ufc-fight-night-97Now that the NFL season has kicked off, with the NBA and NHL just around the corner as well, it’s time for the Octagon to embark on its annual fall world tour. Stops this year include Brasilia (September 24th), Manchester (October 8th), Manila (October 15th), Mexico City (November 5th), a two-event day on November 19th with Belfast and a second Brazilian location to be determined¬†along with¬†Melbourne (November 26th), before settling back in Toronto on December 10th and spending much of the winter in the US. The diversity in locales means we’ll get several uniquely constructed cards. ‘Cyborg’ Santos will headline the September 24th event in front of what is sure to be a raucous Brazilian crowd, while MMA’s UK faithful will no doubt be at a fever pitch for the first title defense of Michael Bisping. Some of the cards don’t have a regional main event — for instance the Melbourne card will be treated to a fantastic rematch between Luke Rockhold and ‘Jacare’ Souza — while some have nothing confirmed at all (Toronto is a blank slate at this point). With a packed schedule, we here at MMAOddsBreaker.com are going to try to fill your plate with betting odds, starting with the main events for the next few events. MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened lines for four bouts today at 5Dimes Sportsbook, and you can check those out below: ——————– UFC Fight Night 95 September 24, 2016 Cristiane Justino -1200 Lina Lansberg +600 Over 1.5 +220 Under 1.5 -300 ——————– What is there to really say about this fight? Lina Lansberg is a perfectly capable fighter, and she’ll probably do well in the UFC women’s bantamweight division despite being 34 already. As for this fight, however? She’s getting crushed. In Lansberg’s lone career loss (which to her credit was in her pro debut), Pannie Kianzad landed punches on the way into the clinch nearly every time she threw. Imagine what Cyborg will do when she’s striking to strike rather than to get into the clinch. It won’t last long. Cyborg probably holds the record for the largest average odds in MMA history. She was an underdog in her first big bout (against Shayna Baszler in EliteXC back in 2008), and has only been lower than a -700 favorite ONCE since then. Twelve fights. -700 or greater eleven times. Well, 12 of 13 once this fight happens. ——————– UFC Fight Night 97 October 15, 2016 Ricardo Lamas -505 BJ Penn +335 Over 2.5 -165 Under 2.5 +125 ——————– I don’t understand why this is happening. Is BJ Penn going to draw a particular segment of the MMA viewing public that doesn’t already have Fight Pass? Is he going to miraculously come back and not look like the corpse he was against Frankie Edgar? (And that was before Edgar put a merciless beating on him) Obviously, Ricardo Lamas isn’t on the same level as Edgar, but it wasn’t so long ago that Penn was supposed to fight Dennis Siver or Cole Miller, and those very considered close bouts that a lot of people expected Penn to lose. Lamas is well above both of those guys. He probably just sets up shop in top position and does work. If it was 15 minutes, I’d say he wins a decision, but over 25 — and with Lamas’ finishing ability — there could definitely be a finish here. ——————– UFC Fight Night 98 November 5, 2016 Rafael dos Anjos -120 Tony Ferguson -120 Over 3.5 -155 Under 3.5 +115 ——————– A couple of months ago, nobody would have batted an eye if this fight was for the UFC lightweight title. Now fans in Mexico City are getting it as part of a free card. Obviously both fighters ran into trouble in their last appearances, so it will be interesting to see how they rebound. The other thing that could be interesting to watch is who controls the forward movement in this fight. I imagine that dos Anjos, as the more measured of the two, will be marching forward. Ferguson will attempt to use his movement to find angles to land the same shots Eddie Alvarez got in to wrest the title from dos Anjos. The problem is that when dos Anjos is allowed to move forward, he pressures expertly, and I think he blasts Ferguson with a mixture of strikes to win this bout. With how badly Ferguson was hurt against Landon Vannata, I could even see a finish from dos Anjos. It’s unfortunate that Ferguson’s massive streak won’t end with a title shot, but I expect him to get back on the horse following this bout and eventually get a crack at the belt. ——————– UFC Fight Night 99 November 19, 2016 Gunnar Nelson -210 Dong Hyun Kim +160 Over 2.5 -190 Under 2.5 +150 ——————– Nelson and Kim is an intriguing bout regardless of where it takes place, although a grappling match would be more enticing. If this stays on the feet, Nelson’s karate will go against the superior size and length of Stun Gun, who has also adopted an entertaining, reckless style on the feet. With both of these fighters being so hittable, and having such disparate styles, this will be fun while standing. If it goes to the ground it gets even better though. Nelson actually surprised me with his improved wrestling (at least early) against Demian Maia, but he’s likely to lose the initial takedown battle against Kim. Nelson may be able to sweep from the bottom, although it’s more likely that Kim can control him early on. Kim has been known to tire though, and Nelson won’t be dominated or punished like he was against Maia, so he should be fresher in late rounds. Whether that means he can gain top position and put his phenomenal BJJ to work remains to be seen, but if he does I think he can get Kim out late. This fight is too far out for me to have picked a winner yet, but I’m looking forward to really breaking it down. ——————– UFC Fight Night 101 November 26, 2016 Ronaldo Souza -135 Luke Rockhold -105 Over 2.5 -190 Under 2.5 +150 ——————– The best fight on this list, and perhaps the best non-title bout the UFC can make right now, this rematch is a treat for Australian fans who have complained in the past that they don’t get any big fights. Both men have evolved so much since their first bout, but I think Jacare will have a slight advantage against Rockhold based on their last fights. Souza got clocked by Yoel Romero in the opening round of their bout, but survived an onslaught to come back and convince most people he won the fight (although the judges disagreed). Rockhold on the other hand was put away by Michael Bisping in the opening round, the third T/KO loss in his career. Jacare’s striking is dangerous enough to threaten Rockhold, and even in Rockhold’s win against Chris Weidman we saw that pressure can get to him. Jacare likely won’t get as tired as Weidman did, nor be as vulnerable on the ground. In their first match, Jacare’s wrestling was effective, and that was before his striking was nearly the threat it is now. Rockhold was better on the feet, and likely would be again, especially being able to put his massive left kick to work in the Southpaw/Orthodox matchup. Perhaps that’s enough of an edge, but my early lean is towards Jacare in this rematch.


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