By Dan “Get Off Me” George
This Saturday night, Zuffa heads to Rio de Janeiro — home of beautiful beaches and even more beautiful beetches (waka waka!) – where a seemingly unstoppable champion plans to defend his featherweight strap against a zombie. Come on, that’s gotta be worth sixty bucks. This may be a PPV light on star power, but we all know what happened the last time a card held in Brazil without much star power turned out.
And with each pay-per-view comes the best damn gambling advice you will find on the Internet (YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH), so join us as we break down some of the undercard as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 163. All odds courtesy of BestFightOdds.
Ian McCall (-380) vs. Iliarde Santos (+315)
In lieu of Demetrious Johnson’s performance last week, -400 for Ian McCall to beat Santos is parlay bound. Santos had trouble getting out of the gate in his UFC debut and will surely put up a stronger performance, but “Uncle Creepy” has fought 6 rounds (and even won a few!) with the champion in the division. There is always a possibility of the hometown judging playing the culprit or Ian having a mental breakdown whilst reflecting on his life as of late, but if McCall loses here, it will almost be worth losing the bet to see what happens next with him. McCall to win.
Anthony Perosh comes in as the +300 underdog, partly thanks to his 7 second appearance in his last Octagon performance. The “Hippo” is well rounded, with his underrated ground game allowing him to pick up two UFC wins as the underdog, but nothing short of the BJJ elite can surprise the decorated grappling star in Magalhaes on the mat. Magalhaes looked strong in his return to the Octagon and looking at Anthony’s willingness to engage in grappling, Vinny to win by submission at +180 is also a nice prop bet. Vinny to win on the parlay.
Main Card PPV:
John Lineker (-440) vs Jose Thome (+350)
Having not lost in 5 years, Jose Thome brings his 33-3 record to his Octagon debut against the always exciting -440 favorite John Lineker. The price is too steep for the favorite and laying anything on the dark horse who is north of 30 years old (where have you been with that record?) is a crapshoot at best. Your best bet on this one is a prop: -185 that this fight does not go to decision. The heavy favorite is always looking for the finish and Jose’s 3 losses all coming inside the distance, with only 3 of his 36 fights going to the cards.
Coming off a KOTN and FOTN bonus, Watson enters as the slight underdog against the returning Thales Leites. Before stopping Stanislav Nedkov, Watson showed improved takedown defense by nullifying the Bulgarian’s grappling game. Unlike his fellow BJJ black belt, Leites is not even remotely a threat in the stand up game compared to Nedkov, so it will be interesting to see how Watson handles the relentless grappling-centric attack of Thales. Watson is training with Jackson’s MMA and at TriStar, which may very well be the right recipe to beat the one time (thankfully) title contender at Middleweight. Watson for the upset.
Cezar Ferreira (-425) vs. Thiago Santos (+340)
With only one loss, Santos at +340 to upset the Ferreira is definitely the best long shot payout on the card. Santos has a little bit of everything to offer here, creative striking and strong grappling, whereas Cezar is paying about 20 cents on the dollar for winning TUF Brazil. Santos as long shot underdog +340 or pass.
After Gustafsson, the winner of this fight may be considered the next number one contender du jour (short of this guy maybe) at 205lbs. The stand up fight will be Lyoto’s to lose and the grappling advantages Davis may have will only be useful if the Penn State alum can catch Machida in one spot long enough to secure a takedown. The Dragon is next to impossible to take down, next to impossible to hit and almost next to impossible to watch at times. Davis will have to come out strong and try to get this fight to the ground early to avoid looking up at the clock halfway through the third round realizing he needs to finish the fight to win. Machida to win by decision +115 for a prop bet is a solid risk in this 3 rounder.
-800 for the high rollers is almost worth it here as next to nobody is giving the Korean Zombie a chance to walk away with Aldo’s belt this weekend. This is very much like the odds for Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva 2 (in case the first fight left anything to the imagination), with the public dismissing Bigfoot and calling squash match almost unanimously. There is the belief that Jung’s forward fighting style will give Aldo problems, which in retrospect, has been said about many of Aldo’s opponents until the champion connects with his patented leg kicks or “WTF was that?” jab and uppercut combos.
The prop betting on fight duration is interesting, seeing as Jung has no problem being hit. Starting with -114 that fight does not start 3rd round, -169 that fight does not start 4th round and finally -230 Aldo wins inside the distance. Aldo to win (and jump out of the Octagon then into the crowd before Bruce Buffer makes the official announcement).
-Lineker vs Thome fight does not go the distance
-Magalhaes to win by submission
-Machida to win by decision
-Aldo to win inside the distance
-Aldo/Jung does not start round 3 or 4, your pick
Please share your thoughts on who you like CP nation. Enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours!