UFC is back after a week off with the latest PPV event, UFC 173. The Bantamweight title is on the line with Renan Barao defending his belt against TJ Dillashaw. The other big fights on the card include a light heavyweight tilt between Daniel Cormier and Dan Henderson and a Welterweight fight featuring Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler. Overall this isn’t the best PPV product the UFC has put out there, but there are a few interesting fights that I will be watching.
Online sportsbook BetOnline.ag has odds available for all the fights on the UFC 173 card.
TJ Dillashaw vs Renan Barao
TJ Dillashaw +575
Renan Barao -800
Barao has been unstoppable in his career. He lost his first ever fight way back in 2005 and has now strung together 32 wins (1 no contest), including his 7 fights in the UFC. Barao destroyed Urijah Faber in his last fight, winning via TKO in the first round and has now won 4 Bantamweight title fights in the UFC. I should say that Faber took that fight on short notice, but Faber had looked very good coming into the fight with 4 wins under his belt since his last meeting with Barao. It’s somewhat surprising to me that Dillashaw gets this title fight since he lost a split decision two fights back, but he had a convincing win over Mike Easton and with the somewhat lack of depth at the bantamweight division he is next in line. I think he could put up a fight, but Barao will be too much and will maintain the title in the bantamweight division.
Dan Henderson vs Daniel Cormier
Dan Henderson +650
Daniel Cormier -950
Henderson has been able to compete with the top dogs in the UFC light heavyweight division, but he is in my opinion one tier below the top echelon of the division. He did beat Shogun in his last fight, but he was dominated for most of it and just landed a strong right to knockout Rua in the third round. Before that fight he had lost three in a row, although two of these fights were split decision losses to Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida, two of the best fighters on the planet. That said I still think Cormier is out of Henderson’s league. He was a beast at heavyweight and after getting a light heavyweight fight under his belt against Pat Cummins he should be used to making weight at 205 and be ready to man handle Henderson.
Jake Ellenberger vs Robbie Lawler
Jake Ellenberger +185
Robbie Lawler -215
Lawler is coming off a tough loss to Johny Hendricks for the UFC Welterweight Championship. He now needs to get some wins under his belt again to get another shot at the title. Ellenberger is coming off a loss to Rory MacDonald, a guy that Lawler beat, but I believe that MacDonald wasn’t on his A-game when he fought Robbie Lawler. That said Ellenberger really hasn’t beaten any of the top end talent in the UFC. His biggest win has probably come over Jake Shields, a guy who was just cut by the UFC. I feel like the heavy hands of Lawler will be too much for Ellenberger in this fight.