UFC Fight Night 116 – Betting Tips and Value Picks

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Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold is putting his Zoolander aspirations on hold and finally coming back to the octagon. It’s about damn time too. After losing the title in a shocking upset loss to Michael Bisping, the AKA rep sat out for more than a year with an extreme case of butthurt, lashing out against his employers about the general state of the middleweight division.

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This Saturday, the No. 3 Rockhold will meet two-division WSOF champion David Branch in the main event of UFC Fight Night 116 in Pittsburgh. Who knows what’s in store for the winner, as Bisping is slated to face Georges St. Pierre and interim champ Robert Whittaker likely has next.

The co-main event features “Platinum” Mike Perry, a one-punch knockout artist with a mean mug that would make Nick Diaz proud. There’s definitely a star quality to Perry, who loves to talk shit and throw down. Matching him up with former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves, a potent Muay Thai fighter, promises all sorts of violence.

Also on the card are human blitzkreig Hector Lombard, undefeated Gregor Gillespie and lightweight prospect Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman. Let’s take a look at the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu and pick the best plays.


Luke Rockhold -450 vs. David Branch +335

Over/under 2.5 rounds, over -130, under +100

Common Sense Says…

The odds tell the story: Rockhold is just a better all-around fighter. No disrespect to Branch, who definitely belongs back in the UFC and not a tanking organization like WSOF, but his grinding style isn’t gonna cut it against a bigger, more dynamic offensive fighter. If this stays on the feet, Rockhold lights him up with kicks. If it goes to the ground, Branch gets turned into a pretzel by one of the best submission fighters in the business.

How You Should Bet

Two options here: parlay Rockhold to win or take the rounds over. Branch is taking a big step up in competition, but he’s experienced enough to hold out past the midway point of a five-rounder. However, our call is to play it safe and lay the price on Rockhold. It’s highly unlikely he gets upset in consecutive fights.

Our pick: Parlay Rockhold to win at -400


Mike Perry vs. Alex Reyes

Odds coming soon!

Common Sense Says…

Seriously, eff Hurricane Irma. In addition to the general havoc the storm is wreaking, the massive toilet swirl has stranded Thiago Alves in Florida. So instead of a rad striking matchup between two striking butchers, “Platinum” Mike Perry meets Alex Reyes, whose making his debut on just three days notice. As if facing an stone cold knockout artist in his first UFC fight wasn’t hard enough, Reyes will be moving up a weight class to do the promotion a solid.

How You Should Bet

Just go all in on Perry or take the under. Props to Reyes for stepping up, but the dude is seriously outgunned here.

Our Pick: Perry to win  


Hector Lombard -115 vs. Anthony Smith -115

Over/under 1.5 rounds, over -130, under +100

Common Sense Says…

Lombard is a one-round fighter with a scary Hulk smash mode, but guys have been wising up to the fact that he’s burnt toast once he punches himself out. The Cuban has been getting better at conserving his energy, but Anthony Smith definitely will definitely try to tax it with a series of clinches and dirty boxing against the fence. Still, Smith is the type of mid-level opponent that Lombard used to feast on, so this is a tough pick.

How You Should Bet

Smith isn’t fast or explosive, but he is good at outlasting opponents and taking advantage of tired fighters. That will likely be the case here.

Our Pick: Smith to win at -115

Quick Hits

Gregor Gillespie -425 vs. Jason Gonzalez +310

An undefeated prospect, Gillespie’s high ceiling makes him a massive favorite over Jason Gonzalez – who actually isn’t a bad underdog at +310.  But the rounds under at +125 is a better play. Gonzalez has gone to a third round just once in 14 fights, while Gillespie has authored seven first-round finishes in nine career wins.

Kamaru Usman -600 vs. Sergio Moraes +425

Usman was already a good wrestle-boxer, and now he’s turning into a very good kickboxer under Henri Hooft. Moraes does pose a threat with his world-class jiu-jitsu, but at 35 he’s already on the decline and will have to work too hard just to get it to the mat. Lay the price on Usman to win.

To check out the latest UFC Fight Night 116 betting odds comparison, click here.

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Abe first encountered MMA in 2000, watching a VHS tape of Kazushi Sakuraba kicking the legs of a downed Royce Gracie in Pride Fighting Championships. He's been hooked ever since. Abe has penned NBA and NFL articles for Sports Illustrated and RotoExperts. In 2010, Abe signed on as the lead MMA writer for BigOnSports.com, and is now dedicated to helping fellow fans beat the odds.