Despite the terrible news that the UFC 209 co-main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson has been called off, the card still has some stellar bouts and some exquisite fun bets that can be taken advantage of. Without further a do, let’s take a long at some that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time.
Right off the bat, we have the main event rematch between UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. The champ is once again the slight underdog at +130. That right there is some okay value.
But looking a little deeper, there are four other options I believe one can consider.
History has already shown us that a matchup between these two can go the distance, and it could be close. So picking either guy to win via decision may not be a bad idea. If you like the champ, you can get him at +400. If you are leaning toward the challenger, you can get him at +226.
Now, if there’s going to be a finish in this one, most are leaning towards a T/KO and I tend to agree as well. Woodley has the power, so at +405, you are getting some really nice bang for your buck. Then again, the challenger is the most efficient striker at 170 lbs, so if he’s on point, and scores the finish, putting down some coin on him at +196 would not be a bad idea.
Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans is finally set to make his middleweight debut, and despite his recent two fight skid, he is the favorite in this bout, sitting at -200. His opponent Dan Kelly, is 5-1 in the UFC and on a two fight win streak over the likes of Antonio Carlos Jr. and Chris Camozzi. At +200, Kelly is a live dog on this card and a damn good bet if you believe Evans is a shadow of his former self.
Speaking of live dogs, Darren Elkins is sitting at +550 vs. Mirsad Bektic. A couple of bucks on the American featherweight would not be a bad idea at all. But fair warning ladies and gentlemen.
If you watched my Fightful MMA Podcast with Reed Khun, author of Fightnomics, you’ll know that Bektic is a favorite for a reason. This guy owns the ground game when he fights people, so the potential for a Bektic T/KO (+261) or submission (+445) will likely be there all night.
The caveat is that Elkins has only been finished two times in the UFC: one by Chad Mendes and the other time by Charles Oliveira. If you believe Bektic is on par or trending to be just as good as these two gentlemen, you could have yourself a nice little payday courtesy of the Bosnia and Herzegovina prospect.
Now, if you are looking for a nice finishing bonus to take advantage of, look no further than the matchup between Lando Vanatta (-355) and David Teymur (+320). These two lightweights are widely being regarded as the show stealers for UFC 209.
And if history has showed us anything, it’s that Vanatta comes fast and furious. Looking at the +195 available on Lando via T/KO is scrumptious. This guy is a treat to watch and it’s completely understandable why the UFC is giving him a nice little push at the moment.
In closing, we have to examine the heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem (-125) and Mark Hunt (+115). Rarely do I ever go with my gut instincts when it comes to talking about money and MMA bouts, but I can’t help but think Hunt is going to pull off the victory here.
Let’s be honest here … Hunt by submission is not going to happen, but ‘The Super Samoan’ via T/KO is a real thing here. And if you agree, you can get him at +171.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you believe are some serious fun bets to consider at UFC 209. Fire them way anytime, via @ShowdownJoe on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.
Enjoy the fights !!!