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UFC 174 – Ryan Bader vs. Rafael Cavalcante

June 11, 2014

This Saturday at the Rogers Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, the UFC presents UFC 174 – Johnson vs. Bagautinov. One of the fights the MMA world is excited about is a light-heavyweight tilt between season-8 Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader and former Strikeforce LHW champion Rafael Cavalcante.

UFC Oddsmakers have Ryan Bader as a -155 favorite over the Brazilian. For UFC bettors to win $100, they’ll need to risk $155 on Bader. Anyone taking the underdog will win $125 for every $100 they risk on Cavalcante.

UFC Betting Odds
Rafael Cavalcante +125
Ryan Bader -155

Ryan Bader was running a parallel course to LHW champion Jon Jones, both were young, both were dominating veterans and then they met in an unexpected number one challenger eliminator. Jones took Bader to task and since then Bader has been a good but not great light heavyweight. Since the Jones lose he’s 4-3 with his losses coming against two title contenders and very lucky Tito Ortiz and his wins have come against lower tiered fighters and an uninspired Rampage Jackson. It will be interesting to see what we get from Ryan Bader on Saturday night.

This will be a good test for Bader, Cavalcante is a former champion and he himself had some inconsistencies and a failed drug test in his last few fights. Cavalcante isn’t likely to challenge for a UFC title unless he gets on a hot run, which is unlikely, but he has the skills to make things tough one Bader. The Brazilian has hand grenades for fists; he hits hard and tries to turn out the lights with every swing. Bader will need to protect his chin as he’s been sent to dreamsville in two of his last four fights. Bader’s KO at the hands of Machida was especially vicious; that’s a question that needs answering Saturday night – Will Bader’s chin hold up?

Cavalcante can defend the takedown very well; he stops his opponents 80% of the time. If he can negate Bader’s wrestling and turn the fight into a slugfest, he could turn Bader into a LHW gatekeeper before UFC 147 is through.