The co-main event of World Series of Fighting 9 is a five-round fight for the vacant WSOF bantamweight title as Marlon Moraes takes on Josh “The Finisher” Rettinghouse. The current betting line for the fight at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Moraes as a -590 favorite (bet $590 to win $100) while Rettinghouse is a +495 underdog (bet $100 to win $495). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Moraes at -505 and Rettinghouse at +335, meaning there has been some action on the favorite Moraes. I agree with the action on Moraes and I’m picking him to win the WSOF bantamweight title. Here’s why. Moraes (12-4-1) is one of the most exciting bantamweight prospects out there and so far he has been terrific in WSOF, racking up a 4-0 record in the promotion and looking every bit like a future champion. The 25-year-old trains with Edson Barboza so it’s no wonder he has vicious leg kicks in his arsenal just like his teammate, and he also has tremendous punching power. Although Moraes struggled earlier in his career and at one point had a 6-4-1 record, he’s come on strong in the last few years and is currently riding a six-fight win streak. Armed with tremendous takedown defence, Moraes is a terrific striker and if he can keep this fight against Rettinghouse on the feet he should be able to put on a show for the fans. Rettinghouse (10-2) made his WSOF debut last October, winning a close decision over Alexis Vila. Although he has a solid future in the sport, I don’t believe he should have received this shot for the vacant belt because he hasn’t earned it yet. The 24-year-old Rettinghouse is primarily a grappler and he will look to take this fight against Moraes to the floor and attempt to grind his opponent out for five rounds or submit him. But he doesn’t really have the striking to close the distance and Moraes’ takedown defence is good enough that if he sees Rettinghouse’s shots coming he should be able to stop them. So unless Rettinghouse’s wrestling is better than most think it is, this fight should take place on the feet and with a big disadvantage there, Rettinghouse could be in trouble. Moraes has excellent takedown defence and I believe he will be able to stop the majority of Rettinghouse’s takedown attempts and keep this fight standing, and on the feet Moraes has a huge edge in the standup. Although Rettinghouse is tough, Moraes should be able to inflict enough damage with his kicks and punches over the course of five rounds to finish Rettinghouse via TKO and win the WSOF bantamweight belt. At -590, Moraes is a high favorite but I feel there’s still some value as I thought he’d be favored at -700. Rettinghouse is a pretty tough guy but Moraes is an elite bantamweight fighter and I think he wins this fight in impressive fashion. So I think this is a favorite or pass situation — either include Moraes in your parlay, or just pass altogether. As for the total, it’s been set at 2.5 rounds, and I slightly lean the under although I wouldn’t recommend a bet on it unless it was plus money.
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