(The affable Gracie uses one of his patented knock-knock jokes to disarm Hughes just long enough to set up a collar choke. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestlye.)
Your old pal the Enabler tried as hard as he could, but damned if he could locate any online bookmaker that was giving odds on whether or not the UFC’s hastily thrown together stadium in Abu Dhabi would collapse under the strain of a sandstorm and trap everyone inside its terrifying skeleton of twisted metal and promotional posters. I refuse to believe I’m the only person who thinks that the chances of that happening are at least as good as Demian Maia’s odds.
We might as well take a look at stuff we can bet on, courtesy of BestFightOdds.com.
Anderson Silva (-650) vs. Demian Maia (+600)
BJ Penn (-675) vs. Frankie Edgar (+552)
Matt Hughes (-360) vs. Renzo Gracie (+361)
Mark Munoz (-150) vs. Kendall Grove (+155)
Terry Etim (-138) vs. Rafael Dos Anjos (+135)
Phil Davis (-435) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (+420)
- Since the two title fights both feature heavily favorite champions taking on major underdog challengers, you probably want to decide right now which longshot is the better bet. There’s something encouraging about Maia’s admission that he needs to take Silva down, and fast. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be able to do it, or to finish Silva if he does manage a takedown, but at least he’s being a realist.
Edgar also has limited options. He’s not big or strong enough to outwrestle Penn, he’s certainly not going to submit him, so he needs to keep it standing and put his hand speed to work. The trouble is, he’s not exactly known for his KO power so much as his ability to outbox opponents en route to a decision. It’s hard to see him plying that trade for the five full rounds and coming out ahead.
Conclusion? Maia has the better shot at pulling off the shocking upset, but arguing about it feels arguing about which of your pregnant teenage cousins has the best chance of becoming a Senator someday.
- As great of a feel good story as it would be for Renzo Gracie to restore his family’s honor in the UFC with a win over Hughes, you don’t want to bet your 401k on it. Stylistic concerns aside, he’s been out of action for over three years. He’s bound to be rusty and he can’t afford it against Hughes, who knows he just needs to stay out of submissions and do his regular thing to win this.
Quick Picks: Munoz over Grove, Etim over Dos Anjos, and Davis over Gustafsson. No surprises there.
Official Cage Potato Parlay: Silva + Penn + Hughes + Davis. Playing it safe all the way to the bank, people.