Full UFC Fight Night 103 Betting Odds

Theufc-fight-night-103-poster UFC will be kicking off 2017 with… BJ Penn? That’s right. More than 15 years after “The Prodigy” debuted in the Octagon, he’ll be making his 12th appearance in a UFC main event. Now 38, the former lightweight, then welterweight (then heavyweight), then lightweight again, will make his second career appearance at featherweight. His first attempt at 145 was 30 months ago, and it went rather poorly to say the least. Penn looked lethargic against Frankie Edgar following a year-and-a-half retirement heading into that fight. The end result was an extremely one-sided beatdown which had most assuming Penn would retire for good. However, 2016 saw him announce a return and have three fights booked only to fall through. Now in the first event of 2017, Penn will have to overcome his layoff and a 14-year age disadvantage against top prospect Yair Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been successful in his first five UFC bouts, including winning TUF Latin America and scoring one of the best knockouts of 2016 (over Andre Fili). In the process, he has moved into the top 15 at featherweight, and could very well be the first Mexican fighter to become a legitimate title challenger. The co-main event was originally supposed to be a bantamweight contenders’ bout between Jimmie Rivera and Bryan Caraway, however Caraway recently pulled out with an injury. Rivera has not been rebooked at this time. Instead, lightweights Joe Lauzon and Marcin Held will move into their slot, as Held looks to rebound from losing his UFC debut to Diego Sanchez. The third and final main card bout (before the promotion does some shuffling) is a welterweight showdown between Ben Saunders and Court McGee. Saunders will be beginning his third stint inside the Octagon, perhaps being the only fighter in history to have a plus-.500 record and be told/allowed to walk from the UFC on two separate occasions. On the undercard (for now) is a flyweight battle between former title contender, eighth-ranked John Moraga, and 23-year-old Sergio Pettis. The younger Pettis is still very much a prospect, but seems to have put things together better in his last few performances and could be poised to make a jump into contendership. To this point, the betting odds have been released for the top two bouts, as well as Pettis/Moraga. Yair Rodriguez opened a substantial -385 favorite (bet $385 to win $100) with the comeback on Penn at +265 (bet $100 to win $265) at Several Bookmakers. Lauzon (-160) and Pettis (-180) were also favored in the opening odds. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas completed the UFC Fight Night 103 lineup today at Several Bookmakers. Take a peek at all of the opening odds below: ——————– UFC Fight Night 103: Rodriguez vs. Penn JANUARY 15, 2017 Talking Stick Resort Arena | Phoenix, Arizona MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 10pm ET) B.J. Penn +265 Yair Rodriguez -385 Over 2.5 -165 Under 2.5 +125 – Marcin Held +120 Joe Lauzon -160 Over 2.5 -185 Under 2.5 +145 – Ben Saunders -110 Court McGee -130 Over 2.5 -115 Under 2.5 -125 – Marlon Vera +485 Jimmie Rivera -855 Over 2.5 -135 Under 2.5 -105 – PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 8pm ET) John Moraga +135 Sergio Pettis -175 Over 2.5 -190 Under 2.5 +150 – Augusto Mendes +170 Frankie Saenz -230 Over 2.5 -180 Under 2.5 +140 – Viktor Pesta +115 Aleksei Oleinik -155 Over 1.5 +100 Under 1.5 -140 – Alex White +115 Tony Martin -155 Over 1.5 -190 Under 1.5 +150 – PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6pm ET) Nina Ansaroff +100 Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger -140 Over 2.5 -270 Under 2.5 +190 – Devin Powell +165 Drakkar Klose -215 Over 1.5 -190 Under 1.5 +150 – Chase Sherman -120 Walt Harris -120 Over 1.5 -115 Under 1.5 -125 – Bojan Mihajlovic +175 Joachim Christensen -245 Over 1.5 -165 Under 1.5 -125 – Cyril Asker +135 Dmitrii Smoliakov -175 Over 1.5 +110 Under 1.5 -150 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: A couple of years ago, McGee/Saunders seemed like the type of high-volume fight which I simply wouldn’t be very interested in. However, both men suffering TKO losses recently has me more intrigued, as I’m not just expecting a decision. Saunders has more stopping power than McGee, especially as McGee can tend to leave his chin open as he closes the distance. Also, once McGee does get inside, he’ll have to score takedowns quickly or be forced to deal with Saunders’ dangerous clinch game. Getting rocked repeatedly in his past few fights seems to have robbed McGee of some of his willingness to exchange and throw at the high pace he became known for, but he pushes a high pace with his grappling, and that’s his path to victory in this one. I just can’t help but feel like Saunders is able to do enough damage on the feet to win this fight, by stoppage or decision. When I went to watch Augusto Mendes in preparation for this fight, I was surprised that his striking was significantly more polished than I expected. I’m not sure that will be enough to beat Frankie Saenz here, but if he’s continued sharpening that tool, it could persuade Saenz to go to his wrestling, and Mendes (a BJJ world champion) definitely wants this fight on the ground. Regardless of position, Mendes is a danger on the mat, which is rare in today’s game. Still, I feel like the most likely outcome is that Saenz navigates his way to the clinch and works Mendes over for a decision. Given Mendes’ lone UFC appearance however, I could see this line getting out of hand to the point that Mendes may be playable. Once upon a time, Viktor Pesta seemed like he was going to be a good prospect, and now he’s an underdog to 39-year-old Oleksiy Oliynyk. Oliynyk is closing on the 20th anniversary of his first MMA bout, and a surprising amount of his game that worked back in the late 90’s still works today. The big concern for him in this bout is gassing and Pesta being able to outwrestle him for the final two rounds, but Pesta’s cardio has looked poor in his UFC tenure, so I think the old man gets it done one more time. Tony Martin has all the skills of a quality of MMA fighter, until, all of a sudden he doesn’t. His cardio problems have plagued him in the UFC thus far, although he did look better from that perspective in his last performance. I also like this matchup for him quite a bit. Alex White is a featherweight coming in on somewhat late notice to fight a massive lightweight, and White is extremely hittable. Martin’s best two punches, the left hook and right straight, are exactly what give White the most trouble, and he’s also a much better submission grappler. Unless his cardio eludes him again, Martin should come through with an impressive performance here. Perhaps the line on Nina Ansaroff will be affected by her relationship with Amanda Nunes. If that’s the case and she gets some undeserved respect, I may have to side with Lybarger here. Ansaroff is extremely inactive, and shows poor defense in most of her fights. Lybarger should be technical enough to exploit that, while avoiding the takedowns that got her in trouble previously. Drakkar Klose is in a different realm athletically than Devin Powell. Powell’s high-volume kicking game shuts a lot of fighters on the regional scene down, but Klose likes to use his speed to counter, and I fully expect that to be a big factor allowing him to close the distance and avoid getting caught at Powell’s kicking range. In the end, Powell has shown a good chin, so I think he makes the final bell, but he’ll probably take some damage to get there. The early portion of the Fight Pass prelims is awesome. Two real prelim-level heavyweight bouts, and a light heavyweight bout between two former heavyweights. The potential for Fatties Gonna Fatty is everywhere, and in keeping with the tradition outline in one of my recent articles, I’m almost bound by playing the overs here. Also, I’m picking Sherman, Smoliakov, and Christensen.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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