Moraes faces Sandhagen as underdog on weekend UFC odds

Marlon Moraes celebrates after defeating Jose Aldo in a mixed martial arts bantamweight bout at UFC 245. (John Locher/AP)

Marlon Moraes will try to strengthen his position as the top contender in the UFC bantamweight division when he takes on Cory Sandhagen on Saturday at UFC Fight Island 5 as a solid +115 underdog on the UFC odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Moraes is coming off a three-round split decision win over former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 245, and will be aiming to earn another shot at the UFC bantamweight crown with a victory in Saturday night’s bout at UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

Moraes came up short in his first bid for the UFC bantamweight title, suffering a third-round TKO loss to then-champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 238 as a -165 wager at betting sites. That loss ended a stretch of wins in his first four UFC fights, a run that featured a trio of first-round finishes, with each of those victories earning him a Performance of the Night bonus.

Sandhagen will be looking to rebound from his first loss in over three years as he enters the octagon for Saturday’s main event as a -145 favourite on the betting lines. Sandhagen suffered a submission loss just 88 seconds into his clash with Aljamain Sterling at UFC 250.

The loss as a -105 underdog marked his first defeat in six career UFC fights, and put the brakes on a seven-fight win streak. Like Moraes, Sandhagen has a solid track record of finishing opponents, claiming victory inside two rounds in five of his seven recent wins. However, the 28-year-old American has never seen action in championship rounds while compiling a 12-2 professional MMA record.

Earlier on Saturday night, veteran featherweight Edson Barboza looks to snap a three-fight losing streak as he battles Makwan Amirkhani as a -280 favourite. Barboza suffered his second straight defeat by split decision last time out, falling to Dan Ige as a -135 wager in his featherweight debut. Overall, the 34-year-old Brazilian has posted just one win in six contests since March 2017, with the judges making the call in three of his five recent losses.

Fresh off an opening-round victory over Danny Henry just three months ago at UFC 251, Amirkhani enters Saturday’s clash as a +220 underdog. Amirkhani has developed a reputation as a submission specialist, with opponents tapping out in 11 of his 16 career wins, but he has seen three of his past six UFC clashes go the distance.

Elsewhere on the UFC betting lines for Saturday, heavyweight Ben Rothwell faces Marcin Tybura as -155 chalk, while Dricus Du Plessis takes on fellow middleweight Markus Perez as a -170 wager.

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