UFC Future Picks Spotlight: Bantamweight Michael McDonald

If you watched UFC 145 last Saturday, you saw a young phenom at bantamweight named Michael “Mayday” McDonald knock out veteran Miguel Angel Torres in the first round. And if you have followed McDonald’s young MMA career and bet on him throughout, you would be rich. McDonald improved to 15-1 with the win over Torres (39-5) and has a very bright future ahead of him. The big question is, how quickly will the 21-year-old McDonald ascend to the top of the list of contenders in his weight class? The bantamweight title will be on the line at UFC 148 on July 7 in Las Vegas when champion Dominick Cruz (19-1) takes on challenger Urijah Faber (26-5) for the third time. Cruz is a -200 favorite (bet $200 to win $100) to defeat the underdog Faber, whose UFC 148 odds are +160 (bet $100 to win $160). But after that championship bout, there are few fighters ahead of McDonald for a title shot. McDonald is ranked as the No. 5 bantamweight according to ESPN, with Renan Barao (30-1, 1 No-Contest) and Brian Bowles (10-2) the only others ranked higher besides Cruz and Faber. UFC bettors might remember Bowles losing to Faber as a +165 underdog via choke submission at UFC 139. That was his opportunity for a title shot, and Barao figures to meet the winner of Cruz and Faber assuming he beats Ivan Menjivar (24-8) at UFC 148. That brings us back to McDonald, who has won eight straight bouts since suffering his only career loss to Cole Escovedo nearly three years ago. He avenged that loss to Escovedo three fights later but had lacked a signature win over a legitimate contender until he destroyed Torres. McDonald was -115 against Torres, his lowest MMA odds yet. In his previous three fights, he was -400 or higher, showing that the oddsmakers have a lot of respect for him. Bettors do too, moving him from an underdog against Torres to even. McDonald likely needs to win one more big fight to earn a title shot. That could come against the loser of Cruz-Faber or Bowles in his next bout. Bowles has lost to both Cruz and Faber and could also face Barao in a title eliminator fight. No matter who McDonald matches up with, he should be considered a solid pick at a nice underdog price. The competition should only get better for him, which means the best times to bet on him probably still lie ahead.

Written by Matty

Leave a Reply

TUF Betting Preview: Episode 8

MMAOddsbreaker Episode 23