UFC 178 is one of deepest UFC cards in recent memory. Even despite the flyweight title main event not being the most intriguing bout of the year, this is a can’t-miss event. Between the UFC debut of Eddie Alvarez, a fantastic featherweight bout featuring Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, and the return of former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, the pay-per-view portion of the card — and even the prelims — have many hooks. Odds for the main card and the preliminary headliner (Cruz vs. Takeya Mizugaki) have already been released at 5Dimes Sportsbook. There are an additional five fights on the preliminary portion of the card which include Jorge Masvidal, and former Zuffa title challengers Patrick Cote and Manny Gamburyan. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the remaining betting odds for UFC 178 at 5Dimes Sportsbook today. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (PPV, 10pm ET) UFC Flyweight Title Demetrious Johnson -1425 Chris Cariaso +675 Donald Cerrone -130 Eddie Alvarez -110 Conor McGregor -170 Dustin Poirier +130 Tim Kennedy -130 Yoel Romero -110 Cat Zingano -280 Amanda Nunes +200 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 8pm ET) Dominick Cruz -350 Takeya Mizugaki +250 Jorge Masvidal -405 James Krause +285 Stephen Thompson -270 Patrick Cote +190 John Howard -180 Brian Ebersole +140 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 7pm ET) Kevin Lee -190 Jon Tuck +150 Cody Gibson -140 Manny Gamburyan +100 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Jorge Masvidal often has the issue of fighting down to his competition. He was rocked against both Daron Cruickshank and Michael Chiesa, both of whom he is a far superior overall fighter than. He still ended up winning both fights however, so I’m confident in him against another well-rounded (but inferior) fighter in James Krause. Masvidal should simply be superior wherever the fight takes place, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see him win a decision on the feet or get some takedowns and win on the ground. Stephen Thompson has made some big strides in his game, especially in his takedown defense. Patrick Cote put on his best performance since coming back to the UFC in his last bout however. Cote’s wrestling especially looked much improved against Kyle Noke, and that’s been Thompson’s weakness historically. Cote’s historically good chin has begun to fade in recent years, so the most likely scenario could be a Thompson KO, but if that doesn’t come Cote may be able to grind out a decision. I think the public might go a bit crazy with this line, and if Cote is available above +200 that could be worth a stab. Brian Ebersole has been one of the least active fighters in the UFC in recent years. After taking two fights in the span of a month back in the summer of 2012, he has had layoffs of 16 months, and now 10 months. It’s hard to back him at this point because of those layoffs and his 68 professional fights. Even though he’s only 33, it seems like Ebersole’s body is starting to give out on him and he’s hitting a bit of a decline. On the other hand, John Howard has experienced a bit of resurgence in his second UFC tenure, looking better with his wrestling and striking. I think Howard outlasts Ebersole in this one to pick up a decision and wouldn’t argue him in a parlay. A potential parlay partner for Howard could be Kevin Lee. I think that Jon Tuck has always been a touch overrated, and his cardio is a huge issue. Lee does slow a bit during fights, but his wrestling and overall grappling game will be superior to Tuck’s, and the Guam native doesn’t have the ability to keep distance for long enough to avoid grappling exchanges for the entire fight. Opening up the card I’ll be siding with youth once again. Cody Gibson has looked like a different fighter since coming to the UFC, putting on a very inspired performance against Aljamain Sterling and then coming back from adversity against Johnny Bedford to pick up a TKO win (albeit a very questionable stoppage). On the other hand, Manny Gamburyan keeps trying to drop weight in order to stay competitive and at some point the returns will diminish too much, and I think this is that spot. Gibson is still going to be bigger fighter with the longer reach which should allow him to control the striking, and he should be the stronger wrestler. I just see this as the end of the road for Gamburyan, and even at the opener I think Gibson is worth a play. I’m hoping the public comes in on Gamburyan because of his name value, but I’m not gonna hold my breath.
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