UFC Fight Night 145 comes to you live from the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic this weekend. The best part? It starts at 11am ET! What better way to shake your Friday hangover than by watching a bunch of guys punching each other in the face?
Jan Blachowicz -110 over Thiago Santos -110
If Jan Blachowicz continues to improve on this impressive arc he’s established recently, with three Performance of the Night bonuses to show for his last four efforts, then he has a legitimate shot at making a late-career run at the light heavyweight title. By the way, he’s also undefeated during that stretch after a back-to-back set of defeats against Patrick Cummins and Alexander Gustafsson sent him back to the drawing board. Mixed martial arts does not have to be a linear effort, and though Blachowicz has 30 fights under his belt, and a 23-7 SU record overall, the 35-year old is proving that recreating yourself late in your career is possible.
Santos is a clear threat, having gone 7-1 SU in his last 8 fights, boasting knockout power all the way. As the UFC Fight Night 145 odds indicate, this matchup is as even as they get. Blachowicz’s patience and defense against the unrelenting striking skill of Santos is a strong main event to put forward. Santos ending Jimi Manuwa at UFC 231 is still very fresh in the mind, which is why he’s going to garner some well-deserved traction in the book.
This is a “no bad bet” type of ordeal, but Blachowicz has a slight edge from where I stand. Not going to fault you if you’ve fallen in love with the finishing prowess of Santos, but Blachowicz is going to be my play. What a way to kickstart your Saturday!
Marcos Rogerio De Lima -135 over Stefan Struve +105
It’s impossible to back the vulnerable Struve in this one. He is winless in his last three fights and is proving to have too many gaps in his game to make him a worthy play in UFC Fight Night 145 betting. De Lima is going to benefit from returning to heavyweight after missing weight in his last two attempts at light heavyweight. A stronger camp should produce a stronger fighter, and while I doubt that De Lima is ever going to sniff a title shot, assuming that the knockout specialist will fall prey to the Skyscraper is silly at this point in both of their careers.
Michael Oleksiejczuk -200 over Gian Villante +155
Villante is a split decision king, having gone to the judges in his last four fights. He has never beaten anyone of note, and at 17-10 SU his career is certainly beginning to level out. He’s not a big enough dog to really take a chance on, and Oleksiejczuk is a decade junior to his opponent at just 23 years old. The man they call “Lord” will prove why he got his nickname in his first big bout at UFC Fight Night 145. He may be in hot water after his debut in the UFC was overturned after Oleksiejczuk tested positive for a banned substance over a year ago at UFC 219. He has the makings of a fringe contender. Whether or not he still has the “stuff” remains to be seen, but Villane is not the type of fighter who’s ready to stop the forward momentum that Oleksiejczuk is ready to venture up the rankings with.
Lucie Pudilova +110 over Liz Carmouche -140
The only reason the odds are tilted like this is because Carmouche is a more established name. Her win over Jennifer Maia was nothing special, and she’s been unable to finish any opponent in over 5 years. Pudilova was the victim of a poor split decision at UFC 228 in a loss to Irene Aldana the last time that she fought. While she still has a lot to prove, she has a stronger value overall. I wouldn’t lean heavy, but if you’re going to take a shot in this one, it’s with Pudilova.
Petr Yan -290 over John Dodson +215
We all love Dodson, the scrappy 34-year old who beams with personality, precision and power. But he’s crested over the hill and is riding a weird 4-4 SU wave over his last 8 fights where he’s flip flopped wins and losses. Johnson has been slipping over the last few years since losing to Demetrious Johnson in the flyweight division. The up-and-coming Petr Yan is an electric 11-1 SU in his overall career and is ready to thunder up the bantamweight rankings with a win over a household name at UFC Fight Night 145.