UFC Fight Night Comes Saturday, but Not for Ontario Bettors
Posted on: December 2, 2022, 07:13h.
Last updated on: December 2, 2022, 02:12h.
UFC Fight Night will take place in Orlando, Fla., on Saturday, where Stephen Thompson will face Kevin Holland in the welterweight division. That’s just one of the many fights available to bettors unless they live in Ontario, Canada.
Thompson (16-6-1 MMA, 11-6-1 UFC) will seek to end a two-loss streak on Saturday. Those losses came against Gilbert Burns and Belal Muhammad, two experienced heavyweight prospects. In both cases, Thompson was brought down by superior wrestling from his opponents. He’s not going to make that mistake again, and has been practicing his wrestling techniques ahead of the match.
Saturday’s preliminary and main cards are jam-packed with bouts in all categories. However, fight fans will be disappointed to learn that Derek Brunson and Jack Hermansson won’t be doing battle, as Brunson is out because of injury.
Thompson Expecting Trouble
The 39-year-old Thompson, who has also appeared in the Netflix show “Cobra Kai,” has been in combat sports almost his whole life. He was an accomplished kickboxer before transitioning to the MMA. There, he quickly rose in the ranks. Although he missed two opportunities to claim the welterweight gold, he’s always a favorite to succeed.
The two fights he lost against Burns and Muhammad came only because his opponents outmaneuvered him, not necessarily because they dominated him. His only KO was in March 2019, when he lost to Anthony Pettis.
After losing two consecutive fights, Thompson is desperate to win this fight against Holland (23-8 MMA, 10-5 UFC). He already threatened to retire once before returning for Saturday’s match. Unfortunately for Thompson, DraftKings has Holland in front at -170 to his +145.
If Thompson loses, it could signal the end of his career. Perhaps walking into the octagon with actor and musician Jack Black will pump him up and lead him to a win.
Holland, a seven-year vet, is extremely versatile. He prefers to attack with his legs, but also knows when to throw in some jabs to catch his opponents off guard. One solid hit finding its target, and it’s all over for Thompson.
Also on tap for Saturday is Marcelo Rojo, one of Argentina’s premier MMA fighters, returning to the UFC octagon. He’s coming into a tough match against an undefeated MMA fighter, Francis Marshall.
With two consecutive losses against Charles Jourdain and Kyller Phillips, “El Pitbull” will be in charge of welcoming Marshall to the UFC. Rojo will have to rely on his experience against the undefeated 6-0 rival.
DraftKings gives this bout to Marshall at -155. Rojo is a little rusty, which is why he’s getting +135.
UFC Wins with LaLiga, Fails with Canada
LaLiga North America and UFC announced a promotional partnership this week. The arrangement will benefit both organizations, providing opportunities to engage with fans through social media collaborations, on-site coverage, digital content creation, activations with athletes, and more.
The creation of this partnership stems from an initial collaboration between the two as Spain’s current LaLiga season was getting underway. UFC fighters Brandon Moreno and Ilia Topuria inaugurated the partnership, traveling to Spain to watch a LaLiga match, meet with players from Valencia CF and Atlético de Madrid, and create content. That content later made its way to LaLiga’s social media channels, along with the soccer clubs and the athletic platforms in Europe and North America.
Recent concerns that match-fixing might be taking place in the UFC have cost sportsbooks. Canada’s province of Ontario has temporarily suspended all sports betting on UFC fights, effective immediately.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced the order on Thursday. As the provincial gaming regulator, it has full control over all of the betting activity that takes place. It isn’t clear how long the suspension will remain in effect.
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