The Big Moves
All Results Documented ~ No Stale Lines Ever


Three championship fights take place in New York City this coming Saturday night as Madison Square Garden plays host to UFC 217, undoubtedly one of the promotion’s most highly anticipated cards. In fact, all 5 main card fights should prove to be extremely fan friendly bouts. More importantly for us bettors, the UFC 217 card serves up plenty of value too.


Therefore rather than writing a detailed analysis and prediction on the main-event, I’m going to share my thoughts on all 5 main card bouts, in an attempt to help you uncover a winner or two…





Former UFC welterweight title holder Hendricks has lost 4 of his last 5 fights and has only 3 wins over his last 9. He moved up to middleweight after multiple wars against the likes of Robbie Lawler and George St-Pierre, coupled with an inability to make the 170 lb limit.


Borrachinha has just 2 fights in the UFC but as the current -200 betting line reflects, the 26 yr old Brazilian has attracted plenty of attention. This will be the 3rd straight southpaw he’s facing which should prove to be an asset especially against an opponent who’s left hand is his greatest weapon.


Bottom line, even at -200 the betting line just isn’t high enough when compared to the probability of victory for Borrachinha. He’ll have a significant height and reach advantage in this bout, and will be comfortable regardless where the fight takes place. This fight is a perfect example of two fighters on opposite trajectories.








Thompson was 67-0 as a kick-boxer prior to his professional mixed martial arts career, which is evident when watching him utilize his striking game. He enters this bout after coming up short twice against current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley. Thompson has successfully defended 76% of his opponents take-down attempts, something he’ll need to do to win this fight.


Masvidal was in line for a title shot after wins against Ross Pearson, Jake Ellenberger, and Donald Cerrone, until losing to Damian Maia in his last fight. He’s as experienced as they come, having had 44 professional fights already. Masvidal is a very underrated striker, landing and defending at a much higher percentage than Thompson statistically.


Bottom line, this is a prototypical “coin toss fight” where neither man holds a significant advantage over the other. I believe the loss to Maia is the main reason the betting line on the underdog is so generous, and I’ll take the “plus” money on a 50/50 proposition every time.








Every time we see the undefeated UFC womens straweight title holder, she continues to improve and add to her already impressive skill set. Prior to her signing with the UFC, Joanna had captured the Muay Thai amateur championship 5 times and the European championship 4 times. Therefore it should come as no surprise that in her last 5 wins, she was able to land over 100 more strikes than each of her opponents did.


Namanjunas gets her title shot after beating “The Karate Hottie” the same way she handled the heavily favored Paige Van Zant, by rear naked choke. In fact, 3 of her 4 UFC wins have come by the exact same submission. She’s been successful on 60% of take-down attempts, which she’ll need to utilize to have a shot in this one.


Bottom line, the only way I can see a new UFC champion get crowned here is if Jedrzejczyk makes a major mistake and allows Namanjunas to capitalize. The current betting line is -500 and though I’m in no rush to lay it, I don’t believe this underdog is “live” enough to warrant backing. Simply put, I’d bet the favorite or pass.







Though 2 inches shorter, TJ will enjoy a 2 inch reach advantage against Cody. The statistics and analytics between these two fighters are all very similar, which should be expected since they are very analogous with each other. Add in the fact that these two men were once sparring partners and on the very same team, and it’s easy to see why it’s a difficult outcome to predict.


Garbrandt was able to beat Dominic Cruz, after Cruz had captured the bantamweight strap from Dillashaw in a very close fight. All but 2 of his 11 wins have come by way of KO-TKO, and his edge in power over opponents has been very evident.


Dillashaw is one of the most difficult opponents to prepare for, mostly because his style is so difficult to emulate. He’s an accomplished wrestler who has evolved into an elite striker, making TJ as well rounded as anyone in the sport. He’s also faced the toughest opponents the division has had to offer.


There is no denying Garbrandt is a deserving champion having beaten Cruz, but with that said, he was afforded the opportunity to bypass the division’s top 5 ranked 135 lb fighters. The reason for that was because of his history with Cruz, more so than his accomplishments to date. So I believe Dillashaw is the more tested of the two.


Bottom line, we have our second main-card bout that warrants the “coin flip fight” label so once again I’ll go ahead and take the “plus money” on the dog…especially with the favorite coming in off an injury.








Few UFC champions have had to endure the road that Bisping has in order to capture a title, so I for one couldn’t be happier to see him get the “GSP” fight. This bout not only helps him grow his legacy, it also allows him to secure a huge payday at the tail end of his long and storied career. The former 5 time British kick-boxing champion has more UFC wins than any other fighter, having competed at both 205 lbs and 185 lbs.


GSP has been out of the sport for close to 4 years and makes his return at a higher weight class than he’s ever competed at. He is considered one of the most athletic mixed martial artists of all time, and proved to be an elite level grappler and striker. GSP had won 33 straight rounds at one point during his championship reign of the welterweight division, beating and even dominating many of the sport’s biggest names.


Bottom line, though GSP has been out and Bisping has been active I don’t believe “ring rust” will be a major factor in the outcome. I also think that even though Bisping is the bigger man, he’s not going to be the stronger one inside of the Octagon. Couple that with the fact GSP has never been outclassed in the striking game, and just see more ways for him to emerge victorious.


I expect GSP will eventually start taking Bisping down at every opportunity, even with his excellent take-down defense and ability to get back on his feet. As the bout proceeds, the punishment and fatigue will start to wear Bisping down and GSP will be able to keep him on his back for longer. Eventually the bout will be stopped or the final bell will sound, with either outcome resulting in a GSP win.