Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 1:00 PM EST
UFC 262 - Toyota Center - Houston, TX
Tony Ferguson +140 over Beneil Dariush
11:45 PM EST. For most of his UFC career, Tony Ferguson was untouchable, racking up win after win after win. A 12-0 run over a six year span saw "El Cucuy" fly about as high as anyone can with his winning of the UFC's then interim lightweight championship over Kevin Lee being the pinnacle. A freak injury led to the cancellation of a unification bout with Khabib and saw Ferguson stripped of his title. The path back looked to be an easy one with wins over Anthony Pettis and Donald Cerrone setting up another interim championship fight with Justin Gaethje. That knockout in May of 2020 would be the first loss for Tony since 2013. Many thought he'd bounce back against tonight's headliner, Charles Oliveira, but with the other "Cowboy" in the main event, you can guess how that fight went for "El Cucuy." Now Ferguson has lost two straight. This is a fickle market and you are only as good as your last fight. That has many ready to send Ferguson out to pasture, but we wouldn't be so hasty.
Beneil Dariush is no fresh up and comer, but he is five years Tony's junior and he's riding a six fight winning streak. So in comparison to Ferguson's recent run, Dariush looks like a killer. However, who has he beaten? Dude is 14-5 in the UFC with his biggest win perhaps being over Jim Miller six years ago. Dariush's recent run of victories have come against Thiago Moises, Drew Dober, Frank Camacho, Drakkar Klose, Scott Holtzman and Carlos Diego Ferreira. Ferreira and Dober are ranked at #14 and #15, respectively, but it looks like there is still a huge gap between the top 5 and the rest of this division. For the #9 ranked Dariush, this is a big step up in competition. However, the market perception is that Ferguson is on the way down, while Dariush is on the way up. That suggests to us that one fighter is overvalued and the other is undervalued. To take back a price on Tony Ferguson in a fight like this even a year ago would have been bonkers. For fucksake, Tony was better than 2-1 as the chalk against Gathje, arguably the best 155 lbs fighter on the planet not named Khabib. Now Ferguson is a pooch to Dariush? Please.
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Tony Ferguson +140 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.80)