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UFC 165 Picks: Jones vs. Gustafsson

UFC 165 will be held at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada on Saturday night. The fight card looks like it will provide a lot of entertainment, as there are two title fights plus we get to see some intriguing prospects such as the Russian Nurmagomedov.

Alexander Gustafsson will get his shot to try and win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against Jon Jones. Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland will also fight for the interim UFC Bantamweight Championship, as Dominick Cruz is sitting out with an injury still.

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UFC 165 Main Event Odds & Predictions

· Jon Jones –900 vs. Alexander Gustafsson –700

Jon Jones (18-1) is a machine in the cage and it’s hard to imagine him losing to Alexander Gustafsson (15-1). He hasn’t been taken down in his career and he defends 67% of the strikes against him. Gustafsson’s only chance is knocking him out with a huge punch.

Jones has a 7’’ reach advantage and he should be able to dominate this fight. Gustafsson has 1 career loss at UFC 112, which was by submission against Phil Davis. The odds are too short to bet Jones SU, but you can get him to win by submission at +145 odds.

UFC 165 Main Card Odds & Predictions

· Renan Barao –660 vs. Eddie Wineland +540

Renan Barao (30-1) has been unstoppable for years now and he has some big wins in his career. Eddie Wineland (20-8-1) came over from WEC and was quickly pitted against top competition. He lost his first two UFC fights against Faber and Benavidez.

He has since won two fights and now he’ll get a chance to win the interim title. However, Barao is simply too well rounded to lose in this fight. Barao lands more strikes, absorbs fewer strikes, averages more takedowns and attempts more submissions.

· Matt Mitrione –110 vs. Brendan Schaub +100

Brendan Schaub (9-3) looked better in his last fight, which he won by decision against Lavar Johnson. However, Schaub played it very safe in that fight and was lucky Johnson had no answer for him. I can see this fight ending one way only and that’s by TKO/KO.

Nelson has knocked Mitrione out once while Schaub has been knocked out 3 times in his career. Mitrione has to make sure that he doesn’t end up on his back in this fight, but if it remains standing I expect him to win. I’ll be betting him SU at –110 odds.

· Constantinos Philippou –175 vs. Francis Carmont +165

Costas Philippou (12-2) is 5-1 in the UFC and on a 5-fight win streak, but Francis Carmont (21-7) should be his toughest test to date in the UFC. Philippou relies heavily on his stand-up to win fights whereas Carmont is able to mix it up a bit more.

Carmont also has a 5’’ reach advantage over Philippou in this fight. Carmont only absorbs an average of 1.51 strikes per minute while Philippou absorbs 2.55 strikes per minute. His reach is a huge advantage and I can’t pass up the value on the Carmont money line.

· Khabib Nurmagomedov –230 vs. Pat Healy +210

This line was sitting at –180 for Khabib Nurmagomedov (20-0) for awhile, but now it has increased. Nurmagomedov is on a roll in the UFC with four straight wins and they haven’t been against slouches. He has torn apart his competition for the most part.

Pat Healy brings a solid ground game into the cage, but Nurmagomedov is simply too good in my opinion. This line should be higher. I bet Nurmagomedov earlier in the week and still recommend him. I took the ML, but the Russian by decision +155 looks enticing.