UFC 160 Sneak Peak Betting Preview: Is KJ Noons Being Overlooked?

KJ Noons I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me, but I believe KJ Noons has a very good chance at earning an upset victory over Donald Cerrone in his big show debut later this month at UFC 160. Hear me out first before you think I’m nuts. Yes, I know who Cerrone is, and yes, I know how good he is. In fact, I believe he’s one of the top 10 lightweights in the world, something that I certainly wouldn’t say about Noons. And yes I know that Noons recently lost a split decision to Ryan Couture, who is one of the weakest fighters in the UFC lightweight division. But we all know that “MMA math” doesn’t always work and I believe that Noons vs. Cerrone is a case where we have to throw the result of Noons’ last fight out the window because Cerrone is a completely different style matchup than Couture and I’m not sure how much we can use that fight as a gauge for how this UFC 160 bout is going to go. But before I get into the nitty gritty of why I think Noons can win as an underdog, let me get into the betting odds. Several Bookmakers currently lists Cerrone as a -325 betting favorite (bet $325 to win $100), while Noons is currently a +250 underdog (bet $100 to win $250). The opening odds, which MMA Oddsbreaker broke (watch how the line was broke by clicking HERE), had Cerrone start at -275 and Noons start at +195. That means that the public has been betting Cerrone so much that Several Bookmakers has had to shift the line by 50 cents his way and 55 cents Noons’ way. And I think now that the line is at +250, there is a bet to be made on Noons. Noons, I believe, has been perpetually underrated during his MMA career. A lot of fans have been drinking the Kool-Aid that Nick Diaz gave them when they say that Noons shouldn’t have won his first fight against Diaz, that it was a fluke win because of a cut. Well, guess what. The fight was hardly a fluke because Noons was beating Diaz to a pulp. Sure, you never like to see a fight get stopped by a cut, but cut stoppages happen all the time and there is ever hardly an outcry. The only reason this specific instance is so scrutinized is because Diaz has a hardcore legion of fans that are just like him and can’t accept that he lost. So don’t let the Diaz fans fool you, because Noons looked amazing in his first fight with Diaz and Diaz is one of the top welterweight fighters in the world today. And keep in mind that Noons is now fighting at lightweight, which is his natural weight class. That first fight with Diaz took place at 160 pounds, giving Diaz the advantage. And their second fight, which Diaz won, was also fairly competitive and it was at Diaz’ natural weight class of 170 pounds. It’s just something to keep in mind. Also keep in mind that Noons’ MMA record is deceiving. An 11-6 record isn’t very good, but eight of those wins came by knockout and look at who the six losses were to: Couture (universally regarded as a robbery), Josh Thomson (top-five lightweight fighter), Jorge Masvidal (top-25 lightweight fighter), Diaz (top-five welterweight), Charles Bennett (a bad loss to be sure but during a time when Bennett was actually good), and Buddy Clinton (never heard of him, but this loss happened in Noons’ second career fight over a decade ago). And it’s not like those fights against Couture, Thomson, Masvidal, and Diaz were blowouts — all of those fights were competitive, and I expect Noons’ fight with Cerrone to be similarly close. I do believe that Cerrone is the rightful favorite in this fight. After all, he has way more experience in the UFC fighting against better fighters than Noons, his striking offence is more varied and he’s definitely the better fighter when it comes to the ground game. But should Cerrone be a -325 favorite? No way. I personally cap Cerrone closer to -225, meaning that he’s been overvalued by the public here against Noons, who I cap around +175. So to get Noons at +250, I think it’s worth a bet because It’s about 75 cents higher than where I cap the fight. I’ll wait a few weeks to see if the public starts to steam Cerrone even more and see if we get Noons at +300, which would be unbelievable. But even at +250, I believe there is a ton of value and if this line holds steady I will be making a recommendation for a straight bet on Noons on The MMA Oddscast.

Written by Adam Martin.

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