The main event of UFC Fight Night 67 is a five-round welterweight bout between Carlos Condit and Thiago Alves. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Condit is a -260 favorite (bet $260 to win $100) while Alves is a +220 underdog (bet $100 to win $220). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Condit at -190 and Alves at +150, and the money has come in on the favorite Condit. I agree with the action coming in on Condit as I believe he defeats Alves. Here’s why. Condit (29-8) is one of the top welterweight fighter in the world, and the former UFC interim welterweight champion. The 31-year-old American is 6-4 in the UFC with wins over Martin Kampmann, Nick Diaz, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Dong Hyun Kim and Dan Hardy, with losses to Georges St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks, Kampmann, and Tyrone Woodley. Condit is simply one of the most well-rounded, dangerous fighters in the division and a real joy to watch fight. Of his 29 wins, 27 have come by stoppage, with 14 coming by knockout and 13 by submission. He has finished some of the best welterweights in the world and with his incredible muay Thai arsenal, he can finish fighters with all of his limbs. He also has a dangerous submission game, although he hasn’t shown it. In addition to all of his skills, he also has incredible cardio and an iron chin. He’s a stud. His problem in the past has been his takedown defence, which can be tested against the better wrestlers in the division, but against Alves that won’t be an issue. What could be an issue is the long injury layoff. He hasn’t fought in over a year since blowing his knee out against Woodley so there are some concerns about how he’ll look. But Condit is a pro, and I truly believe he would only return to the Octagon if he was 100 percent healthy. We’ll find out this weekend what he’s made of, but as far as I’m concerned Condit is a very deserving favorite in this spot. Alves (21-9) has long been ranked in the top 15 in the welterweight division. The 31-year-old Brazilian is 13-6 overall in the UFC with wins over the likes of Jordan Mein, Josh Koscheck, Seth Baczynski and John Howard. Alves is known for his nasty muay Thai and devastating knock out power. He has some of the nastiest, most powerful kicks in the UFC and he also has power in his hands, knees, and elbows. Of his 21 wins, 12 have come by T/KO, including eight knockout wins in the UFC alone. On the feet very few fighter are capable of beating Alves. On the mat is a different story, however. While he isn’t easy to take down, if he does he doesn’t have great submission defence, having been tapped out four times. And that’s obviously going to be an issue going up against a crafty submission artist like Condit. If Alves can keep this fight standing the entire time he will certainly have the chance to win on the feet and possibly knock Condit out. But 25 minutes is a long time, and Alves is a guy who has faded in the past. He’ll have the advantage of fighting in Brazil, but overall this is a tough stylistic matchup for Alves and that’s why he’s the underdog. This is an awesome fight and will be in contention for “Fight of the Night,” no doubt about it. I expect Alves to perform like the warrior he is, but I like Condit here. I think he’s the superior mixed martial artist and I expect him to win this fight, probably by stoppage. Alves is a tremendous striker, but he’s pretty one dimensional, whereas Condit is a dynamic fighter both on the feet and on the mat. I have a feeling the first few rounds will feature Condit and Alves going toe-to-toe on the feet for the crowd’s delight. However, this is a 25-minute fight and the longer it goes the more it favors Condit, who has arguably the best gas tank in the division. I actually think Alves is going to gas late in the fight and Condit is going to get a submission similar to what Kampmann did to Alves. However, I could also see Alves winning by TKO or decision. Basically, I like Condit here. The layoff is a concern, but Condit wouldn’t come back unless he was 100 percent healthy, and I think he’ll be fight. I like Condit a lot here and consider him a good parlay piece this weekend.
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