Full betting odds were released Monday at 5Dimes Sportsbook for UFC Fight Night 111, a card featuring several former UFC champions. Now, MMAOddsBreaker.com’s Brad Taschuk takes an early look at each of the biggest matchups, and how the lines stack up.
Holly Holm (-350) vs. Bethe Correia (+250): While Holm is undoubtedly the better athlete in this fight, her one-dimensional skill set could make for an extremely competitive bout. I don’t think Holm has the power to put Correia away (although she surprised me by being able to hurt de Randamie), so that means she’ll have to keep this fight at range for the better part of 25 minutes. Against a fighter as focused on aggression and closing the distance as Correia, that could prove a difficult task. I’m not sure I’d go as far as to pick Correia outright, but if her points handicap is +9.5, I’ll be very interested in that wager.
Marcin Tybura (-190) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+150): If Tybura hadn’t shown significantly improved striking over his past couple of fights, this would be a much closer matchup. As it stands, Tybura still retains his big advantage on the ground, but he can also deliver punishment on the feet and is the more durable fighter there. Arlovski’s hands are quicker, but his overall speed can’t keep up with the younger fighter here, and Tybura can take this to the mat if he feels uncomfortable on the feet at any point.
Colby Covington (-165) vs. Dong Hyun Kim (+125): The wild version of Kim would probably cause Covington more problems in the early going of this bout, but it won’t be sustainable for the Korean. However, if Kim comes out looking to grind like he has in the past, I believe that Covington will be able to match his physicality and still manage to wear him down. This is a tough bout for Kim regardless of how he approaches it and could signal a changing of the guard when it comes to grinding top 10 welterweights.
Rafael dos Anjos (-185) vs. Tarec Saffiedine (+145): I have a hard time backing Saffiedine in fights because of his almost constant lack of activity. That will be a problem against a guy like dos Anjos, who likes to push forward aggressively and has a solid chin to eat the occasional counter landed on him. The one concern about a fighter moving up in weight is normally being physically overwhelmed, but even that isn’t much of a concern here since Saffiedine won’t be using grappling to impose himself over the former lightweight. At the opener, dos Anjos is a worthy parlay piece in my eyes.
Jon Tuck (-230) vs. Takanori Gomi (+170): From a skills perspective, this is Tuck’s fight. If he takes Gomi to ground, this one is a wrap. Even on the feet, Tuck is tough and has a decent variety in his striking. He’s not as dangerous from a power perspective, but he only has to survive that power for a couple minutes to really be able to take advantage. Tuck’s defense has historically been rather poor though, so the danger here is high enough that I’m not interested in playing Tuck straight or in a parlay.
Walt Harris (-215) vs. Cyril Asker (+165): Harris has proven to be better than his initial UFC run indicated, and that could very well continue here. He has the athleticism and punching power that has caused problems for Cyril Asker in his UFC debut, and a win over Dmitry Smolyakov doesn’t do much to convince me he’s corrected any issues in his game. Perhaps if Asker avoids the big shot early, he can manage some success against Harris later in the fight, but even then I don’t think he’ll want to hang around on the feet, and I’m not sure his wrestling can get Harris to the mat or control him.
Justin Scoggins (-555) vs. Ulka Sasaki (+365): I’m always hesitant when guys leave a weight class claiming they can’t make the weight anymore, suffer a loss and suddenly end up back at the weight they “couldn’t make.” That’s exactly the scenario with Scoggins here, and on top of that, he’s a fighter who has some serious lapses in grappling exchanges. Potentially being drained by a tough cut, travelling across the world and grappling with Sasaki (which he will inevitably do, because he can’t seem help himself) is not the recipe you want in a -500 favorite. Much like I did in Scoggins’ last fight against Pedro Munhoz, I’m going to wait and see what the submission prop is for Sasaki, as I feel it will be difficult for him to win any other way. However, because of the big moneyline number on Sasaki, I would require near four digits to play that prop in place of the straight bet.
Li Jingliang (-405) vs. Frank Camacho (+285): Camacho has decent pop in his hands, but at this level, he’s a mid-sized lightweight stepping in on short notice to take on a pretty massive welterweight. This was a time-and-place call by the UFC to keep Jingliang on the card, as Camacho’s recent competition (his last five wins were a combined 28-22-2 at the time he faced them) doesn’t warrant a UFC shot. He does hold a 2014 win over Keita Nakamura, so perhaps I’m selling Camacho a bit short here (K-Taro beat Li, after all), but I think the physicality of this matchup simply doesn’t bode well for him.
Kwan Ho Kwak (-185) vs. Russell Doane (+145): Doane isn’t old, but he might be reaching the point where he’s old for his division. We know that comes earlier for lighter fighters, so Doane being 30 years old at bantamweight could be the equivalent of half a decade or more at a heavier weight. There’s also the issue that his defense in every facet is deficient. His takedown defense has consistently let him down, and despite being a talented offensive striker, that has not translated to good fundamentals when shots come back the other way. I think the former will be more of an issue against Kwak, as Doane could spend significant time on his back en route to a decision loss here.
Naoki Inoue (-265) vs. Carls John de Tomas (+185): We all know my affinity for inflated Midwestern records from UFC debutantes, but the Philippines is looking for respect in that realm themselves. De Tomas’ eight opponents have a combined record of 24-29, and only two of them have a winning record (one of those being 3-2). Now, the kid is only 20 years old, so I like that his managers have been booking him gently to begin his career. The only problem is that once you get to the UFC, that control goes out the window. On the other hand, Naoki Inoue — despite being just 19 himself — has faced much better competition, looked better against that competition and owns a plus-attribute in his grappling where de Tomas has found the majority of his success thus far. Roughly 15 years of watching MMA has taught me to temper expectations around Japanese fighters, but I see no reason Inoue can’t find success against virtually all of the fighters the UFC matches him with from his part of the globe, starting with a submission victory here.
Lucie Pudilova (-120) vs. Ji Yeon Kim (-120): No reason to misrepresent here. I haven’t done any research on either fighter, I will not be betting this fight, and the only reason I’ll be watching it is because I work overnights and there’s not much else to do at 4:30 a.m.
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