When it won’t be the largest battle sports event of this summer, UFC 214 is certainly the largest MMA event of the season. On top of the Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier rematch, the card includes two extra title bouts, contenders and entertaining fights throughout.
Brad Taschuk of MMAOddsBreaker.com, takes a look at where the gambling odds have moved for many 12 fights since launching lines (indicated in brackets) were released and he provides his ideas on each matchup. All traces are courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Jon Jones (-280) vs. Daniel Cormier (+220)
Jones was a -170 favorite first time these two fought and a few naively anticipated the lineup could be similar this time around. But, it seems that Jones’ legal issues, run-in with USADA and layoff hasn’t had the impact expected on the line. It’s hard to attribute bettors Cormier is currently 38-years-old, has been through some tough battles since their very first meeting, and Jones won every component of that first battle. Expect something similar – if not more dominant – this time around.
Regardless of how badly he takes his preparation, Jones is the type of fighter who rises to the occasion like few others. To him, this is the ultimate event. Cormier is his main rival and he’s the chance to recover the belt he never lost against him. That combination will lead to a tremendous performance from Jones. Expect him to dispatch of Cormier and re-assert his dominance at the division.
Tyron Woodley (-210) vs. Demian Maia (+160)
Much like the main event, this line hasn’t seen much movement. Given the contrasting styles, that is not hard to believe. There is a contingent of individuals who think that Woodley is going to starch Maia with the first punch he throws. They might well be correct. The opposing side of the coin is made up of people who think that Maia can close the space, latch onto Woodley such as he has so many others and only dominate with his grappling. They are right too. Woodley’s tendency to back himself against the cage and play counter-puncher is going to be his passing. Maia has gotten so good at going into the clinch when not under stress he ought to have the ability to create Woodley overlook once. Even against a high-level wrestler the likes of Woodley, once Maia gets his hands on you, that is a world of trouble.
The Brazilian’s capacity to initiate Jiu-Jitsu imports without hitting conventional takedowns is second to none (he’s perfected the only leg to back take) and Woodley being the kind of man who likes to burst out of positions will only hurt him once that occurs. It is kind of astonishing that Maia by Sub pays an extra buck (+275 at Thursday morning), since Woodley will not have the ability to survive 25 moments of Maia engaging in the type of fight he wants to. The other option is probably a quick Woodley KO (+350 for the champ in Round 1, incidentally ).
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (-1200) vs. Tonya Evinger (+600)
This fight being bettable is dependent on what kind of bettor you’re. If you don’t have any difficulty throwing a massive line in a parlay, the Cyborg moneyline (at almost -1400), or Cyborg ITD (nearly -700) are nearly sure things. If that’s not really your style, neither will be laying nearly 2-to-1 on a prop like Cyborg Round 1.
The only case I could make for a drama relies on Evinger’s strength. She has taken damage in several of her struggles and persevered and she likely won’t return to beat Cyborg in this one after a rough start, there’s an outside shot she is able to survive five minutes. However, even the prices for”Fight Starts Round 2″ and Cyborg Round two have dropped considerably (down to +150 and +450( respectively), making them less appealing even to someone who is always on the search for some round robin legs.
Robbie Lawler (-175) vs. Donald Cerrone (+135)
It is a shame this struggle is taking place after both guys have apparently passed their peak concerning durability, because a war with Lawler and Cerrone in their best would be a thing to behold. This fight will return to distance direction and in-fight decisions. Lawler wants to be indoors, Cerrone wants to be outside. The difficulty for Cerrone is that Lawler’s consistent pressure will gradually see him get inside and at the point, expect Cerrone to be far too willing to oblige him the war he is looking for. While this will give us the kind of struggle we want to see, don’t expect it to end well for Cerrone.
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