After an iffy start to the year with UFC 208, the world’s largest fight promotion is back at it with UFC 209, which is stacked top-to-bottom from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley dukes it out with Stephen Thompson once again, while Khabib Nurmagomedov battles Tony Ferguson for the interim Lightweight title in one of the most anticipated fights the division has ever seen.
It’s just a damn good card all around. So, let’s see what kind of bargains we can squeeze out of it.
What Went Wrong With UFC 'Halifax?'
Putting all my eggs in one basket worked when said basket was Ryan LaFlare. Wasn’t quite so lucky with Carla Esparza two weeks ago. Still, I don’t regret the pick at all -- a good chunk of the media scored the fight for "Cookie Monster" and she was only several slight adjustments away from sweeping the first two rounds. Had Randa Markos not landed those hammerfists from the rear crucifix in the first round, it would have been 29-28 Esparza across the board. At the end of the day, though, her loss undoes the quality work of Santiago Ponzinibbio and Gavin Tucker. Oh, well.
UFC 209 Odds For The Undercard:
Marcin Tybura (-150) vs. Luis Henrique (+130)
Mirsad Bektic (-620) vs. Darren Elkins (+460)
Iuri Alcantara (-110) vs. Luke Sanders (-110)
Mark Godbeer (-145) vs. Daniel Spitz (+125)
Tyson Pedro (-115) vs. Paul Craig (-105)
Amanda Cooper (-120) vs. Cynthia Calvillo (EVEN)
Albert Morales (-135) vs. Andre Soukhamthath (+115)
Thoughts: Outside of Bektic, the biggest favorite is only -150. The matchmaking here is phenomenal, which unfortunately makes my job rather difficult. I like the lines on Cynthia Calvillo and think both Mark Godbeer and Paul Craig are worth a look, too.
Cooper impressed me against Anna Elmose, but Elmose clearly didn’t fight up to her potential that night. Calvillo represents another tough stylistic match up for Cooper, whose wrestling failed her against both Jamie Moyle and Tatiana Suarez. Calvillo’s takedown offense and defense are surprisingly well-developed for her relative lack of experience and I firmly believe she can dominate on the mat.
Daniel Spitz has the body for mixed martial arts (MMA), but I’m not sure he has anything else for the sport at this point. He’s slow, awkward, entirely devoid of solid experience, and wholly unprepared for a power puncher of Godbeer’s power. The big Brit has firepower Spitz has never seen before and he ought to bring that to bear right quick.
Tyson Pedro is physically strong and a good grappler, but his resume is empty outside of Khalil Rountree, whose grappling foibles are well-documented. Craig’s list of scalps is pretty threadbare outside of his last three fights, but one of those three was a very strong wrestler in Karl Moore. Craig has the scrambling and opportunistic submission prowess to ruin Pedro’s night.
Speaking of Bektic: The line is accurate. Dude has scary potential. Shove him in with Godbeer and enjoy a -104 line.
UFC 209 Odds For PPV Main Card:
Stephen Thompson (-160) vs. Tyron Woodley (+140)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-175) vs. Tony Ferguson (+155)
Rashad Evans (-220) vs. Daniel Kelly (+180)
Lando Vannata (-250) vs. David Teymur (+210)
Alistair Overeem (-145) vs. Mark Hunt (+125)
Thoughts: A tiny part of my brain, perhaps adversely affected by my tendency to smash my head into things when I’m frustrated, is screaming at me to back David Teymur, so I’m going to go ahead and recommend a tiny bit on him just to shut it up. Vannata’s confidence borders on cockiness and Teymur is a very, very good striker with deceptive speed. Crazier things have happened. Aside from that, I think the main card is best left alone. I do think Rashad is going to run over Daniel Kelly, but the memory of "Suga" staring at the ponderous "Minotouro" Rogerio Nogueira for 15 minutes is hard to erase.
UFC 209 Best Bets:
- Single bet -- Cynthia Calvillo: Bet $60 to make $60
- Parlay -- Mirsad Bektic and Mark Godbeer: Bet $25 to make $24.03
- Single bet -- Paul Craig: Bet $21 to make $20
- Single bet -- David Teymur: Bet $10 to make $21
UFC 209 is going to kick so much ass. There's not much else to say -- see you there, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 209 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.