Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) hits FOX Sports one last time this Saturday (Dec. 15, 2018) before moving on to ESPN next year, bringing with it a rematch between Lightweight standouts Kevin Lee and Al Iaquinta. UFC on FOX 31’s main card, which will emanate from inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisc., will also see Dan Hooker square off with Edson Barboza, Sergio Pettis return to Bantamweight against heavy-handed Rob Font, and Charles Oliveira look to avenge the first loss of his professional career against Jim Miller.
Thirteen fights means 13 opportunities to fill your stocking with a little extra this Christmas. So, let’s dig in:
What Went Wrong at UFC 231?
It was mostly a success, but Eryk Anders lost in the most frustrating fashion possible. He showed that he could defeat Elias Theodorou, hurting and dropping “The Spartan” in the second round, then went back to doing the same jack and squat that let Theodorou run away with the first round. Christ, it’s obnoxious when someone loses because of their own unwillingness to push the issue.
UFC On FOX 31 Odds For The Undercard:
Dwight Grant (-290) vs. Zak Ottow (+245)
Andrea Lee (-250) vs. Jessica-Rose Clark (+210)
Drakkar Klose (-275) vs. Bobby Green (+235)
Jared Gordon (-155) vs. Joaquim Silva (+135)
Jack Hermansson (-200) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (+170)
Dan Ige (-175) vs. Jordan Griffin (+155)
Adam Milstead (-170) vs. Mike Rodriguez (+150)
Zak Cummings (-270) vs. Trevor Smith (+230)
Juan Adams (-400) vs. Chris De La Rocha (+325)
Thoughts: The line that really stands out to me is Mike Rodriguez as an underdog. As poor as “Slo-Mike’s” UFC debut was, he’s up against a willing striker over whom he has a half-foot reach advantage. Milstead has yet to show a strong wrestling game, and just being a physical specimen won’t be enough against a rangier and more versatile striker.
Chalk one up for “Contender Series.”
As far as the rest, putting my faith in Jack Hermansson worked out against Thales Leites against all odds, so might as well try it one more time. Meerschaert is a mediocre wrestler going up against a terrific ground-and-pounder who, unlike recent Meerschaert foes Eric Spicely and Oskar Piechota, won’t slow down after a dominant first round. Stick Hermansson in a parlay with Andrea Lee for positive odds.
UFC On FOX 31 Odds For The Main Card:
Kevin Lee (-310) vs. Al Iaquinta (+255)
Dan Hooker (-115) vs. Edson Barboza (-105)
Rob Font (-165) vs. Sergio Pettis (+145)
Charles Oliveira (-300) vs. Jim Miller (+250)
Thoughts: As much as I love Edson Barboza, Dan Hooker is a man on a mission. “The Hangman” is virtually indestructible, easily shrugging off spinning elbows and flying head kicks even when he was killing himself to make Featherweight. His last time out, he walked through the punches of Gilbert Burns, who has concrete in his fists. Barboza, meanwhile, is coming off of two life-changing beatings, and though Hooker isn’t likely to go for many takedowns, Edson’s issues with pressure are well-documented. Indeed, a pressure fighter Barboza can’t take out in one sudden burst of violence sounds like a good investment to me.
UFC On FOX 31 Best Bets:
- Single bet — Mike Rodriguez: Bet $40 to make $60
- Parlay — Jack Hermansson and Andrea Lee: Bet $40 to make $44
- Single bet — Dan Hooker: Bet $60 to make $52.17
We’re going to get some quality trash talk and, ideally, some quality finishes as well. See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC on FOX 31 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.