MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas recently released the full main card betting odds for UFC 181 at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Here’s a preview of the evening’s five-fight main card. Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler The main event of UFC 181 is a welterweight title bout between champion Johny Hendricks and challenger Robbie Lawler. Hendricks opened at -270, with the comeback on Lawler +210. Hendricks has been bet down to -220 with Lawler now listed as a +180 underdog. This is a pretty tough fight to call. I liked Lawler in the first fight at +300, but he lost and now he’s only +180, so I just feel like on principle alone I can’t bet it. Hendricks is the favorite for a reason, but he’s been off for nine months which is a bit of a concern, and he’s coming off of surgery. I’m picking Hendricks to win this time, but unless the line drops even more I don’t think I can bet him. Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez The co-main event of UFC 181 is a lightweight title bout between champion Anthony Pettis and top contender Gilbert Melendez. Pettis opened at -185 with Melendez at +145. Pettis has been bet up to -200 and Melendez is now +170. This is another really tough fight to call but again, I lean with the champ Pettis here. The long layoff (16 months) is a huge concern, but I think he’s the better, more talented mixed martial artist. It’s hard to count out Melendez, but I like Pettis here and I think he wins inside the distance. But laying juice on him seems a big risky considering how long he’s been out of the Octagon for, so I still need to think about this one more before I recommend a bet. Travis Browne vs. Brendan Schaub There is a main card heavyweight bout between Travis Browne and Brendan Schaub slated for UFC 181. Browne opened at -270, with Schaub opening at +190. Browne is now -300 after early action came in on him, with the comeback on Schaub +250. I like Browne here a lot and I think the line is fair. I just don’t see how Schaub gets this fight to the ground and while he is a decent striker, his chin is just not good. Browne hits really hard and I think he gets the stoppage here. Even at -300 I think he’s worth playing. Todd Duffee vs. Anthony Hamilton There is also a second heavyweight main card bout at UFC 181, this one featuring Todd Duffee taking on Anthony Hamilton. Duffee opened at -280 and Hamilton opened at +200. Duffee is still -280 but Hamilton is now an even bigger dog at +240 due to lines tightening. I do like Duffee in this fight and I understand why the line is where it’s at, but after a two-year layoff betting on him at such a high price seems like a bad idea. I do expect Duffee to win by knockout, so perhaps that’s a prop to look out for, but this moneyline seems too steep a price to pay for a fighter who has a questionable chin and who is coming off of such a long layoff. Tony Ferguson vs. Abel Trujillo The opening main card bout of UFC 181 is a three-round lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Abel Trujillo. Ferguson opened at -245 with Trujillo at +175. Ferguson is now -240 with the comeback on Trujillo +200 after the lines have tightened. I do like Ferguson in this fight and I feel the line is fair. We saw Jamie Varner give Trujillo numerous problems on the mat in his last fight, and while Trujillo ultimately won that fight via KO, I think Ferguson has the chin to withstand his punches, and in the grappling department he has a huge edge. I like Ferguson here, and I’m thinking he wins by submission.
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