Ultimate Fight Night 11 Betting Info

flovthomas.pngUltimate Fight Night 11

UFN 11 is a great betting card in my opinion. We’ve got a couple polarizing fighters with Chris Leben and Kenny Florian, a talented fighter coming back after a 2 year layoff, and a bunch of TUF alumni displaying their progress. Check out the MMA SuperPage for complete UFN Odds.

The main event features Kenny Florian vs Din Thomas. Florian has retooled his body and game since losing to Sherk and looks to get back into the title chase with a win over Din. The spotlight has not been focused on KenFlo, but he’s fought impressively in 2007. Din Thomas has been successful, as well, this year. His win over Clay Guida is particularly nice, now that Guida has shown the world that he’s for real. MMA betting is not about what you have done, it’s about what you are going to do. Both these guys look like they are ready for a top effort Wednesday night.

You can argue styles and skill sets all you want, this fight will be decide by a small margin and who is able to take advantage of any opportunity. KenFlo probably has an edge in scramblability and Din an edge is striking and physical strength. I am impressed the manner in which Florian prepares, he’s a serious pro all the way and that’s why he will win this one.

Pete Sell’s fight against Nate Quarry should draw a lot of bettor’s attention. Quarry is a very talented fighter who has not fought for almost two years after losing to Rich Franklin. These two have fought before, Quarry earned his title shot against Franklin with a first round KO of Sell. Pete Sell’s recent record is nothing great, but he has been fighting good opponents and competing well. At first glance Quarry seems like a likely winner, “but not so fast, my friend.” In the two years Quarry has been absent, Sell has been getting training, fighting, and improving under the eye of Serra. Sell is in good form and should be able to control the early action as Quarry tries to adjust to his pace. Quarry’s got too many questions to answer and Sell been thinking about that first round KO for two years. Revenge is sweet, especially at +200.

UFC 75 Betting Odds – Champion vs. Champion

The UFC betting group will be part of history when Pride Fighting unites with the UFC in UFC 75 – Champion vs. Champion on Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, England.

In the main event, UFC champion Quinton ”Rampage” Jackson will take on Pride champion Dan Henderson to unite the two MMA giants.

Henderson is the only man to simultaneously hold two titles in two different weight categories. He’ll bring an MMA record of 22-5-0 to the cage. Henderson has dominated in Pride with attitude, wrestling skills and knockout power in both hands.

The Middleweight and Welterweight champion has an unprecedented resume. In 1992 and 1996 he was a member of the United States Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestling team, 1988 USA Junior Freestyle champion, 1988 USA Junior Greco-Roman champion, 3-time USA Senior Greco-Roman champion, 3-time USA University Greco-Roman champion, 1990 USA FILA Junior World Greco-Roman champion, 1990 Amateur Wrestling News Freshman All-American, 1990-91 U.S. Olympic Festival champion, 1991 and 1993-94 University Nationals champion, 1993-94 U.S. Nationals champion, UFC 17 middleweight tournament winner and RINGS 1999 King of Kings Absolute tournament winner.

UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jackson is also a stellar wrestler with strength and slamming ability. In his last fight, Jackson beat Chuck ”The Iceman” Liddell by way of technical knockout to claim the title. The victory proved Jackson can also bang with the best and has a solid standup game. He owns an MMA record of 27-6-0.

On paper, Jackson and Henderson are evenly matched. This fight will mostly likely go to the ground where both fighters are most comfortable. But don’t be shocked if a bomb is landed to end the bout.

UFC odds currently display Jackson the favorite of -140. The underdog has recently dominated UFC main events. Can Henderson (+110) continue the trend? Or will Jackson make oddsmakers look brilliant? Find out Saturday in the Champion vs. Champion historic event.

Also on the card, home town boy Michael “The Count” Bisping (-260) will do battle with Matt “The Hammer” Hamill (+200) in a Welterweight dandy, and heavily favored Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (-400) will take on Cheick Kongo (+300) in a Heavyweight war.

There’s several more great fights making for a dazzling night of action for the sports betting community. Are you ready? Let’s get it on!


Art of War ready to go

SUN Announces the Brazilian Invasion of USA in ART OF WAR 3 — Live on Pay-Per-View September 1st

DALLAS, TX, Aug 27, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) — SUN Sports & Entertainment Inc. (PINKSHEETS: SSPE) announced today the Brazilian invasion of USA in one of the most exciting Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) events in Dallas, TX history. Coming September 1st, 2007 to Pay-Per-View is “ART OF WAR 3,” the largest MMA event ever produced in Dallas, teaming with some of the biggest names in sports promotion in front and behind the camera.

Check out the complete betting odds for Art of War.

In the nature of true international sports, Team USA will face off against Team Brazil in seven of ten scheduled action-packed bouts. MMA Icon Dan Severn serves as Captain for Team USA, while Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) wizard Carlos Machado leads Team Brazil. “All sports have been bred for international competition and MMA is no different,” said SUN President Buckeye Epstein. “For the first time, we have embedded the international competition within the framework of this exciting sport.”

The main event for the evening pits grappling sensation Jeff “Snowman” Monson (Team USA) against Brazilian knockout artist Pedro “The Rock” Rizzo (Team Brazil). Rizzo will also be putting his International Fighters Association (IFA) Heavyweight Championship belt on the line.

Since making a name for himself in the UFC, Rizzo ventured out to Japan to face more skilled fighters. Taking over a year off to rediscover himself, he returned to action in ART OF WAR 1 and took home the belt by dominating American Justin Eilers through three hard-hitting rounds. Rizzo desperately needs this win to prove he is still one of the best heavyweights in the world.

“I have worked more extensively on boxing for this fight because Rizzo’s standup is so good, but ultimately, we have a good game plan at American Top Team and I just need to follow it,” said Monson, the challenger. Monson recently defeated Kazuyuki Fujita in Pride’s final show.

With over 100 fights to his credit, Jeremy “Gumby” Horn (Team USA) will have a middleweight showdown against Team Brazil’s Jorge Santiago, who recently defeated highly-regarded Russian fighter Andrei Semenov.

Dallas native Alex “El Toro” Andrade (Team USA) hopes to make it three wins in a row in ART OF WAR, but standing in his way is Brazilian Top Team’s Fabiano “Cap” Capoani.

Colorado native, real estate agent and former pro wrestler, super heavyweight Ron “H20” Waterman has done it all. Now representing Team USA, the 41-year-old UFC and Pride veteran will match his strength and experience against Mario “Big Hurt” Rinaldi, a submission fighting whiz training out of the famed American Top Team in Florida.

In welterweight action, Team USA’s Keith Wisniewski wants to make it 3-0 against Team Brazil’s Carlo Prater, who has vowed to avenge his two losses against the Indiana native.

US Army veteran James Damien Stelly will have a new uniform to wear when he steps into the circular cage against Team Brazil’s Luis “Banha” Arthur Cane. After finding success in the first two ART OF WAR events, Stelly is ready to represent Team USA. Meanwhile, Cane has been regarded as one of the best 205-pounders to come from Brazil. Undefeated in seven bouts, he is known for his KO power just as much as his ground game.

The final team bout pits Texas native Hector Munoz against Team Brazil’s Cristiano “Mr. Hey” Marcello. After winning several regional championships, Munoz feels he has what it takes to face Marcello, who is the grappling instructor for the famed Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil. For the first time, a Brazilian team will include members from Brazilian Top Team, Chute Boxe, Ruas Vale Tudo and American Top Team.

In a special women’s MMA attraction, undefeated Lana “Lethal” Stefanac takes on Franita Gathings, who will be making her pro debut. “My gameplan is always the same: end it fast and furious by decision so we can go have a bite to eat and be friends,” said Stefanac. Gathings is comfortable and ready for her first fight and believes her victory lies in keeping it standing.

Hard-hitting Muay Thai exponent and local favorite Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani faces off against BJJ artist Keyon Mike Jackson in one of two opening lightweight bouts. Jason “Tex” Maxwell vs. Thomas Schulte rounds out the 10-bout fight card.

Held at the American Airlines Center and home to the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars and countless other world class events, ART OF WAR 3 will also make the Dallas debut of MMA commentating team: Canadian Fight Network Announcer Mauro Ranallo and MMA veteran Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg. Tommy Habeeb, President of American Television Distribution, will serve as Executive Producer with production services performed by WinnerComm (WC), America’s largest independent sports production and program development company. WC supplies over 1,500 hours of programming annually to ESPN and 13 other national television networks and has earned 13 Emmy Awards. ART OF WAR 3 will be broadcast in High-Definition.

“ART OF WAR will be one of the most exciting nights in Dallas sports and MMA history,” said SUN CEO CJ Comu. “It will not only showcase great athletes, but also create a spectacular fan experience that builds brand loyalty and in turn attracts the corporate sponsors and advertisers. We are dedicated to achieving the number one position in this multi-million dollar space and take our brand internationally. With an investment of over $1,000,000 million — this will be one evening fans will not want to miss.”

ART OF WAR 3 tickets may be purchased online through TicketMaster (www.ticketmaster.com) for $30, $50, $75, $100, ($300 VIP). The event will also be seen live on Pay-Per-View on In-Demand and Bell Express Vu Network in Canada, as well as in Brazil. The action begins at 9:00 PM CST! Fans may also bet online for the top six bouts exclusively at www.betonfighting.com. Some group packages may be available by contacting SUN Corporate Ticketing direct at Call 214.202.4329 Promo code “Zewkey”.

UFC Betting Tips

UFC Betting Guide


Oh yeah, the thrill of betting on fights. What’s more exciting than watching an MMA battle with money riding on the outcome? Every punch, kick and submission attempt could pocket you some extra cheddar. Today more people are making a bet on UFC fights than ever before. I think there would be huge explosion in UFC betting if more people understood the basics of fight betting, so this is the first in a mini-series of how to make profitable wagers on MMA action. Use this information to enjoy UFC, Pride or any MMA event and possibly make some extra money too.


Understanding Mixed Martial Arts Betting Odds:


Here’s an example of the UFC 68 Betting Line…


Tim Sylvia -270

Randy Couture +210


The negative number is always the favorite. Sylvia is -270 which means you must risk $270 in order to win $100. The positive number is always the underdog. Couture is +210 which means you must risk $100 in order to win $210.

A much easier method is to use the Money Line Calculator on Zewkey’s MMA Betting Super Page and just plug in the numbers to see what you can win. You can base your bets on any amount.

Let’s Pick the Winner of a UFC Fight:

Mixed martial arts is a difficult sport to consistently pick a winner. This is because of 2xgonzcout07-300x250.gifthe various styles of fighters and the relative lack of knowledge surrounding the sport. With more than 10 years of UFC and other MMA fighting evolving in the US it has become obvious that a fighter’s success in mixed martial arts is based on several key components. By analyzing a fighter’s strength in these components and comparing his opponent strengths, it is becoming easier to determine a winner.

3 Dimensional Fighting: A fighter needs to have a three dimensional approach to fighting. They need to stand up and strike effectively to inflict damage while defending against takedowns. They must control or escape their opponents while clinching and inflict damage while in close quarters. They must defend or defeat an opponent on the ground by submission or ground and pound.


Well Prepared Professional Athlete: Steady, consistent training and fighting regularly are positive signs of a focused, motivated and fit athlete. The fighter’s fitness level obviously needs to be high, but this is an aspect that needs to be watched closely in MMA fighters. There is a persistent belief that heavier is better and the fighters very often cut large amounts of weight prior to weigh-in, which leaves them physically and mentally tapped when they should be at their peak. It also shows a lack of preparation, both short and long term.


Streaks: Winning and losing streaks are very important factors in a fighter’s confidence and if they are improving or possibly declining. These athletes go thru a lot so look for signs that point to rapid decline or a possible breakthrough performance.


Training Environment: Who is the athlete training with? Success breads success in MMA. Top level experienced fighters and trainers can mentor and place young athletes into successful situations. Good competition within camps develops top fighters. Watch out for fighters that take bouts on short notice hailing from Miletich or American Top Team.

UFC 74 Betting – Parlays

I think UFC 74 is a very good card to take a shot at a few parlays this weekend. Parlays are combination bets where it’s all or nothing., what I mean is that you must pick all the fights in your parlay correctly or you lose it. The more fights you have in your parlay, the higher the payoff. Parlays can be great when you win, because you make small bets to win big money. Who doesn’t like that? Currently two sites take MMA Parlays BetUs and 5Dimes.

A couple of important points about parlaying fights. First, it becomes more important to find the betting site with the best odds. Your payouts are multiplied (2.6x for 2 man, 6x for 3 man, 12x for a 4 man,) so the difference in a couple fighters listed at -120 instead of -140 can mean and additional $100 in your pocket. Here’s our Parlay Calculator to help you with payoff figures. Second, heavily favored fighters add very little value to the payout. So, lets leave them out of our parlays. The reward does not justify the risk or the anguish you will suffer after hitting 3 fights only to watch Matt Serra steal your treasure in the main event.

I like to identify a fighter, or two, that I think is a very likely winner. Remember, no big favorites, so Huerta is out. Once I have my “key” fighter(s), I try to build a few combinations. I think Kendall Grove (-240) is a sure winner and I’m making him my KEY. I also think that Joe Stevenson(-280) is a sure winner, but I like Kendall a little more.

Grove (-240) plus Joe Stevenson (-280) $10 wins $9
Grove(-240) plus Gonzaga (-120) $10 wins wins $16
Grove (-240) plus Heath (+200) $10 wins $33
Grove (-240) plus Joe Stevenson (-280) plus Gonzaga (-120) $10 wins $25
Grove (-240) plus Joe Stevenson (-280) plus Heath (+200) $10 wins $48
Joe Stevenson (-280) plus Gonzaga (-120) $10 wins $15
Joe Stevenson (-280) plus Heath (+200) $10 wins $31
Grove (-240) plus Joe Stevenson (-280) plus Gonzaga (-120) plus Heath (+200) $10 wins $96

Ok, so I need Grove and Stevenson to come thru for me.  92% of UFC favorites of +200 or more win so I look good there.  I’m counting on Gonzaga to be my money maker, I clean up if he can beat the “old man.” I think Heath has a shot at Babalu, so I put him in to leverage a few of these babees.  Good luck.

UFC Odds and EzFlyer’s UFC 74 Preview

UFC 74: Respect – Fight & Betting Line Analysis
by Matt Corenzwit
BetOnFighting.Com Staff Writer

MMA Odds Maker Nick Kalikas and www.BetOnfighting.com have released this weekends Official UFC 74 “Respect” Odds.

Rejoice, mixed martial arts fans, the wait is nearly over! At long last, the UFC is back in full swing this coming weekend and it isn’t stopping there. Following UFC 74: Respect, September is filled to the brim with three more events & the premier of The Ultimate Fighter 6. It’s a good time to be a UFC fan, and there are certainly some excellent opportunities across the board. UFC 74 is headlined by Randy Couture & Gabriel Gonzaga, who will be competing for the coveted Heavyweight crown, while potential #1 contender matches take place at 170 & 155 lbs.

Main Card

Gabriel Gonzaga (-150) Vs. Randy Couture (+120):

Many questions will be answered in Saturday’s Main Event, featuring Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture & challenger Gabriel Gonzaga. Can “The Natural” hold his own against his larger foe in a grappling affair? Was Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic’s knockout at the hands (or feet!) of Gonzaga a fluke? When will age catch up with the 44 year old champ? No matter the result, we will get some answers & in exciting fashion.

Enter the challenger: Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga. A burly yet athletic 240+ lbs, the accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner boasts a substantial submission acumen. He is also a very tenacious fighter who presses forward very well & can end a fight in any round. If that wasn’t enough, he proved in his last fight against the vaunted Mirko “Cro Cop” that he has tremendous knockout power, delivering one of the more brutal high kicks in the sport’s history.

Champion Randy Couture (“Captain America”, “The Natural”, etc.), a decorated wrestler whose nickname count is exceeded by his UFC championships (and that’s saying something!), is coming off of his magnificent recapture of the Heavyweight belt. Coming out of retirement, the then forty-three year old stunned the mixed martial arts world by dominating the 6’8 incumbent champion, Tim Sylvia. A master of game plan, Couture has an unbreakable spirit and competitive edge, which has driven him throughout his hall of fame career.

On paper, Gonzaga, the larger, younger, & perceivably stronger fighter is a clear-cut favorite. He has a much better finishing game and it’s impossible to overlook Couture’s age. However, sports fans, this is why we have the actual matches. Couture’s been there. He’s tasted championship glory in multiple divisions & has succumbed to defeat as well. He has gone five grueling rounds on multiple occasions. People have discounted & doubted him countless times in the past, and yet he’s come through. Couture finds a way. He’s my pick to click at a nice slight-underdog price of +120. If you like Gonzaga, I’d recommend that you wait a bit & let the waves of Couture fans drive his price down.

Georges St. Pierre (-250) Vs. Josh Koscheck (+200):

These two welterweight fighters have more to prove than anyone on the card. For Koscheck, a win over GSP would cement him as the #1 contender at 170 lbs. GSP, on the other hand, who had worked so hard to get the belt last November, lost in his first title defense to the vastly inferior underdog, Matt Serra. While Koscheck dearly wants the respect he has not yet earned in most fans’ eyes, GSP wants to validate himself & prove that his loss in April was a fluke.

Josh Koscheck is arguably the best wrestler in MMA at the moment, period. He is an outstanding athlete with a practically unstoppable takedown game. Steadily expanding his skill set, he proved he can control the standup aspect in his last fight, where he dominated the previously unbeaten Diego Sanchez. Georges St. Pierre is a terrific wrestler in his own right (he is a Canadian Olympic team alternate), but it doesn’t stop there. While Koscheck still has a lot to learn, GSP already has all of the tools. He can end the fight a variety of ways & has faced (and defeated) much stiffer competition.

Bodog FightKoscheck’s first few fights were snoozers, wherein he applied the sort of “Lay-n-Pray” that has turned even hardcore MMA fans into boo-birds. He employs the tactic when he recognizes his inferiority to a given opponent (in a given area), and attempts to smother his adversary. He doesn’t even look to improve position or finish the fight, he tries to merely dominate position as if it was a wrestling match. Most experts predict him to try this very tactic from the get-go. He’s difficult to stop when he sets his mind to it.

Does that make Koscheck worth a shot as +200? I’d beg to differ. GSP, like Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Fedor Emelianenko, and a select few others, is impossible to hold down. He is a cardio machine who is dangerous from the opening bell through the final moments. What’s more, he displayed the type of sprawl against Matt Hughes, Sean Sherk, & Frank Trigg that’s capable of stuffing takedowns from anyone. I firmly believe that GSP wants to win more than ever after his last outing & that Koscheck will not be able to hold him down. GSP opened around the -200 area, and it’s a surefire bet there, but I still like him at -250.

Joe Stevenson (-275) Vs. Kurt Pellegrino (+215):

Wrestler/submission specialist Joe “Daddy” Stevenson matches up with a mirror image of himself in Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino. This may very well be the match to determine the #1 contender at 155 lbs, especially in Stevenson’s case. As stacked as the lightweight division currently is, Joe has probably had the most impressive victories over the last year. He’s shown off some of his submission skills in choking out Dokonjonosuke Mishima & Melvin Guillard, while against Yves Edwards, he utilized superior wrestling & ground ‘n pound. As aggressive & strong on the mat as anyone in the division, Stevenson is quite a force, especially given his size.

Pellegrino has very much the same style, training with the likes of Hermes Franca on a daily basis. Neither fighter is particularly adept on his feet, so expect this fight to hit the ground pretty fast. No matter who has the top position, Stevenson, aggressive as he is, will be on the offensive for as long as the fight lasts. They really do have practically identical styles, but Stevenson is flat-out better at every aspect of MMA. He’s bigger, stronger, and more aggressive. I can’t see Pellegrino winning. I’d be betting on Joe even if the line was around -400.

Kendall Grove (-225) Vs. Patrick Cote (+185)

TUF 3 meets TUF 4 in the lone middleweight bout of the evening. Kendall Grove continues to climb the 185 lb ladder with remarkable improvement while Cote looks to build off of his first UFC victory. While Cote is a well versed fighter who has been around the game longer, he still struggles with the ground game every time we see him. He’s also fought tougher competition & has trained with most of Canada’s top fighters. Grove, however, is still a very young fighter who is growing by leaps and bounds at every turn. He showed tremendous grit and determination in a hard fought victory over Ed Herman. In his next fight, he dominated every aspect of the fight against a supposed superior wrestler in Chris Price, and his superb aggressiveness & technique against Alan Belcher were a joy to watch.

If Cote can keep the fight standing while attempting to deliver some power shots, he has a chance. Frankly, he’s never done that in the UFC. Every time he’s been aggressive, he’s been taken down and turned into a pretzel on the canvas. In his lone win, he was content to land shots simply for the judges and showed no urgency to finish the fight at any point in time. If he takes the same approach against Grove, he will be at the mercy of the Hawaiian’s 6’6 frame/reach & consequently picked apart. Kendall is the superior fighter and only getting better. -225 is a fantastic price for Grove I’d not soon pass up.

Roger Huerta (-425) Vs. Alberto Crane (+345):

Believe it or not, -425 is the best price yet offered for Huerta, as the UFC has been trying to build him up as the next big thing in the Lightweight division. Huerta has been downright impressive. His fights are always exciting, and short of the first round of his most recent outing against the impressive Douglas Evans, He’s dominated every fight he’s had. Many naysayers will point to that first round as a sign of weakness, or criticize his lack of finishing ability against Leonard Garcia. I whole-heartedly disagree. I give credit where it is due in both cases, to Evans & Garcia (and lest we forget, Huerta still won both fights). He’s a dynamic striker, grappler, and a terrific athlete. While he hasn’t been tested to the degree of some other lightweights, he does show immense skill & promise.

Crane is an up-and-coming lightweight at 8-0, seven wins coming via submission. He’s not fought in any of the big shows yet, and has certainly not fought anyone as skilled as Huerta. The longer the fight remains on the feet, the better it is for Roger, although if and when it hits the ground, expect him to be in the dominant position. Huerta takes this fight by any way he chooses and -425 really isn’t a terrible price compared to his previous bouts. That said, I’d abstain from action on this one. +345 isn’t worth a risk on an unknown like Crane.

Under Card:

Clay Guida (-155) Vs. Marcus Aurelio (+125):

Why this match up is relegated to the under card is beyond me. They will probably incorporate it into the PPV broadcast if/when fights end prematurely, to help fill the time. As usual, my pick for “fight of the night” comes from the lightweight division. Clay Guida is an extremely diligent & hardworking fighter who presses forward for fifteen straight minutes. He’s a terrific wrestler and he proved in his last fight (a tough decision loss to Tyson Griffin) that his gas tank can carry him throughout a fight. Though somewhat lacking in the standup department, he’s a very exciting fighter who never quits.

Out of the frying pan, into the fire…Clay’s coming off of two heated matches with top notch competition (Griffin & Din Thomas) and heading into a match with Marcus Aurelio. Aurelio is the first of the former PRIDE lightweight standouts to come over to the UFC. He is an elite-level grappler who is best known for his arm-triangle choke of the world’s #1 rated lightweight, Takanori Gomi. Although Aurelio dropped a decision to Gomi in a rematch and has been inactive for several months, he is still as tough as they come. Aside from complacency when on his feet, he is competent in all areas of MMA. He has a better finishing game than Guida & will probably have to do so off of his back.

My first inclination was to say: Guida by decision. I haven’t wavered tremendously, but I have to go with Aurelio for the +125 price. He’s more capable of finishing the fight from the bottom than Guida is from the top, let alone if he can somehow secure a dominant position. Either way, I’m excited to see these two 155’ers in action!

Thales Leites (-285) Vs. Ryan Jensen (+225):

If Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, and the rest of the middleweight division isn’t paying attention, Thales Leites may give them a rude awakening. After a tough decision loss in his octagon debut against Martin Kampmann, Leites has quickly rattled off two phenomenal performances, in so doing utterly decimating Pete Sell & Floyd Sword. He’s a terrific grappler with an impressive & ever improving takedown game. Although unlikely to rack up knockouts like Anderson Silva or Chuck Liddell, he is also a formidable standup fighter.

Leites is opposed by Ryan Jensen, a solid grappler in his own right. Jensen was set to take on Travis Lutter, before Lutter pulled out with an injury. This will be his toughest test by far, and the smart money is on him faltering in his UFC debut. Like Stevenson vs. Pellegrino, Thales Leites is better at every facet of MMA, and a very safe bet.

Renato Sobral (-200) Vs. David Heath (+160)

It’s been a rough year for “Babalu” Sobral. He dropped his title bid and lost his impressive win streak against Chuck Liddell. He then returned in March only to gas in the second round succumbing to Jason Lambert via a vicious knockout. He’s run into problems with the law. That said, this is the very same fighter who was in the top-10 of the 205 lb ranks for several years. The same man who was on a terrific run including a submission win over the young Shogun and once gave Fedor a run for his money.

David Heath was looking great up until his most recent fight. He was unbeaten, including a 2-0 mark in the UFC, and is a formidable wrestler/ground’n’pounder. Given the current issues & questions surrounding Sobral, David Heath would have been a good bet. However, in his last outing, he was practically undressed by Ryoto Machida, exposing deficiencies in standup, takedowns, etc. If the Babalu we saw last year comes back, he takes this easily. If the distractions & disappointments have disrupted his training, Heath is a solid underdog bet. I don’t see Babalu getting his third straight loss, but mainly I’d advice passing unless the line shifts dramatically in either direction.

Frank Mir (-160) Vs. Antoni Hardonk (+135):

Contrasting styles are rarely exemplified more than in the night’s “other” heavyweight tilt. The former champ, Mir, has shown a tremendous lack of standup ability since his return from his motorcycle accident. He’s demonstrated a proclivity to turtle up and stop fighting when he’s getting hit, instead of the old Frank Mir, who would retain guard & look for submissions. If given free reign on the mat to fight his fight, however, he is still a tremendous grappler for a heavyweight.

Antoni Hardonk, a dynamic striker under the tutelage of kickboxer Ernesto Hoost, is extremely dangerous on his feet. Although this is his third UFC fight & he’s been fighting MMA off and on since 2001, his takedown defense and ground game are atrocious. In his last fight, he was taken down at will by Justin McCully and had no answer. He had nothing off of his back and could not even get back to his feet. Tremendously contradicting styles (and glaring opposing weaknesses) make this an interesting fight. I like Hardonk given his odds & Mir’s lack of standup, even if he pulls guard, I just don’t think he can take many hits. Hardonk by first round KO.

UFC 74 Odds: Respect – Preview

By Damon Durante

With more than a month and a half gone by since the last UFC event, fans of MMA are chomping at the bit for the night of August 25th.

With the Heavyweight Championship of the world on the line as well as a former Welterweight title holder doing battle, UFC 74 is sure to provide an epic showcase of UFC talent.

The night starts with a matchup between TUF alumni Patrick Cote (+190) and Kendall Grove (-240). Grove remains undefeated in the octagon and looks to continue his rise to the top of the middleweight division by taking out Cote, who is 1-5 in the UFC, losing to the likes of Tito Ortiz, Chris Leben and Travis Lutter. Cote salvaged his UFC career with a unanimous decision victory over Scott Smith at UFC 67 but a loss to Grove here could spell the end for this Canadian submissions expert.

Next up, Kurt Pelligrino (+210) goes toe to toe with Joe Stevenson (-280) in a clash of lightweight up and comers. At the tender age of 25, Stevenson has had 39 MMA fights and is a stellar 4 -1 in UFC matches. Pellegrino last fought back in April on the Stevensen vs. Guillard undercard at UFC Fight Night taking a first round submission victory over Nate Mohr.

The return of former Welterweight Champ and UFC superstar Georges St. Pierre (-250) is one of the most anticipated comebacks in recent UFC history. St. Pierre was expected to dominate the UFC’s Welterweight division after his annihilation of former champ Matt Hughes. He was dethroned by unlikely victor Matt Serra in the first round of his only ever title defense. He looks to get back into championship form as he takes on TUF 1 alumni Josh Koscheck (+200) who is on a 5 fight winning streak in the octagon and coming off a big time win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 69.

After gracing the cover of sports illustrated, Roger Huerta’s (-500) meteoric rise through the UFC has been astounding. His already stellar record of 20 – 1 – 1 is combined with a perfect 4 – 0 in the octagon. He is facing UFC newcomer Alberto Crane (+350) who boasts and undefeated mma record of 8 – 0 and a reputation as a submissions machine.

Finally, the main event of the evening pits two unlikely combatants together for the UFC Heavyweight Championship Belt. Unlikely because current title holder Randy Couture (-115) was a heavy underdog against Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 before grinding out a solid unanimous decision, and his opponent Gabriel Gonzaga (-115) was never supposed to defeat (let alone knock out) Croatian superstar Mirko Cro Cop.

Two fighters that were never supposed to face each other squaring off to prove that beyond a belt, there are few things that a fighter covets more in the world of MMA than respect.

Here are some other notable lines for UFC 74 – Respect:

Renato Sobral (-300) Vs. David Heath (+230)

Sobral needs a solid victory here to keep his UFC career alive

Frank Mir (-180) Vs. Antoni Hardonk (+150)

The comeback trail continues for Frank Mir.

Clay Guida (+100) Vs. Marcus Aurelio (-130)

A solid matchup af two battle tested lightweights.

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