Will the fifth time be the charm?
The venerable Team Alpha Male will make another bid at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold this Saturday (May 24, 2014) as its latest representative, T.J. Dillashaw, looks to avenge Urijah Faber's two defeats at the hands of Nova Uniao-trained Bantamweight champion, Renan Barao, in the main event of UFC 173.
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, will also play host to a clash of Olympians as Dan Henderson takes on Daniel Cormier in the pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, while two of the Welterweight division's most terrifying punchers battle in a clash between Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger.
Title fight, knockout punchers, opportunity for profits -- it's all you need on a Saturday night!
Let's see what we can do to increase the latter green ingredient:
UFC 173 Odds For The Under Card:
Michael Chiesa (-135) vs. Francisco Trinaldo (+115)
Tony Ferguson (-275) vs. Katsunori Kikuno (+235)
Chris Holdsworth (-360) vs. Chico Camus (+300)
Al Iaquinta (-360) vs. Mitch Clarke (+300)
Anthony Njokuani (-235) vs. Vinc Pichel (+195)
David Michaud (-150) vs. Jingliang Li (+130)
Sam Sicilia (-150) vs. Aaron Philips (+130)
Thoughts: Unfortunately, I really don't see any huge values on this card. Michael Chiesa vs. Francisco Trinaldo looked tempting, but Trinaldo’s cardio is too much of a wildcard to bet on him and he’s too much of a powerhouse to bet on Chiesa.
However, I think a bit on Michaud wouldn’t be a bad idea.
As I mentioned in the UFC 173 "Prelims" preview (read it here), I don’t see anything special in either Michaud nor Li. I simply believe this fight will come down to a clash of wrestling, an area in which Michaud is, ostensibly, superior. Though neither has faced any competition of note, I feel Michaud is more prepared for the big stage, having already competed on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
In short, parlay Michaud with someone like Holdsworth or Varner.
UFC 173 Odds For The Main Card:
Renan Barao (-800) vs. T.J. Dillashaw (+550)
Daniel Cormier (-850) vs. Dan Henderson (+575)
Robbie Lawler (-225) vs. Jake Ellenberger (+185)
Takeya Mizugaki (-170) vs. Francisco Rivera (+150)
Jamie Varner (-175) vs. James Krause (+155)
Thoughts: Both Ellenberger and Rivera have the potential to score upsets in an instant. That said, Ellenberger’s striking is more raw than Lawler’s and he’s frozen up in the past, while Rivera has a tendency to slow as the fight progresses.
Therefore, it might be safest to just go with Varner.
While Varner’s lost three of his last four, he gave a good account of himself each time. His fight with Joe Lauzon came down to the wire, he nearly finished Gleison Tibau late and he had Abel Trujillo dead to rights before swinging like an idiot. So long as his confidence wasn’t busted along with his chin, his wrestling and power should overwhelm Krause’s length advantage.
Again, this isn’t an event to invest heavily in, but these should work.
UFC 173 Best Bets:
- Parlay -- Chris Holdsworth and David Michaud: Bet $30 to make $33.90
- Parlay -- Chris Holdsworth and Jamie Varner: Bet $30 to make $30.30
I'll be seriously surprised if we don't get some fine .gif-worthy MMA moments out of this Memorial Day weekend show.
See you there, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 173: "Barao vs. Dillashaw" results on fight night 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.
Running Profit For 2014 Based On This Column: -$239.40