UFC Fight Night 37 Full Opening Betting Odds

UFC Fight Night 37 PosterFrom Macau, China last Saturday to London, England this coming weekend, the UFC continues its focus on global expansion with UFC Fight Night 37. The anticipation for this card is significantly higher than it was for TUF China, and that is a direct result of this being a much better card. The main event between Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa is a chance for the Swede to cement his status as the number one contender to Jon Jones’ light heavyweight title, or for Manuwa to shock everyone and insert himself as a credible challenger to the belt. Even though this bout is airing on UFC Fight Pass the betting line has been out for months already, showing the interest in Gustafsson coming off of his great battle against Jones last year. Currently, Gustafsson is a -420 favorite (bet $420 to win $100), with the comeback on Manuwa at +335 (bet $100 to win $335) at Several Bookmakers. The rest of the card, which features a lightweight showdown between Michael Johnson and Melvin Guillard, as well as top British fighter Brad Pickett, and top prospect Gunnar Nelson is yet to have odds posted, but that changed today. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas just released the lines for all of the remaining bouts on UFC Fight Night 37 at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3pm ET) Alexander Gustafsson -405 Jimi Manuwa +285 Michael Johnson -155 Melvin Guillard +115 Brad Pickett -505 Neil Seery +335 Gunnar Nelson -270 Omari Akhmedov +190 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 12:30pm ET) Cyrille Diabate -125 Ilir Latifi -115 Luke Barnatt -280 Mats Nilsson +200 Brad Scott -190 Claudio Henrique de Silva +150 Roland Delorme -120 Davey Grant -120 Igor Araujo -190 Danny Mitchell +150 Louis Gaudinot -175 Phil Harris +135 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: It’s hard to find much to separate Michael Johnson and Melvin Guillard in my eyes. Johnson is the more technical striker, but Guillard has more speed and power. Johnson’s takedown defense has improved greatly, to the point that Guillard will have a tough time simply outwrestling him. One disadvantage to Guillard is his inferior chin in this bout, but his power almost cancels that out on the other end. I still have no pick in this fight as of yet, so if either fighter creeps up to a decent plus number they could be worth a play. A much clearer bout is Pickett/Seery. It’s actually similar to the Assuncao/Munhoz bout from a couple weeks ago. Seery has been impressive of late on the regional scene, and — while I wouldn’t go as far as calling him a prospect — gained some notoriety coming into the UFC. Unfortunately he’s coming in on short notice to face a top 5-10 fighter in his UFC debut who also happens to be a tough stylistic matchup for him. Keep an eye out for Pickett’s cut down to 125, but if he looks good on the scales expect lots of people to parlay him even though the price is steep. Gunnar Nelson has been inactive for the past year, recovering from a knee injury, but he is still extremely young and one of the best prospects in MMA. He’s shown off his grappling chops in both ADCC and MMA competition, and has been developing both his striking and wrestling by travelling to various fight camps. The Dagestani has rarely been pushed in his MMA career, and his cardio could very likely come into question if he can’t dispatch Nelson early. Nelson also has a substantial pure grappling advantage and has faced the better competition thus far. Lots of advantages for the Icelandic fighter in this one, but if Akhmedov can make it another wild brawl who knows what could happen. I think that Cyrille Diabate is going to win his bout against Ilir Latifi, but betting on a bout between a 40-year-old fighter coming off a serious injury and a completely unproven former heavyweight isn’t exactly my idea of a good investment. Diabate will be the far better striker and Latifi the better wrestler. I expect Diabate to have the better cardio and wouldn’t be shocked if this bout plays out like his contest with Tom DeBlass, but unless a prop really sticks out I’ll likely stay away. Coming out of his season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ Luke Barnatt seemed like the stereotypical British fighter. Some solid skills, but seemed like he would always be undone by his wrestling. He’s proven me wrong by drastically improving his takedown defense in a short period of time. That will serve him well against Mats Nilsson, who is a very good submission grappler, but is outmatched on the feet here. Unlike some recent signees, Nilsson definitely belongs in the UFC, but I don’t see his debut going particularly well. Speaking of recent signees who don’t belong in the UFC… Claudio Henrique da Silva. I saw nothing on tape from this guy that impressed me. There seems to be some hype behind him though, so hopefully the betting public will be backing the UFC newcomer against an underrated fighter in Brad Scott. I think Scott is the better wrestler and striker here, and as long as the price doesn’t get too high, I’m looking at a play on him as well. Much like Johnson/Guillard, I can’t find much to separate Roland Delorme and Davey Grant. Delorme may be a slightly better wrestler and perhaps a little bit more dangerous in the submission game, however if Delorme can’t get Grant out of there in the first round it’s going to go downhill for him as the Brit could be the more well-conditioned fighter. I lean ever so slightly to Delorme at this point, but based on this opener, not enough to bet him. Another British submission artist makes his UFC debut here as Danny Mitchell takes on Igor Araujo in the welterweight division. I actually think Mitchell is the better grappler, and that’s Araujo’s strongest attribute. Unfortunately he’s far too willing to fight from his back, which we know doesn’t do any favors on the judges’ cards. On the feet, neither of these fighters is particularly special, so hopefully this doesn’t turn into a striking battle. Even if it does play out there, neither fighter has much of an edge so Mitchell is a very live underdog here. Kicking the night off, Phil Harris will look to give the hometown fans something to cheer about early, and he just might be able to do it. Louis Gaudinot is still undersized, even as a flyweight, and has struggled with guys who can wrestle him. Harris isn’t great in that department (or any area, for that matter), but he’s always been a bit underrated and Gaudinot doesn’t have any standout skills himself to counter Harris with. Gaudinot has proven durable, but hasn’t shown much other than that in his UFC career. If the public bets Gaudinot up here, I wouldn’t be opposed to a play on Harris.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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UFC Fight Night 37 Fight Breakdown: Alexander Gustafsson (-380) vs. Jimi Manuwa (+315)