UFC Fight Night 42 Main Card Opening Betting Odds

UFC Fight Night 42Although it’s sandwiched between the UFC’s first ever double-header Saturday and a PPV, UFC Fight Night 42 should not be overlooked as it is one of the better ‘Fight Night’ events the promotion has put on recently. Former lightweight champion Benson Henderson takes on Russian prospect Rustam Khabilov in a bout that will prove very important to the 155lb contendership picture. Beyond the headliner, an action-oriented co-main event between Ross Pearson and Diego Sanchez should entertain, while John Dodson is likely in position to earn another shot the the flyweight title should he defeat John Moraga in a battle of top 5 125ers. Further down the Fox Sports 1 portion of the card, Rafael dos Anjos looks to bounce back from a dominating decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov when he faces another wrestler in Jason High. Yves Edwards and Piotr Hallman also look to right the ship in the lightweight divison, as Edwards has not won since December 2012 and Hallman fell to Al Iaquinta in his last outing. Kicking off the main card is a solid bantamweight bout which could prove to be more relevant to the title picture than one might expect. Given the dearth of challengers at 135 right now, if whoever emerges victorious out of Bryan Caraway and Erik Perez can string together a couple more wins, they will be right in contention. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting lines for these six bouts today at Several Bookmakers. All of the action can be seen beginning at 10pm EST on Fox Sports 1. ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 10pm ET) Benson Henderson -245 Rustam Khabilov +175 Ross Pearson -130 Diego Sanchez -110 John Dodson -315 John Moraga +235 Rafael dos Anjos -215 Jason High +165 Piotr Hallman -175 Yves Edwards +135 Erik Perez -150 Bryan Caraway +110 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I’m simply not sold on Rustam Khabilov at this point. I think he’s benefited from the success of countryman Khabib Nurmagomedov, and parlayed that into some bigger fights than he necessarily deserves. Obviously a win over Jorge Masvidal is impressive, but he did struggle to take Masvidal down in that bout and was able to capitalize on Masvidal’s passivity a bit. One of those things will remain constant against Henderson (the struggle in the wrestling game) and one will not (Henderson uses aggression as effectively as anyone to steal rounds). It’s Ben Henderson in a five-round fight against a quality — but not elite — opponent, so all signs point to the Henderson by decision prop being your best bet. Joe Silva is really just going to keep giving Diego Sanchez fights against far better strikers until his brain turns to mush, isn’t he? Sanchez should be on a five-fight losing streak at this point, and all five have followed the same pattern; he can’t get his opponent to the ground and he gets outstruck. That’s going to be the same scenario here, as Pearson has solid takedown defense and is a more technical, powerful, accurate and active striker. Sanchez may steal a round on the judges scorecards because of the hometown advantage he’ll possess, but I can’t see him winning the fight. He will survive, as always, so this could be another decision prop (or over 2.5) waiting to happen. So John Moraga just wins a bogus split decision over Dustin Ortiz, and what does he get as his reward? Probably the worst matchup possible outside of — or maybe even including — champion Demetrious Johnson. Dodson is way faster, a far better and more powerful striker, and I would be shocked if Moraga can have any success trying to win a wrestling battle against the nearly impossible to take down Dodson. There’s also the small matter of these two having fought before, Dodson being a far inferior version of himself at that time, and him still winning. He took a decision that time around, and I think he gets the finish here. I also expect Dodson to be key in plenty of parlays, and I’ll be looking to play him myself as long as the line isn’t too ridiculous. Rafael dos Anjos obviously struggled with Nurmagomedov’s grappling, but Jason High isn’t quite on that level. However, High’s wrestling may be as effective as Clay Guida’s or Gleison Tibau’s, and both of those fighters were able to use that part of their game to beat dos Anjos. It seems that his five fight winning streak led to us overrating his wrestling ability, since he didn’t face any particularly good wrestlers during the streak (Mark Bocek doesn’t belong in that category anymore). High could be live here, but I’ll need some more time to take a look. It’s strange that despite constant worries about his chin, Yves Edwards had only been KO’d four times in 20 losses (and another in his last bout which was changed to a no contest). However even when he doesn’t get knocked out he has lost three of his past four official fights. I don’t have a strong lean in this fight either way, as Edwards still has the technical skill to compete and Piotr Hallman isn’t fully developed as a fighter yet, but I just think that Yves may be at the end of his rope, so I would struggle to back him in any spot. When Erik Perez stepped up to face Takeya Mizugaki, I thought it was too soon. A win over Edwin Figueroa doesn’t make him ready for an equally dangerous Bryan Caraway in my mind. Caraway is on the same level, if not a better wrestler than Mizugaki, definitely more dangerous in the submission game, and his striking has come along nicely. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Caraway take Perez’s back and get his 17th career submission here, but perhaps the hype surrounding the Mexican will allow Caraway backers a good price.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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