Fri, Aug 24, 1:48pm by Staff Writer
The Ultimate Fighting Championship heads to the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska this weekend for its next scheduled event, UFC Fight Night 135.
Headlining the card this Sunday (AEST) is a bout in the stacked lightweight division with Justin Gaethje taking on James Vick.
Despite back to back losses, former World Series of Fighting champion Gaethje is a respected force within the division, particularly given his losses came against top five contenders Eddie Alvarez and Dustin Poirier and both of these fights were awarded with fight of the night honours.
Gaethje was originally scheduled to do battle with former title challenger Al Iaquinta in this event, however Vick was named as the replacement opponent after Iaquinta withdrew from the bout.
Vick will enter the contest on the back of a four fight winning streak with his most recent performance a three round unanimous decision victory over Francisco Trinaldo on February 18.
Head to head, Vick will enter the bout a clear $1.60 favourite over Gaethje who is priced a $2.20 underdog. With his considerable four inch height and even greater six inch reach advantage, Vick will look to impose his size over the smaller Gaethje to continue his winning streak and rise up the lightweight rankings.
In the co-main event, at featherweight UFC mainstay Michael Johnson will be looking to get back in the winner’s column in his bout with Andre Fili.
Johnson is coming off a three fight losing streak, however his previous bout against Darren Elkins was his debut at the featherweight division, where he previously campaigned at the higher lightweight division.
Fili will be aiming to record his first three fight winning streak in his career since UFC166 back in October 2013 where he defeated Jeremy Larsen to take his professional record to 13-1. Since then he has gone 5-4 and will be buoyed by his recent performances heading into this bout.
Johnson will enter the contest a $1.65 favourite with Fili rated a $2.10 chance.
To complete the main card, other bouts will feature women strawweight’s Cortney Casey ($2.05) and Angela Hill ($1.70), welterweight’s Jake Ellenberger ($4.50) and Bryan Barbarena ($1.17), Flyweight’s John Moraga ($2.31) and Deiveson Figueiredo ($1.62) along with middleweight’s Eryk Anders ($1.11) and Tim Williams ($5.70).
In total there will 13 fights in total for the event.
James Vick may head into the main event a clear favourite of Justin Gaethje. However, with his relentless attitude and significant knockout pedigree heading into the UFC, Gaethje will be eager to show why he was touted to be a major player within the lightweight division when entering the organisation.
Expect a tough fight between the two fighters with Gaethje to finish the bout in the third round.
Suggested Bet: Justin Gaethje by KO in Round 3 @ $12.00 (Method & Round Combo (5 Rounds)
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