It is the card the vast majority of the MMA world has been waiting for: UFC 214: Cormier vs. Jones II is upon us, and my goodness is it ever stacked. Three title fights, a matchup for the ages, a light heavyweight contender bout and so much more.
The main event is being billed as the biggest grudge match of all time. UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (+240) is set to take on former champ and arguably the best pound for pound fighter in the sport today, Jon Jones (-245).
The champ is the underdog here, so if we’re going to find a fun bet with some value, taking him straight up would not be a bad idea. Can he win three rounds to two vs. his arch nemesis? I believe he can, but there’s a better fun bet that I’ve been holding onto to since talking to Jones in person a few months back.
Jon has fallen in love with grappling, most specifically, the submission game. Based on my conversation with him (and it could be all fluff) I get the sense he would like nothing better than to do what no man has ever done to DC: make him tap. And it’s not just to be the first man to do that, but it also seemed like it was a personal goal for Jones’ own ego.
While it does seem a tad far fetched, Jones via submission pays +475. That’s a pretty damn good fun bet considering how bad Jon wants this way of victory. And it should also be noted, that this line originally opened at +790. It’s falling and falling hard. So I assume I’m not the only one who is buying this theory.
In the co-main event, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (-210) puts his title on the line vs. Demian Maia (+175). The Brazilian has only been stopped with punches once and that was back in 2009. He’s 39 years old now and Tyron packs a lot of power, so I wouldn’t sleep on the -109 via T/KO. But that’s not a fun bet.
If you want something that gives you more value and something we know is a possibility, then it’s Maia via submission at +275. While in past Maia fights this prop has been absurdly higher, anytime Maia fights, I believe it’s worth considering. This guy has a penchant for taking people down, controlling them and tapping them out. I will not be surprised if he does it to Woodley.
The third title fight on this card is for the vacant women’s bantamweight championship, as Cristiane ‘Cyborg’ Justino (-1375) takes on Tonya Evinger (+900).
There is no value in taking Cyborg straight up. Crazier things have happened in MMA so I’d stay away from that one. Heck, putting small coin on Evinger straight up is more worth your money.
Heck, even Cyborg via T/KO isn’t a fun bet. It’s currently listed at -615. Unfortunately, with these numbers, she is simply too large of a favorite to put money on for pundits like me. There are no locks in MMA wagering, so no one can convince me otherwise. Wager at your own peril.
As for the rest of the card, we definitely have some crazy fights to look at, so let’s do it quick.
I do not believe it’s a stretch to say that between Robbie Lawler (-155) and Donald Cerrone (+135), someone is going to sleep. If you like Robbie, you can get that T/KO fun bet for +162. If you like ‘Cowboy’, you can get him at +500. And if I may, pay attention to Cerrone via submission; it pays a very nice +500 as well.
In the opening bout of the pay per view broadcast, the potential right to fight the winner of the main event is at stake. Jimi Manuwa (-189) is the favorite over Volkan Oezdemir (+150). This one is only three rounds so fists will be flying. Manuwa via T/KO only pays +100 but Oezdemir via submission pays +800. #JustSayin
There are so many more options for fun bets on this card but I will leave you with three more:
- Jason Knight via submission (+500) over Ricardo Lamas
- Andre Fili via T/KO (+225) over Calvin Kattar
- Drew Dober via T/KO (+240) over Josh Burkman
Have any fun bets of your own you’d like to share? Post them in the comments below and hit me up on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram: @ShowdownJoe