Best Bet on UFC 204 Main Card?
UFC 204 is headlined by a rematch between reigning middleweight champ Michael Bisping and former PRIDE/Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson. It's a rematch many UFC betting fans have been demanding for years.
Henderson steamrolled Bisping with a violent, some say malicious, second-round knockout -- a right hand followed by a supplementary forearm drop on his devastated foe -- in 2010. The Greco-Roman style wrestler was a force for a little while afterwards, conquering Rafael Cavalcante and MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in Strikeforce, but was a shell of his former self following a savage five-round war with Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in November 2011.
He emerged victorious in what some say was the greatest UFC bout of all time, to the delight of UFC betting fans, but has gone 3-6 since. KO wins over Tim Boetsch and Hector Lombard showed that Henderson still has otherworldly power against opponents against whom he can land. He can definitely land on Bisping, but at 46 his reflexes have decimated, and he's a lot more fragile than in his heyday.
Bisping is favored around -230 to win the bout. He's the pick but not the gravy train for sports bettors. The chance that "Hendo" drops the h-bomb could create nerves should Bisping toy with his arch rival.
Similarly so, Gegard Mousasi enters his co-featured bout with Vitor Belfort with a basketful of axioms. Belfort is not the same fighter he was a few years ago. Mousasi is younger and technically superior. He should win this fight and is an even bigger favorite than Bisping is over Henderson; hovering around -350.
Since the UFC imposed it's ban on Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) in 2014, Belfort has shown an obvious dip in explosiveness; dropping two of three since a 3-0 run which saw him stop both of the UFC 204 headliners and future champ Luke Rockhold. If he has regained his vigor for even a night, the BJJ and Judo black belt could destroy Mousasi.
The odds lie on the Iranian-born Dutchman landing the harder strikes, controlling the range, and beating a depleted former champ, but he has been sparked as well as outlasted and submitted in an otherwise impressive 6-3 UFC run. Belfort is a legend and if his body will put it in the motion, he can be a fierce opponent for Mousasi.
The best bet of the three main card bouts of which we know the odds is Ovince St. Preux (-160) over Jimi Manuwa (+130). It's a competitive match-up with a clear favorite in St. Preux.
St. Preux may be at a disadvantage in the power department against knockout artist Manuwa, who may benefit in morale fighting in his home country. Otherwise, St. Preux is a few years younger, a few inches taller, and well-developed in all departments. He also benefits from being more active and putting on a respectable showing against Jon Jones in April. Check the sportsbook for current odds.
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