Golden Boy MMA: Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 takes place Saturday, November 24 at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The offshore sportsbooks recently opened up the odds for many of the bouts on the card, and here they are.
Tito Ortiz -180
Chuck Liddell +140
Deron Winn -120
Tom Lawlor -120
Kenneth Bergh -160
Jorge Gonzalez +120
Efrain Escudero -135
Gleison Tibau -105
Ricardo Palacios -420
Walel Watson +300
Oscar Cota -240
Jay Silva +173
And here are my initial reactions to the Golden Boy MMA opening odds:
– The main event between Liddell and Ortiz is a trilogy grudge match years in the making. Liddell is 21-8 and already has two TKO wins over Ortiz from years past. But he hasn’t fought since 2010 and was knocked out in three straight fights before he hung up his gloves. At 48 years of age, maybe are wondering why Liddell is even fighting again. The same can be said of Ortiz, who is 44 years old himself. Ortiz is 19-12, 1 NC in the UFC and has won three of his last four fights, including a submission win over Chael Sonnen in January 2017. Ortiz may have been knocked out by Liddell twice in the golden age of MMA, but this is 2018 and this trilogy fight could go very different. I just think with Liddell’s age and the state of his chin there’s no way you can pick him here despite what he’s done to Ortiz in the past. I have to go with Ortiz to get the win in this fight just based on being slightly younger and far more active in recent years, but I don’t know if I can put money on him.
– The co-main event is one of the most interesting fights on the card as Winn takes on Lawlor. Winn is 4-0 with four knockout wins and is one of Daniel Cormier’s training partners. Like DC, he’s a high-level wrestler with nasty ground-and-pound. Lawlor is 10-6, 1 NC but he hasn’t fought since a decision loss to Corey Anderson in March 2016. He’s on the downside of his career, but he has a ton of experience, and that could come into play here. The oddsmakers opened this one as a Pick ’em but Winn is now a solid favorite. If the line keeps growing, maybe taking a shot on Lawlor as the underdog could be worth a shot.
– A battle of former UFC lightweights Escudero and Tibau should be a real grind. Escudero is 30-13 and he’s coming off of two straight submission wins including a guillotine choke over Jason High in PFL. He would still be in PFL had he not missed weight, but alas he was cut. Tibau is 33-14 and is coming off of four straight losses in the UFC, albeit to very solid competition. This is a pretty tough one to call. Escudero has definitely looked good lately but his level of competition has been quite low. My initial lean is Tibau grinding out a decision but it’s not the kind of fight I would feel too confident about given Tibau’s recent form.
– One of the top prospects on the card is Palacios, who takes on UFC veteran Watson in an important bantamweight bout. Palacios is 10-1 as a pro and in his last bout he picked up a decision win on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. He didn’t get the finish in that fight and the UFC passed on signing him, but could reconsider should he win this bout. Prior to that he beat UFC veterans Chris Avila and Roman Salazar back-to-back. On the other hand is Watson, who is just 14-11 and who has lost four of his last five fights. There was a time Watson was good but he’s been finished eight times now and I think Palacios finishes him here too. A big win may earn Palacios a UFC contract.