Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis plays host to one of three UFC fight cards coming your way over an eight-day period.
It all begins this Wednesday with UFC Fight Night 27, then heads to Bradley Center in Milwaukee for UFC 164, before finally culminating with another road trip to Brazil for UFC Fight Night 28, the following Wednesday.
What’s most amazing about this MMA buffet for fight fans is the fact all three cards are stacked with what appear to be exciting matchups. A glance at either card will prove once again that UFC President Dana White, along with match-maker Joe Silva, is eager to give fans the fights they want to see.
The co-main event this Wednesday night features a lightweight clash between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (20-5) and Rafael Dos Anjos (19-6). Bookmakers opened Cerrone up as a 160 betting favorite but early money on Dos Anjos has forced the adjustment down to as low as -140.
Cerrone is best known for his stand-up, utilizing all three disciplines – Muay Thai, boxing, and kick boxing, so it’s not surprising to see he’ll enter the Octagon with two of his last three fights having ended by way of KO/TKO. But since joining Greg Jackson’s team in New Mexico, the “Cowboy” has shown a much more well-rounded game. I
Dos Anjos enters the cage on a four-fight win streak and has had his arm raised in 8 of his last 10 UFC bouts. At 28, Dos Anjos is now emerging as one of the division’s toughest outs, as his fights last an average of almost 12 minutes per.
Cerrone has the “name recognition” in this contest, and will also have both a height and reach advantage over Dos Anjos. But personally, I don’t believe those physical edge’s will be enough to compensate for the underdog’s advantage in the skill department. Pick: Dos Anjos +130.
In the main-event for UFC Fight Night 27, former UFC “Interim” Welterweight strap holder Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (28-7) takes on the always game Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann (20-6).
These two MMA practitioners have already met back in 2009, which marked Condit’s first time inside the Octagon, having come over from the WEC after Zuffa purchased and more or less merged the promotion. Though Condit went on to land more strikes in their first bout by a 35-26 margin, it was Kampmann’s ability to take the UFC “rookie” at the time down 5 times, pass his guard 3 times, and attempt 6 submissions, which led to his split-decision victory.
Oddsmakers sent Condit out as a 230 favorite to get his revenge for an earlier loss to Kampmann and halt a two-fight losing streak in the process. Since then, money on “The Natural Born Killer” has forced bookmakers to raise the price to as high as -265. The take-back on Kampmann, who’s out to prove his 2009 split-decision win shouldn’t be debated, is a generous +210.
I can promise you that trying to handicap a fight based on common opponents isn’t a good idea. I’m going to wait for bettors to drive this line up. Pick: Kampmann +220.
Vegas-Runner, a pro sports bettor in Las Vegas, has been featured on CNBC/ESPN. Follow him on Twitter @vegasrunner, at Pregame.com and on AM 1100 ESPN (also FM 98.9) on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. when he co-hosts First Preview. Contact Vegas Runner at [email protected].