UFC on Fox 9 is just a couple days away, going down this Saturday, December 7, and we’re back with our full predictions and bets. In one of the most predictable (in terms of volume of predictions we can do, not in terms of correctly picking the outcomes as many of the fights are incredibly close) fight cards in recent memory, we are able to mathematically predict 8 fights. Our first four predictions were posted in our main card predictions and bets post. As implied by the card name, the main card will be live on Fox starting at 8pm ET. The Fox Sports 1 prelims will begin at 5pm ET and the lone Facebook/Youtube prelim will start at 4:30 pm ET.
In the lightweight division, and kicking off the televised prelims will be a rematch between Abel Trujillo and Roger Bowling. The first fight between the two ended in a no contest after Trujillo landed 2 questionable knee strikes (body or head?) to a downed Bowling. Bowling decided to milk the damage and was deemed unable to continue by the doctor. Our math model has Trujillo as a big favourite to taste victory when all is said in this one. In the first fight, Trujillo seemed to have Bowling rocked a couple times, but the same can be said for Bowling rocking Trujillo. The thing that is scary about Bowling though is he constantly attempted to take Trujillo down, and most of the time he would get him down, the issue was once he had Trujillo down, he couldn’t keep him down and it ended up being a big waste of energy. Prior to the no contest, Bowling had lost 2 straight, including a TKO loss to Njokuani in his lightweight and UFC debut. Trujillo will be in his fourth UFC fight on Saturday and he sits at 1-1-1 in the promotion so far with a TKO win over Marcus LeVesseur and a decision loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. At the current line of 2.07 to 1, we see big value in Trujillo. We placed a 4 unit bet on Trujillo at 2.07 to 1.
Also in the lightweight division, Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout will be taking on Cody McKenzie. Our model, surprisingly has McKenzie as a big favourite to take home the win. When you look more closely, however, it makes a lot of sense. Stout is 29 years of age and McKenzie is 25, not a significant difference until you consider the number of wars Sam Stout has been in in his UFC careers. His 6 fight of the night awards are a testament to his fighting style; a style where he absorbs more than 4 significant strikes per minute. Sure, Stout is incredibly entertaining, but one’s body can only take so many fights with that much abuse. What really opened our eyes to Stout’s decline was his guillotine choke loss to James Krause (McKenzie has one hell of a guillotine), as well as his bad performance against Caros Fodor where he eeked out a split decision win. Maybe Cody McKenzie isn’t the man to beat Sam Stout, but at 3.25 to 1 and our model heavily favouring him, we’re going to take our chances. We placed a 3 unit bet on McKenzie at 3.25 to 1.
In the co-main event of the prelims, Danny Castillo will be taking on Edson Barboza. Our model has Barboza with a slight edge, but at 1.33 to 1, we don’t see any value in placing a bet. This match-up is a classic striker vs grappler with each fighter having a wide margin of advantage in their chosen specialty. Castillo, a former NAIA All American wrestler, lands an average of 3.78 takedowns per 15 minutes fought, while Barboza, who prefers to stand, lands just 0.92. In the opposite domain, Barboza lands 4.25 significant strikes per minute while Castillo lands 2.44. At the current line, betting on Barboza would be incredibly ballsy, given that he hasn’t fought many good wrestlers and when he fought Jamie Varner, he lost via TKO and suffered through 2 takedowns in the first 3 minutes of the fight. On the flipside, while a bet on Castillo is less dangerous, there is a danger the fight will remain standing where Castillo could be thoroughly dominated. At current lines, while we think Barboza is the more likely victor, we will save our money for places we see more value.
Finally, we have Joe Lauzon as a slight favourite over Mac Danzig. We expected Lauzon will be able to lock up a submission in round 2 to take home the victory, but the fight is too close to lay down the 1.58 to 1 where he currently sits.
In terms of over/under bets on this card, we mostly lean towards the over lines, especially in Trujillo vs Bowling (only 1.5 rounds), Healy vs Green and Makovsky vs Jorgensen.
McDonald over Faber. 3 units at 2.45 to 1
Under 2.5 rounds Mendes vs Lentz. 3 units at 2.25 to 1
Trujillo over Bowling. 4 units at 2.07 to 1
McKenzie over Stout. 3 units at 3.25 to 1
Benavidez over Johnson to become the new flyweight champ
Lauzon over Danzig
Barboza over Castillo
Lauzon over Danzig
Here are the latest odds for UFC on Fox 9: Johnson vs Benavidez: