Another card in our marathon of MMA events, UFC Live: Marquardt vs. Story comes to Philly, and brings a few fights ripe for your wagering pleasure. Below is the comparison betting odds for this fight, as well as some helpful props that you can use as you see fit.
So, let’s take a look at what’s going down in Flyer’s country and see where the value lies.
Nate Marquardt -160
Rick Story +130
Props: Marquardt by Submission, Story by Decision
While Marquardt vs. Johnson was going to be a tough fight for the newly-minted Welterweight, this fight takes on an entirely different dimension. Story is coming off the biggest win of his career, and while his game plan is a predictable one, he is still a terror to work against inside the cage. Marquardt was perhaps the greatest technical grappler at Middleweight, but his cardio may be a major factor in his foray into Welterweight, giving him a small window to get the job done here. While Story is a workhorse in the cage, his style of clinch takedowns and constant pressure is easily dealt with by a far superior grappler. Marquardt should lock his nasty guillotine in early in this fight and put Story to sleep before his gas tank hits E. Failing this, the value may be on Story to push Marquardt around for the entire fight. An arb opportunity presents itself, betting on a Marquardt Submission and well as the Over.
Cheick Kongo -200
Pat Barry +160
Props: Kongo by KO
This is one of those fights that breaks my heart, as I love Pat Barry, but know he’s in over his head here. In a straight kickboxing match, I’d give Barry an edge in power, but Kongo is the much larger man and fights smarter than people give him credit for. Kongo’s ability to pressure opponents into the fence and get the takedown will spell doom for Barry, as Kongo withers his gas tank and gets the finish with a series of elbow strikes. With the way Barry falls apart in fights, taking Kongo by KO gives you a boost to your bankroll, and will help absorb some of the juice on his line.
John Howard -150
Matt Brown +120
While Kampmann vs. Howard would have been a great bout, this one has some serious potential as well. Howard has one of the wildest grappling styles outside of the Bantamweight division and will put Brown to the test if he can get this on the mat. The real question is if Brown will allow the takedown, as he’s show an ability to stuff some of the best at Welterweight, and getting stuck standing with him isn’t generally a recipe for MMA success. I think Howard is dynamic enough in his approach to put Brown on the mat and do enough on the feet to win this fight more often than not.
Matt Mitrione -185
Christian Morecraft +145
Props: Mitrione by KO, Fight goes Distance
Another potential breakout fight for Mitrione is on tap, as he faces 1-1 Christian Morecraft in a potential bloodbath. Morecraft looks to be a fairly dangerous wrestler, although he’s clearly awkward in his movements and defensively weak. While we’ve seen very little of Mitrione’s matwork, he’s shown himself to be an incredibly strong individual and to pack 3 rounds of cardio into his frame with ease. Morecraft’s blind aggression and lack of real stand-up defense will cost him here, as Mitrione dirty boxes him and finishes this fight late in the second round.
Tyson Griffin -200
Manny Gamburyan +160
Props: Fight Goes Distance
A fight that could turn out to be better than expected, two former UFC Lightweights will face off at Featherweight. Griffin and Gamburyan have very different styles, and it’s always a question if Gamburyan’s opponents can fight at their own pace, rather than be trapped at The Anvil’s glacial pace. Griffin comes into this with the far superior striking game, and has shown his grappling defense to be impressive, allowing him to avoid danger on the mat against some of the best. I see this playing out in Griffin’s favor as he busts Gamburyan up standing, circles away from the cage and avoids the mat for a decision win.
Joe Stevenson -140
Javier Vazquez +110
Props: Fight Goes Distance
One of the most likable fighters on the planet, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson makes a trip down to Featherweight to face fellow veteran fighter Javier Vazquez. Vazquez is perhaps the most well-rounded grappler on the planet, but his old-school style of submission before position has cost him many fights in the last several years. I don’t see this fight being any different, as Stevenson is the superior boxer and has the submission defense to survive the mat with Vazquez, taking a decision win. The value here will likely be in the Over, as neither fighter is likely to catch the other in a submission or with enough volume of punches to end it.
Joe Lauzon -240
Curt Warburton +180
Props: Lauzon by Submission, Warburton by Decision
Taking another step back towards the top, Joe Lauzon will face unsung Lightweight fighter Curt Warburton in a deceptively tough fight. Lauzon has the skill set to do harm to nearly anyone in the division, but his conditioning has proven to be an issue in every fight that goes beyond one round. While Warburton isn’t exactly a world-beater, his style of crushing clinch control, long-range muay thai attacks, and a general level of toughness could draw this into deep water. Lauzon has a strong chance of getting a takedown and vicious submission within the first several minutes, but the longer this fight goes, the more Warburton’s stifling attack will play into the judge’s decision. Using this as an arb opportunity might be your best bet, playing Lauzon straight and Warburton Decision or the Over.
Daniel Roberts -120
Rich Attonito -120
A dangerous fight to wager on, Rich Attonito makes the drop to Welterweight, taking on Daniel Roberts in a fight for his career. This fight could go a million different ways, as both men are mid-level wrestlers who have been hustled on the mat in previous fights. While Attonito is the better stand-up fighter, his cardio has been in question before, and a drop in weight usually doesn’t fix a situation with endurance. I’d pick Attonito to finish or Roberts for the decision, but wouldn’t bet a red cent on this fight.
TJ Grant -130
Charlie Brenneman EV
Props: Brenneman by Decision
One of my favorite dark horse Welterweights, TJ Grant will look to right the ship in his UFC career, taking on dangerous wrestler Charlie Brenneman. This is a tough fight for both men, as Grant has shown his wrestling isn’t nearly as strong defensively as it is offensively, making him an easy mark for takedowns. Conversely, wrestling is the only thing Brenneman really has at this point, with slowly-developing stand-up and a big question mark on submission defense. This fight could go either way, but Grant comes into this fight knowing Brenneman’s game plan, and has the submission skills to make him pay for every takedown attempt. Not a smart fight to bet on straight, but taking the Over might pay off if the odds are right.
Charles Oliveira -185
Nik Lentz +145
Props: Oliveira by Submission
One of the silent killers of the division, Charles Oliveira will attempt to get back on the radar after his loss to Jim Miller. His opponent is perhaps the luckiest fighter on the planet, but Nik Lentz remains undefeated in the UFC at 5-0-1, and will have the toughest fight of his career in Oliveira. This is an awful match-up for Lentz, as his reliance on average kicking attacks and takedowns both play directly into Oliveira’s strengths. Lentz luck should run out here as Oliveira cracks him from the outside with counter punches and locks up the submission off of a failed takedown, likely in the second round.
Ricardo Lamas -120
Matt Grice -120
While his record might not be impressive, Matt Grice can at least say he’s never been in a boring fight. While he’s only a part-time fighter at this point, he makes the drop to Featherweight, taking on another new Featherweight in Ricardo Lamas. Both men are wrestlers by trade and power punchers on the side, making this a fairly even scrap. If I had to pick a winner (and I do) I’d have to side with Lamas and his superior technical striking, as well as his full-time fighter status. Don’t sleep on Grice getting in some power punches and ending this fight early though.
Michael Johnson -260
Edward Faaloloto +180
One of the best fighters to come out of TUF 12, Michael Johnson will get his chance to shine in the UFC cage, taking on WEC fighter Edward Faaloloto. Johnson showed major improvement coming off the show, and while he was ultimately shut down in the wrestling department, he showed a tremendous upside with his athletic ability and striking. Faaloloto was an odd signing for the WEC and makes for a strange fight for Johnson as well, having only three professional fights and not much in terms of high-caliber skills. While Faaloloto is certainly tough, he doesn’t have the skills to hang with Johnson here, and will likely fall to a lopsided decision or submission.