UFC 173 Betting Preview: Renan Barao Heavily Favored vs. TJ Dillashaw

OddsShark.comFeatured ColumnistMay 21, 2014

Renan Barao celebrates after beating Urijah Faber of Sacramento, CA during the first round of the Ultimate Fighting Bantamweight Championship Mixed Martial Arts bout in Newark, N.J. on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. Barao won after referee Herb Dean called the fight in the first round. (AP Photo/Tim Larsen)
TIM LARSEN/Associated Press

Renan Barao will be a heavy favorite at UFC 173 Saturday night when he puts his UFC bantamweight title on the line against TJ Dillashaw.

It has been over nine years and 32 decisions since the 27-year-old Brazilian last went down to defeat, the longest current win streak in MMA.

Dillashaw (9-2-0), ranked as the No. 4 challenger in the UFC bantamweight division, opened as a modest plus-325 underdog, per Odds Shark, when the fight was announced, but he is now pegged as a plus-575 underdog against Barao (32-1-0, one no-contest).

It is the first title shot for the 28-year-old Dillashaw, who was bumped up to the main event after Raphael Assuncao, the No. 2 bantamweight division challenger, was forced to decline the bout due to a rib injury suffered at UFC 170.

Assuncao defeated Dillashaw by split decision when the two battled at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields back in October.

In the co-main event, undefeated Daniel Cormier (14-0-0) is heavily favored to defeat Dan Henderson in a light heavyweight bout that may be the most highly anticipated fight on the card at UFC 173.

Cormier, the No. 4 challenger in the division, has the respect of sportsbooks going into Saturday, with odds of minus-950 at some books monitored by Odds Shark.

Henderson (30-11-0), who currently sits as the division’s No. 6 challenger, is a tempting plus-650 long shot, and it is easy to understand why. The 43-year-old lost all three of his fights in 2013 but bounced back with a gutsy rally to defeat Mauricio Rua this past March at UFC Fight Night 38 with a third-round TKO after clearly losing the first two rounds.

Robbie Lawler (22-10-0) returns to action at UFC 173 in his first bout since losing by unanimous decision to Johny Hendricks in a UFC welterweight championship fight at UFC 171. Lawler is a minus-215 favorite against No. 5 welterweight challenger Jake Ellenberger (29-7-0).

The Juggernaut is a plus-185 underdog against Lawler but hopes to improve his division ranking and increase his chances of getting a title shot against Hendricks. Ellenberger is coming off a dreadfully boring loss by unanimous decision to Canadian Rory MacDonald last July at UFC on Fox 8.


Current UFC 173 odds 

Sam Sicilia               -150                      

Aaron Phillips           +130                     

Li JingLiang              +130                     

David Michaud          -150                      

Anthony Njokuani      -230                      

Vincent Pichel           +195                     

Al Iaquinta                -360                      

Mitch Clarke              +295                                     

Chico Camus             +295                     

Chris Holdsworth        -360                                                      

Tony Ferguson           -275                      

Katsunori Kikuno        +235                     

Mike Chiesa                -135                      

Francisco Trinaldo       +115                     

Francisco Rivera         +145                     

Takeya Mizugaki         -170                      

James Krause            +150                     

Jamie Varner              -175                      

Robbie Lawler            -215                      

Jake Ellenberger         +185                                                     

Dan Henderson           +650                     

Daniel Cormier            -950                      

TJ Dillashaw               +575                     

Renan Barao               -800     


Odds courtesy of BestUFCOdds.com unless otherwise noted.