| Fri 03/11/2017 - 21:44 EDT

UFC 217: Bisping a Solid Bet to Shock St-Pierre

UFC 217: Bisping a Solid Bet to Shock St-Pierre

Bisping vs St-Pierre Fight Card & Picks

The story of Bisping is a true underdog story. England's finest UFC fighter was a constant title threat but consistently lost big fights. Bisping was one the UFC's most dependable fighters to bet on or against: before 2016, all but one of his bouts ended with the favourite winning. The only outlier was a decision loss to underdog Tim Kennedy. Since the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) entered, Bisping coincidentally achieved his championship dream and has come through as an underdog twice.  

The Count was +590 in his championship upset win over Luke Rockhold and was +240 against Brazilian legend Anderson Silva. While both those upsets were monumental, Bisping once again opened as a +135 underdog to the returning St-Pierre. The lines have since evened out at -115 apiece thanks to hefty action coming in on Bisping. But considering his unshakeable status as a "gatekeeper", fans and analysts still lean on St-Pierre. But they do it at their peril.

Bisping is a solid bet not just to defeat St-Pierre. But to knock him out.

UFC 217 Bisping vs St-Pierre

Odds currently have Bisping to win by T/KO at +270. This is a nice prop bet to add for Bisping backers as Brit has underrated punching power despite being tied for fourth in the UFC with 10 T/KO finishes. The key to Bisping's victory are his resilience, takedown defense (64.58%), and ability to get back to his feet should St-Pierre eventually get him to the ground. 

Some stats favour St-Pierre particularly Bisping's losses to high-level wrestlers like Chael Sonnen and Rashad Evans. Even Tim Kennedy manhandled Bisping for five rounds. St-Pierre is arguably the best MMA wrestler and has dominated all his opponents with wrestling. The size disparity won't be as significant as most believe. St-Pierre is the same size as Kennedy who dominated Bisping. But the four-year layoff will be something to overcome for St-Pierre. 

Ring rust may or may not be a thing especially for St-Pierre who constantly stays fit through his gymnastics training. The former champion wouldn't have returned unless he felt he was ready. However, at 36 and having incurred so much damage in his last fights (349 head strikes absorbed in his last three fights alone), St-Pierre may be more shopworn that he would like to admit. 

The combination of the long layoff, age, a fading chin, and fighting up in weight class for the first time in his career will be too much for even the great St-Pierre to overcome. Bisping has also absorbed a ton of damage but he continues to apply forward pressure despite being visibly hurt. Bisping lands 4.44 significant strikes per minute compared to 3.77 from St-Pierre.  

St-Pierre may win two of the first three rounds but count on the Count to make a comeback in the championship rounds as St-Pierre starts to fade. Once St-Pierre also tastes Bisping's power, he may "panic wrestle", allowing Bisping to defend his takedowns better and force St-Pierre to be on the defensive. Judges tend to favour Bisping for being the more active fighter.

Come November 4th, live at a soldout Madison Square Garden, Bisping will make UFC history by becoming the first fighter to defeat both Silva and St-Pierre. 

UFC 217: Best Bets

Cody Garbrandt (-190) defends his bantamweight belt against former friend turned bitter rival T.J. Dillashaw (+150), who is fighting to get his title back.

Both fighters are in their prime and are exciting strikers. Garbrandt is the more skilled boxer and has an 82% T/KO ratio. He made former champion Dominick Cruz look foolish with his boxing. Dillashaw lost to Cruz but sports a two-inch reach advantage. 

This bout leans on Garbrandt for two reasons: his composure and his boxing. Dillashaw, for all his vaunted movement-based striking, tends to blow his cool and get sloppy. That won't happen to Garbrandt as he should pick apart his former teammate. 

UFC 217 Bisping vs St-Pierre 1

A nice parlay can also be made with women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-650) and Stephen Thompson (-170) to sweeten the odds to -120.

Jedrzejczyk will outclass a dangerous Rose Namajunas (+410) using her kickboxing and slick grappling defense to neutralize the challenger while Thompson will employ his masterful karate to control the fight against a game Jorge Masvidal (+135). 

Fans can head to online sportsbooks to place their bets, available in all types of betting formats. Take advantage of the signup bonus of up to $250.

Main Card (PPV, 10 PM ET)

  • Middleweight Championship (185 lbs): (C) Michael Bisping (-115) vs Georges St-Pierre (-115)
  • Bantamweight Championship (135 lbs): (C) Cody Garbrandt (-190) vs #2 T.J. Dillashaw (+150)
  • Women's Strawweight Championship (115 lbs): (C) Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-650) vs #4 Rose Namajunas (+410)
  • Welterweight (170 lbs): #2 Stephen Thompson (-170) vs #4 Jorge Masvidal (+135) 
  • Middleweight (185 lbs): Johny Hendricks (+205) vs Paulo Borrachinha (-280)

Preliminary Card (TSN 5, 8 PM ET)

  • Lightweight (155 lbs): James Vick (+150) vs Joseph Duffy (-195)
  • Heavyweight (265 lbs): Walt Harris (-375) vs Mark Godbeer (+265)
  • Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): #6 Ovince Saint Preux (-180) vs #7 Corey Anderson (+140)
  • Welterweight (170 lbs): Randy Brown (+105) vs Mickey Gall (-130)

Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass, 6:30 PM ET)

  • Heavyweight (265 lbs): #9 Aleksei Oleinik (+260) vs #12 Curtis Blaydes (-365)
  • Light Heavyweight (205 lbs): Michael Oleksiejczuk (+330) vs Ion Cutelaba (-480)
  • Featherweight (145 lbs): Aiemann Zahabi (+135) vs Ricardo Ramos (-175)

*Note: all betting odds are from SportsInteraction

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