To get the weekend started off on the right foot AXS TV Fights returns with Legacy FC 21 this Friday, and the card features a mix of recognizable names and interesting prospects. The most recognizable name on the card is longtime UFC and WEC veteran Leonard Garcia, but he finds himself towards the beginning of the card, which points to Legacy’s desire to develop their own identity rather than relying on the name value of ex-UFC fighters.
The top of the card features two title fights, as Matt Hobar and Angel Huerta square off for the vacant Legacy Bantamweight Title in the main event. The penultimate bout of the evening will crown another new champion as William Bush and Larry Crowe will determine the 185lb champ.
It’s crazy to think that even with two title fights on the card the most intrigue would come prior to those fighters even stepping in the cage, but with world champion boxer Holly Holm, the aforementioned Garcia, and NCAA wrestling champion Darrion Caldwell all on the card, that’s exactly what Legacy has put together.
Today, MMA Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Legacy FC 21 at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Check them out below:
Legacy FC Bantamweight Title
Matt Hobar -160 Angel Huerta +120
Legacy FC Middleweight Title
William Bush -210 Larry Crowe +160
Holly Holm -2525 Allanna Jones +1175
Leonard Garcia -305 Reynaldo Trujillo +225
Darrion Caldwell -1700 Gerzan Chaw +800
Brad’s Analysis: Looking at some of those numbers, my first thought is “wow!” My second thought however, is how in the heck is Allanna Jones (a boxer) going to beat Holly Holm (one of the greatest female boxers ever)? She’s not. Holm is the more skilled fighter on the ground as well, which gives Jones approximately zero chances to win this fight outside of a Hail Mary punch. This line is akin to some of the ones we see in boxing matches week in and week out, as huge favorites beat down their overmatched competition. For too long, MMA bettors have been spoiled by lines not being long enough when the match warrants it.
Another fight that warrants a massive line is Darrion Caldwell’s third MMA appearance. Despite his status as a neophyte in the sport, Caldwell is an incredibly talented wrestler who has the potential to be dominant in MMA. No slight against Gerzan Chaw, but against opponents at this level of the sport, Caldwell can win based on his physical attributes alone. He will be able to take down most fighters in the featherweight division, gain dominant position and at the very least win with unabated strikes. Depending on how his submission game is developing, he may be able to tap Chaw as well.
While those fights are the most intriguing, the interest from a betting perspective lays in the other three fights on the card. It took five losses, and some truly poor performances, but Leonard Garcia finds himself out of a Zuffa contract for the first time since 2007. His career has been on such a downward arc since his initial run to a WEC Featherweight title shot, that he could feasibly be on a 12-fight losing streak if not for some favorable judging. In his first fight for Legacy, he faces another brawler in Rey Trujillo. The difference is that Trujillo possesses legitimate power and holds the advantage if this stays standing, a type of fight in which Garcia often obliges his opponents. Trujillo could be an interesting underdog play for that reason.
In the main event, I think we will be treated to a fairly clear victory for one of the fighters, but with their contrasting styles I really have no confidence in whom that individual will be. I do lean slightly towards Matt Hobar as he has more experience going deep in fights that Angel Huerta, but the knockout power possessed by Huerta is a great equalizer. No bet here for me.
Finally, in the Middleweight title bout I think the line is just about dead on. Larry Crowe is the flashier striker of the two men in there, but Bubba Bush is more effective and has been in with higher level competition. This early in a fighter’s career (these men have a combined 15 fights), the experience of fighting five rounds against an opponent the quality of Andrew Craig cannot be overstated.
Overall, a card where most of the favorites should come through, but a flier against Leonard Garcia could be a worthwhile play.
Brad began following MMA closely in 2004, and started writing about the sport in 2008. Since then he has contributed to websites like Sportsnet.ca, but now primarily writes and edits for MMAOddsbreaker.com. You can also follow Brad’s personal MMA bets on his website.