Betting UFC 149 - Faber, Barao Look To Carry Show
BetOnline Staff - UFC Bettors haven’t never seen a card get hit by injuries the way that UFC 149 has and the card that will go off in Calgary on Saturday is much different than the original card. Still, there should be plenty of fireworks on the bill, headlined by a title fight for an interim belt. This is the first time that the UFC will be in Calgary, so don’t be surprised if the fighters left on this card put on a show for the Canadian fans.
Urijah Faber (26-5) vs. Renan Barao (28-1, 1 NC)
Instead of fighting champion Dominick Cruz for the third time, Faber will get Barao for the interim 135-pound title and Barao could be a tougher fight than Cruz, who has a knee injury. Both Faber and Barao are excellent grapplers, but Barao may have the edge standing up with his Muay Thai skills and he can finish. Faber is as technically solid as they come, but he won’t be able to keep up with Barao, who is a -190 favorite in your sportsbook. Barao’s ability to finish fights makes him more dangerous to Faber than Cruz, and Faber could end up making a mistake as he looks to seal his own submission. In a “Fight of the Night” candidate, take Barao to put himself in position to face Cruz, who probably won’t be able to get back in the cage this year.
Hector Lombard (31-2-1, 1 NC) vs. Tim Boetsch (15-4)
Lombard makes his UFC debut after making his name as the Bellator champion at 185 pounds, and the Cuban is a judo specialist that has plenty of power in his strikes, along with an underrated ground game. Boetsch has a lot of heart, which he showed in a stunning victory over Yushin Okami, but he is rated at +270 for a reason and Lombard is going to make short work of him as a -320 UFC betting favorite. Lombard’s striking is just too good for Boetsch, who has plenty of grit but not a lot of talent and the Cuban would stake his claim to a shot against middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who is waiting for the next challenger to step up in the 185-pound division after beating Chael Sonnen for the second time.
Cheick Kongo (17-7-2) vs. Shawn Jordan (13-3)
Kongo is one of the toughest men in the UFC in any weight class and he is very well rounded with a kickboxing background, but he has grown to incorporate wrestling and Muay Thai striking into his arsenal as well. Jordan is a highly regarded prospect who always looks to finish fights, and he knocked out Olli Thompson in his UFC debut, but Kongo is a stiff test for any younger fighter and Jordan’s striking is going to be put to the test. Jordan is rated at -130, but you could spring for Kongo at a +110 price and it wouldn’t be a bad bet for UFC betting sharps.
Brian Ebersole (50-14-1, 1 NC) vs. James Head (8-2)
Ebersole fought just a month ago and took this fight on short notice as he tries to move back up in an increasingly tough 170-pound division, and after a terrible first round he would bounce back to dominate TJ Waldburger for his 11th straight win. Head is a submission specialist, but four of his eight wins have come by knockout, so don’t let his mat credentials fool you. Like Ebersole, Head used to fight at 185 pounds and this is his second fight at 170 pounds, so conditioning shouldn’t be an issue for him. This is going to be a cagey fight that will likely go the distance as both men are very tough, but lean towards Ebersole at -375.
Chris Clements (11-4) vs. Matt Riddle (6-3)
Clements gets on the card as a Canadian boy that was victorious in his UFC debut against Keith Wisniewski in a split decision, and he knows that he’ll need a much better performance against Riddle, who puts on exciting fights, but he is also coming off a split-decision victory as well. These are two guys floundering around the bottom of the welterweight division and their spot on the main card is probably up for grabs in this fight. Riddle is the favorite at -150, but with the crowd behind him in Calgary, take Clements at +130 for the online betting upset.