One of the most highly anticipated fights of 2017 arrives this Saturday from HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday for UFC 212 as Jose Aldo and Max Holloway square off for the UFC featherweight championship. Aldo, the champion, is the -115 favorite on MMA odds with an over/under of 4.5 rounds.
UFC 212 Main Card Betting Prediction
Max Holloway vs Jose Aldo (UFC Featherweight Championship Unification)
Aldo won 19 of his last 20 fights (the only loss coming to Conor McGregor) and is the current featherweight champion. Aldo (26-2) hasn’t fought since he defeated Frankie Edgar to claim the interim featherweight title at UFC 200. Aldo was promoted to the official titleholder in November. This 145-pound matchup seemed inevitable after Holloway (17-3) won the interim title by knocking out Anthony Pettis in December. However, Aldo’s name also was briefly linked to a potential lightweight fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Holloway has won 10 consecutive fights and is one of the rising stars in the sport. He also has a prior loss to McGregor, by unanimous decision in 2013. The technical and punishing Hawaiian, who debuted in the Octagon against Dustin Poirier as a 20-year-old, has worked his way up the divisional ladder, putting together the longest active win streak in the division while taking out established talents like Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens and Ricardo Lamas en route to claiming the interim title.
Claudia Gadelha vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz (Strawweight)
The card also features a fight between two of the top female fighters in MMA as Claudia Gadelha takes on Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Both women, ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectfully, in the strawweight division, are a combined 24-3 overall with their only losses coming to current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Gadelha (14-2) challenged Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC title last summer. The Brazilian came up short in a five-round decision. The only two professional losses in Gadelha’s career have come against Jedrzejczyk. Kowalkiewicz (10-1) also fought Jedrzejczyk for the title in 2016, losing at UFC 205 on Nov. 12 in New York. Gadelha is a -280 betting favorite.
Vitor Belfort vs Nate Marquardt (Light Heaveyweight)
In a light heavyweight matchup, Vitor Belfort is a -135 favorite over Nate Marquardt. This is the finale for the 40-year- old Belfort. He revealed that he had one fight left on his contract following his knockout loss to Kelvin Gastelum in his last outing at UFC Fight Night 106 on March 11. Belfort made his professional fighting debut in October 1996. He made his UFC debut in his next outing and won the UFC 12 heavyweight tournament at age 19. He won the light heavyweight title by defeating Randy Couture at UFC 46. He’s fought for the middleweight crown twice. The 38-year-old Marquardt once fought for the middleweight title, won the Strikeforce welterweight belt, and was a multi-time King of Pancrase. Having lost four of his last six bouts, Marquardt needs a win when he faces Belfort.
Erick Silva vs Yancy Medeiros (Welterweight)
A welterweight tilt between Erick Silva and Yancy Medeiros is also on the card. Silva (19-7, 1 NC) looks to string together his first winning streak in two years following a third-round finish of Luan Chagas at UFC Fight Night 95’s ‘Fight of the Night.’ The 32-year- old Brazilian has endured a roller-coaster run in the UFC since making his debut in 2011, compiling a 7-6 Octagon record. Medeiros (13-4, 1 NC), meanwhile, has won four of his past six contests, sandwiching recent wins over John Makdessi and Sean Spencer between setbacks against Dustin Poirier and Francisco Trinaldo. Silva is a -115 favorite.