The UFC is headed north of the border for a solid UFC on Fox card this Saturday from Winnipeg. The main event features Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos in what is likely a title contender match-up, and is sure to be an exciting tilt. Mike Perry vs Santiago Ponzinibbio, and Glover Teixeira vs Misha Cirkunov, are two other big fights on the main card, as well as Ricardo Lamas taking on another prospect at featherweight.
The card is going to take place in prime time on Fox, so the main card gets started at 8pm EST, while the prelims get underway at 5pm (with 2 fight pass fights at 4pm).
All of the odds are taken from BetOnline.ag, our top rated betting site for MMA. Here’s our full BetOnline review for you to check out if you’re interested in opening an account and placing some bets.
Robbie Lawler vs Rafael Dos Anjos
This is a very strange fight. I actually think Dos Anjos is the better fighter, but I’m going to be taking Lawler to get the win. Lawler has a way of weaseling out split decision wins where he probably deserves to lose. He does this by getting crazy aggressive late to win the 5th round, while pulling out some tight rounds, while taking certain rounds off to maintain energy for his late flurries. The recent Cowboy Cerrone fight is a perfect example of this strategy from Lawler, where Lawler comletely took round 2 off, while getting the judges nods in the first and third based on aggressiveness, even though those rounds were very close. In his title wins over Condit and Hendricks the same thing happened with Lawler taking rounds off, but coming on strong at the end to pull out victory on the judges scorecards.
RDA has looked good at welterweight in his two fights, but he hand picked the two weakest fighters in the top 15 to get those wins, so I still don’t really know how good he is in this weight division. With Lawler we at least know what we’re going to get. He’s going to bring the fight, while understanding the scoring mechanisms to pull out a decision win. I don’t think either guy is really dangerous enough to get the finish in this fight, so I see another split decision win going to Robbie Lawler in this one.
Play: Lawler -110
Mike Perry vs Santiago Ponzinibbio
Ponzinibbio is a great striker, but I think he’s garnered a lot of praise from his win over Gunnar Nelson with people forgetting that an eye poke played a big role in getting that TKO win, and the fact that Gunnar rocked him earlier in the fight.
Perry goes into every fight looking to finish with every blow. He’s finished his four wins in the UFC, with his only loss coming against Alan Jouban who put together a very strong technical performance while keeping distance. Ponzinibbio will likely employ a similar strategy to try to beat Perry, but I don’t think he has the length or the kicks to really avoid the fight like Jouban did. These two will exchange in the pocket and Perry has no problem taking a punch to land one of his own. At these odds, I think Perry has a great chance to land some big shots and finish Ponzinibbio on the feet.
This is a pick’em fight for me, so I really like Perry at this price.
Play: Perry +163
Glover Teixeira vs Misha Cirkunov
I was surprised to see Cirkunov as the favorite in this fight after his quick knockout loss to Volkan Oezdemir. Yes, that fight was very quick and it was a strange punch that put Cirkunov out, but it proved that he is susceptible to knockouts and Glover has some of the most power on his punches in the division, and like Oezdemir he’s able to land with power in tight.
Cirkunov had dominant wins over Cutelaba and Krylov, but this is still a huge step up in competition. Teixeira only loses to the very best in the division and I cannot put Cirkunov in that category yet. If he wins this fight then Cirkunov will have proven himself as a top contender at light heavyweight, but until then I have to give the edge to Glover. He is the better striker and I think he’s powerful enough to avoid the takedowns, while also being strong at jiu-jitsu if this does his the mat.
I see some very strong value on Glover in this spot.
Play: Teixeira +140
Josh Emmett vs Ricardo Lamas
Lamas is the definition of a gatekeeper in the featherweight division. He is 8-3 in his UFC career and only loses to the very best. His losses have come to the two champs in Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, as well as the perennial contender, Chad Mendes, who has earned 3 title shots in his career. Lamas absolutely destroyed top prospect Jason Knight in his last fight, simply destroying Knight on the feet before earning a TKO in the first round. Lamas was supposed to fight Aldo in this spot before Aldo was given the title shot against Holloway, so Emmett is coming into this fight on short notice and stepping up in competition ten-fold.
Emmett is a strong fighter with a good wrestling background, but Lamas hasn’t had a lot of trouble with wrestlers in the past. He submitted both Dennis Bermudez and Charles Oliveira via guillotine in fairly recent fights, with both guys being very good wrestlers in the division. Emmett does have a path to victory if he’s able to get Lamas down with ease, while avoiding submissions on the mat, but I think that will be much harder said than done.
This is simply too big of a jump in competition for Emmett and I fully expect Lamas to continue to get dominant wins over everyone except the very best in the division.
Play: Lamas -265