The UFC 170 card is on the books for February 22nd in Las Vegas, and is headlined by the 135 lb female Bantamweight title match between Ronda Rousey and Sara McMann. The title fight is supported by Daniel Cormier‘s Light Heavyweight encounter with Rashad Evans and by the welterweight clash between top names Rory McDonald and Demian Maia. With the fights roughly 3 weeks away, some of the books are already carrying lines on the fights.
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Interestingly, the line on the Rousey-McCann fight is the closest line we have seen on a ‘Rowdy’ Ronda fight with the UFC. Rousey sits at a (-425) with the return on McMann at (+320). This means that McMann’s athletic ability is seen as a match for Rousey, with her Olympic wrestling pedigree, but she has not shown the explosiveness and finishing ability of Rousey.
The welterweight match between Maia (+200) and MacDonald (-260) is a match of two guys who were on the cusp of a title shot only to see it unravel with losses and flat performances. On paper it appears to be a tall order for Maia, who will have a big advantage in Jiu Jitsu but will probably lack the tools to make the fight go that way. MacDonald is still tall, strong and athletic and he has been very against goo to the ground. Look for a big bounce back from MacDonald in this one.
The Cormier (-290) versus Evans (+230) clash sees Cormier favored over the veteran Evans. The x-factors surrounding Cormier and his weight cut are too big to ignore. Cormier was a team captain at the 2008 Olympics for the wrestling team, but was unable to compete due to kidney issues around his weight cut. The weight required for the Olympics was 208 lbs, which is 2 lbs more than he will be required to make for this fight. Against a guy like Evans, who has good gas, Cormier should dominate the early going in the fight, but will the weight cut make him lethargic as the fight goes late?