UFC 185Although the UFC’s February PPV offering isn’t particularly inspiring, the event on March 14th looks phenomenal. As of right now, UFC 185 features a lightweight title bout in the main event. Anthony Pettis (-420) looks to defend his 155lb belt for the second time against Rafael dos Anjos (+335). A women’s strawweight title fight occupies the the co-main event slot, as Carla Esparza makes her first title defense against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The third big fight on the card features former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks taking on Matt Brown, one of the more consistently entertaining fighters in the sport. On top of those three bouts, the card has an interesting heavyweight showdown between Alistair Overeem (-240) and Roy Nelson (+200). The PPV opener should serve to showcase Olympic gold medallist Henry Cejudo, as he faces the biggest test of his career in former title challenger Chris Cariaso. Fans have regularly complained about the depth of PPV cards in recent years, but events like this (and UFC 184, prior to the injuries) show that the organization still knows how to put a card together. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas recently took a look at the PPV portion of the event, as released the betting lines for the three bouts without odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (PPV, 10pm ET) UFC Lightweight Title Anthony Pettis -350 Rafael dos Anjos +250 UFC Strawweight Title Carla Esparza -185 Joanna Jedrzejczyk +145 Johny Hendricks -270 Matt Brown +190 Alistair Overeem -190 Roy Nelson +150 Henry Cejudo -475 Chris Cariaso +325 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: My colleague Adam Martin took a deeper look at the Esparza/Jedrzejczyk, so be sure to check out his article on the fight. As for my thoughts, I am in the camp that thinks Claudia Gadelha beat Jedrzejczyk in her last outing, and Esparza brings a similar style as Gadelha, but she won’t slow down as much. The Polish fighter has improved her takedown defense of late, but Esparza has both the technical wrestling, strength, and control once it hits the ground to either win on the cards, or perhaps even find a submission in this one. Matt Brown could really give Johny Hendricks trouble… IF Hendricks comes into this fight in the same sort of shape that he came into the second Lawler fight with. The problem for Brown is that this fight is three rounds, and that’s probably not enough time for Hendricks to fade. I think Brown will be a little too over aggressive, and it will allow Hendricks to get some takedowns to win rounds. Hendricks is also an excellent fighter in tight, which is where Brown is at his best, so I actually lean a bit towards Hendricks in that range as well. Henry Cejudo should be able to beat Chris Cariaso wherever this fight goes. He showed that his striking is much better than most anticipated against Dustin Kimura, and should be able to carry that through against a solid but unspectacular striker in Cariaso. Obviously the wrestling is where Cejudo can really shine in this fight, and he will if he needs to, but he may not even need to utilize his wrestling here especially if his striking is still improving.


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