The people that bet a nice schwack of cash on CB Dollaway tonight are going to make some serious dough, if the middleweight can score an upset in the UFC Fight Night 58 headliner.
Dollaway is set to take on former light-heavyweight champ and top contender Lyoto Machida in the headliner, and based off the betting line odds, the latter is a big favorite to win. Although Dollaway has gone 4-1 in his last 5 bouts, and has showcased some dangerous hands along the way, the accomplished wrestler is an underdog in the +415 to +540 range.
Of course, a big reason for that is Machida has given wrestlers fits throughout his career, and has bombed out several noteworthy ones while doing so. “The Dragon” remains one of the sports most elusive, and yet, dangerous strikers. This is what made champion Chris Weidman’s decision win over Machida so impressive in July, and why Dollaway recently told UFC.com the following:
“With Lyoto you have to be patient and set things up as well,” Dollaway said. “I happen to love Chess, it’s my favorite game, and that’s how he fights. We’ve studied him, we know what he does and what he doesn’t do, and we also paid a lot of attention to what Chris Weidman was able to do. You have to be patient, and you have to know that if you rush in and make a mistake he can end your night and he will. So you better be damn sure what you think is there is really there, or are you falling into his trap? At the same time you’ve got to know how to pressure him and make him feel uncomfortable. You can’t sit around and wait on what Lyoto is going to do. You have to make things happen.”
Yes, there’s no question you have to time your attacks on Machida extremely well, as Ryan Bader was reminded of in brutal fashion. Weidman did an excellent job of that in their encounter, and maintained his forward pressure throughout much of the fight. Of course, copying Weidman is easier said than done, and it remains to be seen if Dollaway’s timing and striking game can replicate what the champ did at UFC 175.
Dollaway also praised his boxing coach, Jose Benavidez in the interview, and noted “Now I have confidence in my hands, I have confidence that I can win wherever the fight goes, and I don’t have to go for the takedown. I can fight on my feet and I can win on my feet.”
It should be an intriguing night, and while Machida is the favorite for good reason, a loss would be a huge setback to his championship aspirations.
UFC FN 58 will take place in Barueri, Brazil and will also feature former bantamweight champ Renan Barao taking on Mitch Gagnon.