Mike Perry was the only fighter to miss weight for UFC 255 on Saturday at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas.
Missing weight by 4½ pounds for his welterweight fight against Tim Means was just the latest issue for Perry, who denied his ex-wife’s allegations of domestic violence during a virtual media day for UFC 255.
“Mike Perry has had a number of issues outside the octagon,” MMA handicapper Lou Finocchiaro said. “He uses that as an intimidation tactic, and for many it can work. However, in this fight, he’s fighting a very experienced mixed martial artist.”
Finocchiaro has three UFC 255 best bets — all underdogs — and one of them is Means (+105), who has substantial height and reach advantages in the fight on the main card.
“Perry is a brawler, so Means must utilize distance to keep Perry on the outside and pick and peck him apart,” said Finocchiaro (@GambLou). “Means’ experience and physical attributes makes him a live (underdog).”
Rua (+155) over Craig
Finocchiaro is backing former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua over Paul Craig in the first fight on the main card. The bout is a rematch from last year that was ruled a draw.
“Craig is not only the longer man but the faster man. The first fight was a draw, but Craig did his damage against Rua on his feet until Rua took the fight to the floor,” Finocchiaro said. “Rua needs to immediately take the fight to the floor and ground and pound Craig, where he has the advantage.
“Craig is (-180). I believe Craig could be a small favorite, but that’s too far out of whack. Rua is 6-1 in his last seven fights, and I believe he’s a live (underdog).”
Gooden (+125) over Jouban
Finocchiaro also recommends a play on Jared Gooden, 26, in his UFC debut over veteran Alan Jouban, 38, who is contemplating retirement from the octagon to pursue a modeling career.
“Jouban has been away from the octagon for some time, and he’s talked about this being a crossroads fight, to decide whether to continue fighting or take another job. At 38, he’s thinking the wrong things,” Finocchiaro said. “Gooden is an open wrestling-based dynamo. He has a little bit of a reach advantage on Jouban, and I think he just has too much youth against a guy who has one foot on the land and one foot on the raft.
“There are two ships going in different directions.”