IN THE world of Mixed Martial Arts, the UFC fight between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor this Sunday afternoon was set to be as big as Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, but the sporting gods wouldn’t allow it.
Instead, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo pulled out, citing rib injuries, and now hard-talking Irishman Conor McGregor ($1.57 at Sportsbet.com.au) will face off for the interim title against Chad Mendes.
UFC #189 has lost some of the trash-talking hype that surrounded the title fight, but fans will still get to see two accomplished fighters go to battle for the title.
Not only do fans and punters get a cracking title fight, but the under-card has sparked plenty of excitement.
Welterweights Robbie Lawler and the unassuming Rory MacDonald will fight in the co-main event where current #2 ranked MacDonald is looking to take the belt away from Lawler.
The Canadian has attracted plenty of money with bookmakers and many have touted him as the next big thing in the UFC.
Other card fixtures feature Dennis Bermudez vs. Jeremy Stephens, Gunnar Nelson vs. Brandon Thatch and Matt Brown vs. Tim Means.
McGregor vs. Mendes
Conor McGregor – $1.57 at Sportsbet.com.au
Chad Mendes – $2.42
Chad Mendes might be stepping in for the injured Jose Aldo, but he is ranked higher than McGregor and deserves his chance at the title.
The 30-year-old has plenty of experience in the UFC cage with 14 fights for 12 wins and two losses, as opposed to Conor McGregor’s five unbeaten fights inside the UFC Octagon.
Mendes is the more professional of the two fighters and he has clocked over 120 minutes inside the cage, compared to McGregor’s 29 minutes, but that’s not always a good statistic.
McGregor earned his title fight by way of knockout. The Irishman has won four of his five UFC wins via knockout and he does it in emphatic fashion.
He’s hard-nosed and likes to get the job done with power and style, two things Mendes will be hoping not to see this Sunday at UFC #189.
You only have to watch McGregor’s fight to see how much of a physical presence he has and that’s why punters have made him the favourite – not to mention his eight inch reach advantage.
We were surprised the 26-year-old was paying over $1.50, so include that option in your UFC multi-bets.
We’re expecting McGregor to finish this fight in the fourth or fifth round after wearing down Mendes with his vicious leg kicks.
McGregor is $1.62 at CrownBet.com.au to win via KO or on points and we think that is good money. For a little more value, take McGregor to win in Round 3 and 4 at odds of $10 and $18 respectively.
Tale of the Tape:
Age – 26
Weight – 145
Height – 5’9″
Reach – 74″
Stance – Southpaw
Pro record – 17-2
UFC record – 5-0
Finish rate – 80%
UFC minutes – 29
Last fight – 174 days
Age – 30
Weight – 145
Height – 5’6″
Reach – 66″
Stance – Southpaw
Pro Record – 17-2
UFC record – 12-2
Finish rate – 50%
UFC minutes – 139
Last fight – 98 days
Lawler vs. MacDonald betting
The title challenger Rory MacDonald has always been a popular figure in the UFC and he has been one of the best supported fighters in the market to date.
The young 25-year-old Canadian is either loved or hated by fans, but betting would suggest their has been plenty of love for MacDonald who is looking to become a complete fighter.
MacDonald doesn’t rely on one strength and considers himself as having a great all round style. His statistics would attest to this with a KO percentage of 38.9, submission of 33.3 per cent and a decision rate of 27.8 per cent.
On the other side of the coin, Robbie Lawler relies heavily on his ability to score via knockout. The veteran at 33-years-old has won by knockout in seven of every 10 fights, with submission victories coming only 4 per cent of the time.
This is where MacDonald will have the advantage over Lawler and the bettors can see the young star take the UFC Welterweight title this Sunday.
Rory MacDonald – $1.57 at Sportsbet.com.au
Robbie Lawler -$2.28
The odds are short for MacDonald, but we can’t see him being defeated in this fight. He has a great fight plan and it would take a surprise knockout from Lawler to cause an upset.
Bermudez vs. Stephens odds and tips
Dennis Bermudez is a success story coming out of the Ultimate Fighter T.V show and he holds favouritism over the experienced Jeremy Stephens.
Bermudez has a record of 15-4 with 46 per cent of his wins coming via decision, but he is growing in this division and bettors are confident he can come away with the win.
We’re not sure he matches up well against Stephens who likes to attack from the word go – 69.6 per cent of wins coming by knockout.
Stephens has the experience edge with a 23-11 record and his reach advantage could play a big part in this fight as the 29-year-old has a 71 inch reach compared to Bermudez’s 66 inch reach.
Dennis Bermudez – $1.52
Jeremy Stephens – $2.53 at WilliamHill.com.au
We are going to go against the bookmakers and suggest taking Stephens to win by knockout or by points decision at $2.88 with WilliamHill.com.au.
He will be looking to score quickly and this could catch Bermudez by surprise – the Stephens to win by KO at $5 is another value option.
UFC 189 multi-bet
We are very confident that Conor McGregor will get the job done at $1.57 and we’re equally confident that Rory MacDonald can boost the multi-bet payout a touch higher.
Add in some value with Jeremy Stephens at $2.53 and also throw in Brandon Thatch at $1.57 against Gunnar Nelson in the fight prior.
Earlier on the card we will see Matt Brown take on Tim Means and Brown looks good multi-bet value at $1.52. In the fight before that, John Howard could cause a minor upset of Cathal Pendred and the money is too good to pass up.
McGregor – $1.57
MacDonald – $1.57
Stephens – $2.53
Thatch – $1.57
Brown – $1,52
Howard – $2.07
$10 bet at Sportsbet.com.au returns $192.60