UFC 158 Opening Odds: Welterweights Johny Hendricks (-170) vs. Jake Ellenberger (+140)

Johny HendricksUFC 158: March 16, 2013 Montreal, Quebec, Canada UFC Welterweight Contender Johny Hendricks (-170) Profile: Johny Hendricks (14-1) is riding a five-fight winning streak and coming off a shocking first-round knockout of Martin Kampmann at UFC 154. The 29-year-old was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion at Oklahoma State and also previously knocked out Koscheck’s teammate Jon Fitch in just 12 seconds at UFC 141 on December 30, 2011. He is the only fighter in UFC history to knock out two different opponents in less than a minute. The only loss for Hendricks in his MMA career came by unanimous decision against Rick Story at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale on December 4, 2010. He is 9-1 in the UFC overall with five of the wins resulting in a TKO/KO and four of them ending in the first round. Three of his past five fights have earned Knockout of the Night honors. UFC Welterweight Contender Jake Ellenberger (+140) Profile: Jake Ellenberger (28-6) made his way toward the top of the UFC welterweight title contenders thanks to an impressive six-fight winning streak that included four via TKO/KO over Jake Shields, Sean Pierson, John Howard and Mike Pyle. Unfortunately, the 27-year-old from Omaha saw his winning streak come to an end with a stunning loss to Kampmann, who advanced to what was originally viewed as a title eliminator bout against Hendricks. The loss was a bit of a surprise considering Ellenberger looked like he was about to finish Kampmann before the tables were turned on him. Ellenberger rebounded with a unanimous decision win against Jay Hieron and improved to 7-2 in the UFC, with the other previous loss coming against former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit in his debut. Opening UFC 158 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Hendricks a slight -170 favorite (bet $170 to win $100) while Ellenberger opened as a +140 underdog (bet $100 to win $140) according to the MMA odds. While Ellenberger nearly defeated Kampmann, Hendricks beat him soundly to earn what he thought was a title shot against champion Georges St-Pierre. But will this be a trap fight for Hendricks now, playing third fiddle behind GSP vs. Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald vs. Carlos Condit even though he is viewed by many as the top contender for the belt? Quite possibly, as Ellenberger is still a dangerous opponent who possesses some power but would have virtually no chance against Hendricks on the ground. The key to this bout for Hendricks will be his motivation. If he comes in focused and ready to pass one more test, he should prevail. However, Ellenberger is no slouch and was within one win of getting an opportunity to fight Hendricks when he faced Kampmann. Ellenberger will also be very hungry to prove he deserves the next shot.

Written by MMA OddsBreaker

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