This Saturday night, Zuffa heads up North to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for another injury-altered card which saw Renan Barao vs. Eddie Wineland cancelled due to an injury suffered by the interim bantamweight champion (you guessed it, the actual bantamweight champion was also unavailable due to injury) and replaced by Rashad Evans vs. Dan Henderson as your main event. So…who’s looking forward to all the excitement of 50+ takedown attempts? You guys? ANYONE?!
Join us now as we try to find a way into the winner’s circle by highlighting a few undercard and all main card bouts for UFC 161. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds.
John Maguire (-250) vs Mitch Clarke (+210)
Mitch Clarke will be looking for his first win in his third contest inside the Octagon against -250 betting favorite John Maguire. Both fighters are coming off back-to-back losses and may be fighting for the right to stay in the UFC, so to assume that both men will be giving an honest fight would be an understatement. John Maguire looked outstanding in his first two outings but clearly hit the wall when facing more well-rounded fighters in the 170lbs division. Playing MMA math is not always wise, but Maguire may win this fight due to the level of competition he has faced in the UFC compared to that of Mitch Clarke. Maguire to win.
Woodley hovering around -185 is compelling considering the UFC version of Jake Shields really has not offered much in terms of the dominating performances he had during his Strikeforce tenure as champion. Woodley’s only loss came at the hands of a talented striker in Nate Marquardt, who is perhaps the polar opposite of Jake Shields. Team Cesar Gracie has rattled off quite the losing streak in the Octagon and Shields may not be the one to break the trend, as Woodley closely resembles the same skill set as Jake Ellenberger, a powerful striker with a strong wrestling base. Woodley makes the parlay for the win.
Main Card PPV:
After suffering his first UFC setback in his last contest, which saw the team Jackson fighter out Greg Jacksoned by Cheick Kongo in the hands down worst fight of the hands down worst card of 2012, Shawn Jordan bounced back into the win column with a second round TKO of Mike Russow at UFC on FOX 6. Barry at -125 territory is the slight favorite to win and put together his first winning streak in the UFC, and a bet on him may be the right one in this fight. “HD” has shown improvement in his wrestling in his past couple contests and this may be the difference maker here, as Jordan will look to press Barry against the cage and look for a takedown. Barry should be able to keep this fight on the feet and take advantage of his striking expertise to stop Jordan inside the distance. Barry to win.
Alexis Davis -400?! Rosi Sexton has only lost to Gina Carano and Zoila Gurgel, which means that this may not be the squash match that is reflected in the betting line. While I do not think Sexton is worth picking outright to win, there is a nice prop bet at -260 out there that this fight starts the second round, which may be the safest way to avoid a parlay buster in this one. Davis to win, but not at the inflated price.
The Canadian (hint: Not the guy named “Igor”) will be the favorite at -250 to take down the Croatian and find a way to win this fight on ground work. Pokrajac has shown in the past that a strong wrestler can find success by taking him down and grinding him out. Jimmo will not try to stand all that long with Igor, who to his credit is one tough SOB, so Jimmo to win via decision is +130 and a solid single bet and a parlay pick to win outright.
Miocic looked to be a rising star when he first came into the UFC, but at -260, “Big Country” will be out to prove that he is amongst the top of the HW division once and for all. It may sound odd, but after watching Miocic against Struve, I’d argue that Nelson may have the better gas tank of the two and this may lead to another late stoppage of Miocic. Stipe has KO power, but Roy has proved that against the most powerful strikers in the HW division he cannot be stopped (Ed note: Well, maybe not stopped, but beat to dog shit on occasion.). Nelson also has the ground skills to end this fight on the mat, where Stipe has yet to prove he can deal with an experienced grappler the caliber of Big Country. Nelson to win makes the parlay.
So many questions surround this fight, but the pick’em-ish odds almost force Evans down the throat of bettors here. Many people scoffed when they heard Evans state that he would go for “50 takedowns” against Hendo, and perhaps rightfully so. However, while Evans may not come anywhere near reaching that goal, his ability to control Henderson should become easier and easier for the former champion as the fight goes on. It has been a while since we have been treated to an H-Bomb in the UFC and Rashad has the experience against heavy handed strikers to stay out of trouble, which leaves little room left for Hendo to win if you look at the alternative of Evans landing a takedown and maintaining top control. Rahsad -130 to win makes the parlay and Evans wins by unanimous decision is +180 as a prop bet.
-Jimmo + Nelson
-Jimmo wins via decision
-Sexton vs Davis starts round 2
-Evans wins via unanimous decision
Please share your thoughts on who you like, CP nation.
Enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours!