Louis Smolka vs. Ray Borg(-140)
This fight features 2 flyweights who may be 1 or 2 wins from a title shot. Smolka is coming off a disappointing loss, in which he was taken to the ground and submitted by a lesser opponent. Borg would love for this fight to go to the ground, as he’s shown a great ability to submit opponents who dare to grapple with him. Borg controls this fight and wins by UD.
TJ Dillashaw(-225) vs. John Lineker
This is a tough fight to pick, so as a gambler I would advise staying away. However, I would come off as soft not making a pick for all of the die-hards out there. John Lineker will be trying to knock Dillashaw’s teeth clean out with each punch, but Dillashaw has the speed advantage. Although Lineker’s cardio has improved, he will not be able to outlast Dillashaw, who has a marathon runner’s stamina and does not stop moving. TJ finishes him in the 3rd by submission, earning him a future title shot with the winner of the next bout.
Dominick Cruz vs. Cody Garbrandt (+170)
The retirement of Urijah Faber doesn’t leave a void when it comes to the rivaly of Dominick Cruz and Team Alpha Male. Cody comes in as hot as a pistol, with a 10-0 record with 9 knockouts. Cruz looks to be at the top of his game as well, beating the aforementioned Faber Unanimously and defeating the similarly skilled Dillashaw in a tightly contested bout in his last two fights. If this fight was 3 rounds, I may lean towards Cruz, however, I personally don’t think even Dominick can avoid the heavy handed Garbrandt for 5 rounds. I also don’t believe he’ll be able to finish the fight, so I’m counting on Cody to connect at some point for his 10th KO.
Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey(-145)
Just over a year ago, Ronda was the sport’s biggest name (A title that now belongs to Conor McGregor). At that time, betting on her to win held simply no value, as it was almost a forgone conclusion that she would win by submission in round 1. UFC 193 featured a seemingly ho-hum fight between her and Holly Holm. Holm knocked her out- stunning the world, took her belt, and sent Ronda into a complete tailspin. She returns to the ring aiming to answer the question “Is her head still in it?”. I believe she comes out and takes her belt back as if her career is on the line, which it is. You’ll never get odds on Rousey like this again, so take advantage. Ronda wins by submission Round 1.