UFC 77 Betting Picks

Article submitted to MMAGame.

I think UFC 77 is the best event for betting I have seen in a long time.  If you are a true MMA fan, then the 4 main fights are all intriguing matchups.

I have strong opinions on three of the four, the exception being Starnes vs Belcher.  Although I favor Starnes, both guys are talented but unproven in my eyes. So, I will take a pass on this one and invest in the other three.

Let’s start with the Championship fight.  Here’s the deal.  If you think Rich Franklin is the same fighter he was before the first fight (just as good now as he was then,) you have to bet him.  2-1 is a dream.  I, however, believe that the beating Silva gave him that night ended the career of the championship level Rich Franklin.  Silva has moved forward in his development as a complete fighter, while Franklin has fought to regain his confidence. You can make a case that Franklin is bigger and will take him down etc… but I see it as Silva is at a completely different level than Franklin, physically and mentally.  I’m taking Spider.

Everyone hates Tim Sylvia, but I don’t get it.  Sylvia is one of the most resilient fighters we have ever seen, he uses his strengths better than any fighter I can think of, and he’s a hard working fool.  No way Vera should be favored over big Timmy.  Even if you buy into all the Vera hype, that should make him about even up with the former champion-at best!  Tim’s loss to Couture looks a lot better now that Randy tore through Gonzaga.  Fighting styles will matter in this one.  Expect Vera to have a similar plan that Couture used to defeat Sylvia, except more knees in close.  Sylvia will be ready for it, and you can bet your last tater that he won’t fall into that trap again.  Look for Sylvia to use his size effectively as he controls the pace.  Sylvia will frustrate Vera and take him off his game.  Easy win for Sylvia.  Big Bet!!!

Okami is physically superior to Jason MacDonald.  MacDonald lacks the crisp, effective punching that he will need to keep the Japanese mauler off him.  The combination of a physically stronger fighter facing a submission fighter is a profit machine.  Okami will bull his way to MacDonald’s chest whenever he feels like it, where he can take him down and gnp as long as he wants.  Some say that Okami is a slow starter, but here’s the secret…Okami knows he’s strong enough to escape submission attempts once the fighter start getting sweaty.  He keeps himself out of trouble until everyones good a warm, then goes to work.  Bet Okami with confidence.

Yushin Okami vs Jason MacDonald Odds are out

Jake Shields (black trunks) vs. Yushin Okami Japanese ground n pounder, Yushin Okami, has opened up as a small favorite over TUF assassin Jason MacDonald at 5Dimes.

Okami -135
MacDonald -105

Okami is one of the few Japanese fighters to successfully enter the UFC. His physique is more defined than the some of the “chunkier” fighters from the far east. Okami is very good at cutting weight then enter the ring as a much larger and stronger opponent than most fighters in his class are used to. Mike Swick’s first words to his corner at UFC 69 were “He’s strong!” Okami is known as a methodical mauler who simply uses his superior strength to limit the opponents attack, then he unloads his effective ground attack of punishing punches from a dominant position. Many consider Rich Franklin very fortunate to come out a winner in their previous fight.

Jason MacDonald is an athletic submission specialist who also lost to Franklin recently. MacDonald lacks the crisp powerful punches necessary to keep Okami at a distance. Look for Okami to work his way in close to MacDonald where he can take him to the ground and control the action. This is a bad matchup for MacDonald and Okami is a bargain at -135.