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UFC Fight Night: Lee vs Iaquinta II Betting Odds and Picks

UFC Fight Night Milwaukee: Lee vs Iaquinta II Odds and Picks

The UFC heads to the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee for its final card on Fox after a seven-year relationship. Headlining the final event before the organization begins its new deal with ESPN is a rematch from four years ago as “Raging” Al Iaquinta takes on Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee. Iaquinta got the better of Lee at UFC 169, earning a unanimous decision victory, but he is a +255 underdog with Lee coming back at -335. I have a breakdown and pick for each of the fights on the main card.

Shark Bites
  • Al Iaquinta defends 77 percent of takedown attempts.
  • Kevin Lee averages 3.33 takedowns per 15 minutes.
  • Seven of Al Iaquinta’s 13 professional wins have come via T/KO.

Iaquinta vs Lee II Fight Center

Scott Hastings’ 2018 Prediction Record To Date
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Odds Analysis

At first glance knowing that these two warriors had already graced the Octagon against each other, you may find these odds to be out of whack and you’re quickly heading over to Bovada to make a wager on Iaquinta as a big underdog vs someone he already beat. However, that fight was the first in the UFC for Lee when he was just 21 years old. Since then, he has gone 10-2 and is a force in the lightweight division.

Raging Al has competed just twice since 2015, earning a first-round knockout over Diego Sanchez in 2017 and then losing decisively by unanimous decision to current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. I think the odds are right where they should be. Iaquinta hasn’t been very active, while Lee has torn through the division.

Al Iaquinta vs Kevin Lee II

Lee (-335) is coming off an incredibly impressive victory over Edson Barboza in April, seven months after falling to No. 1 contender Tony Ferguson at UFC 216. The Motown Phenom beat the brakes off Barboza, outstriking him 233-64 while landing four takedowns en route to a TKO victory by doctor’s stoppage due to a nasty cut over Barboza’s eye. The 26-year-old has tremendous cardio, always seeking the takedown where he can sink in a fight-ending submission. Eight of his 17 professional wins have come by submission, including three straight rear naked chokes before his loss to Ferguson. In that defeat, Lee outstruck Ferguson 71-57 and landed three takedowns, but he was battling a staph infection that depleted his energy and resulted in him getting submitted in the third round.

Iaquinta (+255) stepped up on short notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 after a series of incidents that left the current champ without a challenger 24 hours before the bout. This was a massive jump in competition for Raging Al and it showed as he was outstruck 172-43 and dragged to the mat six times. The 31-year-old was able to let his hands go later in the fight and ended up forcing the fight to go to the judges’ scorecards before he lost unanimously. The orthodox fighter averages 4.28 significant strikes per minute and four of his last five wins have come by knockout.

Lee landed one more strike than Iaquinta in their first bout, while also securing one takedown to Raging’s zero, yet Iaquinta had his hand raised. The New York native did do a good job at defending the takedown against Khabib and he defends 77 percent of takedown attempts overall. However, Kevin Lee has landed 15 combined takedowns in his last five fights and looked like a man possessed against Edson Barboza earlier this year. I have a hard time seeing a way he loses.

Prediction: Kevin Lee (-335) via submission

Iaquinta vs Lee II Fight Center

Dan Hooker vs Edson Barboza

Hooker (-130) is riding a four-fight winning streak since returning to the lightweight division in June of 2017, earning three knockouts and a submission over that span, with his two most recent fights ending in the first round. The Hangman has a good ability at judging distance and his opponent’s movements and once he has those factors figured out, his precise striking makes him very dangerous. The New Zealand native does most of his damage in close range, with two of his last three knockouts coming from knees. Meanwhile, he has an underrated submission game, as he nearly had a choke sunk in against Gilbert Burns at UFC 226 and he had two takedowns vs Marc Diakiese at UFC 219 when he earned a guillotine choke win.

Barboza (EVEN) is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, falling to elite wrestlers in Kevin Lee and current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Brazil native was taken down a combined eight times in those two fights, having only been taken down seven times in his 17 fights prior in the UFC. Junior has explosive kicks that have led him to win three fights by leg kicks and 11 of his 19 professional victories have come via knockout. The 32-year-old averages 3.64 significant strikes per minute, but also absorbs four significant strikes per minute. Prior to his two-fight losing slide, Barboza was on a three-fight winning streak that was topped off with a devastating knee knockout over Beneil Dariush.

This fight is going to a barnburner between two top-end strikers. Hooker is a more patient fighter who takes a little time to dissect the movements of his opponent before going on offense, while Barboza looks to batter his foe with his ferocious kicks. We have two fighters trending in opposite directions recently and this really could be a make-or-break fight for the future of both of these gladiators.

Prediction: Edson Barboza (EVEN) via knockout

Hooker vs Barboza Fight Center

Rob Font vs Sergio Pettis

Font (-165) is a long, powerful fighter who is on a win-one, lose-one streak over his last four fights, with his most recent bout being a decision loss to Raphael Assuncao at UFC 226. The 31-year-old has a fast, solid jab that allows him to set up kicks or a powerful overhand right. Seven of Font’s 15 professional wins have come via knockout and four of his five UFC victories have come in that manner. The Massachusetts native has a great chin, having never been knocked out in his career, and he has decent head movement, absorbing just 3.69 significant strikes per minute.  

Pettis (+135) is making the jump up to the bantamweight division with the flyweight division seemingly coming to an end. The 25-year-old had 10 fights in the bantamweight division where he posted a 9-1 record, including a 3-1 record in the UFC with two fight of the night bonuses. The Milwaukee native then dropped to the flyweight division when that opened up and he held a 5-3 record there with seven of the eight fights going to decision. Pettis is flashy, like his older brother Anthony, and likes to get into brawls, but he lacks true knockout power. Perhaps this may change with a little more weight behind him in the bantamweight division.

Don’t expect this fight to readily go to the floor, as both of these competitors like to chuck hands. The key to victory for Pettis is movement as Font loves to follow up from his jab with power strikes and the best way to avoid that is moving away when he extends his left hand. Font should have a couple inches of reach on Pettis, which will really benefit his long style of fighting.

Prediction: Rob Font (-165) via decision

Font vs Pettis Fight Center

Charles Oliveira vs Jim Miller

Oliveira (-315) is on his first winning streak since 2014-15 when he rattled off four straight victories, and has picked up back-to-back triumphs in 2018. Do Bronx won both fights by submission and 16 of his 24 professional victories have come in that manner. The Brazil native uses kicks and spinning attacks to close the distance on his opponent with the sole purpose of getting his hands on his foe to drag him to the mat. The 29-year-old does have power in his strikes, though, as he has six T/KOs to his name, but he hasn’t earned a victory by knockout since 2010. Oliveira averages 2.87 takedowns per 15 minutes and has landed multiple takedowns in five of his last six fights.

Miller (+245) is coming off his first win since 2016, a first-round submission victory at UFC 228 that halted a four-fight losing slide. A-10 has had a long, ongoing battle with Lyme disease that has definitely hindered his ability to train. The New Jersey native is making his 31st walk to the Octagon and he has earned nine fight bonuses through his previous 30 fights, including three submission of the night rewards. The 35-year-old is a terrific wrestler with a fantastic chin, having only been knocked out twice in his career while averaging 1.7 takedowns per 15 minutes.

Miller looked like his vintage self in his last bout vs Alex White at UFC 228, landing a heavy left hand that led to ground and pound into a rear naked choke. These two men fought eight years ago at UFC 124 with A-10 securing a kneebar submission victory. Oliveira is more aggressive than Miller, constantly moving forward and throwing kicks while looking to secure the takedown, which is where I think this fight will ultimately go.

Prediction: Charles Oliveira (-315) via submission

Oliveira vs Miller Fight Center

Here’s a look at the odds for the full UFC Fight Night: Iaquinta vs Lee II:

UFC Fight Night: Al Iaquinta vs Kevin Lee II

Odds as of December 14 at Bovada

  • Kevin Lee -335
  • Al Iaquinta +255
  • Dan Hooker -130
  • Edson Barboza EVEN
  • Rob Font -165
  • Sergio Pettis +135
  • Charles Oliveira -315
  • Jim Miller +245
  • Dwight Grant -300
  • Zak Ottow +230
  • Drakkar Klose -285
  • Bobby Green +200
  • Jordan Gordon -160
  • Joaquim Silva +130
  • Jack Hermansson -170
  • Gerald Meerschaert +140
  • Dan Ige -185
  • Jordan Griffin +150
  • Andrea Lee -260
  • Jessica-Rose Clark +200
  • Adam Milstead -155
  • Mike Rodriguez +125
  • Zak Cummings -315
  • Trevor Smith +245
  • Juan Adams -450
  • Chris De La Rocha +325