I’m back again, covering this week's co-main event analysis for my busy partner Jay. What a pleasure it will be to cover a fight I believe has some of the best odd’s available on the card.
<p>This week the UFC travels to Minneapolis, Minnesota for UFC on ESPN 3. The Target Centre will be the host of 13 action-packed martial arts contests, with Francis Ngannou and Junior Dos Santos play host for the night's main event matchup.</p><div><h2 style="text-align:center">JUSSIER FORMIGA (23-5-0) VS JOSEPH BENAVIDEZ (27-5-0)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/HbDY_1QBjnOJCOTOdos1o0mH6CY=/0x0:3668x2548/1200x800/filters:focal(1305x414:1891x1000)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/58650913/usa_today_10298450.0.jpg" style="width:800px;height:533px" /></p><p><strong>Jussier Formiga</strong></p><p>Jussier Formiga hales from the beautiful country of Brazil, he signed with the UFC in 2012 and is the owner of a black belt in both Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and Judo. He is currently riding a four-fight win streak and since his move to American Top Team in 2018, he’s been hard at work covering the skills he lacked in since his previous fight and loss against Benavidez.</p><p>With a record of 9-4-0 since joining the UFC, Formiga has gone the distance with some of the toughest competitors the division has to offer and with a Flyweight division lacking respect… Formiga and Benavidez are two names that are highly recognisable.</p><h2>― STATS ―</h2><p>•Method of Victory •Significant Strikes (per/min) •Takedowns</p><p>▪0 wins by TKO ▪ 1.37 Landed ▪ 39.00% Accuracy</p><p>▪13 wins by Decision ▪ 2.05 Absorbed ▪ 86.00% Defended</p><p>▪10 wins by Submission</p><h2>― PROS ―</h2><p>• Ground Control (Benavidez is one of the best scramblers in the division but Formiga’s improvements should give him the advantage of controlling this fight on the mat)</p><p>• Hunger (Benavidez has been there done that, he doesn’t seem as hungry and at a totally different point in his career than Formiga is)</p><p>• Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (Formiga has some of the best back control in the Flyweight division, it’s possible he could lock in a submission at any point of the fight)</p><p>• Grappling (Since joining American Top Team improvements to Formiga’s wrestling have been evident in his most recent bouts, he lacked this earlier in his career but now seems to have improved leaps and bounds)</p><h2>― CONS ―</h2><p>• Striking Offence (Formiga doesn’t have the highest striking output we’ve seen, to say the least, I think Benavidez can have some success whilst striking with Formiga.</p><p style="text-align:center"><img alt src="https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/OOS55jVhxPNqXbbG23EVrzShFTQ=/0x0:1920x1280/1200x800/filters:focal(1107x432:1413x738)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/58829809/023_Joseph_Benavidez.0.0.jpg" style="width:800px;height:533px" /></p><h2>Joseph Benavidez:</h2><p>Joseph Benavidez is a household name in the UFC. Since making his debut in 2011, Benavidez has wowed UFC fans for the past decade by going toe to toe with the worlds best and sticking around in the top #5 rankings across multiple weight classes. Uriah Faber took Benavidez under his wing at the famous Team Alpha Male gym in California.</p><p>Joseph has been an all-around MMA fighter showing impressive skills in all areas including; Wrestling, Striking, BJJ and Muay Thai.</p><p>14 wins in the UFC have given Benavidez an impressive resume with wins over current two weight champion Henry Cejudo and a close decision loss with former pound for pound #1 Demetrius Johnson. Benavidez only has 3 losses in the UFC and two of them came from Demetrius, the other being Sergio Pettis.</p><h2>― STATS ―</h2><p>•Method of Victory •Significant Strikes (per/min) •Takedowns</p><p>▪7 wins by TKO ▪ 3.41 Landed ▪ 31% Accuracy</p><p>▪9 wins by Decision ▪2.55 Absorbed ▪ 65% Defended</p><p>▪11 wins by Submission</p><h2>― PROS ―</h2><p>• Scrambles (Benavidez has great scambles from the floor, this defence could be imperative if he wants to win this fight)</p><p>•Volume Striking (Benavidez isn’t the more technical fighter of the two, but he certainly gives more output and lands combos more effectively than Formiga does)</p><h2>― CONS ―</h2><p>•Submission Awareness Benavidez is susceptible to submissions in certain transistions, although his scrambles are impressive he can sometimes leave himself wide open for submission attempts.</p><h2>THE VERDICT</h2><p>We’re looking at the odds in this fight and thinking “what the f***?”. I understand that Benavidez won this fight many moons ago, but since that fight, Formiga has improved considerably. Certainly enough to make this fight a pick em, the bookmaker and the public combined love to follow a big name like Benavidez, that’s the only reasoning I can see behind this line.</p><p>If we’re being realistic, this fight is pretty much a coin toss in terms of skill and outcome. So how do we decide on a good play in this spot you might ask. It’s pretty simple, we are here to make money and the odds on Formiga are currently at 2.50 with William Hill. Say no more, ignoring this line in a fight where either fighter can take the win would be ignorant. Win or lose, there is only one sensible bet to make in this fight and Benavidez Is not that bet. If you are a long-term bettor, these mismatched odd’s make a huge difference In your return of investment.</p><p>Formiga has improved his offensive wrestling since training with American Top Team, he’s the more technical striker and is more equipped to finish this fight via submission. Although taking defeat to Benavidez back in 2013 may have been a tough pill to swallow… Formiga should be confident in the fact that he is beating fighters like Sergio Pettis who in recent times have had success against Benavidez.</p><p>Benavidez will want to keep this fight stood up if he stands any chance of winning on the scorecards, he is outclassed in terms of grappling offence on the mat and will need his defence on the point. Both men are the same age but it's clear to see one man is on the rise, whilst the other seems to be slowing down slightly.</p><p>Casual bettors might want to stay off this fight, but if you're in this for the long run and like making underdog money then this is the type of play that will make sense for you. No official pick to effect Jay’s record but I do lean Formiga strictly based on these ridiculous odds and career trajectory for each fighter.</p><h2>THE LEAN</h2><p>Jussier Formiga to win [6/4] [2.50] [+150] at <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=a710bfac-73c1-4a57-b441-2caf1b9f397b&f=1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">William Hill</a></p></div>