Complete UFC 132 Preview, Analysis: Cruz vs. Faber

| by

Anyone sick of fights every weekend yet?  I didn’t think so.  While this fight card might not be the best of the bunch for entertainment value, it brings a huge variety of wagering options and should be the easiest to turn a buck on in the month of July.  Below are my comparison betting odds for this event, as well as any prop bets I feel will increase your profit margins on said fights.  So, bust out your calculator and get ready to arb your ass off at UFC 132.

Urijah Faber -140

Dominick Cruz +110

Props: Fight Goes Distance, Faber by Submission, Fight Of The Night

I’ve been saying Faber would own this belt after two fights, and sure enough he’ll be making his attempt after two wins at Bantamweight.  While Cruz is a difficult fighter to deal with, Faber is perhaps the worst possible match for him in the division with his stop-on timing and ability to scramble.  While Cruz is constantly moving, resetting and attacking without pattern, one part of his stand-up game is always the same: His entry.  For all his movement, Cruz almost always comes in as a southpaw and makes a double hop on his right leg with his head on the inside.  Benavidez was already onto this in their fight, and you know Faber will have this timing down perfect within a round or two.  It could be close, but Faber has the impeccable timing to blast Cruz over and over on this entry and capitalize on an injured fighter.  While a decision could be close, Faber could end this with a scramble and a submission inside of 5 rounds.

Chris Leben -160

Wanderlei Silva +130

Props: Leben by KO, Fight Ends Inside Distance

Wanderlei Silva

If I’ve learned anything about betting on fights, it’s this:  Always play the dog in a Leben fight.  Leben is easily the worst fighter on paper, and a lot of people write him off as a drunk with a dynamite punch and iron chin.  While all of that is certainly true, he’s also a fit and powerful fighter with underrated wrestling ability and has some of the best functionality under duress of any fighter alive.  While Wanderlei Silva bought himself a few years by dropping a weight class, he’s still a battle-worn fighter with a limited arsenal, and I can’t see him winning this fight more often than not.  Overall, Leben’s ability to connect during exchanges, eat a large volume of head shots, and use wrestling offensively should win him this fight in the second or third round.

Ryan Bader -800

Tito Ortiz +500

Props: Bader by KO

You’re not going to see me throw a comparison odd like that around often.  Ortiz is far past his prime with his life crumbling around him going into this fight.  While that would make some guys hungry, we know from the past that he isn’t someone to go out on his shield under that kind of mental and physical pressure.  Bader is coming off his first loss, but even on his worst day would be able to dominate Ortiz anywhere this fight goes.  This is a rare opportunity in the UFC, and I’d highly recommend using this fight as your Anvil for the event, either playing this card safe or making some daring parlays.

Dong Hyun Kim -185

Carlos Condit +145

Props: Fight Goes Distance, Kim by Decision

Kim is one of those guys I’m rarely excited to see fight, but brings several strong betting opportunities.  His opponent this time out is former WEC Welterweight Champion Carlos Condit, who has struggled greatly in the division thus far, but comes in with two wins in his last two outings.  This fight isn’t likely to play out any differently than Kim vs. Diaz or Kim vs. Sadollah, as his judo stylings and single leg takedown will work equally well on any lanky fighters.  Kim’s submission defense almost makes this a forgone conclusion, as he can take Condit down at will and work from top for three rounds, grapping a decision win.  The safest wager here might be betting the Over though, as Kim has shown a tendency to gas late in a fight.  In that case, you’ll be covered even if Condit floors him with strikes before the final bell, as slim of a chance as that is.

Matt Wiman -130

Dennis Siver EV

Props: Fight Of The Night

My personal pick for FOTN, underrated mauler Matt Wiman will face the most dynamic striker in the division in Dennis Siver.  Both men has stellar performances last time out, with Wiman running Cole Miller through a meat grinder, while Dennis Siver executed a perfect game plan of takedown defense and precision striking against George Sotiropolous.  This fight is much more interesting than you might initially be thinking, as Siver is clearly the better striker of the two, while Wiman may or may not be able to get a takedown here.  What people forget is that Wiman isn’t exactly a joke on the feet, having crumpled many opponents in his career with his underrated power.  If Wiman can get Siver thinking takedown early and land a heavy blow, he stands a good chance of knocking Siver out here, especially early in the fight.  This could be a close one, but Wiman’s power, cardio and takedowns put the fight slightly in his favor.

Melvin Guillard -200

Shane Roller +160

Props: Guillard by KO, Roller by Submission, Fight Ends Inside Distance

A fight that I’d wager doesn’t see the final bell, Melvin Guillard will step into the cage against Team Takedown’s Shane Roller.  Guillard has always been a wild card in bouts, but since going to Greg Jackson’s camp, has added some truly cerebral fighting to his pure athletic ability.  Having gone undefeated since this transition, he’ll face an opponent that normally would eat him alive as a true measure of his evolution.  For my money, Roller is one of the biggest duds to show up in the UFC in some time, having rarely had a dominating performance in his career.  While Roller managed to KO Tavares after being soundly thrashed for the entire fight, he’s fighting on borrowed time in a cutthroat division.  With that said, Roller has shown amazing tenacity in his fights, plucking a win out of thin air, and Guillard is exactly the kind of guy he could pull that trick on.  While I think Guillard overwhelms Roller early here, arbing with Guillard KO and Roller Sub is a sound strategy.

George Sotiropolous -260

Rafael Dos Anjos +210

Props: Sotiropolous by Submission, Fight Ends Inside Distance

Coming off a broken jaw at the hands of Clay Guida, Rafael Dos Anjos makes his return to the UFC, but draws a harsh opponent in George Sotiropolous.  Both men are BJJ black belts, but Sotiropolous is a step above most, with some of the best top position transitions in the business and cardio that never fails.  With a full training camp, Dos Anjos would have a better shot here, but the lack of preparation isn’t going to do him any favors.  Sotiropolous employs his typical game plan of boxing and takedowns, and while Dos Anjos is a game opponent, he’ll ultimately be put through the ringer and submitted.

Brian Bowles -185

Takeya Mizugaki +145

Props: Mizugaki by Decision

One of those fights I’ve really been looking forward to, Brian Bowles will continue his trip back to the top of the division, taking on former title challenger Takaya Mizugaki.  While Bowles heart is in question after his sorry performance against Dominick Cruz, his skills are top-notch, giving him an edge over Mizugaki almost anywhere this goes.  Bowles has the punching power and slick submissions to finish this fight at any time and stands a good chance of doing just that against Mizugaki.  With that said, finding value on this fight is going to be difficult with Bowles reputation, making your smartest bet a small prop bet on Mizugaki taking a decision.

Aaron Simpson -150

Brad Tavares +120

Props: None

Having arrested his backslide with a win over Mario Miranda, Aaron Simpson will look to establish himself in the Middleweight division, taking on TUF 11 fighter Brad Tavares.  This is a bit of a tricky fight on paper as Simpson has changed up his style dramatically in recent bouts, having abandoned his aggressive boxing and takedown assault for a wrestling and top-control game plan.  His opponent would appear to be overmatched here, but Tavares has grown considerably since leaving the show and has the better all-around game in theory.  While I think Tavares ceiling is higher overall, he might not be ready for this fight just yet.  Look for value where you can, but Simpson should be a favorite here by a small margin.

Anthony Njokuani -240

Andre Winner +190

Props: Njokuani by KO

While Bader is the lock of the night, this is my favorite bout for some real money.  Njokuani comes into this fight on a loss to Edson Barboza, but showed more in that loss than in the majority of his fights.  Having honed his muay thai to a razor edge, Njokuani is perhaps one of the top 3 strikers in the division and will have Andre Winner in some serious trouble.  While Winner himself is a talented striker, his lack of respect for opponents cost him dearly against Dennis Siver, and it remains to be seen if that lesson is one that sticks.  The real issue here is Winner’s lack of power, while Njokuani has no such issue in putting opponents to sleep.  With Winner being a novice wrestler at best, this is a fight destined to play out on the feet, and destined to end badly for Winner.


Get more great MMA news, recaps and analysis over at