UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi
Date: January 14
Arena: Scottrade Center
City: St. Louis, MO
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is headed to St. Louis, MO for the first time in promotional history with UFC Fight Night 124: Stephens vs. Choi. The 13 fight card is scheduled to kick off with preliminary action on UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET, with televised prelims getting going on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. and the main card following 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 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Here are my plays…
Women’s Flyweight bout: Jessica Rose-Clark (-115) vs. Paige Van Zant (-105)
Gabe’s Thoughts: Van Zant is coming off a year-long layoff, having last been defeated by technical rear naked choke submission in the first round of action by Michelle Waterson. She has moved up to the UFC’s new women’s flyweight division for this contest, and will be greeted by Rose-Clark, who is coming off a split decision win over Bec Wyatt in her UFC debut. VanZant opened as a -175 betting favorite in this contest, but the public came in on Rose-Clark. Van Zant jumped as high as +110, but we missed the boat on that. I think we are still lucky to catch her at -105, as I am in agreement with the initial opening line and feel she should be a -180 favorite in this spot. I would have taken Van Zant over Rose-Clark a year ago, but I am much more confident in taking her today, despite her extended layoff, because I think she has made some improvements in her game over the course of the last 13 months.
Gabe’s Call: Van Zant by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Van Zant (-105) 2.1u to win 2u
Middleweight bout: Uriah Hall (-326) vs. Vitor Belfort (+265)
Gabe’s Thoughts: I think Hall should be a -220 betting favorite in this contest, so I think his opponent Belfort holds value at +265. I think Belfort is capable of finishing Hall, as well as edging out a decision on the judges’ scorecards. I think +265 on Vitor Belfort in his retirement fight against the untrustowrthy Uriah Hall is a line that is too good to pass up. By the time the staff picks roll around, I may officially switch my pick to Belfort, because I do believe this is a fight he is capable of winning. However, for the time being, I’ll side with Hall for the pick, but Belfort for the value play.
Gabe’s Call: Hall by T/KO (headkick and punches, 3:06 round 1)
Gabe’s Recommended Play: Belfort (+265) 1u to win 2.65u