The main event of UFC Fight Night 48 is a five-round middleweight bout between Michael “The Count” Bisping and Cung Le. The current betting line for the fight at 5Dimes Sportsbook lists Bisping as a -325 favorite (bet $325 to win $100) while Le is a +265 underdog (bet $100 to win $265). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened Bisping as a -280 favorite and Le as a +160 underdog, and so far action has come in on Bisping as the favorite. I do believe Bisping is a better fighter than Le so I can see why the public bet the line up, but at this point I believe the line is too high. Here’s why. Bisping (24-6) is one of the top middleweights in the UFC. The 35-year-old Brit is 14-6 overall in the UFC but he’s only 2-3 over his last five bouts and seems to be on the downside of his career. But he still has very good wrestling and good striking and with his excellent cardio he’s a very tough out for anyone at 185lbs. Bisping is coming off a decision loss to Tim Kennedy where he did not look good, but Kennedy has the grappling threat to give Bisping problems and Le doesn’t have that. Instead, all Bisping has to do against Le is worry about his striking, so as long as he doesn’t get caught with a big strike he should win this fight. But his chin is questionable and if he gets hit he could be knocked out cold. Still, though, as long as he doesn’t get caught he holds many edges in this fight and he should be able to get a late stoppage win if he fights up to his capabilities, but at the current line it doesn’t seem like there’s any value in betting him. Le (9-2) is one of the most dangerous strikers at 185lbs. He has excellent punches and unorthodox, spinning kicks, and all of his strikes are thrown with major power. Although he is 42 years of age now, he still possesses knockout power and from all accounts is in the best physical shape of his entire career. He is 2-1 in the UFC with wins over Rich Franklin and Patrick Cote and a loss to Wanderlei Silva, but he hasn’t fought in two years due to his movie career, coaching TUF China, and injuries. Still, he always possesses that knockout threat and it’s hard to lay big juice against because of that. Against Bisping he will have to get the knockout early, but if the fight goes late he could be in trouble as he’s had notoriously bad cardio and doesn’t have the best chin. But he has a chance to win the fight, and the line is arguably too high in his opponent’s favor. There’s really two ways this fight goes: either Le lands a knockout blow in the first two rounds or Bisping weathers the storm and takes the fight to the later rounds and wins by late T/KO stoppage once Le gasses. As far as skills go, Bisping is the more talented, more complete fighter. However, sometimes that doesn’t mean the fighter will win. Time and time again have we seen a more talented fighter go down because they nailed on the chin by a power puncher? It happens all the time, and it makes betting on Bisping at such a high juiced price isn’t a good bet. Although he should use his cardio and footwork to defeat the aging Le, Bisping’s chin is somewhat questionable and Le is one of the most lethal strikers at 185bs in the UFC. So I think passing on Bisping makes sense here, and a flier on Le by stoppage around +400 could be worth a small bet because of the value. But my favorite bet here is the fight not going the full five-round distance, which is +100. With so much finishing ability and with two questionable chins in what should be a striking battle, I don’t think this fight goes five rounds and so at an even-money price I really think that’s the best bet to make here.
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