UFC 174 Full Opening Betting Odds

UFC 174This Saturday will mark the first time in UFC history that a flyweight bout will serve as the main event for one of the organization’s pay-per-view events. Demetrious Johnson will attempt to remain the only 125lb champion that Zuffa has ever seen, as he makes his fourth title defense against Ali Bagautinov. While most don’t anticipate the main event being particularly close, the rest of the main card features four other bouts where none of the favorites are priced at more than -145 (bet $145 to win $100) at Several Bookmakers. Ryan Bader is currently at that exact price over Rafael Cavalcante, while Tyron Woodley, Brendan Schaub, and Ovince St. Preux all sit as -140 favorites in their bouts. However, before the main card begins there will be six bouts between UFC Fight Pass and FX (not Fox Sports 1), including #8 ranked bantamweight Mike Easton taking on Yves Jabouin. With the event taking place in Vancouver there is also some Canadian flavor on the undercard, as TUF Nations veteran Kajan Johnson, Roland Delorme as well as newcomers Valerie Letourneau and Jason Saggo are all in action. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the undercard of UFC 174 today at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Pay-Per-View, 10pm ET) UFC Flyweight Title Demetrious Johnson -425 Ali Bagautinov +305 Rory MacDonald -150 Tyron Woodley +110 Ryan Bader -165 Rafael Cavalcante +125 Andrei Arlovski -140 Brendan Schaub +100 Ryan Jimmo +130 Ovince St. Preux -170 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 8pm ET) Daniel Sarafian -305 Kiichi Kunimoto +225 Valerie Letourneau -190 Elizabeth Phillips +150 Mike Easton -190 Yves Jabouin +150 Kajan Johnson -170 Tae Hyun Bang +130 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7pm ET) Roland Delorme -140 Michinori Tanaka +100 Jason Saggo -160 Josh Shockley +120 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Kiichi Kunimoto’s best asset is his grappling game, but the problem for him in this bout is that Daniel Sarafian is a better grappler, and — after repeatedly being outsized by massive middleweights like C.B. Dollaway and Cezar Mutante — he has finally dropped to his proper weight class of 170lbs. With Kunimoto very unlikely to be able to control the grappling, I expect Sarafian to have an impressive outing at his new weight. Keep an eye on weigh-ins before betting this one however. Prior to last week, I had never heard of Elizabeth Phillips, but she will be on a televised prelim of a UFC card because such is life in 2014. She will be fighting for the second time in 16 days on Saturday, and I think the turnaround time will be too much for her to overcome, not to mention her opponent Valerie Letourneau, who has stepped in against some of the top women in the sport. Letourneau will be the better MMA striker, but Phillips is such an unknown that this is difficult to bet confidently. Mike Easton is a highly-ranked bantamweight (despite losing his past three bouts), and although Yves Jabouin is unranked and has lost two of his past three (arguably all three), I expect this bout to be close if Easton doesn’t make the necessary adjustments. He is the more skilled overall fighter here by quite a distance, but he struggles with inactivity in all of his bouts. If that is the case against Jabouin, I can see him losing a striking battle and likely getting his walking papers. If the public puts too much faith in Easton, Jabouin could be worth a flyer, but I will side with the better fighter for my pick. As nice of a story as it would be for Kajan Johnson to stick around in the UFC, I’m not sure how much more time he’s got left in MMA. He’s a skilled fighter, but his body has failed him in the past, and I expect that it’s only a matter of time before it does again. He may get past Tae Hyun Bang here by being a more active and varied striker, as well as having a far better submission game, but who knows how he’ll react after the devastating KO and broken jaw he suffered on TUF Nations. As far as red flags go, this bout has plenty of them on each side, and it’s another I’ll likely stay away from. The fight between Roland Delorme and Michinori Tanaka is the most exciting one on the undercard to me, as it could turn into a fantastic grappling battle. I worry that Tanaka is a bit undersized for the bantamweight division in the UFC, but he is a good wrestler, excellent in scrambles, and has well-tested cardio. That last part could give Delorme real issues, as he’s faded regularly in the past. I’m still quite undecided on a pick in this fight, but I expect it to be a closely contested decision with a slight lean towards the fighter who will likely take the later rounds. The over is a safer play here though. The final bout is between Jason Saggo and Josh Shockley, two UFC newcomers, which is always a tricky betting scenario. Saggo is the better grappler, but Shockley has faced the better competition thus far. It’s hard not to like Saggo in this spot however, since Shockley has been out of action for over a year and even though this is technically short notice for Saggo, he was preparing for the main event slot at Substance Cage Combat 2, a regional event in Toronto that took place on May 30th.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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