If the quality of recent competition is an indicator of whether Benson Henderson orwill win at UFC on FOX 7 on Saturday, it's not surprising that so much betting is on the champion.
More than 80 percent of the UFC betting volume at Bovada was on Henderson, who defends his lightweight strap against champion Melendez. Henderson (18-2) was -300 as of midweek, while Melendez was +230 (meaning a $100 bet would pay out $230 in profit).
"As in football, recent form is a key handicapping consideration and look at Henderson's wins:twice, twice, , , ," said Jack Randall of OddsShark.com.
"It's a who's who of the stacked UFC lightweight division and he beat them all."
Melendez, 21-2, meanwhile, has enjoyed a long winning streak and plenty of votes on pound-for-pound lists but he has done so against a lesser grade of MMA foe. He won a pair of controversial decisions against Josh Thomson (who faces Diaz on the same Fox card), and .
Randall believes Henderson's size - he's a huge lightweight - will be the difference in controlling the fight against Melendez, who is a small lightweight. Henderson has been involved in seven straight decisions, winning six in the UFC.
Despite Melendez's fierce reputation, he has finished just one of his past five opponents.
Fans are backing the favorites in the other two marquee fights of the evening. More than 60 percent of the bets are on undefeatedto take down former heavyweight champ .
Cormier was -450 at Bovada, while Mir was +325.
And the same percentage of bettors were backing Diaz over Thomson. Diaz was -210 against Thomson at +170.
The rest of the card, with lines from OddsShark.com's UFC odds pages, feature:
Yoel Romero -175
Clifford Starks +135
Anthony Njokuani -185
Roger Bowling +145
TJ Dillashaw -475
Hugo Viana +325
Jorge Masvidal -165
Tim Means +125
Joseph Benavidez -565
Darren Uyenoyama +375
Ramsey Nijem +210
Myles Jury -290
Lorenz Larkin +120
Francis Carmont -160
Chad Mendes -750
Darren Elkins +450
Matt Brown +260
Jordan Mein -380