UFC 166 Preliminaries

If you want a few interest bets for the preliminary fights at UFC 166, to go along with our full UFC 166 betting picks, then you’ve come to the right place.

UFC 166 Preliminary card (Fox Sports 1)

Middleweight Tim Boetsch vs. C.B. Dollaway

On paper, C.B. Dollaway’s record looks to be the better of the two, but he hasn’t fought close to the standard of fighter of Tim Boetsch, except when losing to the likes of Munoz. Dollaway has somehow manged to feed around the bottom of the division, never really impressing enough to climb the ranks, but never losing enough to be cut. Boetsch on the other hand has fallen into the role of gatekeeper, who prevented the rise of the likes of Lombard and Okami. A big powerful hitter, I think he is going to come out hitting hard, and keep swinging powerful overhand strikes until the end with a TKO in the 2nd or 3rd round.

Tim Boetsch by TKO

Welterweight Nate Marquardt vs. Hector Lombard

If this fight was made 18 months ago I’d have been very excited. But both fighters have completely lost their appeal for me. Marquardt with his whole TRT fiasco; I don’t if he is on or off right now as his story changes so much. This is a shame really as he was a really promising fighter. However, being cut from the UFC, a poor stint in strikeforce and resigning to the UFC removed all momentum from his training and career. His record for that period is 1-2.

On the other hand, Hector Lombard is anti-hype personified. He hadn’t lost in 25 fights. For years everyone was including him in top 5 MW lists and talking about a challenge for Anderson’s belt. But a lacklustre UFC debut saw him (unfairly imo) lose a decision. He bounced back against Palhares but was subsequently smothered by Okami. He also went 1-2 in that period.

I don’t think Marquardt has the smother blanket skills of Okami to negate Lombard’s attack, so I see Hector taking the win here. Probably by TKO. Current odds are too short to risk a bet on these unpredictable fighters. Lombard’s last two opponents have both since been cut by the UFC; I’ve a feeling Marquardt could well be next in line to continue this trend.

Lombard by TKO

Women’s Bantamweight Sarah Kaufman vs. Jessica Eye

Womens MMA is still going strong in the UFC – who would have thought it? Obviously a lot of that is down to the success of Ronda Rousey at championship, but the female hopefuls on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter have put on some top fights and have shown the public that there is hope for the currently shallow Women’s Bantamweight division.

The strength of the current women’s roster currently lies with the likes of Sarah Kaufman. A former strikeforce champion who holds wins over fellow UFC fighters Liz Carmouche and Alexis Davis, her only losses were to Rousey and Marloes Coenen – who now fights in the Invicta 145lb division. In my opinion, Kaufman has a legitimate claim to the No.2 spot in the division.

Her opponent is Jessica Eye, also making her debut, and also somebody who rarely loses – the sole L on her record was at the hands of Ais ‘TheBash’ Daly – however she differs from the rest of the roster in that she was, until now, a fixture in Belator’s flyweight division. When Belator dropped their female division, she was signed by the UFC, with the obvious condition that she must move up to their only women’s division at 135. This match is essentially the number 2 flyweight versus the number 2 bantamweight – we all know what happened when Mighty Mouse fought Cruz. I can see Kaufman getting a win and keeping herself in line for a Rousey rematch.

Sarah Kaufman by submission

Lightweight George Sotiropoulos vs. KJ Noons

George Stoiropoulos is talking about how he is a changed fighter, and in much better condition. I don’t believe it. I bet he still walks out like he is wearing the skin of an old man over his body. He genuinely looks like he is somebody who has beaten obesity but now must suffer with saggy skin.

KJ Noons is good fighter but not great, he is capable of making a show of George and forcing Dana White to cut the Aussie, but if he fails it’ll be him given his walking papers. Loser leaves town matches are always a little risky to bet on, both of these guys must be aware of the situation that they are in. I think mentally Sotiropoulos is the weaker of the two and will quit in the third.

KJ Noons by decision

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