One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 58 is a three-round heavyweight bout between Patrick Cummins and Antonio Carlos Junior. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Cummins is a -155 favorite (bet $155 to win $100) while Carlos Junior is a +135 underdog (bet $100 to win $135). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Cummins at -245 and Carlos Junior at +175, and the public early on likes the dog Carlos Junior. It’s a tricky fight but I lean towards Cummins as a slight favorite. Here’s why. Cummins (6-1) made his UFC debut on short notice earlier this year, losing by KO to Daniel Cormier in the first round. To his credit, the 34-year-old former coffee barista has bounced back in a big way since then, going 2-0 in the UFC with a TKO win over Roger Narvaez and a decision win over Kyle Kingsbury. Cummins is a big, strong light heavyweight with great wrestling and an incredibly strong top game. He is working on his ground and pound and as he continues to gain experience, he will likely find more finishes with his strikes. He also has shown he has very good cardio. His chin is definitely a question mark, but he was only knocked out by Cormier so I’m not exactly sure how to quantify that knockout loss. When Cummins entered the UFC I was very much against all the praise he was getting from the media, but since then I’ve actually gained a liking for him. He has good wrestling and is a grinder, and if he can continue to evolve as a mixed martial artist, he can definitely have some success in the Octagon. Carlos Junior (4-0) won TUF Brazil 3 with a decision win over Vitor Miranda. The 34-year-old Brazilian has only four pro fights and three fights on TUF, and overall shows a lot of promise. He has very good wrestling, is an accomplished submission artist, and he also has improving knockout power in his strikes. He has only been competing as a pro MMA fighter since 2013 so he absolutely has a lot of potential in the sport. Against Cummins, Carlos Junior will be looking to stop the takedowns and dictate where the fight takes place. If he can stop the takedowns, he should have the edge on the feet, and even if Cummins does get on top of him, Carlos Junior has a very good guard from the bottom. This is a tough matchup for him against an American wrestler like Cummins in only his second UFC fight, but it’s a winnable one if he fights the perfect gameplan, and with improvements from his last fight until now, he has a chance of coming through with the upset. More times than not I think Cummins will use his wrestling advantage to take Carlos Junior down to the floor, get in top position, and hold his opponent down and use ground and pound to either get a decision win or score a T/KO finish. I want to bet on Cummins here but with concerns about his chin and going up against a guy with KO power in Carlos Junior, not to mention his submission ability on the ground a pass is likely the safest play here, even with all the line movement taking Cummins down to only -155.
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