Gaethje to Rebound in UFC Main Event vs. Poirier

ufc fighter

Andreas Hale

Thursday, April 12, 2018 3:19 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 12, 2018 3:19 PM UTC

With the madness of UFC 223 behind us, it’s time to look ahead to Saturday's card that hopefully won't have as many last-minute changes that threw off everyone looking to make a wager.

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A magnificent showdown between Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier, which will have ramifications on the always-intriguing lightweight division, headlines Saturday's card in Glendale, Arizona. Also on the schedule, Carlos Condit wants to prove he has something left in the tank, and Michelle Waterson hopes to end a two-fight skid in the women’s strawweight division. Let’s find the best value on this card.

Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin PoirierFree UFC Pick: Gaethje +125Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The main event promises to be violent for as long as it lasts. Gaethje suffered his first loss as a professional when he was stopped in the final round by Eddie Alvarez in his last fight. Meanwhile, Poirier is looking to make his presence felt after scoring a TKO victory over Anthony Pettis. Both fighters have two opponents in common: Alvarez and Michael Johnson. Gaethje was stopped by Alvarez but finished Johnson in a fight-of-the-year contender last July. Poirier was knocked out in the first round by Johnson in 2016 and battled Alvarez to a No Contest in a fight that was very violent and up for grabs to that point.

MMA math won’t work in this fight. The real question is whether Gaethje can continue to successfully deploy his assault that has no regard for defense and whether or not Poirier can weather the storm for 25 minutes.

Oddsmakers feel Poirier is capable of surviving and taking out Gaethje to the tune of -145 and must figure that the wars are catching up to Gaethje (+125). I disagree. As great as Poirier has been, there have been lapses in his performances when he’s expected to take that next step in his career. His last two losses, to Johnson and Conor McGregor, were by knockout and there is some concern over whether he can hold up to Gaethje’s pressure. I fully expect Gaethje’s leg kicks and pressured assault to wear down Poirier and lead to a finish inside of the distance. With your UFC picks, Gaethje is a pretty solid bet with some value to consider here.

Alex Olivera vs. Carlos ConditFree UFC Picks: Condit +170; 'Under' 2.5 Rounds +175Best Lines Offered: 5Dimes

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It’s no secret that Carlos Condit hasn’t been the “Natural Born Killer” that we remember coming within a scorecard from becoming UFC welterweight champion. But since his loss to Robbie Lawler, Condit has dropped two straight, to Demian Maia and Neil Magny. As a matter of fact, dating to his UFC 154 loss to Georges St-Pierre, Condit is a mere 2-6 in his last eight fights. Originally slated to face Matt Brown in an all-action fight, Condit will now face Alex Olivera, who most will remember for having ESPN's 2017 Fight of the Year in a maniacal bout with Yancy Medeiros.

Although Condit isn’t what he once was, he has had his hard times against some pretty stiff competition. Olivera’s style plays into Condit’s hands and the short notice shouldn’t affect the former UFC welterweight title challenger. Nevertheless, oddsmakers disagree and have Condit as a pretty significant underdog at +170 with Olivera at -200. I fully expect Condit to get his wheels back under him after a rusty performance against Magny in December and do what he has to do to get the victory Saturday. Olivera hasn’t seen a judges scorecard since his 2016 fight with James Moontasri. The current line for the fight to end in "under" 2.5 rounds is at a tasty +175 and is begging some money to be laid on it. In your UFC picks, go with Condit and the "under" here for the most bang for your buck.

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