MMA Odds and Ends for Monday: Rumble vs. Kyle Headlines WSOF 5

WSOF-2 One of the worst-kept secrets in MMA was made official today. The World Series of Fighting today announced that their fifth event will be headlined by a light heavyweight matchup between Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and Mike Kyle in a three-round fight. WOSF 5 will take place on Sept. 14, at Revel Atlantic City in New Jersey, the same site that held WSOF 2 this past March, an event which Johnson also headlined. In a heavyweight match, Johnson took on former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski and after three competitive rounds, Johnson got his hand raised to up his post-UFC record to 5-0. Since being cut by the UFC following his submission loss to Vitor Belfort at UFC 142, a fight which he failed to make weight for, Johnson has since moved up from middleweight to the light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions and it seems to be the right career move for the athletic “Rumble,” who has defeated Arlovski, DJ Linderman, Jake Rosholt, Esteves Jones and David Branch since moving up to 205 (and 265 for the fight with Arlovski). With a victory over Kyle, especially an impressive finish, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the UFC came calling and asked Johnson to join their light heavyweight roster. Although he’s missed weight on multiple occasions while fighting at 170 and 185 in the UFC, Johnson has made weight for all of his fights at light heavyweight since then and if he is willing to take on the big bangers of the UFC’s 205-pound division, he would certainly be a welcome addition to one of the thinnest weight classes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Kyle, on the other hand, recently knocked out Travis Wiuff to bounce back from a submission loss to Gegard Mousasi at the last-ever Strikeforce event, a loss which nixed him going to the UFC after Strikeforce collapsed. For Kyle, this is a good opportunity to get a big win over Johnson and prove that he’s still capable of beating solid opposition at 205 pounds, and if he can beat “Rumble” the UFC could very well give his phone a ring, too. As far as the betting odds for this bout goes, obviously Johnson is going to open up as the favorite but just how big is the question. Personally, I cap Johnson around -300 in this fight as I think that’s a fair price to pay for him to win the match. As for Kyle, I see him as being a +250 or so underdog, although with parlays I’d imagine Johnson would be the fighter the public will be betting on. Overall, this is a solid matchup and it’s the best light heavyweight fight WSOF could book right now so kudos to them for booking it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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