Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:00 PM EST.
UFC Vegas 31 - UFC Apex - Las Vegas, NV
Dustin Stoltzfus +187 over Rodolfo Vieira
10:50 PM EST. In an individual sport such as MMA, outside variables are plentiful and can be impactful on a fighter's performance. For instance, let's say you have 53 players on your football team and three of them have the sniffles. No biggie, next man up. Maybe your starting tight end broke up with his girlfriend and he's a slobbering mess. No biggie, next man up. Even if your starting quarterback is dinged up in the middle of the game and has to come out, it's not ideal, but the game isn't over—next man up. In the cage, it's a much different story.
Why do we bring up mindset in this fight? Well, let us bring Rodolfo Vieira to the stage. Viera is a jiu-jitsu Jedi that had a ton of hype surrounding his move from the mats to the Octagon. His first two fights went according to plan, as he wrapped up both Oskar Piechota and Saparbek Safarov in slick triangle chokes to bring his UFC mark to 2-0, padding the 5-0 record he racked up on the regional circuit in Brazil. Impressive as his UFC start was, it's worth noting that Vieira was heavily favored in both fights, as he was last time out (5-1 or better) against Anthony Hernandez. Viera got beat at his own game with Hernandez getting the submission win. That was Viera's first taste of defeat and now he's back in the Octagon for the first time since that setback in February. Will he pick himself up by the bootstraps and get back on the horse, or will he simply tuck and run like so many promising prospects before him?
Dustin Stoltzfus is a veteran of Dana White's Contender Series, and while he is very much the "B" side in this fight, his grappling chops ought to be respected. While Vieira's jiu-jitsu is superior on paper, it was against Hernandez as well, and we saw what happened. Stoltzfus is the better all-around MMA fighter here and he has the potential to drag Vieira into deep waters. The longer this fight goes, the more it should favor Stoltzfus. He's heard the final buzzer more than once, while Vieira has not. Dude's gas tank may have been exposed in the Hernandez fight. The path to victory for Stoltzfus is clear and it's on tape. Nice overlay here.
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Dustin Stoltzfus +187 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.74)