#Betting101: Going the Distance at UFC 219 in Calvillo-Esparza

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 1:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 1:44 PM UTC

While everyone is focused on Saturday’s Cris Cyborg-Holly Holm main event, there should be value on the UFC odds board when Cynthia Calvillo and Carla Esparza touch gloves.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. We had Tim Elliott in our UFC picks two weeks ago as he prepared to take on replacement fighter Pietro Menga, but our plans were foiled when Menga didn’t even make it to the weigh-in. Phooey. At least we broke even.

Elliott will get to fight this Saturday at UFC 219 in Las Vegas against Mark De La Rosa, but now that he doesn’t have the advantage over a late replacement, we’re going to look elsewhere for our betting value. There’s a Women's Strawweight bout on the main card between Cynthia Calvillo and Carla Esparza; while Calvillo is a –250 favorite on the UFC odds board, this is yet another opportunity to bet on the 115-pound fighters to go the distance, which would pay out even better at –175 on the props market.

15 Minutes of Femmes

Of course, not every Strawweight fight lasts the full three (or five) rounds. But it happens more often than not; according to FightMatrix, 64 of the 95 bouts in this division have ended in a decision. That’s 67.4 percent, or the equivalent of –207 using our handy-dandy SBR Odds Converter.
Is there something specific about Saturday’s matchup that should make us worry? Calvillo has fought six times as a pro, with just two fights going to the judges’ scorecards – including her last fight, a unanimous decision over Joanne Calderwood. That record isn’t ideal for our purposes, but it’s a small sample size. Esparza, the inaugural UFC Strawweight champion, is 12-4 lifetime with seven fights ending in a decision; each of her last three fights went 15 minutes. The “Cookie Monster” also went five rounds to defeat Bec Rawlings for the first Invicta FC Strawweight belt.

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Dance Instructor Teaches UFC’s Carla Esparza How To Move Her “Wrestling Booty” Properly https://t.co/CuuU0DrRQp

— Brandon Vera (@Verafied) October 3, 2017

The clash of styles in this fight looks good for us. Both women are talented grapplers with backgrounds in wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Neither strikes with much volume or accuracy, and Esparza is particularly good at takedown defense, stuffing 83 percent of attempts according to FightMetric. Given their slight frames and their respective bodies of work, we’re happy to recommend this prop; if you want some cushion, you could take OVER 2.5 rounds instead at around –190, but this time, we’ll go for the gusto here at the ranch.

Free UFC Pick: Fight Goes To Decision (–175)Best Line Offered: 5Dimes
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