Junior Achievement: dos Santos to Make Most of UFC Return

dos santos

Andreas Hale

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 2:09 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018 2:09 PM UTC

Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos faces former WSOF heavyweight champ Blagoy Ivanov in the main event at UFC Fight Night 133. Let’s find the best betting value on Saturday's card.

UFC Fight Night 133 (Saturday; Boise, Idaho)Blagoy Ivanov vs. Junior dos SantosFree UFC Pick: dos Santos (-168)Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

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The last time we saw Junior dos Santos in the Octagon, he was being blitzed by Stipe Miocic and stopped in the first round of their world title fight in May 2017. Since then, he’s been sidelined by USADA for PED usage and is finally coming off his suspension to face Blagoy Ivanov, who has won five in a row since losing to Alexander Volkov in 2014 when he fought in Bellator.

Due to the fact JDS has simply fought better opposition, he enters the fight as the favorite with the line currently sitting at -175. Ivanov’s underdog status of +155 is deserved, even though he has only one loss on his record. It’s a huge step up in competition for the 31-year-old from Bulgaria. As we have seen with other WSOF fighters (David Brance and Justin Gaethje), the success they had in their old organization doesn’t necessarily translate to the UFC.

Not to mention that dos Santos is a former champion with exceptional striking ability and excellent takedown defense. Ivanov's lauded Sambo skills will be put to test against the kickboxer early and often.

With JDS getting some time off to heal up, there’s reason to believe he’ll have a whole new incentive following a year-long absence from the Octagon. His losses over the past eight years have been to former champions (Miocic and Cain Velasquez) and one of the best strikers in heavyweight history (Alistair Overeem), so there isn’t much Ivanov can offer that dos Santos hasn’t seen. This fight likely doesn’t go the distance and as long as dos Santos doesn’t move into the -200 area, he should be a fine bet on fight night.

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The Main Event. This Saturday. Are you ready?

Only a few single-seats for @ufc Fight Night 133 still available, so get your tickets NOW! #UFCBoise

TICKETS: https://t.co/vsBZE9Lv65 pic.twitter.com/Wq4SxQsHyU

— CenturyLinkArena (@centurylinkboi) July 9, 2018
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Alexander Volkanovski vs. Darren ElkinsFree UFC Pick: Elkins (+230)Best Line Offered: Bovada

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Another fight to keep an eye on is the featherweight battle between Darren Elkins and Alexander Volkanovski. Elkins has quietly put together an exceptional run at featherweight and joining Urijah Faber’s Team Alpha Male has only enhanced the ability of the man known as “The Damage.” Since 2011, Elkins has gone 13-3, but has looked incredible over his last six fights with victories over the likes of Michael Johnson, Dennis Bermudez and a surreal come-from-behind win over Mirsad Bektic in March. Although Volkanovski has been pegged to be one of the brightest up-and-comers in the 145-pound division – courtesy of his 4-0 record in the UFC -- it’s hard to justify him being a -300 favorite to Elkins’ +230.

Volkanovski has incredibly heavy hands and put the entire division on notice when he wrecked previously unbeaten Jeremy Kennedy at UFC 221. However, Elkins has a four-inch height advantage and has proven to be pretty durable throughout his career. The momentum Elkins has established over the past couple of years shouldn’t be ignored, either. If this line were closer to what we have in the main event, I’d be more comfortable laying off. However, at +230 with a fighter on a winning streak? You really have to roll the dice with Elkins here because the payoff can be great. Also of note is that Volkanovski hasn’t really faced anybody of note. He’s a great offensive wrestler with powerful hands, just not good enough to justify the wide line. Go with Elkins; you can definitely do worse.

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Has any #UFC fighter defied the #odds like Darren Elkins?! Check out this man's resume, from a betting perspective:

*He's 5-0 when he is a betting favorite
*He has 9 #underdog wins in the UFC! I repeat... 9!#BettingTips #AgainstAllOdds #UFCBoise #Unbelievable pic.twitter.com/QRn5BRZjDD

— MMA Parlay (@hartlandufc) July 4, 2018
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