UFC Fight Night 53 Closing Odds and Results

UFC Fight Night 53The Octagon returned to Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday afternoon for their latest international offering, and it wasn’t a particularly good night to be Scandinavian. The eleven-fight card took place entirely on UFC Fight Pass and saw some extremely surprising results on the main card, even though the rest of the event played out how it was written on paper. Based on the closing odds from Several Bookmakers, eight favorites came through, with just three underdogs getting their hands raised. Here’s how the results broke down: Favorites That Won Max Holloway continued his ascent in the featherweight division with a first round KO over Akira Corassani in the night’s co-main event. In typical Holloway fashion he got tagged a few times early, but those strikes absorbed only seemed to wake him up, as he began to catch Corassani with strikes from every angle, eventually putting his lights out stuffed against the cage. Holloway was the second biggest favorite on the card at -570 (bet $570 to win $100). The other Swede to make the hometown fans happy was Magnus Cedenblad, and he had to bounce back from a bit of adversity to get his hand raised. After a first round which he controlled from top position, Cedenblad was hurt by Scott Askham late in the second round. He recovered to work some top position again in the third round and saw unanimous 29-28 cards go his way. Money came in on Askham late to push Cedenblad all the way down to -120 by fight time. Nico Musoke was one of only two Swedes to pick up a win on the card, but he didn’t impress much in victory. “Earned” may be a bit of a strong word, but Musoke received three 30-27 scorecards due in large part to pushing Alexander Yakovlev up against the cage. There wasn’t much effective offense on either side in this one, but if you played Musoke at -205 your bet cashed. Once feared for his striking, Dennis Siver once again showcased his wrestling ability at 145 pounds as he was able to garner multiple takedowns and threaten with submissions against Charles Rosa. The judges rewarded Siver with 30-27 scorecards across the board, and he returned from his drug suspension successfully as -290 favorite. Cathal Pendred isn’t the type of fighter who is going to blow opponents out, and he found himself in another competitive fight against Gasan Umalatov. Onlookers were split on who deserved the decision, as were judges, but in the end Pendred got the nod to move his UFC record to 2-0. Pendred closed at -140, and the close line was extremely warranted in this bout. You’d never know the line for Krzysztof Jotko and Tor Troeng remained even most of the week leading up to the fight, as the bout turned out quite one-sided. Jotko couldn’t find a finish, but he also kept Troeng from getting anything going in the striking or grappling en route to his win. He closed at -140. The second of a pair of Tiger Muay Thai fighters on the card, Mairbeck Taisumov dispatched Marcin Bandel almost as easily as his teammate in the opening bout of the evening. Bandel landed a couple of clean strikes early, but the advantage was clear for Taisumov and it didn’t take long for him to land a big right hand and some sharp follow up shots on the ground, leading him to cash at -150. In the opening bout of the card, Chechen prospect Zubaira Tukhugov rebounded from a lackluster UFC debut to dominate and finish Ernest Chavez with strikes in the first round. Tukhugov looked relaxed in the cage and his striking was on point as he had no problems cashing as a -260 favorite. Underdogs That Won In the main event, Rick Story was able to come forward against Gunnar Nelson and exploit a hole that many had seen in the game of the Icelandic fighter. Story simply remained active with combinations, with a big focus on strikes to the body and legs in order to stop Nelson’s movement. That work paid off as Nelson was mostly a stationary target from round three onwards. Story hurt Nelson badly in the fourth round, and from then it was clear that Nelson needed a finish. That finish never came, and Story was awarded a well-earned decision (albeit the split nature of the decision was dubious). At +325 (bet $100 to win $325), he was one of three underdogs to cash on the four-fight main card. The main card was not friendly to hometown fighters, as Ilir Latifi was stopped early on in his bout by Jan Blachowicz. The Pole, making his UFC debut hammered Latifi with a kick to the body which doubled the burly Swede over. From there, some ground-and-pound forced the referee to step in and wave off the bout at 1:58. It was an impressive first appearance in the Octagon for Blachowicz, cashing as a +245 underdog, and dealing some more disappointment to Swedish MMA. Niklas Backstrom was the biggest favorite on the entire card, closing at -1000 against Mike Wilkinson. The Brit must not have gotten the memo however, as despite having some offense put on him in the opening seconds, he cracked Backstrom with a right hand and some follow up strikes on the ground to end the bout at just 1:19 of the first round. Wilkinson was a +650 underdog, and pulled off one of the biggest statistical upsets of the year.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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