Date: Saturday, July 25th 2015 at 4:15pm ET
Venue: United Center in Chicago, Illinois
TV: FOX & UFC Fight Pass
WHAT an exciting main event we have lined up this weekend for UFC on FOX 16 at the United Center in Chicago.
T.J. Dillashaw will put his UFC Bantamweight Championship belt on the line against Renan Barao. Plus, in the co-main event, we have a title eliminator fight between Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye – the winner will fight Ronda Rousey.
The fight card is stacked for a free fight card on FOX, but it could have been even better. Anthony Pettis was expected to fight, but he pulled out with an injury, Erik Koch pulled out with an injury as well and Rustam Khabilov has Visa issues.
Dillashaw vs. Barao fight odds and predictions
Round Total: Over 4.5 Rounds +150 (5Dimes) vs. Under 4.5 Rounds -170 (5Dimes)
Neither T.J. Dillashaw (11-2) or Renan Barao (33-2) have been in the cage much lately. These two fought last year at UFC 173 and Dillashaw won the fight by TKO in round five. Since then – both fighters have only fought once.
Barao earned a round three submission win against Mitch Gagnon and Dillashaw beat Joe Soto by KO in round five.
Let’s take a look at the tale of tape between these two bantamweight stars.
Height: 5’6”Reach: 67”
Average Fight Time: 10:24
Stoppage Victories: 8 (5 TKO/KO & 3 Submissions)
Stoppage Losses: 1 (1 TKO/KO)
Average Fight Time: 11:40
Stoppage Victories: 23 (8 TKO/KO & 15 Submissions)
Stoppage Losses: 1 (1 TKO/KO)
So, how did the first fight between these end? Was it close? If you missed the fight I’m sure those questions are on your mind. For those that missed the fight or have forgotten – Dillashaw dominated.
What’s even crazier – Barao was a -850 favorite — while Dillashaw was priced at nearly 8/1 in the fight.
No one was giving Dillashaw a shot last year and now he’s the favorite in the rematch just a year later. Dillashaw should be favored, don’t get me wrong, but it’s wild how we go from one extreme to the other in such little time.
Dillashaw worked over Barao badly in the opening H2H fight. Dillashaw landed 140 of 309 significant strikes, while Barao landed 64 of 273 significant strikes. Barao didn’t attempt a takedown (TD), while Dillashaw was 0-3 on TD attempts.
Barao still spent some time on the mat, though, and Dillashaw landed 13% of his significant strikes on the ground.
Dillashaw’s upset was one of the biggest in UFC history, especially when you consider it was for the title. However, I have some concerns. He didn’t look nearly as good against Soto and he’ll no longer have the element of surprise against Barao.
We’re going to see a similar fight with the focus on striking. Dillashaw has never been taken down in the UFC (100% TDD), while Barao has 96% TDD. Dillashaw is the more active striker (5.56 SLpM vs. 3.62 SLpM).
Barao has power, though, although he didn’t display any of his power in the opening encounter.
I’m going against the grain and betting on the Brazilian in a close war between two of the best fighters in the UFC. Barao won’t be caught off guard and he can’t look worse than he did last year against the current champion.
We’re getting a great price and Barao is still better than Dillashaw in my opinion.
Best Bet: Renan Barao ML (+180) at 5Dimes.eu
Tate vs. Eye betting odds and predictions
Money Line: Tate -190 (5Dimes) vs. Eye +165 (5Dimes)
With a title fight on the line – we can expect the best from Miesha Tate (16-5) and Jessica Eye (11-2).
Tate believes she’s the only woman who can dethrone Rousey, but she has to get through Eye first, before earning her third shot at Rousey in the UFC. As you all know – the first two attempts didn’t end very well.
Both fighters are 28 years old and are similar in stature. Eye has 1” more reach, but that won’t matter. Eye is the better striker – she averages 5.26 SLpM, while Tate only averages 1.85 SLpM. Tate is slightly more accurate (42% vs. 38%).
However, Tate will look to take this fight to the mat. She averages 2.45 TD’s per 15 minutes and she works a lot of sub attempts from the mat. Eye has no ground game and she has poor TDD (33%).
Tate will take Eye down and work on pounding out Eye over three rounds. Eye just beat Leslie Smith, but she lost prior to that against Alexis Davis. Tate is a tough opponent than Davis and Eye will be in over her head.
Best Bet: Miesha Tate ML (-190) at 5Dimes.eu
UFC on FOX 16 Prop Predictions
We’re still waiting on most of the prop betting lines for this weekend’s UFC fight card on FOX.
Here are my best bets out the prop lines that have been released already – I’ll also mention some of my other targets on the card — although you’ll have to wait until the odds are out to evaluate the value.
Best Bet: Edson Barboza by TKO/KO vs. Paul Felder
I’m betting on Barboza (15-3) to win at -125 odds (Bovada) on the money line, but I’m also interested in betting on him to win by TKO/KO. This fight against Felder (10-0) is going to feature two great strikers pounding each other out.
Barboza has 10 TKO/KO wins and his striking is among the best in the lightweight division. Felder has made some noise in the division, as he has 7 TKO/KO wins, including one in his last fight against Danny Castillo.
However, in a striking match, I’m not betting against Barboza. Plus, Barboza bounces back from losses better than most fighters in the UFC. He has three career losses, after the first two he bounced back with a TKO/KO victory.
Best Bet: Zak Cummings ITD (+145) vs. Dominique Steele
This is the first fight on the card and is on early, so get your bets in Friday to be sure you don’t miss it.
Cummings (17-4) hasn’t fought in just over a year – he lost to Gunnar Nelson by submission last July. He needs a big win on this prelim card to advance in the promotion – Steele (13-5) is a good prospect — but making his UFC debut.
The nerves and pressure will be a problem for Steele. Plus, when you look at Steele’s career, he hasn’t fought tough competition and when he has jumped up in a bit in competition, he hasn’t fared well.
Steele has been knocked out three times in his career – his chin is definitely weak. Cummings is also masterful at locking in submissions against his opposition. Cummings may win by knockout or submission, so take him inside the distance.