One of the main card bouts at UFC 183 is a three-round lightweight bout between Al Iaquinta and Joe Lauzon. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Iaquinta is a -190 favorite (bet $190 to win $100) while Lauzon is a +150 underdog (bet $100 to win $150). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Iaquinta at -135 and Lauzon at -105 and the public is on Iaquinta here. I agree with the line movement as I’m picking Iaquinta to win this fight. Here’s why. Iaquinta (10-3-1) is a TUF season 15 veteran who has compiled a 5-2 UFC record with wins over Kevin Lee, Piotr Hallmann, Ryan Couture, Rodrigo Damm and Ross Pearson and losses to Michael Chiesa and Mitch Clarke. The 27-year-old American is a sprawl-and-brawl fighter who typically uses his wrestling in reverse to keep his fights standing and outstrike his opponents on the feet. He has good power in his hands (five career T/KO wins) and is coming off of back-to-back knockout wins on Damm and Pearson. However, while Iaquinta is a stud on the feet, his ground game needs work. He has been submitted three times in his career and anytime his fights go to the mat he can be tapped out, which is a huge concern against a crafty vet like Lauzon. If Iaquinta fights smart and keeps this fight on the feet he can absolutely win, but should be be foolish and take this fight to the ground it could cost him, making him a bit of a risky play this weekend. Lauzon (24-9) is a TUF season 5 veteran and has compiled an 11-6 record in the Octagon with wins over the likes of Chiesa, Mac Danzig, Jamie Varner, Melvin Guillard and Jeremy Stephens, among others. Lauzon is one of the most exciting fighters on the roster and every time he steps in the cage he could win Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night, or Submission of the Night. He is an extremely aggressive fighter and has won 23 of his victories via knockout or submission. On the feet he is a fairly dangerous striker (five career knockout win) but he is by far the most dangerous on the ground as he has won 18 career bouts via submission. He is one of the slickest submission artists in the Octagon and any time his fights go to the mat he can win by tapout. However, while Lauzon is a stud offensively, defensively he has flaws. He has been knocked out three times in his career and he has been submitted three times as well. So going up against a dangerous striker like Iaquinta, he’ll have to be careful on the feet. He needs to find a way to get this fight to the ground because that’s his best way to win, because if this one stays standing he could be in a world of hurt. I think if Iaquinta fights smart, then he should win this fight. As long as he keeps this fight standing to use his superior boxing attack, he should have no problem battering Lauzon on the feet and earning a decision or perhaps even scoring a stoppage. However, if for whatever reason he attempts to take this fight to the ground, he could get submitted by the crafty Lauzon, and we’ve seen Iaquinta do questionable things like that in his previous bouts, namely the fight with Clarke, so it’s hard to trust him. I lean Iaquinta here, but I think it’s safer to pass this fight and look for other betting opportunities on the card.
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