UFC 210 will feature Daniel Cormier vs Anthony Johnson for the UFC light heavyweight championship. Cormier submitted Johnson two years ago after getting rocked early in the fight by “Rumble”. Johnson is the favorite in tonight’s matchup despite not beating the champ when he had the chance in 2015. There are a lot of intriguing betting lines on tonight’s card so let’s dig into it.
When handicapping fights I look at it differently. I look for value rather than who is the favorite. Underdogs offer the most value since it’s a fist fight and anything can happen. At UFC 209 we saw +500 underdog Darren Elkins come from behind with a stunning late round TKO to break the bank if you had money on him. A small $20 play meant after the fight you had $120 in your account after the fight. Not every underdog comes out on top but when they do they can cash big for you.
In the main event of UFC 210 “Rumble” is a -125 favorite. That means you would have to lay $125 to win $100. If you think that Johnson is going to get the KO the under 1.5 rounds is also probably worth a look. In his last five wins four have gone past the first round and the other was over in the first thirty seconds of the second. I do think Johnson will win but I think the under 1.5 rounds is the best play. Either Cormier gets knocked out or Johnson could gas out and get submitted like the last fight.
Cormier is 38 years old and has been dropped twice recently in fights against Alexander Gustafsson and Anthony Johnson. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from fighters in the late thirties, it’s that once the chin starts to go it never comes back. All it takes is for one punch to land and Johnson wins the fight. If that happens it likely will be in the first round. Since you are getting +145 the under 1.5 is the best play for the fight.
Cormer/Johnson Under 1.5 rounds is the play
Chris Weidman has dropped two straight in the UFC. But don’t let the stats fool you. He was winning both of those fights before he got caught against Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero. He is a great wrestler with striking to match. As we’ve seen in the past Gegard Mousasi has problems with really good wrestlers. King Mo dominated him on the mat several years ago and I think the same thing happens tonight. At even money Weidman is worth a play since he is the better fighter. Mousasi is good but a bet on Weidman paying even money has more value than anything on the main card. Weidman even money is the play.
Thiago Alves vs Patrick Cote is a fun fight for longtime fans. Both have been fighting in the UFC for a long time and both have fought for a title. At +120 there is a little value in a play on Alves since he is the younger, more explosive fighter. But Cote has been around a longtime and can never be underestimated. What jumps out at me in this fight is the +170 under 2.5 rounds. At 38 years of age Cote’s chin can’t be trusted and I think it will be tested tonight. He hasn’t fought since last June and ring rust could be a factor as well. In his last fight Cote got knocked out by Donald Cerrone and this fight could go the same way. The bottom line is I don’t see this fight going the distance.
Alves/Cote under 2.5 rounds +170 is the play.
Having won 3 straight fights in the UFC with an 18-1 record Sean Strickland is a pretty big underdog coming into UFC 210. He is facing former TUF winner Kamaru Usman. Usman has won eight straight and should be the favorite in this fight. However, I see the fight going the distance and when that happens anything can happen. Should Strickland win it would mean a pretty good payday for very little money. Take the guy who is 18-1 and is the underdog. Too much value to pass it up.
Sean Strickland +255 is the play
Two years ago Myles Jury looked to be one of the top prospects in the lightweight division. But after two consecutive defeats Jury took a year and ah half off. Tonight he is paired with Mike de la Torre from the MMA Lab where he teams with Benson Henderson, Luke Sanders, Scott Holtzman and lots of other talented smaller fighters. de la Torre is 2-2 in his last four fights but at least he is staying active. I don’t trust fighters who are big favorites when they are coming off long layoffs. The value is in de la Torre at +350. Jury is rightfully the favorite but after the layoff you have to put the money on the active fighter and let it ride.
Mike De La Torre +350 is the play
Undefeated Shane Burgos comes into UFC 210 as a pretty big favorite against Charles Rosa. However, Burgos hasn’t really fought the level of competition that Rosa has over the years. Had Burgos fought the guys Rosa has his record would likely be different. Rosa trains at one of the best gyms in the country, American Top Team. When you look at his last few fights He’s 2-1 with his only loss coming to Yair Rodriguez via split decision. Rodriguez is being heralded as the next big thing in the UFC. So if Rosa can hang with the hottest guy in the division and have one judge say he beat him, he’s worth putting a small play on since he’s a big underdog. Looking at this I have to put money on the guy who trains at the better gym and has proven himself against top competition.
Charles Rosa +190 is the play.