UFC Betting Tips: UFC 235
The greatest fighter to step into the cage is back with a quick turnaround against number #3 ranked Anthony Smith for the light heavyweight strap. UFC 235 takes place March 2, at the T Mobile Arena, Nevada. It's a stacked card from top to bottom with big names and ranked opponents gracing the main card. The welterweight title is also on the line when Tyron Woodley takes on wrestling phenom Kamaru Usman in a fight that has seen a heated rivalry from the start. Ben Askren also makes his UFC debut after years of jousting with UFC president Dana White. The Olympic wrestler finally get his chance to prove himself under the UFC banner against former champion Robbie Lawler.
The Bet UK MMA and UFC tipster is back and with an average 70% hit rate, he's going for the full house in his UFC 235 betting guide. He will also be providing his UFC treble using Bet UK's UFC betting odds.
Jon Jones (c) vs. Anthony Smith
Jon Jones has had more problems out of the Octagon than inside it. It has been controversary on top of controversary for the pound for pound king but with a fast turnaround from the win over Gustafsson in December he's looking to pull together a consistant run. Although Jones has a loss on his record he's never been beaten, only disqualified. He's hailed as the greatest fighter to ever step foot in the cage and we can't argue with him. Raw talent meets aggression mixed with a fight IQ better than anyone on the roster. He's not even been troubled in the cage, which begs the question, is there anyone in the UFC that can even come close? Anthony Smith thinks so. A tough fighter from Nebraska who believes Jones is the better athlete but he's the better fighter... The same philosophy that Dan Hardy had when he fought GSP and that didn't go down well when he was beaten easily throughout the five rounds. Smith has a couple of notable scalps under his belt namely Hector Lombard and Volkan Oezdemir, along with big names like Rua and Evans who are in the twilight of their careers. But Smith has good hands, he's aggressive and not afraid to make the fight ugly. Jones hasn't really been forced to fight yet, no one can get close, so if Smith can make the fight ugly anything can happen. However, in this case I am backing Jones to finish the fight in the first three rounds. Jones is bigger, stronger, faster and has more experience fighting elite athletes. I see this fight as a cub being fed to a lion here.
Tyron Woodley (c) vs. Kamaru Usman
This is perhaps the most anticipated fight at UFC 235 mainly because of the heated rivalry but also because Woodley is a UFC 'heel' he's not well liked. But he's one of the most dominant champions in the UFC and that's a fact. Woodley has had 12 fights in the UFC and has only lost twice he's defended the title four times since beating Lawler for the strap in 2016. Woodley has one the best takedown defence records at 94% throughout his career and with 7 KO/TKOs in 19 wins with a 2.92 significant strikes landed per minute this suggests he's always a strike away from the knockout blow. The takedown defence will be key in this fight given that Usman is a quality wrestler with 100% takedown defence and he lands 5 takedowns on average per fight, plus he has a higher strikes output per minute with 3.93 significant strikes landed per minute. Usman is riding a 13-fight winning streak, he's unbeaten in the UFC. He's not fought the names of Woodley but he can only beat what's in front of him. As much as it pains me to say it, Woodley is a winner, he doesn't mind making the fight boring or slowing down the pace, he'll do whatever it takes to get the job done. Love him or hate him he's the real deal. Both are strong wrestlers but Woodley has the advantage in the striking department.
Robbie Lawler vs. Ben Askren
This is another intriguing fight with loud-mouth Ben Askren making his debut in the UFC after spending his whole career working the international circuit. He's one of the most decorated wrestlers in the USA with numerous gold medals and accolades as well as being an Olympic silver medalist. Askren is undefeated in 19 MMA fights but the elephant in the room is clearly the fact he's not been fighting elite level opponents. The UFC is the main stage for elite level opponents and although there are some great strikers in ONE FC and MMA fighters at Bellator, the best of the best are in the UFC. Askren likes to break his opponents, he will always look for the takedown over and over again. Robbie Lawler is a former UFC champion with a win over some of the best fighters in MMA today including Donald Cerrone and Carlos Condit. Lawler is coming off a long layoff after injury so it's unknown how much that may affect him, it's been over a year since he lost against Rafael Dos Anjos. Lawler's takedown defence is at 69% so it's almost certain that Askren does have the skills to take him down. For Lawler the main points are the gameplan, the fitness and can he catch Askren coming in for the shot? My answer is yes. Lawler will be aggressive, he'll show the knee and has the power to knockout Askren out. Lawler also comes into the fight as an underdog, which is very surprising from someone who has followed the sport for 15 years.
Tecia Torres vs. Weili Zhang
Tecia Torres has a range of skills, she can strike, wrestle and has a good submission game. Toress is accurate with her strikes and has won 90% of her fights by decision. She has a 10-3 record but she is coming off two losses in the UFC against top opposition. She is well conditioned to last the full three rounds with high output but it doesn't seem as though she will be knocking anyone out. Her opponent has a record of 18-1 and more aggressive and powerful, yet not as accurate. She has won 50% of fights by KO and hasn't lost since her pro debut in 2013. The wrestling and power goes to Zhang and I believe this will be her 19th victory.
Cody Garbrandt vs. Pedro Munhoz
Garbrandt's only losses have come in his last two fights against former friend and teammate TJ Dillashaw. Before that he was 11 fights undefeated and UFC bantamweight champion. He's a young fighter with plenty of aggression and tons of knockout power with 9 of his 11 wins coming by TKO/KO. His boxing skills are some of the best in the lower weight classes if not the whole UFC and he has an excellent wrestling pedigree. The only issue is that he can get too aggressive and leave his chin out, which he found out against Dillashaw. I think Garbrandt is one of the brightest prospects in the UFC but he has to start to put another winning run together. Munhoz is a solid fighter with a 17-3 record winning six of his last seven. Munhoz is a busy fighter with 5.02 significant strikes landed per minute on average, he's an aggressive volume fighter who lands about 84% of strikes. This is a great fight and my pick for fight of the night. The question is how much has the two knockout losses affected Garbrandt and his confidence? He might be a little more cautious than usual but that isn't always a bad thing. The hand speed and power of a vintage Garbrandt will win this fight.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting correct at the time of writing.
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UFC 235 Treble, £10 max bet.