The co-main event of UFC 171 is a three-round welterweight bout between Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit and Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley. The current betting line for the fight at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Condit as a -165 favorite (bet $165 to win $100) while Woodley is a +145 underdog (bet $100 to win $145). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Condit at -130 and Woodley at -110, meaning the general direction of the two-way betting action has been on the favorite Condit. This is a very difficult fight to call, but I am going to pick Condit to pull through with the win. Here’s why. Condit (29-7) is the former UFC interim welterweight champion and is considered one of the finest 170 pounders on the planet. The 29-year-old is a tremendous striker who has a 6-3 overall record in the UFC with notable victories over Nick Diaz, Rory MacDonald, Martin Kampmann, Dan Hardy, Dong Hyun Kim, and Jake Ellenberger, with most of those wins coming by way of knockout. He also has an underrated submissions game. If MMA didn’t involve wrestling, then there’s no doubt in my mind that Condit would be the champion. But it does involve wrestling and that’s why Condit just hasn’t got that belt yet, as better wrestlers like Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks have shown in the past that part of his game is his weakness. However, Condit has worked hard on being able to scramble and get off his back and anytime he can keep a fight standing he has a great chance of winning. This weekend at UFC 171 Condit’s wrestling will be tested yet against by another wrestler in Woodley — but will “The Natural Born Killer” pass the test? Woodley (12-2) is a 31-year-old wrestler with knockout power who has a chance to make a big name for himself in MMA with a win over Condit. Although he’s 2-1 in the UFC with knockout wins over Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron, he had an awful fight against Jake Shields and needs to beat Condit and make it exciting to make the fans forget about that awful showing at UFC 161. But at the end of the day Woodley needs to win this fight and get his hand raised, however that comes. So while he does possess big knockout power, Condit is known for his iron chin and I can’t see Woodley knocking him out, and instead I see Woodley reverting back to his grinding style from the Strikeforce days in order to get Condit down to the ground and win rounds. Can he grind Condit out for the full 15 minutes? That’s the biggest question here, but if he’s able to do it then he certainly has the chance of pulling off the upset. I think Woodley will have good success early on with his takedowns, but 15 minutes is a long time and we have seen in the past that Woodley’s cardio isn’t the greatest. I believe Condit is going to make Woodley work hard defending subs for the first two rounds, and by the time the third round comes around, Woodley is going to be tired out and we all know Condit is famous for his third round comebacks. I think Condit is going to realize he needs a stoppage in the third, and I think he gets it in devastating fashion with some brutal strikes that stop Woodley late in the fight as Condit earns another shot at the UFC welterweight title. At -165, I think a pass on Condit is the right call here because of the threat of a decision win by Woodley in a three-round fight. If the fight was five rounds, for sure I’d be laying a bet on Condit but in three rounds the possibility of an upset is too high to consider. That being said, I still favor Condit here, and I do like one small prop as a flier bet — that’s Condit wins in round three, which pays out at +800. But other than that, this fight is a total pass from a betting perspective as far as I’m concerned.
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