Tuesday, 27 December 2011

UFC 141 Betting

And here we go again. The last UFC was a disaster for me so I'll leave it at that and we'll move on to this Friday night's card.

Main card

Heavyweight bout: United States Brock Lesnar vs. Netherlands Alistair Overeem
Lightweight bout: United States Nate Diaz vs. United States Donald Cerrone
Welterweight bout: United States Jon Fitch vs. United States Johny Hendricks
Light Heavyweight bout: Belarus Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Sweden Alexander Gustafsson
Featherweight bout: United States Nam Phan vs. United States Jimy Hettes

Preliminary card (televised)

Featherweight bout: England Ross Pearson vs. Brazil Junior Assunção
Lightweight bout: Nigeria Anthony Njokuani vs. United States Danny Castillo

Preliminary card (Facebook) 

Welterweight bout: South Korea Dong Hyun Kim vs. Canada Sean Pierson
Lightweight bout: United States Jacob Volkmann vs. Mexico Efrain Escudero
Welterweight bout: United States Matt Riddle vs. Brazil Luis Ramos
Featherweight bout: Armenia Manvel Gamburyan vs. Brazil Diego Nunes

This is one hell of a card to end the year and has a few interesting plays available in my opinion. There's the possibility for a few upsets and I think the bookies have massively overpriced 2 guys at least on this card.

Right lets take a look at the main event as ever first and work our way down the rest of the card. Here's the extended preview for the event should you wish to get a quick snippet of what is coming your way on Friday night.

Heavyweight bout: United States Brock Lesnar vs. Netherlands Alistair Overeem

Simply put this is the biggest fight of both these men's careers. A shot at the UFC Heavyweight title is up for grabs and many questions hang in the balance about both men. One thing is for sure this is going to be 265lb behemoths colliding and there's a number of ways it could possibly pan out.

We'll start with Lesnar. What can be said about Brock that hasn't been said time and time again. He's a world class wrestler and former NCAA Division 1 champion. He's a former Undisputed UFC Champion and won the UFC Heavyweight title in only his fourth professional MMA fight. Not to mention he's survived nearly breaking his neck in a WWE ring trying to do a shooting star press. Most recently he's dealt with a second case of diverticulitis and had surgery to remove part of his colon to remedy the longstanding illness. This is one of the two big questions over Lesnar going into this fight. How healthy is he? Can he survive a Overeem onslaught?

Judging by the videos that have been released of Lesnar's training camp the answer to the first question is very. The bigger question is whether Brock has learned to take a shot to the face or not. We've seen it in his two most recent fights that he doesn't react well to receiving strikes to the face. Sure one of the opponents was the mallet fisted Shane Carwin but in the Velasquez fight at UFC 121 it was Brock's reaction to being hit that caused him to lose his footing and lead to the eventual ass whipping he received. That's now over a year ago though and in the Carwin fight we saw Brock get back up by the end of the first round and of course go on to beat Carwin by submission so there is a bit of light in that.

The biggest problem I have with Lesnar in that type of situation is his defensive guard or lack thereof. He's sort of turtled in both scenarios and flailed a bit trying to block strikes rather than trying to find some sort of defensive guard. Admittedly this might be because he's trying to recapture his wits as these guys aren't throwing pillow punches but it is something to keep in mind.

The major positive with Lesnar and this was re-affirmed as recently as 2 weeks ago by an outside source in Randy Couture. Lesnar learns fast and is steadily improving in all aspects of the game. With a year out who knows what tricks Lesnar will have picked up. His Ground and Pound game is scary as hell and he does have some massive power even if his technique still needs work. Witness his fight with Herring when he broke Herring's orbital bone and sent him head over heels with a punch.

And on we move to Overeem. The Demolition Man has had a storied career thus far going back to his days in Pride when he fought primarily in their Middleweight division (the equivalency of the UFC's Light Heavyweight division). During his time in Pride Overeem fought some legends of the game. Namely against the likes of Vitor Belfort, Lil Nog, Shogun Rua and Chuck Liddell. His last run at Light Heavyweight involved three losses incurred through strikes against varying degrees of fighter (Lil Nog, Shogun Rua and Ricardo Arona). Having found the cut to 205 increasingly difficult to make and feeling their would be a benefit in putting on some more muscle mass Overeem started working on building himself up to fight comfortably at Heavyweight.

Since making the move he has benefited massively. He's only lost once in 13 fights and currently holds a seven fight win streak following a No Contest with Cro Cop. Overeem has one of the best kick boxing and muay thai games in the heavyweight division and is a K1 calibre kick boxer. Correction he's a champion at K1 level. Currently holding their Heavyweight championship as well as the Strikeforce Heavyweight title. This is why Overeem becomes an increasingly interesting fight for Lesnar as his striking is extremely good and Lesnar'sOvereem has a nasty guillotine choke so Lesnar has to watch out for both his clinch and submission game should he get in Overeem's range.

One thing that interests me though is Overeem's ability should Lesnar get on top and this is where I think is key for the fight. No-one and I mean NO-ONE has stopped Lesnar from taking him down in a fight. Lesnar's power shot usually results in someone's ass hitting the floor. If Brock can control him on the ground like he did a much bigger threat on the ground in Frank Mir the fight's going to be over quickly or Overeem is going to be in for a painful night. Ask Heath Herring how it feels to have Lesnar on top of you for a few rounds.

Recommendation: Brock Lesnar for the upset victory in this one. It's a pick'em fight but I can't look past Lesnar's wrestling and dominant ground game. He's currently priced at 5/4 on Bet365.

Lightweight bout: United States Nate Diaz vs. United States Donald Cerrone

If there was a fight that has Fight of the Night written all over it this is the fight. Quite simply put you've two of the most talented members of the 155lb division taking on each other with some major implications in the division. The winner of this fight is probably only one more fight away from a title shot if not being placed next in line behind Benson Henderson.

Nate Diaz is a former winner of The Ultimate Fighter and is a member of the famed Cesar Gracie team. He is one of the most versatile fighters in the division and is happy to be standing and trading or working on the ground. He's got multiple wins by both KO/TKO and submission and any other night I'd say he's value to put a submission of the night bet on. With Cerrone that's not a clever bet.

Donald Cerrone is another one of the WEC converts that have made the 155lb division ever more difficult to navigate. A former kick boxer with an unbeaten record in 29 fights. Cerrone is another versatile fighter and comes from the Jackson MMA camp. The Cowboy has been on a tear since moving over to the UFC with hugely impressive victories against the likes of Dennis Silver, Charles Oliveira, Vagner Rocha and Paul Kelly. 3 of the 4 victories being stoppages by submission or TKO.

Recommendation: I see this fight being on the feet for the most part and because of that I have to go with the Cowboy Donald Cerrone. I'm a massive fan of both fighters but Cerrone has victories over a better quality of opponent and should take this one. Current odds are around 4/11.

Right that's the main event and co-main event. Here's the other plays I'm making this Friday night.

Welterweight bout: United States Jon Fitch vs. United States Johny Hendricks
Recommendation: If this was under any other circumstances I'd be making the Jon Fitch play but I think he's vulnerable after 10 months on the shelf with a shoulder injury that required surgery. Hendricks has a wrestling pedigree of his own and has some knock out power in his hands. At 15/8 he's a tastey prospect for an upset.

Light Heavyweight bout: Belarus Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Sweden Alexander Gustafsson
Recommendation: Gustafsson for me. He may be 2/7 but he's one of the top prospects at 205 and his grappling game is something to behold. Not taking the Janitor lightly. The only dude to get the better of him since his UFC return in 09 is Jon Jones esquire. Similarly Gustafsson's only pro loss is to Phil Davis.

Featherweight bout: United States Nam Phan vs. United States Jimy Hettes
Recommendation: It's my opinion that the bookies have vastly under-estimated Judo Jim's skills and for a guy with a 9-0 record coming out of the Jackson MMA camp you would think they'd know better. 2/1 is too tasty a price.

Welterweight bout: South Korea Dong Hyun Kim vs. Canada Sean Pierson
Recommendation: Kim's judo game and grappling skills should see him ride out a decision at the minimum against Pierson. 1/4

As ever these selections and prices are through www.bet365.com and are correct at the time of writing. For the 6 fights I've got marked here it's a 41.52/1 shot. If you take out the riskiest bet in Hendricks vs Fitch it's still a 13.79/1 shot.

For those of you solely wanting a fiver bet to nothing on underdogs solely. I'd say go with Lesnar, Judo Jim Hettes, Efrain Escudero and Hendricks. That acca is worth 62/1 right now.

As ever happy punting my friends and I hope this will be a late Christmas present to both mine and your wallets.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Raison d'être

As you can probably guess by the timing of this being uploaded and by the title if you've got any sense of French this is going to be a bit more serious than my usual babbling bollix. It's still going to be a whole lot of rambling and babbling; because other than rambling and gambling I don't do a lot in this world.

The older I get the more my memories become clouded and my recollection of things becomes a gaggle of other peoples memories of an event that they've regurgitated over and over to the point that it's the only memory you have. Someone once said that you're practically a different person every 7 years of your life and if that's true it would mean the likely Control, Alt, Delete buttons to your brain's task manager are going to have the end now options clicked on a lot of less useful information. We all have that moment of someone telling a story about us as kids that we don't recall or are unsure if that's how it went or not but over time these stories become our memories.

This point worries me as memory and recollections of certain subjects and people will come with the prejudice of the story teller (this is going to seem ironic me typing that shortly) should you subconsciously adopt their version of events as the defacto way things went. I sit here a bit bleary eyed as the thought enters my head that my memories aren't my own. Any time you've got that sort out of body experience version of a memory usually will point to you remembering someone else's version of events as opposed to your own. What worries me about this is that I'll lose connection with my memories and the people that meant the most to me over the years. I'm mindful at this stage that I've lost most of memories of my Grandfather other than those that I've had through other peoples stories. The same is rapidly happening with my Nana as well and it's something that actually has a drain on me. Those people had a huge effect on me as a kid. Without bullshitting I can tell you the most valued possession I have in this world is a boat in a bottle that was my Grandads. It's been in my possession for the last ten years since my Nan died. It's one of the few genuine memories I have that I could never work out how the boat got in the bottle. My Grandad used to joke that the mystery was better than the answer. Simple lesson that's still true. How many of us wished we were still unsure over the Santa question. It takes away the magic so to speak knowing. But in this digital age there's nothing except the reason of life that's more than a click away. Of course some assholes will still give you what it is.

It's weird. Their house has pretty much been gutted and extensions built on it but I'd still buy it in a heartbeat if I ever had the money to do so. I'm not a very religious guy but I'm a spiritual person and there's a lot of good times I've spent in that house as has the rest of my family. The same can be said of my Great Aunt and Great Uncle. All of my family on one side will know who exactly I'm talking about with this. Actually come to think of it there's a putter I was given by said Great Aunt that was my grandads as well. You can guess which club never changes in the bag for the same sentimental reasons.

Which brings me to the reason I'm writing this at 2 in the morning on Christmas day. It's sort of the best way to say thank you in a way to my folks. Sure they might never read this but that's not what's important to me really. I couldn't give a fuck if no one read a word I type. Without them two people and the people they surrounded me with as a kid I'd probably be a complete fuckwit and an absolute ass hole. It's possible; if you know me and you grew up with me. We all know a lot of dickheads and dudes that went down the wrong tracks and the only reason we didn't end up in the same boat is because we were thought to not follow that shit. Thought right from wrong. Sure we all got up to shit and weren't angels but it's our folks that put us in the position that when we could have gone down a bad path that we'd the balls to say nope not for me. Off you fuck.

I'm 27 years old and can honestly say regardless of their working situation or anything for that matter that I've never been left wanting for anything. Whether it was football kits, trips or whatever else. They always found a way. I'm at the age now knowing what they've done I've got to wonder what they sacrificed to put me in the position I am in today. I was pushed by them to always get the most out of the least. I've always been lazy so no-one is ever getting that extra 10% of work out of me. One thing my Dad said to me is work smart not hard and I'd rather do that any day if the pay is the same. 

I'd love to write more but I'm tired and I think it gets the message out. By mistake or by design I'd not be the man I am today without the example they and the people they surrounded me with in my formative years provided. I'd be fucking lost without them.

Merry Christmas ladies and sirs.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Gobshites and the 7 drunks

Yuletide greetings my honourable friends and fuck it seen as though it's Christmas; season greetings to my less honourable ones too. I'm bored again so I thought I'd do a blog and since it's the time of year you see more people hammered than at any point of the year we'll do one about the type of folk you'll encounter on any given night out. I'll call this gobshite and the 7 drunks.

Much like the beloved Disney flick Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs I find that most drunks in a group can be broke down to different categories. We'll go through the 7 drunks first and work our way to the gobshite element at the end.

Doc: This is the problem solver of the bunch. They can also be the problem member of the group if you're the unlucky bastard that gets stuck with them. Some are great and are the type of no nonsense motherfucker that can work their magic in the wingman department whilst being equally adept at diffusing a potential scrap because Dopey or Grumpy have fucked up (we'll visit those two in good time). The bad type of drunken Doc goes around like they're Doctor Phil.

What I mean by this is they'll stick their nose in just about anything whether they know what they're talking about or not and start waxing lyrically like the divine douchebag they tend to be. Usually found beside the messiest person in the room telling them how to fix their life and giving them bullshit stories to pass on their pysch101 ideas. We all tend to have a Doc in our drinking buddies so you're either lucky or very unlucky in that respect.

Grumpy: This can be one of the worst if they've any motor skills left after copious amounts of alcohol. The angry drunk is the ticking time bomb in the midst of your group. They tend to go one of two ways. If they score they're grand and put all that energy into whatever lady or sir they've found for the night. It's when they don't score that they're a problem. The smallest thing can set them off and then it's only a matter of time before the inevitable argument with anything ranging from a person to an inanimate object. In the past I've bore witness to the following Grumpy drunk behaviour. A mate breaking his hand after punching a wall because his girlfriend wouldn't talk to him after an argument. Another mate headbutt a dude because he stepped on his toes then have to be escorted from Bondi by 5 bouncers. The angry drunk isn't limited to dudes either. There's some aggro women too. I've on more than one occasion got to see a girl smash someone in the chops so hard with their handbag that the handles snapped off their bag. Entertaining yes. Impressive yes. Scared shitless yes. I leave these people to the Doctor Phils of the drinking world for the most part. Unless it's a good mate then you gotta get them as far away from whatever it is they want to hit. If they have sight on it it's like a lion hunting a wildebeast. It's game over.

Happy: This is the best kinda drunk. There just the one that's going to be laughing their ass off all night. Can be a target from the Grumpies of the drunken world but most definitely they're the one that you should be around. No stress, no bullshit. Just giggling away like they're high as giraffe pussy.
Which in turn brings us to another one of the unintentional comedy brigade. Sleepy:
We've all been there at some point. Whether it's at a session, in a bar, on the street, in a field or in the night club. We all have mates that hit the internal snooze button when they get enough gargle into them. These are the most bi-polar of the group. They're only a random action away from turning into Dopey Drunk or Grumpy Drunk. Said action is usually perpetrated by the gobshites of the world. It can still be funny but it still takes a dickhead to do the worst pranks on the sleeping drunk.

Anyone doubting the bi-polarity of said drunkards should view the below as Exhibits A and B to support this rambling.

And with that we're on to Bashful: Now there's 2 kinds of bashful. There's the mild one that's just quiet and keeps themselves to themselves whilst chatting away with folks whilst being a bit quiet. Usually has to be brought into conversation and once there they're chatty enough to not be completely socially retarded. Generally the person that's last to join a group but they tend to be good folk once they get the handle of any nerves they have in social scenarios.

Which then brings us onto the bad kind of Bashful drunk. This is the motherfucker that doesn't say a word all night. Tend to be the weird ass work colleague or friend that just can not find common ground with anyone. They also tend to be the leery bastard of any group that just stares all night at any member of the opposite sex. This type of Bashful can also turn into a Doctor Phil drunk as this tends to be the way they get people on side. Yet again another type that's most likely going to be seen close to the drunkest person in the room. Think Dwight in the American Office for the kind of person we're talking about here. Most likely to say something like but will not do anything about it ever.

Which brings us to Sneezy: These are our drunk friends that find better ways of being by living through chemistry. Most commonly these days it's the ones that will be inserting any random assortment of legal highs or illegal highs up their nostrils. No pill heads are not included in the list. They generally tend to be blackout dopey drunks. The Sneezy drunk tend to rock it like Rick James bitch or Charlie Sheen.
In the winter months it can also be the one that's out with a cold so don't get them mixed up. After all who the fuck in Ireland doesn't go drinking when they're on anti-biotics whether it's an infection or the dreaded man flu.
Many a lad has braved the extremes and been on the front line drinking when the dreaded man flu has had them incapacitated for all other activities. As long as they don't pass the disease by sneezing in your pint you'll be alright.

Which brings us to Dopey: This can be either a harmless visitor to langeredland or a potential news story waiting to happen. The harmless end of the scale is the person that gets too locked to talk properly but keeps their major capabilities intact. They can still walk and all the usual functions just slur their speech like they're the victim of a temporary paralysis of their tongue. The dangerous end of the scale is that drunk that is not quite Sleepy drunk and not quite Grumpy drunk. They're sort of in between and usually it's the type of girl or guy that you've seen falling into people or all over the dancefloor. Usually have wet patches on their clothes from any variety of Dopey events. These can be but are not limited to spilt drinks, vomit or other bodily fluids.

My favourite kind of Dopey drunk is the blackout dopey drunk. This is the one that gets absolutely twisted and has no recollection of anything. You could show them pictures the next day and they'll be dumbfounded. Anyone who wants to go look for the Rogan drunk Eddie blog will understand what I mean. It's available through http://blog.joerogan.net/archives/1619.

This brings us on to our final batch of person to watch out for. The gobshites.
These are anywhere and everywhere. From the average nightclub to every festival campsite. These are the retards that take things just that step too far. Yes they sometimes can be funny but once they've got that joke that gets a giggle they'll keep repeating it until they cross the line. Unfortunately they won't recognise they crossed the line and will keep going despite the joke having lost it's lustre and being past the point where it's even funny.

There's also the leery gobshite. Sort of like the bashful drunk but they're much worse. These can take the form of the stalker kind who will follow a girl around like their shadow all night.

They also have an ability of chasing down every woman in a nightclub in the search for Ms. Drunk and Desperate. These cocksuckers are date rapists in waiting. They will happily be rejected by every woman in the building only to start all over again. They're that sort of dude that thinks receiving a text from someone or a girl saying hi means they're in. Retards of the highest extreme.
Don't forget the cross eyed guys as well. They're the ninja perverts of the leery bastard group. That wonky eye has a target field too. Homing in like an F-18 in whatever they're looking at.

The really bad thing about the gobshites is they don't necessarily have to have anything in them to act like dickheads. They just are. It's like it's built into them. They're the same sort of fuckwits that will do something stupid and not have any thought for what they're doing. Case in point the San Francisco Tiger incident.

The gobshite is the walking epitome of my last blog. Just remember you can't fix stupid. Stupid is forever. Thankfully for all of us; the drunk descriptions above are only a temporary thing. Unfortunately for the gobshites they're the epitome of the stupid people that are outfucking the smart people.

Feel free to add any other types of drunks or gobshites you can think of. I'm always up for a bit of entertainment on that front.

Cheers for reading this mess. Just another week til Christmas now and only another 12 days until the next UFC. Thank fuck says I.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

You Can't Fix Stupid

Alright after the disaster that was UFC140 for my UFC blog and seen as though it's a good two weeks before the next fight card I thought I'd shoot the shit about some of the things I love and some of the things that just in general piss me off no end.

As any of you who know me will know; probably the most used word in my vocabulary is retard. Now to all those politically correct save the planet; you can't say that gobshites who believe that's an insensitive word. It is not. The only reason it's an insensitive word is because that is the meaning you have given it yourself. Very simple when you stop to think about it. This is the wonders of linguistics my overly sensitive friend. A lot of words have multiple meanings and if you want to actually look at the definition of the word you'll see it means to make slow, or to hinder or impede. It's just the same as calling someone a moron or an idiot but it gets the point across a hell of a lot quicker because behind the P.C. bullshit that a lot of people like to hide behind it's what they're thinking anyway. You can't really get offended unless you've already decided that's what the word means. So in reality you understand the context but you're being a cunt about it. It's just dumb. People are getting more stupid by the day.
It's usually the same people that will complain about foul language.. Ooh someone said fuck.. Like OMG Holy S-H-I-T you can't say that. Actually add that to the list. People who spell out a so-called curse word. That's the height of retardom (if that's not a word it is now) there my friends. We're not having a spelling test.. Do you do that with any other words? If you do please don't talk to me. I gave up listening to other people spell in 2nd class. It was annoying then and it sure as hell isn't worth now. Seriously.. For fuck sake. 30 years ago you couldn't buy a condom in Ireland; look how far we've come and yet some words are still off limit to people. Here's my thing with language and anyone that's watched the excellent Fuck documentary (no not a lovers guide although that is pretty awesome too for a retard like me ;) lessons learnt and what not.. Yes it's helped leave a few unlucky ladies slightly less unsatisfied than they may have been otherwise) will sort of understand where I'm coming from. Fuck in a way is a word that transcends a lot of boundaries and is a great word. It conveys a message and has hundreds of different meanings depending on how you use it.
Case in point read these 2 sentences and tell me which gets the message across quicker.
a) He's an empty vessel.
b) He's a fucking retard.
Both mean you're an idiot. Just b gets the message across with an exclamation mark without using one.

See where I'm going with this? Simply put I don't want to have to explain something if someone doesn't get it. For me conversation is like fractions. It's finding the lowest common denominator and rolling with it. I'm at the point where I've zero interest in being careful with the words I use because someone has a negative thought on their meaning. That's you're problem not mine. All I want to do is get the message across in any way that anyone will understand.

A similar situation happens with the word cunt because some people think it's derogatory to women. In fairness we all know cunts and we're happy to think they're cunts so why not use the word. It's a hell of a word and it can be used for women or men. It's a great word. Really is. It's like when dickhead or asshole is not strong enough to describe that person in my opinion. Cunt seems to be the next rung on the ladder and yet again it's something someone understands straight away. No questions asked it's like boom they get it.

There's a great stand up piece by Joe Rogan about the use of cunt that I hope you'll enjoy.

Which brings me to why I got to thinking about this subject again and thought it best to put it in writing so that it's as clear as I can make it. It's December 16th 2011 and to say the words are out of line really is silly. Come on to fuck. Grow up. It's not that difficult to understand and like you've a problem when you hear them in a movie. I've never seen anyone walk out of a flick when they hear the word fuck or cunt but I've sure as hell got some glaring you can't say that looks when I've decided to use them in a sentence. By no means am I stupid but I'll be seriously disappointed if someone is of the opinion that them struggling to find a word with a few extra syllables in the hope that it makes them sound smart is a better means than using a simpler term that is easy to understand. Seriously what's the problem?

Listen to the genius that is George Carlin on the subject of the 7 words you can't say on TV or Radio and you'll soon understand the errors of your path.

Anyway that's my rant over for now. So long story short don't be retarded and if you're offended by that. Go fuck yourself for being so silly. You can do many things in this life but simply put by the great philosopher Ron White "You Can't Fix Stupid. Stupid is forever!"

Friday, 9 December 2011

UFC 140 Betting

Ok as always lets start this thing by going back to the last fight card. Once again we were close to a perfect night but Cung Le let us down. On the brightside if you were playing each fight individually you should have had a healthy enough profit come the end of the night.

It's title fight time this weekend in Toronto so lets take a look at what is one hell of a card.

The card is as follows (please note the order of the fights may be altered).

Preliminary card (Facebook)

Lightweight bout: Canada Mitch Clarke vs. United States John Cholish 
Welterweight bout: United States Rich Attonito vs. United States Jake Hecht
Lightweight bout: Canada Mark Bocek vs. United States Nik Lentz

Preliminary card (televised)

Bantamweight bout: Canada Yves Jabouin vs. United States Walel Watson
Lightweight bout: Canada John Makdessi vs. United States Dennis Hallman
Middleweight bout: United States Jared Hamman vs. Cyprus Constantinos Philippou
Light Heavyweight bout: Poland Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Croatia Igor Pokrajac

Main card

Featherweight bout: Canada Mark Hominick vs. South Korea Chan Sung Jung
Welterweight bout: Canada Claude Patrick vs. United States Brian Ebersole
Light Heavyweight bout: United States Tito Ortiz vs. Brazil Antônio Rogério Nogueira
Heavyweight bout: United States Frank Mir vs. Brazil Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
Light Heavyweight Championship bout: United States Jon Jones (c) vs. Brazil Lyoto Machida

As ever we'll start with the main event of the evening and work our way through the card.

Light Heavyweight Championship bout: United States Jon Jones (c) vs. Brazil Lyoto Machida

This was meant to be the grudge match of the year in Jonny Bones Jones taking on Suga Rashad Evans but a knee injury has robbed us of that and left us with an intriguing match up between two of the most elusive guys at 205lbs.

It seems crazy that it's only 2 and a half years ago that people were talking about the start of the Machida era after Lyoto took Rashad Evans apart on the feet to claim the Light Heavyweight title. Since then Machida hit the road block of two stunning performances from Shogun Rua to see his title taken off him in the most vicious of circumstances. After 16 fights undefeated Machida had finally received his first official loss via a KO. I say official as a lot of people including myself scored the first fight to Rua who at the time was a 5-1 underdog. Machida then suffered a razor thin decision loss the Quentin Rampage Jackson in a fight that could have gone either way on the score card. It was an advertisement for why 10-10 rounds should be allowed.

During Machida's unbeaten run; one thing was singled out as his biggest weapon. His elusiveness. He was the John Dillinger of MMA in a way. Always on the run but always effective when on the job. He just seemed to rarely if ever get hit and was able to get in and out utilizing his excellent foot work from years of karate. It was this that allowed Machida to land strikes from the outside and frustrate opponents into fighting his type of fight. His accuracy and speed make him a dangerous opponent for just about anyone. He's also got some excellent trips and enough stamina to keep the pace up for 5 rounds. His biggest issue appears to be when someone can match his pace or clinch with him. Going into this fight that's not a good thing.

Here's why. Mr. Jones is not only the youngest UFC Light Heavyweight champion in history. He is also one of the best prospects on the planet. The kid is amazing. He always seems to add new facets to his game and with his 83 inch reach he has enough in his arsenal to keep fighters outside of range for them to land any damage. Other than the reach advantage Jones has some of the best wrestling in the division. He's rag dolled Matt Hammill, Stephan Bonner, Ryan Bader and Vladimir Matsuchenko not to mention put a beating on Mauricio Shogun Rua and Rampage Jackson.

Add to this that he has one of the most unpredictable striking games in the division and a submission repetoire that is still grown and that's most recently seen him end Rampage's record of having never been finished in the UFC and you will be building a picture of why I think Machida is in for a difficult night.

Recommendation: Jonny Bones Jones to retain his belt. I'm thinking this will be a TKO via ground and pound. Bones tends to take a round to get his timing so I'd say rounds 2 or 3 are the most likely. If Machida is to win this he needs to to do it early.. Otherwise this is Bones fight in my opinion.

Heavyweight bout: United States Frank Mir vs. Brazil Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira
There's a lot of bad blood in this particular rematch stemming from Mir's thoughts on Nogueira's announcement regarding his staph infection prior to the original fight back at UFC 92.

Let's get this straight. Both fighters are legends of the game in my opinion. Mir and Nogueira stretch back to a previous era of heavyweights when some where overweight journey men and some were steroid freaks out for a pay day in Japan. Both have held titles in the UFC and have notable victories over recent previous champions in the UFC heavyweight division (Mir over Brock Lesnar and Nogueira most recently over Randy Couture).

Both are noted as having excellent ground games both from their back and on top. Nogueira is known for utilizing his ground game primarily after taking damage as he did in Pride. Mir was one of the first notable American Heavyweights to utilize a BJJ game to his advantage. Most notably when he snapped Tim Sylvia's arm or when he knee barred Brock Lesnar.
Nogueira has a guillotine choke vicotry over Sylvia and in that fight claimed the interim UFC Heavyweight title which he then in turn lost to Mir back at UFC 92.

Both have decent stand up and I think it's here that the fight is most likely to be decided. Obviously in the first fight Mir completely owned Big Nog in the stand up area but this is a bigger question going into this fight. Will there be a difference in this aspect or will it be more of the same. I tend to think it will be a more even fight and with the prices available I fancy an upset. Remember Nog trains with 2 excellent boxers in his twin brother and Junior Dos Santos. His biggest issue in my opinion is his lack of head movement.

Having watched the weigh ins and having seen Mir tip the scales at 260lbs I have to believe that this may play into Nogueira's hands as Mir will be a slower target with the extra bulk in my opinion.

Recommendation: Big Nog for the upset. His most recent performance against Schaub was a lot more impressive to me than what Mir has done against Roy Nelson and Cro Cop in his most recent fights.

 Here's an extended preview of the fights for you to enjoy and it may help you make up your mind regarding whether or not to keep with my tips.
Other Picks:
Featherweight bout: Canada Mark Hominick vs. South Korea Chan Sung Jung
Recommendation: Hominick
Lightweight bout: Canada John Makdessi vs. United States Dennis Hallman
Recommendation: Makdessi
Light Heavyweight bout: Poland Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Croatia Igor Pokrajac 
Recommendation: Soszynski
Lightweight bout: Canada Mark Bocek vs. United States Nik Lentz
Recommendation:  Bocek
Lightweight bout: Canada Mitch Clarke vs. United States John Cholish
Recommendation:  Cholish

I've had to go to http://www.paddypower.com/bet/ufc-mma for odds this time as Bet365 is not giving odds on everything. The selections above will get you 21/1 at this time. If you take Big Nog out it's 7/1.

As ever happy punting folks.