UFC 207 – Nunes vs. Rousey. Saturday, December 31. 12pm
ONE of the best UFC fight cards has been saved for the last day of 2016 as Women’s Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes takes on former champion and global celebrity, Ronda Rousey.
The fight has been hyped ever since Nunes ended Miesha Tate’s career inside the octagon, but with Rousey not complying with the media, we know very little about her preparation for her title redemption.
Since being knocked out by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in Melbourne, Rousey has avoided all MMA media and has instead invested time in day-time chat shows.
A host of UFC figures have lamented Rousey for her lack of pre-fight exposure and many, including Rousey, have stated that she’s already moved on from the fight world.
That doesn’t bode well for the December 31 fight, but punters should still expect nothing short of a great fight against Nunes, who deserves more credit than she’s getting.
The current champion Nunes has won 13 of her 17 professional fights with nine coming by knockout. Since losing to Cat Zingano at UFC 178, Nunes has torn through four quality fighters which included Miesha Tate by a rear-naked choke at UFC 200.
That earned Nunes the Performance of the Night and she is easily the most improved women’s fighter in the UFC, so why is she the underdog at $2.35 with Sportsbet.com.au?
Ronda Rousey has an impressive resume to boast about, but she has never fought someone as tough and technically efficient as Amanda Nunes. Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm was not only a shock to the world, but it served as a reality check for Rousey, who was starting to take her title for granted.
She found out that if she was unable to get a fighter to the ground, she struggled to get close enough to land any significant strikes. The long legs of Holm were enough to end her unbeaten run and things aren’t about to get easier for the $1.60 favourite.
Nunes has the arm reach advantage (69 inches to 68 inches) and a significant leg reach advantage, which she will no doubt be using. Nunes also has a better takedowns-defended statistic and the Brazilian isn’t keen on losing her title straight after winning it.
It’s tough to go against someone as polarising as Ronda Rousey, but everything points towards an Amanda Nunes win at the better price.
Cruz vs. Garbrandt betting tips
This could be the fight of the year and it’s one that has us excited. The UFC Bantamweight Title is on the line as the champion Dominick Cruz takes on the loud-mouth challenger Cody Garbrandt.
Cody “No Love” Garbrandt is an unbeaten knockout artist who brings an unpredictability to the octagon, but he’s facing one of the finest champions in UFC history and there is no love lost between the two as they enjoyed in a war of words at UFC on Fox 22 last Sunday.
“Who have you ever beat?” Garbrandt asked the champion.
“Your whole team,” replied Cruz. “I built a house beating your team.”
“You look like Pee Wee Herman with that tie on.”
“You better hope I don’t see you backstage again,” said Garbrandt.
“You talk a big game, but you’re gonna get pieced up, little boy,” replied Cruz.
It was great viewing and it confirmed one thing – Garbrandt isn’t secure that his talents inside the octagon are good enough to dethrone the 22-1 Dominick Cruz.
Cruz is the current short favourite at $1.45 with CrownBet.com.au with Garbrandt at $2.76, but we can see this fight going only one way.
Cruz will use his superior tactical advantage to frustrate the wild Garbrandt who will likely punch himself out by round two. Cruz to win at $1.45.
Dillashaw vs. Lineker market and tips
T.J Dillashaw – $1.43 at Sportsbet
John Lineker – $2.86
As if UFC 207 couldn’t get any better, we’re treated to a fight which could headline any other UFC event as former Bantamweight Title holder T.J Dillashaw fights John Lineker who has been tearing through the division.
The two fighters are vying for a title shot against either Dominick Cruz or Cody Garbrandt and it couldn’t be more important for both.
Dillashaw wants his revenge on Cruz after losing a split decision last January, but he has since won his only fight against Raphael Assuncao and he’s looking in good shape.
Lineker has won his last six fights after losing to Ali Bagautinov in February, 2014, and that included a win over John Dodson. He also defeated Michael McDonald by knockout and it’s those wins which has seen him rise to number two in the bantamweight rankings.
This is a tough fight to predict as T.J Dillashaw is a talented fighter who seems destined for a title rematch, but Lineker has been the more impressive fighter in recent history.
We can’t pick a winner, but we’re confident this fight will go the distance. Total rounds over 2.5 is currently $1.44 at Sportsbet which looks the play here.
Werdum vs. Velasquez fight tips
When you think about two heavy-hitting heavyweights of the UFC, you think about Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez.
Werdum is the current number one contender for a title shot after defeated Travis Browne by unanimous decision at UFC 203 and the former UFC Heavyweight Champion wants another shot at Stipe Miocic who knocked him out at UFC 198.
In his way will be number two ranked heavyweight Cain Velasquez who also defeated Travis Browne on his way to this fight. Velasquez has had only two fights in the last three years which is a big concern and two fights ago he was defeated by submission against Werdum.
The 2010 Fight of the Year award winner is surprisingly the $1.45 favourite to get his revenge on Werdum, despite needing surgery on his back following the fight.
It’s tough to go against the weight of money on Velasquez, but the value is with Werdum at $2.78.
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