The biggest non-title women’s fight in UFC history goes down Thursday night in Las Vegas when the UFC’s golden girl #7 ranked Paige VanZant takes on #3 ranked Rose Namajunas in a women’s strawweight fight. 5Dimes has VanZant listed as a -145 favorite, with the underdog Namajunas listed at +125.
VanZant is currently riding a four fight win streak, which includes two submission wins and a TKO victory. She’s coming off of a serious beatdown over Alex Chambers in September and it’s clear from the UFC’s marketing efforts that she’s being groomed as a future face of the company.
Namajunas, meanwhile, rebounded in a big way after getting choked-out in her UFC debut last December. At UFC 192 in October she earned a dominant submission victory over Angela Hill, ending the fight via rear-naked choke in the first round.
A longer fight would appear to favor VanZant, who’s 5-1 in fights that go longer than one round, while Namajunas’ two career losses have both come in the third round. The 21-year-old VanZant has responded well under the bright lights in the UFC, winning the first main card fights on Fox and at UFC 191. It’s worth noting that Namajunas showed up relatively flat in her lone main card fight, the aforementioned submission loss at last December’s Ultimate Fighter Finale.
With Claudia Gadelha expect to get the next crack at the strawweight title, the winner of this fight should be next in line, or potentially leapfrog Gadelha with a dominant performance.
The Rest of the Main Card
The co-main event features a lightweight fight between the #14 ranked Jim Miller and former Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Chiesa. Miller is a veteran of 20 UFC fights and is now basically relegated to being a gatekeeper for the division after losing two of his last three fights. Chiesa will be trying to crack into the lightweight rankings after winning three of his last four fights and is a slight -135 favorite over Miller who’s at +115.
Another fighter being pushed into the limelight is dynamic 19-year-old Sage Northcutt, who enters his fight with Cody Pfister as a massive -1000 favorite. Northcutt has been the butt of many jokes among hardcore MMA fans leading up to the fight, but his 6-0 record with six finishes certainly can’t be mocked. The 12-4-1 Pfister is by far the biggest underdog on the card at +650, but if we’ve learned anything from Holly Holm, massive underdogs can offer tremendous value.
A middleweight clash between undefeated Canadian Elias Theodorou and Brazilian Thiago Santos rounds out the main card. Theodorou, a former Ultimate Fighter winner, enters the fight as a -230 favorite. Santos, a +190 dog, is 3-2 in the UFC with three first round finishes, while Theodorou is a perfect 3-0 in the Octagon.
View the odds for the entire card below, and make sure to check out our expert odds analysis for Saturday night’s main event between Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.
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Odds Shark Staff Fri, May 20, 11:42am