One of the prelims at UFC Fight Night 68 is a three-round lightweight bout between Joe Proctor and Justin Edwards. According to the current betting lines available at 5Dimes Sportsbook, Proctor is a -205 favorite (bet $205 to win $100) while Edwards is a +173 underdog (bet $100 to win $173). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened up Proctor at -210 and Edwards at +160, and overall the line has held steady with Proctor entrenched as the favorite. This should be an action-packed lightweight scrap, one which I see Proctor emerging victorious from. Here’s why. Proctor (10-3) is a veteran of TUF 15 and has since gone on to post a 3-2 record in the UFC with wins over Justin Salas, Cristiano Marcello and Jeremy Larsen with losses to Ramsey Nijem and Yancy Medeiros. A training partner of Joe Lauzon, Proctor is a tough, gritty fighter who doesn’t excel in one area but who is solid in all facets of the game. He has pretty good wrestling, he has decent striking and he has some submission skill. At 29 years of age, he is still improving his game as well. The UFC is giving him a good matchup here in Edwards to keep his job in the UFC. He’s better than Edwards in all areas of the game except for guillotine chokes, and as long as he doesn’t get caught this should really be his fight to win, which is why you see him as a 2-to-1 favorite. Edwards (8-4) is a veteran of TUF 13 and has compiled a 2-5 record in the UFC with wins over Josh Neer and Jorge Lopez with losses to Brandon Thatch, Nijem, John Maguire and Clay Harvinson. It’s very surprising Edwards is still in the UFC considering he hasn’t fought in well over a year. Most figured he had been cut, so it was surprising the 32-year-old American is still on the roster. Regardless, he probably won’t be on the roster for too much longer. Edwards is a gritty guy but he basically is a one-trick pony. He has a tremendous guillotine choke. Of his six submissions, five have come by guillotine, including a brilliant sub over Neer which won him his only UFC post-fight bonus. He doesn’t have great striking, his wrestling is only average, and the best win of his entire career is Neer. Edwards is a guy who would fit in well in an organization like Bellator, where he competed for in the past, but he’s not a good fit in the UFC lightweight division, and with a loss to Proctor as expected, he’ll be cut. I believe Proctor is just a bit more farther along in his development as a mixed martial artist and I see him grinding out a decision win here. Edwards hasn’t fought in a long while and I think the ring rust will slow him down as the fight goes on. I don’t thin Proctor is great, but I rate Edwards among the lowest tier of lightweights in the UFC and I think Proctor sends him packing this weekend. I feel pretty confident Proctor gets the job done here, so at just over 2-to-1 I am considering making a play on him as I’m fading Edwards in this spot, but I want to see the weigh ins first to see how these two match up size wise.
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