The opening main card bout for UFC 182 is a three-round welterweight contest between Hector Lombard and Josh Burkman. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Lombard is a -580 favorite (bet $580 to win $100) while Burkman is a +440 underdog (bet $100 to win $440). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Lombard at -505 and Burkman at +335, and the public is all over Lombard in this one. I agree with the line movement in Lombard’s direction as I believe he will win this fight. Here’s why. Lombard (34-4-1, 1 NC) dropped down to 170lbs in 2013 and the results so far have been excellent. The 36-year-old Cuban is 3-2 overall in the UFC but 2-0 at welterweight with huge wins over Nate Marquardt and Jake Shields. Lombard is a beast of a fighter and could be the welterweight champion soon. He trains at American Top Team and his skillset is tremendous. He has an Olympic judo background, possesses wicked striking and vicious knockout power. “Showeather” also has underrated submissions and his cardio has also looked great at 170. He has shown very few flaws overall in his career aside from being undersized at his former weight class of 185lbs, although now at 170lbs that isn’t a problem. Lombard is just a complete monster at welterweight and I think he could fight for a title this year. There is a reason no other welterweight wants to fight him, and it’s because he’s a scary guy to stare across the cage at you. I fully expect Lombard to have a great performance at UFC 182, and so does the betting public, as he enters the bout as a huge favorite for a reason. Burkman (27-10) is making his return to the UFC after six years away from the promotion. The 34-year-old American went 9-2 overall away from the UFC with wins over the likes of Jon Fitch and Aaron Simpson to get another shot in the UFC, and it’s well deserved. The Ultimate Fighter season 2 alum holds a 5-5 record in the UFC but he really is a different fighter than the guy who was in the Octagon all those years ago. In the past, Burkman has basically just been a submission fighter, but in the last few years he’s added striking to his game and now he’s an incredibly dangerous and well-rounded welterweight. He’s also never been knocked out, which is something to keep in mind, although he has been submitted six times. Against Lombard, Burkman will likely look to weather the early storm and take the fight to the deep waters and try to get a submission late. It seems like a tough task, though, and while I do expect Burkman to show up to fight, this just seems like a really tough matchup for him, and that’s why he’s a big dog heading into it, although I have to give him credit for being one of the few fighters that would actually fight Lombard. Lombard is a big favorite and for good reason, because he should absolutely crush Burkman. He’s the better wrestler and striker and his cardio has looked great at 170lbs despite his muscular frame. The only area of MMA where I would give Burkman the edge is in submissions, but I don’t think he’ll get the opportunity to use his subs in this fight. In my opinion the only question is does Lombard finish Burkman or does the fight go to a decision? Burkman has never been knocked out before, but Lombard has crazy power for a welterweight and could be the first person to stop Burkman via strikes. However, Lombard couldn’t stop Jake Shields so maybe he won’t be able to stop Burkman either. It’s a tough call, and it’s why I think the moneyline on Lombard is a safer play than the totals or props. Just play the Lombard ML instead of trying to get too fancy here, as he should more often times than not come through as one of your parlay legs.