UFC Fight Night 44 Full Opening Betting Odds

UFC Fight Night 44Fans may have already ventured over to UFC Fight Pass on Saturday morning or afternoon to catch up on the events from New Zealand that will be taking place in the middle of the night (for North American audiences), but there is one more fight on the platform to start off UFC Fight Night 44 before things head over to Fox Sports 1 for ten more bouts to cap off the night. Save for one late replacement, betting lines have already been released for the main card of UFC Fight Night 44 at Several Bookmakers. Favorites Cub Swanson and Cezar Ferreira have been bet up since those lines opened, while underdogs Nico Musoke and Hacran Dias have seen some action. The odds have stayed steady for the middleweight bout between Antonio Braga Neto and Clint Hester. Joe Ellenberger will still be kicking off the main card, but rather than facing Bryan Barberena as originally scheduled, he’ll now be taking on RFA vet James Moontasri. The undercard of this event is far superior to the New Zealand card, as it will see the debut of top prospect Carlos Diego Ferreira, the second appearance of flyweight Ray Borg, as well as a solid bantamweight clash between Johnny Bedford and Cody Gibson. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the UFC Fight Night 44 undercard at Several Bookmakers today. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 10pm ET) Cub Swanson -210 Jeremy Stephens +160 Kelvin Gastelum -505 Nico Musoke +335 Cezar Ferreira -150 Andrew Craig +110 Ricardo Lamas -170 Hacran Dias +130 Antonio Braga Neto -160 Clint Hester +120 Joe Ellenberger -210 James Moontasri +160 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 8pm ET) Carlos Diego Ferreira -350 Colton Smith +250 Johnny Bedford -210 Cody Gibson +160 Andy Enz -180 Marcelo Guimaraes +140 Ray Borg -600 Shane Howell +400 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7:30pm ET) Anthony Hamilton -150 Alexey Oleinik +110 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I don’t think UFC brass is particularly impressed with Colton Smith’s fighting style, and I think this is a fight they would prefer he loses. Most of the time when a former TUF winner gets a UFC newcomer it’s a favorable matchup, but this is the exception. Ferreira is a very good prospect with excellent jiu-jitsu and solid wrestling, and his striking has started to come around in his most recent fights. Smith simply doesn’t have anywhere to win this fight. He’s slightly bigger, but even if he tries to use that size to control the grappling, Ferreira is much better on the ground. On the feet, Smith is still very undeveloped and Ferreira should have an advantage there as well. Perhaps Smith can stall him on the cage for periods of time, but I have to side with the vastly more skilled fighter in this spot. Johnny Bedford shows flashes of being a very good fighter, but also makes silly mistakes that put himself in trouble. If Cody Gibson comes out aggressively here he can force some of those mistakes, but Bedford should be able to keep this fight on the feet and prove the superior striker. Gibson did show some serious improvement from his time on the regional circuit to his UFC debut however, so if the 26-year-old continues that trajectory, he could surprise here. Back before there was a new candidate for “I can’t believe this fight is happening in the UFC” on every card, Marcelo Guimaraes set the standard in his UFC debut against Dan Stittgen. He won that fight but didn’t impress, and then proceeded to get knocked out brutally by Hyun Gyu Lim before disappearing for the past 15 months. Andy Enz was slightly more impressive in his UFC debut, as despite losing a decision to Clint Hester he had Hester in some trouble and was competitive throughout. As far as this matchup, neither fighter is particularly technical on the feet, but Enz should have the advantage, while Guimaraes may be the slightly better submission artist. The problem for Guimaraes is that Enz should be the better wrestler as well, meaning he’ll either end up on top, or keep things on the feet which is why I favor him. There are a few reasons to like Ray Borg here, despite the late change from Ryan Benoit to a relatively unknown Shane Howell. First, Howell’s last fight was in March 2012. Second, Howell has given up his back many times in the past, while Borg excels at taking the back. Third, Borg has excellent cardio while it’s hard to expect that Howell will be in excellent fight shape. All of these things point towards Borg getting takedowns, taking the back, and finishing with a rear-naked choke. Anthony Hamilton may have bored viewers in his last fight, a successful MFC heavyweight title defense, but he was effective and answered some questions about his game. His cardio was able to carry him five rounds in that bout, despite him being dead tired. His wrestling was also very effective. I expect that second part to play a big role in this bout against a much smaller Alexey Oleinik. Oleinik is a very good top position grappler, but has always struggled against good wrestlers and heavy hitters, and Hamilton qualifies in both categories. It would be nice to see Oleinik pull off his signature no-gi ezekiel choke in the UFC, but I just don’t see it happening.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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