UFC 163 Opening Odds Breakdown: Light Heavyweights Lyoto Machida vs. Phil Davis

Lyoto Machida UFC 163:  August 3, 2013 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil UFC Light Heavyweight Lyoto Machida (-280) Profile: Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (19-3) showed his championship form after losing three of his previous four bouts by crushing Ryan Bader with a second-round knockout at UFC on FOX 4 on August 4, 2012. Machida had suffered all three of his career losses since winning the light heavyweight championship three years ago. And each of those three losses had come against either current or former champs in the division. He lost to current champ Jon Jones via standing guillotine choke at UFC 140 last December 10 after knocking out Randy Couture at UFC 129 to end the MMA legend’s career. The 34-year-old Brazilian earned the light heavyweight title with a second-round KO of Rashad Evans at UFC 98 and defended it against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 104 with a unanimous decision win before Rua took his belt in a rematch at UFC 113 by first-round KO. Since losing to Jon Jones, The Dragon edged out Dan Henderson with an uneventful split-decision at UFC 157, and absolutely destroyed Ryan Bader at UFC on FOX 4. UFC Light Heavyweight Phil Davis (+200) Profile: One of the most decorated grapplers in the UFC, Phil Davis (10-1, 1 NC) has taken a phenomenal Division I wrestling career at Penn State – placing fifth nationally in 2007 and winning the NCAA title in 2008 – and made a successful transition to MMA. After only four pro fights, the 28-year-old Pennsylvania native made the move to the UFC and defeated Brian Stann so soundly in his debut at UFC 109 that Stann moved down a weight class to middleweight. Wins over quality opponenets such as Alexander Gustafsson, Tim Boetsch and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira followed, giving Davis a shot at former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who dominated him at UFC on FOX 2. Davis answered any questions about his ability to beat Wagner Prado after an accidental eye poke with a submission victory in their second meeting at UFC 153. Phil then answered the call to take on Vinny Magalhaes’ challenge in a what could have been wrestling vs. BJJ, but instead it turned out to be Phil beating up Vinny on the feet. Phil Davis is looking like a more complete fighter with every visit to the Octagon, and presents a very interesting threat to Lyoto Machida. Opening UFC 160 Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Machida a sizeable -280 favorite (bet $280 to win $100) while Davis opened as a +200 underdog (bet $100 to win $200) at Several Bookmakers. Machida needs a win in this fight to confirm his spot as the top light heavyweight contender in the UFC, while a win for Davis would shoot him high up the division’s rankings. This is an easy fight to break down as it’s a striker vs. grappler and the fight just depends on if Machida can keep the fight standing. If he can do that, then he wins easy. But if Davis gets the takedowns and gets the fight to the floor, you never know what could happen.

Written by Adam Martin.

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