The opening odds for the upcoming light heavyweight main event at UFC Fight Night 138 between Volkan Oezdemir and Anthony Smith were recently released by the offshore sportsbooks, and here they are:
UFC Fight Night 138
Saturday, October 27 at Moncton Events Center in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
Volkan Oezdemir -210
Anthony Smith +160
And here are my initial thoughts on this bout:
Two of the heaviest hitters in the light heavyweight division have been booked for a five-round main event, but I don’t see any way this fight between Oezdemir and Smith actually makes it 25 minutes. With the amount of power both of these guys have, this fight likely isn’t going to make it past the first round bell, let alone the fifth. Having said that, what a great, exciting fight this could be.
Oezdemir (15-2) started off his UFC career with three-straight wins over Ovince Saint-Preux, Misha Cirkunov and Jimi Manuwa to open eyes and earn a title shot against champion Daniel Cormier. In the title fight, Oezdemir’s weakness on the ground was exploited as he was taken down and finished. He’s primarily a striker and on the feet Oezdemir has an insane amount of thunder in his hands, but if he does have a hole in his game it’s his grappling, though that doesn’t seem like something a guy like Smith is going to exploit considering he’s also a striker.
Smith (30-13) is 6-3 overall in the UFC but he has really looked impressive since making the move to 205lbs earlier this summer. Since moving up to light heavyweight Smith is already 2-0 with two brutal knockouts over legends Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Rashad Evans. He looks bigger, stronger and healthier up a weight class and it looks like this could be the move that saves Smith’s career. As a middleweight his lack of durability was questioned at times, but at light heavyweight it looks like he’s going to be able to take a punch better which should help him as he moves up the light heavyweight ladder.
Despite Smith’s great run so far at 205lbs, Oezdemir opened as the favorite and I’m ok with that because he is the more proven guy at light heavyweight and despite the loss to Cormier we can’t forget how good he looked before that. Having said that, Smith has been extremely impressive as a light heavyweight. It is a tough fight to call but if Smith remains a sizeable underdog that might be the way to go.