After a whirlwind weekend with three events in three days, UFC fans will only have three days off before the Octagon gets another workout. From the bright lights of Las Vegas to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the change in atmosphere will be stark when bantamweights John Lineker and Michael McDonald headline UFC Fight Night 91. Lineker will look to continue his undefeated run at 135, having knocked out Francisco Rivera in a spectacular fight, and then taking a decision over Rob Font in his two previous appearances at the weight. McDonald, a former bantamweight title challenger, returned from a two-plus year layoff to defeat Masanori Kanehara back in January. A win for either in this spot will put them right in the thick of title contention. The main event was actually set to be Tony Ferguson and Michael Chiesa. However, as Ferguson’s fights tend to recently, it fell apart. An injury to Chiesa saw the UFC scramble for a late replacement and bring undefeated Landon Vannata in from RFA. Ferguson has now seen his last four scheduled bouts cancelled for one reason or another. When he does finally step in the cage, now in the co-main event, he’ll be looking for his eighth consecutive victory in the Octagon. Two other two main card bouts are in the middleweight and flyweight divisions. Tim Boetsch has suffered three straight losses, and looks to right the ship against Josh Samman. At 125, both Louis Smolka and Ben Nguyen are hoping to extend their current winning streaks. Smolka has won his last 3 in the UFC, and sports a 4-1 record overall in the Octagon, while Nguyen is 2-0 and a winner of his past nine fights overall. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for UFC Fight Night 91 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– UFC Fight Night 91: McDonald vs Lineker JULY 13, 2016 Denny Sanford Premier Center | Sioux Falls, South Dakota Fight Card Michael McDonald +110 John Lineker -150 Over 1.5 -155 Under 1.5 +115 – Landon Vannata +355 Tony Ferguson -535 Over 1.5 -185 Under 1.5 +145 – Tim Boetsch +165 Josh Samman -215 Over 1.5 -185 Under 1.5 +145 – Daniel Omielanczuk +150 Alexey Oleinik -190 Over 1.5 +145 Under 1.5 -185 – Keita Nakamura +180 Kyle Noke -260 Over 2.5 -185 Under 2.5 +145 – Ben Nguyen +100 Louis Smolka -140 Over 1.5 -175 Under 1.5 +135 – Katlyn Chookagian +180 Lauren Murphy -260 Over 2.5 -260 Under 2.5 +180 – Eric Spicely +175 Sam Alvey -245 Over 2.5 -135 Under 2.5 -105 – Cortney Casey +135 Cristina Stanciu -175 Over 2.5 -215 Under 2.5 +165 – Cody Pfister +200 Scott Holtzman -280 Over 2.5 -175 Under 2.5 +135 – Matthew Lopez +115 Rani Yahya -155 Over 1.5 -190 Under 1.5 +150 – Alex Nicholson +175 Devin Clark -245 Over 1.5 -180 Under 1.5 +140 – ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Michael McDonald has an extremely well-rounded skill set. He was the first person in the UFC to really put Renan Barao in danger when he challenged for the title and he’s shown slick submission skills on multiple occasions. The only thing really lacking in his game is wrestling, and that’s going to be a problem against John Lineker. The way Lineker moves forward makes all of his opponents uncomfortable, and leaves them with limited options. Either they can exchange with him and test their power and chin (as Francisco Rivera did unsuccessfully), consistently move backwards to try to escape Lineker’s pressure and land (as Rob Font attempted, also unsuccessfully), or they can shoot reactive takedowns (which Ian McCall used to some success, as did Ali Bagautinov). The gap in McDonald’s wrestling means he’s likely forced to go with one of the first two options, and those a fights Lineker wins 9 times out of 10. Landon Vannata is a quality fighter who belongs in the UFC, and will probably hang around. That said, this fight is only a touch more competitive than when Khabib Nurmagomedov faced late replacement Darryl Horcher a couple months ago. Vannata will likely get overwhelmed on the feet, and if he manages to survive, he’ll likely be shooting into the same front headlock series which Ferguson has used to fell much more talented fighters. Tim Boetsch seems pretty much done to me. Aside from landing a massive punch early, I’m not sure what he can do against Josh Samman. Boetsch will be at a significant speed disadvantage on the feet, Samman is far more varied in his striking, and Boetsch hasn’t used his wrestling particularly effectively in years. I’m not sure if Samman gets a finish, although I lean in that direction, but I think he definitely picks up the win. Neither Alexey Oliynyk nor Daniel Omielanczuk should be a big favorite over anyone in the UFC. If either guy reaches +200, I’ll have to make a play, but this isn’t a fight I have a particularly strong lean on either way. This is also the type of heavyweight fight that could be a candidate for #FGF if that Over 1.5 comes in at a plus number. If Keita Nakamura can get Kyle Noke on the ground, he can really exploit Noke from top position. If he can’t, Noke should have his way on the feet. K-Taro isn’t a great wrestler, but he’s sneaky once he gets in the clinch and can drag most opponents to the ground. I could be persuaded to make a play on Nakamura by submission or decision if the price is right, and I think there’s a very real chance that happens. Ben Nguyen continues to be an extremely underrated flyweight. His striking is on par with anyone in the division, and he’s shown the other aspects of his game in his limited Octagon time. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the second and third round against someone like Louis Smolka who won’t go away, but I think Nguyen will be landing more in the exchanges throughout the fight. The big concern in backing him is his chin. Nguyen has four previous losses by TKO in his career, and while Smolka doesn’t have massive power he has shown the ability to hurt opponents. I’ll be looking to play Nguyen here at decent plus money, but it won’t be a huge play. Katlyn Chookagian is undefeated in 14 MMA bouts as a pro and amateur, and unlike a lot of female fighters who come in with a similar level of experience, she has actually faced some decent fighters. Lauren Murphy is still a massive step up in competition for her, and I’m not sure that Chookagian can manage that in his UFC debut. This isn’t a fight I’m really looking to play a side on, as I feel that it’s priced accurately, but like with all of Murphy’s fights, we’re probably gonna see a decision. Sam Alvey isn’t the type of fighter I can ever feel comfortable betting as a big favorite due to his low-volume style. He has good takedown defense, so in most cases you don’t have to worry about him being outwrestled for 15 minutes, but as shown in his fight with Elias Theodorou he can be outpointed even by guys who aren’t particularly refined strikers. Eric Spicely may be able to replicate that sort of performance, but I’m not sure I want to bet it. With Alvey coming back on short notice after taking no damage, maybe he’ll finally show the aggression he needs to put his power to good use. I have no idea how Casey/Stanciu is going to play out. Both were competitive with the biggest tests of their careers, and show fairly well-rounded games. I lean slightly towards Casey due to her size, and the fact I still don’t rate Maryna Moroz (Stanciu’s previous UFC opponent) highly at all. This seems like another Over 2.5 that should cash without a worry. Scott Holtzman has every athletic advantage over Cody Pfister, and even if he gasses in this fight, I think he’ll be able to win battles in the clinch and for takedowns. If Pfister had a bit better cardio I’d be open to betting him, but unfortunately he wears down in fights even when he’s able to do what he wants to do. Holtzman actually seems like a fairly safe parlay piece if you’re into that sort of thing. Rani Yahya facing someone will to grapple with him should make for a fun fight. I’m not sure how well it will go for Matthew Lopez, but he’s got the submission savvy to survive even if Yahya is consistently putting him in bad positions. I could see three rounds of Yahya doing his best Demian Maia impression as a worst case scenario, or a fight full of scrambles that gets more and more competitive as Yahya tires. Alex Nicholson is going to be a massive middleweight, and I’m really not sure he can even make the weight. It certainly won’t help his already shaky cardio, and I think that’s where Devin Clark will win this fight. In the first couple of minutes, Nicholson is extremely dangerous, but I don’t see him offering much after the four-minute mark. I’ll pick Clark, but there’s too much potential for him to get clipped in the early going for me to bet him.