UFC 181 Fight Breakdown: Corey Anderson vs. Justin Jones

corey-anderson One of the televised prelims at UFC 181 is a three-round light heavyweight bout between Corey Anderson and Justin Jones. According to the current betting lines available at Several Bookmakers, Anderson is a -330 favorite (bet $330 to win $100) while Jones is a +270 underdog (bet $100 to win $270). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Anderson at -385 and Jones at +265, and overall the betting action has has been mixed. I’m surprised the liner hasn’t moved higher in Anderson’s favor as I view him as one of the most likely winners on the entire card. Here’s why. Anderson (4-0) won The Ultimate Fighter season 19 light heavyweight tournament with a knockout win over Matt Van Buren at the finale. The 25-year-old American is still very green in MMA with only four pro fights (plus his three fights in the house) but so far has shown he has the potential to be a future contender at 205lbs. Anderson is a very fast, powerful striker with brutal knockout power in his hands. In his four pro bouts he has three TKO wins, with all three of them coming in the first round, plus a decision victory. So far he has shown very little flaws in his game. He seems to have good striking and he seems to have the takedown defence to keep his fights standing. He was originally set to fight Gian Villante, and then Jonathan Wilson, but injuries to both men pushed Jones in this spot to fight him. I don’t see why the UFC would risk having their one elite 205lb prospect from TUF lose, and the fact they selected a blown-up welterweight to fight him speaks volumes about this matchup. Anderson is still relatively untested, but his opponent is even more untested than he is, and all signs point to him winning this bout in emphatic fashion, which is why he is a solid favorite heading into it. Jones (3-0) is relatively new to MMA, having only turned pro just this year, but he’s already in the UFC which shows you how talented he is. Just 27 years of age, Jones is 3-0 in 2014 with three stoppage wins — two by submission and one by TKO, including a recent finish of John Hackleman Jr. that earned him this UFC deal. According to his Twitter profile, he is a welterweight, but most websites list him as a middleweight. Either way, he is going to be much smaller than Anderson, and that size difference will likely come into play in this matchup. He also took this fight on one week’s notice, which is obviously a huge concern. Jones is a good prospect and will likely have success in the UFC eventually, but this seems like a brutal matchup for him and not surprisingly he is a big underdog. Jones is a talented prospect and could go on to win a few fights in the UFC, but he will do so at 185lbs or even 170lbs. He is way too undersized for 205lbs, nevermind the fact he is taking this fight against Anderson on extremely short notice. The UFC is short on prospects at light heavyweight and Anderson seems like a good one, and judging from the three opponents they have attempted to book Anderson against, they want him to win this fight, and they want him to do so impressive fashion, and I think that’s what happens here. Look for Anderson to light Jones up on the feet with strikes and score a first-round knockout for his second UFC victory. At -330, I think Anderson is one of the better bets on the card as I would honestly be shocked if he lost in this spot. It’s a great situation for him to shine in, and I think he does just that.

Written by Adam Martin.

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