UFC Fight Night 39 and TUF Nations Opening Betting Odds

UFC Fight Night 39After a two week break the UFC is going to be back and as busy as ever in the month of April, with four cards in 16 days. The first two of those events are going to be the organization’s return trip to Abu Dhabi and their first ever jaunt up to Quebec City for Fight Night 39 and the TUF Nations finale, respectively. The Fight Night card will air exclusively on UFC Fight Pass, while TUF Nations will be split between Fight Pass and Fox Sports 1. A pair of heavyweights will headline in Abu Dhabi, as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira takes on Roy Nelson in a bout that doesn’t hold a lot of relevance in the division, but should be exciting. Perhaps the more immediately relevant bout is in the featherweight division, as Tatsuya Kawajiri looks to follow up on his impressive UFC debut against Clay Guida, who attempts to rebound from the first TKO loss of his career. Joining them on the main card are undefeated welterweight Ryan LaFlare and the resurgent John Howard — who is undefeated thus far in his second stint with the UFC — as well as lightweights Beneil Dariush and Ramsey Nijem. The TUF Nations card takes place just five days later, and the event will primarily feature fighters who have spent the bulk of their career at middleweight… whether they still fight there or not. The headlining bout is between a pair of top 10 185ers in #5 Michael Bisping and #8 Tim Kennedy. Bisping is constantly hovering near the middleweight title, but has never actually earned a shot at the belt, while Kennedy had two unsuccessful tries at the Strikeforce strap. Both men will be looking to move closer to a UFC title shot with a victory here. The Ultimate Fighter coaches will square off in the co-main event, as Canadian coach Patrick Cote and Australian coach Kyle Noke both look to move to 2-0 at their new home in the welterweight division. Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting lines for all six of these upcoming bouts at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– UFC FIGHT NIGHT 39 Friday April 11, 2014 MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 2pm ET) Roy Nelson -190 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira +150 Tatsuya Kawajiri -155 Clay Guida +115 Ryan LaFlare -230 John Howard +170 Beneil Dariush -210 Ramsey Nijem +160 ——————– ——————– TUF NATIONS FINALE Wednesday April 16, 2014 MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 9pm ET) Michael Bisping -165 Tim Kennedy +125 Patrick Cote -130 Kyle Noke -110 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I don’t think there’s an area of MMA that Roy Nelson is actually better at than ‘Big Nog’, but he could still very easily win this fight with his overhand right. The problem with Roy Nelson fights is that if he doesn’t get the early KO, he’s going to tire and look bad for the remainder of the fight. The only way I would even consider putting money on Nelson here is with the TKO or Round 1 prop, and even then I’m not sure I’d want to play either. It has taken extremely good wrestlers to control Tatsuya Kawajiri in the past, and while Guida is a high-pressure wrestler, he’s really not a fantastic wrestler. I think Kawajiri is the better striker, the wrestling is about even, and the fight will be decided on who ends up in top position, which makes it a difficult call. Kawajiri’s issues with travel could come into play here (especially late), so I have to side slightly with Guida… as much as it pains me to say that. John Howard has won twice as a sizeable underdog since coming back to the UFC in August 2013, but I think his luck runs out here. Ryan LaFlare is a better wrestler than either of Howard’s previous opponents, consistently underrated as a striker, and often overlooked by bettors because he doesn’t have the most exciting style. I think they’d be foolish to continue to discount LaFlare here as I think he gets the win. Beneil Dariush faces a very similar matchup as in his UFC debut where he dispatched Charlie Brenneman in the first round. Ramsey Nijem is a chinny wrestler without much striking technique, and he’s actually a worse wrestler than Brenneman. I see Nijem having the same issues here as Brenneman did. If it stays on the feet he’s vulnerable, and if it goes to the ground, Dariush is the better grappler. I’ve got to side with Dariush to continue his winning ways in the Octagon, but I don’t have as much confidence as other seems to in the developing fighter. ——————– The fights on the TUF Nations Finale thus far are very well-matched. I lean slightly towards Michael Bisping in the main event, as he is the better technical striker and has better wrestling than fighters from his homeland normally possess. Kennedy may have a bit more punching power and has more experience going 25 minutes, but cardio has never been a big issue for Bisping, so expect him to control the majority of this bout en route to a competitive decision victory. The coaches’ fight is equally intriguing, although it doesn’t factor into the welterweight title picture at all. Cote didn’t look good in his welterweight debut, escaping with a controversial decision against Bobby Voelker that few agreed with. Noke looked better, but hasn’t competed since September 2012 because of injuries. Even though Cote has the hometown advantage, I think Noke has a bit more left in the tank and could surprise here.

Written by Brad Taschuk

Leave a Reply

WrestleMania 30 Preview and Latest Odds

UFC Fight Night 39 Fight Breakdown: Ryan LaFlare (-290) vs. John Howard (+230)