Full UFC Fight Night 56 Betting Odds

Shogun St Preux 2Those who like a little bit of global flair in their MMA are in for a treat this weekend, as the UFC will be hosting cards from Australia and Brazil (not to mention an offering from ONE FC in Singapore). The Australian card will air on Friday night in North America, leaving Saturday wide open for the Fox Sports and UFC Fight Pass broadcast event from Brazil. The main event — like so many in 2014 — has undergone some late changes. Planned headliner Jimi Manuwa was forced out of his bout with former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua with a broken foot, and he has been replaced on ten days’ notice by Ovince St. Preux. The former Tennessee Volunteer was seen as one of the brightest prospects in the light heavyweight division for a few years, but found himself overwhelmed by the wrestling of Ryan Bader in his last outing. That shouldn’t be a problem here against Shogun, and may have contributed to why St. Preux was willing to take the fight on such short notice. Rua will be looking for the knock out, and it could end up being ‘OSP’ who takes the fight to the ground this time. At any rate, the former champion’s bouts are rarely dull, and this should prove no exception. The co-main event is an even bigger fight than the main event in terms of divisional relevance. Ian McCall almost ensured that the flyweight reign of champion Demetrious Johnson never took place (and likely would have done just that if not for the buffoonery of the Australian Athletic Commission). The contender has kept working, and with a two-fight winning streak finds himself right back in contention. His opponent is 24-year-old John Lineker, who is one of the most exciting fighters to watch in any weight class. The all-action brawler seems to be rounding out his game and has worked out the kinks in his preparation. With those new pieces in place, he is as dangerous as any fighter in the division given his massive punching power. As with most flyweight bouts, this should be high-paced and fought at a high level, with a potential title shot on the line for the winner. Beyond that, the quality of the card dips a bit, but fans will still have the opportunity to see TUF Brazil 3 standout Warlley Alves on the main card. A pair of highly touted prospects find themselves on the undercard as well, with Thomas Almeida making his UFC debut, and Colby Covington stepping into the Octagon for the second time. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for UFC Fight Night 56 today at Several Bookmakers. Here they are: ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 10:30pm ET) Mauricio Rua -165 Ovince St. Preux +125 Ian McCall -170 John Lineker +130 Warlley Alves -210 Alan Jouban +160 Leon Edwards -140 Claudio Silva +100 Nina Ansaroff -150 Juliana Lima +110 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 2, 8pm ET) Diego Rivas -210 Rodolfo Rubio +160 Caio Magalhaes -175 Trevor Smith +135 Dhiego Lima -300 Jorge Oliveira +220 Charlie Brenneman -135 Leandro Silva -105 Thomas Almeida -400 Tim Gorman +280 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7:30pm ET) Colby Covington -750 Wagner Silva +450 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: For those who have been watching the sport for a decade or longer, it’s kind of sad to see Shogun in the cage these days. I know it’s the predominant theme surrounding his fights, but the only thing that the Shogun of 2014 has in common with the Shogun of 2005 is punching power. Everything else seems to be gone. The once limitless cardio has devolved to the point that Shogun looks like Mark Hunt and Ben Rothwell in the third round in Denver for much of his bouts. The speed and combination striking is all but gone. His offensive wrestling is still solid, but defensively he is porous. There’s a glimpse every once in a while of the great fighter that once took up residence inside his body, but for the most part it’s a reminder of what could have been if not for numerous serious injuries and just as many brain-rattling battles inside the cage or ring. I’ve never been high on OSP, but I’ll be picking him to beat Shogun on Saturday. Even on the very short notice, he’ll be significantly faster on the feet, a better overall wrestler, and quicker in scrambles. Shogun still has the better technical skills, but I find it very difficult to see him submitting OSP from his back, and unless he can land a big shot as OSP tries to close the distance (which to be honest, he really doesn’t need to do, as he could just pick at Rua from the outside) he’s likely going to lose this bout. I hope I’m wrong here, but I fear I’m not. Lineker has made some marked improvements since he entered the UFC, but I’m not sure it will be enough to beat McCall, who is quite simply a fantastic fighter stuck in a division with a champion who is a terrible matchup for him. Lineker is the more dangerous striker, but also remains fairly deficient defensively (as a tired and beaten Alp Ozkilic was able to show), and his wrestling isn’t quite at the level needed to stop McCall from taking this to the ground if he needs to. If McCall pursues a grappling gameplan, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get the submission, but even on the feet I think he can kick and move his way to victory as Lineker tries to chase him down. Warlley Alves has a far more well-rounded game than Alan Jouban, and I think he can win this fight anywhere. Jouban is most dangerous on the feet, so it would be wise for Alves to take it to the ground, but Jouban has shown a propensity to get tagged on the feet as well, which could encourage the TUF Brazil 3 winner to keep this standing. Either way, Alves wins, it’s just a question of if he gives Jouban the chance to land a knockout punch or not. The combined records of Leon Edwards’ last three opponents (heading into their fights with him) was 30-6. You don’t see that too often on the regional circuits, and unless BAMMA was doing a phenomenal job of hunting down guys with glossy records who can’t actually fight, it’s an impressive run that’s gotten him into the UFC. He’s got a winnable fight in his debut too, as Claudio da Silva simply isn’t that skilled in my eyes. He picked up a win over Brad Scott in his debut, but didn’t look particularly impressive. Perhaps the drop to welterweight will do him some good, but the skill he really needs to improve is his wrestling. His entries into takedowns are sloppy and telegraphed, and as long as Edwards is somewhat prepared he should be able to keep this on the feet where he has a big advantage. Trusting a bet on a British fighter’s defensive wrestling is probably one of the most terrifying things in MMA gambling however, so I can’t recommend a play with full confidence. Both Nina Ansaroff and Juliana Lima have lost when they’ve stepped up against top female competition, but looked good otherwise. This is one of those bouts that has me scratching my head a bit for an answer, because the gaps in their competition have been so wide in their wins as opposed to their losses that it’s hard to get a gauge on where they really stand from a skill perspective. If forced, I’d lean Ansaroff, but very little confidence in that pick. I’ll get back to you closer to fight time on Diego Rivas and Rodolfo Rubio, as I simply don’t have the insight on either at this point. After losing his UFC debut to Buddy Roberts, I never thought I’d say that Caio Magalhaes is on a three fight winning streak in the Octagon… but here we are; and there he is, doing his best Neil Magny impersonation (not stylistically, obviously) through the bottom of the middleweight division. Trevor Smith has won two of his last three as well, which further goes to show what a bizarro world 2014 is in MMA. In this fight, I think Smith stops Magalhaes’ streak, as his wrestling should be able to stifle the Brazilian’s ground game, and Caio still doesn’t have much to offer on the feet. Smith’s cardio seems to have improved of late, and as long as that holds up I think he manages a decision here. Dhiego Lima should be able to make a statement against the undersized, debuting Jorge Oliveira. Even at 155, Oliveira wasn’t all that big, and now he’s facing a big welterweight in Lima, who should be motivated to erase the memories of his TUF Finale loss. As far as skills go, Oliveira will have his best shot if this turns into a straight kickboxing bout. If Lima starts to grapple, he should hold big advantages in the wrestling and submission aspects of the fight, so that’s what I expect him to do. Long-term, I don’t think Dhiego has the same type of ceiling as his brother, but he will be a solid welterweight who hangs around in the UFC. Charlie Brenneman’s fights used to go one of two ways, he’d either get knocked out or he’d wrestle his way to a decision. It’s been a whole lot of the former lately, but Leandro Silva hasn’t shown much in the way of big striking power throughout his career. He move prove more difficult for Brenneman to take down than many anticipate, but I think the Pennsylvanian will continue the tradition of grinding American wrestlers (Phil Davis, Nik Lentz, Darren Elkins, etc) silencing Brazilian crowds with dominant grappling. Thomas Almeida is one of the more highly regarded prospects in MMA today. The Chute Boxe representative has reeled off 17 straight wins to begin his career, and every single one of them has come via stoppage. His striking is his best asset, and he’s worlds better than Tim Gorman if this stays on the feet. Gorman is underrated however, and may not let Almeida make as good a UFC debut as most will be expecting. Gorman is tough, a pretty decent wrestler, and has some solid ground-and-pound. If he ignores the hype and goes after Almeida early, he could actually make this interesting, but I have to favor the overall skills of the youngster here. Colby Covington should move to 2-0 in the UFC in the lone Fight Pass bout on this card. Wagner Silva is primarily a top position submission grappler who will never have a chance to get on top in this bout. We saw against Ricardo Abreu that Silva can be exploited on the ground as well, and while Covington doesn’t have Abreu’s submission game, he has better wrestling and striking on the ground. I see either a wide decision or a stoppage for Covington as he continues to impress.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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