An extremely busy weekend in MMA will kick off on Friday with four notable events around the world. ONE Championship will getting the ball rolling in the morning, while Bellator, Titan FC and Legacy FC all have cards that will be available on highly-visible platforms. The betting odds for Bellator 166 were released on Tuesday, Bellator 167 on Wednesday, Legacy FC 63 will be released shortly, but for the time being our focus shifts to Titan FC 42. The UFC Fight Pass card starts at 7 p.m. (ET) and features an impressive four title fights, looking like the deepest card of the night. The headliner is in the welterweight division, as Dhiego Lima attempts to retain his welterweight title against Jason Jackson. Lima’s durability looked improved against David Michaud in capturing the vacant Titan FC title back in June, as the contest was a back-and-forth affair over 25 minutes. Jackson should be a better test of Lima’s staying power, as he is a natural welterweight and has shown some power in the past. A title is also on the line in the bantamweight division. Had Andrew Whitney made weight for his Titan FC 40 bout with Anderson dos Santos back in August, he would already hold the belt. However, because he weighed in at 137.4, he is now forced to take on Farkhad Sharipov for the title. The two men are finalists in the Titan FC bantamweight tournament and would have faced each other regardless, but it’s interesting how weight-plagued the 135-pound division has been, as Brett Johns was previously stripped of the title for missing weight as well. The second vacant title to be determined at Titan FC 42 is in the heavyweight division. UFC veteran Jack May has recovered from what seemed to be a serious knee injury in his fight against Chase Sherman back in April, and he is ready to face off with Volkan Oezdemir, who was once a highly-touted prospect for Bellator. But Oezdemir found cutting to 205 to be too much, going 1-1 at that weight. He’s won two straight at heavyweight and will be making his Titan debut with an opportunity to win a title. The depth of this Titan card expands beyond those title fights, as Des Green, Kurt Holobaugh, Hayder Hassan and Gesias Cavalcante all appear on this card as well. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the top eight bouts at Titan FC 42 today at 5Dimes sportsbook. Check them out: ——————– Titan FC 42: Lima vs. Jackson DECEMBER 2, 2016 Watsco Center | Coral Gables, FL MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7pm ET) Welterweight Title: Dhiego Lima +140 Jason Jackson -180 Over 1.5 -185 Under 1.5 +145 — Bantamweight Title: Farkhad Sharipov +130 Andrew Whitney -170 Over 2.5 -175 Under 2.5 +135 — Heavyweight Title: Jack May +135 Volkan Oezdemir -175 Over 1.5 +155 Under 1.5 -195 — Yosdenis Cedeno +220 Kurt Holobaugh -300 Over 2.5 -190 Under 2.5 +150 – Martin Brown +185 Desmond Green -265 Over 2.5 -165 Under 2.5 +125 – Robert Turnquest +250 Gesias Cavalcante -350 Over 2.5 -140 Under 2.5 +100 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: It’s still extremely tough to trust Lima after his UFC run, and Jackson has been improving rapidly in his young career. Most will recognize him from TUF 21 as a member of the Blackzillians, where he beat Marcelo Alfaya and lost to Michael Graves. I feel like Graves is a far more skilled and dedicated grappler than Lima, and that will be the game plan the champion needs to enact in order to retain. I think Jackson can keep this on the feet for the most part, and across 25 minutes, I believe he clips Lima enough to either score a stoppage or really make the champion hesitant to engage. If Whitney could get his weight issues in order (he’s missed weight for his last two bouts), he might be in the UFC already. His big struggle is against fighters who can really dominate him with wrestling or athleticism, and Sharipov is a fairly workmanlike grinder who doesn’t fit either of those moulds. This will probably be a close fight, as Sharipov is an opponent who is tough to look good against, but I lean slightly towards Whitney. I think this line should be relatively tight though and can’t recommend a bet on Whitney. Whenever May’s fights get out of the first round, they tend to be pretty ugly. He’s a decent striker but is just too big to maintain solid technique outside of the first five minutes. Luckily, he actually moves somewhat well on the ground, but again doesn’t have the stamina to maintain it. I really have no baseline for what Oezdemir will look like without having to cut down to 205, as he’s weighed in at the 240-pound mark for his heavyweight bouts. Althetically, he’s superior to May, but I’m not sure he’ll have a skill advantage until the fight gets into the later rounds and May is depleted. Perhaps his recent work with the Blackzillians will see him make some big improvements, but I can’t make a play on either side of this fight just on that assumption. As for the non-title fights, I think they pretty much go to plan. Green can outwrestle Brown (although there is some danger if he chooses to play around on the feet), Holobaugh will almost assuredly dominate the latter half of his fight with Cedeno, and even the corpse of Cavalcante is better everywhere than Turnquest (with his only issues arising if he sits back early and allows Turnquest to hang around).
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