This Saturday, featherweight contender Cub Swanson will step back into the octagon coming off an upset win over Doo Ho Choi – a scrap that turned out to be one of the best slugfests of 2016. Now ranked No. 4 overall, Swanson meets Artem “The Russian Hammer” in the main event of this Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 108.
It’s an interesting matchup – Lobov isn’t even ranked in the top 15. You’d figure the UFC could’ve lined up another top-10 guy for Swanson, who forced himself back into the spotlight after a Fight of the Year contender. Time will tell if the matchup with Lobov can produce anywhere close to the same excitement.
The co-main event is a notable lightweight tilt between scrapper Diego Sanchez and hard-nosed Al Iaquinta. Also scheduled to appear are John Dodson, Joe Lauzon, Jake Ellenberger and Mike Perry. Not bad for a FS1 card.
Let’s take a look at the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu – where you can bet on MMA year-round – and make a few common sense picks to earn you some cash.
Cub Swanson (+455) vs Artem Lobov (-600)
Over/under 3.5 rounds, over +130, under -150
Common Sense Says…
The natural reaction is to write this off at a stay-busy fight for Swanson. On paper, Lobov’s 14-12-1 record doesn’t justify a shot at a top-5 guy. And when you start looking at his competition, you really start to question Sean Shelby’s thinking here.
Lobov is going from wins over Chris Vila and Teruto Ishihara to one of the grittiest dudes at 145. If Swanson can beat dudes like Jeremy Stephens, Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira, he should be able to beat the Artem Lobovs of the world.
Our pick: Swanson to win at +455
Diego Sanchez (+315) vs Al Iaquinta (-400)
Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -150, under +130
Common Sense Says…
Nobody denies that Diego Sanchez is all heart wrapped in warrior’s spirit wrapped in steel cojones. The thing is, he’s the same fighter he was almost a decade ago – and now he’s 35. He’s still good enough to beat mid-level guys, but nobody would think he’s a contender at this point.
Is Iaquinta an upper-tier fighter? Before his two-year hiatus, he was certainly looking like it. He brings a four-fight winning streak into the cage, with his last win coming over current welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal. You’ve got to wonder how prepared he is though, as he was seriously considering retirement over lack of pay.
Let’s assume that Al Iaquinta is the same fighter at 29, in which case his technical power punching style should be the difference.
Our pick: Iaquinta to win at -400
Ovince St. Preux (-165) vs Marcos Rogerio de Lima (+140)
Over/under 1.5 rounds, over +131, under -156
Common Sense Says…
It’s impossible to have any faith in OSP right now – he’s lost three of his past four and was most recently upset by a UFC rookie fighting on short notice. It’s hard to tell whether it’s mental or he’s just going through a rapid physical decline. But the fact is that he looks tentative, gasses easily and is easily shook.
The UFC is absolutely giving him a get-right fight against Marcos Rogerio de Lima – an unheralded Brazilian power puncher. On paper, this should be OSP’s fight to lose given the level of competition he’s faced. But de Lima is an intriguing upset pick since he has the punching power to put OSP on his bicycle.
Our pick: De Lima to win at +140
Flyweight – John Dodson (-415) vs. Eddie Wineland (+325)
Lightweight – Joe Lauzon (+170) vs. Stevie Ray (-200)
Welterweight – Jake Ellenberger (+155) vs. Mike Perry (-180)
John Dodson only UFC losses have come against Demetrious Johnson and John Lineker – most notably because they were two guys that could keep up with his speed and return fire. Wineland is not quick enough to handle Dodson’s explosiveness. Dodson should take a unanimous decision.
Joe Lauzon is one of those fighters that can elevate his game against top guys and conversely fight down to an opponent’s level. Scotland’s Steven Ray can challenge him everywhere, but there really aren’t any big advantages in either fighter’s favor. Take the over in this matchup.
Mike Perry looks and fights like a badass, planting himself in the pocket to throw heavy leather. Ellenberger will likely be happy to oblige, but “The Juggernaut’s” chin is pretty much dust right now. “Platinum” takes this by first-round TKO.