UFC 174 Fight Breakdown: Rory MacDonald (-118) vs. Tyron Woodley (+108)

UFC-156 The co-main event of UFC 174 is a three-round welterweight bout between Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley and Rory “Ares” MacDonald. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists MacDonaldas a -118 favorite (bet $118 to win $100) while Woodley is a +108 underdog (bet $100 to win $108). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up MacDonald at -150 and Woodley at +110, and after some back-and-forth action the betting public has settled on MacDonald as a slight favorite heading into the bout. It’s a close fight but I believe Woodley should be the favorite and I’m picking him to win the fight. Here’s why. MacDonald (16-2) is one of the top contenders in the UFC welterweight division. The 24-year-old Canadian trains at TriStar gym and many believe he will follow in the footsteps of his friend and mentor Georges St-Pierre and rule the 170lb division. An extremely technical striker, MacDonald also has strong wrestling and on the ground he is a black belt in BJJ. In short, he’s one of the most well-rounded fighters in the division and could soon be champ. So far he is 7-2 in the UFC with wins over Jake Ellenberger, Demian Maia, BJ Penn, Mike Pyle and Nate Diaz, amongst others, with his only losses coming to Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler. He’s a stud, but the one thing about him is he lacks in aggressiveness and it’s cost him in the past. As well, his chin is a bit iffy. But if he can put it all together, he’s one of the most dangerous fighters in the division to deal with and that’s why the betting public believes he should be favored here slightly. Woodley (13-2) is also one of the top welterweight contenders. The 32-year-old American is 3-1 so far in the UFC with wins over Carlos Condit, Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron and the only loss coming to Jake Shields in a close decision. An explosive athlete, Woodley has tremendous wrestling and he has incredible power in his right hand. However, he does tire during fights and his chin has been checked before so if he doesn’t get MacDonald out of the Octagon early he could lose late. But in the first few rounds Woodley is one of the most dangerous fighters in the entire UFC welterweight division and if he can connect with his big right hand he can beat anyone in the world. Plus, he has his wrestling as a plan B if plan A doesn’t go well. Can he connect on MacDonald this weekend? We shall see, but I think he has a very good shot of doing so. I believe that Woodley can either knock MacDonald out on the feet or take him to the ground and either wrestle him to a decision or ground-and-pound him for a TKO finish. But either way, I see T-Wood getting his hand raised and making a statement that he’s the next contender for the belt at 170lbs. At +108, I like Woodley for a bet here as I believe he should be favored heading into the bout so I see value in the plus-money odds. As for props, I think Woodley wins inside the distance at +250 is worth a small play as part of a round robin.

Written by Adam Martin.

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