UFC 185 is on Saturday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. This is the third time the UFC has been in Dallas and it won’t be the last time the UFC visits the Lone Star State. There’s a lot to be excited about, including two title fights on the PPV card.
Anthony Pettis is fighting Rafael Dos Anjos in the main event for the UFC Lightweight Championship, while Carla Esparza is fighting in the co-main event against Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC Women’s Strawweight Championship.
UFC 185 – Lightweight Championship Picks
- Anthony Pettis (18-2) –470 vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (23-7) +375
Pettis has dealt with injuries that has kept him out of the cage for long periods of time. He has only fought four times since 2012, but he’s 4-0 in those fights and all of the wins come by stoppage. Dos Anjos comes into the fight with a 3-fight winning streak.
This will be a closer fight than the odds indicate. Dos Anjos has an edge in TD’s and will likely look to take Pettis down. I’m definitely not going to recommend Pettis at –470. I’ve bet on O2.5 rounds (-140), although Pettis by decision (+306) is also tempting.
UFC 185 – Women’s Strawweight Championship Picks
- Carla Esparza (10-2) –160 vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (8-0) +140
Jedrzejczyk is 2-0 in the UFC and undefeated in her career, but this will be her biggest test by far. We haven’t seen much of Esparza, but she was great in TUF 20 Finale, as she beat Namajunas by submission. She’ll look to keep the title by winning on Saturday night.
Both of these women are great strikers that land a lot of punches, but Esparza mixes in a lot of TD’s too and that’s why I’ll be betting on her to win. Jedrzejczyk has a size advantage, but Esparza is a more polished fighter with a better-rounded game overall.
UFC 185 Main Card Predictions
- Johny Hendricks (16-3) -380 vs. Matt Brown (19-12) +315
I’m betting on Hendricks to win by decision at close to even money. Hendricks may be 1-2 in his last three fights, but his two losses were against GSP and Lawler – losses I’m not too worried about. Brown will have a 6’’ reach advantage, but that’s about it.
Hendricks averages over 2.0 more TD’s than Brown, plus Brown only has 65% TDD. Hendricks has a good chin, but he’ll want to take this fight down to the mat and pick up the win. His ML odds are real poor, but it’s most likely he’ll win by decision anyways.
- Alistair Overeem (38-14-0-1) –180 vs. Roy Nelson (20-10) +165
Nelson has been on a terrible run, as he has lost three of his last four. Overeem had a 2-1 record last year and with his power he’ll be able to handle Nelson. I can’t wait for this fight because both of these guys like to stand in the middle of the cage and bang.
The main reason I like Overeem is because he has an 8’’ reach advantage in the stand-up, which is where this fight will take place. He should have no problem keeping his distance from Nelson. I won’t be betting the method of victory market, but I’ll be on Overeem.
- Henry Cejudo (7-0) –600 vs. Chris Cariaso (17-6) +450
Cariaso is a fighter that has been fighting with the UFC for years, but he rarely gets a main card fight, especially on a PPV card like this. Cejudo won his UFC debut against Kimura by decision, but now that he has worked out the nerves he should be better.
Cejudo will be able to keep this fight standing up where he has an edge in the striking department. The odds are terrible on the ML for Cejudo, but I’ll be taking a shot and betting on this fight going under 2.5 rounds at +220, as I expect Cejudo to make a statement.