A big step up.
After a rib injury scrubbed Stephen Thompson from their planned showdown, surging welterweight prospect Brandon Thatch will instead face the most decorated foe of his career as former lightweight champ Benson Henderson steps up to the plate.
The two will battle in Thatch's backyard of Broomfield, Colo., in the main event of UFC Fight Night 60, which will also feature a showdown between featherweight finishers Max Holloway and Cole Miller.
It's a good-looking free card, so let's do the American thing and get money involved where it probably shouldn't be.
UFC Fight Night 60 Odds For The Under Card:
Nik Lentz (-450) vs. Levan Makashvili (+360)
Efrain Escudero (-115) vs. Rodrigo Lima (-105)
Chas Skelly (-210) vs. Jim Alers (+175)
Zack Makovsky (-115) vs. Tim Elliott (-105)
James Moontasri (-225) vs. Cody Pfister (+185)
Thoughts: To be perfectly honest, the only guy on the under card who really stands out as a decent bet to me is Lima, although I’m waffling on whether to put some down on "Fun Size" as well.
Basically, it’s been a long time since Escudero has impressed. He’s 4-6 in his last ten fights and his best win in that span was a reportedly-crap bout with Luis Palomino. While I’m always wary of picking a fighter making his first cut to a new class, Lima’s a physical powerhouse who should be able to plant Escudero on his rear with relative ease. Without the ability to implement his top game, Escudero’s avenues of victory are limited. A moderate bet on "Monstro" makes sense.
As far as Makovsky, I’m fairly confident in his victory, but Elliott’s size and early success against Benavidez give me a bit of pause. Still, considering Tim’s issues with Bagautinov, Zack may be worth a small bet. Just don’t make him your lynchpin.
UFC Fight Night 60 Odds For The Main Card:
Brandon Thatch (-115) vs. Ben Henderson (-105)
Max Holloway (-400) vs. Cole Miller (+325)
Neil Magny (-600) vs. Kiichi Kunimoto (+450)
Patrick Walsh (-175) vs. Daniel Kelly (+155)
Kevin Lee (-160) vs. Michel Prazeres (+140)
Ray Borg (-700) vs. Chris Kelades (+500)
Thoughts: The main card’s got a few big favorites, but the one that I’m most confident in is Holloway. As far as underdogs, I like the line on Prazeres.
Miller makes up for his middling takedown game with surprisingly-solid long-range boxing; more than once, he’s picked up the sub against a better wrestler by knocking them down and latching on in the ensuing scramble. Against the similarly-lanky and much more skilled Holloway, though, I can’t imagine him having any success in that venture. Holloway is on the warpath right now and has shown a finishing ability in recent fights that he lacked early in his career. I honestly expect him to demolish Miller, so bet accordingly.
Lee is a very skilled grappler with an aggressive attack and the ability to take the back in an instant. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how well that skillset will stand up to Prazeres, who is more or less a bulldozer on legs. After watching him manhandle one of my favorite prospects in Mairbek Taisumov, I don’t imagine Lee having much success staying on his feet or scrambling free of his ultra-heavy top game. Put some down on the Brazilian.
UFC Fight Night 60 Best Bets:
- Parlay -- Rodrigo Lima and Max Holloway: Bet $30 to make $43.20
- Single bet -- Michel Prazeres: Bet $40 to make $56
- Single bet -- Zack Makovsky: Bet $30 to make $26.09
Initial Investment for 2015: $200
Current Balance: $302
A pair of exciting prospects facing experienced veterans ... this is what free cards were made for.
See you later, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC Fight Night 60 results later this evening, 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.