#Betting101: Going the Distance at UFC 218

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 1:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 1:46 PM UTC

There are plenty of big names on Saturday night’s UFC 218 pay-per-view in Detroit, but it’s the smaller fighters who have all the betting value on the MMA odds board.

We may have overthought last week’s UFC pick here at the ranch. Our original idea was to go with Li Jingliang (–200 at the close) for his co-main event bout against Zak Ottow in the UFC’s first visit to mainland China. We would have gotten him at the bargain price of –170, too, but we went with the fight going the distance at –150. It looked good for a couple of minutes – until Li connected with some beautiful counter-punches and scored a first-round TKO.

Today, we’re sticking with first principles and going straight to the Flyweight division for our next crack at the UFC odds board. According to FightMatrix, Flyweights have fought to a decision in 89 of their 153 matches inside the Octagon, or just over 58 percent of the time. That includes all those five-round main events; on Saturday in Detroit, Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis will only have to fight three rounds at UFC 218 to pay out at –245 (the equivalent of 71 percent) on the props market. That seems well within reach.

He’s Got Olympic Gold

Cejudo (11-2 lifetime, 5-2 UFC) doesn’t always go the distance, but he was built for it. He won the freestyle wrestling gold medal in the 55kg division at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. There’s no E on Cejudo’s fuel gauge. Five of his seven UFC fights went the full three rounds, as did both his fights in Legacy FC before that.

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A fight that’s flown somewhat under the radar is Cejudo vs Pettis. Winner could well get the next title shot at 125, and I can’t say either of them don’t deserve it. Super intriguing, but it’s kind of disappointing to see an Olympic gold medalist not get the attention he deserves

— David (@DavidMurphyMMA) November 28, 2017

Pettis (16-2 lifetime, 7-2 UFC) could probably fight all Saturday night and into Sunday. He went 25 minutes against Brandon Moreno (–275) this past August in the main event of Fight Night 114, earning a unanimous decision in the process. Each of his previous three bouts went to the judges’ scorecards, as have nine of his last 13 fights overall. Both men are skilled defensive fighters – Cejudo has yet to be taken to the mat in his UFC career. We’ll go ahead and bet on 15 minutes of quality MMA before this one’s over.

Free UFC Pick: Fight goes to decision (–245)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
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