UFC 195 will feature a championship battle between Carlos Condit and Robbie Lawler dueling for the welterweight strap but there are others matches to consider as well and here we look at the UFC odds in the feature bout plus two more.
Carlos Condit (30-8, 15 KO’s, 13 Subs) vs. Robbie Lawler (26-10, 20 KO’s, 1 Sub)
This should be a dandy with the UFC odds makers installing the champion as a slight favorite. Ruthless Robbie Lawler has always been a tough out for any opponent but since he entered the UFC he has upped his game and gone on a tear. Lawler began his UFC reign of terror by dropping down to welterweight from 185 and it immediately paid dividends with a first-round TKO over Josh Koscheck. Including that match in February of 2013 Lawler has since won seven of eight in the UFC with his only stumble a unanimous decision loss to Johny Hendricks that would garner 2014 Fight of the Year honors. He later avenged his loss to Hendricks by winning the UFC welterweight title by split decision in December of '14.
I wax prosaic on Lawler because he is a legitimate world champ and a fearless warrior inside the Octagon. But that will not get him by Carlos Condit. Condit is too slick to go toe-to-toe with Lawler who never saw a brawl he didn't love. The Natural Born Killer has immaculate technique and strategizes with the same skill and savvy of a five-star-general. Condit will stay away from Lawler's bomb tossing game plan and will snipe his way to winning rounds until Lawler becomes so frustrated he will abandon any pretense of defense which is the trap that will ultimately ensnare him. Condit wins this by UD or by submission.
Play Condit +115 at BetDSI.com.
Andrei Arlovski (25-10, 17 KO's, 3 Subs) vs. Stipe Miocic (13-2, 9 KO's, 1 Sub)
If you watched Andrei Arlovski take on another aging veteran in Frank Mir back in September you couldn't have been more disappointed in both fighters. It was supposed to be a heavyweight throw-down of two legendary KO artists but instead it illustrated that the only real winner was middle age. Despite that lethargic performance Arlovski is indeed in the midst of a career renaissance with a six fight winning streak in hand including four since returning to the UFC.
Arlovski's opponent Stipe Miocic is a half a click below the true elites in the heavyweight division. He has but two losses on his resume and those were to Stefan Struve via technical knockout and more recently a unanimous decision loss to Junior dos Santos. Miocic's last foray inside the Octagon was a complete and thorough evisceration of veteran Mark Hunt where Miocic set a record for the number of total strikes landed in a UFC bout with 361 and the largest strike differential in history as Miocic out-landed Hunt by a 315 strike margin. Amazingly Hunt lasted until the fifth round before he was finally and mercifully TKO'ed.
The judges can take this fight off because someone is going to take a very public nap. Arlovski has the pedigree and the power to do the deal but if his last fight is any indication of where he is headed in his career then we can declare with great certainty that Stipe Miocic will be cashing as one of our UFC picks on January 2nd. Miocic has too much speed, power and cardio for Arlovski at this point in the Pit Bull's career which makes this one a no-brainer.
Play Stipe Miocic -232 at Pijnnacle.com.
Dustin Poirier (18-4, 9 KO's, 6 Subs) vs. Joe Duffy (14-1, 4 KO's, 9 Subs)
Dustin Poirier got a taste of what a truly elite featherweight looks like and decided it was time to pack on a few pounds and return to the lightweight division. Conor McGregor made Poirier look like an audience member had picked a fight with the soon-to-be featherweight champion when they fought in September of 2014 and Poirier found himself out cold before the first round was finished. Since returning to 155 pounds Poirier has looked much more comfortable and has a KO and TKO to show for it.
Look out for Joe Duffy. No, this is not the veteran sports betting handicapper but rather a bona fide superstar in the making. A little over five years ago this same Joe Duffy defeated an up-and-comer named Conor McGregor, yes that Conor McGregor, by submission. Duffy is an extremely talented lightweight who started his career at 170 pounds and has an unblemished professional boxing record. In addition, he is a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do and traditional Ju-Jitsu with a purple belt in BJJ.
Joe Duffy is a fighter destined to compete for the title at some point in the near future and Dustin Poirier, while a tough and game kid, will prove to be just another notch on his ever widening holster.
Play Joe Duffy -240 at BetDSI.com.