UFC on FOX 10 Fight Breakdown: Benson Henderson (-290) vs. Josh Thomson (+260)

Josh Thomson The main event of UFC on FOX 10 is a five-round lightweight bout between top contenders Benson “Smooth” Henderson and Josh “The Punk” Thomson. The current betting line for this match at Several Bookmakers lists Henderson as a -290 favorite (bet $290 to win $100), while Thomson is a +260 underdog (bet $100 to win $260). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Henderson at -210 and Thomson at +160, meaning the betting public really likes Henderson to come through with the win. I can see why the line moved the way it has as I’m also picking Henderson to win the fight. Here’s why. Henderson (19-3) is the former UFC lightweight champion. The 30-year-old is an extremely well-rounded fighter with excellent wrestling, devastating ground and pound, good submissions, excellent leg kicks, tremendous cardio and a great chin. He has fought the best of the best in the UFC and WEC, and holds career victories over the likes of Frankie Edgar (x2), Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, Gilbert Melendez, Donald Cerrone (x2), Clay Guida and Jamie Varner. However, he is coming off his first loss in years, to Anthony Pettis at UFC 164 where he dropped his title in embarrassing fashion as he was tapped out with an armbar while in top position. Knowing how much of a competitor Henderson is, I expect “Smooth” to be very motivated to get back on track with a victory in this fight with Thomson and that could be a bad situation for “The Punk” as Henderson is an extremely dangerous lightweight when he’s at his best. I really think he’s going to look to shine this weekend, and his success just depends which Thomson shows up. Thomson (20-5, 1 NC) is the former Strikeforce lightweight champion. The 35-year-old member of AKA is a very well-rounded fighter with good wrestling, excellent kicks, solid submissions, and great cardio. He holds career victories over Gilbert Melendez, Pat Healy, Nate Diaz, KJ Noons and Nam Phan. After a bit of an up-and-down stretch at the end of his tenure in Strikeforce that saw him battle injuries and struggle in fights against less talented opposition, Thomson was rejuvenated in his return to the Octagon after a decade away and scored a TKO win over Diaz at UFC on FOX 7. He was supposed to get a title shot against Pettis, but after the champ got injured and pulled out of UFC on FOX 9, Thomson was shifted to this card opposite Henderson, and he’s said in numerous issues this disruption in training has led him to having his worst camp ever. He could easily be lying and trying to just get Henderson thinking, but there could be some truth behind his comments. Regardless, how this fight goes really depends on which Thomson shows up as he’s shown he’s been “flaky” in the past. When he shows up, he’s one of the best lightweights in the world, but when he doesn’t he loses fights he should win. So we’ll see how he looks this weekend, but either way it’s an uphill battle. I think Henderson and Thomson match up pretty well with one another and I see these two putting on a back-and-forth battle for 25 minutes. I expect both men to be able to land takedowns, mix up kicks and punches, and really put on the show for the fans as they go toe-to-toe and leave it all in the cage in a “Fight of the Night” contender. I expect the fight to hit the judges’ sccorecards and it should be pretty close, but I do see Henderson getting his hand raised by decision and getting back into the mix for the UFC lightweight title. I think this is a competitive fight so at -290 I don’t see any value in Henderson, not even as part of a parlay. If anything, there could be some value on the underdog Thomson, but I can’t confidently bet it. So overall, the moneylines are a pass for me. The total, which is set at 4.5 rounds, is an intriguing bet to me, however, as I fully expect this fight to go the full five rounds. OVER 4.5 rounds seems undervalued to me at only -195, as I expected it to be much higher despite the fact both these fighters’ last respective bouts ended UNDER, so I think that’s the way to go here rather than playing a side. For those who think the dog can bite, Thomson by decision at +500 is probably worth a flier.

Written by Adam Martin.

Leave a Reply

MMA Odds and Ends for Friday: Titan FC Signs Top Prospect Mirsad Bektic (MMAOB Exclusive)

Stipe Miocic vs Gabriel Gonzaga – UFC on Fox 10 Statistical Analysis and Fight Pick