The opening main card bout at UFC Fight Night 52 is a three-round flyweight bout between Kyoji Horiguchi and Jon delos Reyes. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Horiguchi is a -550 favorite (bet $550 to win $100) while Reyes is a +425 underdog (bet $100 to win $425). MMA linesetter Nick Kalikas opened up Horiguchi at -555 and Reyes at +365, and Horiguchi remains the big favorite in the days leading up to the fight. I definitely like Horiguchi in the matchup and agree with him being a huge favorite over Reyes. Here’s why. Horiguchi (13-1) is one of the top flyweight prospects in the UFC. Just 23 years of age, the Japanese product is 2-0 so far in the Octagon with wins over Darrell Montague and Dustin Pague. Overall he is on a seven-fight win streak, including a victory over UFC vet Ian Loveland, and if he can pick up a few more wins in the UFC, he’ll likely get a title shot. He is a vicious striker with a lot of power for the weight class, having won eight fights by T/KO. He also has some improving grappling ability. I’m very high on Horiguchi and believe he is a future top-five fighter in the weight class. He just has to prove it now. And while Reyes isn’t a big name or anything, it’s still a solid win to add to his resume, and if he can win the fight in devastating fashion it will go a long way towards getting his name in the flyweight title talks. Reyes (7-3) is 0-1 in the UFC with a submission loss to Dustin Kimura. The 27-year-old Guam native was actually looking pretty good against Kimura, knocking him down early in the fight, but soon succumbed to Kimura’s solid submission skills on the ground. Overall Reyes is a pretty solid fighter who is a true finisher with knockout power on the feet and submission ability on the ground. He’s also a very big flyweight, having dropped down from the bantamweight division. Having said that, he has a problem on the ground dealing with submission (three sub losses) and his overall level of competition has been poor. He’s likely a better fighter than everyone is giving him credit for, but he has too many flaws for my liking and I think it makes sense he’s a huge underdog against a top-shelf prospect like Horiguchi. There’s a few clear mismatches on this card and this is another one of them. Yes, Reyes is scrappy and will be a big 125lber, but Horiguchi is so much more skilled and talented here that I really do think the high line on him is justified. Look for Horiguchi to dominate this fight from the opening bell, and I think he’s going to win by stoppage. I like Horiguchi for parlays at -550 and I also see value in the UNDER 1.5 rounds prop at +150, although the moneyline is no doubt the safest option here.
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