When: Saturday, June 27th 2015
Where: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida
Watch: Fox Sports 1 (Main Card) & Fox Sports 2 (Prelims)
LAST week’s event was brutal, but we have some better fights this time around, especially in the main event.
The fights will take place at the Seminole Hark Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida – with the action being available on Fox Sports 1.
This fight card was expected to take place at the Ginasio do Ibirapuera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but the fight card was moved back to the United States in May. The late change has caused a lot of travel Visa issues and numerous fights have been re-scheduled.
Don’t place a bet on the fight until you’ve signed up with Bovada.lv – take advantage of the free bonus bets!
Lyoto Machida vs. Yoel Romero fight preview
The main event is scheduled for five rounds between middleweights Lyoto Machida (22-6) and Yoel Romero (9-1).
Machida is 5-3 since 2012 – with wins against Bader, Henderson, Munoz, Mousasi and Dollaway. Three of the wins have come by TKO or KO. His losses have come against top competition (Davis, Weidman and Rockhold) during that span.
Most fighters are nearing retirement after getting over the big “30” in age. However, Romero didn’t start fighting until after that, but he’s 5-0 in the UFC since joining the promotion. He has wins over Starks, Markes, Brunson, Tavares and Kennedy.
Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape, along with some statistics.
Average Fight Time: 11:40
Stoppage Victories: 11 (9 TKO/KO + 2 Submissions)
Stoppage Losses: 3 (1 TKO/KO + 2 Submissions)
Average Fight Time: 8:55
Stoppage Victories: 8 (8 TKO/KO)
Stoppage Losses: 1 (TKO/KO)
Romero has finished 88.9% of his fights by TKO/KO in his brief career – he’s an absolute bruiser at middleweight. Machida isn’t a great finisher, but he has finished 50% of his fights and he has only been knocked out once in 28 career fights.
These two are very similar in stature. There’s only one year separating the two fighters, plus 1” separating these two in height and reach. Both are southpaws, so neither fighter will enjoy the perceived advantage of being left-handed.
I could make a case for both fighters winning this fight, but only one can win.
Betting lines for Machida vs. Romero
Money Line: Machida -175 vs. Romero +145 at Bovada.lv
Machida opened up at -185 when the odds first came out for UFC Fight Night 70, but his odds have settled around -175 at most shops. Romero has some nice value at +145, but there are some big question marks, such as his cardio in a 5-round fight.
Round Total: Over 2.5 Rounds (-110) vs. Under 2.5 Rounds (-110) at 5Dimes.eu
I’m shocked at this line from 5Dimes and will gladly bet on the over 2.5 rounds at -110 odds. This is a 5-round fight with Machida – that should be saying enough. There’s a chance we’ll see an earlier knockout, but not enough of one to keep me away from this line.
You can bet on Machida to win by TKO/KO at +180 or Romero to win by TKO/KO at +245. Neither fighter will win by submission – Machida has two submission wins, but the last one came in 2007. Romero has no submission wins.
I’m a lot less sure of the fighting going the distance at +180 odds, but that’s a nice looking line too.
However, we have to be careful, as Romero has zero experience in five round fights, plus this is a big step up in competition for the Cuban fighter. He was knocked out once before by Cavalcante at Strikeforce and Machida still possesses power.
On paper – Romero appears to have an edge in striking. Romero averages 3.49 strikes landed per minute (SLpM) and his strikes land at a 54.77% clip. Machida averages 2.62 SLpM and his striking accuracy is 53.5%, but consider the level of opponents.
Machida has fought many of the best fighters in the world in his career. He’s as accurate and technical as they come. Plus, he has enough left in the tank, as he just lost a 5-round decision against Weidman less than a year ago (July 2014).
I give the striking edge to Machida. He has deadly leg kicks and his jab is excellent. Romero would be unwise to push forward and attempt to knockout Machida on his feet. His best bet for victory is to utilize his wrestling to take this fight to the mat.
Romero hasn’t had to do that yet because the level of his opponent hasn’t been great.
However, his camp better be preaching the importance of taking Machida to the mat. Romero is a world class wrestler that owns an Olympics silver medal in wrestling. He can take any man down to the mat and Machida has struggled against elite wrestlers.
Here’s an interesting little trend. In Machida’s last ten wins – he has been taken down just once (Henderson). In that same span – he has last six fights and was taken down in every fight except one. He was taken down a total of 10 times in those losses.
It’s clear to me – you have to takedown Machida to win and Romero has to understand that.
Rockhold was able to pass Machida’s guard four times before submitting him. Romero isn’t a threat to submit Machida, but once on the mat he can pass guard and work his heavy hands. By keeping this fight on the mat – Romero should conserve energy too.
Machida vs. Romero best bets
Yoel Romero ML +145 (Bovada Sportsbook) 1 Unit
Over 2.5 Rounds -110 (5Dimes) 1 Unit
Yoel Romero Wins in Round 5 +2900 (5Dimes) 1/4 Unit
Romero’s last three knockouts have come in the final round of his fights. Everyone is questioning is cardio, including me, but there’s no denying he has had enough left in the tank to knockout multiple opponents in the final round of his fights.
At +2900 odds I’m willing to bet a 1/4 unit on Romero finishing the fight in the 5th round.
This is easily the biggest fight of Romero’s career and it might end up proving to be his biggest fight when he retires. This is a chance for him to get a win against a big name like Machida – something most people can only dream about.
Romero is going to be pumped up for this fight and he’ll want to finish Machida if at all possible.
UFC Fight Night 70 parlay
Romero + Makashvili + Larkin Parlay (+820 Odds) at Bovada.lv
I haven’t been impressed with Hacran Dias (22-3-1) – he’s 2-2 in the UFC with two decision wins against Alcantara and Elkins. He has losses to Lentz and Lamas. Levan Makashvili (7-1) beat Eddiva in his UFC debut and will need to show some improvement.
I like the fact that the fight is in the USA now, as Dias has to travel to Makashvili now. Dias shouldn’t be favored in my opinion and I’ll take the underdog here on my parlay. I’ve also added a favorite in Lorenz Larkin (15-4) to beat Santiago Ponzinibbio (19-2).
The Argentine fighter is 2-1 in the UFC with a recent win over Strickland. Larkin got on track with a win over Howard by TKO last time out in the opening round, which broke a 3-fight losing streak. I expect Larkin to continue building his rep back up with a win.