Two of the most talented welterweights will battle it out tomorrow night for a shot at the title. Our ultimate UFC betting guide will break down the fights and predict the winners.
The UFC is returning to Canada this Saturday night for the first time in nearly a year. The fans in Ottawa are in for a treat as two of the most exciting and talented fighters in the sport are set to collide for a shot at the welterweight title. In the co-main event, fan favorite Donald Cerrone returns to action to face the resurgent Patrick Cote.
In this UFC betting guide, GamingZion will break down all of the main card fights and offer our predictions. Check out Bovada Sportsbook today, and place your bets!
Valerie Letourneau -175 vs. Joanne Calderwood +145
Letourneau and Calderwood are making UFC history by participating in the first ever UFC woman’s flyweight fight. This should be a good one, as both fighters are dangerous strikers with a never say die attitude.
Letourneau is coming off a hard-fought loss to strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in her last outing. She put on a gutsy performance in that fight, taking the champion the full five rounds and holding her own in the striking department. She is now moving into a more natural weight class, and will likely benefit from not having to cut an extra 10 pounds. Letourneau has wins over bantamweight fighters, and her fighting spirit is unquestionable.
Calderwood is a TUF season 20 alum, and has faced some of the best 115 pound fighters in the sport during her UFC tenure. She suffered the first professional loss of her career in April of 2015, but bounced back with a great win over Cortney Casey less than three months later. Calderwood has great Muay Thai striking, and will likely look to keep this fight on the feet.
Both woman here are primarily strikers, with Letourneau as more of a boxer and Calderwood more of a kicker. It seems unlikely that the fight will hit the floor, but if it does, it will likely be instigated by Letourneau. This is a tough fight to call on our UFC betting guide, but the higher weight class and crisp boxing of Letourneau should get the job done.
Prediction: Letourneau via Unanimous Decision
Olivier Aubin-Mercier -375 vs. Thibault Gouti +285
In a battle between Frenchman and French Canadian (man?) we have two fighters who desperately want to erase their past performances. Both men have something to prove here, which often results in a great fight.
Aubin-Mercier looked good in his three fights following his loss to Chad Laprise for the TUF: Nations finale. He finished two fighters with impressive submissions before taking a unanimous decision win over Tony Sims. In his most recent outing, however, his strong grappling was negated by Carlos Ferreira. That fight was likely a learning experience for the Canadian, and was perhaps the kick he needed to start fighting with a little more aggression.
Thibault Goudi is getting an opportunity here. The Frenchman started his career with an impressive 11-0 run in local European shows. His hype train was quickly derailed in his UFC debut, as he lost a quick first round submission to Teemu Packalen. Goudi has proven dangerous both striking and on the ground, and should look to follow a similar game plan that Ferreira took against Aubin-Mercier.
This fight seems like a prime opportunity for Aubin-Mercier to regain his footing in the lightweight division. His size, strength, and strong grappling should get it done here. Not to mention he will have the hometown advantage.
Predition: Aubin-Mercier via Submission in the 2nd
Steve Bosse -155 vs. Sean O’Connell +125
Sometimes you just want a good old fashioned brawl, and that is what we should get here. Bosse and O’Connell are known for throwing caution to the wind and throwing bombs. Unless one of them had a massive change of heart, that’s what we should get here.
Steve Bosse made a name for himself as an enforcer for the semi-professional Quebec Ligue Nord-Americaine de Hockey team. He eventually transitioned into boxing, and has not found his home inside MMA. Bosse is a true knockout artist, with 9 of his 11 wins coming via KO, and 8 of those coming in the first round. He will look to finish O’Connell early and often.
The American O’Connell has taken a very similar MMA approach to Bosse. Out of his five fights inside the UFC, two were the fight of the night. He has been inconsistent so far, going 2-3, but is always dangerous. Unlike Bosse, however, O’Connell has no problem grinding out a victory in the later rounds, and may try to drag Bosse into deep waters.
This is truly anyone’s fight. Either man could connect early and score a knockout. O’Connell has faced the tougher competition so far, and seems more willing to dig deep for the victory. Our real UFC betting guide prediction here? Don’t blink.
Prediction: O’Connell via KO in the 1st.
Donald Cerrone -175 vs. Patrick Cote +140
Many online gambling sites in the US are counting out Cote in this one. They shouldn’t. Since moving down to welterweight, the Canadian Cote has gone 5-1, with his only loss coming against one of the fighters in the main event. Cerrone has established himself as one of the most elite fighters in the world, but this fight will likely be more competitive that people think. Our UFC betting guide insiders predict a fight of the night here.
Donald Cerrone has gained the unfortunate reputation of a fighter that chokes in big fights. There may be some truth to this stigma, but then we’re only talking about the REALLY big fights. Cerrone has had some of his best performances in the main event of UFC fights, and will likely come into this one ready to roll. He looked great in his first fight as a welterweight last February, showing off an improved ground game. That could come in handy against the heavy handed Cote.
Patrick Cote is one of the true veterans in the sport today. Many people are unaware that Cote actually made his UFC debut all the back in 2004 against Tito Ortiz… At light heavyweight. He has now found a home at welterweight, and has looked great. Cote’s most recent two victories came via TKO from his notoriously heavy hands. Cote also has a strong ground game, but will likely look to keep this fight standing.
This will not be an easy fight for either man. Cote has shown an incredible ability to put away his opponents with his boxing, and against Cerrone that could be key. “Cowboy” has terrific Muay Thai striking, but has shown a lack of head movement in a number of his fights. If he gets careless here, his night could end quickly. With that being said, his dangerous striking and ground game should get the job done.
Prediction: Cerrone via submission in the 3rd.
Rory MacDonald -105 vs. Stephen Thompson -125
This is a fight MMA fans have been waiting for. MacDonald and Thompson are two of the most talented fighters in the UFC today, and are both in their fighting prime. It is a tremendous clash of styles, and one that could end at any moment.
Rory MacDonald is coming off what is unanimously considered one of the best fights in the strange history of MMA. For nearly 5 rounds, MacDonald and welterweight champion Robbie Lawler hit each other with everything but the kitchen sink. Eventually, MacDonald’s broken nose forced him to fall, but he earned the respect of any fighter and fan watching. MacDonald is a true mixed martial artist, dangerous in every area and tactical in his approach. If any fighter is capable of solving the Thompson puzzle, it’s MacDonald.
Stephen Thompson is a phenom. He may very well be the most dangerous striker in the sport today, and has slowly improved his ground game over the past few years. Thompson is currently riding a six fight win streak, capped off most recently with a TKO victory over former champion Johny Hendricks. The South Carolina born Thompson will surely look to keep this fight standing and at kicking range, where he is at his most dangerous.
This may be the toughest fight to call on our UFC betting guide. There are a million different possible scenarios, and both fighters are capable of winning in a variety of ways. Despite his incredible win streak, and insanely dangerous striking game, Thompson will fall into a Rory MacDonald game plan, and won’t be able to dig his way out.
Prediction: Rory MacDonald via 4th round TKO
What do you think? Will the underdogs come out on top? Leave your comment below, and check out GamingZion’s gambling news page to stay updated on everything related to sports and gambling!