With weigh-ins for UFC 167 set to take place at 7:00pm EST, I wanted to take a look at what the gambling markets are anticipating heading in to the card tomorrow night.
UFC 167 Main Card
UFC Welterweight Title: (c) Georges St-Pierre (-260) vs. Johny Hendricks (+220)
There are a lot of fighters that believe Hendricks will finally be the one to knock off GSP, but the markets don’t see that as the case. Based on the line at 5Dimes, GSP is a 70% favorite. Not surprisingly, the most probable ending to the fight is a St-Pierre win by decision. The GSP method of victory breakdown (DEC%/TKO%/SUB%) is 47/12/10, with the Hendricks breakdown looking like 6/20/4. Personally, I love watching GSP fight. I don’t care about the lack of finishes. He stole the souls of Jon Fitch, BJ Penn and Josh Koscheck . Over GSP’s last two fights, Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit landed just 77 significant strikes in those 50 fight minutes. He simply doesn’t get hit. That is why he is a 70% favorite, that is why he has been the UFC Welterweight champion for almost six years, and that is why Georges St-Pierre will likely walk out of UFC 167 with his belt around his waist.
The odds: GSP by Unanimous Decision.
GSP – Based on this outcome, he has a few different options moving forward. I think the most likely scenario is a fight with Rory MacDonald. If he is still the champ, that fight will happen. I don’t care that they are teammates. The only other realistic option would be Ben Askren. I’d be shocked if they gave him a title fight directly, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Otherwise, outside of a rematch with Carlos Condit, everyone else at 170 needs another win.
Hendricks – The only two paths I see for Hendricks coming off a loss would be Demian Maia or Robbie Lawler (if Lawler loses to Koscheck).
Rashad Evans (-185) vs. Chael Sonnen (+160)
This is not a good fight for Chael Sonnen. I would assume Chael will have trouble implementing his normal game plan against Rashad. I would assume he will struggle to get a takedown and will certainly be at a disadvantage on the feet. Rashad is a 63% favorite, with a 32/24/6 split. Sonnen’s split sits at 26/5/6. Without a finish, this feels like a boring fight. No one is clamoring for either of these guys to get a rematch with Jon Jones. I expect this fight to quickly be forgotten.
The odds: Evans by Unanimous Decision.
The future: Win or lose, Sonnen will be coaching opposite Wanderlei Silva in the next incarnation of TUF: Brazil. With an Evans win, I think we could see him get the winner of the Shogun Rua/James Te Huna fight at Fight Night 33 or maybe be the welcoming committee for Daniel Cormier’s Light Heavyweight début.
Rory MacDonald (-380) vs. Robbie Lawler (+315)
Critics of the MacDonald/Jake Ellenberger fight might want to close their eyes for this one, as it is likely to play out in a similar fashion. MacDonald is a huge favorite with multiple paths to victory, judging by his 37/20/25 breakdown. We all know Lawler’s
only best shot is to knock Rory out and that shows in his 7/16/3 split. MacDonald is the future at 170, whether people want that to happen or not. Lawler will simply be a stepping stone on that journey.
The odds: MacDonald by Unanimous Decision
The future: The only way I see Rory MacDonald’s next fight not being for the Welterweight title would be from a GSP loss and immediate rematch. If that happens, I would expect him to get the chance to avenge his only loss after Carlos Condit dispatches Matt Brown UFC on Fox 9. Because of his style, Lawler has a lot of options coming off a loss. A fight with Martin Kampmann would be exciting. Matt Brown could also be a destination. The UFC could also use someone a bit further down the ladder, like Mike Pyle. Either way, there will be no shortage of potential fights for Robbie.
Josh Koscheck (-105) vs. Tyron Woodley (-115)
I was a little surprised when I saw these lines, as I assumed that Koscheck would be a slight favorite. I was also surprised by the odds showing Woodley being more likely to win via TKO than Koscheck. This fight should help me tune my dials on these guys a bit more accurately. Right now, Koscheck’s odds breakdown is 29/11/8, with Woodley’s being 23/16/12. While I expected a boring fight, the wide range of possible outcomes now has me intrigued. I’m anxious to see how this fight plays out.
The odds: Tyron Woodley by Unanimous Decision
The future: A win here for Woodley would go a long way in re-establishing him in the Welterweight division. I could see him in a fight with Dong Hyun Kim or, if they were looking to challenge someone who is on the rise, a heatcheck-style fight with Adlan Amagov would tell a lot about both guys. A loss for Woodley would be two in a row and three of his last four. That’s potential cut territory. Who knows what happens then?
A loss for Koscheck could also be a huge problem. He’s got a pretty decent salary and a loss here would be three in a row and four of his last six. I could see him as the new Ben Askren in Bellator if he loses in ugly fashion here. A win for Koscheck would be him back in the top 10 mix. I think if he wins, a fight with Hector Lombard would make a ton of sense.
Ali Bagautinov (+135) vs. Tim Elliot (-155)
This is a pretty big test for Bagautinov. Elliot is the #7 Flyweight in the UFC rankings and is a 59% favorite here, so Bagautinov has his work cut out for him. Of all, the possible outcomes for the main card fights, Tim Elliot by decision is the 2nd most likely behind a GSP decision. Elliot’s split is 35/14/9. Bagautinov’s is 19/15/8.
The odds: Tim Elliot by Unanimous Decision
The future: A victory for Elliot could see him in a title elimination fight his next time out. I think he gets John Lineker (barring Lineker making weight), with the winner getting a Flyweight title shot. If Bagautinov drops this one, a tilt with Darrell Montague could be on the horizon.