The UFC 198 betting lines are set, and with only three days to go until the biggest fight card in Brazilian MMA history, it’s time you made your picks!
UFC 198 seemed too good to be true. No fighter had gotten injured in the lead up to the fights, a rare occurrence these days. Then, with only 4 days to go, the MMA gods struck and made gambling news when Anderson Silva was removed from his fight with Urijah Hall due to Chloecystitis. Even with that fight gone, this card remains one of the biggest in recent memory.
Without further ado, let’s discuss the UFC 198 betting odds for the five main card fights.
Warlley Alves -550 vs. Bryan Barberena +375
Warlley Alves has been nothing short of perfect since his time on the Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, Season 3. After winning that season against the previously unbeaten Marcio Alexandre Jr, Alves has gone on a path of destruction. He defeated Alan Jouban via unanimous decision in a back and forth brawl, and submitted his next two opponents using his patented guillotine choke. Alves looks to add to his unbeaten record this Saturday against the criminally underrated Bryan Barberena.
Barbarena opened some eyes in his UFC debut by defeating Joe Ellenberger via TKO. In his next fight, however, he struggled to find his range and got picked apart by talented striker Chad Laprise. In January of this year, Barbarena took full advantage of his opportunity against one of the most talk about prospects in the sport, Sage Northcutt, when he submitted him with an arm triangle in the second round.
Prediction: Bryan Barbarena showed his heart against Sage Northcutt, weathering an early storm to get the victory. Unfortunately, Warlley Alves is more technical in almost every aspect of the game. Alves by submission in the 1st.
Mauricio Rua +195 vs. Corey Anderson -240
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is one of the last remaining Pride FC stars still competing today. His career has been legendary, and is seemingly coming to its end. Rua still has some gas left in the tank though, and is still one of the most dangerous strikers in the sport. His KO wins over Alistair Overeem, Forrest Griffin, and James Te Huna sent shockwaves across the MMA landscape. Rua’s most recent victory over the equally legendary Antonio Rogerio Nogueria was one of his most calculated, and showed he can stick to a game plan.
Corey Anderson is thought to be one of the most exciting prospect in a weight class that desperately needs new faces. He failed to impress during his time on the Ultimate Fighter, but his performances inside the UFC (apart from a loss to Gian Villante) have been tremendous. Anderson is looking to continue the momentum he has gained over his last three fights when he takes on Shogun.
Prediction: UFC 198 betting odds have Shogun as a big underdog, and rightfully so, but despite Rua’s old age and notorious lack of takedown defense, he can win this fight. Anderson’s only loss inside the Octagon was against a gritty fighter that was able to chop away his legs with kicks. Shogun has some of the hardest kicks in MMA today, and will surely look to use them every chance he gets. Rua by tko in the 2nd.
Cris Cyborg -1700 vs. Leslie Smith +1050
For years, MMA fans have been clamoring to see Cris Cyborg in the UFC cage. Since 2005, Cyborg has gone undefeated, finishing 13 of her 15 opponents by KO. Her power is unrivaled in woman’s MMA. Her ground skills are no joke either, as she holds a brown belt in BJJ under Andre Galvao. Cyborg finally has her chance to make an impression in the Octagon against a tough veteran in Leslie Smith.
Smith’s record does not accurately portray her as a fighter. She is unquestionably one of the toughest fighters in the game today. Don’t believe me? Watch her fight with Jessica Eye. Smith has tremendous Muay Thai skills and utilizes her long reach very effectively. This could be key for her against the raging bull in Cris Cyborg.
Prediction: Leslie Smith is facing an uphill battle in this one. She is taking on a younger, more technical, and much bigger opponent. It remains to be seen how the weight cut to 140 pounds will affect Cyborg, but she seems primed to make a memorable UFC debut. The UFC 198 betting odds got this one right. Cris Cyborg by tko in the 1st.
Ronaldo Souza -300 vs. Vitor Belfort +230
Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza is a man on a mission. His last fight was a controversial split decision loss to Yoel Romero, snapping an eight-fight win streak and a guaranteed title shot. He now seems more focused than ever, and will look to get back to his winning ways against knockout artist Vitor Belfort.
Vitor Belfort is perhaps the most terrifying fighter in the sport for the first five minutes. Out of his 25 wins, 15 are via first round KO. His early career saw him utilize his blinding hand speed to finish fighters, but he has been transitioning into a more kicking oriented game as of late. His last four knockout victories came via head-kick, most notably against current middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
Prediction: In Souza’s last fight, he was dropped by a huge punch in the first round. He can’t make that same mistake against Belfort who will not give him the chance to recover. Still, Jacare is one of the most decorated Jiu Jitsu practitioners in the sport, and should be able to take this fight into the later rounds and get the victory. Ronaldo Souza by Unanimous Decision.
Fabricio Werdum -145 vs. Stipe Miocic +115
The UFC heavyweight championship of the world is up for grabs this Saturday when champion Fabricio Werdum takes on the gritty Stipe Miocic. Werdum’s career resurgence has been one of the most incredible stories this decade. After being cut from the UFC in 2008, he won 3 straight fights, the last of which came against arguably the greatest heavyweight fighter in MMA history, Fedor Emelianenko. He was brought back to the UFC in 2012, and rattled off 6 straight wins to become the heavyweight champion.
Stipe Miocic has kept a head-down mentality during his UFC career. He lost his 4th fight in the promotion to the talented Stefan Struve, and once more against the former champion Junior Dos Santos, before earning his shot at UFC gold. His last two wins were wildly impressive, as he battered the Samoan knockout artist Mark hunt to get a 5th round tko, and dispatched the always dangerous Andrei Arlovski in just 54 seconds.
Prediction: Both fighters here are on a hot streak. Werdum’s confidence is sky high after his win over Cain Velasquez, and will surely be looking for another submission victory here. Miocic is coming off the best performances of his career, and will try to push the pace and get the knockout. The UFC 198 betting odds reflect just how hard this fight is to call. Stipe Miocic by 4th round tko.
What do you think? Will we see a new heavyweight champion this Saturday night? Check out GamingZion’s list of online sportsbook including GTbets for the full list of fight odds, and leave your comments below!