Diving into UFC Fight Night 61’s Main Card on FS1

Bigfoot ArlovskiThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Brazil on Sunday, February 22nd with UFC Fight Night 61: Bigfoot vs Mir. The event will feature an entirety of 12 bouts, including a six-fight main card that will be live on FOX Sports 1 at 8pm ET. Preliminary action will precede it on FOX Sports 2 at 6pm ET with four fights, and two fights before it at 5pm ET on UFC Fight Pass. If interested on making any wagers for this fight card, all lines will be made available to you at Several Bookmakerss. There are no big stakes on the line for UFC Fight Night 61’s main event. However, there will likely be big steaks for the headliners when the fights have concluded. Heavyweight veterans Frank Mir and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva are scheduled to square off in a five round contest that is not expected to go the distance, much less the second stanza. After dropping four in a row to Junior dos Santos, Daniel Cormier, Josh Barnett and Alistair Overeem, respectively, Mir has his back against the wall heading into this one, as five straight losses could mean contract termination and potential retirement. The former UFC heavyweight champion does not believe he is done fighting and opts to allow his skills do the talking come Sunday night. “Bigfoot” finds himself in a similar boat. He is 2-4-1 in his last seven and is coming off a brutal first round knockout at the hands of another former UFC heavyweight champion in Andrei Arlovski that had many singing the tune of retirement. Like Mir, the Brazilian is not ready to hang up his gloves and hopes to deliver an impressive performance in front of his hometown crowd. Silva opened as a -185 betting favorite in this contest, with Mir being an underdog to win at +145. The public has since come in on the Brazilian in loads, and current betting lines sit at -310/+255. The co-main event of the evening is arguably the most highly anticipated fight on the entire card, from top to bottom. Action is expected when talented strikers Edson Barboza and Michael Johnson go toe to toe in what will likely be the evening’s Fight of the Night. Barboza opened as a -140 betting favorite, with the return on Johnson being +100. After a bit of action on the Brazilian, lines are currently -150/+130. Unless you’re Brazilian or related either Cezar Ferreira or Sam Alvey, you are not going to particularly care for their middleweight contest that is to be featured on the evening’s main card. They will both be hoping to extend their winning streaks to two, while fight fans will be hoping for an early finish. Ferreira opened as the betting favorite at -265, with Alvey being a +185 underdog. Action has since come in on the Brazilian, bringing betting lines to the current -320/+260. Another featured bout on UFC Fight Night 61’s main card on FOX Sports 1 is a lightweight contest between Brazilian Adriano Martins and Jackson-Winklejohn MMA product Rustam Khabilov. This is a rare “winner vs loser” match-up, as Martins is coming off a first round knockout win over Juan Manuel Puig, while Khabilov was submitted by former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson by fourth round rear naked choke in his last outing. Khabilov opened as the betting favorite in this bout at -210, with the Brazilian being an underdog at +160. Action, however has since come in heavy on the Dagestani fighter, bringing betting lines to their current -470/+375. In a fight booking that left many scratching their heads, Brazil’s own Iuri Alcantara will square off against Frankie Saenz. Alcantara has been in the upper echelon of the UFC’s bantamweight division ever since dropping down to 135-pounds, but it seems he takes a step back in competition with each fight. Saenz had a solid Octagon debut, defeating fellow promotional newcomer Nolan Ticman by unanimous decision, and now he prepares for a big step up and the biggest test of his professional mixed martial arts career. For the Brazilian, this fight is a step back following his recent win over Russell Doane, but for Saenz, it is a huge opportunity that could prove to be life-changing. As expected, Alcanta opened as the betting favorite in this contest at -305, with the return on the underdog Saenz being +225. Following lots of public action on the Brazilian, current betting lines are -550/+425. Kicking off the main card will be a welterweight match-up that sees Argentina’s Santiago Ponzinibbio look to make it two in a row against 23-year old Sean Strickland, who is making his 170-pound debut after going 2-0 in the UFC’s middleweight division. This is likely to be a fun fight between a pair of talented prospects who should go on to have a bright future in the sport, regardless of the outcome of this bout. The Argentinian opened as the underdog in this contest at +160, with Strickland being a -210 favorite to win. The public has however preferred Ponzinibbio at underdog odds, which has tightened the betting lines to the current +145/-165.

Written by Gabe Killian

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