The UFC’s second card of the year sees the return of Conor McGregor, who has emerged as one of the organization’s newest stars. The Irish fighter should prove to be a big draw in his second appearance in Boston, and the fact that a featherweight title shot is on the line now makes the fight that much more important. McGregor’s headlining bout against Dennis Siver is also supported by a fantastic lightweight bout between former UFC champion Benson Henderson and former Bellator titlist Eddie Alvarez. The card also features Uriah Hall taking on late replacement Louis Taylor, and Gleison Tibau facing Northern Irleand’s Norman Parke. On the undercard, the Northeastern and Irish theme continues, as John Howard, Cathal Pendred, Chris Wade, and Paddy Holohan all make appearances. Only the main card odds and the Howard/Larkin fight had been released previously, but with Hall’s bout getting rescheduled, that needs a new line as well. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas filled out the Fight Night 59 card today, releasing the remaining lines at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Fox Sports 1, 10pm ET) Conor McGregor -600 Dennis Siver +400
Benson Henderson -215 Eddie Alvarez +165 Benson Henderson -120* Donald Cerrone -120 Uriah Hall -505 Louis Taylor +335 Gleison Tibau -210 Norman Parke +160 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (Fox Sports 1, 7pm ET) Sean Spencer -140 Cathal Pendred +100 John Howard -125 Lorenz Larkin -115 Chris Wade -380 Lipeng Zhang +260 Paddy Holohan -285 Shane Howell +205 Johnny Case -160 Frankie Perez +120 Charles Rosa -175 Sean Soriano +135 ——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 6pm ET) Sean O’Connell -140 Matt Van Buren +100 Joby Sanchez -150 Tateki Matsuda +110 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: Louis Taylor was once a pretty decent prospect, but those days ended about the same time he tapped to strikes against Joe Riggs. He’s a passable fighter, but he’s quite clearly the level of a late replacement, and I don’t think he’s got much for Hall here. Uriah can be passive in fights at times, but he shouldn’t have much to fear from Taylor in this one, and I think he can win via stoppage wherever the fight takes place. I think Sean Spencer is a bad matchup for Cathal Pendred. Spencer has good takedown defense, far better striking than Pendred, and he should have the better cardio of the two. Pendred likely would have lost his first UFC bout if: 1) It wasn’t in Dublin, and 2) If Mike King didn’t gas so horribly. Well, this time around he’s not going to get either of those benefits, and I see Spencer picking him apart to a decision, or perhaps even a late stoppage. Other than Li Jingliang, I haven’t seen a Chinese fighter who has impressed me in the slightest. Lipeng is 2-0 in the UFC, but that speaks more to the talent he’s faced thus far than his actual skills. Chris Wade has advantages wherever this fight goes, and I expect him to take it down to the ground where he’s most comfortable, and either find a submission or a ground-and-pound stoppage. Paddy Holohan is another fighter who seems to have benefited from fighting in his hometown (and then had the exact same effect go against him in his second UFC fight). I’m still pretty unsure of how to gauge Holohan’s skillset, so I’m going to stay away from this fight, but judging from his terrible cardio and fight IQ in the Kelades bout, I’d side with the dog if forced to bet this one. Another dog with some potential is Frankie Perez. Johnny Case has shown a good offensive arsenal in his career, but is still susceptible to being controlled, and Perez is more than capable of that. His only loss came in a tight bout to Chris Wade, and he has shown a well-rounded skill set aside from that, but grappling is his strongest asset. I think the public may come in on Case following his impressive UFC debut, and if they do, Perez could be worth a flier. Charles Rosa did better than many people expected against Dennis Siver, and Sean Soriano has consistently looked worse than everyone thought he would coming into the UFC. This fight could still be interesting though, as Rosa isn’t as good a wrestler as either of Soriano’s previous opponents. I still expect Rosa to survive early and start to pick up takedowns as Soriano tires on his way to a decision or late submission. It won’t be easy though. Now this is a Fight Pass prelim. Sean O’Connell hasn’t shown a ton in his UFC tenure, and Matt Van Buren has shown some of the most atrocious defense in the UFC. I really can’t see myself betting either fighter here, but I actually think Van Buren could be in a good position as the more skilled offensive fighter to get a win, especially since O’Connell hasn’t proven to be particularly durable in his career. Sanchez/Matsuda is actually a pretty solid opener for this card. Sanchez gave Wilson Reis a good run for his money in his UFC debut, and Matsuda did the same against Chris Beal. Matsuda lost that bout because he grappled too much, and Sanchez lost because he couldn’t grapple enough. Both are solid strikers, but I think Sanchez has the edge there, while Matsuda could be a bit better on the ground. I think Sanchez will be more capable of stopping the fight, but Matsuda may be able to pile up more points. If Sanchez gets bet up to -200, Matsuda could be worth a small play, but aside from that I believe this is just one to sit back and watch. *Benson Henderson will now take on Donald Cerrone after original opponent Eddie Alvarez dropped out of the fight due to injury.
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