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UFC 221: Preview, Odds and Best Bets

Sat, Feb 10, 10:02am by Staff Writer

The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to Australia for its first pay-per-view scale event since November 2015, when Holly Holm shocked the world at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium in knocking out undefeated featherweight champion Ronda Rousey in the second round of the main event of UFC 193 in front of over 55,000 fans.

To secure another pay-per-view down under it has taken a monumental event for the sport in the country to take place, the Western Australian government overturning their ban on fighting in a cage setting, which took place in June last year.

Add to that Australia has seen its first world champion in the promotion since UFC 193 took place where middleweight Robert Whittaker secured the UFC interim title last July at UFC 213 in his unanimous decision victory over Yoel Romero. His title was upgraded to full champion status in December when UFC legend Georges St-Pierre relinquished the belt he claimed over the previous champion Michael Bisping at UFC 217.

After all that taking place we looked set for an Aussie champion to defend his title in Perth at UFC 221 in a blockbuster event, however due to injury Whittaker will not be competing this weekend.

The new headline bout will see a new interim title issued in the UFC middleweight division where former champion Luke Rockhold will do battle with former challenger Yoel Romero with the winner to face Whittaker at some stage this year.

The new clash looks set to be a very exciting one with two middleweights who have sat around the top of the division for the past few years.

Rockhold enters the clash as a $1.70 favourite with Romero available at $2.15.

If you think the fight will end in KO by either fighter, you can take this option at $1.80 in the ‘how fight will end’ market.

The co-main event sees Aussie UFC legend Mark Hunt return to the octagon against American Curtis Blaydes. Blaydes is a $1.60 favourite with the ‘Super Samoan’ available at $2.35.

The card will feature plenty of Aussies competing in the UFC including Jake Matthews, Tyson Pedro and Tai Tuivasa with 13 fights scheduled on the card.

There are plenty of options when it comes to MMA betting including ‘method of victory’ where you can bet on whether the fighter will win by KO, submission or on points, the ‘method and round combo’ where you can select the round and method of fighter victory and the ‘double chance’ where you can select two methods of victory by the fighter of your choice, e.g. to win by KO or submission.

If you are undecided on the winner but have a feeling about when and how a fight will end, the ‘alternate method and round combo’ can give you value without having to pick a particular fighter for the win.

Looking at the main event, both Rockhold and Romero possess serious weapons for victory with a strong possibility for the bout to end within the distance. The ‘what round will fight end’ market also offers the ability to pick the end of the fight without choosing a fighter and a Round 3 victory to either fighter at $6.50 looks a realistic possibility here.

Suggested Bet: Either fighter to win in Round 3 (Rockhold v Romero) @ $6.50.

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