UFC Fight Night 120 Betting Picks & Preview
By Adam Burke
After a thrilling weekend of fights at UFC 217, including a couple of surprising title winners, the focus shifts to UFC Fight Night 120, which features a main event between Dustin Poirier and Anthony Pettis at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia. The rest of the UFC calendar for 2017 is loaded with events and this is a pretty solid fight night card, despite the loss of the scheduled fight between Jared Cannonier and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
We’ll give an overview of the prelims and then focus on the main card with help from the odds over at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
This is a very big card with 13 fights. There are three fights on the UFC Fight Pass portion of the show, with Darren Stewart (+180) is a sizable dog to Karl Roberson (-220) to start things off in the middleweight division. Jake Collier (+190) is in a similar role against Marcel Fortuna (-230). Welterweight Sean Strickland (-240) is a clear favorite over Court McGee (+200).
The card moves over to Fox Sports 1 with a women’s strawweight battle between Angela Hill (-200) at Nina Ansaroff (+170). Remember when Sage Northcutt was the next big thing? Northcutt is just a -170 favorite against Michel Quinones, who lost his UFC debut back in late June. In the second and final women’s fight of the night, Tatiana Suarez (-275) is expected to take care of Viviane Pereira (+235) in the strawweight division. John Dodson is a short favorite (-120) against Marlon Moraes in what should be a good segue to the main card action.
Clay Guida (-125) vs. Joe Lauzon (+105); Total: 2.5 (-170/150)
Two very experienced fighters square off in this one between Clay Guida and Joe Lauzon. Guida has 50 professional fights and Lauzon has 40. Guida is looking for consecutive wins for the first time since 2011 when he beat Takanori Gomi and Anthony Pettis, who headlines this card, in January and June, respectively. Guida hasn’t won a fight by stoppage since that win over Gomi nearly seven years ago, so it is a little bit surprising to see him priced as a favorite here. He is still a savvy, experienced fighter, but each of his last four losses have been by stoppage, so he has been susceptible to some shots.
Joe Lauzon has alternated losses and wins over his last five fights, but each of his last three outcomes could have gone either way. He lost by majority decision to Stevie Ray back in April and won by split decision over Marcin Held in January. He also lost to Jim Miller by a split decision last August. It feels like an eternity ago when Lauzon knocked out Diego Sanchez at UFC 200. Lauzon is the younger, lankier fighter in this contest, which will be fought on the ground. Seventeen of Lauzon’s 27 wins are by submission. Fifteen of Guida’s 33 are from subs.
Pick: Joe Lauzon (+105)
In what looks like a fight that will mostly be a battle for top control on the ground, Lauzon should be the stronger fighter, simply because he is a bit younger and has been fighting some better competition in recent matchups. Lauzon also showed in that win over Sanchez that he still has a little bit of power. Guida hasn’t shown that same attribute lately.
Matthew Lopez (+275) vs. Raphael Assuncao (-335); Total: 2.5 (-240/200)
Matthew Lopez is 2-1 in his UFC career with wins over Johnny Eduardo and Mitch Gagnon after his promotional debut ended with a submission loss to Rani Yahya. Despite eight stoppage wins in his 11 decisions, this fight is expected to go the distance per the betting odds, which will be a test for Lopez against a more accomplished fighter like Raphael Assuncao. Lopez started his career 8-0, including several wins in RFA, but then lost that Yahya fight in his debut. Given how he has bounced back, and with his undercard placement at UFC 212 and UFC 206, there still seems to be a good amount of intrigue in the 30-year-old. Perhaps he’s a bit more of a live dog here than the line would indicate.
On the other hand, Raphael Assuncao has fought some extremely good competition and has had a lot of success against it. Assuncao is 25-5 in his career and he simply controls fights. Assuncao has only been stopped twice, once by knockout and once by sub. He’s got 13 of those wins himself. But, decisions are Assuncao’s thing now in his mid-30s. Assuncao is 12-3 in fights that go to the scorecards, including recent wins over Marlon Moraes and Aljamain Sterling. He took TJ Dillashaw, who just upset Cody Garbrandt last weekend, the distance at UFC 200 in a losing effort. Assuncao just controls fights and he should be able to do that against a less experienced combatant here.
Pick: Raphael Assuncao (-335)
This is chalky, but Assuncao looks like a parlay piece with some of the undercard fighters. If Lopez had more striking power and had shown it against better fighters, he’d be a lot more attractive as a dog, but Assuncao should maintain the pace and the balance of this fight and coast to a decision win.
Nate Marquardt (+240) vs. Cezar Ferreira (-280); Total: 1.5 (-200/170)
Nate Marquardt’s career appears to be in the sunset stage. The 38-year-old owns a 35-18-2 career record and has been a tremendous warrior for the sport, but things are winding down. This year, Marquardt has shown a lack of striking power in decision losses to Vitor Belfort and Sam Alvey. This is a guy who has had a stoppage outcome in 34 of his fights and has come out on top in 27 of those. Going the distance is not really his thing, but he just doesn’t have the punching power or the strength on the ground at this point. He isn’t taking on a very accomplished fighter, so the line tells you everything you need to know.
Cezar Ferreira is only 11-6 in his career and he has been knocked out four times. His most recent fight was a decision loss to Elias Theodorou back in February. Prior to that, he had won three straight, including nice wins over Jack Hermansson and Oluwale Bamgbose to bounce back from getting knocked out by Jorge Masvidal at the TUF 21 finale. Ferreira doesn’t have anything really special that stands out, but he has six years and some reach on Marquardt. A lot of people will probably see Marquardt as an attractive dog here, given that Ferreira isn’t really a finisher and has shown a weak chin at times.
Pick: Nate Marquardt (+240)
It’s worth taking a shot on Marquardt to see if he can turn back the clock. The 38-year-old has a long list of achievements over far better fighters than Ferreira. He may not have it in him anymore, but I’d rather take a shot on the +240 than pay the -280 to see it.
Andrei Arlovski (+240) vs. Junior Albini (-280); Total: 1.5 (135/-155)
Being this big of an underdog to a guy making just his second career UFC appearance is pretty significant. Andrei Arlovski is really stepping down in class in a big way here and his favorite is still priced at nearly three dollars. Arlovski’s last five fights, all losses, have been against Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Francis Ngannou, and Marcin Tybura. He was knocked out in three of them and forced to submit in the main event of the other. At 38, with 40 professional fights to his name, Arlovski may just be done, as this line indicates.
Junior Albini is 14-2 in his career and won his UFC debut with a pretty emphatic knockout of Timothy Johnson back in July. The 26-year-old last loston August 18, 2012 when he was forced to tap at the Nitrix Champion Fight 12 event. Since then, he hasn’t beaten any household names, but he has taken care of business in a wide variety of ways. Albini has six knockouts and six submission wins, to go along with two decision triumphs. He’s a versatile heavyweight and also 12 years younger than Arlovski.
Pick: Junior Albini (-280)
This looks like a swan song type of fight for Andrei Arlovski. This is a talented, but largely unaccomplished, youngster that he is fighting after fighting some of the division’s top names. If he gets dominated here, which certainly appears to be a possibility, it might be time to consider some other arrangements.
Diego Sanchez (+300) vs. Matt Brown (-360); Total: 2.5 (125/-145)
The line on this fight is certainly interesting. Diego Sanchez is coming off of a fight that may have exposed just how far he has fallen. The 35-year-old was knocked out in the first round for the second time in his last three fights. Joe Lauzon delivered the first one and Al Iaquinta delivered the second one. Sanchez has not won a fight by stoppage since 2008 when he beat Luigi Fioravanti at TUF 7. There are a lot of decisions in that span and a good chunk of them have not gone in Sanchez’s favor. You know it is notable when a fighter with a 20-16 professional record is favored by this much.
But, Matt Brown deserves it. The 36-year-old has lost four of his last five fights, but Donald Cerrone, Jake Ellenberger, Demian Maia, Tim Means, and Johny Hendricks are better than any fighters on Sanchez’s ledger. Brown has been fighting at welterweight since 2008. Sanchez is moving back to welterweight for this fight. That, in and of itself, should give Brown a pretty good advantage in this contest.
Pick: Matt Brown (-360)
Here’s one of those parlay pieces to throw with Raphael Assuncao. Brown has been knocked out in his last two fights and forced to submit in another. Sanchez doesn’t have that kind of striking power or that type of quickness anymore. This is a good fight for Brown to get back on track.
Dustin Poirier (+105) vs. Anthony Pettis (-125); Total: 2.5 (-115/-105)
Does the winner of this match get a lightweight title shot down the line? This will be the first fight for Dustin Poirier since his bout against Eddie Alvarez was ruled No Contest at UFC 2011. Poirier is 21-5 overall with a pretty good list of accomplishments at the UFC level, but Anthony Pettis is probably the most athletic and most well-rounded fighter that he has faced in his career. Michael Johnson might be the closest comp, but we didn’t get to see much from Poirier in that one because he was knocked out in the first round.
Anthony Pettis is fighting at lightweight once again. After an embarrassing scenario by missing weight against Max Holloway at UFC 206, Pettis is now fighting for the second straight time at 155 pounds. The 30-year-old is 20-6 in his career and needs to start advancing again. This is a guy that had title fights against the likes of Benson Henderson, Gilbert Melendez, and Rafael dos Anjos earlier in his career. This is a must-win fight for Pettis if he wants to sniff another shot at a belt. With three losses in his last five fights, Pettis should be as motivated as he’ll ever be.
Pick: Anthony Pettis (-125)
This one is pretty close to a toss-up, as the line would indicate. These are two very good fighters and this will be the best fight of what is a little bit of a weak main card, at least per the betting odds. This one could go any way, but with Pettis at lightweight again after a pretty convincing win over Jim Miller, it seems like he has found the right fighting weight.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
UFC Fight Night 120
After witnessing the greatest card in the history of mixed martial arts, it’s time to tape up the knuckles and dive right back in with UFC Fight Night 120 betting lines. This card is filled with lopsided fights, but the chances of the board going chalk is quite unlikely. So where’s the best value on a wide open card?
UFC Fight Night 120 goes off on Saturday night out of the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia.
Check your local listings and get your bets in early on Saturday at BetOnline.ag.
Dustin Poirier -103 over Anthony Pettis -117
Poirier was last out putting on an absolute show against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 211 until the latter landed some obviously illegal knees. To be fair, Alvarez couldn’t have known what position his opponent was in from his vantage point but we’re not here to discuss that.
The point is that Poirier is a gunner and his time is coming. There’s no doubt that Pettis is a great fight for him, but with a record of just 2-4 SU in his last 6, I don’t know if Pettis has anything left to truly offer.
This is an absolute toss-up worthy of main eventing a Fight Night card. While Pettis is the favorite, Poirier has shown plenty with his striking ability to wear down a guy like Pettis, who always leaves himself open.
Diego Sanchez +280 over Matt Brown -340
This is the first of many hail mary’s on this card. Matt Brown has simply done nothing to warrant odds this steep. He’s 1-5 SU in his last 6 fights and there seems to be too much at stake for Brown as this bout is slated to be his retirement fight.
Diego Sanchez hasn’t been a reliable bet in years, but has endured a weird trend over the last seven fights where he’s gone 3-4 SU and flip-flopped wins and losses. His last time out was an ugly KO against Al Iaquinta.
The truth is that at this point in his career, it feels like Brown has one foot out of the octagon. He’s a matchup problem for the smaller Sanchez, but there’s just no confidence in the corner of Brown aside from the heavy price the oddsmakers have placed on his head. Brown will flame out as he chases Sanchez around the octagon as The Nightmare finds some new life and continues his flip-flopping streak at UFC Fight Night 120.
Junior Albini -330 over Andrew Arlovski +270
The glass jaw of Arlovski doesn’t stand a chance. At this point, the beloved former champion is just collecting fight checks. Albini is on route to becoming one of the next big things in the heavyweight division, which absolutely needs an injection of young blood. There are plenty of fliers to take at UFC Fight Night 120 betting, but this isn’t one of them. Albini hasn’t lost a fight in 10 efforts dating back to 2012. Just sit back and enjoy the show that Ablini puts on with the always entertaining Arlovski.
Nate Marquardt +230 over Cezar Ferreira -270
The reason that Cezar is favored so heavily here is simply because of the matchup. Marquardt is a knockout specialist, and his multi-talented, Brazilian opponents is like a poor man’s, MMA, Swiss-army knife. As grizzled and battered as Marquardt is, the one thing he hasn’t been susceptible to in the octagon is submissions. The loveable bruiser has just two submission losses on his 35-18-2 record, and both of those date all the way back to 2003 and 1999.
It’s also been over eight years since Cezar knocked anybody out. The take down defence of Marquardt, combined with his ferocious knockout power make him a fun play on Saturday night. I always love betting on Marquardt as a stand alone proposition. There’s just something about him that’s easy to root for.
Matthew Lopez +270 over Raphael Assunção -330
Assunção is the better fighter, but he’s been curiously vulnerable in his last three fights. That’s included a loss to Dillashaw, which should evict no shame, with two split decision wins over Aljamain Sterling and Marlon Morales. In short, he simply hasn’t been all that convincing as a threat for the bantamweight gold despite heavy hype and some prosperous wins. In other words, there are openings here that Lopez can take advantage of. There should be a chasm between the two in terms of talent, but Lopez is a noted grinder who can absolutely expose Assunção’s flaws with his knockout potential. Again, I woudn’t go buck wild here on a spending spree but Lopez’s odds are just easier to digest.
Joe Lauzon +100 over Clay Guida -120
There’s no other way to describe this fight other than a “pick of passion”. Lauzon and Guida have been fan favorites for a generation, but both are on the downside of their careers. Guida is getting the nod here from the oddsmakers in UFC Fight Night 120 betting simply because of he’s coming off a win over Erik Koch. It’s impossible to say who the better wrestler is, but my money is on Lauzon. If your money is on Guida that’s totally fine. This fight is just too close to call. Follow your own instincts on this one.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
Fights to Avoid Betting at UFC Fight Night 120
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is heading to Norfolk, VA for the first time in promotional history with UFC Fight Night 120: Poirier vs. Pettis. The stacked 13-fight card is set to kick off with prelims on UFC Fight Pass at 6:30 p.m. ET. Preliminary action will continue on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m., with the main card getting going on the same channel at 10 p.m. If interested in wagering on any bouts for these fight cards, all betting lines are made available at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
My Fights to AVOID betting are:
Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis (-125) vs. Dustin Poirier (+105)
Gabe's Thoughts: I agree with the current betting odds in that this is more or less a coin-flip matchup in the UFC’s 155 pound division. Pettis is coming off a unanimous decision win over Jim Miller in his return to the weight class, while Poirier is coming off a No Contest against Eddie Alvarez. This is a very exciting matchup at 155-pounds and I find it hard to pick a downright winner. At the current odds, I see no betting value in either fighter, so I think this bout is best left alone at the sportsbook this weekend. It will be the front runner for the evening’s ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus, so perhaps it would fit best to just sit back and enjoy this main event, hopefully wrapping up a very profitable evening.
Gabe's Call: Poirier by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Gabe's Recommended Play: AVOID
Heavyweight bout: Junior Albini (-280) vs. Andrei Arlovski (+240)
Gabe's Thoughts: I think Arlovski holds value at his current asking price of +240, considering how inexperienced Albini is. Albini was a big underdog against Timothy Johnson, who he defeated by knockout, and he is now a big favorite over Arlovski. If he were facing Arlovski instead of Johnson in his UFC debut, I think he would have been the underdog there, as well. I can’t fault anybody for playing Arlovski here, as I think he has a decent chance to win. However, I personally can’t get myself to pull the trigger, because while I do think the fight is a lot closer than the odds suggest, I do think Albini comes out on top with an another impressive performance. It is also worth noting that Arlovski is coming off four straight losses and has his back against the wall heading into this one. I see this fight as a dog or pass situation and I am ultimately going to opt to pass. It’s best to skip this heavyweight showdown at the sportsbook this weekend.
Gabe's Call: Albini by T/KO (punches, 0:22 round 1)
Gabe's Recommended Play: AVOID
The administrator has disabled public write access.