Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ends 2017 in violent fashion this Saturday evening (Dec. 30, 2017) as women’s Featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” looks for a career-best win against former Bantamweight roost ruler Holly Holm in UFC 219’s pay-per-view (PPV) main event from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ten pounds north, Khabib Nurmagomedov dukes it out with fellow Lightweight thrashing monger Edson Barboza, while Neil Magny welcomes perennial Welterweight contender Carlos Condit back to the cage another 15 pounds up.
Take a break from returning unwanted socks and pull up a chair ... let’s break this sucker down.
What Went Wrong at UFC on FOX 26?
John Makdessi and Rafael dos Anjos dominated, as expected. I really should have been more confident in them. Instead, I put my faith in Jared Cannonier, who could have beaten Jan Blachowicz had he not been content to walk face-first into jabs for 10 minutes without a single adjustment.
Nice strategy, Jared.
Still, we’re back in the black. The smart thing to do would be to play cautiously, but where’s the fun in that? Let’s swing for the fences!
UFC 219 Odds For The Undercard:
Khalil Rountree (-290) vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk (+245)
Marc Diakiese (-175) vs. Dan Hooker (+155)
Myles Jury (-240) vs. Rick Glenn (+200)
Matheus Nicolau (-300) vs. Louis Smolka (+250)
Tim Elliott (-220) vs. Mark De La Rosa (+180)
Marvin Vettori (220) vs. Omari Akhmedov (+180)
Thoughts: Someone explain to me why Louis Smolka is the second-biggest underdog on the card. Yes, he’s lost three straight, but those were to Brandon Moreno, Ray Borg and Tim Elliott. Nicolau, meanwhile, barely beat the worst version of John Moraga we’ve seen in UFC and has been out of action for more than one year.
Nicolau is definitely slick and looks to be the smoother and more powerful boxer, but he’s nowhere near the wrestler Borg and Elliott are. I think “The Last Samurai” gets back in the win column here, so put a bit on him.
Other than that, Marc Diakiese is a little undervalued. While Hooker’s as tough as they come, he’s easy to hit, a non-factor off of his back, and will likely be the slower man in the cage. After watching Diakiese manhandle fellow Lightweight fighters with ease, I’m confident in his ability to overpower his Kiwi foe. Oh, and get Diakiese to positive odds with Khalil Rountree, who is going to punch a hole through Oleksiejczuk’s face.
UFC 219 Odds For The Main Card:
Cristiane Justino (-360) vs. Holly Holm (+325)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-280) vs. Edson Barboza (+240)
Cynthia Calvillo (-255) vs. Carla Esparza (+215)
Carlos Condit (-165) vs. Neil Magny (+145)
Thoughts: We’re playing underdogs here: Carla Esparza and Neil Magny.
Cynthia Calvillo is undoubtedly a top prospect. That said, the stylistic match up is not in her favor — Esparza, while unlikely to ever hold the title again, remains one of the division’s best wrestlers. She can put Calvillo on her back and keep here there for large chunks of the fight, which is enough for me to pick her here.
Carlos Condit is coming out of “retirement,” which is always hit-or-miss, and going up against someone with five inches of reach on him and the kind of wrestling that’s ruined “The Natural Born Killer’s” day so many times before. This is just a rough match up for Condit and would be one even if he wasn’t coming off a 16-month layoff.
UFC 219 Best Bets:
- Single bet -- Louis Smolka: Bet $100 to make $250
- Parlay -- Marc Diakiese and Khalil Rountree Jr.: Bet $100 to make $111
- Single bet -- Carla Esparza: Bet $60 to make $129
- Single bet -- Neil Magny: Bet $100 to make $145
Cyborg vs. Holm and Nurmagomedov vs. Barboza ... on the same card? Sold! See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 219 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.