5. Raphael Assuncao (-330) vs. Matthew Lopez (+270)
This is pretty clearly a fight where the UFC has no idea what to do with Raphael Assuncao. His only loss in the last six years is to TJ Dillashaw, and that only makes them 1-1 against each other. But he also has been on the right side of three split decisions during that time, so it's not like he's been dominant. Lopez provides an interesting matchup as he has a strong wrestling background and some nasty ground and pound that he used to upset Johnny Eduardo in his last fight. If Lopez can control the positions, he's dangerous, but I think Assuncao has a few too many weapons to see him getting upset in this one.
4. Andrei Arlovski (+317) vs. Junior Albini (-392)
This is just two large men who are going to slug it out. Albini is the heavy favorite for good reason as he's been crushing fools since losing a couple fights by submission early in his fighting career. Arlovski has lost his last five fights, but he's put some scares in people during that time as he still has great power in his hands, but when heavyweights find his chin, he usually finds the floor. Arlovski has provided me loads of entertainment over the years, but win or lose, I'm kind of hoping he hangs it up after this one. Oh, and I'm expecting lose.
3. Joe Lauzon (-115) vs. Clay Guida (-105)
Neither of these guys are relevant for the title picture, but they are both high-paced fun fighters that have been around the UFC forever. I mean, Joe Lauzon debuted against Jens Pulver at UFC 63, and Clay Guida debuted the next month at UFC 64. I've been ready to give up on both of these guys as relevant fighters multiple times, but then they will bounce back and look great, making me look very stupid. Either way, this is going to be a high-paced, super fun fight. I'm taking Clay Guida, because I think he can control the fight with his wrestling, especially with him now training at Team Alpha Male. It's a close fight, but I figure I should give the edge to the person who was nice to me (Joe Lauzon has never interacted with me, for the record).
2. Dustin Poirier (+106) vs. Anthony Pettis (-126)
The main event of the evening only gets the second spot on my list. There is no doubt that these are two incredibly talented fighters who could be deserving of a title shot down the line. Dustin Poirier almost made a leap into title contention during his last fight, but it was cut short due to an illegal knee strike from Eddie Alvarez. Anthony Pettis has been on top of the mountain and now is trying to work his way back up. Pettis has looked more tentative in his last handful of fights, as he used to pair smooth striking with well-timed aggression, but now it's almost like he's waiting for the perfect time to strike instead of racking up points using good times to strike. Even with that, the only person to really outclass Pettis was Max Holloway who is making everyone look like a fool. I'm going to take Pettis by decision, but I don't feel great about it.
1. John Dodson (-125) vs. Marlon Moraes (+105)
Full disclosure: John Dodson once trained me in mixed martial arts, so I am incredibly biased for this fight. With that being said, I'm kind of in line with the betting odds on this one. I see it as a very close fight as I like Moraes a lot and thought he did enough to win in his UFC debut against Raphael Assuncao. But Dodson is really, really good. He has two losses to Demetrious Johnson, and he came out on the wrong end of a split decision against John Lineker, a fight that most people thought Dodson won, and a fight that Lineker did not make weight for. Moraes is good, but he's not Mighty Mouse good, and that's why I think Dodson takes it and immediately calls out TJ Dillashaw (who he knocked out in their UFC debuts) after the fight.
For a random fight night card, there is a lot to look forward to. And I didn't even have time to mention Matt Brown vs. Diego Sanchez, Nate Marquardt vs. Cezar Ferreira, and a Sage Northcutt fight. It's not the super fights of last weekend, but it's still going to be fun. As Steve Brule would say, "Check It Out."