(Proof that being a bad-ass does not prevent you from looking like a stereotypical tourist in a foreign country. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle.)
This weekend’s UFC event down under is a tricky one for your old pal the Enabler. You see, years ago I promised my sponsor that I wouldn’t bet on any more Australian sporting events. It’s a long story that I’d rather not get into right now, so let’s just say that it involved a high-stakes netball match and a ’92 Pontiac that wasn’t exactly mine to lose.
But this is different. This is the UFC. Surely I can make an exception here, right? Not even that lot of criminals can fix a fight in the UFC. Not like those crooked netball games. The tastiest betting lines on the internet come to us courtesy of BestFightOdds.com:
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+105) vs. Cain Velasquez (-110)
Wanderlei Silva (-130) vs. Michael Bisping (+130)
Joe Stevenson (-240) vs. George Sotiropoulos (+218)
Keith Jardine (+140) vs. Ryan Bader (-135)
Mirko Filipovic (-135) vs. Ben Rothwell (+130)
Elvis Sinosic (-115) vs. Chris Haseman (+109)
Stephan Bonnar (+160) vs. Krzysztof Soszynski (-155)
Chris Lytle (-150) vs. Brian Foster (+145)
CB Dollaway (+205) vs. Igor Pokrajac (+160)
– Nog/Velasquez is basically a pick-em because no one knows for sure whether Nogueira still has the tricks up his sleeve to deal with a high-energy monster like Velasquez. What you have to ask yourself here is whether Big Nog can stay off his back for long enough to outbox his younger counterpart and take advantage of his weaknesses on the feet. Personally, I have to answer no to that one. Velasquez via decision. Put me down for forty of those wacky Australian dollars on it. It’s not like it’s real money, right?
– If Wanderlei Silva hasn’t gone completely to seed, he should beat Bisping. The Brit isn’t going to be able to stay on his bicycle and jab his way to a win in this one the way he did against Chris Leben, and he probably lacks the power to put Silva away. That means he has to engage or risk letting everyone’s favorite Axe Murderer take the decision with his aggression. I’m taking Silva, but after his last couple of performances I don’t feel all that great about it, so I’ll keep my action modest.
– Okay, underdog time. Take a hard look at Sotiropoulos, Rothwell, Jardine, and Foster. Sotiropoulos is your best chance to cash in big, and he’s got a decent chance to pull off an upset in his home country if he can keep from being outwrestled by “Daddy.” The safest bet, however, is Rothwell. No matter what Cro Cop says about recapturing the old fire, I’m not sold. He’s older, slower, smaller, and in all ways less dependable than Rothwell, who knows he needs to win big or face unemployment after only two UFC fights. You don’t even want to know how many sperm bank payments I’m willing to bet on it.
Absolutely Don’t Bet Against: Goran Reljic. Dollaway is too one-dimensional, his constant smirking expression makes you want to punch him in the face way too much. Reljic will give in to the urge and knock him out.
Official Cage Potato Parlay: Velasquez + Bader + K-Sos + Reljic.