Bookmakers on UFC Fight Night 138: Odds Stacked Against Smith
Date Posted: October 24, 2018
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night 138 will be held at Avenir Centre in Moncton, Canada on October 27, 2018. The night’s main card will showcase six matches with its headline being a bout between Volkan “No Time” Oezdemir and Anthony “Lionheart” Smith.
Bookmakers have already set odds for the main event match of the night with Oezdemir as the favored light heavyweight fighter. William Hill favors Oezdemir with -187.5 odds against Smith’s +150 odds, while bet365 gives Oezdemir -187.5 odds and Smith +162.5 odds.
Will the sportsbooks’ predictions be deemed true on the day of the fight, or will “Lionheart” prove the bookies wrong?
A KO to End the Fight?
Many MMA fans are looking forward to this UFC match not only because both fighters are great at hand-to-hand combat but also because they have outstanding fight records. Oezdemir holds a record of 15 wins and 2 losses while Smith stands at 30 wins and 13 losses.
When it comes to battling on-foot, it is clear that Volkan Oezdemir has the upper hand with his striking accuracy of 47.24%, compared to that of Anthony Smith’s 46.09%. The Swiss’ striking tactics led him to win 11 of his matches via knockouts.
Adding to this, Oezdemir knows how to defend himself from harsh blows, considering that he has a striking defense percentage of 56.41%. This may help him in guarding himself from Smith’s deadly punches and elbows during the bout.
On the other hand, Anthony Smith may use his experience in fighting on the mat against Oezdemir. With Smith’s background in jujitsu, he is not far from doing takedowns and submission holds on No Time.
Battle for #1 Contender
Lionheart believes that winning this fight against Oezdemir can grant him a match for the light heavyweight championship title.
The current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier needs to let go of his title as he is moving to the heavyweight division. To keep the championship title from floating, Alexander Gustafsson will fight against returning former champion Jon Jones in UFC 232 on December 29 for the title of Light Heavyweight Champion.
If Smith wins on Saturday, he plans to be ready just in case Jones or Gustafsson ends up backing out of the December fight. He said in an interview:
“I think after this fight, I’m going to stay in good shape and keep training just in case something happens with the Jones and Gustafsson fight. You just never know what’s going to happen. This game is crazy, and weirder things have happened. I’ll stay ready to jump in if I need to,”
Given that Jones and Gustafsson have a history of withdrawing from their matches at the last minute, it is possible for such event to happen again weeks before the championship match in December.
Smith, currently at rank 10 under the light heavyweight division, also stated that what matters to him more is the ranking of his opponent and not their names. He said:
“Yeah, I think so. Things have been going well. The pieces of the puzzle are finally starting to come together and I feel like I’m just now entering my prime. As far as Volkan goes, it’s really never been about the names to me. It’s more about the number in front of their name that I’m concerned with.”
Smith said in another interview that getting the title shot has been his dream since he was a teen. He stated:
“I honestly don’t know what else I would have to do. If I could go in there and I could put a dominant performance on Volkan and get a finish like I think I’m going to, I don’t know. I’ve spent my whole career since I was 17 years old chasing this dream. My dream has always been to put myself in a position where I can comfortably ask for a title shot and I think that this is my moment. I think this is the opportunity. I don’t know what else I’d have to do. You beat the guy that’s the next one below the guys fighting for the title, I don’t know who else I’d have to beat.”
Meanwhile, UFC Fight Night 138 is Oezdemir’s return to the octagon after being out for nine months. The second-ranked light heavyweight pulled out from a bout against Gustafsson in UFC 227 last August because of a broken nose.
No Time had his chance to become the Light Heavyweight Champion in UFC 220 with a fight against current title-holder Daniel Cormier. However, he lost the match via KO after being pounded on by Cormier in the second round.
In a tweet of UFC News, the Swiss fighter says that his comeback fight excites him as he thinks that Smith is a great opponent. @UFCNews tweeted:
“He’s trying to be ‘No Time’ like me” – @Volkan_Oezdemir is excited to fight @LionheartSmith because he has momentum and “his style is perfect”.
— UFC News (@UFCNews) October 23, 2018
UFC Fight Night 138 is set to happen in just a few days. Only time will tell as to whether the bookies’ predictions about a victorious comeback for No Time are right or if Lionheart will add another win to his current record.