UFC 211 Preview, Picks and Betting Odds to Win
When: Saturday, May 13, 2017
Where: American Airlines Arena, Dallas, Texas
by Scott of Predictem.com
UFC 211 features a stacked card of action from Dallas. Heading the card is Stipe Miocicís second defense of his UFC Heavyweight Title, as he takes on former conqueror and ex-champ Junior dos Santos. Their first fight in 2014 was a controversial win for dos Santos, but the improved champion looks to make amends on UFC 211 against the still-dangerous dos Santos. Also on the card is a battle of old vs. young, as former champion Frankie Edgar takes on Yair Rodriguez in a pivotal featherweight bout that could determine the next title challenger in that division.
Stipe Miocic, 16-2 (12 KOs, 1 Submission), (-175) vs. Junior dos Santos, 18-4 (12 KOs, 2 Submissions), (+155)
In the main event of UFC 211, UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic defends his belt against former champion Junior dos Santos. Miocic is on a nice run, with consecutive first-round stoppages of Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem in title fights. But in December 2014, he lost a 5-round decision to dos Santos and looks to even the score, while dos Santos looks to win back the title he lost in 2012.
Their first fight was definitely entertaining, a hard-slugging and fast-moving bout that won Fight of the Night honors. It was also the source of some controversy, with many feeling that Miocic was jobbed out of a decision. The wide scores made it all the more difficult-to-stomach. Miocic was dominant at times and while dos Santos worked his way back into the fight after a tough start, he never was as dominant as Miocic was, both standing up and on the ground.
Miocic, 34, is a peaking MMA commodity. He took a few lumps in his career, but posting consecutive first-round KOs over the likes of Werdum and Overeem shows things have really started to click for the Cleveland product. This is a man who was late to the sport, worked hard, and kept getting better. Now on the other side of the spectrum, you have dos Santos. This is a man who has been through wars. He looks different. The toll has been high. Just from a standpoint of where each man stands in the evolution of their MMA career, the edge goes to the champion, a victim of far less wear and mileage.
At the same time, dos Santos is hardly a lost cause in this fight. Sometimes talent is enough and when it comes to that, theyíre arenít many big men who match the Brazilian slugger. Weíre still talking about one of the most-dangerous fighters in the history of the sport. It looked like his career was winding down following two brutal losses to Cain Velasquez, the close call against Miocic, and a KO loss to Overeem. But against tough Ben Rothwell, he looked good. So despite the wear, tear, injuries, beatings, and all the other things that render a fighter a diminished force, dos Santos on the right night is still an extreme handful.
By the same token, all fights at this level are dangerous, where youíre facing killers who can shut out the lights. What weíre looking to do is project a scenario that is not represented correctly by the odds. When you look at Miocicís recent form, the way the first fight looked, and what has happened since, the needle starts moving to Miocicís column and perhaps to a greater extent than -175.
One can only feel so at-ease when betting against a savage monster like dos Santos. He is not long for this sport and these types of waning opportunities will likely elicit a high sense of urgency in the Brazilian ex-champ. But Miocic is in a state of improvement and considering how well he did the first time around, I see him doing one better this time.
My Pick to Win: Iím betting on Stipe Miocic at -175. The former champion dos Santos is dangerous and looked revived to some extent in his last fight, but Miocic is a fresher, improving, and more-reliable proposition at this point. Bet your UFC 211 predictions using your credit card at an online sportsbook where it WILL work for deposits and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus: Bovada Sportsbook.
Frankie Edgar, 21-5-1 (6 KOs, 5 Submissions), (-170) vs. Yair Rodriguez, 10-1 (4 KOs, 1 Submission), (+150)
Frankie Edgar battles Yair Rodriguez in an important high-stakes featherweight bout on the UFC 211 main card. Up for grabs is a title shot. Itís a great battle of experience and dependability versus youth and talent. Edgar, the former UFC Lightweight Champion, is looking for another shot at the title, while Rodriguez has only 11 fights, while impressing with his unique and exciting skills. Edgar is 11 years older than Rodriguez at 35. Will youth prevail? Or is Rodriguez biting off more than he chew?
With Edgar, we have an idea of what we haveóa former champion who is still right up there with the top guys. Whether he still has the wherewithal to again strap on UFC gold remains to be seen, but we know he fits in with the best at 145 pounds, with only Jose Aldo having beaten him at this weight. With Yair, we see a slew of eye-catching performances and he looks to be a rising young star, But alas, we donít know until we know. In his last fight, Edgar looked good beating another young featherweight with big dreams in Jeremy Stephens.
Rodriguez has garnered a lot of attention in his short time in the UFC. We see him putting together maneuvers never before seen in the sport, as he strings strange sequences of different kicks. Itís an exciting style and so far, itís been an effective one for Rodriguez. Only 24 and with just 6 UFC outings, he already finds himself on the precipice of a title shot. He looked absolutely lethal against BJ Penn in January, stopping the former two-division champion early in the second round.
It could turn out that Rodriguezí talents donít translate at the absolute highest levels of the sport. One thing we like for Rodriguezí case is that itís a three-rounder and Edgar has scored just one stoppage in his last five fights, with only two in his last ten fights. Over three rounds, Rodriguez might hold up better than if it were a 5-rounderóa distance at which Edgar has thrived. Weíre going to take a whirl on youth being served at a price. Weíre taking Yair Rodriguez for the win.
My Pick to Win: Iím betting on Yair Rodriguez at +150. We feel his unique fighting style makes him a legitimate threat in the 145-pound division. Over a three-round distance, itís not too difficult imagining the +150 underdog out-maneuvering the ex-champ for a decision win. Bet the Frankie Edgar/Yair Rodriguez fight and get a giant 50% bonus at Wagerweb.
Full List of UFC 211 Betting Odds (at 5Dimes Sportsbook)
Junior dos Santos +155 (5 Rounds)
Stipe Miocic -175
Jessica Andrade +150 (5 Rounds)
Joanna Jedrzejczyk -170
Jorge Masvidal +110
Demian Maia -130
Dustin Poirier +105
Eddie Alvarez -125
Yair Rodriguez +155
Frankie Edgar -175
Sergio Pettis +225
henry Cejudo -265
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