UFC 158 Opening Odds Breakdown: Welterweights Jake Ellenberger vs. Nate Marquardt

UFC 158: March 16, 2013 Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada Nate MarquardtUFC Welterweight Contender Jake Ellenberger (-160) Profile: Jake Ellenberger (28-6) made his way toward the top of the UFC welterweight division thanks to an impressive six-fight winning streak that included four TKO/KO victories 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 knockout loss to Martin Kampmann, who advanced to what was originally viewed as a title eliminator bout against top contender Johny 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 only other loss coming against former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit in his debut, a fight that was extremely closely contested. UFC Welterweight Contender Nate Marquardt (+120) Profile: Nate Marquardt (32-11-2) earned the Strikeforce welterweight title with a knockout against Tyron Woodley in a fantastic bout, only to lose it six months later against Tarec Saffiedine. Now the 33-year-old veteran finds himself back in the UFC after appearing headed toward the downside of his career. Marquardt was released by the UFC after not receiving medical clearance to fight following an exorbitant dose of testosterone replacement therapy. Prior to that unfortunate incident, he was scheduled to make his welterweight debut against Rick Story at UFC on Versus 4. He was coming into that bout off of a unanimous decision win over Dan Miller at UFC 128 in his final middleweight appearance. He is 3-3 in his last six bouts overall, beating Woodley, Miller and Rousimar Palhares, while losing to Saffiedine, Yushin Okami and Chael Sonnen. Four of those fights, including the three losses, ended with unanimous decisions while the other two resulted in knockout wins. Opening UFC 158 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Ellenberger a slight -160 favorite (bet $160 to win $100) while Marquardt opened as a +120 underdog (bet $100 to win $120) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. Ellenberger goes from being a +140 underdog against Hendricks (his original opponent) to a small favorite in what looks to be a battle of redemption between two fighters with a lot to prove. “The Juggernaut” might be the poster child of “what could have been” in the UFC, as a win over Kampmann may have vaulted him into No. 1 contender status. Now, he is trying to get back into that position, and a matchup with Hendricks would have given him that opportunity. Ironically, it is Hendricks who jumped at the chance to fight a more appealing opponent, Carlos Condit, who is coming off a title bout against champion Georges St-Pierre. Enter Marquardt, who also is looking to make a dent in the welterweight division after working his way back to the organization from Strikeforce. Marquardt dropped the Strikeforce title to Saffiedine in the last ever fight the organization put on, which is obviously not how he wanted to return to the UFC. But he too can make a positive impression on the matchmakers with a victory against Ellenberger and re-enter the MMAOB MMA Fighter Rankings, where he resided prior to his latest setback.

Written by MMA OddsBreaker

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