MMA Analysis: UFC 131 Preview, Picks and Odds

| by Sports Nickel

Three straight weeks of UFC fights? Is this heaven? No, but that is awesome. And if you count Strikeforce’s event next week (and you should) we’ll have a string of 6 straight weeks of major MMA events. That could either break my record or enhance it greatly. Judging by last week’s score, 8-3, I’m leaning toward the latter. At a very respectable 66-47, I trudge along looking for the ever elusive perfect card.

I’m sure most of you know by now that Brock Lesnar was supposed to be fighting Junior Dos Santos, but fell ill, and Shane Carwin stepped up to take his place. I think the Main Event is actually a better fight now. Not that I didn’t want to see Lesnar return, but I knew how that fight would go. Carwin/Dos Santos is a near toss-up. Skill set vs. skill set, JDS is the better fighter. But Carwin is a big and powerful wrestler and can knock you out with a 6 inch punch. This should be interesting. The rest of the card is definitely watchable. And I can’t end this intro without a shout out to San Antonio’s own, Aaron Rosa making it to the big show! Bring it home!

For those of you who don’t know, the favorite will have a negative (-) number, while the underdog will have a positive (+) number. MMA money lines are based on units of $100. If the favorite is -225, it means that you have to wager $225 to win $100. But if you are betting on the underdog, the formula is different. If the underdog is at +185, it means that if you wager $100 you will win $185 for a total of $285. Easy enough, right? Good.

If you guys are going to bet, head over to As always, I appreciate half of your earnings.

Facebook/YouTube Card

Featherweight bout: Michihiro Omigawa (-325) vs. Darren Elkins (+250)

I would really like to pick Omigawa because he’s a much better fighter overall, but he had a real problem with Chad Mendes taking him down. Elkins is also a pretty good wrestler, and the way they score MMA fights, he’ll probably squeak out the win.

My Pick: Elkins, Round 3, Decision

Heavyweight bout: Joey Beltran (+135) vs. Aaron Rosa (-165)

I’m picking Rosa solely on the fact that he’s riding a wave of success and other than losing to Rafael Cavalcante, he’s dominated his opponents in his last 6 victories. Beltran can take a punch, and will this Saturday.

My Pick: Rosa, Round 3, Decision

Featherweight bout: Dustin Poirier (-500) vs. Jason Young (+300)

Young is a good fighter, but he’s not on Poirier’s level just yet. Poirier is a better striker and holds wins over better opponents than Young. And if the fight goes to the ground, Poirier has the advantage there too.

My Pick: Poirier, Round 3, Decision

Middleweight bout: Nick Ring (-115) vs. James Head (-115)

Ring is undefeated and that’s not going to be ended by James Head. Head had a decent win over Gerald Harris, but Ring is just better all around. But he really needs to do something about that nickname: Nick “The Promise” Ring?

My Pick: Ring, Round 3, Decision

Light Heavyweight bout: Krzysztof Soszynski (-525) vs. Mike Massenzio (+325)

This is my lock of the night. No freaking way K-Sos loses this fight. Happen, not, gonna. For starters, Massenzio took this fight like yesterday. Second, he’s stepping up in weight for the first time. This is just a horrible match-up for him.

My Pick: Soszynski, Round 2, Submission

Spike TV Card

Middleweight bout: Jesse Bongfeldt (+300) vs. Chris Weidman (-500)

This will be Bongfeldt’s first fight outside of Canada. And it’s not going to be a good one, at least, not for him. Weidman is the better fighter, and he looked really good in his fight against Alessio Sakara in March. If he comes out like that, it’s going to be a short night for the Canadian.

My Pick: Weidman, Round 1, (T)KO

Lightweight bout: Sam Stout (-150) vs. Yves Edwards (+120)

Stout always brings the noise. Five “Fight of the Night” awards for him. But I’m not sure he should take that mentality into this fight. Edwards is very experienced and can knock you out at any time. This will probably add another award to Stout’s mantle, but he’ll be on the losing end of this one.

My Pick: Edwards, Round 3, Decision

Main card

Lightweight bout: Donald Cerrone (-500) vs. Vagner Rocha (+300)

I really don’t see how Rocha can win this. Sure, he’s a pretty good submission artist, but Cerrone has really only lost to Ben Henderson, a powerful wrestler. Rocha won’t be able to control Cerrone like Henderson did, and that’ll be all she wrote. Look for a left hook to drop Rocha.

My Pick: Cerrone, Round 2, (T)KO

Middleweight bout: Demian Maia (-115) vs. Mark Muñoz (-115)

Maia is on recorded saying he thinks this fight will be grapple heavy. I’m not so sure. I don’t think Muñoz wants any part of Maia on the ground, even if he’s a great wrestler. The smart thing is to keep this fight standing. Will he? Hard to say. Maia would definitely like to take this to the ground. He’ll give up strength, but if/when this fight hits the ground, Maia will have the advantage. So let’s keep this standing, shall we?

My Pick: Muñoz, Round 3, Decision

Heavyweight bout: Jon Olav Einemo (+160) vs. Dave Herman (-200)

Einemo has been out of commission for a long time. Like ridiculously long, almost 5 years. He has looked good in his training videos, but training isn’t fighting, and Herman has looked impressive lately. Not only that, Einemo is basically a pure grappler. A great one to be sure, ADCC 2003 champion, but Herman is well-rounded. Not going to be a good debut for Einemo.

My Pick: Herman, Round 2, (T)KO

Featherweight bout: Kenny Florian (-275) vs. Diego Nunes (+215)

Florian will make history as the only fighter to have fought in 4 different weight classes in the UFC. That’s ridiculous. But he’ll have a real test on his hands when he steps in there with Nunes. This will be a back and forth fight, but Florian’s reach will play a huge part in this. Nunes just won’t be able to get inside. If he was just a little taller, I’d be picking Nunes.

My Pick: Florian, Round 3, Decision

Heavyweight bout: Junior Dos Santos (-165) vs. Shane Carwin (+135)

This is such a hard fight to call, I might as well flip a coin. But that would defeat the purpose of you guys reading this. As I said in the intro, JDS is far superior in terms of skill. If he can keep away from Carwin’s power he has a real shot at picking Carwin apart. Which is what I think will happen. Both are coming off huge layoffs, but Carwin’s cardio has always been in question. Even if he improved drastically, he’s still not on JDS’s level. But Carwin has definitely changed physically. You’ll be shocked if you haven’t seen him recently.

My Pick: Dos Santos, Round 3, Decision

UFC 131: Dos Santos vs. Carwin Preview/Picks/Odds is a post originally from: - In Sports We Trust