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UFC 217: Bisping vs GSP Betting Odds and Predictions

UFC 217 is set to be a massive event. Three title fights top the card, including the return of legendary Georges St-Pierre, who looks to become a member of the rare group of fighters to win belts in two different weight classes. Looking to stop GSP will be Michael Bisping, the current UFC middleweight champion.

The entire card from top to bottom is absolutely stacked from the champions to exciting prospects looking to prove their time is now. Without further ado, here is the breakdown and predictions for the UFC 217 main card.

Michael Bisping vs Georges St-Pierre

Michael Bisping (-125) is at his best when he can wear down his opponents in the standup game. The Brit is a volume-based striker who actually fares better the longer the fight goes. This is because of Bisping’s mixture of cardio and ever-improving footwork. “The Count” has gotten better and better at movement, which has also led to his improved defensive abilities. During the earlier stages of his career, Bisping could get trapped in a firefight but he has done a much better job picking his spots in recent fights.

Bisping’s grappling is sufficient but he is not likely to stop a good takedown artist. Rather, “The Count” is adept at creating scrambles and getting back to his feet where he is much more comfortable. The champion is simply not an easy man to hold down but does not offer much from his back if an opponent can manage to do so.

Georges St-Pierre (-105) has a safe striking style that he complements well with his takedown attempts. When standing, GSP will work the jab early and often, keeping himself at a safe distance while chipping away at his opponent. St-Pierre’s superman jab into a leg kick or double leg takedown is a trademark move that helps keep an opponent on his heels.

Of course, GSP’s game is built around his wrestling. Nobody could wrestle like St-Pierre, as he took his opponent down seemingly at will. Again, this has a lot to do with his entry, as he mixes up his strikes and takedown attempts like few others. Once in control, GSP can control his opponent and generally dictates how a fight plays out. He suffocates his opponent and takes advantage of every opportunity given.

If Bisping were a front-runner – like Yoel Romero – then I would be all over him. But Bisping is a long-distance fighter taking on maybe the best long-distance fighter ever. It’s tough backing a guy who has not fought in over four years but GSP is not just some guy.

Prediction: Georges St-Pierre (-125)

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Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw

Cody Garbrandt (-210) is the hardest-hitting puncher at 135 – plain and simple. “No Love” has natural gifts in his speed and power, which he combines with excellent boxing skills to make a lethal combination. That being said, Garbrandt is at his best when he is sitting back, being tactful and throwing counter-strikes. He can blitz or chip away at a distance but staying close to the pocket and waiting to counter is where he is best suited.

Garbrandt is a sprawl-and-brawl fighter who was an all-state wrestling champion in high school. No opponent has ever taken him down inside the Octagon. There is no doubt that Garbrandt knows his biggest assets are his hands and his game is built around that.

TJ Dillashaw (+170) has always been a good fighter but he has been on another level since joining up with Duane Ludwig. Coach Ludwig has been able to channel Dillashaw’s natural aggression and volume with great footwork to create a blitzing, confusing fighter. Many compare Dillashaw to Dominick Cruz – whom Garbrandt starched to win the title – but Dillashaw is much more offensively focused.

Dillashaw was a wrestler in high school and college, which gives him a great secondary skill set. He will generally use it defensively but is great at timing offensive takedowns when the opportunity arises.

This is the toughest fight to pick on this card. Garbrandt beat up on Cruz, who shares a lot of similarities with Dillashaw. However, Dillashaw is more offensive and pushes the pace more in the striking game. Garbrandt will still get the opportunity to hit big counter-strikes throughout the fight, which will ultimately be the difference maker.

Prediction: Cody Garbrandt (-210)

Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs Rose Namajunas

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-600) has a technical and violent striking style that is mesmerizing to watch. It all starts with the jab, as she uses it to dictate the range of the striking battle and to disrupt the timing of her opponent’s attack. Jedrzejczyk will attack at all three levels, which means opponents must always be on guard. Nobody has been able to withstand Jedrzejczyk’s pace and volume over 25 minutes.

The champion loves to grapple along the cage and clinch up, as it gives her an opportunity to unleash her elbows. Jedrzejczyk doesn’t really want the fight on the mat but she’s solid if the bout goes there.

Rose Namajunas (+400) is a technical striker who is adept at using her length to dictate the pace of the fight. As she has grown as a fighter, “Thug” Rose has learned to harness her natural aggression and dole it out in proper increments while striking. The style won’t wow you, but the stick-and-move approach is performed so well that it almost always puts Namajunas in the proper spot for her next move.

Again, though technical, Namajunas has learned to use her natural size gifts in the grappling game. This is most apparent in the clinch, as typically smaller fighters can’t stop her from doing whatever she wants. If a fight goes to the mat, Namajunas moves with ease and lands brutal ground and pound. The title challenger also has a knack for taking an opponent’s back.

In terms of a complete martial artist, Namajunas has the makeup to be one of the best. However, Jedrzejczyk is a different animal. Nobody has been able to stop the Polish powerhouse from imposing her will and owning that cage.

Prediction: Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-600)

Stephen Thompson vs Jorge Masvidal

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (-190) is a striker by trade. The karate expert uses his long limbs and wide stance to keep his opponent at a distance where he can properly utilize his kick-based offense. Once Wonderboy dictates the space and pace of the fight, he will wear his opponent down with kicks until he finds a chance to blitz in with a sharp punching combination. Because of space and stance, it is hard to get a clean takedown attempt against Wonderboy. Then you factor in his size in the clinch, and bringing Wonderboy to the mat is not easy.

Jorge Masvidal (+155) is one of the best boxers in MMA. His use of the jab, footwork and head movement make him a defensive wizard that few are able to tag on the feet. That being said, the former street fighter has no problem biting down on his mouthguard and throwing heavy combinations. “Gamebred” has an underrated grappling game but uses it largely to create scrambles and get back to his feet.

This has all the makings of an interesting chess match. Wonderboy will want to keep as much space as possible while Masvidal will want to work into the pocket a little more. Ultimately, I think Masvidal’s defense and aggression help him slip through a tight decision.

Prediction: Jorge Masvidal (+155)

Johny Hendricks vs Paulo Borrachinha

Johny Hendricks (+220) is not quite the fighter he used to be. Yes, “Bigg Rigg” still has the offensive ability of a well-rounded fighter – he can strike well and still has a very good wrestling game. However, weight cuts have been killing him – even after moving up in weight – and his defense is not very good. Hendricks’ defense was never his strong suit but after years of wear and tear, it is showing.

Paulo Borrachinha (-280) is a monster. He is a physical specimen who blends great speed, heavy strikes and natural athleticism to embarrass his opponents. Only one opponent has ever lived to see the second round against Borrachinha. He is a bullish fighter who walks down his opponents, using his reach well, until he traps them and starts hammering away. His wrestling game is mostly based on strength and we have yet to see him face a good grappler.

This is meant to be a squash match. Hendricks still has a big name but not much drawing power. The UFC is setting up Borrachinha to pick up a big win in the hopes of propelling him forward. Maybe Hendricks can utilize his wrestling game and control Borrachinha but the Brazilian is likely going to knock his opponent’s head off.

Prediction: Paulo Borrachinha (-280)

UFC 217: Bisping vs St-Pierre Betting Odds

Odds as of November 4 at Bovada

  • Michael Bisping -125
  • Georges St-Pierre -105
  • Cody Garbrandt -210
  • TJ Dillashaw +170
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk -600
  • Rose Namajunas +400
  • Stephen Thompson -190
  • Jorge Masvidal +155
  • Johny Hendricks +220
  • Paulo Borrachinha -280
  • James Vick +135
  • Joe Duffy -165
  • Walt Harris -380
  • Mark Godbeer +290
  • Ovince Saint Preux -155
  • Corey Anderson +125
  • Randy Brown -110
  • Mickey Gall -120
  • Aleksei Oleinik +270
  • Curtis Blaydes -360
  • Aiemann Zahabi +165
  • Ricardo Ramos -205

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