UFC Fight Night 123: Swanson vs. Ortega
Date: December 9
Arena: Save Mart Center
City: Fresno, CA
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is will be traveling to Fresno, CA for the first time in promotional history with UFC Fight Night 123: Swanson vs. Ortega. The stacked 13 fight card is set to kick off with preliminary action on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET, and prelims will continue on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. The main card will get underway on the same channel at 10 p.m. If interested in wagering on any bouts for these fight cards, all betting lines are made available at Several Bookmakers.
Featherweight bout: Jason Knight (-310) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+255)
Gabe’s Thoughts: I believe Knight will have the grappling advantage in this contest, but I give the edge on the feet to Benitez. I think Knight is capable of winning this fight standing, even though I believe Benitez is the superior striker. I don’t know if Knight will attempt to take this fight to the mat, but even if he does so, I am not sure if he will get it there. If I had to guess, I would say that yes, he can get Benitez down to the mat. I just don’t think that will be his gameplan. I see him standing with Benitez and ultimately being in a three round, closely contested battle. It is a fight I think Benitez can win on points or possible T/KO finish, so at +255, I really like him for a play here, as I think the betting line here should be close to even. Benitez is getting no respect here, so my wallet will surely give him some.
Gabe’s Call: Benitez by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Benitez (+255)
Bantamweight bout: Marlon Moraes (-150) vs. Aljamain Sterling (+130)
Gabe’s Thoughts: For starters, I was more impressed by Sterling’s performance against Raphael Assuncao than I was Moraes’. I believe Sterling decisively won the third round of their bout, whereas Moraes did not win any bouts convincingly. I agree with the betting odds in that this is a close matchup in the UFC’s 135 pound division, however I think Sterling should be the slight betting favorite, not Moraes, so at underdog odds, I do like Sterling for a value play here. I think he is capable of winning this fight by submission or decision. Considering how good he looked against Barao, a T/KO finish would not be surprising, either.
Gabe’s Call: Sterling by Submission (standing rear naked choke, 4:05 round 1)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Sterling (+130)