#Betting101: Sanders Gets a New UFC Fight Night 123 Opponent

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 1:44 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 1:44 PM UTC

The UFC returns to Northern California this Saturday for Fight Night 123, and after some card shuffling there should be plenty of betting value on the MMA odds board.

Free UFC Pick: Sanders –217Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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Flyweights gonna flyweight. As expected, Henry Cejudo and Sergio Pettis went the full three rounds last weekend at UFC 218 , paying out at –285 at the close. We bought in at –245. That’s #Betting101. Shall we stick with the flyweights for Saturday’s Fight Night 123 card in Fresno? There’s only one bout in that division, and it’s between two relative unknowns in Carls John de Tomas and Alex Perez. This bad boy is only –110 to go the distance.

Maybe some research will help us with our UFC picks. John de Tomas is from the Philippines, 21 years old, with a record of 8-1; he made his Octagon debut in June, losing a unanimous decision to Naoki Inoue. Only four of his previous eight fights went Broadway, although that includes his last two fights under the URCC banner, which went five rounds. Perez is from Lemoore, Calif., 25 years old, with a record of 18-4; he choked out Kevin Grey in August at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Eleven of Perez’s other 21 fights ended in a decision. Looks pretty much like a coin flip.

Off Your Knees

Instead of forcing a pick, let’s change tack and try to exploit one of the late replacement fighters on Saturday’s card. Luke Sanders (11-1 lifetime, 1-1 UFC) was supposed to face Bryan Caraway in Bantamweight action, but Caraway pulled out on Nov. 20; two days later, he was replaced by Andre Soukhamthath (11-5 lifetime, 0-2 UFC). Sanders opened as a –193 favorite on the UFC odds board before moving to –230 at press time.

This could be the fight we’re looking for. Soukhamthath hasn’t been given much time to prepare for Sanders, and the former CES Bantamweight champion has yet to find success in the Octagon; the 29-year-old has only been in MMA since 2009 after playing soccer in high school. Sanders, 31, was a Tennessee high school state champion in wrestling. He went 9-0 as an amateur boxer and hadn’t lost an MMA fight until this past March, where he tapped out to Iuri Alcantara (+105) via kneebar at UFC 209.

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Andre Soukhamthath replaces Bryan Caraway vs. Luke Sanders at UFC Fresno https://t.co/byWSB4Ayy8 pic.twitter.com/Z0j2aeYHHr

— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) November 22, 2017

If there’s any such thing as a “good loss,” this was it. Sanders was well on his way to victory in the first round, but he kneed Alcantara in the head while the groggy opponent was kneeling, forcing a pause in the action – and allowing Alcantara to slip away with the second-round submission. We’ll bet a small amount on Sanders not making the same mistake this Saturday. If he does, Becky Lynch will kick his ass when he gets home.

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