UFC 204 takes place on Saturday, Oct. 8. See below for the 3 fights that online bookies and per head agents should be aware of.
#9 Gerard Mousasi -290
#5 Vitor Belfort +225
Belfort is ranked 5th while Mousasi is ranked 9th. It doesn’t seem to matter since Mousasi is a huge -290 favorite over Belfort. Mousasi has 2 inches both in height and reach over Belfort. Mousasi has become much more of a striker in his last 2 fights. He landed 81 strikes versus Thales Leites in February of 2016. Thales only landed 17. He landed 21 strikes to 5 versus against Thiago Santos at UFC 200 in July.
Belfort’s style is to go after his opponents as well. It didn’t work to his advantage in his last fight. Ronald Souza connected on 39 strikes to Belfort’s 4 at UFC 198 this past May. Souza knocked Belfort out in Round 1.
It’s hard to see Belfort winning this fight. Although -290 are tough odds for any fight bettor to swallow, some fight handicappers might see the odds on Mousasi and think that they could score big. Pay per head agents should definitely consider setting max betting limits on this match. Mousasi looks like a clear winner.
#5 Ovince St. Preaux -220
#8 Jimi Manuwa +177
St. Preaux’s claim to fame is hanging with Jon Jones for 5 rounds at UFC 197. It was Jones’s first fight since riding out a suspension. Before that, St. Preaux had beaten Rafael Calvacante in a 3-round decision in February by out striking Calvacante 51 to 10.
The problem that Preaux could have against Manuwa is that 87% of Manuwa’s wins, and he has 15 of them, have come via KO or TKO. Based on the film, Manuwa is adept at striking equally with his hands and his legs. This could turn out to be a nice, profitable, fixture for online bookies and PPH MMA betting agents. They should be careful about laying off big dollars on St. Preaux. Manuwa has a shot at the victory at underdog odds.
C Michael Bisping -227
#13 Dan Henderson +162
Bookies have to be surprised that Bisping is only a -227 favorite against Hendo at UFC 204. Bisping was fantastic when he knocked out Luke Rockhold to win the championship at UFC 199 this past June. Perhaps, it’s because Bisping connects on 21 strikes while Rockhold connected on 17 in the Round 1 knockout. Maybe, some MMA fight bettors are thinking that if Rockhold had connected with the right strikes he was the one that would have knocked out Bisping. The fight takes place in Manchester. The UK born Bisping has a huge advantage because of that. It’s hard to see Hendo having any shot in this one.
What it means is that bookies and per head agents should set max betting limits on the fight. They should also disallow their players from putting either the Mousasi or the Bisping fight into any parlays.