UFC Fight Night 57 Fight Breakdown: Joseph Benavidez vs. Dustin Ortiz

dustin-ortiz One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 57 is a three-round flyweight bout between Joseph Benavidez and Dustin Ortiz. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Benavidez is a -400 favorite (bet $400 to win $100) while Ortiz is a +310 underdog (bet $100 to win $310). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Benavidez at -405 and Ortiz at +285, and Benavidez remains a large favorite as the lines have tightened. I agree that Benavidez should be the favorite, but the line seems too high to me. Here’s why. Benavidez (20-4) is one of the top flyweight contenders in the UFC. The 30-year-old American is 7-2 in the UFC with wins over Eddie Wineland, Tim Elliott, Jussier Formiga, Darren Uyenoyama, Ian Loveland, Ian McCall and Yasuhiro Urushitani with his two losses coming to UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. Benavidez trains at a great camp in Team Alpha Male and like his training partners he is a very well-rounded mixed martial artist with a myriad of skills. He is a solid wrestler, he has good striking, and he has great submissions. Cardio is not a problem for him either, and other than a knockout loss to Johnson he has shown great defence. However, he has been put on his back before by bigger and stronger wrestlers, which is a concern against Ortiz, a guy who has proven himself to be a capable grinder. Luckily for Benavidez he won’t be at much of a size disadvantage here against Ortiz, so as long as he doesn’t get pinned on the fence he should be able to not be neutralized and display his talents. But as we have seen with Ortiz’ fights he somehow always gets the fight to the mat, and even though I think Benavidez is going to be able to match him in the grappling, it’s definitely a concern that he’s planted on his back. However, he has outs because of his great submission abilities and that should be able to help him if it happens. But at such steep odds, is it worth banking on? I’m not so sure. Ortiz (14-3) is quietly rising through the flyweight ranks and with a win over Benavidez could get the next flyweight title shot. The 25-year-old American is 3-1 in the UFC with wins over Justin Scoggins, Ray Borg and Jose Maria Tome, with his lone loss coming to John Moraga in a disputed decision. Ortiz relies heavily on his wrestling and grinding style to control the action of his bouts and win decisions. He is not the most exciting fighter to watch, but he somehow finds a way to get his hand raised most of the time, which is to be respected. Training at Roufusport, Ortiz has solid striking as well, although we rarely see it as he relies on a high workrate and pace with his wrestling to get the job done. But perhaps we could see his striking at work here against Benavidez, who has been knocked out before. However, I think it’s much more likely this is a grappling match, and as we have seen with Ortiz before, he’s hard to beat in those circumstances, and at the current odds, it’s really tempting to think about making a play on the underdog. I do favor Benavidez in this fight, as he has shown time and time again he’s an elite flyweight fighter and it’s very difficult to pick against him against anyone in the weight class not named “Mighty Mouse.” I expect this fight with Ortiz to primarily be a grappling match, and while I do give Ortiz a slight edge in the wrestling, I give Benavidez a huge edge in submissions, and at some point in this fight I think he’ll be able to grab a hold of Ortiz’ neck and latch in a guillotine choke, which is his trademark move. Having said that, Ortiz has proven time and time again he’s a dangerous fighter to be against, and at the current odds I really don’t see any value in Benavidez as such a big favorite. Honestly, it’s tempting to put a flier on Ortiz here and hope he’s able to grind out another split decision based on the current odds, but since I’m not picking him to win I can’t do that. I favor Benavidez here to win, but I think from a betting perspective this fight is worth passing on, unless you want to take a shot at props like Benavidez by submission and/or Ortiz by decision, which I think are the two most likely outcomes in this fight.

Written by Adam Martin.

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