MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Mitrione/Jordan, Gastelum/Story Amongst Latest UFC Fights Booked
Jan 6, 2014
The UFC announced a number of great new matchups over the weekend, and for today’s MMA Odds and Ends I’ll give my take on all of them.
Matt Mitrione vs. Shawn Jordan, TUF China Finale
The first fight I want to mention is a fun heavyweight tilt between Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan, which takes place at the TUF China Finale.
Honestly, I think this fight is going to come down to whoever lands first on their opponent’s chin, and as such the bet I’m immediately leaning towards here is the UNDER and “fight doesn’t go the distance” prop.
As far as picking a side goes, I’d imagine Jordan will open as a -180 favorite or so here considering the respect he got against Gabriel Gonzaga, but there’s really no way I’d lay juice on this guy considering his chin isn’t great and Mitrione hits hard. As for Mitrione, he looked really poor against Brendan Schaub at UFC 165 but he’s still a solid heavyweight with KO power and if he’s available as a decent-sized dog here, he might be worth a look.
Josh Sampo vs. Zach Makovsky, UFC 170
An intriguing flyweight battle between Josh Sampo and Zach Makovsky has been added to UFC 170.
This is a really close fight in my mind, although I’m expecting Makovsky to be favored slightly due to his recent win over Scott Jorgensen. I’m guessing Makovsky opens around -160 here, although it wouldn’t shock me if the public drove the price up higher for the former Bellator bantamweight champ.
Erik Koch vs. Rafaello Oliveira, UFC 170
A lightweight contest between Erik Koch and Rafaello Oliveira has been added to UFC 170. It will be Koch’s first fight in the UFC at 155 pounds, while Oliveira is clinging to his spot on the roster and desperately needs a win.
This is a blowout match designed to get Koch’s career back on track. Realistically, he should knock out Oliveira in brutal fashion, and he should do it relatively quickly. So, look for Koch to open up around -400 for this fight.
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Rick Story, UFC 171
And finally, a welterweight matchup between Kelvin Gastelum and Rick Story has been made official for UFC 171.
This is a great fight for both men, as the winner of this fight is going to take a serious step up in the UFC’s 170-pound division.
Gastelum of course won TUF 17 by beating Uriah Hall, and then he followed that up with a win over Brian Melancon. The youngster has looked amazing in the UFC, and it was he who called out Story so he can try and take “The Horror’s” spot in the division.
Although Story has been up-and-down throughout his five-year UFC career, he looked really good in his last outing, a beating of Brian Ebersole, and if he can stop Gastelum’s momentum he will be right back to where he was a few years ago — nearing the top 10 and banging on the door of a title shot.
This is a close fight and the betting line will likely be pretty close to even, with a slight lean to Story due to his UFC experience. However, I believe in Gastelum and right now I’m leaning towards him to continue his surge, so it would be nice to get him at plus money.