When it will not be the biggest battle sports event of this summer, UFC 214 is the largest MMA event of the season. In addition to the Jon Jones-Daniel Cormier rematch, the card includes two additional name bouts, contenders and entertaining fights throughout.
Brad Taschuk of MMAOddsBreaker.com, takes a peek at where the gambling odds have moved for all 12 fights since opening lines (indicated in brackets) were published and he provides his thoughts on each matchup. All lines are courtesy of 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Jon Jones (-280) vs. Daniel Cormier (+220)
Jones was a -170 favored first time these two fought and some naively expected the lineup would be similar this time around. However, it seems that Jones’ legal problems, run-in with USADA and layoff hasn’t had the impact expected online. It’s hard to attribute bettors Cormier is currently 38-years-old, has been through some tough battles since their first meeting, and Jones won every aspect of the first fight. Expect something similar – if not dominant – this time around.
Irrespective of how seriously he takes his groundwork, Jones is the type of fighter who rises to the occasion like few others. He, this is the ultimate occasion. Cormier is his main rival and he’s the opportunity to recover the belt he never lost against him. That combination will result in a tremendous performance from Jones. Expect him to dispatch of Cormier and re-assert his dominance at the branch.
Tyron Woodley (-210) vs. Demian Maia (+160)
Similar to the main event, this line hasn’t seen much motion. Given the contrasting styles, that’s not hard to trust. There’s a contingent of people who think that Woodley will starch Maia with the first punch he throws. They could very well be correct. The opposing side of this coin is made up of people who believe that Maia can close the distance, latch onto Woodley like he has so many others and just predominate his grappling. They could be right as well. Woodley’s tendency to back himself against the cage and play counter-puncher will be his passing. Maia has gotten so good at going into the clinch if not under pressure he ought to have the ability to make Woodley overlook once. Even against a high-level wrestler the likes of Woodley, after Maia gets his hands on you, that is a huge trouble.
The Brazilian’s capacity to commence Jiu-Jitsu exchanges without hitting traditional takedowns is second to none (he’s perfected the single leg to rear take) and Woodley being the kind of man who likes to burst out of positions will only hurt him after that happens. It is kind of astonishing that Maia by Sub pays an excess buck (+275 as of Thursday morning), since Woodley will not have the ability to survive 25 minutes of Maia engaging in the sort of fight he wishes to. The other option is probably a quick Woodley KO (+350 for your champ in Round 1, incidentally ).
Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino (-1200) vs. Tonya Evinger (+600)
This battle being bettable is dependent on which kind of bettor you’re. If you don’t have any difficulty throwing a massive lineup in a parlay, the Cyborg moneyline (at almost -1400), or Cyborg ITD (nearly -700) are almost sure things. If that’s not really your style, neither will probably be placing nearly 2-to-1 on a prop like Cyborg Round 1.
The only case I can make for a drama is based on Evinger’s strength. She has taken damage in many of her struggles and persevered and she probably won’t come back to conquer Cyborg in this one after a rough beginning, there’s an external shot she can survive five minutes. But even the prices for”Fight Starts Round two” and Cyborg Round 2 have dropped considerably (down to +150 and +450( respectively), which makes them less attractive even to somebody who is constantly on the search for some round robin legs.
Robbie Lawler (-175) vs. Donald Cerrone (+135)
It is a shame this fight is taking place after both guys have apparently passed their peak concerning durability, since a war with Lawler and Cerrone at their best would be something to behold. This fight will come down to space management and in-fight decisions. Lawler would like to be inside, Cerrone wants to be outdoors. The difficulty for Cerrone is that Lawler’s consistent pressure will gradually see him get inside and at that point, anticipate Cerrone to be much too ready to oblige him that the warfare he’s looking for. While that will give us the type of struggle we would like to see, don’t expect it to finish well for Cerrone.
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