UFC Fight Night 42 Fight Breakdown: Bobby Voelker (-120) vs. Lance Benoist (+110)

Lance Benoist One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 42 is a three-round welterweight bout between “Vicious” Bobby Voelker and Lance Benoist. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Voelker as a -120 favorite (bet $120 to win $100) while Benoist is a +110 underdog (bet $100 to win $110). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Voelker at -130 and Benoist at +110, and so far there has been slight action on Voelker as the lines have tightened. I disagree with the line movement as I am picking Benoist to win this fight. Here’s why. Voelker (24-11) is a very tough fighter who came over from Strikeforce a few years back, but he just hasn’t found any success in the Octagon, going 0-3 with losses to Robbie Lawler, William Macario, and Patrick Cote. Many believe the 35 year old should have got the nod over Cote, but at the end of the day he lost the decision and with three losses in a row it’s kind of surprising the UFC is giving him another fight in the Octagon. However, with his stand-and-bang style and due to him always going forward, I can see why UFC matchmaker Joe Silva decided to give him one more shot. A well-rounded fighter with good knockout power and decent grappling, Voelker has one of the better chins in the division and it’s his heart and cardio that are his best weapons. But he is extremely hittable on the feet and at 35 now, it’s clear his best years are behind him. Voelker can be competitive with some of the lower-end welterweights in the UFC, but at this point he does not deserve to be a favorite against many fighters, including Benoist, his opponent at UFC Fight Night 42. Benoist (6-2) was at one time one of the more promising prospects in the UFC welterweight division but injuries and the death of his brother have contributed to him falling off the map. But now, after a year and a half on the sidelines, Benoist is back and at only 25 he still has plenty of time left in his career to turn things around. A well-rounded fighter with decent skills in all areas of the game but especially in the grappling department, Benoist is 1-2 in the UFC with a win over Matt Riddle and competitive losses to Seth Baczynski and Sean Pierson. Obviously that’s not a great record, but realistically the fight with Bacyznski could have gone his way and he nearly knocked Pierson out in the third round of their fight. So his record is a bit deceiving. I think Benoist still has some potential in the sport and while I don’t think he’ll ever be a title contender, I certainly think he can beat fighters of Voelker’s ilk and even with the long layoff it’s a bit surprising he’s the underdog in this fight to a guy who is on a big decline like Voelker is, and I think he has a better chance of winning this fight than the betting public thinks. I believe this will be a competitive fight that will take place both on the feet and on the ground. It should be close when it hits the judges’ cards, but I think Benoist can do a little more during the 15 minutes and sneak away from the fight with a decision win. I like Benoist here but considering the layoff it’s hard to place a big bet on him, even at the current price of +110. But I do think he should be slightly favored here and the value is on him as a dog so I think a small play is in order. I also lean towards the OVER 2.5 rounds total, which is currently price at -200, as I believe this fight between these two tough fighters should go the distance the majority of the time.

Written by Adam Martin.

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