UFC on FUEL TV 9 Betting Odds Breakdown: Light Heavyweights Gegard Mousasi vs. Ilir Latifi

Gegard MousasiUFC on FUEL TV 9: April 6, 2013 Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Gegard Mousasi (-2000) Profile: One of MMA’s best-kept secrets, Gegard Mousasi (33-3-2) is a well-known name for fans of the Japanese fight scene. Mousasi has been in the backstage locker room of just about every MMA organization outside of the UFC or Bellator, including Pride, Dream, M-1and Bodog just to name a few, and he has dominated in most promotions. From 2006 to 2009, Mousasi amassed a 14-fight winning streak, beginning with a win over Hector Lombard in Pride and ending when King Mo took his Strikeforce light heavyweight title from him at the end of a five-round decision. Technically, he’s still the Dream light heavyweight champion and owns wins over Mark Hunt, Jacare Souza, Babalu, Ovince St Preux, and most recently Mike Kyle in the final Strikeforce event. His only other blemish from recent battle comes from a draw with Keith Jardine two years ago, which many viewed as a poor decision. UFC Light Heavyweight Contender Ilir Latifi (+1000) Profile: A bull of a man who looks like the Swedish light heavyweight version of a Manny Gamburyan or Wallid Ismail, Ilir Latifi (7-2, 1 NC) comes onto the UFC scene by stepping up for an injured Alexander Gustafsson to face Mousasi in his home country of Sweden. The 29-year-old training partner of Gustafsson is also known as “The Sledgehammer” and has a golden opportunity to prove himself at UFC on FUEL TV 9 in a Rocky-type underdog scenario. From his limited highlight reels, it looks like Latifi is scary guy to face. He rushes forward winging his punches with bad intentions and is willing to throw his opponents to the ground like he’s making a point more than competing in sport. Mousasi is by far his toughest test ever, so it will be interesting to see if he goes for broke when the bell rings like he’s accustomed to or uses a different strategy to hang in there. Opening UFC on FUEL TV 9 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Mousasi a gargantuan -2000 favorite (bet $2000 to win $100) while Latifi opened as a +1000 underdog (bet $100 to win $1000) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. This is the first main event between two fighters making their UFC debuts, and if the line holds up on Saturday, Mousasi will go down as one of the biggest betting favorites in the organization’s history. Latifi has a puncher’s chance in this bout, and that’s about it. The only reason he is getting this fight in the UFC is because Gustafsson suffered a cut above his eye during training, which is ironic because Latifi is his training partner, and no further details have been given regarding how the injury happened. Although there is a very good chance Mousasi will finish Latifi in less than three rounds, it will not go five rounds like other UFC main events now. The bout will be limited to three rounds regardless, and Latifi’s goal should be to go the distance since he has little chance to win. For Mousasi, Latifi obviously is not the opponent he wanted to face in his UFC debut either, but he will need to make the best of the situation and try to put on a show for the fans so he can set up his next bout.

Written by Matty

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