s got stamina. But against Pantoja, he’s gotta push, make the champ uncomfortable. That jab of his? Could be key to breaking Pantoja’s rhythm. But letting Pantoja recover if he’s hurt? Bad move. Pantoja’s known to bounce back hard.

Pantoja’s fearless, folks. He’ll charge, throw punches, then out of nowhere, take you down and lock in a body triangle. Guy’s comfortable in scrambles, always hunting for a submission. But, if he gets too comfy playing jiu-jitsu, Erceg might just turn the tables on him. For Erceg to win, he’s gotta be flawless. Pantoja, though? He can afford a few slip-ups, thanks to his wild strategy.

Switching gears to a fight we wish happened – Aldo vs. Dominick Cruz. Instead, we’ve got Aldo facing Jonathan Martinez. People thought Aldo was done after his boxing stint. But here he is, back in MMA, proving he’s still got it. Martinez might look like a younger Aldo on paper, but that’s where the similarities end. Aldo’s experience and skill set him apart. Betting on Martinez? Might want to think twice.

Now, for the ‘dog will hunt’ segment. Anthony Smith, with odds at +425, is our pick. Despite his losses, the guy’s got grit. Facing a newcomer like Petrino, Smith’s experience and craftiness could lead to an upset. Worth a shot at these odds.

Lastly, let’s talk accumulators. We’re eyeing three bets: Aldo-Martinez lasting over 1.5 rounds, Smith-Petrino ending inside distance, and Kowalkiewicz-Lucindo going over 1.5 rounds. Together, they offer a solid return, banking on the durability of fighters and the likelihood of a stoppage in the light heavyweight clash.

So, there you have it. A wild ride through UFC 301’s matchups, with a mix of safe bets and wild cards. Always exciting, never predictable. Let’s see how it all unfolds, shall we?

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