UFC Fight Night 75 in Japan is shaping up to be great for a free fight. The action begins tonight at 10 PM ET (9 PM CT) and you can watch it live on Fox Sports 1. Headlining the event is veteran catch wrestler Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson in a heavyweight battle that doesn’t mean much for fighter rankings, but looks super interesting as a fight.
The co-main event features Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall in a middleweight bout that is also an interesting matchup. Mousasi shows brilliance at times but has struggled to crack the top levels of the division. On the other side of the cage we have Uriah Hall, whose story is similar. Both fighters are on an upswing after tough losses last year and this fight could be the one to push one or the other back up into contention status.
Even though this is just a free fight night card, you can still bet on UFC Fight Night 75 online at most of the major MMA sportsbooks. The odds are live right now and you can book your bets any time today before the event actually kicks off. I’ll be focusing on the headline fights for today’s post, but here’s a quick recap of the full card.
Main Card on Fox Sports 1:
- Josh Barnett (33-7) vs. Roy Nelson (21-11)
- Gegard Mousasi (37-5-2) vs. Uriah Hall (12-5)
- Kyoji Horiguchi (15-1) vs. Chico Camus (14-6)
- Takeya Mizugaki (29-9-2) vs. George Roop (15-12-1)
- Katsunori Kikuno (23-7-2) vs. Diego Brandao (23-10)
- Mizuto Hirota (17-7) vs. Teruto Ishihara (7-2)
Prelims on Fox Sports 2:
- Keita Nakamura (14-3-2) vs. Li Jingliang (10-3)
- Nick Hein (12-2) vs. Yusuke Kasuya (9-1)
- Naoyuki Kotani (33-12-7) vs. Kajan Johnson (20-12-1)
- Shinsho Anzai (8-2) vs. Roger Zapata (4-1)
Josh Barnett vs. Roy Nelson Preview
Josh Barnett has always been an intriguing fighter. His long history in catch wrestling is unique in the UFC but the grinding top pressure, brutally quick submissions and emphasis on staying on top make it a useful skill set in MMA. He’s getting up there in years, but so is his opponent.
Roy Nelson has struggled recently with four losses in his last five fights. Granted, these were against some very capable fighters (losses to Overeem, Mark Hunt, Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic), but the damage is adding up and we haven’t seen anything new from Big Country. His number one threat remains that power bomb overhand right that has earned him four Knockout of the Night bonuses in his career.
Barnett should have the edge in this one if he fights smart and avoids being drawn into a standup slug fest. If he goes to war in the middle of the ring, it will go badly for him. I think he’s smart enough to avoid that and instead go to his strengths, which are in the clinch and on the ground.
Nelson’s game plan will most likely be to manage the distance, keep it standing and end the fight with a well-timed right hand. Everyone knows of Roy Nelson’s overhand right, but he’s so judicial with its use that he can plant it on anyone in the world if they aren’t very careful.
As far as betting goes, Barnett is the favorite for a good reason. His standup is underrated even if it isn’t as dangerous as Nelson’s. Barnett knows how Nelson fights and is smart enough to prepare properly. The only thing is that the betting odds on Barnett are -300 (1/3). You’re going to have to put up $300 for a shot at winning $100.
It’s hard to justify booking a large bet at those odds against someone with Nelson’s knockout power. On the other hand, Nelson is paying +225 (9/4). Now that looks like a good underdog bet. Nelson has enough of a shot that I’d be comfortable putting a little money on the underdog. If this match was even money, I’d have Barnett all day long. But with these odds, I’d rather take Nelson for the upset.
Betting Odds for Barnett / Nelson
|BetVictor Odds||William Hill Odds|
Gegard Mousasi vs. Uriah Hall Preview
Gegard Mousasi has now won two in a row and would like to make it three tonight to put him back in potential title contention status. His 3-2 record since 2014 doesn’t look like much, but stretch it out a ways and it becomes 9-2 since mid-2010. Mousasi’s only losses over the past 5 years came from Lyoto Machida and Jacare Souza.
Uriah Hall was a top prospect through TUF-17 but then lost the finale to Kelvin Gastelum and his first UFC match to John Howard. He then made a comeback and won three in a row over Chris Leben, Thiago Santos and Ron Stallings. A loss to Rafael Natal in May of this year ended the streak, but he bounced back with an August win over late-replacement fighter Oluwale Bamgbose.
This matchup clearly favors Mousasi who is more experienced, proven on the ground and has more wins over top talent. Uriah Hall always presents a threat of ending your night in highlight reel fashion, but Gegard Mousasi has the edge in all areas. It’s tough to imagine Hall winning this fight on the ground or even posing a submission threat. The only way I can see him taking this fight is with something unexpected, explosive and a little lucky.
Betting Odds for Mousasi / Hall
|BetVictor Odds||William Hill Odds|