While the gaze of the MMA world will be firmly planted on Winnipeg this Saturday night for UFC 161, Friday also has a packed schedule with the customary AXS TV card (XFC 24), but also the third offering from the World Series of Fighting. This card will sort out much of the organization’s welterweight division, as their most notable signing, Jon Fitch, takes on Josh Burkman for the second time, in the main event. Additionally, Tyson Steele and Steve Carl will square off with a likely fight against the winner of the main event in the cards for the winner. Moving down to lightweight, outspoken UFC veteran Jacob Volkman battles fellow grappler Lyle Beerbohm, while prospect Justn Gaethje is tasked with veteran Brian Cobb in the evening’s opening bout. Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for this card at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– Jon Fitch -380 Josh Burkman +260 Steve Carl -175 Tyson Steele +135 Justin Gaethje -215 Brian Cobb +165 Jacob Volkmann -230 Lyle Beerbohm +170 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I don’t see much value in the main event, as I expect it to go basically how the opening line would indicate. Burkman is improved over the end of his UFC stint, but Fitch was a superior fighter in their first meeting, and is far less faded than many people seem to think. While Burkman was able to take advantage of a much more limited Aaron Simpson in his last outing, Fitch doesn’t have the same sort of holes in his game. While the co-main event is a fight I simply do not have a good read on, the two lightweight fights present some interest for me, and that interest comes in the form of moderately priced underdogs in each bout. Despite what some would have you think, Brian Cobb is the biggest test of Justin Gaethje’s career. Gaethje really has not fought impressive fighters, but the fact he has a win over JZ Cavalcante has gotten him some serious hype. The fact is, JZ is no more than a mediocre regional level fighter at this point, but his name still carries a good amount of cache. Cobb is the better grappler here, so it all comes down to whether Gaethje can do damage early, or has good enough defensive wrestling to keep this standing. I’m not betting Cobb yet, because I feel the line will move in Gaethje’s favor based on his hype, but I’m keeping my eye on the line. The Volkmann-Beerbohm fight is intriguing as well. Neither guy is a particularly impressive striker, while both are solid offensive grapplers. Beerbohm is better defensively on the ground, while Volkmann tends to make silly mistakes. Volkmann is obviously the better wrestler though. Where this fight really begins to turn for me is in the fact that Volkmann isn’t the type of fighter who really takes his MMA career seriously. He has his chiropractic clinic which is his main source of income, and now with him being out of the UFC, I’m not sure he’ll have the motivation to continue fighting at a high level. For Beerbohm, this is his biggest chance to make an impact in MMA since facing Pat Healy and Shinya Aoki in Strikeforce. I think he’ll be hungrier, and I can see him taking over as this fight gets deeper. I feel more people may be on the same track, so a bet on the opening line could be warranted.