RFA 37 Opening Betting Odds

RFA 37In a whirlwind weekend of MMA, flipping to AXS TV on Friday night will yield the same results as always, a solid card with some names to keep an eye on. This week, RFA will be putting on the action, as RFA 37 takes place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A pair of prospects who are natives to the state will garner the bulk of the attention on the card, but all-around it is one of RFA’s best offerings in a while. Fighting out of Sioux Falls, undefeated Devin Clark will battle 6-0 Brazilian Rafael Viana in the main event for the vacant light heavyweight title. Sitting at 5-0 as both an amateur and a pro, Clark will look to return to his finishing ways after winning decisions in his last two fights. MMA oddsbreaker’s James Lynch interviewed the title challenger prior to this bout. Viana, who will be fighting in the US for the first time, actually lost his last fight against UFC veteran Amilcar Alves, but Alves tested positive for a banned substance, and the decision was overturned in Viana’s favor. The co-main event features Leandro Higo getting a shot at the vacant RFA bantamweight title after a pair of dominant victories over Terrion Ware and Marvin Blumer. The 27-year-old — who was one of the favorites to win TUF Brazil 4 but got eliminated in the first round — has looked as good as ever since coming to RFA. He’ll be taking on Joey Miolla, who has won eight straight fights since dropping his pro debut. The winner will pick up the mantle of Pedro Munhoz and Luke Sanders, the two previous RFA bantamweight champions who have gone on to success in the UFC. The third fight on RFA 37 with odds will be the middleweight bout between John Poppie and undefeated Joseph Gigliotti. Poppie has previously challenged for the RFA middleweight title, and is every bit the powerful wrestler he appears. Gigliotti makes his RFA debut after going 6-0 as a pro and 3-0 as an amateur, with all the pro wins coming via stoppage, but Poppie will be the 22-year-old’s biggest test thus far. The other South Dakotan to watch is a bit earlier on the main card. While he won’t have a betting line on his bout (because the number would be boxing-esque) four-time All-American wrestler from the University of Minnesota, Logan Storley, will walk to the cage for the fourth time in his MMA career. All of his previous bouts have been with RFA, and he’s been frighteningly dominant. Three wins, three TKOs, 6:22 total cage time. His upcoming opponent, Cody Lincoln is 3-0 in MMA, but hasn’t competed since 2009. Look for Storley’s overpowering wrestling and ground-and-pound to move him to 4-0 in short order, and keep an eye on the 23-year-old wrecking ball moving forward. Others to watch on this loaded RFA card are undefeated bantamweight Matthew Lopez, Brian Camozzi (younger brother of UFC fighter Chris), and former UFC veteran David Michaud (who has actually been relegated to the preliminary card). James Lynch interviewed both Lopez and Michaud prior to Friday’s event. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the top three fights at RFA 37 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (AXS TV, 10pm ET) Devin Clark -245 Rafael Viana +175 Leandro Higo -600 Joey Miolla +400 John Poppie -185 Joseph Gigliotti +145 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Rafael Viana ran out of gas in a bad way in his last fight (available on UFC Fight Pass, if you’re so inclined) and actually lost the fight. That was a three-rounder against a middleweight who Viana was able to physically dominate. Devin Clark is by no means a massive light heavyweight, but he should be big enough to make Viana work for takedowns early, and that will tire the Brazilian out so that come the third round it’s hard to see him having much left. That should open the door for Clark to score a late TKO or sweep the championship rounds for a decision. The biggest thing that’s surprised me about Leandro Higo in his recent RFA run is how good his wrestling has looked. That’s a bad thing for Joey Miolla. Miolla wants to do a couple of things in the cage: 1) Land his big left hand, and 2) Get his opponent to the cage, slam them, and work from the top. While he doesn’t have the greatest top control, he is able to continually take opponents down when they try to get back up. However, his style of big takedowns and power shots isn’t the most efficient, and by the mid-point of this fight Higo will probably be able to start scoring some takedowns of his own. Higo on top is a dangerous spot for Miolla to be, and I think that at some point the Brazilian finds Miolla’s back and locks in a rear-naked choke to capture the belt. Tape on Joseph Gigliotti is a bit limited, but what I’ve seen looks impressive. He’s a strong wrestler who moves well on the ground, and mixes strikes and submission attempts smoothly. He also trains at a good camp in Power MMA. However, I think in the long run he’ll be better suited at 170, and this fight will show why, as he’ll struggle to get his wrestling game going against a bigger, stronger opponent in John Poppie, and while he hits hard on the feet he isn’t the most technical. He could land a bomb to put Poppie away, but I think the more likely scenario is Poppie grinding out a decision.

Written by Brad Taschuk

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