The UFC will hold it's first event in Baltimore as UFC 172 Jones Vs. Texeira is finally upon us. Jon's brother Arthur played for the Baltimore Ravens last year, so the Baltimore fans should be behind Jones. We have ten fights on the card, one womens bantamweight bout Duke vs. Correia, Anthony Johnson makes his return to the UFC up against Phil Davis. Rockhold takes on Boetsch, Miller takes on late replacement Medeiros and Fili vs. Holloway should be a featherweight barn burner. Benavidez takes on Elliott in an important match in the flyweight division and Takanori Gomi is back as he takes on Team Jackson's Isaac Vallie-Flagg. The Ellenberger brothers were both slated to fight on this card but injuries lead both of the brothers off the card and had their fights changed to other dates. Other than the main event most of the other fights don't seem very important but the card should be entertaining nevertheless. Will we have a new light heavyweight champ Saturday night? or will Jon Jones continue his reign over the light heavyweight division, only time will tell.
Jon "Bones" Jones (19-1 MMA 13-1 UFC) Vs. Glover Texeira (22-2 MMA 5-0 UFC)
Light Heavyweight (205) bout for the title as Jon Jones looks to make his 7th title defence against the hard hitting Brazilian, Glover Texeira. Many believe that this will be Jones's toughest test to date but yet the oddsmakers have Jones at about 5 to 1. In Jon Jones' last fight against Alexander Gustafsson he was a 10 to 1 favourite and we all saw how close Gustafsson was to dethroning Jones. As long as Jones can avoid the takedown of Texeira and use his reach advantage to keep the distance, it should be Jon Jones all day. Glover's best chance will be to try and tag Jones early and go for a KO/TKO, but if he can't close the distance, it might be a struggle to figure out Jones. While 5 to 1 might be a little high to lay it straight up there are prop bets that may be better like Jones within the distance at -155 or Jones wins by TKO/KO at +180, Jones wins by submission at +280 or Jones wins in first round at +300.
Jon Jones -500
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson (16-4 MMA 7-4 UFC) Vs. Phil "Mr Wonderful" Davis (12-1-1 MMA 8-1-1 UFC)
Light Heavyweight (205) bout between Team Blackzilian member Anthony Johnson and Team Alliance member Phil Davis. Johnson will be making his second stint in the UFC, after going 6-0 outside of the UFC since being cut. Davis on the other hand hasn't fought since August of last year where he eeked out a decision victory against Lyoto Machida. Phil Davis is the favourite at -225 and Johnson the underdog at +185. Both guys are good wrestlers, Davis might have a bit of an edge there but when it comes to striking Johnson has more knockout power. The question is can Johnson catch Davis with a big shot? Davis should be a big faster than Johnson and because of that he should be able to dictate the pace of this fight. Johnson's best chance will be to knockout Davis in the first round and if he can't do that I question his cardio. Davis has more ways of winning but I wouldn't count "Rumble" out.
Phil Davis -225
Luke Rockhold (11-2 MMA 1-1 UFC) Vs. Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch (17-6 MMA 8-5 UFC)
Middleweight (185) bout between the Strikeforce Middleweight champ Luke Rockhold and the hard hitting Tim Boetsch. Both fighters are coming off victories and are looking to go on a streak and possibly make a title run. A win for either fighter will get them that much closer to a title shot. Rockhold comes in as the biggest favourite on the card at -1000 and Boetsch the underdog at +650. While I agree that Rockhold should be the favourite, a 10 to 1 is pretty big and Boetsch is no pushover. With the line being so ridiclously high this is a no play but my lean would be towards Rockhold.
Luke Rockhold -1000
Jim Miller (23-4-1 MMA 12-3-1 UFC) Vs. Yancy "The Kid" Medeiros (9-1-1 MMA 0-1-1 UFC)
Lightweight (155) bout between the Hawaiian Yancy Medeiros and the durable Jim Miller. Medeiros is coming in on about 1 weeks notice after Miller's original opponent, Bobby Green, had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. Medeiros is still looking for his first UFC win as he has gone 0-1-1 in two fights with the UFC. Miller comes in the favourite at -200 and Medeiros the underdog at +160. I really like Miller in this matchup and getting a fighter come in with a weeks notice is huge. Miller should be a bigger favourite in my opinion and I see him getting another win here.
Jim Miller -200
Max "Blessed" Holloway (8-3 MMA 4-3 UFC) Vs. Andre "Touchy" Fili (13-1 MMA 1-0 UFC)
Featherweight (145) bout between the Hawaiian Max Holloway and Team Alpha Male member Andre Fili. Both fighters are young prospects in the featherweight division and this fight is a great litmus test to see where they stand in the division. Even though this will be Holloway's 8th fight in the UFC he comes in the younger fighter at 22, Fili 23. Fili is the favourite at -155 and Holloway the underdog at +135, in my opinion this fight is probably closer to a pick'em, so getting Holloway at +135 is good value. I could see this going back and forth with both fighter doing their fair share of damage, the over 2.5 rounds line is at -175 which might be a safer bet.
Over 2.5 Rounds at -175
Joseph Benavidez (19-4 MMA 6-2 UFC) Vs. Tim Elliott (10-4-1 MMA 2-2 UFC)
Flyweight (125) bout between Team Alpha Male member Joseph Benavidez and the wild Tim Elliott. Both fighters are coming off a loss and look to go on a streak and possibly get a title shot. Benavidez's last fight was for the title against Demetrious Johnson but got knocked out in the first round and now looks to get back on track and make another run. Elliott's last fight was against Ali Bagautinov who will be fighting Demetrious Johnson next for the title. Elliot has a wild unorthodox style and will be using that to try and confuse Benavidez. A win for either fighter will get them back in the mix with the flyweight division being relatively shallow. Benavidez comes in a big favourite at -425 and Elliot is the underdog at +340. I like Benavidez in this matchup and I think he bounces back from that loss to Johnson, I would lean on Benavidez via decision.
Takanori "The Fireball Kid" Gomi (34-9 MMA 3-4 UFC) Vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (14-4-1 MMA 1-1 UFC)
Lightweight (155) bout between Japanese star Takanori Gomi and Strikeforce vet Isaac Vallie-Flagg. Both fighters are coming off a loss, Gomi hasn't fought in over a year, he last fought Diego Sanchez where he lost via decision. Vallie-Flagg fought earlier this year and lost a decision against Elias Silverio. Gomi comes in the favourite at -200 and Vallie-Flagg the underdog at +170. I like Gomi in this matchup and if he can stuff the takedowns of Vallie-Flagg and keep this fight standing, I could see Gomi winning the standup exchange. My lean is on Gomi via decision.
Takanori Gomi -200
Jessamyn "The Gun" Duke (3-0 MMA 1-0 UFC) Vs. Bethe "Pitbull" Corriea (7-0 MMA 1-0 UFC)
Womens Bantamweight (135) bout between TUF 18 standout Jessamyn Duke and the gritty Brazilian Bethe Corriea. Duke was Ronda Rousey's second pick for the womens bantamweight class and looked pretty good on the show before losing a battle against Raquel Pennington in the first round of eliminations. Corriea came in as a late replacement and fought Julie Kedzie in her UFC debut and after eeking out a decision she looks to stay undefeated. The oddsmakers have this being a close fight with both fighters at -110, Corriea is more experienced but not greatly, both fighters are fairly green and both are good on the ground. Duke will have a height and reach advantage but i'm not sure if it will be a big factor as Corriea isn't afraid to come forward and bring the fight to you. I see this fight going to decision but the number on the over 2.5 rounds is -285, which is really high. I like Duke and I think she could do very well in the UFC but Corriea just beat Kedzie and she's no pushover.
Danny "Last Call" Castillo (16-6 MMA 6-3 UFC) Vs. Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman (19-6 MMA 4-5 UFC)
Lightweight (155) bout between two fighters who are in need of a win, Castillo is coming off a loss to Edson Barboza while Brenneman who is in his second stint with the UFC is coming off a loss to Beneil Dariush. Both of these guys have strong wrestling so I think this could be decided on the feet where I will give Castillo a bit of an edge. Castillo comes in the favourite at -275 and Brenneman the underdog at +235. With both guys in need of an impressive win I expect both guys to be going for it which should make this an entertaining match even though i'm not too excited about this matchup.
Danny Castillo -275
Chris "The Real Deal" Beal (8-0 MMA 0-0 UFC) Vs. Patrick Williams (7-3 MMA 0-0 UFC)
Bantamweight (135) bout between TUF 18 standout Chris Beal and promotional newcomer Patrick Williams. Both fighters are making their UFC debuts, Beal was Ronda Rousey's first pick for the mens bantamweight but was taken out in the first round of eliminations by Chris Holdsworth. Patrick Williams is making his UFC debut late in his career, he's 32 years old but comes to fight as his last 5 fights outside of the UFC were finished in the first round. I think Beal is going to be faster out there and getting him at -135 is pretty good. I thought the number would be higher than this but i'm not going to comlain.
Chris Beal -135
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