Upcoming Notable Three-Round UFC Bouts Opening Odds Reactions

There are a number of upcoming UFC fights (non title/main event) with odds that has been released by the offshore and Euro sportsbooks. Here are my thoughts on the opening lines for these bouts:

UFC on FOX 29: Poirier vs. Gaethje
Saturday, April 14 at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona

Carlos Condit -145
Matt Brown +105

Initial thoughts: This would have been an amazing fight a few years ago, but I’m not sure what to expect from these two in 2018. Condit (30-11) has lost three-straight fights including a bland decision defeat to Neil Magny in his last outing. Brown (21-6) is coming off of a brutal KO win over Diego Sanchez but prior to that had lost three-straight fights. He was contemplating retirement but couldn’t do it until he fought Condit. A few years ago I would have been all over Condit in this one, but these days I don’t know how you could trust him, and I’m not surprised to see early action come in on Brown.

UFC Fight Night 128: Barboza vs. Lee
Saturday, April 21 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Frankie Edgar -230
Cub Swanson +170

Patrick Cummins -175
Corey Anderson +145

Initial thoughts: Edgar (22-6-1) was just KOed by Brian Ortega and is making a quick turnaround, which may prove to be his undoing in this bout. Swanson (25-8) was choked out by Ortega in his last outing but at least didn’t take the kind of damage Edgar did. Still, considering how Edgar dominated the pair’s first fight it makes sense he’s the favorite once again. Cummins (10-4) is coming off of two-straight decision wins. Anderson (9-4) is coming off of two-straight KO losses. Easy win for Cummins right? Not so fast. Stylistically, this is a tough matchup for Cummins if it stays on the feet because his chin is so weak. I’d lean towards Anderson for that purpose, and I’m expecting the line to creep in as we get closer to the fight.

UFC 224: Nunes vs. Pennington
Saturday, May 12 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Lyoto Machida -120
Vitor Belfort -120

Ronaldo Souza -135
Kelvin Gastelum -105

Initial thoughts: Machida (23-8) picked up an upset split decision win over Eryk Anders in his last fight that snapped a three-fight losing streak. Belfort (26-13, 1 NC) is also coming off of a decision win over Nate Marquardt and lost three-straight fights before that. Both guys are on the decline but I view Machida as having a little more in the tank and I think he will close as the favorite after this opened as a Pick ’em. Souza (25-5, 1 NC) is coming off of a TKO win over Derek Brunson and has won three of his last four fights. Gastelum (14-3, 1 NC) is coming off of a KO over Michael Bisping and is 2-1, 1 NC since moving up to middleweight. This is a tough fight to call and I imagine Souza is only favored because the fight is in Brazil. I can see either guy taking this and in my mind it’s a Pick ’em.

UFC Fight Night 129: Usman vs. Ponzinibbio
Saturday, May 19 at Movistar Arena in Santiago, Chile

Volkan Oezdemir -230
Mauricio Rua +170

Initial thoughts: Oezdemir (15-2) is coming off of a TKO loss to Daniel Cormier, but there’s no shame in that. Prior to the fight against DC, Oezdemir won three-straight bouts. Rua (25-10) has surprisingly won three-straight fights, but he’s an aging vet whose chin is gone and who has not fought in over a year. I know he’s on a nice win streak, but it’s been over non-elite talent. This looks like a huge mismatch to me, and I expect the money to keep pouring in on Oezdemir which will make him a big favorite.

UFC 225: Whittaker vs. Romero 2
Saturday, June 9 at United Center in Chicago, Illinois

Joseph Benavidez -260
Sergio Pettis +180

Initial thoughts: Benavidez (25-4) is riding a six-fight win streak and defeated Henry Cejudo via split decision in his last outing. He deserves a title shot, but he’s already lost to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson twice, which puts him in a bad spot in the division. He also hasn’t fought in well over a year due to injuries. Pettis (16-3) is coming off of a decision loss to Cejudo but prior to that had won four-straight fights. I think Pettis is a good fighter, but I think Benavidez is a great fighter. he deserves his favorite status in this one, and I think he wins the bout.

Written by Adam Martin.

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