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UFC Fight Night: Sioux Falls Betting Odds and Preview

The UFC makes its first trip to Sioux Falls, South Dakota when the fighters take to the Octagon on July 13. The card will be headlined by an exciting bantamweight battle between John Lineker and Michael McDonald. The co-main will see one of the best lightweights in the world, as Tony Ferguson takes on newcomer Landon Vannata.

John Lineker vs Michael McDonald

John Lineker’s style has made him one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC today, as his aggression and pace are rivaled by very few. Lineker truly deserves the nickname ‘Hands of Stone,’ as the aggressive striker has picked up 12 career wins by KO/TKO – and his most recent submission victory over Francisco Rivera was largely set up by his punches.

Lineker has a strong chin, solid takedown defense and is a good athlete – all of which allow him to stand in the pocket and bang. There is no way to dance around it, Lineker just wants to stand up and throw punches until his opponent is unconscious.

The biggest issue for ‘Hands of Stone’ has always been his size. He tried to fight at flyweight but missed weight more times than he made it. Now Lineker is fighting at 135, but he is at a large size disadvantage in pretty much every bout now.

Michael McDonald is 25, but already has immense experience in the Octagon. McDonald is 7-2 in nine career appearances – with those two losses coming against Renan Barao and Urijah Faber. McDonald is a finisher with 15 of his 17 career victories coming via stoppage. ‘Mayday’ has trained in kickboxing from a young age and has great kicks, but he generally prefers to box. He packs power in both hands, but it’s his uppercut that is truly one of the most powerful punches among lighter weight classes.

McDonald is aggressive in every facet of the game and will pursue submissions if the fight goes to the mat. Top-tier submission artists can overwhelm him – his losses to Barao and Faber were both by submission – but more often than not he is dictating the pace on the ground.

It is said way too much in combat sports, but this really is a fight that could end within the blink of an eye. Both Lineker and McDonald are primarily knockout artists – though they both have plenty of skills in other areas. For McDonald, it will likely be about keeping Lineker at range while ‘Hands of Stone’ needs to get inside to really let his flurries go.

Tony Ferguson vs Landon Vannata

The original main event of this card was supposed to be Tony Ferguson vs Michael Chiesa, but Chiesa had to pull out with injury. So Ferguson – one of the best and most promising lightweights on the planet – faces off against Landon Vannata – who is undefeated in the regional scene.

Ferguson has proven that he can win fights in every facet of the game with nine victories via KO/TKO and seven via submission. ‘El Cucuy’ has done a fantastic job at demonstrating his slick submission game in his most recent bouts with the California native tapping out three of his past four opponents.

Ferguson does a fantastic job at using his reach in the stand up game. Combine this with an underrated wrestling game and Ferguson is adept at dictating the pace of the fight.

Landon Vannata looks like a fairly well-rounded prospect in the limited tape I could find – though he has not really been fighting great talent. Vannata – who trains at Jackson-Wink – will also be fighting up in weight, as he is a natural featherweight.

Vannata moves well on his feet – especially laterally – but does not have great striking defense aside from moving out of the way. Throughout most of his career he has kept his hands much too low, though in his last fight against Ramico Blackmon he did a better job at protecting his head. In doing so, he left his midsection and ribs wide open and got kicked a lot for that.

This should be as close to a squash match as you will see in the UFC. Vannata is a good prospect with some decent upside but really has no right being in the cage with Ferguson. ‘El Cucuy’ should win in convincing fashion, but it is MMA after all.

UFC Fight Night 91: Lineker vs McDonald Betting Odds

Odds as of July 13 at Bovada

  • John Lineker -165
  • Michael McDonald +135
  • Tony Ferguson -700
  • Landon Vannata +450
  • Tim Boetsch +175
  • Josh Samman -225
  • Alexey Oleinik -220
  • Daniel Omielanczuk +170
  • Kyle Noke -170
  • Keita Nakamura +140
  • Ben Nguyen -130
  • Louis Smolka EVEN
  • Lauren Murphy -200
  • Katlyn Chookagian +160
  • Sam Alvey -265
  • Eric Spicely +205
  • Christina Stanciu -160
  • Cortney Casey +130
  • Scott Holtzman -325
  • Cody Pfister +250
  • Rani Yahya +120
  • Matthew Lopez -150
  • Devin Clark -225
  • Alex Nicholson +175