Last Updated: 2018-02-01
It truly feels like UFC never takes a weekend off. Even with Super Bowl LII drawing most of the headlines, Dana White’s promotion is busy down in Brazil with UFC Fight Night 125 with a main event between Lyoto Machida and Eryk Anders. Twelve fights are on the list for this event, which will be broadcast on three different networks, including Fox Sports 1 for the main card.
As always, we’ll be taking a deeper look at the main card fights, but we’ll hit all 12 bouts on the board with odds from 5Dimes Sportsbook.
A couple of promotional newcomers start us off in the women’s strawweight division when heavily favored Polyana Viana takes on Maia Stevenson. Viana is a -370 favorite with a 9-1 career record and all nine victories have come via stoppage. Her dominance including five first-round stoppages in her last five fights. This is a big moment for 35-year-old Maia Stevenson to make her UFC debut, but she’s just 6-4 on lesser circuits than Jungle Fight, where Viana has recent fought. This could be real ugly. The under 2.5 rounds is -105, so that might be the way to look if you don’t want to lay the big price on Viana, who should win comfortably.
Joseph Morales will give it another go in UFC following his debut win over Roberto Sanchez back in August. He’ll fight Deiveson Figueiredo, who is 2-0 in his UFC career with a couple of 2017 wins. Figureiredo is a -150 favorite in a flyweight fight expected to go to the cards. Neither guy has a loss, so somebody’s perfect record will be blemished after this one.
We’ll move from the digital Fight Pass network to Fox Sports 2 for a quartet of fights. Iuri Alcantara starts it off against Joe Soto at 135 pounds. Soto is a -120 favorite now because he has been the preferred side in early betting. Soto didn’t take much damage in his last fight against Brett Johns, as he lost via sub in just 30 seconds. Alcantara has dropped two straight fights. Is the 37-year-old slowing down? That’s what we’ll find out here, but betting action seems to indicate that he could be.
Another fight at 135 pounds will follow with Douglas Silva de Andrade against Marlon Vera. Vera is a modest -125 favorite for this scrap, which is juiced to go the distance at over 2.5 and -155. The 32-year-old Andrade came to UFC with a 22-0 record, but has suffered defeats in two of his four UFC fights. He tapped out for the first time ever at UFC 213 when Rob Font locked in a guillotine, so this is a big bounce back fight for Andrade. Vera is also coming off of a loss to John Lineker. Vera is a rightful favorite as the younger, quicker fighter with more UFC experience, but the underdog looks very live here.
Alan Patrick is a -230 favorite over Damir Hadzovic in lightweight action. Hadzovic lost his UFC debut to Mairbeck Taisumov, but bounced back for an early third-round knockout over Marcin Held. He’s really up against it here, though. The two have a matching loss to Taisumov, but Patrick’s only loss came in that fight and he has significantly more UFC experience. The 34-year-old still has some mileage on the tires and has won consecutive unanimous decisions. Expect the judges to be involved here as well.
Sergio Moraes will look for an upset over Tim Means to wrap up the FS2 portion of the telecast. Moraes is a +180 underdog in the first and only welterweight scrap of the evening. Moraes is one of several Brazilian fighters set to fight in Belem and he’ll also be looking to bounce back after a knockout loss to Kamaru Usman back in September. This fight presents some challenges for Moraes, whose chin was exposed a bit in that Usman fight. Tim Means likes to strike, with 18 KO/TKO wins in his career. He hasn’t had much luck finishing fighters of late, but the right shot can stun Moraes and the odds seem to be in his favor.
Anthony Smith (+230) vs. Thiago Santos (-270); Total: 1.5 (110/-130)
Anthony Smith is a very big middleweight at 6-foot-4 and has a long history of being a productive fighter. He already has 40 professional fights under his belt at the age of 29. Smith draws a very solid fighter here in Thiago Santos in a hostile environment, with a pro-Santos crowd on hand. Smith has won three straight fights by knockout, besting Elvis Mutapcic, Andrew Sanchez, and Hector Lombard in that order. Santos is a higher-caliber fighter, but this is a big opportunity for Smith to make a few waves in the division.
Santos also rides a streak of three straight knockout wins into this fight. He topped Jack Marshman, Gerald Meerschaert, and Jack Hermansson, all in 2017. This has been an important stretch for Santos, who suffered consecutive losses in 2016 to Gegard Mousasi and Eric Spicely. Santos is given another opportunity to keep that momentum going here against Smith, who is a powerful fighter, but doesn’t have the same technical skill as Santos. That’s why he is a clear favorite in this fight.
Pick: Thiago Santos
And why he should win the fight. Santos doesn’t have the same number of professional fights as Smith, but Smith is more of a brawler and a scrapper. When it comes to the more technical elements of the sport, Santos has those and he should be able to stay out of trouble long enough to take down this win.
Timothy Johnson (+140) vs. Marcelo Golm (-160); Total: 1.5 (-125/105)
Mustachioed heavyweight Timothy Johnson will square off as an underdog against Marcelo Golm, who is making his second career UFC appearance. If Johnson can keep up his recent rhythms, this should be a win, with alternating wins and losses over his last six fights. Unfortunately, that’s not how this works. Johnson is an odd heavyweight in that four of his last five fights have gone 15 minutes. The one that didn’t was his most recent KO loss to Junior Albini.
Marcelo Golm seems to be an intriguing prospect in the heavyweight division. The 25-year-old got his UFC shot after just five professional fights and he didn’t disappoint by winning via submission for the first time in his career. It only took two minutes and eight seconds to get Christian Colombo to tap. Golm now has six wins by stoppage and is a well-built heavyweight at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. There’s some intrigue about him in a division that could really use an influx of youth. Right now, the division is Stipe Miocic, Francis Ngannou, and a bunch of over-the-hill fighters.
Pick: Marcelo Golm
That’s a big reason why Marcelo Golm is the pick here. The matchmakers know that they need to get somebody up the ranks in this weight class. Somebody like Golm shows potential, with six wins, all by first-round stoppage. That’s the type of guy you want to build up and you do it with fights against guys like Johnson, who are somewhat noteworthy, but are inconsistent.
Desmond Green (+120) vs. Michel Prazeres (-140); Total: 2.5 (-230/190)
It appears that we’ll see what the judges have to say about the lightweight fight between Desmond Green and Michel Prazeres. Green is one up and one down in his young UFC career, with a win over Josh Emmett in his debut fight and a loss to Rustam Khabilov in his last fight. Green only has eight stoppage outcomes in 26 fights, with five knockouts, one sub, and two sub losses. The 28-year-old has 26 career fights, including stops in Titan and FFC, but he’s got an uphill battle to climb against a grizzled veteran in Prazeres.
Michel Prazeres has fewer career fights than Green, but he’s been at the highest levels for a long time. It certainly looks like Green presents some challenges, likely from an athleticism standpoint against the 36-year-old Prazeres. Prazeres has two career losses, both in UFC, but has won five straight fights, including two by submission. His ground game is quite strong and that will be the challenge facing Green in this scrap. After a long run of decisions to start his UFC career, Prazeres has locked in a North-South Choke in his last two.
Pick: Desmond Green
Isn’t this line a little suspicious? Prazeres has had his two most impressive performances in a while, has been in UFC since 2013, and is a modest -140 favorite over a youngster in Green? That doesn’t all seem to add up a whole lot. Prazeres is the smarter, more experienced fighter, especially against higher-level competition, but I can’t help but think there are some clues in this line.
Priscila Cachoeira (+600) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (-900); Total: 2.5 (115/-135)
Guess there isn’t much of a handicap needed here. Priscila Cachoeira is a fairly long flyweight at 5-foot-7, but her lack of experience will probably be her downfall at UFC Fight Night 125. Cachoeira hasn’t fought in any notable promotions and has really only been in very small, regional circuits. She’s a huge underdog to Valentina Shevchenko, a proven fighter coming off of a title fight loss to Amanda Nunes. It was a gut-wrenching loss by split decision and this may be a hard fight for Shevchenko to get fired up about, but she’s undoubtedly the better fighter. The only question here is how long this fight goes.
Pick: Valentina Shevchenko
Perhaps look to play the total to avoid laying -900.
Pedro Munhoz (+130) vs. John Dodson (-150); Total: 2.5 (-225/185)
Pedro Munhoz puts a four-fight winning streak on the line against John Dodson, who does not have a winning streak at all. Munhoz owns wins over Russell Doane, Justin Scoggins, Damian Stasiak, and Rob Font to push his overall record to 15-2. Three of those wins have come by Guillotine Choke, so Munhoz has really done an excellent job of refining his ground game in recent fights. This line does seem a little bit high, given Dodson’s recent body of work, so do a deeper dive on Munhoz to see why.
Because, quite frankly, I can’t figure it out. Dodson looked great in his loss to Demetrious Johnson in what was a great fight for the strap, but he’s 2-2 since then. He beat up Manvel Gamburyan in just 37 seconds, but his last three fights against John Lineker, Eddie Wineland, and Marlon Moraes really haven’t been that impressive. Dodson is only two years older than Munhoz, but if feels like the decline of his career has arrived.
Pick: Pedro Munhoz
For the life of me, I can’t figure out this line. Munhoz has two career losses and one came when he was a very late replacement for Francisco Rivera and lost to Raphael Assuncao, who was then the #1 contender for the title. The other was a controversial loss to Jimmie Rivera after a year-long layoff for a banned substance. Take a stab at the underdog here.
Lyoto Machida (+245) vs. Eryk Anders (-290); Total: 2.5 (165/-190)
Sharp money seems to be driving up the juice on the under 2.5 rounds for this matchup between Lyoto Machida and Eryk Anders. These are two fighters going in very opposite directions. Machida, an early legend of the sport, is done. He’s lost four of his last five fights and showed very little in his matchup against Derek Brunson after a 28-month layoff. This is one of those legacy fights, so Machida can go out with a fight in his native country.
Eryk Anders only has two career UFC fights, but he’s 2-0 and hasn’t lost in 10 professional scraps. The 30-year-old has the chance to scratch a big-name opponent off of his resume, but this really shouldn’t be much of a test. Machida is well past his prime and Anders has clear advantages in terms of quickness and striking power. This will be the first fight for Anders outside of the United States. Being out of his element may be a challenge, especially against a revered fighter like Machida, but we’re really grasping at straws to make a case for Machida at that point.
Pick: Eryk Anders
Who knows what the ceiling is like for Eryk Anders, but he should knock off a big name here. The expectation appears to be that Anders will knock out Machida, so lower the juice a bit by taking Anders inside the distance at one of the books that offers those alternative betting methods.
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