UFC 161: Tyron Woodley opens as slim favorite over Jake Shields

Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

In a battle of grapplers, Tyron Woodley was set as an early favorite over former Strikeforce champ Jake Shields.

UFC 161 on June 15th has a stacked main card, but the bout that will headline the prelims is pretty compelling as well. Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields will face off with Tyron Woodley and somewhat surprisingly, it's Woodley that has opened as the favorite. Here's how MMA Odds Breaker opened the line on 5Dimes:

Woodley -180
Shields +140

It has moved slightly further in Woodley's direction since it opened, with him sitting at -185 on 5Dimes and Shields sitting at +145. Woodley can be found with a slightly better line, -179, on SportBet.

Woodley (11-1) is coming off an excellent debut in the UFC where he starched Jay Hieron in just 36 seconds at UFC 156. His only loss came to Nate Marquardt when the two faced off for the vacant Strikeforce welterweight title last year. Shields (27-6-1, 1 NC) picked up a dominating win over Ed Herman last time out at UFC 150, but was subsequently suspended for a positive test and the bout was flipped to a no-contest. He's 2-2 (1 NC) in the UFC since his move over from Strikeforce.

In terms of betting, I'm leaning heavily towards Shields in this one. I still think he can be an elite welterweight and he's definitely one of the best grapplers in the division. I don't see Woodley landing the big shot to the chin that he did on Hieron, and I don't see him dominating with his wrestling. In fact, I see it the other way around - Shields will be the one dictating where the fight takes place. I'm all over getting Shields at +145, and I hope more people come in Woodley so I can get Jake at an even better price.

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