UFC Fight Night Philadelphia betting preview

UFC Fight Night Philadelphia Betting Preview

UFC fans and bettors should enjoy this Saturday’s Fight Night card from the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as there is no UFC event the following weekend, which has been a rarity so far in 2019 with the new ESPN deal.

Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com

UFC Fight Night Philadelphia Betting PreviewThis will be the third all-time UFC event in Philadelphia and first since UFC 133 back in 2011. It’s headlined by a lightweight bout between Edson Barboza (20-6) and Justin Gaethje (19-2). Barboza is priced at -140 and Gaethje at +110.

Barboza is a 33-year-old from Brazil, perhaps the most MMA-mad country in the world and chock full of legends of the sport. Khabib Nurmagomedov is the lightweight champion and Barboza is ranked No. 6. He lost as a +340 underdog to Khabib by unanimous decision in December 2017 before the Russian was the champion. Barboza followed with a fifth-round TKO loss to Kevin Lee before bouncing back as a slight underdog and beating Dan Hooker by third-round knockout in December of last year. A total of 12 of Barboza’s victories are by KO or TKO.

Gaethje, a 30-year-old American who is a former WSOF lightweight champion, also ended a two-fight losing streak last time out. In August 2018, the “Highlight” was a +125 underdog against James Vick but won by first-round knockout (punches). A whopping 16 of Gaethje’s 19 wins are by KO/TKO. Both his losses are. He’s giving up five inches of reach to Barboza.

At middleweight, Jack Hermansson is a -130 favorite over David Branch (even money). The division champion is Robert Whittaker with Branch ranked 11th and Hermansson unranked. The 37-year-old Branch (22-5) is a former two-division champion in the WSOF (light heavyweight and middleweight). He’s 2-2 since returning to the UFC, losing last time in the Octagon (November 2018) by second-round TKO to Jared Cannonier.

Hermansson (18-4), a 30-year-old Swede, has won back-to-back fights. He took out Gerald Meerschaer by first-round submission (guillotine choke) in December 2018.

The top women’s fight is a strawweight bout between Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-155) and Michelle Waterson (+125). Kowalkiewicz (12-3) is ranked sixth in the division and once fought for the title, losing to Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 205. Waterson (16-6), with the terrific nickname of “the Karate Hottie,” is a former Invicta FC champion. She’s 4-2 since joining the UFC and is ranked No. 9.