UFC 169 Fight Breakdown: Jose Aldo (-600) vs. Ricardo Lamas (+450)

Ricardo Lamas The co-main event of UFC 169 is a five-round title fight between UFC featherweight champion Jose “Scarface” Aldo and challenger Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Aldo as a -600 betting favorite (bet $600 to win $100) while Lamas is a +450 underdog (bet $100 to win $450). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Aldo at -600 and Lamas at +400, meaning there hasn’t been much action on this fight. Although there hasn’t been a ton of action on Aldo yet, I expect the money to start coming in on him and it will be for good reason as I expect him to win this fight in devastating fashion. Aldo (23-1) is the UFC featherweight champion. The 27-year-old is currently riding a 16-fight win streak, which includes victories over Chad Mendes, Cub Swanson, Chan Sung Jung, Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Manny Gamburyan, Jonathan Brookins, and former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. He is a devastating muay Thai striker who is known for his vicious leg kicks and powerful knees. So far, Aldo is 5-0 in the UFC and no one has come close to beating him. With his combination of ridiculous striking and incredible takedown defense, Aldo is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the game and it’s very likely that he will go undefeated as a featherweight before he finally makes his lightweight debut, something which may happen if he defeats Lamas this weekend at UFC 169. Lamas (13-2) is the No. 1 contender in the featherweight division and earned his title shot after taking out Erik Koch, Hatsu Hioki, Cub Swanson and Matt Grice in impressive fashion. The 31-year-old is an excellent wrestler with devastating ground and pound and an underrated submission game. He also has underrated standup. Since dropping down to featherweight there’s no doubt that Lamas has been impressive, but prior to dropping to 145 he fought at 155. As a lightweight in the WEC, he showed he does have one weakness: his chin. He was knocked out by Yuri Alcantara and Danny Castillo, and that doesn’t bode well going up against a fighter with the striking power that Aldo does. Lamas deserves his title shot, but he couldn’t be fighting someone who matches up against him stylistically as well as Aldo does, and that’s not a good thing. Not at all. Lamas is a world-class fighter but this is a terrible matchup for him stylistically as the only person who will beat Aldo will be a better striker than he is, and there’s no one at 145 that comes close. In this matchup, I see Lamas going for takedowns, Aldo stuffing them, and the champ lighting up the challenger on the feet with his vicious leg kicks. At some point, I expect Aldo to land a devastating blow with a head kick, knee, or a punch, as he puts Lamas’ lights out and reaffirms his position as the premier featherweight in the sport. That being said, I don’t necessarily see value in the current Aldo moneyline of -600 and instead I think the way to attack this fight is with the props. There are four props that I see having value. The first is the fight NOT going the distance, which is -280. The next one is Aldo inside the distance, which is -195. There’s also a prop on Aldo via T/KO at -170 which seems absurdly low to me. And finally, Aldo by submission is +1192 and could be worth a small flier (a submission via strikes could happen). I don’t necessarily like laying juice on props, but I really think when you see a mismatch like this in a five-round fight, then props are the way to go instead of playing the regular moneyline.

Written by Adam Martin.

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