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UFC Fight Night 49 Betting News and Notes

UFC Fight Night 49 Betting News and Notes

UFC Odds and Picks
By: Hugh Citron

LAS VEGAS -- There’s an early-morning UFC Fight Night card this Saturday from Macao, China, headlined by an interesting fight in the middleweight division between eighth-ranked Michael "The Count" Bisping and Cung Le.  Coverage begins on Fight Pass at 9 a.m. ET.

Bisping is about a -300 favorite, with Le getting +250 odds on the takeback.

While Bisping (25-6) has won just three of his last six fights, he could still make his way back into the middleweight title picture with a strong showing in this fight. His last bout was a lackluster performance against Tim Kennedy in April, in what should have been a been pretty easy win for "The Count".  Kennedy, though, was able to push Bisping into the fence and take him down and control the fight from the top position for an easy unanimous decision.  In defense of Bisping, he was coming off an eye injury that kept him out for a year, so a little rust could be to blame for his poor showing.

Throughout his career, Bisping has been able to beat the fighters he should beat and has been a pretty reliable betting favorite.  Victories over Alan Belcher, Brian Stann and Jason Miller are just a few of his good wins. The problem for Bisping – as with a lot of guys – is he just can't beat the top fighters he needs to beat in order to put himself in a position for title shots.  Losses to Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson have slowed The Count’s march towards the top of the division, and at 35, time could be running out for him.

Cung Le, now 42, is nearing the end of his career and surely would love to go out with some memorable wins. He’s won his last two fights, including a KO over former champion Rich Franklin in November 2012. But don't give too much weight to that win, as Franklin was a shell of his former self when he fought Le that night.

When Le (9-2)steps into the octagon on Saturday, he will have one thing on his mind: KO Bisping. Le, still one of the best strikers in UFC, probably will have little chance if this fight goes into the later rounds, as stamina has been an issue with him in the past and Bisping is known for superior cardio.  Also, it’s hard to imagine how a 21-month layoff can do any good for a fighter already in his 40s.

We’re never big fans of laying favorites, but Bisping is the way to go here, in what should be a very fast-paced, stand-up battle for as long as it lasts.

The undercard

On the undercard, Tyron Woodley is a -170 favorite over Dong Hyun Kim, who gets +150 odds as the underdog.

Woodley (13-3) really needs a win here to get back into the welterweight title picture. He was rolling along until a dull performance against another top contender in Rory MacDonald back in June, when  he lost a one-sided unanimous decision.

Kim has won four in a row but doesn't have wins like Woodley has on his resume.

The call here is that Kim’s streak ends on Saturday. Take Woodley as a small favorite.

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Re: UFC Fight Night 49 Betting News and Notes

UFC Odds and Picks
By: Hugh Citron

LAS VEGAS -- The second UFC Fight Night card on Saturday comes to us from Tulsa, with a huge lightweight fight between top-ranked Benson "Smooth" Henderson and No. 5 Rafael dos Anjos (10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1). Henderson, the former champion, is a -300 favorite around Las Vegas, with dos Anjos getting odds of +250 as the underdog.

Henderson (21-3) has been a mainstay at the top of the lightweight division for the last three years, and except for a submission loss to current champion Anthony "Showtime" Pettis back in August 2013, we’d be talking about Benson as maybe the best pound-for-pound fighter in UFC. Henderson has beaten almost all of the great lightweight fighters around today, including Gilbert Melendez, Nate Diaz and who will ever forget those two classics against Frankie Edgar, where he took and then defended the title.

Henderson comes into his fights in superior condition and almost always has a huge size advantage over his opponents. He can make the 155-pound lightweight limit perfectly, which affords him a great advantage once he takes down an opponent.  Against Henderson’s size and speed, it's very difficult for an opponent to get back up, and Benson usually wins those rounds.

Since losing his title to Pettis, Henderson has come back with two nice wins, one by a very close split decision over Josh Thomson, and then a submission over tough up-and-comer Rustam Khabilov.

For Henderson, the blueprint is simple: Get by dos Anjos and wait for a title shot, which could come early next year.

For dos Anjos (21-7), this a huge step up in competition. While he has wins over Donald Cerrone and Evan Dunham, he hasn't faced nearly the fighter he’ll be in against Saturday night with so much on the line. Appearing in a main event for the first time often gets to a fighter, nerves can get the best of him and they rarely result in a good performance.

dos Anjos did get a KO win in his last fight, in June against Jason High, and he may need to knock out Henderson here to have any chance.  dos Anjos seems to go the distance in a lot of his fights, a trait that doesn’t figure to help him here, as rarely does anyone get the best of Benson Henderson in the late rounds.

For a top-quality fighter like Henderson, this line seems a little low, and I expect it to go up before fight time, maybe as high as -400.  While we’re not big fan fans of betting favorites, this is an opportunity to get a fair price on a truly great fighter.

The lean Saturday night is toward Henderson to win and maintain his No. 1 contender status in the lightweight division.

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