When challenging Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, it's probably best to go big or go home.
Middleweight contenders Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen were valiant, but quickly overpowered by the 205-pound champion. On paper, 6'5" Alexander Gustafsson figures to be a tougher nut to crack when he challenges "Bones" in the main event of UFC 165, which takes place at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada this weekend (Sat., Sept. 21, 2013).
In addition, the owner of the longest unbeaten streak in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, Renan Barao, will put that record -- and his interim Bantamweight title -- on the line against first-ever World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) 135-pound kingpin, Eddie Wineland.
These primary ingredients -- and many more -- combine for a spectacular night of fights, including (if you know where to look) the chance to make bank.
Follow me for a closer look at the odds behind UFC 165: "Jones vs. Gustafsson:"
UFC 165 Odds For The Under Card:
Myles Jury (-420) vs. Mike Ricci (+300)
Ivan Menjivar (-190) vs. Wilson Reis (+150)
Stephen Thompson (-305) vs. Chris Clements (+225)
Dustin Kimura (-180) vs. Mitch Gagnon (+140)
Jesse Ronson (-140) vs. Michel Prazeres (EVEN)
Daniel Omielanczuk (-290) vs. Nandor Guelmino (+210)
Alex Caceres (-145) vs. Roland Delorme (+105)
Thoughts: I was really hoping enough people wouldn’t know enough about "Danny O" to make him this big of a favorite. Oh well, I still have my eye on Clements and Delorme.
Clements hasn’t looked too impressive his last two fights, but both of those were against aggressive grapplers. The fact remains that he is vicious on the feet; against someone with the limited wrestling of "Wonderboy," that may be enough. Thompson is a varied, accurate striker, but one prone to gassing and whose kicks lack the thump of Clements.'
After Thompson's poor performance against Nah-Shon Burrell, Clements seems like a solid under dog bet.
As much as Caceres has improved, he is still quite vulnerable to the takedown. And while he managed to stay standing against Motonobu Tezuka, both Kyung Ho Kang and Damacio Page had zero trouble taking him down. Delorme is both incredibly durable and relentless in his pursuit of the takedown, plus skilled enough to avoid getting tapped from guard.
Add hometown advantage to that and you’ve got a recipe for a profit.
UFC 165 Odds For The Main Card:
Jon Jones (-900) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (+600)
Renan Pegado (-700) vs. Eddie Wineland (+500)
Matt Mitrione (-120) vs. Brendan Schaub (EVEN)
Constantinos Philippou (-185) vs. Francis Carmont (+160)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-245) vs. Pat Healy (+205)
Thoughts: I briefly entertained the notion of betting on Healy because he’s what happens when you give a mad geneticist a cloning lab and the mindset of a weekend Mania poster who always whines about "hype trains," but I think that may be a bad idea. Healy may be the premiere prospect-wrecker in the sport, but his gameplan can often be summarized as "get annihilated in the first round, come back to win." Nurmagomedov is just too fast and powerful.
Watching Healy damn near get put to sleep by Jim Miller’s punches in the waning seconds of their first round has me pessimistic about his chances against the Russian’s haymakers.
Betting on another unfortunate decision win for Carmont wouldn’t be a terrible idea; however, since that would make me feel dirty, I think I’ll just stick with a play on "Meathead." Make no mistake: Mitrione is an idiot. He is, however, a pretty heavy-handed idiot fighting a man who can be knocked out by harsh language. The threat of getting hugged for 15 minutes, while present, is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Schaub struggled to escape the legendary half guard of Lavar Johnson, currently the only man in MMA history to ever get mounted by Pat Barry.
The odds are pretty good that Mitrione can get back up on a consistent basis and resume breaking "The Hybrid" face.
UFC 165 Best Bets:
- Single bet: Chris Clements -- Bet $20 to make $45
- Single bet: Roland Delorme -- Bet $40 to make $42
- Parlay: Matt Mitrione and Daniel Omielanczuk -- Bet $30 to make $43.50
Title fights, contender fights and the chance for finishes as far as the eye can see.
It's a beauty way to go, eh?
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 165: "Jones vs. Gustafsson" results this weekend RIGHT HERE, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.