Before we get started, we gotta ask: Have you made your MMA FightPicker selections yet? If so, please note that we had to change two of the "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas"-related questions today, as Travis Galbriath has pulled out of his match with Murilo "Ninja" Rua and has been replaced by UFC vet David Heath, and Nick Thompson has reportedly been replaced by Derrick Noble against Eduardo Pamplona. It’s a real mess, so please revisit your pools and make any necessary changes.
Alistair Overeem (-255) vs. Brett Rogers (+220)
Andrei Arlovski (-170) vs. Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (+160)
Roger Gracie (-435) vs. Kevin Randleman (+325)
Ronaldo Souza (-480) vs. Joey Villasenor (+380)
Vitor Ribeiro (-130) vs. Lyle Beerbohm (+105)
Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (-195) vs. Antwain Britt (+165)
So how can you make some cash this weekend? Well…
The Main Event: Overeem is a strong favorite over The Grim based on the general opinion of him as a beefed-up destroyer. His reputation is not unwarranted, but ask yourself one question — When was the last time Overeem beat a top-caliber heavyweight? If you answered "never," you might be on to something. Over the last three years, Overeem’s best MMA win was his beatdown of Paul Buentello, which originally won him Strikeforce’s heavyweight title in November 2007. His no-contest against Mirko Cro Cop the following year earned him a lot of cred, but outside of those two fights, his record is littered with more cans than a public park in Oakland. (No offense.) Alistair has plenty of confidence, but the truth is he’s never beaten a heavyweight as dangerous as Brett Rogers, who I think is a smart choice for small underdog action. (Side note: The fact that Overeem isn’t used to drug testing could also be an issue — though Missouri may let him slide by on the honor system.)
The Co-Headliner: I’m staying away from this one. Sure, I think Arlovski is the better fighter overall, but I’m also not in the habit of betting on a guy who’s coming back from two vicious knockouts, a year of inactivity, and a possible suicide attempt. If you want to take a chance on Bigfoot, be my guest.
The Good ‘Dog: Lyle Beerbohm. Vitor Ribeiro used to be one of the greatest lightweights in the world, but after a long injury layoff and uninspiring performances last year in DREAM, I wonder if he still has it. Meanwhile, "Fancy Pants" is one of the best lightweight prospects fighting today, with a perfect 13-0 record (12 wins by stoppage), and first-round thrashings of UFC vets Duane Ludwig and Rafaello Oliveira under his belt. Fighting Shaolin will be a step up in competition, but I think Beerbohm will rise to the occasion. I also feel that Joey Villasenor is being undervalued at +380 against Jacare. Obviously he’ll be at a tremendous disadvantage on the mat — and I’m not telling you what to do here — but if he can keep it standing he has more than a puncher’s chance. Just stay away from Randleman, okay? He’s getting subbed, guaranteed.
Official CagePotato Parlay: Gracie + Beerbohm + Cavalcante.
Suggested Wagering Breakdown, Based on Hypothetical $50 Stake:
– $10 on Rogers
– $20 on Beerbohm
– $5 on Villasenor
– $15 on the Parlay
If you’re interested in the odds for the Shine Fights event, click here.