UFC 207 Betting Preview - It's The Return Of Rousey

Ronda Rousey vs Amanda Nunes

Andreas Hale

Friday, December 30, 2016 4:11 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 30, 2016 4:11 PM UTC

After a year away from competition, Ronda Rousey is finally back to the octagon to face Amanda Nunes. We break down the main event and the other important fight on the card of Garbrandt vs Cruz. If you want to make your bookie tap out, you must read this now!

UFC 207 is all about the return of Ronda Rousey after a year away from the Octagon. The former UFC women’s bantamweight champion will look to reclaim what was once hers when she faces current champion Amanda Nunes in Las Vegas. There are other fights with intrigue and betting value on the card but we have to start with one of the most highly anticipated returns in all of MMA and what it means for those who want to get one last combat sports wager in before the end of 2016.

When the fight was announced, Rousey was a -215 favorite. Since then, she’s come crashing down to earth and can be found as low as a -130 while Nunes is now a +110 after starting as a +185. Nobody really knows what Ronda Rousey will show up in the Octagon considering that her leave of absence has left more questions than answers.

But if she’s an inkling of who she was before her knockout loss to Holly Holm, taking her a -130 in the UFC oddsboard is a late Christmas gift. Styles make fights and Holly Holm’s style that was focused on defending the takedown and controlling the distance with her kickboxing skills was simply a terrible style for Rousey. Nunes isn’t cut from the same cloth and doesn’t control the range nearly as well as Holm. Her takedown defense is solid but not the best in MMA.

If Rousey can close the gap early and score a takedown, this could be a very short night. I like Ronda Rousey to go back to her roots of submitting people quickly rather than try to showcase her boxing skills. She should be too smart to fall into that trap again after the Holm fight and I’d expect her to utilize what got her to the promised land in the first place rather than try to deploy a new striking strategy against some who hits as hard as Nunes. This isn’t to say that Nunes isn’t capable of winning because she could dismantle Rousey should she be off her game. However, I am loving Rousey at -130 because the oddsmakers have seen a rush on Nunes as Rousey is busy rehabbing her image. Some may see her media blackout as a sign of weakness, but I see it as keeping focus and going back to her roots to reclaim what she feels is rightfully hers.

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Elsewhere on the card is the bantamweight title match Dominick Cruz and the #5 ranked Cody Garbrandt. Cruz’ dominance over the 135 pound has been astounding, to say the least. Especially when you consider the injuries that sidelined him for three years. He comes into this fight as high as a -220 while you can find Garbrandt at as much as +190. If it wasn’t 2016, I would say to not waste your time on the hard-hitting Garbrandt but the Team Alpha Male fighter possesses the great equalizer: power.

You’re not going to beat an MMA scientist by decision in a five round fight. Instead, you’re going to have to catch him and his fancy footwork asleep at the wheel one good time. Garbrandt could do that, although I don’t expect him to. In the build toward the fight, Cruz has done a magnificent job getting into the 25-year-old’s head with his trash talk and I fully expect it to have an affect on his game plan. The smart pick is Cruz by decision. But if you are feeling ambitious, take Garbrandt at +190 with the fight going under 2 ½ rounds at +185. That’s the only way Garbrandt can win as he has yet to prove he can go five rounds.

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