UFC on FOX 9 Fight Breakdown: Sam Stout (-315) vs. Cody McKenzie (+265)

Cody McKenzie One of the preliminary fights at UFC on FOX 9 that I find most intriguing is a lightweight bout between Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout and Cody McKenzie. The current betting line for this bout at Several Bookmakers sees Stout as a -315 betting favorite (bet $315 to win $100) and McKenzie as a +265 dog (bet $100 to win $450). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Stout as a -265 favorite and McKenzie as a +185 dog, meaning the early betting action has come in on the Canadian Stout. I agree with this early line movement as I am also picking Stout to get the win in this fight. Here’s why. Stout (19-9-1) is one of the longest-tenured veterans of the UFC lightweight division, and is known for his ability to strike and put on “Fight of the Night” slugfests for the fans. The 29-year-old has excellent kickboxing, but in his last few fights he’s shown that he’s added a new dimension to his game as he’s been using his wrestling to take fights to the mat and score points that way. But at his heart he is a striker, and against a dangerous submission fighter with a great guillotine choke like McKenzie, it wouldn’t make much sense for Stout to look for the takedowns. Although Stout is on a decline, he is still relatively young and as long as he gets favorable matchups like this one and wins them, he’ll keep his job in the UFC. McKenzie (14-3) has one of the best guillotine chokes in the business and has used it to finish 11 of his career 14 victims. The long and lanky 25-year-old is returning to the 155-pound division after a mediocre 1-1 run at featherweight that saw him lose via body shot KO to Chad Mendes and beat the since-released Leonard Garcia via decision. Although McKenzie is improving his stand-up and wrestling and has a slick sub game, he’s just not a complete fighter and I don’t really think it was a good idea for him to move back up to 155, where his opponents are going to be much larger than him. Although I am a fan of McKenzie because of his colorful personality, I question whether he is really a UFC-caliber fighter at this point, and if he loses to Stout like I expect him to, it might be the last time we see him in the Octagon for a while. Unless McKenzie can catch Stout in a guillotine choke if Stout gets careless just like he did against James Krause in his last fight, then I just don’t see how he wins this fight as there’s no way he will be able to outstrike the far more technical Stout, and there’s likely no way he will be able to get the bigger Stout to the ground unless it’s Stout who for some reason takes McKenzie down, which I think would be a bad gameplan by the Canadian. I really like Stout in this spot, as I feel like he will finish McKenzie with brutal punches to the body, just like Mendes did. At -315, I think that Stout should be good for parlays, but really the bet I am going to be targeting here is Stout wins by KO, as I feel like that’s how he wins this fight, and I might even hedge it with McKenzie by submission, because if he somehow pulls off the upset that’s the only way I see him doing it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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