Full UFC Fight Night 96 Betting Odds

ufc-fight-night-96For just the second time in UFC history, the Octagon will head to Portland, Oregon. However, UFC Fight Night 96 will have a very different feel than UFC 102 did. There is no real Team Quest presence at the top of the card, and rather than being headlined by a pair of fighters past their prime (although Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Randy Couture put on a phenomenal fight), Fight Night 96 will showcase a pair of potential title contenders in the bantamweight division. John Lineker has been dominant in his three fights since moving up to bantamweight, while John Dodson needed just 47 seconds to finish his first bout in his return to the weight. Lineker’s wins over Francisco Rivera, Rob Font, and Michael McDonald have been increasingly impressive, showing off his massive punching power, chin, and much improved wrestling. Dodson certainly showed that he carried his speed and power up from flyweight when he dispatched Manny Gamburyan with ease. A win for either in this big spot could put them right in line for a title shot. The card also features the second UFC appearance of former Bellator champion Will Brooks. While he picked up the win in his debut over a tough opponent in Ross Pearson, Brooks didn’t look as good as he had in Bellator and will be looking to show what he can do against Alex Oliveira. ‘Cowboy’ has won four of his last five fights while bouncing between lightweight and welterweight, but has relied heavily on his grappling, which will be tough against Brooks. A recent change to the card sees TUF 24 competitor Brandon Moreno step in on short notice to face Louis Smolka. Smolka was originally slated to face Sergio Pettis, but a leg injury forced the younger Pettis out. Smolka has been on an incredible run of late, winning four straight fights to put himself on the map at flyweight. Moreno was submitted by favorite Alexandre Pantoja in the first round of the TUF 24 tournament. Rounding out the main card is the only fighter with some Team Quest connection, Josh Burkman. He was originally set to face Bobby Green, but Green withdrew due to personal issues and UFC newcomer Zak Ottow was called. Ottow’s three career losses have all come to Zuffa veterans, and he’s on a four-fight winning streak heading into this bout. Burkman has dropped four of five (although one was changed to a no contest) since returning to the UFC in 2015, so desperately needs a win to get back on track. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas completed the odds for the entire card today at Several Bookmakers, and you can check out the full opening odds below. ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 11pm ET)


——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 2, 9pm ET)


——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7pm ET)


——————– Brad’s Analysis: Moreno has a really solid grappling game, and can probably win some fights in the UFC, but this is absolutely not one of them. Smolka’s ability to scramble is some of the best in MMA, and he has a pace to his grappling that most fighters can’t sustain. Coupled with his seamless inclusion of ground-and-pound, and Smolka is a nightmare for anyone he ends up on the ground with. Unfortunately for Moreno, he might be at an even bigger disadvantage on the feet, where he doesn’t offer much and will struggle to deal with Smolka’s length. Ottow might be catching Burkman at the right time to pull off a bit of an upset here. Burkman is at a point where he’s just looking to put on entertaining fights and can get a bit reckless. That could open up opportunities for Ottow to slip under for takedowns where he’s pretty slick on the ground. Of course, Burkman has generally shown good takedown defense in his career, but the more he opens up for a KO (which is a very realistic way for him to win this fight) the less that takedown defense will matter. I still expect Burkman gets the win, but Ottow has a path to victory that I may explore further if the line gets too high. Is this Frank Waisten? There were so many nicknames and real names for that guy it was hard to keep track, but what I do remember is that he was absolutely unimpressive before Jonathan Wilson completely gassed out and handed that fight over to him. If Joachim Christensen looks like his normal self, and doesn’t come in with UFC jitters and resulting bad cardio, I think he wins. He’s a tough fighter to finish, and is able to grind out a lot of fights. He’s shown an uptick in his finishing ability recently, but against Henrique he should be more concerned with just having a simple gameplan that will allow him to win against an underskilled but tough opponent. Hacran Dias’ refusal to use his wrestling continues to be his biggest downfall. His striking is good enough to win against the lower half of the division, but not as good as he seems to think it is. His bout against Cub Swanson was winnable, just as this fight is. However, if he doesn’t use his wrestling against Fili he could be in for the same type of close contest where Fili’s more dynamic striking comes through on a couple of occasions to make the difference to the judges. Because of his skills and approach, Dias is almost impossible to back as a favorite here even though he’s the better all-around fighter. In Walt Harris’ third UFC run, he may finally get some traction. He struggles when opponents are able to wrestle him, and that’s simply not Shamil Abdurakhimov’s game. Harris also doesn’t really have to worry about the big one-punch KO, as Abdurakhimov wasn’t able to get Anthony Hamilton out in what was essentially a 15-minute striking battle. That should mean Harris will be able to load up on his big right hand and wait for an opening. His length and speed advantage should present one early, and it’s just a matter of whether he can connect clean to put his opponent down. It’s been fun to watch K-Taro get back to the UFC and find a bit of success. Even in his loss to Tom Breese he did much better than most expected him to. He’s also been surprisingly effective on the feet, which bodes well for him earning a bit of respect from Elizeu Zaleski on the feet. That will be essential here, as Nakamura’s end game should be to turn this into a grappling match. He holds quite the advantage over Zaleski on the mat, and should eventually be able to find his signature rear-naked choke if it gets there. Judging by Nicolas Dalby’s six takedowns and Omari Akhmedov’s three, I’m guessing K-Taro can manage one or two and use that to get a bit of a winning streak started for himself. If you asked me a couple of months ago, I would’ve thought that Tamdan McCrory stopping Nate Marquardt early in their fight would be almost a lock. However, after seeing him get stopped in the fashion he did against Krzysztof Jotko I have serious doubts. He probably does stop Marquardt here, but if a Tekken combo comes out of nowhere and lets the former Strikeforce champ pick up another win late in his career, I would be anything but shocked. If anything, I like the under here, but I’m not willing to pay juice for it. Both Cutelaba and Wilson showed toughness in their most recent appearances, but both were eventually stopped regardless. Wilson offered more offensively than Cutelaba, but was also facing a lesser opponent and visibly fatigued much more quickly. I think that cardio will be key here. Wilson will land early and certainly be capable of finding a finish, but if Cutelaba can get out of the first round, he should start to take over. Wilson’s striking in the first round is enough to keep me off a bet for now, but Cutelaba as a dog would be worth a look. Hmm… Curtis Blaydes showed a good chin against Francis Ngannou, who it turns out is pretty good, and now he’s facing a fighter who is a lesser striker. If I was sure that Cody East could go for 7.5 minutes without breaking under the pressure of Blaydes’ wrestling, I’d be all over some #FGF in this fight. As it stands, I still may play it at +100, but East’s durability is a big enough unknown to make me feel shaky about it. I’m hoping the unbeaten Brazilian bias turns into betting tickets on Ketlen Vieira, because I haven’t seen much to impress me. Vieira’s striking is rudimentary, and she’ll be at a big disadvantage to Faszholz if this fight stays on the feet. Given Faszholz’ takedown defense against Lauren Murphy, I think that’s exactly what happens. Even with Faszholz’ one UFC bout, there’s a massive difference here in level of competition, and I’d be surprised if Vieira has made the improvements necessary. Also, if the UFC really thought they had something in Vieira, there’s no reason she’s fighting in Oregon instead of Brasilia last weekend.

Written by Brad Taschuk

Leave a Reply

ToutMaster 2016 Results: Post-UFC Fight Night 95

MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: McGregor-Alvarez, Thompson-Woodley to headline UFC 205