Superior Challenge 10 Opening Betting Odds

Superior Challenge 10This Saturday, Sweden’s biggest MMA promotion travels as close to the Danish border as possible to put on Superior Challenge 10. UFC veterans Efrain Escudero, Besam Yousef and David Bielkheden all find themselves on the card, and the organization will be deciding three titles in the lightweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight bouts. At 205lbs, Matti Makela (13-11) will look to avenge his August 2012 loss to Jochim Christensen (9-3) and claim the SC light heavyweight title in the process. Despite not having the most impressive record, Makela is a very durable fighter, and has looked impressive of late, winning three straight including a TKO over James McSweeney. Makela is also very durable, having gone to decision in seven of his eleven career losses. Decisions have become something of a trend for Christensen lately, who notched his first seven wins by stoppage, but has gone to decision in each of his last four bouts. Juha-Pekka Vainikainen (22-8-1) is a dangerous striker who holds wins over UFC veterans Kyle Watson and Steve Lopez, and he’ll be looking to add a third name to that list as he faces Efrain Escudero (21-8) with the lightweight title on the line. Escudero is coming off of a loss to Dakota Cochrane in a very closely contested bout where his submission grappling was not enough to overcome his opponent’s wrestling. Vainikainen has won his last two bouts, and has made strides in what used to be his weakness — wrestling — which should pay dividends in this bout as Escudero will almost certainly want it to hit the mats. The third title bout is in the heavyweight division, as two 6’6″ heavy-handed fighters look to wrap the belt around their waists. Yosef Ali Mohammad (3-1) has picked up all of his professional wins by TKO in the first round, while Christian Golcic (3-1) has two TKOs and a decision on his record. Golcic has also been stopped by strikes once in his career, while Mohammad’s sole defeat was by decision. The other factor in Mohammad’s favor is that he has always competed at heavyweight, while Golcic is moving up from 205lbs. That shouldn’t result in any sort of cardio advantage, not that it would likely matter in this bout anyways. The other notable bout on the card is at welterweight between Besam Yousef (6-3) and David Bielkheden (18-12). Fans will recognize both of these men from competing in the UFC even though the results were not stellar for either. Their recent forms haven’t inspired much confidence either, as Yousef has lost three consecutive fights and Bielkheden has dropped five of his last seven. Neither fighter has ever been knocked out, and neither really looks for the knockout, so expect this to turn into a grappling battle. The final bout with odds on it features Daniel Acacio (30-14) against Alan Carlos (10-8). Acacio is one of the old guard when it comes to Brazilian MMA, having started his career in 2000. Over his 15 years in the sport he has racked up an impressive list of fighters faced, but one notable thing is that he has only been submitted in his first ever MMA bout and by Rousimas Palhares. That will serve him well against Alan Carlos, who is almost exclusively a submission artist. Despite being Brazilian, both men have fought quite regularly in Scandinavia and should feel at home in the cage. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Superior Challenge 10 at Several Bookmakers today: ——————– MAIN CARD Light Heavyweight Title Joachim Christensen -210 Matti Makela +160 Lightweight Title Efrain Escudero -215 Juha-Pekka Vainikainen +165 Heavyweight Title Yosef Ali Mohammad -260 Christian Golcic +180 Besam Yousef -140 David Bielkheden +100 Daniel Acacio -405 Alan Carlos +285 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: As with most of these Scandinavian cards, I like most of the favorites here. The only underdog I would take a good hard look at is Vainikainen, as I think he’s capable of keeping his fight with Escudero on the feet, and he’ll have a significant striking advantage. Obviously Escudero has a big edge on the mat, and if he gets it there he’ll probably find a sub, but I’m not sure he does. Aside from that, I think Besam Yousef is worth a play against David Bielkheden as he’s going to be significantly bigger and has the striking to beat Bielkheden. Even on the ground, I think Yousef’s physical advantages can mitigate the technical advantage Bielkheden probably has. The biggest concern for me on Yousef is that his cardio has never been good, but as long as that holds up I like him here. In the other three bouts, I expect them to go fairly easily for the winners, but I’m not going to trust Swedish heavyweights, or Daniel Acacio fighting out of his weight class.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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