It will have been 2 weeks since UFC 183 when the UFC returns with a Fight Night card in Broomfield this Saturday. Last week Anderson Silva was able to win a fairly uninspired decision over Nick Diaz, but then he was popped for PED’s so overall just not a very good event for the UFC even though they did very good with the PPV. It also wasn’t a good event for me as I went 0-3 with my picks. Silva didn’t finish the fight, Gastelum lost after his weight scare and Lauzon got knocked out by Iaquinta. Just not a good event and I’m now behind the 8-ball with my picks for this year in the UFC.
2014 Record: 54-33 for +17.31 units.
2015 Record: 3-8 for -7.52 units.
It’s not exactly a great card for the UFC to bounce back with from UFC 183, but thanks to Benson Henderson stepping up we at least have a fairly intriguing main event fight. The other fight on the card that interests me is the Max Holloway fight with Cole Miller, so those are the two fights I’ll be handicapping below.
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Benson Henderson vs Brandon Thatch
When this fight was announced Thatch came in as a fairly big favourite, but the betting line has since evened out a lot and now it’s very close to a pick’em fight between these two. Thatch has just two fights in the UFC, but he’s already the main event on a card, which goes to show just how big of a prospect he is. He finished both of his fights in the UFC in round 1, with one submission and one TKO. He’s actually finished his last 10 pro MMA fights in the first round and usually within the first few minutes, which shows you just how legitimate Thatch really is. Thatch is also a Colorado native who is used to fighting in Broomfield (5 pro fights in the city), which definitely gives him the home court advantage.
All of that said, Thatch has never found someone with as much talent or experience as Benson Henderson. Bendo is usually a 155 pounder, but he is one of the biggest guys at that weight class and it shouldn’t be much of a problem for him to fight at 170. Yes, he will be the smaller of the two fighters, but it will be interesting to see if his experience plays a factor. Henderson is on a two fight losing streak after his controversial decision loss to Donald Cerrone just 3 weeks ago, but prior to those losses he was without a doubt the second best fighter at 155 and a past champion.
If the fight goes past the first round you have to think Henderson has the advantage in terms of experience and endurance. He’s used to 5 round fights and I don’t see him losing if this fight gets past round 3. I think Henderson will be able to use his movement and striking to stay alive in the first few rounds and then use his experience to win the fight against this up and comer.
Play: Henderson +100 @ Bet365
Max Holloway vs Cole Miller
Holloway is one of the best featherweight fighters in the UFC in my opinion. He only loses to the very high end opponents and Cole Miller does not fall into that category. Look for Holloway to find his range in this fight and eventually add another knockout to his collection in the UFC. I see this being a fairly easy win for Holloway.
Play: Holloway -350 @ BetOnline