This was a slower weekend outside of the big MMA promotions, but AXS TV did present us with some Friday night viewing following Bellator 119. MFC 40 meant that Canada got a double dose of MMA this weekend (even through Canadians aren’t able to watch AXS events on their cable TV packages). The MFC offering featured a pair of title fights in the middleweight and lightweight divisions, along with a #1 contender’s bout at 135lbs, and all three fights had betting lines offered on them. Just as was the case at the UFC card the following day, underdogs found a great deal of success during the event, with two upsets taking place. The one favorite to come through was Sam Alvey (22-5, 1 NC), who successfully defended his MFC middleweight title for the first time by knocking out Wes Swofford (9-5) in the fourth round. It wasn’t smooth sailing for Alvey in the fight however, as he was rocked early in the first round before turning the tables on Swofford. The end came when Alvey landed an overhand right that dropped Swofford and forced the referee to jump in and halt the bout. Alvey closed as a -365 favorite (bet @365 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers prior to picking up the win.
The lightweight title bout between Tom Gallicchio (19-8) and Kurt Southern (13-6) was basically a carbon copy of their first bout. Southern was backing Gallicchio up on the feet and landing the better shots early, but eventually left himself a bit too open for the takedown. Once on the ground, Gallicchio once again proved the far superior submission artist, taking Southern’s back and locking in a rear-naked choke. The defeat was the sixth of Southern’s career, sixth by submission, and second consecutive to Gallicchio, who now become the MFC lightweight champion. Despite the similar outcome the first time around, Southern was still installed as the favorite in the rematch, so bettors who thought Gallicchio might pull it off again were rewarded with a +185 (bet $100 to win $185) opening line, which they took advantage of and turned into +120 by the time the opening bell rang.
The opening bout of the evening featuring odds was originally intended to be a third title bout, as Anthony Birchak was to defend his bantamweight title against Kevin Croom (14-5) put had to withdraw from the bout. Jesse Brock (17-8) stepped in on short notice and shocked almost everyone as he proved to be the superior striker and grappler despite being at a huge size disadvantage. The overhand right proved to the weapon of choice for Brock, who staggered Croom on multiple occasions in addition to garnering himself a couple of takedowns as well. On most weekends, Brock coming through as a +260 underdog would have been one of the biggest upsets to happen, but with the craziness at UFC Fight Night 40, this only ranks fifth.
Next week isn’t going to be too much busier in terms of the number of regional MMA cards taking place, but the one that is — Titan FC 28 — should have some more comprehensive odds available, meaning that bettors will likely have all six main card bouts to choose from. Each of those bouts also features at least one UFC veteran, which shows the difference between Titan’s model and many of the other regional organizations out there at the moment. The only other notable event from this coming weekend is the Bellator PPV, which airs unopposed on Saturday night.