The Ultimate Fighting Championship makes its return to Brazil this weekend with UFC 212: Aldo vs. Holloway, a main event that will unify the featherweight titles. De Facto kingpin Jose Aldo Jr. will take on interim champ Max Holloway, it what promises to answer a variety of questions in the 145 lbs weight class.
Despite what you remember from Aldo’s KO loss to Conor McGregor, he faired extremely well when he returned to action vs. Frankie Edgar. Yet still, one of the sport’s best pound for pound fighters is just a -145 favorite over the challenger, who currently sits at +125.
During Tuesday’s ‘Holy Smokes’ podcast, we discussed the odds at that time, and they were different. They were much closer and I suggested Aldo was a great fun bet at that point there. At various books, the odds are separating even further, with some books having Aldo at -160.
I’m leaning towards Aldo in this bout but I’m not sure if he will be able to pull off a finish versus Holloway, who is as rugged as they come. If you buy this theory and believe Aldo will win at least three rounds to two, you can get that prop at +180.
In the evening’s co-main event, former strawweight challengers Claudia Gadelha (-330) and Karolina Kowalkiewicz (+270) will vie to remain relevant at 115 lbs.
With Gadelha the heavy favorite here, one can interpret those odds as Claudia having more than enough in her arsenal to finish the bout. Yet she has never finished anyone since joining the UFC. And the same can be said for Karolina.
While not all MMA math makes sense, this three round bout will likely go the distance. On paper, based on their UFC bouts, the slight edge in striking goes to Kowalkiewicz, but the grappling edge goes to Gadelha. She will likely control where this fight will take place.
If you fancy Claudia via decision, you can get that prop for -142, but that doesn’t seem like much of a fun bet. I’d much rather risk a little on Karolina straight up at +270 or via decision at +418.
Moving on to the rest of the card, any combat sports fan who has been around long enough has heard the adage ‘speed kills’. And when we think about veterans Vitor Belfort (-160) and Nate Marquardt (+140), this matchup will likely showcase the Brazilian’s hands. While not exactly a fun bet, Vitor via T/KO is currently standing at -105.
As for some other options on Saturday night, here are a few I’m thinking could be financially fruitful:
Paulo Borrachinha via T/KO -155 over Oluwale Bamgbose
Erick Silva wins inside the distance +232 over Yancy Medeiros
Yancy Medeiros wins inside the distance +164 over Erick Silva
** Upset Alert ** Raphael Assuncao (+165) over Marlon Moraes
As always, I’m up to reading any and all of your thoughts regarding fun bets for all UFC events. Hit me up anytime via @ShowdownJoe anytime via social media.