UFC 84 Parlay Picks

UFC 84 offers some really good betting opportunities, with one of the best bets I have seen this year.  Here’s my thoughts on a few UFC 84 parlay bets.  5dimes and BetUs both take MMA parlays, but they are the only ones right now.

I will start off with the best betting opportunity I have seen in the UFC this year.  Keith Jardine +155.  Wandy nuthuggers must be blind.  Jardine demolished Chuck, no contest.  Wandy is a plodder like Chuck, but he’s not as dangerous as a counterpuncher nor does he have Chuck’s power and precision.  Wandy’s only hope is to cast a spell on Jardine and entice him into his clinch.  Ain’t gonna happen.  This is an easy fight for Jardine.  Im going to use him as a key in several parlays.

Clementi is different fighter now than 18 months ago, he’s put it all together and he’ll dominate Etim.  I’m going to sprinkle Sherk in on a couple too.  I think Sherk and BJ are close to even and a year ago Sherk would have been a favorite in this fight.  Penn’s win over Stevenson was a little lucky cause he caught a careless Stevenson early, yet still struggled to put him away.

Jardine (+155) + Clementi (-200)  3 units

Jardine (+155) + Sherk (+220) 1 unit

Jardine (+155) + Clementi (-200) + Sherk (+220) 1 unit

Clementi (-200) + Sherk (+220) 1 unit

Yoshida (-160) + Clementi (-200) 1 unit

Keith Jardine Profile

jardine-toon-300x279.pngD.O.B.: 10/31/1975
Weight: 205lb/93kg
Height: 6’2″
Fighting style: Gaidojutsu, Kickboxing
MMA Record: 12-3-1
Fighting out of: Butte, Montana

Keith Jardine is an American mixed martial arts fighter. He currently fights as a light-heavyweight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Jardine made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2001, defeating Amir Rahnavardi via armbar submission. He would win five out of his next six bouts, suffering one knockout loss to Travis Wiuff, before debuting in the Japan’s Pancrase organization in 2003. Jardine’s bout in Pancrase, with Keiichiro Yamamiya, ended in a draw. Jardine defeated his next two opponents, including a submission win over Red Devil Sport Club fighter Arman Gambaryan. Jardine made his debut with the UFC on the reality TV series the Ultimate Fighter 2, where he was cast as a heavyweight under coach Rich Franklin. Jardine was one of the favorites to proceed to the Heavyweight division’s finals, but was not selected to fight until the semi-finals, where he was defeated by eventual season two Heavyweight winner Rashad Evans.

Although Jardine was eliminated from The Ultimate Fighter 2, his tenure with the UFC would continue. Jardine made his first appearance on an official UFC fight card at the TUF 2 Finale, defeating fellow season two Heavyweight Kerry Schall by TKO due to leg kicks. Jardine subsequently dropped down a weight class to the Light-Heavyweight division, and defeated Mike Whitehead, another TUF 2 competitor, by unanimous decision at UFC 57.

At UFC 66, Jardine scored a TKO victory in the first round over winner of The Ultimate Fighter 1, Forrest Griffin. Jardine’s next fight was against UFC newcomer Houston Alexander at UFC 71. After having complained about having to face an unknown fighter when he felt he deserved a more high profile match, Jardine was knocked out 48 seconds into the first round after a vicious assault by Alexander.

Jardine faces Chuck Liddell at UFC 76 Preview of the Fight

Chuck Liddell Profile

liddell316x350.png D.O.B.: 12/17/1969
Height: 6’2”
Fighting style: Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling
MMA Record: 20 – 4 – 0
Team: Pit Team
Fighting out of: San Luis Obispo, California

Chuck Liddell is a mixed martial artist who currently fights for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. A former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Liddell has an extensive background in Kickboxing and collegiate wrestling. He is associated with the Pit team and recently earned a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Because of his relaxed “hands-down” stance and the various angles from which he throws punches, many within the MMA community have labelled Liddell’s style “unorthodox”. He was a four-year starter on the football team at San Marcos High School, and Liddell is noted within MMA circles for his exceptional takedown defense.

Liddell began his fighting career when he defeated Noe Hernandez on May 15, 1998. By 2002, Liddell was considered the number one contender for the UFC light heavyweight title with growing popularity and support from fans. The UFC tried to arrange a title bout with then champion Tito Ortiz but Ortiz kept citing scheduling conflicts which frustrated the UFC brass. To force Ortiz’s hand, they created an Interim Light Heavyweight Championship and matched Liddell with experienced former heavyweight Randy Couture at UFC 43 for that title. This was a fight that many thought Chuck should win, and it was expected that he would then go on to fight Orti. However, Couture neutralized Chuck’s trademark powerful looping hooks with crisp straight punches and he eventually began taking Chuck down at will. Couture eventually gained full mount and forced a referee stoppage due to strikes.

After this defeat, Liddell went to Japan to compete in the PRIDE 2003 Middleweight Grand Prix tournament as the UFC’s representative. After defeating Alistair Overeem in the first round of the tournament, Liddell was eliminated from the Grand Prix by Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the semi-finals in a one sided affair, losing by technical knockout after Liddell’s corner signaled for an end to the bout.

Liddell lost his UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 71 on May 26, 2007 in a rematch against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson due to KO after being dropped by a single right hand. After the loss Liddell was widely criticized after reports indicated he was seen in night clubs the week before the event. He responded that it was nothing he had not done prior to his other fights in Las Vegas.

Chuck returns to the ring at UFC 76, where he faces Keith Jardine (UFC 76 preview).

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 Parlay Picks

UFC 75 Parlay Ideas

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 and make that fighter my “key.” I then use my key fighter to build several combinations. Matt Hamill is my key for UFC 75.

  1. Hamill + Rampage/Hendo Fight won’t go 5 round distance ($1 wins $4)
  2. Hamill + Henderson ($1 wins $6)
  3. Hamill + Sakara ($1 wins $7)
  4. Hamill + Henderson + Fight won’t go 5 round distance ($1 wins $10)
  5. Hamill + Rampage + Fight won’t go 5 round distance ($1 wins $7)
  6. Hamill + Sakara + Henderson ($1 wins $18)
  7. Hamill + Sakara + Henderson+ Fight won’t go 5 round distance ($1 wins $27)

There are the combinations I like in the featured fights. I particularly like # 1, 2, and 4, so I will bet a little more on each of those combinations.

UFC 75 Previewing the Undercard
Sept. 4th, 2007
by Bryan Teal

At the top of the UFC 75 undercard is Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic versus Cheick Kongo. Both fighters are known for their superb kickboxing skills. Cro Cop (6’2″ 220 lbs. 22-5-2) hails from Croatia and holds notable wins over Kazushi Sakuraba, Heath Herring, Igor Vovchanchyn, Alexander Emelianenko, Kevin Randleman, Mark Coleman, Josh Barnett (three times), Hidehiko Yoshida, and Wanderlei Silva. Kongo (6’4″ 240 lbs. 20-3-1), from France, possesses much less experience on the big stage, but holds wins over Assuerio Silva and Christian Wellisch. Odds supplied from 5dimes (offering MMA parlays and over/under total rounds)

Kongo is the 2004 and 2005 Federation King of the Ring World Champion Netherlands, 2004 Muay Thai World Champion Kosovo, and 2005 Federation King of the Ring World Champion Croatia kickboxer. His training for this fight has been with Michael Bisping, Brandon Vera, and the UFC Light Heavyweight Champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, among others. Cro Cop, on the other hand, although widely considered to be the better of the two kickboxers, doesn’t hold any championships in kickboxing. He did, however, win the Pride FC 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix in very convincing fashion, disposing of Wanderlei Silva and Josh Barnett in about eleven minutes total at Final Conflict Absolute. Cro Cop has been training with Remy Bonjasky, Dean Lister, Ivan Hyppolite (his new coach) and Gilbert Yvel, who beat Kongo a few years ago. The training has been focused mostly on stand up fighting which seems like a smart strategy considering both fighters’ backgrounds. The fight will probably be a striking war, with neither fighter having to worry about subs, although Lister is one of the best BJJ guys around, so it kind of seems like Cro Cop could be going for the unexpected submission. I see Cro Cop taking this fight. As for betting; Kongo (+320) is the better value bet, having the ability to end the fight quickly, but Cro Cop is probably the safer bet, even at -390.


In a fight that many TUF fans expected to see at the end of the third season, Michael Bisping (6’2″ 205 lbs. 14-0) takes on Matt Hamill (6’1″ 205 lbs. 5-0). On paper and in many’s minds, this fight is a mismatch of skill sets with Bisping known as the striker and Hamill the wrestler, but each have improved in their respective weaknesses. In my opinion, neither fighter holds any impressive victories, but some would argue that Eric Schafer and Elvis Sinosic are solid wins for “The Count.”

Hamill, who trained with Tito Ortiz at Team Punishment for a while, is now at his own gym in Utica, New York. This move doesn’t give me much confidence in a victory for Hamill, especially considering that “The Count” has been training with top level fighters such as Cheick Kongo, Brandon Vera, and “Rampage” Jackson, among others in Big Bear and at Wolfslair Academy in England. Jackson’s wrestling should give Bisping a lot of help in neutralizing Hamill, and Vera’s Muay Thai and BJJ should help round out his arsenal.

This will definitely be Hamill’s toughest fight to date. Bisping has said that he sees this fight as a step down in competition. I believe if he can stay focused and take the fight seriously, he will win and hopefully will get to fight someone everyone can agree is a top LHW contender.

Houston holds his groundHouston Alexander makes his return to the Octagon after knocking out Keith Jardine to face Alessio Sakara. Sakara, who fights out of the 360 Combat Club, is known for his boxing, but is also versed in BJJ. Alexander, who fights out of Mick Doyle’s Kickboxing and Fitness Center in Omaha, is primarily a kickboxer, but can also wrestle. These two fighters’ styles seem to match up well and should result in an exciting fight. Personally, I think Alexander (-200) will win, but if you are a bettor, Sakara (+170) might be your man in this one.

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 Inks Wanderlei Silva; Brazilian Legend set for December Return

UFC Inks Wanderlei Silva; Brazilian Legend set for December Return

By Thomas Gerbasi

It’s been a deal years in the making, but finally, one of mixed martial arts’ unquestioned greats – former PRIDE Champion Wanderlei Silva – will be returning to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Octagon this December for the first time in over seven years to take on the best 205-pound fighters in the world.

“Many fighters have a dream of fighting for the UFC, and as a champion for six years in Japan, my dream has always been to have the UFC belt,” said Silva. “Today, I’m one step closer to this goal.”

Bodog Fight

“As crazy as this sounds, this is the pinnacle of my seven year career in this company,” said UFC President Dana White. “I’m so excited to have this guy under contract. He grabbed my arm and looked me in the eyes like one of his pre-fight staredowns and he said ‘I’m gonna fight so good for you, you’re gonna see the best fights ever from Wanderlei Silva.’”

The signing of Silva, which took place in the Zuffa offices in Las Vegas Friday afternoon, is the culmination of years of pursuit and hard work by White, who weathered a series of ups and downs to get the Brazilian bomber in the UFC, where potential matchups with the likes of former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell await.

The 31-year old Silva, known by fight fans as “The Axe Murderer” for his ultra-aggressive style and finishing ability, began his career almost 11 years ago in his native Brazil, fighting in Vale Tudo bouts that pushed him to the imit as he honed the skills that would soon make him one of the most feared fighters on the planet.

In 1998, Silva would make his UFC debut against Vitor Belfort, and he would fight two more times in the Octagon (including a 2000 bout against Tito Ortiz).

But it was in the PRIDE organization that the legend of Silva was truly born, and after his debut in 1999, he met great success by winning the organization’s middleweight championship and defeating the likes of current UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton Jackson (twice), Dan Henderson, Kazushi Sakuraba (three times), Ricardo Arona, Hidehiko Yoshida, and Kazuyuki Fujita, while engaging in some of the most memorable fights in MMA history.

“This guy is a real fighter,” said White. “He reminds me of Chuck Liddell, and he’s the kind of fighter that all fight fans love to see fight. He’s a gunslinger. He will get in harm’s way to inflict damage and pain. This guy comes out like a speeding train and never stops. He goes for the finish, he likes to knock people out, and I just think he’s going to bring so much excitement to the UFC, I feel like I’m going to jump out of my skin.”

Well-rested after his February PRIDE fight against Dan Henderson, Silva (31-7-1) now looks forward to the next chapter in his career in the UFC.

“I’m gonna work hard to give a great show for the fans and I want to thank God for this opportunity,” said Silva, who counts the key elements of his style as raw aggression, emotion, and intensity.

He also wants to send a message to prospective foes.

“I want to issue a warning to the other fighters out there: you need to train hard, because “The Axe Murderer” is here.”

A date and opponent for Silva’s return will be announced at a later date.