The flyweight belt is on the line but there are more opportunities than just the feature bout to include in our UFC picks. Here we review the UFC odds and lock in a few betting opportunities.
John Dodson (17-6, 8 KO’s, 2 Subs) vs. Demetrious Johnson (22-2, 4 KO’s, 9 Subs)
This is a rematch from January 26th, 2013 when Dodson and Johnson went five grueling rounds that saw a unanimous decision handed in favor of Johnson. It was far from a walk in the park for Mighty Mouse who was decked twice by Dodson but the champ got off the mat and rallied with a dominating performance in the championship rounds. Once again Johnson prevailed based on endurance and stamina.
However the UFC odds on this one seem too steep on the champion. As of this writing Johnson is installed as a better than -400 favorite and we feel that’s far too much lumber to lay against an opponent that can throw welterweight force strikes at a flyweight level. John Dodson could conceivably fade in the latter rounds yet again but we will take a flier on the challenger to do even more damage in the opening rounds that will prevent Johnson from turning it into overdrive as the fight wears on.
UFC Pick: John Dodson +355 at Pinnacle
Andre Arlovski (24-10, 17 KO’s, 3 Subs) vs. Frank Mir (18-9, 5 KO’s, 9 Subs)
A pair of former heavyweight champions collides when Andre Arlovski looks to maintain his unblemished record since returning to the UFC when he locks up with Frank Mir. Not long ago it appeared Mir was headed for a one-way ticket out of the UFC when he dropped four consecutive matches but was given a reprieve by Dana White to battle Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in February of this year. Mir made short work of Silva and earned a Performance of the Night bonus. He followed that up with a first-round pasting of unheralded Todd Duffee and was the recipient of yet even more Performance of the Night bonus bucks.
The UFC odds are not out on this one but while Mir looked strong in his last two fights they were against a fading Silva and a journeyman in Duffee. Arlovski has won seven of his last eight fights and his TKO over legitimate threat Travis Browne in his last outing clinches it for me. Mir has made his bones in MMA with submissions but note he has only one to his credit in five years. In a contest that will pit two heavy hitters standing-and-trading I will go with Arlovski to win that battle via knockout.
UFC Pick: Andre Arlovski
Alex Chambers (5-2, 2 KO’s, 2 Subs) vs. Paige VanZant (5-1, 1 KO, 1 Sub)
This bout between two women’s strawweights is being tailor-made for up-and-comer Paige VanZant. The UFC has a strawweight division that needs luster and honey-blonde VanZant is just the ticket to make that happen. At 21-years-old VanZant has much to learn but she has the requisite fighting chops to make short work of 36-year-old Chambers. Chambers has more fundamental pedigree than VanZant as a 3rd degree black belt in karate but is an inch shorter and 15 years older. Chambers is definitely stepping up in class and was lucky to get a win in her last outing after being battered by Kailin Curran for much of the fight until she locked in a desperation armbar and came away with the victory. VanZant has nothing to worry about here as Chambers is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
UFC Pick: Paige VanZant -1200 at Bovada