With the UFC’s next pay-per-view event just over three weeks away, it’s time to start taking a look at the betting odds for the card. Two bouts on the card already have lines released, and they’re about as different as can be. In the main event, T.J. Dillashaw will defend his newly won UFC bantamweight title against the man he took it from, Renan Barao. In their first fight, Barao closed as a massive -910 favorite (bet $910 to win $100) over Dillashaw. The Team Alpha Male member dominated that first fight, scoring a fifth-round TKO in one of the biggest statistical upsets in UFC history. This time, the odds are much closer, with Dillashaw sitting at -140 and Barao the small underdog at +120 (bet $100 to win $120). There are eight additional bouts on the card which up until now didn’t have betting lines posted. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas changed that today as he released the full UFC 177 betting odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook. ——————– MAIN CARD (PPV, 10pm ET) UFC Bantamweight Title TJ Dillashaw -140 Renan Barao +100 Tony Ferguson -265 Danny Castillo +185 Bethe Correia -160 Shayna Baszler +120 Carlos Diego Ferreira -280 Ramsey Nijem +200 Yancy Medeiros -135 Damon Jackson -105 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 8pm ET) Lorenz Larkin -140 Derek Brunson +100 Henry Cejudo -185 Scott Jorgensen +145 Anthony Hamilton -210 Ruan Potts +160 Joe Soto -125 Anthony Birchak -115 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Night, 7:30pm ET) Chris Wade -140 Cain Carrizosa +100 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: I really want Bethe Correia to win this fight, just so I never have to hear anything about the ridiculous “Four Horsewomen” ever again. That said, Correia has never faced anyone of Baszler’s skill level, especially when it comes to grappling. I think Baszler can wade through Correia’s striking and drag this fight to the ground where she will have a distinct advantage. The biggest worry for me is about Baszler’s long layoff and injury woes of late, which is more than enough to keep me away from betting her. Tony Ferguson seems like a nightmare matchup for Danny Castillo. Castillo has been tagged on the feet several times before, and unlike his bouts against Tim Means or Anthony Njokuani, he won’t be able to fall back on his wrestling here if the striking doesn’t go to plan. This should be very competitive in all areas, but Ferguson has slight edges which should propel him to victory. Lorenz Larkin is only 27, but the decline in his performances of late makes him seem more like a 37-year-old. He looked completely listless against Brad Tavares for 10 minutes, and was quickly dispatched by Costas Philippou. On the other hand, Derek Brunson provided the toughest test of Yoel Romero’s career in his most recent bout. It seems like Larkin was extremely overvalued as a prospect while in Strikeforce, while Brunson was overlooked. This is an extremely difficult bout to call in terms of a side or a total, so I’ll likely stay away entirely. On the other hand, I think Ramsey Nijem is in for a rough night against Carlos Diego Ferreira. Nijem may have a wrestling advantage here, but even that is questionable. Ferreira is the far better submission grappler, and probably even the better striker at this point (although Nijem’s improvement in that regard last time out was nice to see). I expect Ferreira to get the win, and probably put another finish on his resume either from his submission skills or Nijem’s questionable chin. Henry Cejudo always made for fascinating bouts even when he was facing completely overmatched competition, so now that he’s up against a legitimate test in Scott Jorgensen, I have to admit this is one of my most anticipated bouts on the card. The physical advantages here belong to Cejudo, as does the wrestling edge, naturally. He may not have the well-rounded skill set to stop Jorgensen, but I think he wins rounds with takedowns and scrambling. Cejudo passed one of the important tests for prospects in his last outing as well, getting cracked square on the jaw and shaking it off to win not only the fight, but that round as well. The big question with Cejudo, as always, is: how focused is he? Perhaps being signed by the UFC was the impetus he needed to start taking the sport seriously, as in his previous appearances (and non-appearances) with Legacy FC, it’s quite obvious he’s been coasting at times. Against Jorgensen he may not be able to get away with a half effort, and if he does it will make him even more special. A Legacy veteran making his UFC debut with decidedly less fanfare is 39-year-old Richard Odoms. His only loss came to UFC heavyweight Jared Rosholt, but he’s generally been able to control and outhustle opponents to pick up decisions. That will be difficult against Ruslan Magomedov, who actually possesses decent cardio for a heavyweight, to go along with his solid striking. Coming off of nearly a year layoff, it’s hard to expect much from Odoms, so I expect Magomedov to pick up the win, but he’s someone I fully expect to fade if he can pick up a couple more wins and face decent competition. The hype on Yancy Medeiros came a bit too quickly, and should almost be snuffed out at this point. His striking defense looked atrocious against both Yves Edwards and Jim Miller, and his submission game was practically non-existent as he was tapped within seconds of hitting the ground against Miller. Perhaps that could work to the advantage of his backers against Justin Edwards however, as Edwards really isn’t UFC caliber, even at this point. Edwards has a good guillotine, and not many other skills, so Medeiros has this fight to win as long as he doesn’t dive into that weapon. Edwards will likely come out fast, since he should know that a win will mark the end of his UFC employ. Speaking of pink-slip derbies, the loser of Ruan Potts and Anthony Hamilton will likely be shown the door as well, since both put on putrid dislpays in their UFC debuts. Potts is an aggressive — but not overly talented — grappler, while Hamilton showed massive holes in his grappling against Alexey Oleinik. On the other hand, Hamilton has some power and Potts was put out by one shot on the ground against Soa Palelei. Either guy could finish this fight quickly and I wouldn’t be surprised, or they could play it safe and we could be treated to some truly awful heavyweight MMA. If the price for this bout to go over 1.5 rounds is high enough, I may just take a shot there in hopes that the bout really is of the hilariously bad variety, but I can’t see myself putting much more than Monopoly money down on this contest.
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