(Mayhem is not to be underestimated.)
EliteXC: Return of the King (June 14th; Honolulu, Hawaii; live on Showtime)
Yves Edwards (-130) vs. KJ Noons (even)
Nick Diaz (-450) vs. Mushin Corbbrey (+370)
Murilo Rua (-250) vs. Tony Bonello (+200)
Dave Herman (-155) vs. Ron Waterman (+125)
Rafael Feijao (-280) vs. Wayne Cole (+220)
Notes: Nick Diaz just got surgery to file down his sharp ocular bones, which is supposed to prevent his face from shredding so easily (and losing him another fight). Sounds dodgy to me, and it hasn’t yet been proven that the procedure was a practical success. With odds that wide and Diaz’s scar tissue still a question mark, we’d definitely throw a double-sawbuck on Corbbrey, who has shown some great submissions in his relatively brief career. Undefeated Australian King of the Cage vet Tony Bonello (16-0-1, 14 wins by submission) may also be a good underdog bet, even if the competition he’s faced is nowhere near the level of the guys that Ninja Rua has gone up against.
Adrenaline 1 (June 14th; Chicago, IL)
Mike Russow (-265) vs. Jason Guida (+215)
Terry Martin (-325) vs. Daiju Takase (+265)
Forrest Petz (-275) vs. Brian Gassaway (+215)
Anthony Laplsley (-125) vs. Mark Miller (-105)
Bart Palaszewski (-285) vs. Jeff Cox (+225)
Rory Markham (-600) vs. Jay Ellis (+450)
Clay French (-350) vs. Jameel Massough (+280)
Mike Stumpf (-125) vs. Dom O’Grady (-105)
Joe Jordan (-140) vs. Ryan Williams (+110)
Notes: You’d have to be a degenerate MMA gambling addict to throw money down on a card as “who fucking cares?” as this one. That being said, Daiju Takase (though a generally shitty fighter) once submitted Anderson Silva, and also beat Carlos Newton by decision, so there’s always a chance he could pull off a much smaller upset against the journeyman of all journeymen, Terry Martin. If you’re wondering who Jay Ellis is and why he’s such an underdog, he’s a regional-league palooka who’s on a nine-fight losing streak (5-18 overall), and Miletich-trained IFL vet Rory Markham is going to absolutely kick the shit out of him.
DREAM.4 (June 15th; Yokohama, Japan; live on HDNet)
Kazushi Sakuraba (-150) vs. Melvin Manhoef (+120)
Shinya Aoki (-700) vs. Kutsuhiko Nagata (+500)
Gegard Mousasi (-180) vs. Dong Sik Yoon (+150)
Ronaldo Souza (-145) vs. Jason Miller (+115)
Zelg Galesic (-205) vs. Taiei Kin (+165)
Notes: I’m kind of surprised that Manhoef is the underdog here. The Dutch kickboxer is still one of the nastiest strikers in MMA, and aggressive strikers have always been Sakuraba’s weakness; as for Sak, he’s looked great in recent fights, but he’s constantly battling injuries, and his will to compete is increasingly questionable. Anyway, put a few bucks down on Melvin. Even more surprising than the Sakuraba/Manhoef odds is the Souza/Miller line. Miller may have looked like a goof in his slapstick performance against Katsuyori Shibata at DREAM.3, but he’s still one of the top middleweights in the world and can kick ass when he needs to. Though “Jacare”‘s record may be somewhat impressive (8-1, all wins coming via first-round stoppage), most of his wins were against absolute cans. Expect Mayhem to school him. And yes, Kutsuhiko Nagata’s +500 looks sexy, but trust me, you won’t see that money ever again. Aoki by flying-whatever-he-wants.
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