One of the main card bouts at UFC 184 is a three-round welterweight bout between Alan Jouban and Richard Walsh. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Jouban is a -450 favorite (bet $ to win $100) while Walsh is a +360 underdog (bet $100 to win $360). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Jouban as a -385 favorirte and Walsh as a +265 underdog and the betting public is all over Jouban in this one. I do lean towards Jouban here slightly, although I believe the line is now too high in his favor. Here’s why. Jouban (10-3) is 1-1 in the UFC with a KO win over Seth Baczynski and a decision loss to Warlley Alves. The 32-year-old American is a solid striker with knockout power (seven career T/KO wins) who is always aggressive in his fights. His wrestling is serviceable, but needs work, although his submission game is very legit, even off of his back. Jouban also has a very solid chin, although he does have a tendency to get hit, and his cardio is solid as well. Overall he’s just a solid welterweight fighter, but I’m not sure what his ceiling is. I think he’s good enough to beat a guy like Walsh, but I’m not sure how much farther he gets up the welterweight ladder if he gets the W this weekend just because I don’t think he excels in any one area of the game, and to stand out in the UFC, that’s often a must. Walsh (8-3) was a cast member on TUF Nations and is so far 1-1 in the UFC with a decision win over Chris Indich and a split decision loss to Kiichi Kunimoto. The 26-year-old Aussie is mostly a grinder. He likes to push his opponents up against the fence, look for the takedowns, and look to control his foes on the mat. His striking isn’t the greatest, but it is improving, and he does carry with himself a solid chin that allows himself to eat shots while he closes the distance. I still question Walsh’s submission defence as he’s been tapped out twice in his career (once on the show, once in his pro career), although he won’t have to worry about that too much in this fight. He will have to worry about getting hit by Jouban, though, and unless he has improved his striking by a wide margin over the last four or five months, he’s probably going to get outstruck in this fight and lose, which is why you see the line the way it is. Walsh is going to look to grind on Jouban but I don’t know how much success he’s going to have much success doing so. I think Jouban is going to be able to keep Walsh away from him with his strikes, stay in the center of the Octagon, and outpoint the Aussie en route to a decision win. I’m on the fence about a bet at the current line because I’m scared the judges could give the nod to Walsh if Jouban gets pressed against the fence, but overall this is Jouban’s fight to win or lose, although I will most likely be passing at the current price.
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