UFC 138 odds: Mark Munoz opens as betting favorite over Chris Leben

If fight fans faith in Mark Munoz as a legitimate middleweight contender is as strong as it's ever been, which it most certainly seems to be, their sentiments have apparently been echoed by oddsmakers.

Or maybe it's more about how little confidence they have in the grappling abilities of Chris Leben.

The odds opened today for the upcoming fight between the two scheduled for UFC 138 on Nov. 5 in Birmingham, England, and "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" is the favorite at -210 while "The Crippler" comes in on his heels at +170.

That's according to Nick Kalikas of BetOnFighting.com, who released the lines today.

Interesting to note here is the added significance of the bout: this will be the very first five-round main event non-title fight in UFC history. Neither Leben nor Munoz have been involved in a professional mixed martial arts contest that has gone past three rounds.

Should the line really favor the wrestler this much over the striker? Or is it right where you think it should be?

Leben was pounded out by Brian Stann at UFC 125 earlier this year to bring a halt to his three-fight win streak, one that included impressive stoppages over Aaron Simpson and Yoshihiro Akiyama back in 2010.

"The Crippler" rebounded by dimming the lights for Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132 earlier this month with a vicious first round knockout, one that could easily propel him to the front of the 185-pound pack if he's able to replicate that performance on Nov. 5.

But don't expect Munoz to make it easy for him.

"The Filipino Wrecking Machine" continued to inch closer to a middleweight title shot after overcoming the improved striking of Demian Maia, who took Munoz to the scorecards before losing a close unanimous decision back on June 11.

The former collegiate wrestling standout has just one loss as a 185-pounder, a razor-thin split decision to Yushin Okami at UFC on Versus 2 last August.

Is that why he's favored in this match-up? Or is it just that he's got the ability to take Leben down and hold him for five rounds on his way to victory? Who would you put your money on?

Opinions, please.

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