UFC 171 Fight Breakdown: Daniel Pineda (-230) vs. Robert Whiteford (+190)

RobWhiteford_Headshot The opening fight on the UFC 171 Fight Pass card is a featherweight bout between Daniel “The Pit” Pineda and Robert Whiteford. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Pineda as a -230 favorite (bet $230 to win $100) while Whiteford is a +190 underdog (bet $100 to win $190). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Pineda at -230 and Whiteford at +170, meaning there has been minimal action on the favorite Pineda as the line has tightened. I agree with the general lack of betting action on the fight as I believe it’s overall a pass from a betting perspective, but I do favor Pineda to win. Here’s why. Pineda (18-10) is a do-or-die fighter who is so far 3-3 in the UFC with three stoppage wins over Justin Lawrence, Mackens Semerzier and Pat Schilling. The 28-year-old is very exciting and the UFC has decided to keep him around and give him another fight here against Whiteford despite the fact he has lost three of four fights, and it’s well deserved because at the end of the day he is a fan favorite and this card is in his home state of Texas. He’s a fun fighter to watch and he’s a finisher — all 18 of his career victories have come via T/KO or submission — but he has gas tank issues and if he doesn’t win in the first round he gets himself in trouble, especially in regards to defending subs. But in the first round he’s a total killer. Whiteford (10-2) made his UFC debut last year at UFC Fight Night 30, losing a short-notice bout via submission to ground ace Jimy Hettes. The 30-year-old Scotsman trains at American Top Team and the UFC has given him another opportunity to make due in the Octagon against Pineda. Peneda is the type of fighter who will leave spots open for Whiteford in all facets of the game due to his reckless style of fighting. Although Whiteford was ultimately submitted by Hettes in his last bout, he did have some success early in that fight and with a full training camp, he could look much better in this spot against Pineda. That being said, he’ll have to weather Pineda’s early storm, and that won’t be easy. If he can, he could pull off the upset in Pineda’s backyard. I expect a pretty exciting fight here between these two, with Pineda having the edge early and Whiteford having the edge late. But I have a feeling it’s not going to go long, and Whiteford’s cardio edge won’t matter. I think Pineda is going to storm out like a bull out of the gate and either swarm Whiteford and finish him off with strikes or take the fight to the floor and sink in an early submission in what I think is going to be a highlight-reel finish. At -230, I don’t see much value on the inconsistent Pineda and although I think he will win the fight I believe a pass is the right call. However, I do see one prop that I really like for this fight, and that’s that the bout doesn’t make it the full three-round distance. That’s only -170, and I think that’s a great price considering both of these guys are finishers and the majority of their fights don’t reach the final bell. So I’d say that prop’s a great place for a two-team parlay, and at the -170 price it’s actually not even a terrible straight bet because I really feel like that prop should be listed at close to 3-to-1.

Written by Adam Martin.

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