In a rare occurrence for the UFC, we have back to back events this week as UFC 147 directly follows Friday’s UFC on FX 4 event. And in our latest betting odds segment, find out what price Rory Macdonald opened at over "The Prodigy."
UFC prepares for Nottingham
On Sept. 29, UFC on FUEL TV 5 will look to deliver a
heavyweight showdown between Stefan Struve and Stipe Miocic from the Capital FM
Arena in Nottingham, England.
Having recently deconstructed the hype behind a surging Lavar Johnson,
Struve will now look to snap a 9-0 win streak held by the undefeated Miocic.
Three of Miocic’s nine victories have come during his tenure
with the UFC, finishing his last two opponents inside the first two rounds. His
latest performance at UFC 146 was considered his best to date as he went on to
defeat a fellow undefeated Heavyweight in Shane del Rosario.
After taking some clean shots in the first round, he was
able to show just how adaptable his game
is by rerouting his attack in the second frame, where he was able to quickly
secure his takedowns and pound Shane out for TKO stoppage.
Considering how many of Struve’s submission victories have
come off his back, it should be interesting to see how quick Stipe shoots for a
takedown if Struve’s massive length on the feet proves troublesome early one.
Rounding off the card will be England’s Brad Pickett taking on
the high octane striking arsenal of Yves Jabouin. A win for either man would
greatly elevate their stock, possibly event jolting them back into a top 5
bantamweight in the division.
And finally, Paul Sass will be showcasing the nastiest guard
to come out of Britain
against an unannounced opponent, who should be revealed sometime in the nest
Fight week & injury updates
In a rare and perhaps singular occurrence in Zuffa’s history, fans
will be treated to back to back UFC events this week.
First, we have UFC on FX 4 on Friday headlined by Guida vs.
Maynard, followed by UFC 147: Silva vs. Franklin II taking place the very next day
For Friday’s Guida vs. Maynard card, it was recently
revealed that Dustin Pague will be filling in for an injured Francisco Rivera
to take on Ken Stone on less than two weeks notice.
Pague, who earned a first round submission on June 8th
as a +140 underdog over Jared Papazian, will look to join an elite stable of
UFC fighters who were able to pick up two victories in the same month….. a feat
only recently obtained by Chris Leben.
As for the latest line released on the card, Brian Ebersole
opened at -170 over a much younger T.J. Waldburger.
The reason for the early movement in favor of Ebersole,
who’s now hovering closer to -235, was due in large part to his wrestling base
and flashier striking on the feet.
There may not be any one clear edge for either fighter, but
Waldburger's ability to withstand Brian’s relentless gnp if put on his back is
a worrying concern for anyone considering backing the underdog here. The
fact that he's been previously TKO’d by guys
like Josh Neer and Ricardo Funch are reason enough for me to personally avoid
any action on the dog.
Latest UFC odds to
hit the books
One of the more anticipated releases of the week was Rory
Macdonald opening at -288 over B.J. Penn.
For me, I thought the line opened close enough to fair
value, leading me to avoid a bet altogether. I actually think Rory’s wrestling
is a tad overrated, and on the feet, Penn simply offers up the much cleaner
technique. Rory has been cleanly tagged and rattled by inferior punchers than
Penn. His pocket awareness still needs a lot of work before he’s ready to
handle exchanging punches with someone as tactical and counter savvy as Penn.
Still, unless Penn shows up looking beastly on the
scales, I simply can’t bet on either fighter at current odds. I think the best
option will probably be to wait it out for a smaller prop play on Rory by
Next up, in a heavyweight clash between Travis Browne vs. Ben
Rothwell, it was Browne who opened as a -235 betting favorite.
After inexplicably opening at -185 against Chad Griggs in
his last fight at UFC 145, again we witnessed a soft opener on the undefeated
Hawaiian, as he’s been bet all the way up to his current listing of -270.
That’s not to say Rothwell, who recently showed up in the
best shape of his career, doesn’t have a clear route to victory.
We’ve seen in the past, more specifically against Cheick
Kongo, where Travis’s furious pace in the first round can be slowed down by
initiating as much clinch work as possible against the cage. For this reason, I
feel there may also be a small amount of value on Rothwell by decision once
props are released at 5dimes.