(Strictly business, baby. Photo courtesy of Combat Lifestyle’s UFC 92 press conference album.)
Important: With the holidays now upon us, our posting will be lighter than usual as we pause to get reacquainted with our estranged families. But have no fear, Potato Nation, as we have some Christmas Eve and Christmas Day treats planned, then we’re back to semi-normal on Friday. Naturally, we’ll also be liveblogging UFC 92 on Saturday night, so don’t wander off.
And now, some betting odds for your gambling pleasure, courtesy of the Venetian sportsbook (via Yahoo!).
Rashad Evans +110 v. Forrest Griffin -140
Frank Mir +300 v. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira -400
Quinton Jackson +110 v. Wanderlei Silva -140
Mike Massenzio +150 v. C.B. Dollaway -180
Mostapha Al Turk +250 v. Cheick Kongo -330
Dean Lister +220 v. Yushin Okami -300
Mike Wessel +300 v. Antoni Hardonk -400
Reese Andy +180 v. Matt Hamill -220
Brad Blackburn +130 v. Ryo Chonan -160
Dan Evensen +130 v. Pat Barry -160
- The Big Three: Oddsmakers everywhere have about the same lines on the three major bouts at UFC 92, so the consensus seems to be that Frank Mir will get his ass kicked and everything else is a toss-up. That sounds about right. You don’t want to face Big Nog in a five-round fight, particularly if you’re Mir and your cardio ranges from mediocre to piss poor. I’m a little surprised that Silva-Jackson is as close as it is, considering their history and Jackson’s questionable mental state, but it looks like people are buying the temporary delirium explanation. For now…
- Underdog of the Night: I’m tempted to say Mostapha Al Turk, who could easily turn out to be a great heavyweight prospect for the UFC. But this is his Octagon debut, which is never a good time to bet on a guy, and it’s against the dynamic (when he wants to be) Cheick Kongo. That’s why I’m picking Dean Lister. Okami’s wrestling skills and takedown defense could make it hard for Lister to get the fight where he wants it, but if Lister hasn’t planned for that he’s in the wrong business. He may not submit Okami, but I like his chances to pull out a decision.
- Cage Potato Lock: Outside of the three kind of co-main events, Matt Hamill is my pick for the safest bet of the night. Reese Andy is a good wrestler but can’t do a whole lot else. Hamill’s an even better wrestler, plus he’s more well-rounded and will fight like a man possessed after his disappointing performance against Rich Franklin. If he doesn’t he knows his trainer will badmouth him to the press again, and that’s no fun.