The UFC rolls into Dallas tonight with two big title fights at UFC 211. Joanna Jędrzejczyk will defend her women’s strawweight title against Jéssica Andrade and UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic will take on Junior Dos Santos. There are a lot of intriguing matchups and most importantly some good betting lines if you want to put some action on the fights.
The main event features heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic and former champ Junior Dos Santos. The two men faced off in 2014 and Dos Santos came out on top when he won a unanimous decision. Since then Miocic has won four straight fights by knockout and his last three have all been first round finishes. Dos Santos has only fought twice since then going 1-1 with a knockout loss to Alistair Overeem and a decision win over Ben Rothwell 13 months ago. I think the fight is too close to call but I do think there is value in betting the under in the fight. The over/under is 1.5 rounds. I think at +170 the play is to put some money on the under 1.5 rounds. If Stipe is going to knock JDS out it will be in the first round. And getting almost 2 to 1 odds for a first round finish is too good to pass up.
Taking Miocic/Dos Santos under 1.5 rounds
Jorge Masvidal vs Demian Maia is the typical grappler vs striker matchup you always hear about. If the fight goes to the groun Maia wins everytime. But if it stays standing Masvidal will knock him out. I think this is even but I give a slight edge to Masvidal due to his age. At 39 it’s do or die for Maia. Masvidal is 32 and in his prime. “Gamebred” also trains at American Top Team and I believe he will have a gameplan in place to neutralize Maia’s takedown attempts. Masvidal is actually a slight favorite at -120 but he’s the play tonight.
Taking Masvidal -120
Yair Rodriguez is the hottest guy in the UFC featherweight division right now after four straight wins and a demolishing of BJ Penn in January. Rodriguez hasn’t faced someone with strong wrestling Edgar and he will be put to the test by the former lightweight champ. Like Maia/Masvidal I look at the ages in a close fight and side with the younger fighter. Edgar is 35 and has a lot of miles on him. Rodriguez is 24 and just getting started. I think in this case you have to take the younger fighter and see if “Pantera” can catch Edgar or win a decision.
Taking Rodriguez +120
Eddie Alvarez vs Dustin Poirier has the potential to be “Fight of the Night”. Poirier always puts on a show but he always comes up short when he gets a big fight. Alvarez has been around the block and has been in big fights. He’s won some and lost some but he’s a former champ and anytime you get someone of his caliber at even money in a fight with a gatekeeper like Poirier you have to bet on them.
Taking Alvarez even money
Marco Polo Reyes has quietly gone 3-0 in the UFC and has two KO wins. Somehow James Vick is a huge favorite over Reyes despite his questionable chin. Vick is tall and rangy and will have reach on Reyes all night. However, Reyes has the power advantage and at +295 there is too much value in the line to pass up. Take a flier on Reyes and see if it pays off.
Taking Reyes +295
Chase Sherman is 0-2 in the UFC and will likely be cut with a loss to Rashad Coulter at UFC 211. I don’t think is a legitimate title contender at the stage of his career since he is only 27 years old. Coulter on the otherhand looks to one of the biggest question marks in the division. He’s 35 and his best win is over a guy who is 4-3. All his other wins are against guys with terrible records. I think Sherman exposed Coutler and picks up his first UFC win.
Taking Sherman -105