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UFC Notes: Anders will win ITD
My top play for UFC Fight Night 123 on Saturday Dec. 9 from Fresno is Eryk Anders to defeat UFC newcomer Markus Perez inside the distance at a -110 price. Anders, the former Alabama football player who played a key role in the BCS Championship Game win over Texas earlier in Nick Saban’s tenure, sent Rafael Natal into retirement with a brutal first-round KO in his Octagon debut.

The 13-fight card Saturday on Fox Sorts 1 will be headlined by a crucial featherweight showdown between a pair of California products. Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega takes his undefeated record into his first main event against veteran Cub Swanson. Ortega was a super-short favorite at most books as of early Friday.

I also like Anders-Perez to go ‘under’ the 2.5 rounds (-145) as long as these odds don’t go north of the -150 price. The play on Anders inside the distance is one I recommend for a heavy amount (5-6 units), while the ‘under’ play isn’t nearly as aggressive because of the ‘chalk’ cost (1-2 units).

In other UFC news, Georges St. Pierre has vacated the middleweight strap he won from Michael Bisping at MSG in NYC. Not only that, but Robert Whittaker has been named the undisputed champion and his first defense will come against former 185-pound kingpin Luke Rockhold at UFC 221.

Following his 108-second win over Alistair Overeem in this past Saturday’s UFC 218 co-main event, Francis Ngannou has been given the next heavyweight title shot against champion Stipe Miocic. Ngannou defeated ‘The Reem’ with a vicious first-round knockout from a left uppercut.

The 31-year-old from Cameroon improved to 6-0 in the UFC. Ngannou has won four straight fights by first-round KOs that took less than two minutes. He opened as a -160 favorite versus Miocic, who is the +130 underdog.

Miocic has bagged five fight-night bonuses in his last six trips to the Octagon. He has successfully defended his belt twice with first-round KO wins over Overeem and former champ Junior dos Santos. Miocic won the belt from Fabricio Werdum with a first-round KO on the road in Brazil at UFC 198.

Tony Ferguson, the interim lightweight champion, is going to be out for the near future after undergoing elbow surgery. ‘El Cucuy’ has won 10 fights in a row in the 155-pound loop.

The UFC has cleared perennial heavyweight contender Mark Hunt to resume his career. The promotion released a statement to “After a full medical analysis at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brian Health in Las Vegas, UFC confirms that heavyweight athlete Mark Hunt has been cleared to compete.”

Hunt was yanked from last month’s UFC Fight Night Sydney headliner after making comments in an interview with “Players Voice” that he was struggling with memory loss and slurring his speech.

Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.

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