With this week in sports extremely light on action for online sports betting, Wednesday ramps up the excitement with the 4th edition of UFC on Fuel TV featuring a great middleweight clash between Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz (12-2, 7-2 UFC) and the undefeated Chris “The All-American” Weidman (8-0, 4-0 UFC). After this last weekend’s title defense by Anderson Silva, who emerge the clear owner of the UFC Middleweight crown after disposing of contender Chael Sonnen in just 2 rounds, the winner of tonight’s battle may indeed be next in line to get a crack at either Sonnen or possibly Anderson Silva. That should let you know just how much is on the line for these two fighters heading into this made-for-TV match-up this evening at HP Pavillion in San Jose, California, with the main card set for 8:00 PM ET.
This bout features an intriguing match-up of two former NCAA Division I wrestlers, with Mark Munoz being a national champion at Oklahoma State back in 2001, and Weidman coming from lesser-known Hofstra. The pedigree, both in wrestling and in the octagon definitely lies with Munoz, who has proven himself by moving to more of a striking fighting style with a ‘ground and pound’ approach that has seem him mow through some quality competition in the UFC. Munoz has thrown together 4 straight wins inside the 8-sided cage, but will present an upright approach to attacking his challenger this evening. Weidman on the other hand is much more reliant on his wrestling background as he comes into tonight’s fight looking for a 5th consecutive victory in the UFC. Weidman likes to go to ground, where he’s finished off half of his 8 opponents in MMA fighting via submission. While it should be expected that Munoz would try to keep this fight upright for most of the bout, Weidman’s advantage should lie with getting Munoz to the canvas and avoiding going toe-to-toe for too long. He’s a submission artist by trade, and has explosive quickness, which is certain to come in handy against the hard-hitting Munoz, who loves to do big damage with heavy blows in straight-up fighting.
What makes Weidman an intriguing pick for sports betting fans tonight is the fact that while he’s relatively unproven against top competition in the UFC, he’s coming up fast with some impressive recent wins and has the submission game down to an art. While Munoz is a great wrestler by background, he’s not as well versed at going to the canvas, preferring to trade blows stand up against his opponents. There is no question of who the better fighter is in an all-out brawl, but Munoz hasn’t really had to face a challenger who is so adept at getting opponents to the mat. Weidman could produce himself a victory if he can take Munoz out of his strongest element and force him into an early round submission. However, if Munoz is able to stay on his feet, and the rounds start to stack up, the odds have to start shifting in Munoz favor, as he’s proven to be a tough and cagey fighter that is able to withstand plenty of offensive onslaught. There’s no question that Weidman has to get away from going blow-for-blow with Munoz, and if he can use his skills that netted him two first-round stoppages in 4 of his UFC battles, this fight could be over in shockingly early fashion.
For the betting lines on tonight’s main event, Bovada sportsbook is currently given Weidman the odds as the favorite to win straight up, with -145 odds. Munoz, who in many people’s eyes should be the favorite by virtue of his stronger history in UFC fights (and who also has a 4-bout winning streak) is a tantalizing pick at +115 odds.
For the prop bets on these two fighters, much discussion has lay around whether this fight will end up going the distance, considering the two fighters’ background in wrestling, and a subsequently higher potential that a submission may come into play. For odds on the fight going the distance, Bodog offers -180 odds that it will be determined by a decision, and +130 odds that the fight will end before the final bell. With so much at stake between these two fighters, and both set to be careful through the earlier rounds, most MMA analysts have predicted this to be a bout decided at the final bell, and from what we’ve seen across the internets, most in the know are taking Munoz to be declared the victor.
That leads us to a very interesting wagering option taking Weidman inside the distance, which stands at a healthy +300 odds at present time, or by taking Munoz inside with +350 odds. With both fighters knowing they’ll need to make a statement tonight in order to fully lobby for a title shot against Anderson Silva in the future, will we see someone take some risks and go for a knock-out blow or a submission? We certainly hope so, as toe-to-toe fighting between two wrestlers who are both very capable striking fighters will only show off half the skills these two fighters have. We are beyond tempted, just due to the odds alone, to put a small money wager on Munoz as the harder hitter to finish off Weidman inside, and capture some great money with the +325 bet.
Make sure to also check out other match-ups on the card for UFC on Fuel TV tonight, as Aaron Simpson gets into a battle with Kenny Robertson, James Te Huna takes on Joey Beltran, and Rafael Dos Anjos fights Anthony Njokuani, all of which should bring their own intrigue into online sports betting tonight. Whichever way you wager, make sure to check out all the competitive odds at Bovada Sportsbook today, and good luck betting on the bouts!