The Barclay’s Center will host the next major event in mixed martial arts and we have UFC Fight Night 143 odds posted and ready for you to feast on. The main card is set to go off at around 7:30pm ET on Saturday, January 19th. Highlighting the event is an awesome Flyweight Championship matchup between an Olympic and UFC title holder and a (sort of) fan favorite. As with most free fight cards, there are a lot of underdogs you can chase down with soft plays. Risk-reward is the name of the game and you have to be willing to take some chances if you’re going to invest a little to win back a lot.
FLYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Henry Cejudo (C) +140 over TJ Dillashaw -225
It’s virtually impossible to ignore Cejudo here. He’s the champion. He’s an actual Olympic champion. He is also one of the few men in the world who has beaten Demetrious Johnson. Granted, it was a split decision but unlike a lot of splits, this one seemed to be fair. The judges and the media were polarized on the fight in equal parts. Where the controversy ensued was that the champion usually gets the benefit of the doubt in a close fight, and Johnson was the title holder at that time. But there’s no doubting Cejudo’s talent. The fact that he was able to even push Johnson to the limit speaks volumes about what he’s working with.
Dillashaw is being favored in UFC Fight Night 143 odds for a few reasons, but the primary one is that he’s the reigning bantamweight champion. He’ll be able to make weight for this flyweight title fight, and then regain some of his size and power in time for Saturday night. That gives him a measurable advantage that the oddsmakers have taken in to consideration. Couple that with Dillashaw’s back-to-back TKO’s of Cody Garbrandt and it’s easy to understand why he’s commanding such an expensive asking price in the book.
The other element is that Cejudo is a relatively new commodity, and his win over Johnson basically won him 2018 Upset of the Year honors across the board at various outlets. Guess who’s been in that exact position as an underrated champion before? Dillashaw. Cejudo will back himself on Saturday night in front of an electric crowd. You are free to go with the more known commodity, but making money off of Dillashaw’s odds is a bit riskier, and Cejudo’s value is staring at you right in the face.
This has all the making of an incredible test for both men. Do not miss it. There’s no bad bet in this fight, just one that costs less to make more.
Greg Hardy -835 over Allen Crowder +310
Yup, that’s former NFL bad boy, Greg Hards getting one of the biggest prices on the board. Undefeated at 3-0 SU, Hardy’s transition to the world of mixed martial arts has been pretty well received. He’s earned knockouts in all three of his bouts, and makes his debut in the big leagues as a massive favorite in UFC Fight Night 143 odds. Hardy is the kind of star that Dana White feeds absolute nobody’s to, and while there’s always temptation here with the puncher’s chance, everything about the former Carolina Panther should terrify his opponents. He’s a legit athlete (and legitimately blood thirsty). Crowder is nothing but chum in the water and his UFC Fight Night 143 odds reflect that.
Yancy Medeiros +310 over Gregor Gillespie -830
If you’re going to take a wild swing with a dog, Yancy’s UFC Fight Night 143 odds are the ones to do it with. Medeiros’s stock was on the rise until an untimely knockout against a resurgent Donald Cerrone in February 2018 slammed the breaks on his hype train. Yancy has lost to some very strong competition, but that shouldn’t deter you from backing him overall. He still has knockout power.
Gillespie is being graded this steeply largely because he’s a ruthless finisher who is undefeated at 12-0 SU. Known as “The Gift”, Gillespie has ended 10 of his fights early and won both a split and unanimous decision. He might be the next big thing, but he’s not an established superstar just yet. I’m not suggesting that you take a second mortgage out on Yancy, because he’s also lost too many bouts, but he shouldn’t be marked down this badly. Gregor is likely to make short work of him, but this is the fight game and upsets can happen, especially when a talented athlete knows his career is on the ropes.
Dustin Ortiz +160 over Joseph Benavidez -300
While Yancy might boast the biggest, potential profit margin, Ortiz actually has a reasonable chance of coming through. Benavidez is very good, but often leaves his opponents in fights way too long. His loss to Sergio Pettis basically branded him as a mid-tier gate keeper, and Ortiz is looking for his breakthrough moment. At 19-7 SU overall with three straight wins in his back pocket, the 30-year old Ortiz is capable of pushing Benavdiez to the limit. Ortiz has knockout power and has put it on display many times. Another soft play here on the underdog is worth the risk given that Benavidez will give him the whole 15 minutes to throw his best shot.
Paige VanZant -195 over Rachel Ostovich +110
I hate matchups like this. VanZant is a huge celebrity both in and out of the sport, but is also 1-3 SU in her last four fights and has lost them badly. The issue is that Ostovich hasn’t done much better. She’s gone just 4-4 SU in a career that dates back to 2014 and lost her only fight of the 2018 campaign, against Montana De La Rosa. It’s very difficult to read between the lines with this fight. Is the UFC trying to rebuild VanZant as a premium draw, or is Ostovich someone they’re trying to turn in to a star of her own? Under pressure, I’d say the former versus the latter. VanZant is still just 24 years old, and may not be long for the sport. Giving her someone she can reclaim her elite status against (i.e. basically produce a win) is probably the right call for business in general. I’d be shocked if VanZant ever reached championship levels, but she is totally a marketable asset and the UFC is a star making business. That’s why this match was made.
Karl Roberson -120 over Glover Teixeira -145
Make no mistake about Teixeira – he’s done. The 39-year old is 5-5 SU in his last 10 fights and is coming off a loss to Corey Anderson from July 2018. This is the last chance for the UFC to squeeze the lemon, and perhaps the only reason he’s favored is because he’s a very accomplished fighter. Roberson is taking this bout on short notice, but as you can tell by how tight the UFC Fight Night 143 odds are, he’s got a definitive chance. Roberson is an exciting, dynamic talent that is coming in to his own. This is a make or break opportunity for him, and he’s going to act like it.