Cyborg massive betting favorite on Saturday’s UFC 222 odds

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It is always a challenge to find good value before a Cris Cyborg fight.

Cyborg is the biggest favorite on a main card as the -1600 favorite with Yana Kunitskaya coming back at +800 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com in the women’s featherweight championship bout that is the main event for UFC 222. The card is set for T-Mobil Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The prologue for this bout came just two months ago, when Cyborg was extended to a decision against Holly Holm on December 30. What Cyborg, who is better than former Invicta fighter Kunitskaya in probably every facet of the Octagon, probably took from going the full five rounds was a lesson in being cautious. That could serve her well at avoiding strikes from Kunitskaya (who has a more orthodox stance than Holm).

That might well mean that Cyborg could put off the stoppage in Round 2. Prior to the Holm fight, Cyborg had won 12 fights in a row by knockout or technical knockout. The UFC has had 14 fights in the last five years with a favorite of -1200 or more. Eleven of the fights – 78.6 percent – ended with a stoppage.

Denied a shot at the featherweight title with champion Max Holloway (ankle) scratched, Frankie Edgar (-175) is favored on the UFC 222 odds against Brian Ortega (+145), who was confirmed for the fight with about three weeks’ notice. It’s hard to go against Edgar, with his quick footwork that lets him get in and out of the pocket without taking punishment, in a matchup against Ortega, who’s on the main card for the first time in his career.

Andre Soukhamthath (-145) takes an edge in seasoning into a bantamweight bout against Sean O’Malley (+115), who is undefeated in nine career pro fights in lower-rung promotions. The main question with the favorite is whether Soukhamthath (whose last four wins have all been by KO/TKO) can be more assertive rather than falling into a pattern of relying on technical striking, since O’Malley has a high work rate that could help in scoring in the event the bout goes to a decision.

Seven-footer Stefan Struve (-190) might look to get the match to ground ASAP against fellow European heavyweight Andrei Arlovski (+155), so he can utilize his long legs and work off his back. Arlovski is the heavier puncher and Struve is vulnerable to being outboxed, so there is potential for both a short fight and an underdog win.

And Kelten Vieira (-160) is favored against Cat Zingano (+130) in a women’s bantamweight match. Inasmuch as each fighter is strongly regarded for her grappling game, this might be a matchup where it’s unlikely the favorite will get beaten at her own speciality. Vieira, nine years the junior of Zingano, has had three of her last four fights go to a decision.

For more odds info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Conor McGregor arrested in South Florida

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MIAMI — Mixed martial artist and boxer Conor McGregor has been arrested in South Florida for stealing the cellphone of someone who was trying to take his photo, authorities said.

According to a Miami Beach police report, the 30-year-old McGregor was arrested Monday afternoon and charged with robbery and criminal mischief. An attorney for McGregor called the altercation “minor” and said the popular fighter would cooperate with authorities.

McGregor was leaving the Fontainebleau Miami Beach shortly after 5 a.m. Monday when a 22-year-old man attempted to take a picture of McGregor, the police report said. Police said McGregor slapped the phone out of the man’s hand and then stomped on it several times. McGregor then grabbed the phone and left the area, the report said. Police later found McGregor at his local address.

McGregor was being held on $12,500 bail.

“Last evening Conor McGregor was involved in a minor altercation involving a cellphone that resulted in a call to law enforcement,” Samuel J. Rabin Jr., a Miami-based attorney representing McGregor, said in a statement. “Mr. McGregor appreciates the response of law enforcement and pledges his full cooperation.”

McGregor, who’s from Ireland, is the former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion and one of the biggest draws in MMA. He returned to UFC last fall after a hiatus during which he made his boxing debut, a loss to Floyd Mayweather. He was suspended from UFC for six months and fined $50,000 for a brawl after his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov in October.

Mayweather stops Nasukawa in 1st round, flooring him 3 times

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SAITAMA, Japan (AP) It took less than three minutes for Floyd Mayweather to knock down his Japanese kickboxer opponent Tenshin Nasukawa three times in a totally one-sided bout of exhibition boxing on New Year’s Eve.

Nasukawa’s father threw in the towel after 140 seconds of the first round on Monday as his 20-year-old son bravely teetered around the ring trying to get up.

It was a quick and definitive victory for the 41-year-old American. Mayweather was gracious in victory, hugging the weeping Nasukawa and calling him “still a great champion.” Nasukawa, however, barely landed a clean punch against the vastly more experienced Mayweather.

The rules for the three-round contest – organized by The Rizin Fighting Federation and held at Saitama Super Arena on the northern outskirts of Tokyo – were no kicking allowed and no official record of the match.

Mayweather said: “Tenshin is still undefeated. I’m still undefeated.”

Mayweather has won all 50 of his pro fights, while Nasukawa has an undefeated record in kickboxing and mixed martial arts.

“It’s all about having fun,” Mayweather told reporters after the fight, praising Nasukawa as a “young hungry lion.”

The Mayweather-Nasukawa bout culminated an evening of more than a dozen fights, streamed by FITE for a fee, but not in the U.S. Fuji TV was the broadcaster in Japan.

Mayweather, who hadn’t fought since beating UFC star Conor McGregor more than a year ago, said he was retired and came to Tokyo to give an opportunity to a younger fighter like Nasukawa.

“I told Tenshin to `hold your head up high,”‘ Mayweather said.

Nasukawa said after the bout that he was grateful for the experience and that he had learned a lot.

Fans – and possibly Nasukawa himself – appeared taken back that Mayweather showed little mercy in the exhibition.

“He is first class,” Nasukawa said.

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