UFC 196 Main Card Odds Update: Will Underdogs Continue To Get Bettors Attention?

Swinging Johnson

Monday, February 22, 2016 8:45 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 8:45 PM UTC

Conor McGregor is back and seeking another title belt to wrap around his waist. Let's preview this fight as well as Holly Holm's first title defense and see who to back in our free UFC picks.

Conor McGregor (19-2, 17 KO's, 1 Sub) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (25-7, 5 KO's, 8 Subs)
Conor McGregor's legend grows. He's a pull-no-punches guy both literally and figuratively as he eschews conventional wisdom to defend his 145 pound crown and stay in his lane. That's not even close to happening as he has lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos in his crosshairs and has given more than a passing glance at the welterweight division. Before he even thinks about holding three titles simultaneously he has to earn his second against an elite mat master in Rafael dos Anjos.

Though the spotlight is clearly on the challenger it should be noted that the champion is no paper tiger. The 155 pound king absolutely vaporized highly respected Donald Cerrone in his last title defense and will present McGregor with his greatest challenge to date. The UFC odds makers opened this match with dos Anjos as high as -130 at Bovada.com but a tidal wave of public money on the challenger has reversed the odds where McGregor is now the favorite at anywhere from -130 at Heritage.com to as high as -150 at Bovada.com.

Next week I will break down this lightweight title clash but for now let's consider that dos Anjos will have to steel himself for a thunderous right hand and a murderous left by a fighter who is as unorthodox as he is dangerous. However, McGregor will be tested by Chad Mendes 2.0 whose mat skills are even more lethal due to the significant size difference and one who most recently displayed a stunning striking arsenal that rendered top contender Donald Cerrone helpless after just 1:06 into the first round. This one should be a dandy.

Editor's Update: It has come to light that Rafael dos Anjos has suffered a foot injury that has him, at the moment, questionable for this fight. Stay tuned for more updates as more on dos Anjos condition is released. In the meantime, join in on the conversation with our readers in our SBR Forum thread.

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Miesha Tate (17-5, 3 KO's, 6 Subs) vs. Holly Holm (10-0, 7 KO's, 0 Subs)
The white hot spotlight is squarely on Holly Holm after her historic upset victory over Ronda Rousey. This will be her first title defense but the challenger is no stranger to main events. Tate may in fact be the toughest foe Holm could have chosen in the women's bantamweight division. Tate is the former Strikeforce women's bantamweight champ and took Rousey to the uncharted realm of three rounds before she succumbed to Rousey's preternatural submission skills. As we all know Holm is a striker extraordinaire but could be susceptible to a world class ground game and that is exactly what Tate possesses. Of course that didn't deter the champ from laying waste to one of the most decorated grapplers in all of MMA when she starched Rousey in the second round to claim the belt.

I will break this fight down as well next week and determine which fighter to include in our UFC picks but let's take a look at where the odds are going in this one. The champion opened as a -400 favorite in most of the offshore books but the underdog is getting some love thus far. As of this writing Holm has dropped to as low as -345 at BetOnline.com but is as high as -375 at YouWager.com

As impressive as Holm's win was we cannot overlook the fact that Miesha Tate has been here before and the pressure is squarely on the champ to follow up her shocking win over the legendary Rousey. Another classic striker versus grappler battle, much like the co-main event at UFC 196. Yet the question remains - is Holly Holm a one hit wonder? We shall see.

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