This weekend, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting odds for the main card of the UFC’s next offering, UFC Fight Night 69 in Germany. The main card features the first title defense of strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, as she takes on former Invicta champion Jessica Penne. German stalwarts Dennis Siver, Peter Sobotta, and Nick Hein round out the main card to give the hometown fans as much as possible to cheer about. The undercard features a great deal of talent from all around Europe, headlined by Makwan Amirkhani looking to follow up on his scintillating UFC debut. He is joined by the likes of Mairbek Taisumov, Noad Lahat, Niklas Backstrom, and others. In what has been a bit of a trend recently, the 11-fight card only features two bouts above the lightweight division. Kalikas opened the remaining betting odds for UFC Fight Night 69 today at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 3pm ET)
——————– PRELIMINARY CARD (UFC Fight Pass, 12pm ET)
——————– Makwan Amirkhani is already a bit overrated because of how he won his UFC debut, and that’s about to be exacerbated because he’s going to fight an overmatched Mexican in Masio Fullen. I don’t think Amirkahni is a particularly good striker at this point, but Fullen was absolutely torched on the feet on TUF Latin America, so I still have to give ‘Mr. Finland’ the edge. On the ground, he’s even further ahead of Fullen, and that’s where I see this one ending. Like Amirkhani, I know people are high on Mairbek Taisumov, but this is a sneaky dangerous fight for him. Alan Patrick isn’t quite as powerful or as good of a wrestler as Michel Prazeres, but I think he can have some similar success to ‘Trator’ in this matchup, and keep it closer on the feet. In the end, Taisumov may have filled some of the holes he showed earlier in his UFC career and might be able to pull this one out, but I have no confidence in that. Patrick was very competitive against a better striker and takedown defender Alan Omer was a highly touted prospect who disappeared from MMA for a few years, but returned in 2014 and made his UFC debut in a bout that many felt he won over Jim Alers. His submission game was his strong suit early in his career, but his striking looked much improved against Alers as well. Unfortunately, Alers has been sidelined since his April 2014 UFC debut, so he may have some more rust to shake off against the debuting Arnold Allen. At just 21, Allen is one of the youngest fighters in the UFC, and he definitely shows some youthful exuberance in the cage. A talented southpaw with well-rounded skills, he tends to overwhelm opponents with activity, but can struggle in wrestling exchanges and can be a bit overaggressive. I expect Allen to give Omer trouble on the feet here, but I think Omer eventually slows the fight down and secures a decision. If I’m betting this at the current price, I’m taking the dog however. Backstrom/Lahat is very tricky to me, but should also be one of the more entertaining fights on the card. Both men are skilled offensively, with Backstrom having a slight edge on the feet and Lahat being better on the ground, but both are also flawed enough defensively to make them vulnerable even in their strongest areas. I lean slightly towards Backstrom here because it was just under a year ago that Lahat rejoined the Israeli army, and I’m unsure how focused he’s been on MMA in the past year. This is a fight I’ll have a hard time betting either way though, as I don’t want to lay the juice on Backstrom and his chin, but I still think he’s the more likely winner. I actually think the under has legs here, as Backstrom’s aggressive style means someone will likely get caught early. Scott Askham put on a solid performance in his UFC debut, but came up just short. I expect him to look more impressive this time around, and I think he’ll get a stoppage victory over Antonio Dos Santos Jr. Askham is going to have a cardio advantage and be the tighter of these two fighters. As Dos Santos starts to get tired and wild, I think the Brit can answer back with some clean strikes that do enough to get the KO. I could also see Askham doing some big damage from the clinch in this one, and stopping the Brazilian there. Magomed Mustafaev breaks fighters in a lot of his bouts with his wrestling and pressure, but that’s going to be a very tall order against Piotr Hallmann. We’ve already seen Hallmann pull out the victory over Francisco Trinaldo after being badly hurt, and take 15 minutes of punishment against Al Iaquinta. That means Mustafaev will likely be forced to go to the third round (and likely to a decision) for the first time in his career. The key for Hallmann will be making Mustafaev struggle for early takedowns so he can stuff the later ones and impose his striking advantage. How successful he’ll be in that regard is another story, but I’m going to side with the UFC veteran in this one to make life difficult early and take over late. Yuta Sasaki was very disappointing in a bout that seemed tailor-made for him against Leandro Issa, but this is a good spot for him to rebound. Taylor Lapilus is a better striker here, but Sasaki should be able to use his pressure on the feet to close the distance, and from close quarters there is no comparison between these two. Sasaki is the far more skilled grappler, and I think he’ll submit Lapilus fairly quickly in this one.