MMA DFS Playbook: UFC 224 - Nunes vs. Pennington

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The middleweight bout between Vitor Belfort (26-13, 1 NC), the last remaining active victor of the prehistoric UFC one-night tournaments, against former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida (23-8) is expected to be the final fight of Belfort's career. Here's a look at those bouts and their Sports Interaction UFC odds. She almost beat Holly Holm in the latter's UFC debut and most recently, retired one of the all time greats at 135 pounds, Miesha Tate.

Nunes will step into the Octagon tonight at UFC 224, and will be looking to defend the 135 title against Raquel Pennington.

How might that fight change things on the women's side of UFC?

The belief that Raquel Pennington could be Amanda Nunes' toughest foe is not a slight to Ronda Rousey, Miesha Tate, and Valentina Shevchenko.

Nunes is the overwhelming favorite at -1000. Though she hasn't fought in over a year because of a scary leg injury, Pennington will be just as unsafe when she steps in the cage with someone she considers a friend. When we review the 5Dimes UFC odds, we can see that Las Vegas and online betting outlets also believe that the dragon is alive.

The 38-year-old Souza has yet to fight for a title in his career. That first-round KO of Bisping last time out in the main event of the November 25 Fight Night card felt like Gastelum officially making it.

It's a matchup of Americans here.

Following her title win, Nunes played second fiddle while the UFC promoted the return of Rousey, who certainly deserved her shine.

Dern debuted in the UFC in March and beat Ashley Yoder by split decision.

Hermansson was able to come from behind to defeat hometown hero Thales Leites in the third round after two excruciating rounds. All three cageside judges scored it 29-28: Guilherme Bravo and Chris Lee for Gastelum, Sal D'Amato for Souza. Dern seemed to have trouble while standing in the fight as she prefers to take her opponent to the ground - half of her six wins are by submission. Lineker's only loss in his past eight fights was to Dillashaw in a non-title bout by unanimous decision at UFC 207 at the end of 2016. The best days are well in the past for both fighters, but Machida pulled off a stunning win last time out when it seemed like he was matched up to fail against rising star Eryk Anders.

That said, Gastelum's speed and accurate striking does make it tempting to back him for the win, knowing full well that it's not the percentage play. The champion needed a bout and Pennington happens to be the one who has the best resume for a shot at this point.

It's two Brazilian legends hoping to earn one last shot at glory with Belfort ranked ninth in the middleweight division and Machida 12. This is the first time that Amanda Nunes is fighting in 2018 and it will be very interesting to see how she will perform after quite a long break.

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