This is the big one.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to its classic stomping grounds, MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, this Saturday evening (Dec. 12, 2015) with perhaps the year's best mixed martial arts (MMA) card in tow.
In the UFC 194 main event, Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor have their long-awaited Featherweight showdown, while Chris Weidman dukes it out with Luke Rockhold in the Middleweight championship co-featured fight of the night.
In addition, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza will face Yoel Romero in a 185-pound No. 1 contender eliminator match and Demian Maia will square off with Gunnar Nelson 15 pounds south.
Don't want to pay for the pay-per-view (PPV), but aren't morally bankrupt enough to stream it? Here's how to reimburse yourself:
Note: For the latest UFC betting lines -- and additional gambling resources -- be sure to check out OddsShark.com before showtime.
UFC 194 Odds For The Undercard:
Urijah Faber (-750) vs. Frankie Saenz (+525)
Tecia Torres (-275) vs. Jocelyn Jones-Lybarger (+235)
Colby Covington (-120) vs. Warlley Alves (EVEN)
Kevin Lee (-650) vs. Leonardo Santos (+475)
Magomed Mustafaev (-350) vs. Joe Proctor (+290)
Court McGee (-175) vs. Marcio Alexandre, Jr. (+155)
John Makdessi (-160) vs. Yancy Medeiros (+140)
Thoughts: Not seeing much value here, honestly. Even the close fights (Covington vs. Alves and Makdessi vs. Medeiros) feature capable finishers who could turn things upside-down in an instant.
Instead, rely on Torres and McGee.
Jones-Lybarger has some major size and solid power for the division. In all other aspects of the fight, she’s badly outclassed. Torres is much faster, puts together tighter combinations, has a more developed kicking game, and can fall back on her wrestling if need be.
She’s not the most profitable investment, but she’s certainly a safe one.
Alexandre has lost two straight, has never beaten a quality opponent as a professional, and has cardio issues that McGee seems quite well-equipped to exploit. You can get positive odds by parlaying him and Torres, so that’s my recommendation.
UFC 194 Odds For The Main Card:
Conor McGregor (-125) vs. Jose Aldo (+105)
Chris Weidman (-155) vs. Luke Rockhold (+135)
Ronaldo Souza (-150) vs. Yoel Romero (+130)
Demian Maia (-145) vs. Gunnar Nelson (+125)
Max Holloway (-550) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+425)
Thoughts: That Yoel Romero is a noticeable underdog is odd. That Jose Aldo is an underdog at all is a travesty.
Though "Jacare" has improved tremendously during his time in UFC, he’ll be at a speed and athleticism disadvantage for the first time since joining the world’s largest fight promotion. In addition, he’s quite unlikely to score takedowns on Romero, meaning this will be decided on the feet.
There, the Cuban has way too much power for me to pass up a +130 line.
Aldo has been dismantling top-shelf Featherweight standouts for more than five years. McGregor’s resume begins and ends with Chad Mendes, whom Aldo beat a better version of last year. Aldo is the better wrestler, by far the better Brazilian jiu-jitsu player, and has the kind of kicks that can wreak havoc on McGregor’s narrow stance. If the oddsmakers are gullible enough to fall for McGregor’s rhetoric, that’s a golden opportunity.
Don’t waste it.
UFC 194 Best Bets:
- Parlay -- Tecia Torres and Court McGee: Bet $50 to make $57
- Single bet -- Yoel Romero: Bet $40 to make $52
- Single bet -- Jose Aldo: Bet $100 to make $105
Just days away ... literally, We're almost there, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 194 results on fight night, 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.