It’s always fun when the rising meets the falling ...
Former top-ranked Featherweight contender Dustin Poirier has found a new lease on life in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight division, cranking out three brutal knockouts in four victories in his new weight class. Michael Johnson, meanwhile, had his 155-pound rise stymied by consecutive losses to Beneil Dariush and Nate Diaz, the former controversial and the latter decidedly not. This Saturday evening (Sept. 17, 2016), the pair will go to battle inside State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas, in the main event of UFC Fight Night 94. In the FOX Sports 1-televised co-main event, Derek Brunson will duke it out with Uriah Hall, while Evan Dunham takes on Octagon newcomer Rick Glenn at Lightweight.
The majority of the card is free on FOX Sports 1; therefore, let’s use the opportunity to fund the next couple of pay-per-view (PPV) events:
UFC Fight Night 94 Odds For The Undercard:
Sam Sicilia (-175) vs. Gabriel Benitez (+145)
Belal Muhammad (-380) vs. Augusto Montano (+290)
Joey Gomez (-165) vs. Jose Quinones (+135)
Antonio Carlos Júnior (N/A) vs. Leonardo Guimaraes (N/A)
Randy Brown (-425) vs. Erick Montano (+320)
Chas Skelly (-185) vs. Maximo Blanco (+155)
Thoughts: It’s time to take my Maximo Blanco fandom behind the shed. He’s got a massively uphill battle this weekend and I think the bookies are giving him too much credit. Skelly not only has the chin to stand up to Blanco’s power shots, he also has the wrestling to blunt his offense and the submission prowess to exploit the Venezuelan’s ever-vulnerable neck. Even his biggest flaw -- the iffy cardio -- is offset by Blanco having the exact same issue. "The Scrapper" is a fairly safe investment.
UFC Fight Night 94 Odds For The Main Card:
Dustin Poirier (-155) vs. Michael Johnson (+135)
Derek Brunson (-185) vs. Uriah Hall (+160)
Evan Dunham (-295) vs. Rick Glenn (+245)
Alejandro Perez (-115) vs. Albert Morales (-105)
Roan Carneiro (-115) vs. Kenny Robertson (-105)
Islam Makhachev (-120) vs. Chris Wade (EVEN)
Thoughts: There’s a few bargains here and there, so let’s dig in.
Derek Brunson has been on an absolute tear and should be far more favored against Hall. He has won five of six inside the Octagon, three straight by first round knockout, and packs the kind of wrestling that Hall has consistently struggled with throughout his UFC tenure. "Primetime" has had some incredible moments, sure, but he’s yet to show the consistent excellence we expected out of him after The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17.
Brunson is on the warpath and I expect him to take this one in decisive fashion.
Kenny Robertson should really be the favorite. He’s criminally underrated, a very capable wrestler and submission artist who has done a very good job of knocking heads recently. He should have the edge on the feet and he’s outclassed quality Brazilian jiu-jitsu artists on the ground before.
He’s the best bargain of the night, so bet accordingly.
Evan Dunham might be worth a look as well -- Glenn’s a damn good fighter, no question about that, but he’s a damn good Featherweight going up against one of the Lightweight division’s better grapplers. He’s not the sort of physical beast Dunham’s come up short against in the past. You could probably use Dunham to beef up a parlay or two if you were so inclined.
UFC Fight Night 94 Best Bets:
- Parlay -- Chas Skelly and Derek Brunson: Bet $50 to make $68.50
- Parlay -- Kenny Robertson and Evan Dunham: Bet $60 to make $97.80
Five rounds of Poirier vs. Johnson alone is well worth watching UFC Fight Night 94 this weekend. See you Saturday, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC Fight Night 94 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.