Betting Odds For RFA 17’s Two Title Fights

RFA 17Resurrection Fighting Alliance will provide the nightcap for a busy Friday in MMA, as RFA 17 airs a six-fight main card from Sioux Falls, South Dakota on AXS TV. The final two bouts on the card will see a pair of new champions crowned in one of the organizations that has become a pipeline for talent to the UFC. The main event features Dakota Cochrane taking on Christos Giagos for the inaugural RFA lightweight championship. Cochrane has seen mixed success since a win over Jamie Varner back in 2011 put him on the map. However, TUF veteran seems to be hitting his stride of late, winning six of his past eight, including victories over UFC veterans Joe Stevenson, Efrain Escudero, and Anton Kuivanen. Giagos has had his hand raised in his last three bouts, with all three wins coming by stoppage, so he’s on a nice roll himself. Even though both of these guys favor the grappling, this match features differing approaches on the ground, as Giagos normally looks for ground-and-pound, while Cochrane hunts more for submissions. The co-main event seems to be the bout with a bit more upside, as both Justin Lawrence and Mark Dickman are still very young and on the come-up. Lawrence was dropped from the UFC following two consecutive losses, with the thought being that he needed some more seasoning before being ready for the Octagon. He picked up a win in his RFA debut last October, and now has a chance to wear some RFA gold around his waist. Mark Dickman surprised many by defeating Raoni Barcelos in his last fight, as Barcelos was considered one of the top prospects in the featherweight division. The aggressive Dickman now looks to knock off another talented young gun in Lawrence, and the winner could find themselves answering a phone call from Sean Shelby sooner rather than later. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the two title fights on RFA 17 at Several Bookmakers today. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10pm ET) RFA Lightweight Title Dakota Cochrane -280 Christos Giagos +200 RFA Featherweight Title Mark Dickman -125 Justin Lawrence -115 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: The weakness in both Cochrane and Giagos’ games is their submission defense, but the hole is more apparent when watching Giagos. Cochrane is also more equipped to take advantage as he has a better offensive submission game than Giagos. Cochrane has proven to be a very durable fighter in the past, so I’d be surprised if Giagos is able to stop him with strikes in one of their grappling exchanges. Unless a surprising KO happens, I see Cochrane getting his hand raised either by consistently advancing position and taking a decision, or by locking up a submission. The featherweight title bout is a bit trickier to call. Lawrence should conceivably be the better striker, but we saw how an aggressive Max Holloway was able to get him off his game in the UFC. Dickman is not on Holloway’s level technically, but he can still provide plenty of issues for Lawrence on the feet. The UFC veteran should then turn to his wrestling as he has done in the past, but Dickman may have the advantage there as well, as his takedown defense is very solid. With Lawrence being forced to play defense on the feet and struggling to get takedowns, I could see him tiring and Dickman scoring a late TKO or submission finish. Even if Lawrence has improved his cardio, I still struggle to see where he’s truly able to make this fight his. It’s tough to bet against a Black House fighter on an RFA card, since they are usually matched very intelligently, but I think this is a spot to do so.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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