Top class mixed martial arts comes to Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday 23 March as the Bridgestone Arena plays host to Ultimate Fighting Championship 148. It promises to be another explosive evening of action from the sport’s biggest promotion, with the bill littered with competitive bouts that will determine fighter’s short-term future. Here are or top Stephen Thompson v Anthony Pettis betting tips.
Stephen Thompson v Anthony Pettis sits at the top of the bill as the pair face-off in what should be a cracker in the welterweight division. It’s one for lovers of the game but isn’t the only fight of note to take place on the night as it’s supported by Curtis Blaydes v Justin Willis in the heavyweight division, while John Makdessi and Jesus Pinedo face off at lightweight. Jussier Formiga v Deiveson Figueiredo at flyweight, Luis Pena v Steven Peterson featherweight and Maycee Barber v JJ Aldrich from the women’s flyweight category complete the main card.
Armchair fans can keep tabs on the fights live on a number of TV stations, including ESPN who continue to make strides in the industry with their extended coverage of the sport after picking up the baton from Fox last year. 2019 will be a vital season for MMA on ESPN and we’re looking forward to some memorable nights for fans.
The Preliminary Card gives us the chance to catch up on the progress of Frankie Saenz, Marlon Vera, Alexis Davis, Jennifer Maia, Randa Markos, Angela Hill and Eric Shelton.
Research Pays Off
As well as an evening of UFC action, armchair fans can also ramp up the interest with a bet on the outcome of the bouts thanks to bookmakers’ coverage of the card. You can have your say on the winner of each of the main fights and add them together in an accumulator, or shoot for bigger prizes by wagering on one of the many exciting specials.
The method of victory market challenges punters to, not only, predict which fighter will come out on top, but how they will achieve the result – knockout, submission or points. This is more difficult, of course, but the rewards are worth working for. If deciding to play this market we suggest doing your homework before getting your stake down, researching the recent form of both fighters and jumping on any pattern that emerges.
Let’s take a closer look at the night’s main fight, involving Stephen Thompson and Anthony Pettis and how bookmakers see this one going…
Wonderboy to Sparkle
Stephen Thompson will enter the arena on fight night confident he has what it takes to nail down another win and catapult himself into 2019. Get the result here and some major fights await in the coming months, with increased pay cheques. The 36-year-old American from South Carolina stands 6ft tall and boasts a fighting background in Kempo, Kickboxing and Jujutsu.
The talented southpaw fights out of Simpsonville and has been active in MMA since 2010. His kickboxing career saw him win all 58 of his fights before making the switch to mixed martial arts and although he doesn’t boast the same pristine record in the octagon, his CV is an impressive one. Thompson has won 14 of his 18 bouts to date, including seven by knockout, six on points and one submission. The spares on his record are made up of one draw and three defeats, all losses coming by way of decision.
He has won a clutch of awards in both boxing and MMA, including UFC Knockout of the Night v Dan Stittgen, Performance of the Night v Robert Whittaker, Jake Ellenberger and Johny Hendricks, as well as picking up Fight of the Night when meeting Tyron Woodley. His style makes him an exciting fighter to follow and he will enjoy the backing of many in the crowd when this clash gets started.
Despite those numbers, Stephen Thompson arrives on a poor run of form that has saw him lose two of his last three. That started with a majority decision loss to Tyron Woodley on UFC 209 2017 before a Las Vegas audience when battling for the UFC welterweight championship. He bounced back to winning ways following that bitter disappointment to beat Jorge Masvidal on points in New York City in 2017 but wasn’t seen again until May of last year when, again, ending on the wrong side of the result.
Taking on Darren Till in Liverpool at a catchweight, after Till missed the agreed limit, Thompson dropped a unanimous decision in England over five rounds and that knocked both his confidence and progress. That fight took place almost a year ago, but Saturday will be the first we’ve seen of him in competitive action since as Wonderboy looks to make up for lost time and drive himself back into contention for major honours. To do that he’ll need to win and show he has improved as a fighter during his time away.
Bookmakers expect that to happen and traders wasted no time in pricing Thompson as red-hot favourite for a return to winning ways. Backers who agree and want to have their stake money down on Stephen can do so at Bet365 but will have to make do with the 2/9 available. That’s tight and the gap in action and time away could put a few off taking a risk on that one. A bet on Thompson winning on points makes much more sense and that’s how we advise followers approach this one. The jolly’s last five fights have all gone the distance and there’s every reason to expect this bout to do the same.
Pettis Will Offer a Test
The pre-bout betting would have you believe Anthony Pettis doesn’t have a chance of winning this fight and will do little more than test his opponent before gifting him the win, but that’s not exactly accurate and there’s no doubt the underdog is a dangerous fighter who has his own ambitions. The 32-year-old American has fought at featherweight, lightweight and welterweight during his career and an all-rounder style has allowed him to remain competitive in the higher divisions.
His background comes from competing in Taekwondo, boxing, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Fighting out of Milwaukee, Showtime has won 21 of 28 previous contests, nine by knockout, eight by submission and four by decision. Of his seven losses, he has dropped five on the scorecards and been KO’d twice to date. He’s another who has enjoyed his share of success in the promotion, past achievements including two knockout of the night prizes.
His recent form is also patchy, with Pettis losing six of his last nine, including three of the bounce. The spare wins in that run came over Jim Miller on UFC 213 at lightweight in Las Vegas and Michael Chiesa, also at Vegas, last summer. The Tony Ferguson loss was his most recent outing, but he was stopped in round two when pulled by his corner after coming under heavy pressure. That will put many off, but those preferring to take a punt at the bigger price can back Pettis at 7/2 (Bet365). Attractive, but there’s not enough of a price there to win us over and we’ll stick with the Thompson points cheer in the method of victory market. Backers should get a serious run for their money with that punt. Good luck if you follow.