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UFC on FOX 29 Betting Recap
UFC on FOX 29 Results

Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier scored a fourth-round knockout of Justin Gaethje in a Fight of the Year candidate in Saturday’s UFC on FOX 29 headliner in Glendale, AZ. Poirier, who improved to 7-1-1 in the lightweight division since moving up a weight class after his 2014 loss to Conor McGregor, cashed tickets as a -125 favorite.

The pace was frenetic from the start with Poirier landing the better punches. However, ‘The Highlight’ continued to press the action and pepper Poirier’s lead left leg with powerful kicks. VegasInsider.com gave the Lafayette, LA., product the opening round by a 10-9 count.

The second round was more of the same, which is to say it was non-stop chaos. Poirier continued to land the better strikes, but his leg was clearly bothering him. Gaethje kept chopping away at it and demonstrating one of the better chins in all of mixed martial arts. The hometown favorite started to have his moments with has hands as well.

VI scored the second stanza for Poirier again, giving him a 20-18 edge. But Gaethje gained some momentum late in Round 2 and seemed to be the fresher fighter. His face was wearing the damage of Poirier’s fists, but he urged the boisterous crowd on as the third round got started.

Gaethje came out strong in the third and the scrap appeared to be turning his way when he accidently poked Poirier straight into the same eye he had poked him in earlier in the fight. Referee Herb Dean stopped the action and took a point away from Gaethje.

During the short break while Poirier was recovering, Gaethje and the crowd became unhappy when Dean called the doctor into the Octagon to check out Poirier’s eye. At this point, Gaethje and Poirier started to have words. Of course, Poirier told the doctor he could continue.

The rest of the round was back and forth. For the first time in the entire scrap, the pace waned just a touch with both men tiring late in the stanza.

About 15 seconds into Round 4, Poirier landed a nice combination that knocked Gaethje off balance. Sensing an opportunity to finish, Poirier erupted with a flurry of strikes that sent Gaethje back to the fence in a daze. With his hands down, Poirier placed a powerful right hand down the middle that put the always-game Gaethje down and out 33 seconds into the round.

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Poirier pulled into a second-place tie with featherweight kingpin Max Holloway for the most finishes in the UFC since 2011 with 10, as both men trail only Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone’s 14 finishes during this span.

How sick was this bout? Gaethje and Poirier combined to land 289 significant strikes on each other, which was the 11th-most in the promotion’s 25-year history.

Proposition wagers that cashed included the fight starts Round 4 (+170 winner), Poirier wins by TKO/KO (+160), Poirier to win inside the distance (+120) and Poirier to win in Round 4 (+1100). The ‘over’ (1.5 rounds) was a winner at an expensive -200 price.

In the co-main event, Alex ‘Cowboy’ Oliveira faced Carlos ‘The Natural Born Killer’ Condit after taking the fight on two weeks of notice when Matt Brown was forced out due to a torn ACL. Loyal readers know that Condit is one of my favorite all-time fighters, but I’ve been of the opinion for more than a year that he left his career in the Octagon the night he went 25 minutes with ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler back at UFC 195 on Jan. 2 of 2016.

On that night, I bet on Lawler but thought that Condit won the fight. To my shock, Lawler was given the nod by the judges. It worked for my pockets, but I’ve always felt that Condit was wronged by that decision. In the ensuing month, he hinted at retirement before making an ill-advised decision to accept a fight with Demian Maia, who submitted Condit midway through the opening round.

Condit took more than 500 days off before returning to face Neil Magny at UFC 219 in late December. Showing lots of ring rust, Condit dropped a unanimous decision to Magny. When Condit made his 15th to the Octagon last night, he was searching for his first victory since May 30 of 2015.

Condit came out strong, looking like his old self. There were several wild scrambles on the ground in Round 1. The last of those resulted in Condit threatening a rare-naked choke in the final 30 seconds. He had it tight and momentarily appeared on the verge of getting the finish, but Oliveira remained calm and was able to resist tapping before the horn sounded.

It was back-and-forth action in Round 2. During a grappling exchange, Condit lost his balance and instinctively shot for a double-leg takedown. This minor mistake had dire consequences. Oliveira sunk in a standing guillotine choke that Condit correctly defended. As both men went down to the ground, it seemed as if Condit was going to survive. However, Oliveira continued to apply the pressure and forced the tap 3:17 into the stanza.

Oliveira cashed tickets as a -200 ‘chalk’ and earned an extra 50 large with one of the two Performance of the Night bonuses. Condit lost his fourth straight fight and fell to 2-7 since beating Nick Diaz to win the interim welterweight strap (while GSP was out with a torn ACL) back at UFC 143 in February of 2012.

Israel Adesanya came into his second UFC appearance with tons of hype and a 12-0 career record with 12 finishes. The Nigerian-born New Zealand native would have to go the distance for the first time, however, against a game Italian middleweight in 24-year-old Marvin Vettori.

VI scored the first two rounds for Adesanya, but Vettori was certainly competitive and neither round was lopsided. Vettori landed his first takedown early in the third round and maintained top position for several minutes. He scored some damage but never had Adesanya in trouble.

Adesanya was given the split-decision victory (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) to remain unbeaten. He cashed tickets as a favorite in the -260 neighborhood.

Michelle ‘The Karate Hottie’ Waterson captured a split-decision win over Cortney Casey (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) as a +140 underdog in the main card opener. Waterson snapped a two-fight losing slide and won for the first time since submitting Paige VanZant on Dec. 17 of 2016.

In the Prelims headliner, Antonio Carlos Junior won his fifth consecutive fight by submitting Tim Boetsch late in the opening round of their middleweight tussle. Junior hooked up his backers as a -240 favorite, while the ‘under’ (1.5 round) paid a +115 return.

Muslim Salikhov ruined Ricky Rainey’s UFC debut by scoring a KO win late in Round 2. Salikhov cashed tickets as a -200 ‘chalk.’ John Moraga defeated Wilson Reis by UD as an even-money underdog in a flyweight scrap, while Brad Taveres won his fourth straight fight by taking out Krzysztof by third-round KO.

Taveres, who is 5-1 since 2015 with his only loss coming to middleweight kingpin Robert Whittaker, called out former champ Michael Bisping in his post-fight interview in the Octagon.

Adam Wieczorek stole the show in the FightPass prelims. After being dominated on the ground by Arjan Bhullar for the entire first round and the early portion of Round 2, Wieczorek was able to execute just the second omoplata submission in UFC history to earn a Performance of the Night bonus. Wieczorek hooked up his gambling supporters with a generous payout in the +270 range.

Other winners on FightPass included Gilbert Burns, Lauren Mueller, Yushin Okami, Alejandro Perez and Luke Sanders. The Octagon heads to Atlantic City next weekend with Kevin Lee and Edson Barboza squaring off in the main event. Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson will collide in the co-main event.

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

  
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