UFC 148 Preview
UFC Monster, InterMatWrestle.com Staff Writer
Photo/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Event: UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen 2
Venue: MGM Grand Garden Arena (Las Vegas)
Date: July 7, 2012
There has never been as much interest and intrigue in a rematch as there is in tonight's UFC middleweight championship, a five-round affair that many see going the same way as the first. The trash-talking challenger, Oregon's elite wrestler Chael Sonnen (27-11-1) outwrestled and dominated the sport's best fighter for 4.5 rounds only to fall prey to a last minute triangle choke submission two years ago. First scheduled to be fought in Brazil, the rematch has finally arrived in Las Vegas, the hottest ticket in sports.
Anderson "Spider" Silva (31-4) is undefeated in the Octagon, and has won 14 straight in the UFC, while Sonnen has struggled his whole career avoiding submissions (8 losses by chokeholds). I'm a believer that tonight's fight will be over quickly with a Spider highlight reel of powerful strikes from all angles, leaving a dehydrated challenger (Sonnen dropped 20 pounds in the last 24 hours before weigh-ins) looking weak and pathetic. There is no doubt in my mind that an angry Spider is more than a trash-talker can handle. Lay the juice (-270) and watch the massacre.
Let's also make a couple of "prop bets" on the fight. Let's bet UNDER 2.5 rounds for the fight at +150, and let's wager that the Spider wins by KO/TKO/DQ at even money. Both props are underdogs, offering great value.
Light heavyweight Tito "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" Ortiz (16-10-1) has just been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame for his contribution in promoting and growing of the sport. Tito once was the poster boy for the sport. But tonight is his swan song against the always popular Forrest Griffin (18-7). This is the rubber match of three fights between the two. While I believe that Forrest is the bigger and better fighter at this stage of their careers, I see an amped-up Tito giving it his best shot, and doing just enough to win a split decision victory over Forrest. Take the ridiculous +300 underdog odds on the ex-champ, and let's hope we can send Tito out on a win!
Middleweight striker Cung Le (7-2) has won all of his fights by KO/TKO. He was good enough to beat Frank Shamrock. Not Ken, but Frank! Canadian Patrick "The Predator" Cote (17-7) has made a career of knocking people out, and is back in the UFC after four straight wins in other venues. He was dismissed after struggling to win, but Cote is now back with a vengeance. This fight could be the FON (Fight of the Night). And it won't be going to a judge's decision! After gassing against Wanderlei Silva, Cung will bring a stronger focus as he too may soon be retiring from MMA. I'll give Le a final shot at attractive +200 underdog odds. Let's call it a second-round TKO kick to the gut. Ouch!
Brazilian welterweight Demian Maia (15-4) entered the UFC with six straight wins mostly by dominating submissions. Since then, however, he has struggled, and left me vowing NEVER to bet on him again!.......ah, until tonight. His opponent Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim (15-1-1) is a tough clinch fighter who rarely gets taken to the mat, and does enough to outlast and discourage rivals who have no answer for his clinch holds and strikes. But I think Maia will sense the urgency of the need for a great performance, and stun the MMA world with a patented chokehold and full body lock en route to a +130 upset win. He's due and he owes me.
Ivan Menjivar (24-8) is back on a roll and his opponent Mike Easton (12-1) is as focused as a fighter can be. This fight should be full of strikes and either man can win. That's why I'm taking a pass. After days of coin flipping, I'll let this one go and just enjoy the fight. Easton is the slight -115 favorite, but this one's a tossup. Nice match-making, Joe Silva.
In a bonus sixth fight on the PPV card, we see the return of former AA wrestler, lightweight Chad "Money" Mendes (11-1), who has only lost to champion Jose Aldo, who KO'd him with a knee to the face. Mendes' first fight back will be against the one trick pony, Cody McKenzie (13-2), who just disposed of Augsburg undefeated four-time NCAA champion Marcus LeVesseur with yet another triangle choke. McKenzie has now won eleven (11) straight by first-round triangle choke! Wow! First-round triangle chokes? Why change? Don't fix it, if it isn't broken, huh? But the chances of Mendez getting caught and submitted by this move?......I'd say, slim and none........and Slim just left town. A bridge jump on Mendes at -575 will put money in your account. Trust me.
Now let's take a quick look at tonight's undercard ... seen free on FX.
Melvin "The Not So Young Assassin" Guillard (29-10-2) has became a beast after joining Greg Jackson's camp. But a surprise loss to Joe Lauzon has left him desperate to get back on track. Guillard's weakness have been to submission holds and his opponent Fabricio Camoes (14-6-1) has won half his fights by submission. But I'll stick with Guillard at -265 to win by second-round TKO. He's still a beast.
Undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov (17-0) offers great value as a +170 'dog against journeyman Gleison Tibau (25-7). Lack of UFC experience against a veteran could be a factor here, but I'll take my chances with a juicy 'dog. Nurmagomedov by third-round KO.
If anyone knows who will win between Constantinos Philippou (10-2) and Riki Fukada (18-5), please let me know. I'm leaning towards Fukado as a +170 'dog, based on betting "value." Japanese fighters have done poorly in the UFC. In a risky wager, I'll take my chances here. Fukada by decision.
Okie State's Shane Roller (10-6) is fighting for his UFC life after suffering three straight losses in the Octagon. That motivation is enough to get him past longtime UFC veteran John Alessio (34-15). Roller at -180 gets a second round rear-naked choke to win it. Wrestler's never die.
And this one can be seen on Facebook, meaning I won't be seeing it anytime soon ... Rafaelio Oliveira (14-5) as a +160 'dog will get back on track in an upset victory over Yoislandy Izquierdo (6-1). A majority decision wins it.
Now let's see what we can do with our fictitious $1000 bankroll. I can't remember when I last lost, betting on UFC fights. I hope the hot streak continues. The webmaster has promised to update my results soon!
......."And here we go......."
Let's lay $270 to win $100 on Anderson Silva embarrassing Chael Sonnen.
Let's lay $ 50 to win $75 that the fight goes UNDER 2.5 rounds.
Let's lay $23 to win $ 23 on a Spider KO/TKO/DQ.
Let's lay $ 60 to win $180 on Tito Ortiz' swan song.
Let's lay $ 60 to win $120 on Cung Le's spinning kicks.
Let's lay $ 60 to win $78 on Demian Maia finding another sub in his bag.
Let's lay pass on Menjivar vs. Easton. Too close to call.
Let's lay $115 to win $20 on a Chad Mendes bridge jump.
Let's lay $132 to win $50 on the beast Melvin Guillard.
Let's lay $ 60 to win $105 on the Russian Nurmagomedov.
Let's lay $ 40 to win $68 on Riki Fukada to save face.
Let's lay $ 90 to win $50 on Shane Roller's neck crank.
Let's lay $ 40 to win $64 on Rafaello Oliveira to get back on track.
In total we are risking $1000 to win $ 933. Not bad.
Don't forget to give part of your winnings to your local youth wrestling program, where tomorrow's champions are born!
Enjoy the fights, I know I will.