Two weeks into a jam-packed April, the UFC has already given fans quite a bit to talk about when it comes to quality fights. The biggest MMA promotion in the world is only just hitting their stride this month, as the next two weeks will see even bigger fights take place. That starts with UFC on FOX 7, which has unofficially been dubbed the UFC vs. Strikeforce card. The event takes place in Strikeforce’s former home, the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California. Lines for the top three fights on the card have been released for quite some time. Benson Henderson opened as a -205 favorite (bet $205 to win $100) over Gilbert Melendez at +155 (bet $100 to win $155) in the Lightweight Title main event. Daniel Cormier was made a significant -400 favorite against Frank Mir, who opened at +300, as they both look to establish themselves in the immediate title picture. Finally, Nick Diaz opened as a -170 favorite and Josh Thomson was a +130 underdog in a Lightweight showdown. Today, MMA Oddsmaker Nick Kalikas released the betting lines for the remainder of the card at 5Dimes Sportsbook. As usual, MMA Oddsbreaker has you covered for all of the new lines: ——————– Main Card Lightweight Title Benson Henderson -205 Gilbert Melendez +155 Daniel Cormier -400 Frank Mir +300 Nate Diaz -170 Josh Thomson +130 Jordan Mein -270 Matt Brown +190 ——————– Preliminary Card (FX) Chad Mendes -445 Darren Elkins +315 Francis Carmont -125 Lorenz Larkin -115 Myles Jury -230 Ramsey Nijem +170 Joseph Benavidez -505 Darren Uyenoyama +335 Jorge Masvidal -165 Tim Means +125 ——————– Preliminary Card (Facebook) TJ Dillashaw -295 Hugo Viana +215 Anthony Njokuani -210 Roger Bowling +160 Yoel Romero -135 Clifford Starks -105 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: The sheer amount of Strikeforce crossovers to the UFC make for an interesting dynamic on this card when it comes to how the lines will move. Will Strikeforce fighters continue to be undervalued by the public? Do the Strikeforce fighters on this card even deserve more respect than they’ve received in the opening lines? Only time will tell. What I do know, is that Jordan Mein had a great deal of public support in his UFC debut against Dan Miller, and in my eyes, Miller presented a more difficult style matchup for him than Matt Brown. While Brown is a better striker than Miller, he doesn’t have the wrestling or submission game of Mein’s previous foe, which means that ‘The Immortal’ will have to play into the young Canadian’s strength if he hopes to win. They don’t call Chad Mendes ‘Money’ for nothing. Once again he is a massive favorite, and you can expect him to be anchoring many parlays, even with a very tough Darren Elkins standing across the cage from him. My question is, where does Elkins win this fight? Mendes is a physically superior fighter, a better wrestler and a better striker. Mendes’ teammates Joseph Benavidez and TJ Dillashaw are also quite rightfully large favorites in their fights. Dillashaw has the toughest test of the three in Hugo Viana, and his line represents that, but unless Viana is able to outspeed Dillashaw like he was able to against Reuben Duran, expect a clean sweep for Team Alpha Male. Two of the remaining Strikeforce fighters, Jorge Masvidal and Yoel Romero, were made slight favorites over Tim Means and Clifford Starks, respectively. In my eyes, Masvidal has the tougher test as Means has shown off very improved striking in the Octagon. Romero seems to be a more talented boxer-wrestler than Starks, but a lacklustre performance in his only Strikeforce outing could keep bettors away from him. The final two Strikeforce converts were both made underdogs, but the lines aren’t too long, perhaps pointing towards some more respect for the promotion’s former employees. Lorenz Larkin is ever so slightly an underdog to Francis Carmont in a bout that’s extremely difficult to call, as Larkin is still lacking on the ground and Carmont can perform without any urgency at times. Roger Bowling is best known for having wars against Bobby Voelker at 170, but faces Anthony Njokuani at 155 here, and his tendency to get in opponent’s faces could serve him well against the lanky Njokuani who likes to control striking from the outside. Overall, this is a very interesting set of lines. Whether you like to bet straight or throw together parlays, there’s a little bit of everything on the UFC on FOX 7 card.
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