International Fight Week is well and truly underway as the UFC showcases its third event of the week, after this is Glasgow, Scotland to round it all off with a much needed breather.
Midweek cards are never the strongest but this has some interesting bouts for betting on. I have picked out the two most intriguing fights on the card to focus on them directly. Let’s take a look at the odds provided by 5Dimes for some odds reminders.
Holm v Reneau:
Unbeaten prospect Holly Holm puts her record on the line with a second appearance for the UFC in 2015. With huge things expected from her debut expectations were a little muted as she fought to a split decision win over Raquel Pennington. Starting at a huge -1100 favourite it was expected that Holm would win with ease but the boxing standout made hard work of the situation proving that the level change wouldn’t be as easy as she once thought.
Marion Reneau has electrified fans since making her own debut; a one-sided battering of Alexis Dufresne. While true that Dufresne experienced weight cutting issues the manner in which Reneau lit her up over 15 minutes was extremely impressive. Following that up with a first round submission win over BJJ specialist Jessica Andrade put her firmly in the driving seat for a run at Ronda Rousey’s title. With Rousey cutting down the opposition as effortlessly as she does it’s not unlikely that a win could see Reneau jump the queue.
Since being signed this division has been psyching itself up for Rousey v Holm, it’s probably one of the most marketable fights left outside of Cristine ‘Cyborg’ Santos for Ronda, but it’s one that she may end up waiting for. Holm has a lot more to lose than her opponent; Reneau is 38 now and wasn’t expected to compete at this level being turned away from TUF as a consequence. Holm will need to utilise her boxing to keep Reneau at length and standing, if Marion can get this to that mat then this will be an enormous upset on the cards. Odds favour Holm; I favour a small play on Reneau.
Recommendation: Marion Reneau -1 unit at +175 (7/4) @ 5Dimes
Mir v Duffee:
UFC veteran Frank Mir managed to avoid the dreaded pink slip with his recent win over Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva in February. That first round win managed to arrest a four fight skid for Mir, the longest of his career, handing him his first win since 2011 in the process. Up until that point Mir has looked shot at this level, the only real surprise is how much more shot Silva looked. Mir isn’t really known for his striking or knockout power, but he did what needed to be done against a post-TRT Silva to retain his job.
Still the right side of 30 it seems strange to refer to Todd Duffee as being a prospect, but that’s exactly what he is. In a division where the average age is steadily increasing, with his counterparts closer to 40 than 30 Duffee remains lightly fought and still an unknown quantity. For almost two years he didn’t fight due to injury but it didn’t stop him destroying Anthony Hamilton inside 35 seconds and taking his run of wins inside the first round to eight from nine.
Mir isn’t far away from being remembered as a Heavyweight legend, and while still very tough to outmanoeuvre on the ground his chin remains his Achilles heel. If he chooses to stand and trade with Duffee then this only ends one way, but if he can take Duffee into deeper waters on the mat then he stands a better chance than his odds suggest. Personally I see Mir on borrowed time and think that a crushing loss may be enough to see him walk away. I am not sure that this will be crushing but it is very possible that it ends early.
Recommendation: Todd Duffee – 2 units at -190 (8/15) @ 5Dimes
The undercard isn’t strong but there are a few plays worth making for this week’s Parlay. I am taking Jessica Andrade at -345 (3/10), Sean Strickland at -360 (2/7) and Alain Jouban at -450 (2/9) for a +103 (1/1) treble for 3 units.