Tyron Woodley vs Nate Diaz Early Betting Odds
The UFC's final card of the year is usually one of its best. UFC 219, which takes place December 30th is still without a main event. UFC's main draws Conor McGregor and Georges St-Pierre are unavailable.
Reports indicate a potential women's superfight between featherweight champ Cyborg and former bantamweight champ Holly Holm. But according to MMAFighting's Ariel Helwani, welterweight champion Tyron Woodley may just headline over Nate Diaz.
Per Bodog, Woodley opens as a -260 favourite and the comeback on Diaz is +200. Woodley last defended his title against Demian Maia in a much-maligned co-main event for UFC 214 this July.
Diaz lost to McGregor in August of last year in a controversial rematch. This bout is typical of the UFC's dubious matchmaking. Diaz is not even a ranked welterweight but is reportedly back in training camp.
While there is no defending this type of matchmaking from a competitive standpoint, it is undoubtedly a bigger fight than any welterweight contender. Diaz is a huge draw and his two bouts with McGregor rank in the top-three of top-selling pay-per-view bouts for the UFC.
Woodley has been a lukewarm champion to put it nicely. His previous two bouts have been absolute duds and earned the wrath of UFC President Dana White.
Setting Woodley up against Diaz is a concerted effort on the UFC to not only create a sellable main event for UFC 219 but to give Woodley an opponent who will not be afraid to engage. However, Diaz is a bigger mismatch than either of Woodley's past opponents. The Stockton native is exciting but has a 3-3 welterweight record with his only notable win against McGregor.
Oddsmakers were careful not to underestimate Diaz who will surely have plenty of backers but the sound bet is on Woodley especially this early. Diaz has always been weak to wrestlers and Woodley happens to be a powerful one despite not using it too much lately. Woodley will surely take Diaz down and can hold him there. The only way he loses is if he lets Diaz open up on the striking.
Betting against Diaz can be dangerous as McGregor backers found out in their first bout. Diaz may not have the one-punch knockout power of Woodley or his wrestling but he has cardio for days thanks to being a triathlete and having lean muscle mass. He is also dangerous off his back thanks to his Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Twelve of Diaz's 19 victories have come via submission.
Bet on Woodley at -260 while it remains early. If you're backing Diaz, wait a little bit.
UFC 219 Early Preview
UFC 219 promises to be one of the UFC's biggest cards with or without a star-studded fight.
Former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit makes his return after a one-year hiatus. Despite a 2-3 record in his last five bouts, Condit is still highly-touted and a fan favourite.
#1-ranked lightweight contender and undefeated wrestler Khabib Nurmagomedov also returns taking on surging Muay Thai artist Edson Barboza. This is the epitomical wrestler versus striker match-making at its finest.
And Rising strawweight Cynthia Calvillo puts her unbeaten record against inaugural champ Carla Esparza. Calvillo just debuted this year but is already 3-0 in the UFC. A win over Esparza will likely push her to a title shot.
Best case scenario, the Woodley and Diaz fight makes it AND the Cyborg and Holm fight is added. These are two star-studded fights that will push this card from being solid to being a must-watch. No betting odds have been opened on Cyborg vs Holm yet but it could be the most competitive fight of Cyborg's dominant career.
Betting on UFC/MMA
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