Timbo! I ‘member when you were coming off of the first Flyweight Ultimate Fighter Show and the winner got a title shot at Demetrious Mighty Mouse Johnson.
I, for one, loved you then and I still love you now.
Why, though? Well, I was an Anderson Silva superfan, still am, so the greatest of all time talk that was surrounding Mighty Mouse was crazy to me. The division was so young and small, no pun intended fellas, sorry, that the Washington State native was fighting challengers who weren’t on his level.
To his credit, though, MM beat everyone in the UFC until he didn’t. Then he left. That was about the same time USADA came to town but you could take that guy’s drugs away and he is still going to win all of his title defenses.
Fans were so accustomed to seeing Johnson dominate all of his opponents and here comes a guy with a 12-6 record, albeit it could be 15-6 if you count the wins he accrued on the show.
Still, though, 6 losses. Nobody thought this guy had anything for Mighty Mouse!
For those first 7 minutes or so, though, he gave ‘em H-E double hockey sticks. Shout out to my mom for that one. Unfortunately, though, Tim has a half of a fight gas tank and that is something that really has never changed.
Part of it is his style. The guy is very funky and flowy in there and sometimes you can get out-funked but for Tim, he has the tendency to flow himself into submission. If you have ever trained BJJ, you know the type. They are going for submission over position and they don't care if you tap them out once in a round if they get you 2 or 3 times.
I know this because I am that guy. I am not paying 150 bucks a month not to simulate murder. I'll tell you that. Anywho.
In a fight, there is only one tap, though, and Tim's opponent is a high-level BJJ Blackbelt who would love nada mas than to slip in a nice D'arce choke when Tim does his normal reckless second-round takedown attempt.
Let’s look at the odds and make a pick here. I think Nicolau is better than Tim everywhere skill-wise but Timbo has the ‘rasslin and he has James Krause in his corner and Elliott tends to perform better training out of Missouri than Las Vegas.
I mean, I get it.
Matheus Nicolau (-200) vs Tim Elliott (+170)
Okay, pause. You see this line? It is from BetOnline.AG, one of the books that debut the betting odds and a lot of other books will then follow suit. BetOnline is respected in the MMA game. They could give you (+155) or even (+150) for the dog here with the Brazilian favorite an even 2 to 1.
That is reasonable and you see (+160) more often but this is still notable. If the books thought Tim Elliott was a live live dog in this fight, then they would be more hesitant to pay out that (+170) and I honestly think it would be a lower number. They know what's up, though.
They are slow playing their hand with Matheus. If they keep it at just 2 to 1, people will think “Why isn't he a bigger favorite?”
Matheus is a very skillful fighter and is top 5 material. Yes, Elliott will have the wrestling advantage and sometimes that’s all you need! It’s true. But this guy just can’t go in there and fight smart.
There is something in him that just wants to do what he does in training, flow flow flow. In training, that is great. I encourage it over hard rolls any day but in an MMA fight, I want to see your IQ up there with the GSP’s of the world.
Tim is live here but he has miles. I expect a much better performance in the Brazilian's second fight back than his first after taking almost two years off. And we are getting him at an affordable moneyline of (-200).
I am so glad the UFC didn’t do away with the Flyweight Division. We have our first Mexican-born World Champion as well as a top 10 that can all threaten for that belt.
Askar Askarov, Matheus, Deiveson, Manel Kape, and the list continue to grow. Thank you Dana for holding on to the little guys. You were a boxing fan first and you know who brings it!
Pick: Matheus Nicolau -200
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