This week was the worst in the history of Las Vegas with 59 people killed and more than 500 injured in a mass shooting on Sunday night/early Monday morning. But you can’t let those psychopaths win by disrupting life, so UFC 216 will go on as scheduled this Saturday night at the T-Mobile Center in Vegas. The main card will begin at 10 p.m. on pay-per-view. Here’s a look at those fights and their MMA odds. In a classy move, the UFC is donating $1 million to help the families of the massacre.
UFC 216 Main Card Betting Predictions & Picks
When: October 7th, 2017
Where: T-Mobile Arena. Paradise, Nevada
Live Stream: UFC Fight Pass
Tony Ferguson vs. Kevin Lee
UFC 216 Odds: Ferguson -220 / Lee +180
It’s a matchup between Americans for the UFC interim lightweight belt – that title is officially held by Conor McGregor, but he’s not likely to fight in MMA this year after the Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match. Presumably, the winner here would get a title shot at McGregor in 2018. Ferguson is a -220 favorite. Ferguson (22-3) had been linked to a fight with No. 1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0) and the two were scheduled to fight in March, but it fell through when Nurmagomedov was hospitalized during his weight cut.
Ferguson is on a nine-fight win streak but hasn’t fought in almost a year. Not much of know of Lee (16-2), “The Motown Phenom.” Despite a five-fight win streak, Lee hasn’t presented enough evidence on the elite level to confidently believe that he’s a top challenger yet. If Lee wins, he’ll join 11 fighters who have won a UFC belt at the age of 25. That includes names like Penn, Ortiz, St-Pierre, Rousey, Shamrock, Holloway and Cruz.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Ray Borg
UFC 216 Odds: Johnson -1130 / Borg +765
“Mighty Mouse” Johnson, the No. 1 pound-for-pound MMA fighter in the world and maybe the best ever, puts his flyweight title on the line in a fight against Borg that was originally to be staged at UFC 215 last month in Edmonton. However, Borg was forced to withdraw from the fight a couple of days before. Borg had been battling an illness that week and was deemed unfit to fight by UFC doctors. His illness was unrelated to his weight cut. As a result, the Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko women’s bantamweight title fight was the main event of UFC 215. Johnson is a huge -1130 favorite with Borg at +765.
Back in the spring, Johnson successfully defended the flyweight title for the 10th time, which tied Anderson Silva’s record for any division. The UFC wanted to book Johnson vs. TJ Dillashaw for the potential record-breaking 11th defense, but Johnson campaigned for Borg to be his next opponent. If Johnson wins here, there will likely be calls once more for him to tackle the 135-pounders. “I don’t want to do this for another 10 years,” Johnson said. “I’ll continue to train, but the competing aspect of it, I’ll probably give myself another five or six years, maybe even seven. We’ll see what happens.”
Fabricio Werdum vs. Derrick Lewis
UFC 216 Odds: Werdum -255 / Lewis +205
The former heavyweight champion Werdum, now 40, is a -255 favorite for this fight against the division’s No. 6 ranked fighter in the American Lewis. The underdog has changed things up to a huge degree ahead of this fight. For the entirety of his UFC career thus far, Lewis has refrained from dieting and hasn’t been fully committed to training. Mostly because he hates it. But after considering retirement following an exhausting loss to Mark Hunt, Lewis is trying a new approach: “The damn McRib was in town. I had to miss the McRib and all the other things.”
Having lost to Alistair Overeem in his last performance at UFC 213 in July, Werdum is now looking to find a way to get his name back into the title picture. Therefore, even facing the current No. 6 heavyweight in the official UFC rankings in Lewis (18-5) might pave the way for a title shot soon. Werdum (21-7-1 MMA, 9-4 UFC), a decorated submission grappler and former ADCC champ, is no longer the one-sided threat of his early days.
Beniel Dariush vs. Evan Dunham
UFC 216 Odds: Dariush -235 / Dunham +190
Dariush is a -235 favorite in this matchup of mediocre lightweights. Looking to rebound from a flying knee KO loss in his last outing against Edson Barboza in March, Beneil Dariush (14-3) was on a two-fight winning streak before the defeat, winning a decision over Rashid Magomedov and knocking out James Vick. Dunham (18-6) finds himself riding a four-fight winning streak, a number he hadn’t able to put together since 2009-10. Dunham’s last defeat came in July 2014, when he was also TKO’d by Barboza. Dunham is not known to be the same level of technician as Barboza, but he carries a toughness that’s turned many of his fights into thrilling brawls. When Dariush accepted the bout, he asked only that it be scheduled in the fall so he could be his best self for Dunham.
Expert UFC 216 Betting Predictions
I see no reason not to take the four favorites here and parlay them together.