The UFC returns to Las Vegas where flyweight king Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson defends his crown against Chris Cariaso but what do the UFC odds say about this title tilt?
Main Card Preview
This was the UFC card everyone was eagerly awaiting as Jon "Bones" Jones was scheduled to throw down in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson for the UFC Light Heavyweight strap. However the injury bug bit as it often does in the UFC with Gustafsson the victim of a torn meniscus which paved the way for undefeated Daniel Cormier to take his place and tangle with the champ. But fate would intervene yet again as Jones bowed out on August 12th citing a knee injury that would later require surgery. The UFC Light Heavyweight title match was scrapped and was summarily replaced by the championship bout in the flyweight division between the 125-pound king Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso which was originally scheduled for UFC 177.
In addition, the fans will be treated to one of the most electric fighters in the world when Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone steps into the Octagon to try to continue his recent domination over lightweight opponents after winning four consecutive bouts by either submission or knockout. But unlike his last match where he was a big favorite in UFC odds over veteran Jim Miller at -235, Cerrone opened at -130 at 5Dimes.com and is now down to -120 over the recently signed Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez, recently signed by the UFC and thereupon vacating his Bellator Lightweight title, is actually a favorite in the eyes of many offshore books like WilliamHill.com who has labeled him as a -135 favorite in their shop.
Dustin Poirier (16-3) will take on another up-and-comer in Conor McGregor (15-2) in the featherweight division. McGregor, also known as The King of Dublin, is getting plenty of play from early bettors as he has risen from -170 in UFC odds to a startling -240 favorite against a game and talented Dustin Poirier.
A pair of impressive middleweights will throw down in what should be an entertaining match between 35-year-old veteran Tim Kennedy (18-4), who has reeled off four big wins in a row, and Yoel Romero (8-1) who has KO's in all but one of his victories. 5Dimes.com opened with Kennedy -130 as the UFC odds on favorite but is now dealing Kennedy at a slightly less -120. But curiously, Pinnacle.com opened with Romero as the betting favorite at -115 and is now offering him at -130. In both cases it is clear that Romero is getting the money but is that the sharp side or just the early side?
Finally, in women's bantamweight action the undefeated Cat Zingano (8-0) scored her most impressive victory of her career when she TKO'ed former title challenger Miesha Tate in the third round of their bout in April. She will lock horns with Amanda Nunes (9-3) who has won her first two matches under the UFC banner. Zingano, the older and smaller fighter of the two, has stayed steady as a -240 betting favorite. Obviously Zingano's dominant performance over highly ranked Miesha Tate has punters cautious of betting against her.
Johnson vs. Cariaso (Main Event)
Mighty Mouse is in the house and is the overwhelming favorite to extend his reign in the flyweight division. Demetrious Johnson (20-2-1) was slated as a dizzying -1775 favorite at 5Dimes.com but bettors have taken a bite of what might be labeled a value play by backing Chris Cariaso (17-5) which has sent the UFC odds tumbling to Johnson -1200 in some offshores.
Johnson should make short work of Cariaso as he has dominated a far better caliber of opponent throughout his career. Cariaso was kind of a handpicked opponent amidst a division that Johnson has pretty much destroyed since its inception in the UFC. As of this writing Cariaso is the 8th ranked fighter and will more than likely be out of the top ten by the time this one is finished.