UFC on FOX 9 Main Card Opening Betting Lines

UFC on Fox 9For the first time since 2007, the Octagon heads back to the capital of California for a UFC event. The city also hosted the one and only WEC PPV in 2010, when Jose Aldo successfully defended his featherweight title against Urijah Faber. Even then, three years is a long time for a major city to go without some top-level MMA. That, combined with the plethora of local products on the UFC on Fox 9 card, should make for a raucous crowd in the former ARCO Arena. Surprisingly, four fighters who were on that 2010 WEC event are also on this card, with three of them featured on the main card. Demetrious Johnson and Chad Mendes were relative unknowns back at WEC 48 and are now at or near the top of their divisions, while Urijah Faber — who headlined the previous event — is enjoying one of the longest periods of sustained excellence that has ever been seen in MMA, as he is still widely regarded a top three bantamweight in the world. Johnson takes on Joseph Benzvidez for the flyweight title in the main event of the evening, in a rematch of their UFC 152 bout to determine the inaugural champion in the division, a title which Johnson has yet to relinquish. Benavidez provided the toughest test for Johnson in a title fight, taking him to a split decision the first time around, and both men have made significant improvements since that time. The line for this bout has already been released, and with Johnson just a -140 favorite (bet $140 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers, it seems very fair, and has held pretty steady. Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the remaining main card odds for UFC on Fox 9, including the co-main event between Faber and sensational youngster Michael McDonald, a featherweight bout with title implications between Mendes and Nik Lentz, and a late addition to the main card in Joe Lauzon and Mac Danzig. Take a look: ——————– UFC Flyweight Title Demetrious Johnson -140 Joseph Benavidez +100 Urijah Faber -160 Michael McDonald +120 Chad Mendes -380 Nik Lentz +260 Joe Lauzon -210 Mac Danzig +160 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: The line for the main event seems just about dead on. This fight is a pick em in my eyes, especially with the improvements both have made in their striking games. Benavidez fights at a higher pace and has shown more power of late, and the pace and speed of Johnson is really what cost him the first bout. I think this fight follows a similar pattern, Benavidez has more stopping power, but Johnson is likely to win on points if the Alpha Male product can’t make a big impression with his strikes. Faber/McDonald is an extremely interesting fight. McDonald has excellent striking and is nearly as proficient on the ground, but Faber has made a habit of beating an fighter who isn’t wearing a championship belt around his waist. The one hole in McDonald’s game was shown in his loss to Renan Barao, his wrestling game isn’t fully developed yet and that’s something Faber can definitely take advantage of. Given his solid chin and that wrestling advantage, I do give Faber a slight advantage, but this is a fight where I can absolutely not lay any juice. A fighter that I’m sure many people will be laying a ton of juice on is Chad Mendes, as he appears to have nearly every advantage over Nik Lentz. Mendes also routinely gets a ton of support in his fights, closing at -500 or higher in each of his last four bouts. It’s hard to see a way that Nik Lentz wins this fight, as Mendes is a superior wrestler, striker and submission grappler, along with having excellent physical tools. If Lentz does somehow manage to pull a victory off here, you can be guaranteed his is going to ruin plenty of parlays however. Finally, I fight that I personally see as much closer than most is the proverbial curtain-jerker here. Lauzon has been on a fairly steep decline as of late, which is to be expected given some of the battles he’s gone through in his career. Danzig is no spring chicken himself, having been knocked out so violently in his last bout that he woke up weeping. Still, I think Danzig actually has a bit of an edge on the feet here (especially given Lauzon’s atrocious defense) and if he can keep it there, we’re probably looking at a very competitive bout. I’d keep an eye on this one, as it could be another good spot to fade Lauzon if his line gets out of line like it did against Michael Johnson.

Written by Brad Taschuk

Leave a Reply

MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Erick Silva vs. Nate Loughran Added To UFC Fight Night 36

UFC on Fox 9’s Urijah Faber: ‘I’m more well-rounded than Michael McDonald’