One of the main card bouts for UFC Fight Night 62 on Saturday night (March 21, 2015) is a three-round lightweight bout between Gilbert Burns and Alex Oliveira. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Burns is a -550 favorite (bet $550 to win $100) while Oliveira is a +425 underdog (bet $100 to win $425). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Burns at -475 and Oliveira at +325 and so far there has been one-way action in Burns’ direction. I agree that Burns should be a big favorite here as I fully expect him to win this fight. Here’s why. Burns (9-0) is 2-0 in the UFC with wins over Christos Giagos and Andreas Stahl. A member of the Blackzilians, the 28-year-old Brazilian is one of the most accomplished grapplers in the UFC lightweight division and is a very high-level BJJ black belt on the ground. He has won five fights in his MMA career by submission, which shows his grappling has adapted well to mixed martial arts, and he also has three knockouts, showing he has stopping power with his fists as well. Now at 155lbs, Burns is going to be bigger and stronger than most of his opponents. He is still developing his striking, but working with Henri Hooft at the Blackzilians, I expect those improvements on the feet to show sooner rather than later. Burns was originally set to fight Josh Thomson on this card, but after Thomson pulled out with an injury he now takes on UFC newcomer Oliveira and it’s a fight he should absolutely win, which is why the line is so high in his favor. Oliveira (10-1-1, 1 NC) is making his UFC debut on short notice, filling in for an injured Thomson. A muay Thai striker, the Brazilian has eight career knockouts to his credit which shows just how dangerous he is with his standup attack. He is undefeated in his last eight fights and his lone career loss came to current UFC welterweight fighter Wendell Oliveira. Oliveira is still new to this sport, having begun his pro career in 2011, and he could become a decent lightweight fighter when it’s all said and done. However, taking on a stud like Burns on short notice in his UFC debut has disaster written all over it, and that’s why you see him enter this fight as a big underdog despite his talents. Oliveira is actually a pretty decent prospect, but this is just a terrible matchup for him. Burns was training for Thomson for the last few months so he’s going to be in amazing shape for this fight, while Oliveira is taking this bout on extremely short notice. Burns is one of the top lightweight prospects in the game and I fully expect him to have a great showing this weekend. Whether it be by submission or TKO, I really like Burns to win this fight inside the distance, and even at a steep like, I think he is worthy of inclusion into your parlays this weekend.
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