UFC 208 tips: The best bets as Holm and De Randamie battle for new belt
Footwork and firepower should prove crucial in the UFC's first female featherweight fight...
Germaine De Randamie v Holly Holm
The UFC’s first ever female featherweight title bout will almost certainly be fought entirely on the feet.
De Randamie and Holm are both expert strikers who will have no interest in takedowns and grappling.
Instead, this will be a tactical battle fought at range, and De Randamie, who was undefeated in 37 matches during her kickboxing career, should have the edge.
The 32-year-old has won her last two fights – both by TKO – while Holm is coming off the first two losses of her MMA career.
Those defeats came against good strikers in Miesha Tate and Valentina Shevchenko, who were able to expose Holm’s limitations, namely that she lacks power and struggles against good footwork.
At , De Randamie is a sensible bet to leave Brooklyn as a UFC champion.
A knockout is unlikely, though, considering Holm’s impressive chin and stamina, so there is good value in backing the Iron Lady to win on points at .
Anderson Silva v Derek Brunson
On the surface, betting on Silva, who has four defeats and a no contest in his last five fights, seems foolish.
Particularly against the dangerous Brunson, who was on a run of four consecutive first-round knockout wins before he was stopped by Robert Whittaker in his last contest.
But the Spider – a UFC legend and one of the best mixed martial artists – cannot be written off even at the age of 41.
His recent record is not as poor as it seems – one of his defeats was the result of a broken leg and another was a contentious decision against Michael Bisping.
Brunson’s rash style should also play to Silva’s strengths. He often rushes into combat with his chin in the air, and that could prove a decisive error against such a gifted counter-puncher.
If Brunson utilises his superior wrestling skills, he has the ability to overpower his ageing opponent.
But the American has a tendency of ignoring his game plan – as he did against Whittaker – and could become frustrated by Silva’s slippery style.
Backing the Brazilian to win at , and to win on points at , are both wise choices.
Ronaldo Souza v Tim Boetsch
While the two main events should be relatively close fights, this one does not appear as evenly matched.
Souza – the UFC’s third-ranked middleweight – is being lined up for a shot at a title and should maintain his momentum against Boetsche, who has lost six of his last 10 fights.
Given that Souza has only lost twice in 16 fights since 2009 – and only against the two men ranked higher than him in the division – it is no surprise that he is a favourite.
Since he joined the UFC in 2013, the Brazilian has finished five of his six victories inside the distance, and a split decision against Yoel Romero remains his only defeat.
Boetsch possesses knockout power and a solid chin, but he has lost by stoppage five times since 2017, and a first-round finish – priced at – is the likeliest outcome here.
Glover Teixeira v Jared Cannonier
The last time Teixeira stepped into the Octagon, he was knocked out cold by Anthony Johnson after just 13 seconds.
Now 37, the Brazilian might struggle to rebound from such a brutal defeat.
But that was the first time he had been stopped since the first fight of his career in 2002, and, at , he should rebound against the unranked Cannonier.
The 32-year-old has only lost once in his 10 professional fights, and is taking a step up in competition after beating Ion Cutelaba by decision in December.
And while he is a dangerous striker, his work on the ground is a weakness that will likely be exploited by the experienced Teixeira, who has seven submission victories to date.
He is to force the American to tap here and, given that only one of Teixeira’s last 13 wins have gone the distance, that looks a good bet.