Thursday, 17 November 2011

UFC 139 Betting

And here we go.

Last time out I was badly hit by the Kid Yamamoto loss on the accumalator end of things but the JDS knockout and the wins for Poirier, Peralta and Henderson more than made up for it. Again it was a close run thing for me but the strike rate remains around the north side of 80% so I hope those of you that are reading are making some money.

I've not much time to run through this so it's a much shorter blog than I would like to have gone with.

So lets get this thing started for UFC 139.

Here's the UFC's own extended preview for the event.

Here's the full fight card for UFC139. I'm only going to take 5 or 6 fights from the card as I believe there is a few too many fights that could go either way.

Main card

Light Heavyweight bout: Brazil Maurício Rua vs. United States Dan Henderson
Middleweight bout: Brazil Wanderlei Silva vs. United States Cung Le
Bantamweight bout: United States Urijah Faber vs. United States Brian Bowles
Welterweight bout: Denmark Martin Kampmann vs. United States Rick Story
Light Heavyweight bout: United States Stephan Bonnar vs. United States Kyle Kingsbury

    Preliminary card (televised)

    Light Heavyweight bout: United States Ryan Bader vs. United States Jason Brilz
    Middleweight bout: United States Tom Lawlor vs. United States Chris Weidman

      Preliminary card (Facebook)

      Bantamweight bout: United States Michael McDonald vs. Mexico Alex Soto
      Lightweight bout: Brazil Gleison Tibau vs. Brazil Rafael dos Anjos
      Bantamweight bout: United States Miguel Torres vs. United States Nick Pace
      Welterweight bout: United States Matt Brown vs. United States Seth Baczynski
      Lightweight bout: United States Shamar Bailey vs. United States Danny Castillo

        As ever we'll kick this off with the main event.

        Light Heavyweight bout: Brazil Maurício Rua vs. United States Dan Henderson

        4 and a half years seems such a short time but that's how long that has passed since these two would have been respectively the number 1 contender and champion of the Pride middleweight division (93kg). Unfortunately for Pride fans the company disbanded shortly after Henderson beat Wanderlei Silva and we would all have to wait until November 2011 for this match up to happen.

        Both men are legends in the sport. Shogun being responsible for giving Lyoto Machida his first professional loss in their second fight. He did this with a vicious TKO following the highly disputed original fight which the majority of people scored in Shogun's favour only for the judges scorecards to disagree. Since then there has been some major questions relating Shogun's condition and specifically the condition of his knees which have seen Rua have several surgeries over the years to varying degrees of success if his performances are to be the indicators of their success. This again is a question mark area as was seen in the fight with Jones where Shogun looked particularly out of shape and gassed badly. Of course Jones pressing and pushing the pace didn't help the matter but it's an area of concern as other than the original Machida fight Shogun's conditioning has been questionable. What's not in question is the mans talent. He is one of the best strikers on the planet and has a vicious array of knees and kicks that can leave any opponent in a daze. Not too mention the speed Shogun can go about his work when he is fully fit. This camp has largely been done in private so stories relating to Shogun's conditioning and injuries have been scarce. Simply put a fully fit Shogun is a dangerous proposition for just about anyone at 205lbs. The problem is it's a long time since we've seen this. After his KO victory against Forrest Griffin in his most recent bout we can not be sure if the real Shogun is ready to show up.

        And so we move on to his opponent Dan Henderson. Hendo probably has one of the most famous KO victories in history when he knocked out Michael Bisping at UFC100.

        Shortly after that fight Hendo moved to Strikeforce to challenge Jake Shields for that organisations middleweight title. He came up short against Shields and soon after returned to the 205lbs division. Since moving back up to 205lbs Hendo has been impressive and has enjoyed something of a career resurrection including most recently a victory against the Last Emperor Fedor at heavyweight. That victory for Henderson was massive and made him a much sought after free agent as his contract was up for negeotiation. Strikeforce having been purchased by Zuffa now lead to an interesting situation. Did they try keep Hendo in Strikeforce or bring him back to the UFC? Following the twitter discussion was half the fun. It lead to the now infamous "fatso's gotta go talk to baldy" tweet that showed the bad blood of their previous contract negeotiations that lead to Hendo jumping ship had been forgotten.

        Henderson finds himself coming off the back of 3 successive wins. One at heavyweight when he knocked out Fedor and two fights at lightheavyweight against Sobral and Cavalcante respectively. All 3 of these fights have ended with a Henderson KO or TKO. Just in case your wondering the last time Henderson lost a fight at 205 was against Rampage Jackson in 2007. Henderson is a grinder and an Olympic calibre wrestler. He's got massive KO power with his right hand and if he connects it will be goodnight for most opponents. Hendo also has a granite chin and has never lost by TKO or KO.

        This fight makes one hell of a match up even if it is a few years later than most of us would have liked. The big questions in the fight are whether Shogun's conditioning is up to scratch and whether Shogun may try and use his under-rated ground game. Personally speaking I see the clinch being crucial in this fight. Who ever is in control of it is likely to be victorious.

        For Shogun to win this he has to have a similar strategy to his fight with Machida that he gets in and out. Shogun's tendancy to drop his hands when landing leg kicks may put him in danger of getting clipped. Henderson's best bet short of catching Shogun with a right hook is grinding out the result by using his wrestling. Henderson has some excellent dirty boxing skills and much like Randy Couture can tire guys out by keeping them trapped in the clinch against the cage. He's some vicious ground and pound that Shogun will have to be careful of should he be taken down.

        Recommendation: Henderson might just edge this. Although both fighters are known for their KO abilities that this is going to possibly be a decision. The longer the fight goes the more it suits Henderson.


        Welterweight bout: Denmark Martin Kampmann vs. United States Rick Story

        I think this fight has one of the major plays of the evening. Both men are in the top ten of the welterweight division and a victory for either could push them back towards possible contention in the division. Both men are dangerous for different reasons. Story with his excellent chin and very solid wrestling. Kampmann for his excellent kickboxing game and very under-rated ground game.

        Story comes into the fight a slight favourite which personally speaking I think is a bit of a weird move by the bookies. If you look at their respective opponents to date Kampmann has fought a much higher calibre of fighter and with that has been on the wrong side of a couple of thread thin split decisions against top tier competition (Sanchez, Shields and Condit being the victors in those fights).

        This fight is going to be all about whether Kampmann can avoid the takedown and engage Story in the striking game without getting caught. If Story attempts to stand and brawl I believe he may be on the wrong end of a decision as Kampmann's kickboxing is on another level to Story's.

        Recommendation: The Hitman to upset the bookies and make us all some money. Those who bet on Fight of the Night may want to have a look at this as a potential bet.

        I usually try to breakdown other fights on the card but I'm a bit stretched for time. Here's who I'm picking for the other fights anyway if you're interested.

        Other Fights:

        Middleweight bout: Brazil Wanderlei Silva vs. United States Cung Le
        Recommendation: Cung Le
        Bantamweight bout: United States Urijah Faber vs. United States Brian Bowles
        Recommendation: Urijah Faber
        Bantamweight bout: United States Miguel Torres vs. United States Nick Pace
        Recommendation: Torres
        Middleweight bout: United States Tom Lawlor vs. United States Chris Weidman
        Recommendation: Chris Weidman
        If it was on entrances alone Lawlor would never lose. He is one of my favourite fighters but Weidman is going to be a top 185'er so apologies to the legend that is Tom. If you're not familiar with Tom have a look at this...

        Yeah any excuse to put those two clips into a blog is fine by me.

        My bookie of choice currently is Bet365 via
        As of the time of writing the 6 fights in an accumalator is worth 16.84/1.

        As ever folks thank you for reading and happy punting.

        Goodbye from the fatman that is myself for now. This is my next haircut by the way.

        Saturday, 12 November 2011

        UFC on Fox

        And here we go.

        Just a recap last time out I was only wrong on one fight. Taking BJ Penn in a pick'em fight with Nick Diaz. As I said at the time they were very evenly skilled so it was difficult to pick a winner. It ended up being a great fight so even with the wrong result for me on the betting side of things it was a hell of a fight for any MMA fan to enjoy.

        I'm a little later doing this up than usual so i'm planning to do a quick batch for the UFC on Fox card and do a UFC 139 blog later in the week.

        I'm going to only breakdown two fights in this one. The main event of JDS vs Cain that airs on Fox in the States and Setanta over here as well the co-main event of Ben "The Smooth one" Henderson vs Clay "The Carpenter" Guida which will be live on Facebook. 8 other prelim fights air on Facebook so make sure not to miss them.

        Alright let's kick this off properly with the main event for the Heavyweight championship of the world. 
        Heavyweight Championship bout: United States Cain Velasquez vs. Brazil Junior dos Santos

        Not only is this a landmark night for the UFC with their network TV debut it also sees possibly the biggest Heavyweight fight of the year. There's a bit of symmetry with the Heavyweight title taking centre stage as the event will mark 18 years since the UFC it's self debuted on PPV with an open weight tournament. A lots changed in those 18 years but mixed martial arts has remained the focus of the organisation. Anyway enough of this babbling lets get to the fight.

        2 of the best Heavyweights on the planet finally collide after what seems like an eternity waiting for it. Velasquez has been out of the game injured since his crushing of Brock Lesnar back in October of last year at UFC121. Junior has attempted to keep himself busy in the midst of a guaranteed title shot being offered if he wished to wait whilst Cain recovered from his shoulder surgery. Cigano decided to keep fighting to keep himself fresh and faced an extremely dangerous opponent in Shane Carwin. Their UFC records are identical in that they're both 7-0 in the organisation. Both have numerous TKO's to their name and are extremely dangerous on the feet.

        If we're talking purely boxing terms then you would give the advantage to Cigano. He has the best hands in the division from a boxing perspective and is as quick as he is technical with them. His beautiful knock out of Werdum in his debut and his streak of four stoppages (3 TKO/KO's and 1 verbal submission) there after against Struve, Cro Cop, Yvel and Gonzaga put him on the map and in contention for a title shot. He earned that title shot after a decision win against the robust Roy Nelson. In that fight JDS' cardio was brought into question as he was visibly tired going into the 3rd round. He looked much better cardio wise in his most recent fight with Carwin but there is still question marks in this area for a 5 round fight.

        One negative impact for JDS is that he is rather one dimensional in his approach that he primarily boxes. Rarely throws kicks but is vicious with knees in the clinch. His trademark left upper cut is the punch to watch out for. If he hits anyone clean with that it's lights out and fight over. His take down defence and balance has been impressive but this will be put to the test with Velasquez who comes with an excellent all round and wrestling game.

        Since his last fight he has split with Ed Soares as his manager and returned to his roots camp wise. He still receives BJJ training under the Nogueira brothers but is primarily training back in Brazil. Whether this will have a positive or negative impact on JDS is yet to be seen.

        Moving on to Velasquez. What can be said that you've probably not already heard. Cain Velasquez is a true mixed martial artist in every sense of the name. His technique is excellent and his cardio is amazing for a Heavyweight. The guy is known to out train Welterweights and Lightweights in cardio drills which is for the most part unheard of.

        He has a perfect 9-0 record and came into the UFC off the back of not being able to get fights on the regional circuit such was the buzz that was surrounding him after his debut. When he appeared in the UFC he immediatedly justified the hype by dispatching his first 2 opponents within the first round. He continued this tear with a third TKO victory in the UFC in his next fight. As has been visited on this blog previously he did take a decision victory over Cheick Kongo in his 4th UFC fight. This was visibly a bigger challenge for Cain compared to his first 3 opponents and it was the first time we'd seen him in any kind of difficulty when he was rocked twice. The cardio shined through and he recovered quickly enough to maintain his composure and grind out the fight.

        He then disposed of Rothwell and Big Nog in ruthless fashion to earn a title shot against Brock Lesnar. In that title fight he survived an early Lesnar onslaught and being taken down twice to then press the champion and force a stoppage when Lesnar could no longer defend himself. It was the performance of a lifetime and I myself was personally there to witness it so I can say first hand that it was electric in the arena that night.

        In the Lesnar fight Cain suffered a torn rotator cuff that required surgery. Hence forcing him to rehabilitate it prior to fighting again. Now two questions remain regarding this fight.
        1. Can JDS avoid the takedown and land his strikes?
        2. Does Cain still have the same conditioning as before his injury as it's over a year since he fought?

        These two questions are key in determining the winner of this fight. Velasquez is the definitely more well rounded of the two fighters and would take the edge in that respect however JDS is the more technical boxer and has the quicker hands but not as great cardio.

        Recommendation: It's a pick'em fight again. I believe if this fight is over inside the first 2 rounds it will be via a JDS KO/TKO. If it goes any longer than that I think Velasquez will win the fight by a 4th round TKO or a decision. I'm probably going to be hedging my bets with this one for those reasons. 

        Lightweight bout: United States Ben Henderson vs. United States Clay Guida

        If you're a Fight of the Night bet fan. I'd suggest this or Poirier vs Garza. Guida and Henderson is a pretty even match up in many areas. They've both excellent top games and wrestling. Their cardio is off the charts. Guida's entrance is generally more movement than some Heavyweights have in their fights. Henderson is much the same in the respect that he's a lightning bolt speed wise and can keep up a relentless pace.

        Guida has made a name for himself through his relentless style. Previously a Strikeforce champion prior to being dethroned by Gilbert Melendez. Guida has come on in leaps and bounds since moving to Greg Jackson's camp. He comes into this fight on a four fight win streak including a victory over Anthony Pettis who defeated Henderson back at WEC53 to claim their Lightweight title. We're not doing MMA math here so it would be silly to discount Henderson on this basis. He is an exciting fighter and is willing to participate in a brawl should it be needed. Guida does have some wild stand up but it can be effective in that it's unorthodox so Guida is difficult to predict on his feet. This helps him with his wrestling game as it allows opportunities for the takedown.

        Henderson is coming off the back of two wins since entering the UFC. His most recent victory over Jim Miller was extremely impressive as no-one had put Miller into those sort of precarious positions up to that point in his career. It was also noticeable how much compusure Henderson had as he himself was put in some difficult positions early on in the fight. Henderson is extremely well rounded and in my personal opinion I give him a massive advantage on the feet as well as on the ground should he be on top.

        It's a close fight and is probably going to go by decision.
        Recommendation: The Smooth One Ben Henderson. It'll either be by submission early on or a decision victory.

        Other Facebook Prelims:

        Welterweight bout: United States Mike Pierce vs. United States Paul Bradley 
        Recommendation: Pierce
        Bantamweight bout: Japan Norifumi Yamamoto vs. United States Darren Uyenoyama
        Recommendation: Kid Yamamoto
        Featherweight bout: United States Cub Swanson vs. United States Ricardo Lamas
        Recommendation: Lamas
        Featherweight bout: United States Dustin Poirier vs. United States Pablo Garza
        Recommendation: This is a pick'em fight. Poirier is the better fighter in my opinion and should take it but Garza could pull off a shock victory. Price wise a small punt on Garza may be worthwhile if you want to hedge.