The main event of UFC Fight Night 58 is a five-round middleweight bout between Lyoto Machida and CB Dollaway. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Machida is a -600 favorite (bet $600 to win $100) while Dollaway is a +450 underdog (bet $100 to win $450). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Machida at -600 and Dollaway at +400, and Machida remains a large betting favorite heading into the weekend. I like Machida a lot in this fight and feel he’s justifiably a huge favorite. Here’s why. Machida (21-5) is the former UFC light heavyweight champion and one of the top middleweights contenders right now in the UFC. The 36-year-old Brazilian is 13-5 overall in the UFC, with a 2-1 record at 185lbs with victories over Gegard Mousasi and Mark Munoz and a decision loss to champion Chris Weidman in his new weight class. Machida was long one of the best 205ers in the world, but since moving down to 185lbs I think he’s looked even better, which is hard to believe considering his success back at light heavyweight. Machida’s just an amazing striker who is capable of finishing any fight with one strike. He has wicked kicks, brutal straight punches, good knees, elbows, everything. He’s just a complete striker. He also has also excellent wrestling, both defensively and offensively as well. His cardio is fantastic and his chin has proven to be quite solid over the years. Overall he is one of the most complete fighters in the sport and could very well become the UFC middleweight champion in short order. He is coming off the loss to Weidman, but he gave the champ by far his toughest fight in the UFC and I think Machida’s stock actually rose in defeat. I’ve been nothing but impressed with Machida at middleweight, and I fully expect for the good times to roll when he takes on Dollaway this weekend in the main event of UFC Fight Night 58. Dollaway (15-5) was runner-up on The Ultimate Fighter season 7 and has since carved out a solid career for himself in the UFC, going 9-5 overall in the promotion. Back in 2011, the now 31-year-old American appeared to be on the outs with back-to-back knockout losses to Jared Hamman and Mark Munoz, but credit to him as he’s since reeled off four wins in his last five fights, including back-to-back wins over Cezar Ferreira and Francis Carmont in his last two outings. Dollaway’s wrestling has always been his biggest strength, but he’s shown an evolution in his striking his last few fights, especially his boxing, and that newfound striking acumen to go along with his already-solid wrestling and submission skills has turned him into a pretender into a legitimate top-10 fighter at 185lbs, and a win over Machida could earn him a title shot. Having said that, while I have been impressed with Dollaway’s run as of late, he still stands a class behind Machida, and unless he can connect with a lucky punch or fight the perfect gameplan for five rounds (which he has never gone, by the way), then I don’t see how he wins this fight, and not surprisingly he is a big underdog heading into it. It’s been nice to see Dollaway evolve over the last few years, but Machida is another beast. Say what you want about the Tim Boetsch decision, but Dollaway was competitive with Boetsch in that fight and that was just over a year ago, and Machida is a far superior fighter to Boetsch. Dollaway has looked great in 2014 in his wins over Ferreira and Carmont, but Machida has looked even better in his win over Mousasi and even in defeat to Machida. I think Machida is a terrible matchup for Dollaway because I think he’s better in every area of the game except for maybe pure wrestling. Even saying that, though, I don’t Dollaway can get Machida to the mat and control him there, and on the feet Machida is obviously leagues ahead. I think Machida keeps this fight on the feet and finds a spot to unleash a highlight-reel knockout to jump back into title contention. The line is high at -600 but I think Machida wins this fight and I think he’s good for parlays. I also like UNDER 2.5 rounds at -140 because I see Machida getting a finish.
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