UFC Fight Night 172 Betting Pick: Edson Barboza vs Dan Ige

Dan Ige is probably my favorite MMA fighter to write about. Look at that name! Only if they were all so simple. Shout out to the Joanna Jerdjzyczyk’s of the world!

This is a really interesting fight, here.

Edson Barboza has been a top ten staple in the UFC’s Lightweight division for a long time. He has pretty much fought everybody.

The 34-year-old Brazilian from Rio De Janeiro has been fighting professionally for over 11 years now and is coming up on a decade with the UFC.

He is now 20-8 in his career and has fought some of the best fighters on the planet at 155 pounds. Amassing a 14-8 record in the UFC, Barboza has been awarded a Fight of the Night bonus in 8 contests.

He has a Lumpinee Stadium-level switch left kick he throws to the body. That thwack has made its mark as the best in the history of MMA.

He also hammers the outside and inside of his opponent’s lead leg with chopping shots. His hands are, eh, but it’s his wrestling defense that has been his Achilles heel over the years. Kevin Lee, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Donald Cerrone, and Tony Ferguson all took advantage of this weakness.

It should be noted that Cowboy and Kevin Lee also fought at Welterweight.

What is the strength of Edson’s opponent this Saturday, Dan Ige? You guessed it. ‘Rasslin.

Dan “Fify K” Ige from Honolulu, Hawaii is 28 years of age and has been fighting regularly in the UFC since 2018. This will be his 7th fight with the promotion already.

He is coming off of the biggest win of his young career when he split-decision’d Mirsad Bektic. Bektic is a solid fighter but his skill set doesn’t mirror that of Barboza’s at all.

This is striker vs grappler all the way, with a twist!

BetOnline has had the best lines for both the favorites and underdogs since the UFC has returned. They see this as an opportunity to pull bettors in. That’s okay. If they want to lose, we got ‘em covered.

Let’s go ahead and finish this betting preview and make a prediction or two for the UFC Fight Night 172 matchup between Edson Barboza and Dan Ige.

Edson Barboza (-127) vs Dan Ige (+113)

I mentioned there was a twist, right? Yup. This fight is at 145 pounds! Dan Ige isn’t coming up in weight. Ed is headed south.

It’s a bold move at this point in his career but after losing 4 out of his last 5 fights at Lightweight, he and his team thought it was his best chance to be a world champion.

Now, I have never seen Barboza in person. I can’t really say how big he is. I don’t think he was cutting down from 190 pounds like Khabib Nurmagomedov. He is very very lean, though.

I’ve never seen Barboza fight without an 8-pack and serratus anterior development that rivals Rambo. I don’t remember him looking like death too many times on the scale but, man, another 10 pounds is going to be tough!

He is 34 now.

I’ll be straight up with you. If the weight cut goes fairly well and Barboza is minimally affected by it, I think he cruises to a win here.

Yea, he’s lost 4 of 5 but to whom? Khabib, Kevin Lee, Justin Gaethje, and most recently a split decision to Paul Felder and that fight could have gone either way.

Khabib is a nightmare matchup for anyone on the planet. Kevin Lee has the perfect style to beat Ed, and he couldn’t match the punching power of Justin Gaethje.

He does have a win over Dan Hooker in there, another excellent striker. Experience fighting athletes at the highest level of the UFC is not comparable whatsoever between Ige and Barboza.

Ige has been training with the Nurmagomedov’s for the past year or so and I’m sure Khabib coached him well and pointed out some of Ed’s weaknesses.

It is very hard, though, to out-wrestle someone 10 pounds bigger than you.

If you guys watched the contest between Ray Borg and Ricky Simon at Fight Night 171 this past Wednesday night, you know exactly what I mean.

Ray is the better overall grappler on paper and inside the cage. He took down pretty much anyone and everyone at 125 pounds before weight-cutting woes sent him up to Bantamweight.

Ricky Simon is huge for the weight class, though, and since they were both great athletes, the bigger man won the takedown war and eventually the fight. That was our smallest win of the night at (-152) but a victory, nonetheless.

This isn’t Dan going up, though. Ed is going down to 145. I still can’t wrap my head around it.

Could this be another TJ Dillashaw vs Henry Cejudo? Cejudo only had to touch the chin of Dillashaw once on the feet to get him out of there.

I worry more about Edson getting caught on the chin from a level change to overhand more than I am him gassing out.

Please Note:

I don’t think Ige is going to be able to walk down Barboza and consistently close the distance, though, without getting hit with a baseball bat or two. Even if he gets a hold to the Brazilian, he still has to get him to the mat. Easier said than done!

I mentioned all of the dominant wrestlers Barboza has fought and he still has an 80% takedown defense percentage. Over 22 UFC fights in the most competitive division too?! Amazing!

Dan somehow sits at a surprisingly low 28% takedown percentage. The weight cut is the only thing that makes this fight potentially close.

Barboza isn’t the type to get fat between fight camps but that’s a double-edged sword because he doesn’t have any fat to lose! Those extra 10 pounds will be all water.

Okay, I am beating this horse worse than Glover Teixeira on top of Anthony Smith. Famous last words from Lionheart to his cornerman last night: “My teeth are falling out”.

Ige doesn’t have a huge frame. He is very short and stocky. His arms are fairly long for his size but they still fall well short of Barboza’s legs.

I think either fighter could get the finish this weekend so I will stay away from the over 2.5 rounds. I will cap this one at (-180) for Barboza and it would be much more expensive if we knew the cut wasn’t going to affect him.

My Pick

In Conclusion

This one comes down to the weight cut.

Normally, I tell you guys to get your bets in now before the line moves but I think the smart money waits until after the weigh-in.

You can’t wait long, though. The people responsible for moving the betting line will have their finger on the trigger. If Barboza looks like warm death, I wouldn’t go and bet Ige. I would just stay away. We have plenty of other betting opportunities for you.

Over the past two events, we are 14-8 with a 51% return on your investment betting 1 unit for each fight. I am not entirely proud of this because I got lucky a couple of times and made some idiotic plays on Fabricio Werdum and Ovince St Preux.

Let’s just wait a day and when these guys weigh in on Friday morning, be watching. If the Brazilian’s eyes are popping out of his head or you see him uneasy on his feet at all, stay away. We’re going to see some sharp cheekbones but that’s to be expected.

Dan is a front foot fighter but the likelihood of him pushing back the bigger man who also has some of the fastest and most powerful kicks in UFC history is quite low.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.