(JUST TAKE MY MONEY ALREADY!! Image via Adam Doyle.)
By Dan “Get Off Me” George
With a win over Johny Hendricks this weekend, welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre will break *three* UFC records: Most UFC wins ever (!), Most title bout wins ever (!!) and dependent on how long the fight lasts, most octagon hours logged ever (meh). It’s an intriguing prospect to say the least, and a fight that headlines a card stacked to the brim with equally intriguing prospects and matchups.
But you don’t care about octagon records or intriguing prospects, you care about money. Cash. Doubloons. “A whole lotta Kale chips,” if you know what I’m saying. That’s where we come in, delivering the pound-for-pound best gambling advice week after week after tireless week. So join us after the jump to sneak a peek at the UFC 167 gambling lines (courtesy of BestFightOdds) and get in on more gambling advice than your broke ass will even know what to do with.
Stay the Hell Away From:
Koscheck is looking to avoid losing his third straight while Woodley will be trying to avoid going 1-3 in his last four bouts. The skill sets of both fighters here are very similar — strong wrestlers who often opt for a stand up affair — hence the almost even odds here. But in a game of tag where both fighters have found success (coupled with Fraggle’s penchant for his signature eye poke), picking a winner at the window is a true coin flip. Skip it.
The Good Dogs:
Ebersole coming in at +180 is a great line and possibly overgenerous when taking into account that Brian’s last loss came on short notice. That he’s been battling injuries ever since is not the most confidence-inspiring aspect of this fight, but Ebersole is still worth taking a risk on with a full training camp under his belt. Story was a world beater at one point but has gone 2-4 over his past six fights. In a bout that has a high probability of going the distance, Ebersole may be able to employ a grappling centric approach to nullify Story and get a decision win.
Perez is the heavy favorite at -330 and it may be safe to say Figueroa is fighting for a job. The prop bet that this fight goes to decision is +120 and worth the investment, as Figueroa has only been finished once in his career and has gone the distance in 3 of his 5 UFC appearances. Perez is coming off a loss in his toughest test thus far, a decision loss to Takeya Mizugaki at Fight Night 27, while Edwin has shown he can go the distance with one of the best the division has to offer in Michael McDonald. +120 fight goes the distance.
Cerrone is the very slight favorite here, but with a -195 prop that the fight goes the distance, I suggest placing two equally small amount wagers on either fighter to win by decision as a decent risk-reward option. Like the last card, this fight jumps off the page with regards to FOTN and should pay out at about +500 should it obtain that honor, making it too hard to pass up. If it is half as exciting as Sanchez vs. Melendez, that should be good enough to get the nod from Dana.
Tim Elliott (-155) vs. Ali Bagautinov (+135)
I might be in the minority here, but +135 for Bagautinov to couple his sambo background with a Greg Jackson game plan seems all too good to pass up. Elliott is the more experienced fighter and will not be held down for three rounds, but may be worried about this prospect more so than his opponent. If Bagautinov can mix up his attack like Dodson did against Elliott, he may find a way to stifle Elliott’s offense en route to a decision win. Elliott will try to earn respect early with a well timed combination and the confidence he gains could turn this fight into another solid back and forth FOTN candidate as well. +120 Bagautinov wins.
Other Main Card Bouts:
Since returning to the UFC ‘s 170-pound division, Robbie has finished both of his fights in impressive fashion and seems to be primed for one last run towards a title shot. Standing in Lawler’s way is the heavy favorite and GSP protégé Rory MacDonald, who many believe is simply too strong for Lawler to handle. This fight may play out like Larkin vs. Lawler, where Larkin’s diverse striking and effective G-n-P eventually lead to a decision win for Lorenz. Larkin is a 185er and as time goes on McDonald may be as well, so look for McDonald to use his reach, be first, and keep Robbie guessing at a distance.
Floating around -200, Rashad makes the parlay. While Evans has shown some inconsistencies in his game as of late, one thing he has always proved is that he will not be out grappled by his opponent. Chael definitely is a high-level wrestler, a true threat to take Rashad down, but as we saw against Jones, is also not immune to being controlled on the ground by a talented/bigger grappler either. Rashad can win this fight both standing and on the mat; Chael really is not known for his striking prowess and will have to be the first fighter to dominate Rashad on the ground if he is to win. Rashad makes the parlay with more ways to win and the assumption that he is a better wrestler than Chael.
Johny Hendricks will be bringing the most devastating left hand the WW division has to offer against *the* best the WW division has to offer. Johny is also being touted as the best wrestler GSP has ever fought, a slight against Matt Hughes perhaps, but maybe true nonetheless. The problem is, what if Johnny is the best wrestler GSP has ever faced and he still gets taken down by Georges at will like Hughes, Koscheck and Fitch? What if GSP favors footwork and one of the most underrated jabs (Freddie Roach inspired) in MMA to create enough distance to keep the fight standing and outside of Hendricks striking range?
The one caveat is that GSP’s most recent loss stemmed from a well-placed punch, and there’s no arguing that Johny Hendricks can do more with one punch than most. GSP was also caught clock watching a little over halfway into his last fight with Diaz, but Johnny is not renowned for exploiting his opponent’s cardio like Nick is. GSP should be able to do what GSP does, find a way to get the fight where he wants it to be and keep it there for 25 minutes. GSP to win -270.