Invicta FC 28 takes place Saturday, March 24 at Union Event Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The opening odds are courtesy of the Euro sportsbooks and my initial thoughts are below:
Invicta FC 28 Opening Odds
(For strawweight title)
Mizuki Inoue -120
Virna Jandiroba -120
Karina Rodriguez -210
DeAnna Bennett +160
Pearl Gonzalez -190
Kali Robbins +150
Milanda Dudieva -260
Christina Marks +180
My initial thoughts on the opening odds:
– I’m leaning towards Mizuki Inoue (12-4) in the main event. I’ve felt for a long time she’s one of the most underrated strawweights in the game and likely should have been in the UFC years ago. Yes it’s true she has four losses in her career but two were kind of sketchy as one was a two-round decision loss and one she won the fight but lost for missing weight. Since then, her only losses are to UFC standouts Karolina Kowalkiewicz and Alexa Grasso. She’s still just 23-years-old and is stll improving her game, having won four-straight fights including her last three wins via tapout. Her opponent Virna Jandiroba (11-0) is an intriguing prospect herself having recently won her Invicta FC debut via submission. She’s fought a few UFC veterans on her way up the ladder and deserves this opportunity to showcase her skills in Invicta. Having said that I still like Inoue here because I think her grappling improvements may be enough to nullify what Jandiroba brings to the table, and on the feet I rate Inoue as a very solid boxer. There was some reshuffling on the card that makes me a bit nervous about this one but overall I do like Inoue to win the vacant belt in this fight.
– I favor UFC vet Milana Dudieva (11-7) over Christina Marks (8-9) and it’s mostly due to fading Marks, whose losing record is a major red flag as it shows she just can’t be relied on to win a fight. Somehow she made it to the UFC but looked bad in her debut loss to Montana de la Rosa and on The Ultimate Fighter she was tapped out by Emily Whitmire. Her whole record is littered with submission losses and that’s just not a fighter I can back. It’s true that Dudieva has lost four-straight fights herself, but all of those losses are against really good fighters like Julianna Pena, Marion Reneau and Vanessa Porto. Even her earlier-career losses came against standouts like Jessica Andrade. I feel like Dudieva’s going to be able to get Marks down to the ground on this one, work a submission, and finally get back in the win column. Having said that, there’s so many fights to bet on this weekend and I’m not sure if laying the juice on a fighter on a losing skid is a good idea, so I’d probably try to look elsewhere for better value plays.
– Speaking of value, for a dog play I’d take a look at Kali Robbins (5-0) over Pearl Gonzalez (6-3). No offense to Gonzalez because she’s doing her thing, but I feel like the MMA media has overrated here and I don’t rate her too highly as a fighter. I wasn’t impressed at all by Gonzalez’ run in the UFC, which resulted in an 0-2 record with two losses, and I feel like she’s on her way down. Robbins on the other hand I’ve had my eye on as a prospect for a while as she’s run a perfect record in her MMA career so far with all of her wins coming via stoppage. Robbins hasn’t fought nearly the level of competition that Gonzalez has, but I still think she has what it takes to win this fight and of all the dogs on this card she’s the one I like the most. Since this line has opened, the public has flipped it and Robbins is now the betting favorite.