By Dan “Get Off Me” George
This Saturday night, a mixed martial arts legend will look to further cement his legacy while a rising prospect and undefeated fighter will try not to let Georges down and become the next 185lbs sensation. Somebody’s 0 in the Octagon has to go when Champion Anderson Silva defends his middleweight title against Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
Come along as we head to Las Vegas and breakdown some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for Zuffa’s latest 2013 PPV offering. All betting lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, as usual.
Seth Baczynski (-280) vs Brian Melancon (+240)
Melancon makes his UFC debut as the +250 underdog after a 1-1 record in Strikeforce against a -300 Seth Baczynski. “The Polish Pistola,” who is built like a middleweight, will enjoy a 7 inch height advantage and should be able to keep the fight standing to compliment his striking advantage in this bout. Melancon has yet to be finished and fight goes the distance at -195 is a fairly safe prop option for a single bet. Baczynski makes the parlay.
Coming in at the same price as he did against Big Nog, Dave Herman is looking to keep his spot on the UFC roster and is worth some consideration here. Since his return, Gabriel Gonzaga’s biggest win has come against Ben Rothwell in Brazil, but in his last outing Gonzaga was quickly dispatched by Travis Browne. If Herman can keep this fight standing and exploit Napao when he shoots in (like Browne did) we may have the makings for an upset. Herman at +200 for the upset win, which may later be overturned for you know what.
Main Card PPV:
Both fighters are looking to bounce back from respective tough losses in their last outings. Both fighters also seem to posses similar skill sets with strong wrestling and powerful striking. Picking a victor here is an exercise in futility, but -160 that the judges need to decide this one is never a bad idea when two wrestlers are trying to implement their game plan in a 3 round fight. Prop fight goes to decision -160.
Siver is coming off his most dominating performance to date (over Nam Phan) which improved his record at featherweight to a perfect 2-0. Swanson, on the other hand, has quietly knocked out three of his last four opponents and will surely be thinking title shot…or not….if he finds a way to derail Siver in this fight. As the +180 underdog, Siver is worth the risk more than laying -225 for Swanson, but the likelihood that this fight starts round 3 at -180 is a happy medium with these two top featherweights. Prop for FOTN should pay around 4 or 5 to 1 seeing how both fighters have been involved in FOTN contests multiple times. Prop -180 fight starts round 3.
Roger Gracie will come in as a slight +120 underdog against fellow UFC newbie and former Strikeforce middleweight contender Tim Kennedy. I may be wearing blinders here, but if Tim Kennedy could go 5 rounds with Jacare and not get submitted, the likelihood that he can stay out of trouble against an equally dangerous yet far less experienced MMA fighter in Roger Gracie seems very likely. Couple this with the fact that Kennedy’s most recent losses have come in title fights and the allure of a -150 to win becomes hard to ignore. Kennedy keeps the fight standing and outworks Gracie for the win, maybe even finishing Roger if his striking has not improved since the fight with King Mo. Kennedy -150 makes the parlay.
Hovering above -500, the question over whether or not Frankie Edgar can win this fight is not nearly as compelling as the pick’em odds that this fight ends by decision (or not). Franky could catch Oliveira like Swanson did or he could control the fight and use his wrestling to grind out a decision win like he has done many a time at 155. This is Frankie’s comeback fight of sorts, a fight that is his to lose and even at -500, when combined with a few other heavy favorites, get’s you close to even money. Frankie makes the parlay.
There is only one reason that Chris Weidman is being touted as the man to dethrone Anderson Silva and that is Chael Sonnen. Those who believe Weidman can win subscribe to the notion that Chris will be able to emulate the 5 out of 7 rounds that Chael was able to win against the Spider, but this time not fall short in the process. Where Chael failed due to his lack of submission defence in his first title shot, Weidman is given such a good chance by many because of his BJJ credentials and performance against the likes of Demian Maia in the past, where he was able to use his wrestling while simultaneously controlling one of the best grapplers in the UFC at any weight class to win. Weidman has proved he can defend submissions as well as create opportunities from top control to end fights. There are considerable variables in this fight, but the most important if you are thinking of picking Weidman will be, exactly how long will Herb Dean allow Weidman to stay inside Silva’s guard when the fight inevitably goes to the ground? Dean is considered one of the best in the business, but it is the lack of clarity as to when a fight should be stood up that may cause this fight to be next to impossible to predict.
Silva has the decided advantage in the striking department, but if he is forced to fight off his back for long periods during the fight, the judges will definitely give Weidman the win. If Herb Dean resets the fighters often, however, the likelihood Silva is able to catch Weidman increases to the point where -240 feels like a gift. Weidman +605 to win by decision as a prop bet is even more plausible as Chael Sonnen was less than 2 minutes away from accomplishing this not that long ago. In the middle, +105 that fight starts the 3rd round is probably the safest place to be, but again Silva needs one mistake and about 5 seconds to finish a fight so it is still going out on a limb. Gun to the head, Silva does what he always does and we all pick our jaws up off the floor shortly after midnight, wake up Sunday morning and try to find the GIF of the finish. Prop that fight starts round 3 +105, and +605 Weidman by decision if you believe Chris can get it done on Saturday.
-Swanson vs Siver starts round 3
-Boestch vs Munoz fight goes the distance
-FOTN Swanson vs Siver
Please share your thoughts on who you like CP nation.
Enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours!