Diving into the UFC Fight Night 62 Main Card on Fox Sports 1

Demian MaiaThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this Saturday night (March 21, 2015) with UFC Fight Night 62. The event will feature a 12-fight card that is to be headlined by a five-round welterweight tilt between the Brazilian Demian Maia and New York native Ryan LaFlare. Main card action gets underway on FOX Sports 1 at 10pm, with preliminary action preceding it on the same television channel at 8pm and a pair of bouts coming before that on UFC Fight Pass at 7pm ET. If interested in wagering on this UFC fight card, all betting lines will be made available at Several Bookmakerss. Kicking things off for the UFC Fight Night 62 main card on FOX Sports 1 will be a featherweight contest between a pair of finishers looking to extend their Octagon winning streaks. Fireworks are expected when Team Alpha Male product Andre “Touchy” Fili travels to Brazil to take on hometown boy Godofredo Pepey. Pepey was a finalist of TUF: Brazil season one, losing to Ronny Jason in the finals. After starting his UFC career at a sour 1-3, he has turned things around and won his last two bouts, finishing both opponents inside the first round, and in highlight-reel fashion. For Fili, this is the second consecutive fight in Rio de Janeiro, as he defeated Brazil’s own Felipe Arantes via unanimous decision in his latest outing at UFC 179. Nearly five months later, “Touchy” will be looking to repeat history when he enters the Octagon this Saturday night. “Touchy” opened as a -280 betting favorite over the Brazilian at the sportsbooks, with the return on Pepey being +200. After heavy action on both sides (that saw Fili reach -420), current betting lines are -280/+220. Next up on the evening’s main card is a women’s bantamweight contest between two veterans eager to return to the win column in Shayna “The Queen of Spades” Baszler and Amanda “The Lioness” Nunes. Owning a combined 22 of 24 victories which came inside the distance, this scrap is not expected to go the full three rounds. Nunes opened as a -280 betting favorite at the sportsbooks, with the return on the underdog Baszler being +200. Action has since come in on the Brazilian, bringing betting lines to the current -390/+300. After the ladies’ go to war, it will be time for the lightweights to take center stage, as TUF: Brazil 2 winner Leonardo Santos looks to stay undefeated inside the Octagon when he squares off against the American Tony Martin. Regardless of how long this 155-pound battle lasts, it is likely to be a treat for fight fans tuning in for the prelims. Martin snapped his two-fight skid at UFC 179 in Rio de Janeiro when he submitted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Fabricio Camoes in the first round of action. Making his second consecutive trip to the city for this bout, much like the aforementioned Fili, he will be looking for a similar outcome against another decorated Brazilian grappler. Santos opened as a -180 favorite at the sportsbooks in this contest, with Martin being a +140 underdog. The public, however, has backed the dog and tightened up the lines to a near coin-flip at the current -125/-105. Next, what was to be the evening’s co-main event dropped down a slot when an injury forced Strikeforce veteran Josh “The Punk” Thomson out of his scheduled bout against undefeated Brazilian prospect Gilbert Burns. Stepping in for Thomson on short notice is fellow Brazilian Alex Oliveira. Burns is expected to roll in this match-up and continue his dominance in the UFC’s 155-pound division, and look forth to again getting another ranked opponent in his next outing. For Brazilian, this is undoubtedly the biggest challenge of his career; so much so where surviving ‘till the final bell would be considered a real moral victory. Burns opened as a heavy -475 favorite in this contest, with the return on the underdog Oliveira being +325. Action has since come in on Burns, and betting lines currently sit at -510/+370. With Thomson’s injury and Burns’ fight being bumped down from the co-main event slot, moved up was a welterweight affair between Brazil’s Erick Silva and longtime veteran Ben Saunders. Unfortunately, the injury bug struck this main event bout, as well, forcing Saunders to be removed from the card and leaving Silva without an opponent. Immediately agreeing to step in to replace Saunders was former UFC Lightweight Champion “Smooth” Benson Henderson, who recently made a short-notice move up to 170-pounds to take on Brandon Thatch in Thatch’s hometown and defeated him via rear naked choke submission in the fourth round. Unfortunately for Henderson, the UFC did not love that idea. The UFC instead opted to go with TUF 1 winner Josh Koscheck, a decision which has left fight fans scratching their heads. “Kos” just returned to action following an extended layoff a couple weeks ago and suffered a second round submission loss to Jake Ellenberger, so the quick turnaround following such circumstances has left many puzzled. The Ellenberger loss could have been a case of cage-rust for Koscheck, and it’s possible that the reason he is so eager to get back in the cage right away is because he strongly feels that was the case. However, the average fight fan believes he is taking this fight just for another quick payday. Regardless of the why’s, this is the last fight left on Koscheck’s UFC contract, and will almost certainly be the very last time we witness him compete inside the Octagon. Being a real fighter at heart, it should be expected that knowing this is his last go, he will give it everything he’s got when the cage door closes. Silva opened as a -405 betting favorite over Koscheck in this contest, who in turn was a +285 underdog. The public has since backed Silva and brought betting lines to a current -450/+330. What was the original co-main event for UFC Fight Night 62 was bumped up to main event when the first (of three) injury struck this fight card, removing bantamweight Raphael Assuncao from his scheduled bout against Urijah Faber, forcing the fight to be pulled from the card. Now, in his first ever UFC main event slot, New York native Ryan LaFlare gets ready to square off against Brazilian veteran Demian Maia. Both welterweights are returning to five round main event action following extended injury layoffs, so things could get more interesting should this fight reach later rounds. As far as entertainment value goes, this is a fight that could be hit-or-miss. This Saturday night in his native Brazil, Maia will look to get his hand raised and regain relevancy in the UFC’s 170-pound division. Looking to make his name off Maia’s will be LaFlare, who hopes to remain undefeated following Saturday night. The betting odds for this five round main event bout opened at a near coin-flip, with LaFlare being -125 and Maia being -115. Action has since come in on the undefeated LaFlare, making current betting lines -160/+130.

Written by Gabe Killian

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