30th / 31st December 2016 sees the return of Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey in UFC 207.
— #UFC207 (@ufc) December 24, 2016
Champion Amanda Nunes (13-4-0) takes on former champion Ronda Rousey (12-1-0) in the main event of the evening in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nunez makes her first defense of the title she won back in July at UFC 200 when she submitted Miesha Tate with a rear-naked choke hold. The champion has been unbeaten in over 2 years with 4 straight victories including that dominant victory over Tate. Her loss back in 2014 was against powerhouse Cat Zingano who stopped Nunes midway through the 3rd round. Zingano then went on to fight the then Champion Ronda Rousey who stopped Cat after just 14 seconds in the first round. If that line of form is anything to go by then you would expect nothing other than a win for the challenger however…… You have to take into account Ronda’s devastating defeat to Holly holm who sensationally defied all the odds and knocked the queen of the octagon out cold with a huge head kick.
Rousey has not been seen in the octagon since that defeat which was the first of her career, 13 months out of the octagon is a long time and her media silence in the lead up to the fight has fans and experts speculating as to exactly where her head is going into this come back fight.
Ladbrokes are best price on Ronda @20/27 which is where our money is going, 6/5 is best price for Nunes with a number of firms. Another one we fancy is Ronda in round 1 which she has done so many times in her career, that can be backed @13/8 with Bet365 and Bet Victor.
Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz (22-1-0) faces off against Cody “No Love” Garbrandt (10-0-0) for the title.
— Cody Garbrandt (@Cody_Nolove) December 22, 2016
Cruz has lived up to his nickname having dominated the UFC bantamweight division for almost a decade, his only defeat was back in 2007 when he was fighting at featherweight, he lost to Urijah Faber via a guillotine choke, he has since defeated Faber twice since stepping up to bantamweight including in his last fight which was a unanimous decision to Cruz. Although Cruz is not known for his KO ability he is a craftsman around the octagon and knows exactly how to stay ahead on the judges cards, his quick striking and unique style sets his apart from any other fighter on the UFC roster. Cruz has missed many years away from the octagon due to injury but is trying to make up time and this will be his 3rd fight this year following his latest injury lay off. He won his title in January having previously vacated it due to the aforementioned injuries, he defeated T.J Dillashaw in a split decision. The challenger comes into the fight with a perfect 10-0 record of which 9 wins have come by way of KO. He has been very boisterous in the lead up to the fight and believes he can take the title away from the champion.
“No Love” comes off a very impressive 1st round TKO over Takeya Mizugaki at UFC 202 and he will be looking to do the same to Cruz to claim the belt. We think the challenger has a chance, we don’t think Cruz has the power to worry Garbrandt who could just walk through the champions attacks and get inside the reach of Cruz. Corals and PaddyPower have Cruz best price @1/2 and Garbrandt is best price @15/8 with Stan James which is where a small investment will be going from us. Garbrandt is @6/1 with Ladbrokes for a 1st round KO which could also be worth a punt in you fancy the challenger.
Also on the card:
T.J. Dillashaw V John Lineker – Bantemweight
T.J “Killashaw” Dillashaw(13-3-0) lost his UFC bantemweight title to Dominick Cruz back in January of this year but bounced back with a great revenge victory over Raphael Assuncao after Assuncao won a split decision in 2013 over the American. Dillashaw put those demons to rest with a unanimous decision in July at UFC 200. John Lineker (29-7-0) comes into this fight in a bit of form himself winning his last 6 fights with a number of performance of the nights and fight of the nights. He did fail to make weight in his last fight with John Dodson which was fought at catchweight (136.5 lbs), he did win over a 5 round split decision. We fancy Dillashaw might be a little bit too much for Lineker and expect him to edge him out in a points victory which can be backed @ 5/4 with SkyBet. Dillashaw is 4/9 with numerous firms to win the fight with Lineker best with Labrokes and Bet365 @ 2/1.
Ray Borg following 3 dominating victories in the Flyweight division but then suffered a shock defeat to Justin Scoggins in his last bout. He is ranked #13 in the flyweight division and he is set to take on the #12 ranked Louis Smolka who is also looking to bounce back from a recent defeat to the #10 ranked Brandon Moreno. Smolka will edge it for us in this one and is priced @ 1/1 with Corals to do so. Best price for Borg is 10/11 with Labrokes and Bet365.
Hendricks has had a tough time of late losing 4 of his last 6 fights however losing to Georges St Pierre and Robbie Lawler is nothing to be ashamed of, we fancy him to bounce back tonight against Magny who is also looking to bounce back from a defeat to Lorenz Larkin at UFC 202. You can back either fighter @ 1/1, William Hill have Magny @ 1/1 and Corals and Bet365 have Hendricks @ 1/1.
Antonio Carlos Junior is priced @8/11 most companies and Vettori is @6/5 with William Hills.
Thatch is best priced with Corals @1/2 and Price is best with William Hill @19/10.