One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 59 is a three-round lightweight bout between Chris Wade and Zhang Lipeng. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Wade is a -420 favorite (bet $420 to win $100) while Lipeng is a +335 underdog (bet $100 to win $335). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Wade at -380 and Lipeng at +260, and the betting public likes Wade. I like Wade too and think he will win the fight. Here’s why. Wade (8-1) is one of the better prospects in the UFC lightweight division. The 27-year-old American is just 1-0 in the UFC, but he looked tremendous in his first-round submission win over Chris Carrizosa at UFC 177 and I’ve had my eye on him since that fight. He is currently riding a three-fight win streak and has only lost once in his career, a decision setback to the underrated Ozzy Dugulubgov in WSOF. Wade is a big lightweight wrestler who looks for the takedown and he often gets it. His submission game is a work in progress, but it’s coming along nicely (three career submission wins) and his ground and pound is also improving. His striking needs work but training with a group of kickboxers in Long Island it is getting better. Wade is getting a good matchup style-wise here against Lipeng as he should be able to use his wrestling and control the fight, and that’s why you see him enter the fight as such as big favorite. Lipeng (9-7-1) won the TUF China welterweight tournament and so far is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Wang Sai and Brendan O’Reilly. The 24-year-old Chinese fighter is one of the better mixed martial artists from his country, although that isn’t really saying much as the sport simply hasn’t developed in China that well yet. Still, Lipeng has shown off a good wrestling game, a good scrambling ability on the ground, and his ground and pound and submissions are improving as well. But in this fight, it’s a real test to see just where he is in his development as he’ll be fighting in the U.S. for the first time. There’s no telling how the travel will affect him, but it can’t be a positive. Lipeng is improving as a fighter and he has some skills, but this looks like a bad matchup for him here against Wade and he’s likely going to be finish inside of 15 minutes, which is why he is a big underdog heading into the bout. I don’t even see this fight being close. I think Wade is better in every facet of the game, and I expect him to mop the floor with the TUF China winner. Wade could choose to stand and trade with Lipeng and look for the knockout blow on the feet, but I think it’s more likely he chooses to use his wrestling to take Lipeng to the ground and get top position. And from the top I expect him to unleash ground and pound on Lipeng until the ref stops it or until Lipeng rolls over and Wade takes his back and chokes him out. I am very confident in Wade in this matchup, and at -420 I think he makes good parlay fodder.
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