By Dan George
Someone is getting put to sleep at UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler this weekend. It’s a fact. With 26 knockouts between the main eventers alone, I will reiterate: Peoples is getting put to sleep at UFC 171. And for the first time since UFC 168, those peoples won’t be the audience (*swishes three-pointer*)
Aside from providing some prime opportunities for fans to witness a highlight reel knockout, UFC 171 is also a gambler’s paradise, so join us after the jump for a look at all the UFC 171 betting lines (courtesy of BestFightOdds) and our time-tested advice.
Stay the Hell Away From:
Raquel Pennington (+220) vs. Jessica Andrade (-280)
Andrade as a -280 favorite with a loss to Liz Carmouche and a decision win against 36 year old veteran Rosi Sexton inside the Octagon is rather steep. Jessica may be the better fighter on paper, but it is hard to gauge the improvements made by Raquel since her decision victory over Roxanne Modafferi. Dana had implored Raquel to “let your hands go” during the TUF 18 season, seemingly underlining unrealised potential in the 25 year old Colorado Springs native. Will Raquel come out striking and use her size advantage to control Jessica, or will Andrade find a way to push the ground attack and control the fight on the mat? Too hard to tell from here, best to pass over and simply enjoy.
The Good Dogs:
In his last three outings, Bermudez has won via back-to-back split decisions and a unanimous decision, respectively, yet still comes in as a better than 2 to 1 favorite to walk away with a win against grappling ace Jimy Hettes. Looking at the three straight first round losses via submission on Bermudez’s record, coupled with Jimy’s 10 submission victories in 12 career fights, the scales begin to lead towards an upset victory for Hettes. Bermudez holds a decided striking advantage and most likely will try to keep this fight standing, but as seen in the past, Bermudez may over commit and follow the fight to the ground where he falls into Jimy’s wheelhouse.
On the side of Hettes, if he can emulate his fight with Nam Phan and stick to Bermudez, there is a great chance that as the fight goes on Hettes finds a way to either submit Dennis or steal enough rounds to pull off a decision victory here.
This will be Jake’s third consecutive outing as the underdog and for the third straight time he will look to reward those who believe he can pull off the upset win. Lombard is most likely being looked at through the Jake Ellenberger lens, meaning he is favored to stop Shields takedowns early and use his decided striking advantage to put the former Strikeforce champion away. While Lombard has returned to welterweight and still has plenty of punching power, what is less clear is whether or not he still has sufficient strength in the grappling department to deal with a guy like Shields if the fight does go to the ground.
Demian Maia found out the hard way that Shields has an incredible ground game and in the event this fight does go to the ground, this is where Jake can cash big.
Too hard to pass over Sanchez as an underdog against a rising undefeated prospect who has had Michael Johnson as his toughest test thus far inside the Octagon. Diego is notoriously hard to finish and tends to catch the eye of the judges more often than not with his unique style of fighting, which is something Jury has yet to experience inside the Octagon. Jury may very well find his range and keep Diego at bay, but the high probability this fight goes to decision will give Diego the time to perhaps get inside and pressure Jury in a way that could force the usual wild brawl Sanchez tends to thrive in.
Johny is the right favorite but is way overpriced when looking into this fight and where the potential advantages are for Robbie Lawler. Both men are southpaws and it is Lawler who is 2” taller and will have a 3” reach advantage, possibly gaining a small edge in the stand up department. This seemingly small edge is only amplified when underlining how heavy both fighter’s hands are coupled with their willingness to keep the fight standing. Johny will most likely be the one to initiate the takedown, but Lawler showed in his bout with Koscheck that he can effectively use his butterfly guard to get back up and fight where he is strongest.
Robbie’s record at Welterweight is 11-2, with one loss coming via injury (hip dislocation) to Pete Spratt and of course the only KO loss of his career to Nick Diaz, not once has he been a victim of being out grappled like he was at 185lbs. With this in mind, if the fight stays standing, taking Robbie at 3 times your bet could be the best good dog pick of 2014.
Other Main Card Bouts:
Krylov certainly looked night and day from his debut against Soa Palelei with a stunning KO victory over Walt Harris in his last outing in the Octagon. Krylov will be making his Light Heavyweight debut this time around and it will be as a replacement for Thiago Silva (who’s kind of a shitty person and is no longer welcome in the UFC) on short notice. OSP has the benefit of a full camp and should be able to use some GnP to fend off the submission specialist Nikita while maintaining control on top either pulling off the decision victory or even stopping Krylov due to strikes.
Tyron Woodley is looking to jump into the Welterweight top ten rankings in a big way by taking on the UFC #2 ranked Welterweight Carlos Condit. Many like Woodley to use his wrestling pedigree to exploit Condit in this fight and grind out a win, as we have seen both Condit become a victim of this as well as Woodley often come out the victor while employing this style of attack against his opponents. Condit has shown some improvements in his ground game, notably being able to stand up after being taken down by Johny Hendricks several times in their razor close affair back at UFC 158. Condit’s advantage in the stand for this fight could be the difference if he is able to use leg kicks to keep Woodley off balance and unable to drive forward for takedowns.
Condit is yet to be KO’d and Woodley is not the best striker he has faced, not by a long shot — Woodley will most likely have to stick to a one dimensional approach of going for the takedown, something Condit may be more than ready for considering his losses to GSP and Hendricks previously. Carlos is coming off an ultra impressive FOTN KO of Martin Kampmann and seems to have enough tools in his belt to ensure he is next in line for a title shot at 170lbs.
Enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours!