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UFC 165 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Odds give Jon Jones an 88 percent chance to beat Alexander Gustafsson

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Gregory Payan / AP Photo

Champion Jon Jones, right, gets a body lock against Chael Sonnen during their UFC 159 light heavyweight title bout in Newark, N.J., Saturday, April 27, 2013. Jones retained his title via first-round TKO.

The days of betting on Jon Jones at any type of a discount have come to an end.

The light heavyweight champion enters the octagon as more than a 7-to-1 favorite for the third straight fight Saturday night in the main event of UFC 165 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.

The lofty prices in his last two fights could have been written off as understandable given that the opponents, Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort, had spent the majority of their careers at the weight class below Jones.

But in Alexander Gustafsson, the champion faces the top-ranked 205-pound challenger in the world who’s won six straight fights.

Oddsmakers weren’t swayed. Bettors weren’t deterred. And the Sun’s picks panel is in agreement.

It’s a clean sweep in all five competitors picking Jones to retain his title for another night against Gustafsson.

Find a breakdown, betting odds and picks for every fight from ESPN Radio’s Steve Cofield (105-48 year to date), ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (99-54), 2011 champion and the Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (99-54), 2012 champion and KSNV’s Kevin West (99-54), and Las Vegas Sun’s Ray Brewer (98-55) below.

Alexander Gustafsson

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 7-1
  • MMA record 15-1
  • Out of: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Betting line: +550

Jon Jones

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 205
  • UFC record 12-1
  • MMA record 18-1
  • Out of: Endicott, N.Y.
  • Betting line: -775

Light Heavyweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC on Fox 5.

Punch list: If Jones has any equal at 205 pounds, he’s selling Gustafsson as filling that role. This bout ultimately got booked because Jones asked for Gustafsson, citing his six-fight win streak and size likeness.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Jones

Cofield: Jones

Last fight: First-round submission victory over Chael Sonnen at UFC 159.

Punch list: Now holding the record for most light heavyweight title defenses at five with four finishes, Jones is proven to have no match. He’s the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and it’s not remotely close.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Jones

Brewer: Jones

Okamoto: Jones

Eddie Wineland

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 2-2
  • MMA record 20-8-1
  • Out of: Chesterton, Ind.
  • Betting line: +450

Renan Barao

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 5-0
  • MMA record 30-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -550

Interim Bantamweight Championship Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Split-decision victory over Brad Pickett at UFC 155.

Punch list: One person who doesn’t mind Cruz’s injury-plagued tenure as UFC champion extending to nearly two years is Wineland. He was devastated when Barao pulled out of UFC 161 and unsure if he’d get the opportunity at the title again.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Barao

Cofield: Barao

Last fight: Fourth-round submission victory over Michael McDonald at UFC on Fuel TV 7.

Punch list: An injury to his foot forced Barao out of this bout three months ago. The interim bantamweight champion hoped Dominick Cruz would be recovered and ready to unify the belts by the time he was healthy, but that didn’t materialize.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Barao

Brewer: Barao

Okamoto: Barao

Matt Mitrione

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 259
  • UFC record 6-2
  • MMA record 6-2
  • Out of: Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Betting line: -120

Brendan Schaub

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 243
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 9-3
  • Out of: Denver
  • Betting line: +100

Heavyweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Knocked out Phil De Fries in the first round at UFC on Fuel TV 10.

Punch list: Mitrione had brief tenures with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings. He registered four career tackles, making his football career more of a success than Schaub’s. As far as mixed martial arts, it might come down to this weekend.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Mitrione

Cofield: Mitrione

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Lavar Johnson at UFC 157.

Punch list: It’s appropriate this bout is finally taking place during football season. Both “The Ultimate Fighter” 10 alums had NFL careers before transitioning to mixed martial arts. Schaub was on the Buffalo Bills practice squad.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Schaub

Brewer: Schaub

Okamoto: Mitrione

Francis Carmont

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 186
  • UFC record 5-0
  • MMA record 21-7
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: +155

Costa Philippou

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-1
  • MMA record 12-2
  • Out of: Long Island, N.Y.
  • Betting line: -180

Middleweight Bout

Main Card Fight

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Lorenz Larkin at UFC on Fox 7.

Punch list: Carmont, a training partner of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, has a five-fight win streak of his own. His last two victories over Larkin and Tom Lawlor, however, were controversial with several people scoring the decisions the other way.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Philippou

Cofield: Philippou

Last fight: Third-round TKO victory over Tim Boetsch at UFC 155.

Punch list: A training partner of UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, Philippou has worked himself up the division’s ranks himself. After fizzling out of “The Ultimate Fighter” and losing his first fight in the octagon, Philippou has won five straight.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Philippou

Brewer: Philippou

Okamoto: Philippou

Khabib Nurmagomedov

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 4-0
  • MMA record 20-0
  • Out of: Dagestan, Russia
  • Betting line: -250

Pat Healy

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 29-16
  • Out of: Portland, Ore.
  • Betting line: +200

Lightweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Beat Abel Trujillo by unanimous decision at UFC 160.

Punch list: Like Healy, Nurmagomedov also brings a contrasting mix of positives and negatives to Toronto. The Russian is perhaps the best prospect in the 155-pound division, but turned a lot of people off by missing weight before his last fight and then showboating in the cage.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Nurmagomedov

Cofield: Nurmagomedov

Last fight: Third-round submission win over Jim Miller at UFC 159 overturned into a no-contest.

Punch list: “Bam Bam” appeared to have a dream-come-true UFC debut, as he upset a wily veteran and pulled down bonuses worth of $130,000 in the process. Then it all crashed with a positive drug test for marijuana, which took away the cash and the win.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Healy

Brewer: Nurmagomedov

Okamoto: Nurmagomedov

Myles Jury

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 12-0
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: -400

Mike Ricci

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 8-3
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: +300

Lightweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Knocked out Ramsey Nijem at UFC on Fox 7.

Punch list: Fighting so far away from home on his opponent’s turf might be Jury’s only disadvantage here. Since a disappointing ouster from “The Ultimate Fighter” — a season before Ricci was on —Jury has impressed with routs over fellow reality-show veterans Nijem and Michael Johnson.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Jury

Cofield: Jury

Last fight: Defeated Colin Fletcher by unanimous decision at UFC 158.

Punch list: The last time Ricci faced a wrestler, it didn’t end well for him. Colton Smith grinded out a lopsided unanimous-decision victory at “The Ultimate Fighter” 16 finale. Ricci blamed the performance on not being at his natural weight class, an excuse that’s no longer valid.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Jury

Brewer: Jury

Okamoto: Jury

Wilson Reis

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’3”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 16-4
  • Out of: Philadelphia
  • Betting line: +150

Ivan Menjivar

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 4-2
  • MMA record 25-10
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: -180

Bantamweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Third-round submission victory over Owen Roddy at Cage Warriors 50.

Punch list: A Bellator castoff, Reis hopes to redeem himself on MMA’s biggest stage. He got knocked out in two straight Bellator bouts two years ago, but won four in a row after getting cut to get back onto the radar of major promotions.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Menjivar

Cofield: Menjivar

Last fight: Submitted by Urijah Faber in the first round at UFC 157.

Punch list: “The Pride of El Salvador” won three straight in the UFC after coming over in the WEC merger. But he’s dropped two of three since and no longer resides in the upper tier of the division.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Reis

Brewer: Menjivar

Okamoto: Menjivar

Stephen Thompson

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 7-1
  • Out of: Simpsonville, S.C.
  • Betting line: -300

Chris Clements

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 170
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 11-4
  • Out of: London, Ontario
  • Betting line: +225

Welterweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: No-contest against Matt Riddle at UFC 149, overturned from a third-round submission loss.

Punch list: Inactive for more than a year, “The Menace” is finally healthy after rehabbing from shoulder surgery. He’s a striker with 10 career knockouts, which could make the matchup with Thompson stylistically pleasing.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Thompson

Cofield: Thompson

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory over Nah-Shon Burrell at UFC 160.

Punch list: “Wonderboy” is a fan favorite because of his unique striking style. He was a karate and kickboxing champion who helped top UFC fighters train before deciding to try the sport for himself.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Thompson

Brewer: Thompson

Okamoto: Thompson

Dustin Kimura

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’7”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 10-0
  • Out of: Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Betting line: -220

Mitch Gagnon

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 9-2
  • Out of: Sudbury, Ontario
  • Betting line: +180

Bantamweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Submitted Chico Camus in the third round at UFC 156.

Punch list: Owner of the most fitting last name in the UFC, Kimura actually only has one win by armbar. But he has seven by submission and two by knockout, illustrating his stoppage-hungry mindset.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Kimura

Cofield: Kimura

Last fight: Submitted Walel Watson in the first round at UFC 152.

Punch list: Prepare for some grappling fun. All nine of Gagnon’s victories have come by submission, including eight in the first round. He has five wins by guillotine choke.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Kimura

Brewer: Kimura

Okamoto: Gagnon

Renee Forte

  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 1-1
  • MMA record 8-2
  • Out of: Fortaleza, Brazil
  • Betting line: +170

John Makdessi

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 4-2
  • MMA record 11-2
  • Out of: Montreal
  • Betting line: -200

Lightweight Bout

Fox Sports 1 Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Terry Etim at UFC on Fuel TV 7.

Punch list: It’s a marquee gym matchup, as Forte works with Team Nogueira in his native Brazil. He was on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” before losing by submission, and then falling victim to the same rear naked choke move in his UFC debut last October.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Makdessi

Cofield: Makdessi

Last fight: Unanimous-decision win over Daron Cruickshank at UFC 158.

Punch list: The first of four members from Tristar Gym to fight at UFC 165, Makdessi seeks a third straight win at the Bell Centre. A black belt in taekwondo, the highlight of his UFC career remains a spinning backfist knockout of Kyle Watson two-and-a-half years ago.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Forte

Brewer: Makdessi

Okamoto: Makdessi

Michel Prazeres

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 16-1
  • Out of: Belem, Brazil
  • Betting line: +140

Jesse Ronson

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 156
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 13-2
  • Out of: London, Ontario
  • Betting line: -170

Lightweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Lost to Paulo Thiago by unanimous decision at UFC on FX 8.

Punch list: It’s an inexact science to predict how a fighter will respond to the first loss of his career. “Tractor” had been unbeaten for 10 years before running into the more seasoned Thiago in his UFC debut.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Ronson

Cofield: Ronson

Last fight: Submitted Shane Campbell at Aggression Fighting Championships 19.

Punch list: “The Body Snatcher” got the UFC’s attention by tearing through competition in smaller Canadian promotions over the last two years. He received the opportunity to debut in the octagon as an injury replacement for Mark Bocek.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Prazeres

Brewer: Prazeres

Okamoto: Ronson

Alex Caceres

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 3-3
  • MMA record 8-5
  • Out of: Miami
  • Betting line: -155

Roland Delorme

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’9”
  • Weight: 135
  • UFC record 3-0
  • MMA record 9-1
  • Out of: Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • Betting line: +125

Bantamweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: No-contest against Kyung Ho Kang that was originally a split-decision victory.

Punch list: Caceres’ time in the UFC has been a mix of promise and mistakes. His last fight is a microcosm. Although he came away victorious to seemingly nab a third straight win, a positive test for marijuana undid the success.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Caceres

Cofield: Delorme

Last fight: Beat Edwin Figueroa by unanimous decision at UFC 161.

Punch list: Delorme owned and operated a restaurant in his hometown before leaving that behind to fight. So far, so good. He’s carved out a successful run in the UFC with an exciting style and strong grappling.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Delorme

Brewer: Delorme

Okamoto: Caceres

Daniel Omielanczuk

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 242
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 15-3-1
  • Out of: Warsaw, Poland
  • Betting line: -290

Nandor Guelmino

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 231
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 11-4-1
  • Out of: Vienna, Austria
  • Betting line: +210

Heavyweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous-decision victory against David Tkeshelashvili at MMA Grand Prix of Eastern Europe 2.

Punch list: Omielanczuk rose to prospect status in Europe with a lethal grappling game. He has nine career wins by submission, including a streak of seven in a row before his last fight.

Picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Guelmino

Cofield: Omielanczuk

Last fight: Submitted by Josh Barnett in the first round at Strikeforce: Marquardt vs. Saffiedine.

Punch list: Guelmino gets a shot in the UFC by virtue of agreeing to face Barnett on short notice earlier this year. He didn’t fare too well in that bout, but had won seven in a row before his lone Strikeforce appearance.

Picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Omielanczuk

Brewer: Guelmino

Okamoto: Guelmino

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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