UFC Picks on Fox 21: Demian Maia vs. Carlos Condit

UFC Picks: UFC Betting Odds for Fall 2016 Biggest Fights

This Saturday’s UFC on FOX 21 main event between welterweight contenders Demian Maia and Carlos Condit is the type of fight that made MMA fans fall in love with the sport in the first place.

Let’s go back to UFC 1, a no-rules, no-holds-barred event that was basically a real life version of Bloodsport. Boxing vs. Tae Kwan Do! Wrestling vs. Karate! Which style would reign supreme? The result was colorfully brutal: a sumo wrestler had a tooth kicked into the second row. Art Jimmerson famously stepped into the cage wearing one boxing glove. And a young Royce Gracie smothered all comers and brought Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the masses.

UFC Fight Card: UFC On Fox 21

MMA has evolved. The new generation of fighters train in all disciplines from Day 1, and bouts these days are a ballet of well-rounded skill. But every so often, we get a throwback matchup that takes us back decades – back when it was all about fighting style.

That’s the beauty of Condit vs. Maia. It’s a tilt that pits Condit’s high-volume striking arsenal against Maia’s suffocating jiu-jitsu. Welterweight GOAT Georges St. Pierre rated Condit as his most dangerous opponent because of his unpredictability, and there is a general consensus among fighters that Maia is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners ever to have stepped into the octagon.

Let’s take a look at the main card and make a few quick picks. All odds are courtesy of BookMaker.eu. Please note, BookMaker Sportsbook updates their odds on a daily basis, so the lines listed below are subject to change.

Carlos Condit (-120) vs Demian Maia (+100)

ufc-on-fox-21-condit-vs-maia-fight-oddsUFC Betting Value:

When a matchup is this close, it’s smart to fade the favorite and take your chances on the underdog. Maia at even money is a fantastic value. He comes into the bout on the strength of a five-fight winning streak, and that includes all-out smotherings of Neil Magny and Gunnar Nelson – who are both better wrestlers than Condit.

I can understand the argument for Condit as well. So if you’re wearing about picking a winner, the over on 3.5 rounds at -130 is a great play. Maia has only been stopped once before the final frame, and Condit hasn’t been finished in 11 years.

Our UFC Odds Picks: $100 on Maia to win $100 and $130 on the under to win $100


Anthony Pettis (-167) vs Charles Oliveira (+142)

ufc-on-fox-21-fight-oddsUFC Betting Value:

It’s time to stop giving Pettis mulligans for how good he could be and instead realize the fighter he is now. We all fell in love with his supreme athleticism and creativity. But the reality is that he’s been outstruck, outwrestled or just plain beat up in one way or another for three consecutive fights.

Moving down to featherweight should be an improvement, but that doesn’t fix the serious holes in his defensive wrestling. And Oliveira is a huge featherweight with serious grappling skill. Eddie Alvarez laid out a simple gameplan for “Do Bronx”: keep Pettis pressed against the cage and drag him to the ground. At +142, the Brazilian is a good play in the fight odds.

Our UFC Odds Pick: $100 on Oliveira to win $142


Paige VanZant (-195) vs Bec Rawlings (+165)

ufc-on-fox-21-fight-odds-vansantUFC Betting Value:

Like many of her peers, I’m not convinced that Paige VanZant’s skills justify her popularity. She has loads of potential, but is still extremely raw. We’re not betting on what she might become in a few years. Still, she racked up a few impressive wins against mid-tier fighters like Bec Rawlings through aggression and activity alone.

Instead of improving the giant flaws in her game exposed by Rose Namajunas, PVZ competed on the last season of Dancing With the Stars. Rawlings, in the meantime, has been in the gym getting better. However, we don’t know how the TUF 20 alum will hold up against VanZant’s relentless pressure.

What we do know is that it’s tougher for women in lighter weight classes to score knockouts. They just don’t have as much pop in their punches. That makes the safest bet her the over at -265. It’s expensive, so don’t hesitate to parlay it with another wager.

Our UFC Odds Pick: Parlay the over with another bet


Jim Miller (+120) vs Joe Lauzon (-140)


UFC Betting Value:

Honestly, just sit back and enjoy the ride. The last time these two met, they produced the 2012 Fight of the Year with a brutal, blood-soaked thriller. But neither man is the same fighter they were four years ago, and both have declined to a point of upper mediocrity. Call this a battle of high-level gatekeepers.

If you’re going to make a pick, the over on 2.5 rounds at -115 is probably the way to go. Both men are tough, experienced fighters who have lost a step and a smidge of power. They’ll likely gut it out to the final bell.

Our UFC Odds Pick: $115 on the over to win $100

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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.