By Dan “Get Off Me” George
This may be the 5th installment of the UFC on FOX, but somehow it feels like the very first time the UFC will be showcased for the mass cable viewing audience. With a card that far and away surpasses any previous cable-accessible card in the sport’s history, FOX has dubbed this week “Fight Week” and rightfully so. Both parties seem to be maximizing their potential for UFC on FOX 5, but we’ll have to wait until Saturday to determine whether or not the key to success on network television is having both title fights with a solid supporting card and the steady promotion FOX has offered for this event in the days leading up to it.
With a 3-3 record over the past 6 UFC PPV’s, it’s time for The Gambling Addiction Enabler to sink or swim (or specifically, find ourselves at the bottom of the ocean with a fancy matching pair of cinder blocks for shoes). So Join us as we highlight some of the undercard and all the main card bouts in the hopes of bringing you Taters some early holiday funds. All the betting lines come courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.
Facebook Preliminary card
Hovering around -270 Jorgensen makes the parlay must category. John Albert is 1-2 in the UFC facing opponents who I believe Jorgensen would beat hands down. It was not long ago that Scott went the distance with a guy named Renan Barao (maybe you’ve heard of him?) and I cannot see Albert, despite being the bigger fighter, being able to dictate how this fight goes. Jorgensen is one of those fighters who loses fights against the upper talent in the division but destroys fighters who are not part of that group (*cough* Ken Stone *cough*).
FX Preliminary Card
Even though we are talking 30 cents on the dollar territory, having a victory already under his belt against one of the better 145 pounders fighting a lesser caliber fighter is a good look for Dennis Siver. Phan is solid fighter, but not an underdog who can win here up against a better striker who has plenty experience fighting higher level UFC opponents. It might not be a steamrolling, but Siver should be able to out strike Nam and keep this fight standing possibly taking a decision on the cards.
Tim Means (-340) vs Albert Trujillo (+280)
Albert Trujillo will be making his UFC debut against Tim Means, who is sporting a perfect 2-0 record in the promotion. Another -300 fighter who is parlay bound, Tim Means has lost just once in the last seven years and has half a foot height advantage like he did in his last bout, which he finished in the first round in absolutely brutal fashion. Trujillo may be able to pose the puncher’s chance here and be tough enough to take this fight the distance, but I do not see him being able to outwork “The Dirty Bird” in this one.
Anytime there is a 10 year gap between fighters, it is generally wise to go with the younger fighter and this is surely the case with Stephens (26yrs old( vs Edwards (36yrs old). This fight should be entertaining and I believe Stephens is the stronger fighter who is just as technical in the striking department and equally skilled on the ground as Edwards. Stephens has gone the distance against arguably two of the top 5 lightweights in his past two bouts while Yves has fought mid level lightweights since returning to the UFC with mixed results. A -200 line that says Stephens will not get KO’d, subbed, or outworked by a 36yr old lands this fight on the parlay as well.
Main Card on FOX
Matt Brown has rallied off more wins in the past year than Swick has had fights, but “Quick” dealt with adversity well in his last fight against Demarques Johnson and proved he can finish a fight with his accurate striking. I believe this fight shows Brown as the small underdog based on the fact that Swick has the potential to win this fight standing or on the ground. Stephen Thompson had success standing against Brown but was a fish out of water on the ground and I believe Swick has the skill to keep this fight standing while out striking “The Immortal.” I like Swick and the nearly even money line is worth a look.
Another 10 year difference in age combined with the fact that BJ has not found the fountain of youth beyond his improved physical appearance…again…has me leaning on Rory to make this fight look like round 3 of Fitch/Penn. MacDonald is very hittable and BJ has some of the best hands in the UFC, but Rory trains with GSP, has takedowns like GSP, and should not have much issue bringing BJ to the ground in this fight. I think BJ is in the wrong weight class and despite having an excellent ground game, Rory may just be too strong for BJ’s submissions game. He will likely take risks to deliver his trademark GnP to BJ with little regard to the threat of being submitted. I’m not counting BJ out completely, but we have seen the Prodigy move to 170 before and the outcome was a draw and a loss leading to a retirement announcement.
A little over a year and a half ago, Shogun was +170 going into his fight with Jon Jones as the LHW champion. This Saturday against Gustafsson, Rua is right around +185 and this may be an opportunity to take advantage of picking a solid underdog to win. Gustafsson has not fought the same level of competition as Rua in the UFC and while he has looked impressive in victory, the names he has beaten do not jump off the page just yet. Gustafsson could very well take this fight to the ground and control Rua early and often looking for a decision win, but Rua has the ability to end this fight on the feet and on the ground if he hurts Alexander on the feet. I see Gustafsson by decision or Rua by KO or Submission.
Henderson is undefeated since moving over to the UFC and will be looking to defend his title against his toughest test yet. Had I not seen Nate’s last fight against Jim Miller, I would quickly predict Diaz to be taken down by Bendo and grinded out over 5 rounds. I made the mistake of picking Miller over Diaz precisely due to the fact that I believed Miller would be able to take Diaz down when the striking game was not going in his favor. What I did not know was that Nate has finally developed his take down defense, which leads me to believe he will be able to stuff the lightweight kingpin’s efforts to bring this fight to the ground. In the past, Nate has been taken down by Stevenson, Guida and Maynard with all those bouts resulting in losing efforts. Something clicked against Miller (who had never been finished) and Diaz controlled the fight from the get-go. Benson seems to be impervious to submissions, but if he allows Diaz to lock in a guillotine (like Cerrone) or take his back (like Pettis) he may find out how good Gracie Jiu Jitsu really is. Like Pettis, Diaz is heavy on his lead leg, which will offer a nice target for Henderson to hit, but Bendo was unable to take advantage of this against “Showtime” and I believe the same will happen with Nate. With an advantage in the stand up and submissions department, I will go with Nate Diaz to submit Ben Henderson to become the new UFC lightweight champion.
Parlay 1 ($15)
Parlay 2 ($10)
Parlay 3 ($15)
Parlay 4 ($10)
Parlay 5 ($5)
Parlay 6 ($5)
Please share your thoughts and let us know who you like and why.
Enjoy the fights and may the winners be yours.