Things are about to get noisy in Boise. This Saturday, the UFC is bringing a surprisingly strong fight card into Idaho with UFC Fight Night 133.
In the main event, we’ve got former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos welcoming WSOF champion Blagoy Ivanov to the octagon. Compiling a 16-1-1 record in WSOF, Bellator and regional promotions, Ivanov was largely considered one of the top 3 heavyweights outside of the UFC. He’s getting thrown right into the fire against a bomber in JDS.
Also on the card is Sage Northcutt, the uber prospect who has yet to live up to his massive expectations. The 22-year old karate phenom meets a mid-card talent in Zak Ottow, and perhaps his permanent move to Team Alpha Male will finally help Sage turn the corner.
Remember Chad Mendes? The former featherweight title challenger is back from a two-year PEDs suspension, but the division is far different from the one he left in late 2015. The 33-year old was undoubtedly one of the top contenders at 145 pounds, but he’ll have a tough comeback fight in Myles Jury, an underrated 17-2 fighter.
We’ve also go Cat Zingano, famous for getting subbed by Ronda Rousey in just a few seconds, along with Darren Elkins, the comeback king himself. Unfortunately, a fight between Paul Felder and “The Texecutioner” James Vick was pulled so Vick could face Justin Gaethje, but the card itself is still a very good one.
Let’s take a look at the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu and break down your best betting options.
Junior Dos Santos -180 vs. Blagoy Ivanov +150
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +165 / -215
Here’s the thing with Ivanov: he’s about to step onto a Level 90 battlefield after owning Level 40 dudes for a few years. It’s one thing to score wins over UFC washouts like Lavar Johnson, it’s an entirely different ballgame when you’re facing a dude with wins over guys like Stipe Miocic, Mark Hunt and Cain Velasquez.
At 5’11”, 250 pounds, Ivanov doesn’t cut an imposing figure as a heavyweight. Most of the WSOF guys he faced were shorter, burly dudes as well. Now he’s got to deal with true bigs like JDS, who is 6’4”, 240 pounds and an excellent athlete for his size. That matters a lot in the heavyweight division, especially with a boxer as good as Dos Santos.
Our Pick: Dos Santos to win at -180
It’s true that the Brazilian has never been the same after Velasquez took him to the woodshed twice. But by no means is he a broken fighter. Against a slower, smaller fighter who won’t be able to take him down or really threaten him on the feet, Dos Santos should have one of his best nights in years. The price is playable as a straight bet as well.
Dennis Bermudez -250 vs. Rick Glenn +200
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -280 / +200
This is a dark horse pick for fight of the night. Both Glenn and Bermudez are extremely aggressive fighters, with Glenn preferring do do his damage in close quarters with knees and elbows and “The Menace” bombing with hooks and kicks. Each fighter has distinct advantages as well: Bermudez is an excellent wrestler who averages 3.6 takedowns per fight, while Glenn will have a six-inch height advantage to work with.
It’s hard to pinpoint why Bermudez has lost five of his past seven. He’s just 31, does everything well, is a very good athlete and has power in everything he does. Yet opponent still find ways to consistently beat him, whether it’s by KO, submission or gutting out a tough decision. It’s hard to back a fighter like that.
Our Pick: Glenn to win at +200
This is a tough one. Bermudez has all the tools to beat Glenn, but always seems to get outworked somehow. Glenn’s got solid takedown defense and puts on a high pace, and that should be enough to squeak by a slightly declining Bermudez. We like the price on a 2-1 underdog like Glenn.
Sage Northcutt -135 vs. Zak Ottow +110
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: +100 / -140
Northcutt is extremely difficult to trust: even against dialed back competition like Thibault Gouti, he appears to have massive holes in his game. Gouti was able to drop him with punches and double-leg him multiple times, and he’s not really known to be an awesome striker nor powerhouse wrestler.
Out in space, Northcutt’s freak athleticism is lethal, but it’s doubtful that Ottow will oblige him a sparring match. Is he strong enough to corral the speedy sage, does he have the technique to keep him pinned to the mat? Ottow doesn’t have a dominant skillset – he’s just ok everywhere. But being tough and well-rounded has been enough to get by Northcutt before.
Our Pick: Northcutt to win at -135
If Ottow was a bigger underdog, we’d stick with him. But for now, we lean towards Northcutt, who undeniably has more potential than his opponent and has an affordable price. Plus, he’s been training at Team Alpha Male for over a year now, and that team churns out good wrestlers with assembly-line precision.
Myles Jury +140 vs. Chad Mendes -170
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -110 / -130
Mendes, another Team Alpha Male fighter, will have to overcome a Jury’s 7-inch reach advantage. But this is a short, stocky fighter that has been fighting taller dudes his whole career. On top of that, he’s thrived because of his frame. “Money” is one of the best punchers the Sactown team has produced, and he’s excellent and slipping into range and bombing away with knockout power.
But let’s not kid ourselves: Mendes makes his bread as a wrestler, and that’s how he needs to approach this fight. Jury is underrated for sure, and excels at popping off from long range. He’s also a strong wrestler, but Mendes is a former collegiate champion. Distance management will be key for Jury.
Our pick: Mendes to win at -170
Mendes might have some ring rust, but this is a dude that was only fighting top 5 guys before he left. He swears that the time off gave his body time to heal and rejuvenated his mind, and we’ll take his word for it. At 33, Mendes isn’t old yet and preps at one of the best camps in the country.
Cat Zingano -118 to win over Marion Reneau -112
Reneau is having a career resurgence at 41 years old, but that should end against former title challenger Cat Zingano. While Zingano comes into the matchup with three straight losses, her competition has been much, much tougher. Zingano’s physicality matches up well against Reneau, who needs time and space to operate.
Alexander Volkanovski -345 to win over Darren Elkins +265
Darren Elkins is tough as nails, but his five fight winning streak sunsets against the unheralded Volkanovski. At 17-1, the Aussie has shown top-10 talent in his previous fights, with a punishing mix of close and medium range boxing and a solid clinch game. Most importantly, he does not make mistakes, which Elkins relies on to pull of sensational victories.
Check out the latest UFC Fight Night 133 betting odds – click here.