One of the main card bouts at UFC Fight Night 59 is a three-round middleweight bout between Uriah Hall and Louis Taylor. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Hall is a -550 favorite (bet $550 to win $100) while Taylor is a +425 underdog (bet $100 to win $425). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Hall at -505 and Taylor at +335 and the betting public is on Hall. I like Hall a lot here to come through as the favorite. Here’s why. Hall (9-4) was hyped up by UFC president Dana White on TUF for his spinning back kick KO of Adam Cella, but he has disappointed in the Octagon, going 2-2 overall with wins over Chris Leben and Thiago Santos and losses to John Howard and Kelvin Gastelum. The 30-year-old Jamaican has excellent striking skills and is extremely dangerous on the feet (five career T/KO wins) and he also has good wrestling. If he could put it all together he could be the middleweight champion, but he suffers mental lapses in his fights and no one has any idea why. He is as talented as anyone in the division, and the UFC is doing their best to give him easy fights and get his confidence up, but he makes it harder on himself by not showing up to fight. He was originally set to fight Costas Philippou and that would have been a tough fight, but he now takes on Taylor, a short-notice opponent, and if Hall can’t win this fight the UFC should cut him immediately because, as far as styles go, this is a fight where Hall should be scoring a first-round stoppage. Taylor (11-3) is making his UFC debut on two weeks’ notice. The 35-year-old is riding a four-fight win streak with victories over the likes of Brian Houston and Joe Vedepo to get into the UFC, but this is a really bad matchup for him. While he does have a solid submission game (five submission wins) and underrated finishing power (five career T/KO wins), he doesn’t have a good chin and he doesn’t like getting hit. He has tapped to strikes twice and has been knocked out once, and going up against a hard hitter like Hall, this spells trouble. Taylor is probably a little bit underrated but this is a bad situation for him and I would be shocked if he earned the upset, and not surprisingly I agree with where the line is at now. Unless Hall has a complete meltdown, I don’t see how he loses this fight. He’s better in every facet of the game, especially in terms of striking and knockout power. Taylor was on a nice little roll on the regional circuit but Hall is a huge step up in competition from the guys he’s been fighting as of late, and I don’t think he passes this test, especially considering he took the fight on extremely short notice. Taylor has been hurt badly by strikes before and has even tapped out to punches a few times. I think Hall takes Taylor to the ground by either knocking him down with a strike or throwing him down with a slam, beats him up with ground and pound, and collects his first official TKO win in the UFC in a statement victory. I really like Hall in this fight and even despite the high line in his favor, I think he makes for good parlay fodder.
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