Grant Emrick UFC Breakdown for Your Way to Success

UFC Fight Night: Kattar vs. Allen

October 29, 2022

Emrick’s UFC Fighter Pick Record (245-130-2) – 65% Correct

Main Event Record (21-10) – 68% Correct

Prelim Predictions:

BW: Christian Rodriguez (7-1) vs. Joshua Weems (11-2)

  • Pick: Christian Rodriguez

FLY: Cody Durden (13-4-1) vs. Carlos Mota (8-1)

  • Pick: Carlos Mota

FW: Chase Hooper (11-2-1) vs. Steve Garcia (12-5)

  • Pick: Chase Hooper

MW: Joseph Holmes (8-2) vs. Jun-yong Park (14-5)

  • Pick: Jun-yong Park

HW: Andrei Arlovski (34-20, 2 NC) vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (19-9-1)

  • Pick: Marcos Rogerio de Lima

MW: Phil Hawes (12-3) vs. Roman Dolidze (10-1)

  • Pick: Roman Dolidze *Dawg of the Week*

Main Card Predictions:

LHW: #13 Dustin Jacoby (18-5-1) vs. Khalil Rountree (11-5, 1 NC)

  • Pick: Dustin Jacoby (-170)
  • Quick Reasoning: It’s been a busy week for me and I’m doing some traveling so these quick reasonings will be brief for once. Jacoby hasn’t dropped a fight since January 2015 in Bellator and has looked reasonably untouchable in his second stint with the UFC. I believe this fight is a step down in competition compared to his previous fight with Da-Un Jung, as Rountree is kill-or-be-killed. I think Jacoby is just too good of a kickboxer and his technique is levels above his opponent to drop this fight, plus Rountree absorbs more strikes than dishes out. Jacoby’s 5+ strikes landed per minute should break Rountree down over three rounds into a UD victory. 

MW: Josh Fremd (9-3) vs. Tresean Gore (4-2)

  • Pick: Josh Fremd (-155)
  • Quick Reasoning: I want to root for both of these guys badly, but one has to go. Fremd had his moments in his short-notice fight against the rising Anthony Hernandez, even managing to takedown Hernandez and work control for nearly three minutes of the bout. Fremd is the only fighter Hernandez has been unable to finish in his UFC wins, which may have been aided by Fremd’s size at 6’4”, with a 76” reach. Gore has been pretty unimpressive in his two fights, being outstruck nearly 2:1 by Bryan Battle and knocked out by Cody Brundage within four minutes. I have to go with the more experienced Fremd, whose size and striking ability should continue to expose Gore’s weaker standup. Side with Fremd by TKO in this one. 

HW: Waldo Cortes-Acosta (7-0) vs. Jared Vanderaa (12-9)

  • Pick: Waldo Cortes-Acosta (-195) *Lock of the Week* 
  • Quick Reasoning: Vanderaa has a pretty good ground game, but doesn’t attempt to use it. This has led to some chin deterioration and resulted in shocking losses, including one to Chase Sherman in July. Other than that, Vanderaa is an exciting fighter who takes too much punishment for what he gives out in the HW division (5.23 strikes landed for every 5.84 absorbed). I know the tentativeness that comes with betting a DWCS alum in their debut, but if Vanderaa can’t beat Sherman then I highly doubt he can beat Cortes-Acosta. Cortes-Acosta is currently rolling and looked great in his DWCS appearance, while Vanderaa is 1-5 in his last six. I think this is the end for Vanderaa, as he’s taken way too much punishment in his UFC career. Give me Cortes-Acosta by finish. 

WW: Tim Means (32-13-1, 1 NC) vs. Max Griffin (18-9)

  • Pick: Max Griffin (-190)
  • Quick Reasoning: This is such a close fight, one which I’d recommend not betting. Both fighters are coming off of a loss and winning three of their past four. Means lost to – should be ranked – Kevin Holland and Griffin is coming off an SD loss to Neil Magny in a fight I thought he won. Means has 46 fights under his belt at this point and I think it is starting to catch up with him, while Griffin has looked more impressive as he’s entering the prime of his MMA career. I expect this to be a standup fight, as both can hold their own on the ground, but I’m slightly favoring Griffin based on the recency bias with Magny. This one is the toughest fight to call on the card for me, but I see Max “Pain” getting this done via UD by the slightest of margins. 

FW: #5 Calvin Kattar (23-6) vs. #6 Arnold Allen (18-1)

  • Pick: Calvin Kattar (-105)
  • Quick Reasoning: Have we forgotten how good Kattar is? I doubted him after his awful showing against Max Holloway, but that might have been the best version of Holloway we’ve ever seen during that night. Kattar bounced back with a dismantling of the hype train that was Giga Chikadze and followed that up with an unfortunate SD loss to Josh Emmett in June. Allen, on the other hand, is coming off his ninth straight win in the UFC after a UD against Sodiq Yusuff and a TKO of super weight-cutting Dan Hooker. Kattar has the hands but is fairly hittable against volume-oriented fighters, and Arnold has the ground game that allows him to mix it up on the feet. Unfortunately for Allen, Kattar has a 91% takedown defense and it will be his first five-round fight compared to Kattar’s last four going the full five rounds. I think Kattar is a true gatekeeper for the featherweights, separating the elite from the solid-ranked fighters. I do believe Allen will cross the threshold as he continues building up his striking game, but I think Saturday night will be a learning opportunity for the Englishman. Kattar by decision is my choice, but if you’re still torn by fight time then go with the underdog. 

Emrick’s Combat Sports Betting:

  • Straight Bets:
    • Dawg of the Week (7-8): Roman Dolidze ML
      • 0.5u
    • Lock of the Week (5-2): Waldo Cortes-Acosta ML
      • 3u
  • Parlay Bet:
    • Katie Taylor, Vasyl Lomachenko, Jake Paul ML
      • 0.5u
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