SUBMISSION UNDERGROUND 17 – Betting Analysis
SUG17 is a submission-only grappling event taking place on Sunday, August 30, 2020, in Portland, OR, and streamed live on UFC Fight Pass.
Format for all Matches
- 5-minute match
- No-Gi submission only
- Modified EBI overtime rules if no winner is determined in regulation.
Craig Jones (-245) vs. Mason Fowler (+175)
The main event of SUG17 is a rematch between current SUG champion Mason Fowler and reigning ADCC silver medalist Craig Jones. Craig is one of the well-known grapplers in the world and a black belt from the Danaher Death Squad. Mason Fowler is a brown belt from CTA and also an ADCC Veteran.
The last match between the two men at SUG16 ended in controversy when Mason was awarded the victory due to Craig’s verbal tap. Craig has vehemently denied that he tapped to the choke/neck crank from Mason and most people in the jiu-jitsu community have sided with Craig on this. But, the rules of SUG clearly state that any scream would indicate a verbal submission. It was an unfortunate situation and you cannot fault Mason or the referee here. Craig did have both hands available to tap and was stuck in a body triangle. The pressure from a body triangle is often enough to make people groan loudly. This was interpreted by the referee as a verbal tap and Mason was awarded the submission.
Despite the controversy from their first match, Mason showed that he is more than capable of surviving Craig’s attacks in regulation and forcing the overtime period. I believe Mason will employ that same strategy again. Like their last SUG match, Craig should still be favored here in their trilogy match. Before their previous controversial match, Craig defeated Mason by guillotine choke at ADCC 2019 and looked dominant. However, ADCC rules are quite different and I believe that Mason’s style is better suited for the SUG ruleset. In overtime, Mason has the back attacking ability to match Craig and he will not have to deal with Craig’s length or leg locks in overtime.
We may see Mason once again actively avoiding Craig’s attacks in regulation and forcing the overtime period where he beat Craig last time. I don’t think Craig will change his strategy of aggressively hunting for submissions during regulation and OT. We will see if Mason can be Craig’s kryptonite in SUG competition. Currently, Mason is 1-0 vs. Craig in SUG and they are 1-1 apiece in overall competition. Craig should get the job done but has shown a weakness to rear naked choke submissions in the past. We should see a conclusive winner in this match and I predict Craig to get the submission win in overtime. I give Craig Jones an implied probability of 71% and Mason Fowler an implied probability of 36% to win.
Craig Jones -245 / 1.41 / 71% implied probability to win
Mason Fowler +175 / 2.75 / 36% implied probability to win
Prediction: Craig Jones by submission in OT
Amanda Loewen (-160) vs. Gillian “The Savage” Robertson (+120)
The co-main event features black belt and SUG Veteran Amanda Loewen taking on brown belt and UFC star Gillian Robertson. This match-up was booked for the last SUG event but Gillian was forced to withdraw due to COVID-19.
Amanda has been victorious 4 times at SUG and has established herself as the dominant female lightweight at Submission Underground. She recently joined the 10th Planet Portland team and we should see some improvements to her NOGI game this year. Gillian is primarily an MMA fighter who trains NOGI and relies heavily on her jiu-jitsu in her MMA fights. She has 3 finishes by rear naked choke and her grappling has looked sharp fighting in the UFC.
I’m going with Amanda here as the favorite. She is the pure grappler and in most cases, you have to favor the pure grappler over the MMA fighter who has a grappling style. We’ve seen that Amanda can deal with the physicality that MMA fighters bring to the table (she defeated Jessica Eye at SUG15). Gillian has vulnerabilities in her defense and has been out-positioned in ground battles in her MMA career. Gillian should look to bring a high pace and use her cardio to tire out Amanda. I predict Amanda to win by submission in regulation or in OT. I give Amanda Loewen an implied probability of 62% and Gillian Robertson an implied probability of 46% to win.
Amanda Loewen -160 / 1.63 / 62% implied probability to win
Gillian Robertson +120 / 2.2 / 46% implied probability to win
Prediction: Amanda Loewen by submission in regulation or OT
Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez (-210) vs. Ben Egli (+170)
Ben Egli replaces Brent Primus to take on Richie Martinez of 10th Planet Freaks. Both men are black belts and SUG veterans. Ben is a very different competitor than Brent Primus and unlike most of the top-dominant MMA fighters, Richie has faced in the past. Richie has faced at SUG: Jake Shields, Austin Vanderford, and Kevin Casey.
Ben Egli is an MMA fighter with a tricky guard game and a nasty rear-naked choke. He recently choked up a much larger Micah Brakefield in OT at SUG16 after also stepping in on short notice. Egli is a wizard defensively and was able to get out of several deep submissions in that match as well.
Richie has tons of experience in no-gi grappling competition and is a NOGI specialist. A pure grappler who will also have a size advantage, Richie should be the favorite here. In his last match, he was losing to Kevin Casey before pulling off an armbar submission in the last moments of OT. In overtime, Richie often prefers the spider-web (armbar) position which is a common position in the 10th Planet system.
I lean Richie even though I think Egli poses a real threat in overtime. Egli has many RNC submission victories both in MMA and in submission grappling. He is dangerous on the back. That said, I predict Richie Martinez to win by escape time in OT. I give Richie Martinez an implied probability of 68% and Ben Egli an implied probability of 37% to win.
Richie Martinez -210 / 1.48 / 68% implied probability to win
Ben Egli +170 / 2.7 / 37% implied probability to win
Prediction: Richie Martinez by escape time in OT
Roberto Jimenez (-350) vs. Jesse “JT Money” Taylor (+275)
Roberto Jimenez is one of the hottest names in grappling competition at the moment and seems to be competing and winning every weekend. He takes on former UFC veteran and D1 wrestler Jesse Taylor. Both men are black belts.
Roberto is a pure grappler and a phenom who is always looking for the submission. This is going to be a tough match for JT Money who needs to come out early and establish his physical dominance. In the past, Roberto has been caught with submissions by strong physical guys so JT Money really needs to push the action and go all out on a strong submission attempt to finish Roberto. Roberto is a back attacking specialist who has very good back control and finishing ability. I don’t see things going well for JT Money if the match were to go to overtime.
I predict Roberto Jimenez to win by submission in regulation. I give Roberto Jimenez an implied probability of 78% and Jesse Taylor an implied probability of 27% to win.
Roberto Jimenez -350 / 1.29 / 78% implied probability to win
Jesse “ JT Money” Taylor +275 / 3.75 / 27% implied probability to win
Prediction: Roberto Jimenez by submission in regulation
Ethan Crelinsten (-180) vs PJ Barch (+140)
Danaher Death Squad black belt Ethan Crelinsten takes on 10th Planet black belt PJ Barch in a match that should be fireworks. Ethan won the “Jiu-Jitsu Overtime” competition last month which is an event that used purely EBI Overtime rules (nearly identical to SUG Overtime rules). PJ has always been one of the top NOGI competitors on the scene but we haven’t seen much of him recently due to injuries.
Ethan and all of the Danaher Death Squad guys are very versed in EBI rules and you could even say that they made their name at EBI competitions. Search any of the early EBI shows on UFC Fight Pass and you’ll see that it was dominated by Danaher Death Squad members. That said, PJ comes from 10th Planet and the lineage of Eddie Bravo (the inventor of EBI and the EBI ruleset). PJ is also the coach to ADCC Veteran and EBI Overtime specialist Keith Krikorian who has faced Ethan several times in competition.
Ethan has really emerged as a top NOGI competitor. A couple of years ago, these odds might have been flipped but PJ has not been as active in competition in recent years. I predict Ethan to win by escape time in OT I give Ethan Crelinsten an implied probability of 64% (-180) and PJ Barch an implied probability of 42% (+140) to win.
Ethan Crelinsten -180 / 1.56 / 64% implied probability to win
PJ Barch +140 / 2.4 / 42% implied probability to win
Prediction: Ethan Crelinsten by escape time in OT