This Saturday, the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio will play host to a massive 13-fight card as UFC Fight Night 40 comes to town. The main card on Fox Sports 1 looks like it will provide a great deal of entertainment with fighters like Matt Brown and Erick Silva headlining, while entertaining strikers like Lorenz Larkin, Erik Koch and Tim Means will also ply their trade. Before we get to that Fox Sports 1 portion of the card, there are seven fights between Fox Sports 2 and UFC Fight Pass which should provide not only fun for fans, but feature a great deal of high-level competitors. Middleweights Ed Herman and Rafael Natal will be the final bout before hitting the main card, but the real gem on the undercard seems to be the flyweight bout between Kyoji Horiguchi and Darrell Montague. A pair of former title challengers also find themselves on the undercard, as bantamweight Eddie Wineland takes on Johnny Eduardo on FS2, while featherweight Manny Gamburyan tries to rebound from his loss to Dennis Siver (which was later changed to a no contest) as he faces another grinder in Nik Lentz. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for the undercard of UFC Fight Night 40 at 5Dimes Sportsbook today. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 10pm ET) Erick Silva -170 Matt Brown +130 Lorenz Larkin -210 Costas Philippou +160 Erik Koch -270 Daron Cruickshank +190 Tim Means -185 Neil Magny +145 Soa Palelei -190 Ruan Potts +150 Louis Smolka -130 Chris Cariaso -110 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 2, 8pm ET) Rafael Natal -150 Ed Herman +110 Kyoji Horiguchi -170 Darrell Montague +130 Yan Cabral -305 Zak Cummings +225 Eddie Wineland -425 Johnny Eduardo +305 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30pm ET) Nik Lentz -315 Manny Gamburyan +235 Justin Salas -210 Ben Wall +160 Albert Tumenov -230 Anthony Lapsley +170 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Whenever we get a big slate of lines opening all at once, I’m always happy because there is usually some value. Ed Herman has made himself a nice career in the UFC by being an entertaining fighter over than past eight years. During that time he’s competed 15 times in the octagon going 8-6 with one no contest. However, it seems like Herman has been on a bit of a decline recently, dropping two of his past three (three of four if you count the Jake Shields bout which was overturned to a no contest). Although he was knocked out in his last fight, Rafael Natal has looked pretty good recently. His wrestling and striking have improved a great deal since he came into the UFC, and I think he puts both to good use here, taking advantage of the fact that Herman is defensively deficient and also extremely slow. I don’t think the public got a good read on what Darrell Montague actually brings to the cage in his debut against John Dodson, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see this line get a bit outrageous in Horiguchi’s favor, as he looked very impressive stopping Dustin Pague. Horiguchi does have the ability to crack Montague’s chin again here, and down at his natural weight he should be more equipped to deal with his opponent’s wrestling, so I do lean towards the Japanese import. However if he doesn’t find that stoppage, this is going to be a very competitive bout that most will likely think can go either way on the judges cards. I feel like I’m one of the few people who thinks something of Zak Cummings as a fighter, but I do not like this matchup for him. Cummings almost always relies on his grappling, but if he comes forward with some reckless takedown attempts against Cabral, he’ll likely find himself reversed and on the bottom, somewhere Cabral is very adept at keeping opponents. I’m not sure the Brazilian finishes this bout, but if he does happen to lock up Nova Uniao’s signature arm-triangle, don’t be shocked. Johnny Eduardo is a better fighter than people are going to give him credit for in this fight, but that doesn’t mean I feel he’s got a good chance to win. Eddie Wineland is a top bantamweight, and he’s facing an opponent who hasn’t been in the cage in almost two full years. Although Joe Rogan will probably be going on about how Wineland’s striking isn’t textbook, he’ll be doing so while Wineland is slipping Eduardo’s strikes and landing hard ones of his own, likely en route to a stoppage. Brad Pickett has been the only fighter to lose to Wineland and survive to the final bell in the UFC, and even though Eduardo hasn’t been knocked out yet in his career I see that changing. The line for this bout will probably get ridiculous, so it’s best to play it early or wait until fight day and hope some money comes back in on the dog. When Nik Lentz and Manny Gamburyan have their best success, they try to do the same things in the cage. Takedowns, top control and ground and pound. The difference that I see is that Lentz is better at all of those things. My one worry about playing Lentz here is that he has shown he is more susceptible to being taken down than Manny, but those problems were at 155 (and against Chad Mendes, whom he performed much better against than most expected anyways) so it mitigates a bit of that worry. These two also share some common opponents in the UFC: Diego Nunes, Tyson Griffin and Thiago Tavares. Lentz is 2-0-1 against them, while Gamburyan is 0-3. Whoever doesn’t get their hand raised in the Salas/Wall bout is likely going to find themselves out of the UFC shortly thereafter. Ben Wall gets a pass for his UFC debut against Alex Garcia a weight class up from his natural one, but I only think he’ll fare better against Salas in that he’ll make it to the final bell. Salas has one big advantage in this bout, and that’s his wrestling. He has used it to defeat solid fighters like Rob Emerson and Joe Ellenberger before ever getting to the UFC, and I don’t see any reason why he would change it up with his job on the line. We saw the good and the bad from Albert Tumenov in his UFC debut. He landed vicious ground and pound in the first round against Ildemar Alcantara, but gassed after that and dropped a close decision. As long as he has dedicated himself to improving his cardio, I think he looks good against Lapsley. If he still comes into the fight with half a tank of gas however, he may find that despite his youth and potential, his UFC run is short-lived. I lean towards the former as I think Tumenov can still do very well in the UFC, but not without some trepidation.
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