UFC 177 Opening Odds Breakdown: TJ Dillashaw vs. Joe Soto

TJ DillashawWeigh-in day for UFC 177 has been disastrous for the promotion. First Henry Cejudo was removed from his bout against Scott Jorgensen due to medical issues, but then the real kicker came. Due to issues during his weight cut, former UFC champion Renan Barao has been forced out of the UFC 177 main event against TJ Dillashaw. After a quick scramble, the UFC tapped former Bellator featherweight champ and current Tachi Palace Fights bantamweight champion Joe Soto as a replacement, meaning that he’ll challenge for the UFC title in his first ever fight in the Octagon. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas was at work immediately, breaking down the new title fight and coming up with a line. After reviewing the matchup he settled on a line of -2750 for Dillashaw with the comeback on +1250 on Soto, but the owner of Several Bookmakers Tony Williams vetoed those numbers. Instead TJ Dillashaw will open as a -1500 (bet $1,500 to win $100) favorite, with the return on Joe Soto at +700 (bet $100 to win $700). Williams was quoted as saying, “If they think the line is too low, they can come and get it.” Should the opening line hold from now until fight time, this would make TJ Dillashaw one of the biggest favorites in an MMA fight this year. Only Ben Askren, Andrey Koreshkov (both at -2600), Holly Holm, Darrion Caldwell, and Pedro Munhoz (all at -2300) have been bigger to this point in 2014. It’s hard to see a path to victory for Soto taking on the champion on such short notice, but if he does manage to pull off the upset, it would be the biggest in UFC title fight history. He would also become the first fighter to move from Bellator to the UFC and become a champion in both promotions. While Soto is a talented fighter, he was rocked in the bout that earned him the Tachi Palace title, has been hit with big shots in many of his previous fights, and was even knocked out by Joe Warren back in Bellator. Dillashaw just seems like a nightmare matchup for him with his vastly improved striking, excellent cardio and superb wrestling. ——————– UFC Bantamweight Title (c) TJ Dillashaw -1500 Joe Soto +700 ——————–

Written by Brad Taschuk

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