Rodriguez Favored at UFC Fight Night 103
- Updated: January 10, 2017
Yair Rodriguez will be aiming to improve to a perfect 6-0 since joining the UFC in 2014 when he takes on veteran B.J. Penn on Sunday in the main event of UFC Fight Night 103 as a heavy -500 betting favorite.
Rodriguez stormed onto the UFC scene by winning The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America featherweight tournament at UFC 180, earning a unanimous decision win over Leonardo Morales as -225 chalk. Rodriguez takes an 8-1 professional MMA record into Sunday night’s highlight matchup at Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
El Pantera followed up his successful debut by going the distance in his next two fights, getting the nod from the judges in a split decision victory over Charles Rosa as a +170 underdog at UFC 188 before earning a unanimous decision over Daniel Hooker as a -285 betting favorite at UFC 192.
Rodriguez’s lone victory inside the distance came at UFC 197, where he ended Andre Fili’s night with a second-round flying head kick to earn the knockout victory in a fight pegged as a pick’em.
Penn is a +350 underdog as he searches for his first win in the octagon since his first-round knockout of Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in November 2010.
The Prodigy was forced to settle for a majority draw in his battle with Jon Fitch at UFC 127 and has lost three straight fights since then, most recently suffering a third-round TKO loss to Frankie Edgar as a +300 underdog in his featherweight debut at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale.
Sporting a 16-10-2 pro record, Penn has claimed victory inside the distance in each of his past six wins. However, the 38-year-old Hawaiian is a dismal 1-6-1 in his last eight clashes decided by the judges.
Lauzon also Favored in Phoenix on Sunday
In other UFC Fight Night 103 action, Joe Lauzon takes on fellow lightweight Marcin Held as a narrow -140 favorite in Sunday’s co-main event. Lauzon has lost three of his last five fights, most recently falling to Jim Miller by split decision as a -155 betting favorite at UFC on Fox 21. However, he claimed first-round TKO victories in each of past two wins.
A +110 underdog against Lauzon, Held looks to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss to Diego Sanchez as -285 chalk in his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 98.
Elsewhere, Ben Saunders is a slim -120 favorite in his welterweight tangle with Court McGee, who sports -110 odds, while Frankie Saenz is listed as -150 chalk against fellow bantamweight Augusto Mendes, who trails at +120 on the betting lines.
*Odds as of January 10, 2017