(Something’s different here. I just can’t put my finger on it)
It kind of snuck up on you there, didn’t it? Don’t worry, us too. Funny, we must’ve had other stuff on our minds this week because it feels like we haven’t given UFC 128 the attention it probably deserves. Without the UFC’s historic acquisition of that other company whose name already escapes us, this weekend’s main event featuring largely overlooked champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and insanely hyped challenger Jon Jones would be one of the most hotly anticipated fights of the year. Instead, it feels as if it’s already on top of us and we haven’t even figured out if Jones and Rashad Evans are still boys yet.
Anyway, you know what you came here for. As always, the odds for this week’s event come to us from Sportsbook.com and our picks are presented for entertainment purposes only. Also, for the purposes of WINNING MAJOR WADS OF CASH! What! … yeah … ahem … you’ll have to excuse us, we’re pretty jacked about this one. After the jump find our foolproof scheme for checking major bank at UFC 128, all without leaving your couch.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (+160) vs. Jon Jones (-200)
Urijah Faber (-500) vs. Eddie Wineland (+300)
Jim Miller (-275) vs. Kamal Shalorus (+215)
Nate Marquardt (-325) vs. Dan Miller (+250)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (+190) vs. Brendan Schaub (-240)
SPIKE TV FIGHTS
The Main Event: Regardless of the fact that certain “serious journalists” are authoring columns that read as if Jones has already won, let’s not forget that Shogun is also pretty OK at this whole MMA fighting thing. Keep in mind, when oddsmakers set the line (any line) they’re really only trying to cover their own asses by splitting the betting 50/50, so opening the 19-4 champion as a dog may have just been a preemptive strike against the crazy amounts of Jones money they knew would come pouring in. In our book, this fight is a gamble in every sense of the word.
Jones may well be too big, too athletic, too next-level for Rua (or anybody) to handle, but we’ve still never seen how he’ll respond to any sort of adversity in the cage. If Shogun can use his trademark aggressiveness to put Jonny Bones on the defensive, hell, anything could happen. Not only that, but there’s no telling how much The Rashad Evans Soap Opera has distracted Jones during his already truncated prep time for this fight. On the other hand, Shogun is coming off his umpteenth knee surgery, had his opponent switched on him just a few weeks ago and hasn’t been in the Octagon for more than 10 months. It’s a goddamn question wrapped in a riddle, no doubt about it.
The verdict? Bet your heart, son. Either that or just get out of the way and enjoy the show.
The Good Dogs: Aside from Rua, there’s not a lot here that’s going to blow your hair back. We like Pellegrino’s chances against Tibau at +125 and Mike Pyle looks reasonably attractive at +155, after watching Almeida get dispatched with a quickness by stinkin’ Matt Hughes of all people at UFC 117. And no, “Cachorrao” your UD over TJ Grant didn’t get you out of our doghouse. Marshall has a chance – a chance, we say – to wrestle Luiz Cane into a living death, but given Marshall’s unspoken worries that Joe Silva finds him boring (What, you didn’t read about that shit? Shame on you.) we’re afraid he’ll do something stupid like come out and try to be “exciting.” If he does that, you might as well kiss your money goodbye.
Other Good Ways to Lose Your Shirt: Well, if you feel like making a donation to your local bookie’s retirement fund allow us to recommend surefire losers like Wineland, Loveland, CroCop and Dan Miller, any one of which will separate you from your money as well as another. If you’re actually interested in success (notice how we scrupulously avoided using the word “winning” there? Yeah, that shit is already so tired) you should steer clear of those dudes like the plague.
Ordinarily, we’d say the same thing about Shalorus, but with the way things have been going for top contenders in the lightweight division recently we’d rather not tempt fate. The only thing we know for sure about that fight is that both Miller and Shalorus will come to the cage with the weird bodies of 1920s carnival wrestlers and Shalrous will probably break his hand throwing huge bombs. How it turns out after that is anybody’s best guess.
The PotatoParlay: Sometimes it’s best not to overthink it. Run the table with the PPV faves: Schaub-Marquardt-Jim Miller-Faber for the win.