One of the most anticipated UFC fight cards of the year is upon us with UFC 194 scheduled to take place this Saturday. The headline act will feature UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo and the outspoken interim champion, Conor McGregor. While that fight alone is worth the price of admission, the card is stacked and will include another championship belt on the line with Chris Weidman defending his Middleweight Championship title against Luke Rockhold. The action takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena Saturday night, so let’s take a look at the betting lines for the two main showdowns.
Conor McGregor vs Jose Aldo
Favourite: McGregor -130
McGregor and Aldo were originally supposed to fight for the Featherweight Championship at UFC 189 in a highly anticipated matchup, but an injury to Aldo in the late stages forced him to withdraw. Both fighters have bitter feelings against each other, so that late withdrawal only made matters worse. In the meantime, McGregor fought Chad Mendes for the interim title and now they’ll unify the belts at UFC 194.
McGregor talks a lot of trash, and all eyes will be on him to see if he can back it up. He hasn’t lost since 2010, so he'll enter UFC 194 on a 14-fight winning streak. However, he’s going up against Aldo, who hasn’t lost in over a decade.
The odds for this bout have been posted in the futures market for a while, and McGregor was and still is favoured. However, there are some questions about his game. He showed some holes in his takedown defense against Mendes and that could be a problem against Aldo. However, the Irishman is always entertaining with his pinpoint striking and savvy movement.
Chris Weidman vs Luke Rockhold
Favourite: Weidman -145
Weidman and Rockhold will settle a score in the co-main event of the evening. Weidman puts his Middleweight Championship on the line against Rockhold, who is a former Strikeforce Champion.
Weidman has evolved wonderfully into the role of the Middleweight champion. In the past, he was mostly a one-dimensional, yet excellent wrestler. However, he has worked on his boxing skills and improved in that realm significantly to become not only a well-rounded fighter, but the best Middleweight in the world. He has the heart of a champion, and he’s proven it so far with wins over Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva (twice) and Vitor Belfort.
As for Rockhold, he’s up there as one of the most talented fighters in the division. While he doesn’t have the same punching power as Weidman, he has more in his arsenal when standing. He can box just as well and he throws quality kicks that can end fights – as we witnessed in his bout against Costas Philippou. He would rather keep this fight standing as Weidman will likely have an edge on the ground.
The best part for fans and bettors is that both of these fighters are peaking right now. We’re sure to be treated to an epic fight with both opponents going all-out until the end.
*Odds as of December 9, 2015