UFC 158 is one week away and will be coming to us live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We have already posted our prediction and analysis of the main event. It’s time to look at a couple of the other important welterweight fights that will take place on this card. The top four UFC welterweights are in action as well as number six Jake Ellenberger and the former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nate “The Great” Marquardt.
The co-main event sees the number 1 and 2 UFC welterweight fighters colliding in what will almost surely determine the next challenger for the title. Hendricks is on a 5 fight win streak with highlight reel finishes over Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann. The style he utilizes throws off his opponents because when he looks like he is going in for a takedown, but he comes back up with the powerful left hand when his opponents hands are down. “Big Rig,” was thought of by many as the next title contender until Nick Diaz was awarded the title shot. Condit, on the other hand, had his title shot at UFC 154 in November. Besides a head kick that landed flush, GSP did a good job of mitigating the offense of Condit, earning a decision victory in the process. Prior to that, Condit had his own 5 fight win streak with 3 of 5 coming over top 10 welterweights.
We were interested to see what our model had to say about this fight. When the odds first came out and Hendricks was the favourite, many people thought he was overrated by the oddsmakers. Our model though, has Hendricks as the heavy favourite. As such, we placed a 1 unit bet on Hendricks at 1.77 to 1.
Jake Ellenberger vs Nate Marquardt is a closer fight according the model. Marquardt is making his redebut in the UFC after losing his Strikeforce welterweight championship to Tarec Saffiedine back in January of this year. While in the UFC, after a promising initial run and loss to Anderson Silva, Marquardt became somewhat of a gatekeeper in the middleweight division. He was then cut from the UFC when he failed to get his testosterone levels within acceptable limits prior to his fight against Rick Story. After signing with Strikeforce, he won the Strikeforce welterweight championship in his debut, but lost it in the aforementioned fight with Saffiedine. Ellenberger is 7-1 in his last 8 with his only loss coming by way of KO to number 7 UFC welterweight Martin Kampmann. On paper, it looks like Ellenberger should be the favourite. Our model also has Ellenberger as a favourite to win this fight. At 1.62 to 1, there is still decent value in placing a bet. We placed a 1 unit bet on Ellenberger to take this one.
We will post our full picks for the fight card later in the week when the full odds come out. (They seem to be a little slow coming out for this event so far. We are hoping to get our full picks up by Thursday.)
St. Pierre over Diaz. 1 unit at 1.23 to 1
Hendricks over Condit. 1 unit at 1.77 to 1
Ellenberger over Marquardt. 1 unit at 1.62 to 1
Here are the latest odds for UFC 158: