UFC 208 - Card Breakdown & Betting Preview

Andreas Hale

Friday, February 10, 2017 4:50 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 4:50 PM UTC

The UFC has its 2017 pay per view debut when the promotion heads to Brooklyn, NY for UFC 208 as the inaugural women’s featherweight title will be decided when Holly Holm faces Germaine de Randamie.

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It’s a card that has been met with a fair share of criticism considering that it is lacking in star power. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities to make a little bit of money for betting folks.

Starting with the main event, Holm steps into the featherweight picture on a two-fight losing streak. After her infamous knockout of Ronda Rousey, Holm dropped the UFC women’s bantamweight title to Miesha Tate at UFC 196 in March and lost a unanimous decision to Valentina Shevchenko in July. Yet she still is given the opportunity to reclaim gold as a featherweight.

Standing opposite of Holm will be Germaine de Randamie, who has won two fights in a row by knockout. De Randamie is a fearless Dutch kickboxing world champion who won 37 fights in a row before making her MMA debut. That career has come with uneven results as she is 6-3 and still figuring out the nuances of fighting inside of a cage with grappling involved.

For some, it may be surprising that Holm is currently an underdog that hovers around +100 and +105 (best price found at Pinnacle +115). However, upon closer inspection, that tag is warranted. Don’t fall for the trap of taking Holm because she’s the bigger name who decimated the long reigning Ronda Rousey. If you were to sift through her highlight reel, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything outside of her Rousey domination. She hasn’t been terribly impressive before or after her fight with Rousey, who provided the perfect target for a boxer like Holm. Her recent loss to Valentina Shevchenko was yet another instance where Holm struggled with a striker who didn’t give her many opportunities to counterstrike.

Germaine de Randamie is very much like Shevchenko and the reason why oddsmakers have pegged Holm as the underdog. The Dutch fighter may not have a glowing record, but she has proven to a problem for anybody willing to stand up with her. Holm will most certainly keep the fight on the feet and de Randamie will welcome that kind of fight with open arms.

There isn’t enough value here to bet either straight up, though I would favor de Randamie straight up. It’s possible that the fight could end in under 4 ½ rounds but Holm is a competent striker who makes few mistakes that would allow de Randamie to take advantage of. And at +115 for the under, it’s just doesn’t force you to move your hand to make a wager.

However, where you may want to place a bet is on the Anderson Silva vs. Derek Brunson middleweight showdown. Granted, Silva hasn’t won a fight at middleweight since beating Chael Sonnen in 2012. However, he’s faced some very stiff competition along the way. Brunson is far from the likes of Daniel Cormier, Michael Bisping and Chris Weidman, but he still presents a threat. Brunson fooled a lot of people into thinking he was a knockout artist when he went on a torrid tear with four consecutive knockouts before getting starched by Robert Whittaker in the first round back in November. Brunson enters the fight as a -140 favorite, but I cannot pass up Silva at around +125 at 5Dimes. With lesser competition in front of him, perhaps we’ll see flashes of the old Silva at play. Not to mention that it’s worth taking a shot at the under of 1 ½ rounds at +110. It is essentially do or die for Silva and I like his chances in Brooklyn.

As for the rest of the card, I like the Glover Teixiera vs. Jarrod Cannonier fight to end in less than a round and a half at +100. Teixiera may be coming off of a knockout loss to Anthony Johnson, but he’s known to finish his opponents in swift and devastating fashion. As for Cannonier, he doesn’t has the experience of Teixiera but he dislikes involving the judges. Between the two they have 29 finishes in 40 fights. Chances are that this doesn’t see the final bell.

If you want a long shot, pick up Jim Miller at +350 against Dustin Poirier. Miller is on a three fight-winning streak while Poirier is coming off of a knockout loss to Michael Johnson in September. Poirier has always possessed the tools to be a top contender but for one reason or another, it hasn’t come together. Miller is a seasoned veteran with a competent ground game that could cause trouble for Poirier. In a straight up bet, I would most definitely side with Poirier, but with those odds, why not take a chance?

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