UFC Fight Night 116: 5 Underdog Picks You Need to Consider

by Kevin Roberts
on September 14, 2017

Things are about to get rowdy in the UFC again. No, there hasn’t been any word on a Ronda Rousey return, but Conor McGregor will eventually be back in the Octagon and in the immediate future the likes of Michael Bisping and GSP will be hitting the canvas.

Before any of that happens, however, fans get to welcome an underrated UFC Fight Night 116 card.

This card may end up being a great spot for MMA betting, while a huge fight featuring former champion Luke Rockhold understandably leads the way. That is just one of many bouts that offer interesting value at Topbet.eu.

Of course, just how much value we can get our hands on is the real question. Ten fights lead the way for what should be an intense night of MMA action, but which upset picks could actually be worth your hard earned cash? Let’s find out:

Uriah Hall (+170) vs. Krzysztof Jotko (-220)

I am admittedly not big into Uriah Hall here, as the 33-year old kickboxer has experienced a rough three-fight losing streak. Then again, he’s not quitting and still believes he can turn his career around.

It’s not like Hall has been falling flat against scrubs, either. Gegard Mousasi was his latest defeat, while losses to Derek Brunson and Robert Whittaker are hardly embarrassing.

But can he fight back against the direction he’s trending in and take down a fighter in Jotko (19-2) that has yet to be KO’d? It’s a fair question, but Jotko is also walking into this bout with a loss behind him, as he failed to escape his most recent match with David Branch with a victory.

The odds are against Hall here and he hasn’t been able to finish matches lately, but he still has elite knockout power and is facing a guy who usually goes the distance.

That logically works against a win for him, but at +170 we can consider betting one clean punch ends this thing early and gets Hall back on track.

Felipe Arantes (+210) vs. Luke Sanders (-280)

The second fight to take a look at as a potential UFC upset pick this weekend is an interesting clash between Arantes and Sanders. The 11-1 Sanders suffered his first loss at the hands of the crafty Iuri Alcantara back in March but has otherwise been dominant with 6 KOs and 2 submissions.

Arantes (18-8-1) is far more experienced, however, and it’s worth wondering if Sanders could hit a dry spell after having an 11-0 run snapped. His work surely will be cut out for him, as Arantes has proven to be tough as nails (has never been KO’d) and might be the more versatile fighter.

Make no mistake about it, Sanders is still the favorite here, but with a +210 line, Arantes is an interesting underdog to consider backing.

Jason Gonzalez (+325) vs. Gregor Gillespie (-450)

If we’re looking at sheer fighting ability and odds, Jason Gonzalez is a fun upset try this weekend. Once we factor in the undefeated Gregor Gillespie, of course, things get a little dicey.

Gillespie enters UFC Fight Night 116 as a massive favorite, both because he has yet to lose and because he’s an elite wrestler. This puts any opponent in jeopardy of being punched out or submitted on the ground and that obviously includes Gonzalez.

The odds favor Gregor to stay perfect and maybe he will. However, Gonzalez knows how to strike early and doesn’t let matches go the distance (0 Decisions in 14 bouts). That means he’s going to fall victim early, or he’s going to shock Gillespie with his own ground work.

The fact that Gonzalez has finished every opponent he’s beaten shouldn’t be taken lightly.

It doesn’t make him the favorite, but it does make him a potentially sneaky play.

David Branch (+350) vs. Luke Rockhold (-500)

This isn’t the bout with the most betting value, but it ranks #2 for us and it’s without a doubt the biggest UFC showdown of the evening.

Luke Rockhold looked like a dominant force when he destroyed Chris Weidman for his title belt back in 2015, but a quick loss to Michael Bisping has made many wonder if he was as good as he initially looked.

That’s open for debate as Rockhold tries to work his way back up the ladder against Branch, but he’s a favorite because of his punishing fists and elite versatility. Rockhold can win standing up or on the ground, which should keep the underdog Branch guessing.

Does that mean Branch can’t win? Of course not, and he certainly has no doubts about what will happen. A stud in his own right, Branch sports a sweet 21-3 record and hasn’t lost a bout since dropping a Decision to the menacing Anthony Johnson.

Make it 11 consecutive victories for Branch, who fought more recently and comes into UFC Fight Night 116 in quite the groove. A versatile fighter as well, Branch hasn’t been KO’d or submitted since 2011 and after facing a long line of impressive opponents, he should be ready for whatever Rockhold throws at him.

None of this means Branch will win, but the UFC is built on massive upsets.

This is absolutely one to consider targeting on September 16th.

Sergio Moraes (+450) vs. Kamaru Usman (-700)

Last, but certainly not least, is this mismatch between Moraes (12-2-1) and Usman (10-1). Moraes has made a career out of the submission game and comes in pretty hot (hasn’t lost since 2012), but Usman has been a destructive force (5 KOs) and has one loss that dates back to 2013.

Needless to say, both of these fighters are in a nice groove and logically could be eyeing yet another win. That alone puts Moraes in the upset discussion, but there is more reason to like the 35-year old. The biggest is that while Usman is an athletic brute who can finish anyone with his punches, he isn’t nearly as versatile as you’d like.

Usman’s inability or disinterest in submitting opponents or at least diversifying his punches has led to numerous Decision wins. The big question is if he’ll just knock Moraes out early, or if Moraes can get by with craftiness and a fight on the floor.

Perhaps this all leads to another Decision, and if so, the odds do probably still favor Usman. The reality is that if this fight stays standing up, it’s Usman’s to lose and that’s probably what Vegas is thinking. He knows enough to keep himself out of jams on the ground, too, so a submission by Moraes (while certainly not impossible) probably isn’t happening.

Usman is the obvious pick, but boy, does Moraes provide an interesting upset case.

I’m not sure he can out-work Usman to submit him, but if this fight goes to the ground, his upset bid just got a lot more interesting.
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