It seems like we get a card like UFC 149 every year, where the injuries pile up and the card shuffles around to the point of ridiculousness. I must say though, the UFC managed to put together a great batch of match-ups from the players left healthy enough to fight, and a truly intriguing main event. Just because the roster is injured doesn’t mean your bankroll has to suffer a setback though, so let’s make some cash together.
Below are my UFC 149 comparison odds for the fight, the props that pop out the most, as well as my general confidence in that particular match-up and its predictability. Now, onto the fights!
Urijah Faber -130
Renan Barao EV
Props: Over 2.5
A worthy fight to determine an interim title, Urijah Faber will look to arrest the momentum of Brazilian machine Renan Barao. Faber has looked amazing at Bantamweight since his drop from his former stomping grounds at 145lbs, with his only blemish being a spirited fight with champion Dominick Cruz. Barao has looked nearly unstoppable in his time under the Zuffa umbrella, but while the world is high on the Nova Uniao juggernaut, I’m not sold on this being a good match for him. Barao has accomplished the most in his career by being a fast striker with a deceptively strong takedown game, yet in his last fight we saw a bit of fatigue when facing someone whom he couldn’t have his way with on the mat. Faber brings one of the most versatile styles in the sport into this fight and a huge amount of five round experience to bear, making his experience a key factor here. While anyone with Barao’s power and accuracy can make a fight close, Faber has more outs to win and proven endurance, making him a slight favorite in my book. Look for a Faber straight line and grab the Over at 2.5 rounds as a bit of a hedge, as Faber can survive beatings even better than he can dish them out.
Hector Lombard -240
Tim Boetsch +190
Props: Lombard ITD
After years of devouring inferior opponents in the minor leagues of MMA, Hector Lombard will finally get a taste of elite competition in his UFC debut. I’ve been a critic of Lombard for some time, and while I think his flaws will be exposed with the wrong opponent, I don’t see this bout being a problem. Boetsch has had an amazing run since moving down to Middleweight due to his massive size advantage and sharpened wrestling skills, but against a speed demon like Lombard, I don’t see him having an opportunity to engage in his own game without catching a few shots to the head. Boetsch has a chin, but Lombard hits incredibly hard and has the submission game to stop Boetsch if he stumbles to the mat as well. While finding a reasonable line is doubtful, this fight could make a decent parlay anchor at worst.
Chris Clements +130
Props: Clements by KO
A likable chap if there ever was one, Matt Riddle will hop into the cage once again, taking on Chris Clements, one of many replacement fighters the UFC added during the injury induced roulette of changes. Riddle is someone who won’t be grabbing a title anytime soon, but has an idea of how to put on an exciting fight, making him one of the better guys to stick on your PPV card. Chris Clements is a bit of a throwback fighter in that he’s an all-power striker with limited skills elsewhere. Riddle will make or break himself in this fight, and that’s why this is a bit of a nightmare to bet, as I have no idea what he’s going to try to do here. Riddle with a mind for grinding against the fence and scoring takedowns will handily beat Clements, while the Riddle looking for FOTN will find himself beaten to a pulp by the older brawler. As such, I’d recommend an arb here if you’re looking to bet, with a bet on Riddle straight and a wager on Clements by KO to cover any terrible game plans Riddle tries to pull off.
Court McGee -150
Nick Ring +120
Props: Fight Goes Distance/over
The rematch from TUF 11, Court McGee will look to score a win over old foe Nick Ring in Canada. In their first meeting, the injured Nick Ring was able to pull off a questionable decision inside the TUF house before bowing out of the show to have a knee reconstruction, opening the door for a McGee return and eventual Finale win. Ring is a talented fighter, but uses a somewhat limited arsenal inside the cage, which is something the much more fluid McGee can work around to execute his own game plan. With the takedowns and grappling ability to stifle Ring and the chin to eat anything Ring throws on the feet, I see McGee doing enough to grab a decision and a bit of redemption here.
Francisco Rivera -130
Roland Delorme EV
Props: Fight Ends Inside Distance/Under
Two rather underrated fighters will put on a hell of a show at Bantamweight, when Francisco Rivera takes on Canadian fighter Roland Delorme in his own backyard. Rivera never got to showcase what he brought to the table in his first UFC run, but his last bout with Alex Soto opened folks eyes to the rapid-fire punching power and composure he possess in the cage. Delorme had a similar effect on fans against the murderous Nick Denis, surviving a through punishment early in the bout only to completely flip the tables and score a literal last-second RNC submission. This is a rough match-up to pick, as Rivera is a less powerful version of Denis, yet keeps a cooler head on his shoulders to avoid those pitfalls that cost Denis last time out. Delorme is the better grappler by a longshot, but his entry for takedowns leaves him open to fast counters, which is something Rivera can rip off at a moment’s notice. Overall, the ITD play is the safest here I’d say with Rivera having a scant edge at taking Delorme out before he himself is tapping.
Ryan Jimmo -185
Anthony Perosh +145
If there was ever a fight I didn’t care about, I suppose it would be this UFC 149 fight. I’ll be brief, Jimmo survives by fighting minor competition and Perosh is a one-trick pony not suited to MMA. Jimmo should be able to stop Perosh from landing takedowns given the amount of space he has to work with and circle away, and should be a favorite, but a lot could go wrong for both fighters here. Go get a pizza during this bout and you won’t regret it.
Bryan Caraway -150
Mitch Gagnon +120
A talented submission grappler with little else to offer, Bryan Caraway once again fights in the Octagon, taking on UFC newcomer Mitch Gagnon. A smaller Featherweight moving to Bantamweight, Gagnon will bring his natural strength and simply brutal striking style into the Octagon for the first time, although his opponent isn’t the best match-up for him. Caraway has a talent for submission grappling, but his lack of confidence on the feet may cost him in the upper tier of MMA and being caught standing with Gagnon would be a short night for the former TUF and WEC fighter. While Caraway should be able to put a wrestling clinic on Gagnon, Caraway’s mindset and the double debut at 135lbs makes this one a sketchy betting prospect. In a card packed with value, I say let this one slide.
Daniel Pineda -185
Antonio Carvalho +145
Props: Fight Ends Inside Distance/Under
One of the most exciting fighters in the Featherweight division, Daniel Pineda will make a quick turn-around from his bout with Mike Brown, taking on Canadian BJJ product Antonio Carvalho. Pineda has shown a huge amount of athleticism and a killer instinct in his time inside the cage with two quick finishes and a stellar match with the former Featherweight champ, yet Carvalho presents some unique problems for him. Generally speaking, a fighter who relies on wild transitions will often lose to a fighter with solid fundamentals, and Carvalho brings a ton of BJJ experience into this fight. Unfortunately for Carvalho, he brings little else and really didn’t appear to be hungry in his last fight, making him ripe for the picking against a war machine like Pineda. Grab Pineda at a smart line and look for the Under as well, as Pineda tends to finish early, but could be reversed and subbed himself if Carvalho’s technique is that much smoother.
Shawn Jordan -150
Cheick Kongo +120
Props: Jordan ITD
A great gem of a fight, SF acquisition Shawn Jordan will make a short notice leap into the cage, taking on UFC veteran Cheick Kongo. Jordan brings a broad frame not really suited for Heavyweight, but is a pure athlete with deceptively fast hands and some tremendous power wrestling. While Kongo has had his moments throughout his career, he’s beginning to show some wear and Jordan brings the hand speed to test his chin again and again in this match. My only concern is Kongo’s improved wrestling and counter punching skills being a problem, but Jordan should have all the skills needed to snatch a win in this fight, likely by finish. Check the price on ITD for Jordan and grab the straight line as well if they’re both looking nice.
Brian Ebersole -140
James Head +110
Props: Fight Goes Distance/Over
A great little bout that could play out in several directions, the rubber man Brian Ebersole will face underappreciated fighter James Head in a Welterweight bout. Ebersole has surprised a lot of folks in his time inside the UFC, scoring wins over some of the best submission grapplers in the game today, and will face another mat wizard in James Head. Head brings an even mark of 1-1 into the cage, but looked sharp in his Welterweight debut against Papy Abedi. The question here is if Head can keep this standing long enough to exploit his superior stand-up game or if he’ll get tricked into working submissions on someone who doesn’t appear to have human joints or a need to breathe. Ebersole is a bit unorthodox, but his endurance and tenacious offense should draw this fight late and score him a decision win at the expense of Head’s job. While not the most interesting bet on the UFC 149 card, look for value on either side of that O/U play with any eye towards the Over.
If you want to learn more about MMA gambling, as well as check out information on many different types of games.
More UFC 149 coverage