(Looks like this year’s harvest will be even better. Sanguis Bibimus! Corpus Edimus! Photo via Getty Images.)
By Dan “Get Off Me” George
This Saturday night, Cain Velasquez
will attempt to make WILL MAKE the first title defense of his career in his second term as UFC heavyweight champion when he rematches Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, Mark Hunt will look to continue WILL CONTINUE his Cinderella run in the co-main event against former HW champ Junior Dos Santos, and a possible #1 contender the next lightweight title contender WILL BE DECIDED in the sure-to-be-brawl between Gray Maynard and T.J. Grant. Whew.
With one of the strongests undercards (on paper) in what feels like an eternity, UFC 160 is primed to become, at the very least, a night chock full of wild finishes and entertaining scraps that will leave *no fan* unsatisfied. I really hope I’m not overselling it. Anyway, join us now as we try to underline the right favorites and highlight some possible underdogs in the hopes of finding that ever-elusive payout for UFC 160. The gambling lines, as always, come courtesy of BestFightOdds.
Having only lost twice, to Urijah Faber and injuryweight world champion Dominick Cruz, Bowles comes in as a healthy -280 favorite (and rightfully so) against the woefully inconsistent George Roop. Roop is coming off a less than convincing win over Reuben Duran in his return to bantamweight, whereas his opponent is looking to get back on the short list of top contenders in the division. Bowles should be able to close the distance on Roop and get this fight to the mat, where we may see a submission victory for the former WEC champion. Bowles makes the parlay at -140 and the prop bet that he is able to end things before the final bell.
With the exception of one bout on the main card (we’ll get to that later), all signs point to a Fight of the Night-earning war when these two talented strikers mix it up on Saturday. Holloway at +215 or better is quite the enticing underdog pick, as he has the potential to avoid the blitzkrieg attack of Bermudez by using his height and reach advantage to counter the ultra-aggressive TUF 14 runner up. Bermudez may very well catch Holloway early, but at -280 to win, the prop that Bermudez wins inside the distance at +200 may be the best option for a lone bet here.
Main Card PPV:
K.J. Noons is coming off a controversial loss to Ryan Couture in his last Strikeforce outing and will be looking to right the ship in his Octagon debut against the -300 territory Donald Cerrone. K.J. has power in his hands for sure, but Cerrone has a more complete stand up game and will not make the same mistake he did against Diaz (trying to simply outbox his opponent). Cowboy will most likely attack K.J.’s lead leg and use his reach to keep Noons frustrated and swinging for the fences from the outside. Cerrone is parlay bound and the prop that Cerrone wins by decision at +175 is a solid option, as Noons is notoriously hard to finish.
Along with the Holloway/Bermudez tilt, this fight has the potential to find itself as a candidate for FOTN. Undefeated at lightweight in the UFC, Grant has put together 4 straight wins in increasingly brilliant fashion. With Gray potentially fighting off ring rust, the makings for an upset are very real. Grant has not been stopped in over 4 years and this includes a bout with Johny Hendricks, where T.J. was simply overpowered in a competitive fight. Maynard is undoubtedly one of the strongest lightweights in the division, but Grant looked ultra impressive against Matt Wiman (another powerful lightweight) and while he may not finish Gray, this fight will surely be close right until the end. Prop that fight goes the distance is around -205 and may be the safest option.
Glover Teixeira comes in as a sizable favorite to score his 19th win in a row (!) against the hard-hitting and harder to take down Te Huna. While Glover beat Rampage convincingly in his last outing, it is hard to determine how serious Jackson took their bout; this may be the first true test for Glover in the UFC. All signs point to Glover winning this fight, but he probably won’t want to turn this into a potentially lethal slugfest and may be content to show off his BJJ prowess. Just sit back and enjoy this one, folks.
JDS was a -350 favorite going into his fight with Roy Nelson, this time Junior is a -450 favorite going into his fight with Mark Hunt, who is comparable to Roy in the sense that they posses heavy hands and enjoy separating their opponents from consciousness. Most likely though, much like Roy Nelson, Hunt may find JDS to be too quick and too technical with his stand up, which may leave Hunt on the wrong end of a boxing clinic. JDS will be looking to finish this fight and get back to the top of the HW division, whether or not he gets caught by Hunt in the process is yet to be determined, but -170 that this fight does not go the distance is alluring. JDS for the win makes the parlay.
(Ed. Note: Sorry, I gotta step in here. Mark Hunt because PRIDE. – Danga)
Considering their first encounter, it would be hard to imagine that “Bigfoot” could do any worse this time around against Cain. However, as a +550 underdog, the people have spoken once again and have given very little consideration to Silva pulling off the upset here. A line like -750 does not impact a small parlay, so much like with the UFC 159 main event, the prop section offers some interesting proposals that could pay off nicely. “Fight Does Not Start Round 4″ is at -285 and pays roughly the same as many favorites to win. For the true gambler, placing money on Cain to win in the 2nd or 3rd rounds pays +300 and +500 respectively, so splitting your money on those props (i.e. a $10 bet on each) might pay off nicely if Cain is able to avoid disaster. Cain most likely wins and Bigfoot most likely bleeds…..again.
Bowles + Cerrone + JDS (Ed note: Lalalalalalala I can’t hear you!!!)
Stephens + Bowles + JDS
-Velasquez/Silva does not start rd.4
-Cerrone wins by decision
-Bowles wins inside the distance
Feel free to share your thoughts and concerns on this weekend’s card in the comments section. But mainly, enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours!