The main event of the UFC 175 prelims is a three-round bantamweight bout between Urijah “The California Kid” Faber and Alex “Bruce LeRoy” Caceres. The current betting line for the fight at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Faber as a -1165 favorite (bet $1165 to win $100) while Caceres is a +750 underdog (bet $100 to win $750). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Faber at -750 and Caceres at +450, and so far there has been plenty of action on the favorite Faber. Although I think the line is out of hand at this point, I am picking Faber to win this fight. Here’s why. Faber (30-7) is one of the top fighters in the UFC bantamweight division and one of the most popular stars in the UFC. The leader of the Team Alpha Male camp, Faber is 6-3 overall in the UFC with wins over Michael McDonald, Yuri Alcantara, Scott Jorgensen, Ivan Menjivar, Brian Bowles, and Eddie Wineland and his only losses have come to former champs Renan Barao (x2) and Dominick Cruz. An extremely well-rounded fighter, Faber has excellent wrestling, slick submissions, and also underrated striking. He is also always in great shape and always has the cardio to go five strong rounds. He is coming off a loss to Barao via controversial TKO, but with a win over Caceres this weekend he will be back in the title hunt. Although he is 35 now, Faber has barely slowed down and is still one of the best at 135lbs. He is a massive favorite heading into this weekend’s fight against Caceres and for good reason as he should be able to pick up another impressive victory over an overmatched opponent and keep his spot in the top three of the division. Caceres (10-5, 1 NC) was a member of TUF season 12 and has been solid since coming over to the UFC after the show, going 5-3, 1 NC in the Octagon, including a 5-1, 1 NC record since dropping to 135lbs, with wins over Sergio Pettis, Roland Delorme, Motonobu Tezuka, Damacio Page and Cole Escovedo. Just 26, Caceres is constantly improving his game. His submission game, which has always been sick, is still getting better and better, while his striking is extremely flashy and fun to watch and his wrestling is also improving. He could possibly be a dark horse contender at 135lbs, but we won’t know yet until he fights someone in the top 10 of the division. The UFC has given Caceres a massive step up here against Faber, and while I won’t completely discount him earning an upset, it’s not going to be an easy task whatsoever, and that’s why he enters the bout as a huge underdog. Although Caceres is a tricky matchup for anyone at 135lbs, he has shown some flaws in his wrestling and I believe Faber should exploit those in this fight. I see Faber using his wrestling to get Caceres to the ground and either grind out a decision or latch on a submission for the victory. I don’t see any value at all on Faber at -1165 so I’m passing on him here. I have though about putting a flier on Caceres at the huge plus money but I think it’s better to just pass completely on the moneylines in this fight. As for the total, I lean towards OVER 1.5 rounds at -150, and if that line drops closer to a Pick ’em I’ll probably make a play on it.
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