The UFC will return to a more regular schedule this weekend, as the Octagon heads back stateside for UFC Fight Night 112 on Sunday (June 25, 2017) from Oklahoma City. The event features a mix between up-and-comers and former champions, and thankfully the UFC had the good sense to put the younger fighters in the spotlight. All it took was a brawl over some of the most innocuous comments made in MMA history to do it.

Regardless of whether Kevin Lee shows up to the arena looking like Jimmy Snuka, or Michael Chiesa’s family is in attendance (sorry for talking about your family, Mike), this is an excellent fight — and the stakes may surprise you. Chiesa is the seventh-ranked lightweight in the UFC while Lee finds himself 12th. A win for either man in this spotlight would do wonders for their future title aspirations.

That, and being good at choking opponents, are two of the few similarities between these two. When Lee showed up in the UFC, he seemed destined for success, giving Al Iaquinta a tough bout in a short-notice UFC debut before beginning to assert his physicality over opponents. However, Lee was still somewhat underwhelming in his early UFC career. A shocking knockout loss to Leonardo Santos seemed to awaken him, as he has looked the part of a dominant contender since, reeling off four straight wins and three stoppages in the process.

Chiesa, on the other hand, looks like he’s not even supposed to be here. A (formerly) scruffy, lanky kid from Washington, he surprised everyone by overcoming tragedy following his father’s death to win TUF Live back in 2012. Even in his first UFC loss (to Jorge Masvidal), he impressed, rocking and threatening his opponent early. He has come back with just a TKO loss due to a cut as the lone blemish in his past six fights, all the while consistently finding the back of “superior” grapplers and choking them out, including 10th-ranked Beneil Dariush in his last outing.

Regardless of their differences, both fighters are on a roll, and are always dangerous to bet against. It should come as no surprise then that the line for this bout opened -120 (bet $120 to win $100) both ways, and remains nearly a Pick’em, with Lee now the slight -120 favorite and the comeback on Chiesa at exactly even money (click here for live odds).

The co-main event of UFC Fight Night 112 is in the middleweight division and features one of those aforementioned former champions. Dare it be said that Johny Hendricks — whose career had been left for dead and buried under a pile of poor quality steaks by many — has looked good in his move up to 185 pounds? The sample size is only one fight at the moment, but Hector Lombard is not an easy opponent for anyone, and Hendricks seemed to have some jump back in his step, especially as the fight wore on. He’ll need that energy against the first legitimate middleweight he faces in Tim Boetsch.

Boetsch has settled into the role of gatekeeper to the Top 15 at middleweight. Beat him, and you’re one of the better fighters in the division (except Ed Herman). Lose, and that’s a pretty big setback for your career. Hendricks can’t afford any more setbacks in his career, so he’ll need to use his wrestling skills to avoid being overpowered by Boetsch, and then string his hands together as he’s shown capable of in the past. Oddsmakers opened him a -245 favorite in this bout, but he’s come down to -210 as lines have tightened up. It will be interesting to see how much respect the former champion retains from the public closer to fight time.

The other former champion on this card is 38-year-old BJ Penn, who keeps getting booked despite getting beaten up badly in every fight he’s been in for the past six years (it makes the sport sound kind of sadistic when phrased that way, doesn’t it?). This outing is against Dennis Siver, who is also in his late 30s and hasn’t competed in two years, so the booking is at least slightly more appropriate.

Rounding out the main card are: welterweights Tim Means and Alex Garcia, in what should be a fun scrap; women’s strawweights Felice Herrig and unbeaten Justine Kish; and Clay Guida making his return to lightweight against Erik Koch.

MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting odds for those four remaining main card bouts, as well as the seven-fight preliminary card, today at 5Dimes Sportsbook, but you can check the odds out here first…

UFC Fight Night 112: Chiesa vs. Lee
JUNE 25, 2017
Chesapeake Energy Arena | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Main Card – (FS1, 9PM ET)

Michael Chiesa -120
Kevin Lee -120

Over 2.5 -135
Under 2.5 -105

Tim Boetsch +175
Johny Hendricks -245

Over 2.5 -165
Under 2.5 +125

Felice Herrig +140
Justine Kish -180

Over 2.5 -270
Under 2.5 +190

Joachim Christensen +195
Dominick Reyes -275

Over 1.5 -115
Under 1.5 -125

Alex Garcia +180
Tim Means -260

Over 1.5 -155
Under 1.5 +115

B.J. Penn +140
Dennis Siver -180

Over 2.5 -135
Under 2.5 -105

Preliminary Card – (FS1, 7PM ET)

Clay Guida +185
Erik Koch -265

Over 2.5 -130
Under 2.5 -110

Maryna Moroz +170
Carla Esparza -230

Over 2.5 -245
Under 2.5 +175

Devin Powell +180
Darrell Horcher -260

Over 2.5 -215
Under 2.5 +165

Preliminary Card – (UFC Fight Pass, 5:30PM ET)

Michel Quinones +100
Jared Gordon -140

Over 2.5 -175
Under 2.5 +135

Josh Stansbury -110
Jeremy Kimball -130

Over 1.5 -180
Under 1.5 +140

Johnny Case -110
Tony Martin -130

Over 2.5 -170
Under 2.5 +130

Vitor Miranda +160
Marvin Vettori -210

Over 2.5 -140
Under 2.5 +100

Click below to bet on the fights! 

 

5Dimes

 


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