Yes sir yes sir! I told you guys I’d rebound, and that’s exactly what I did. After going a sub-par 5-6 at the Fight for the Troops 2 event, I went 7-4 at UFC 126, which brings me to 19-14. Thank you, thank you, and you’re welcome. I’m sure that brought you a nice chunk of change. I plan on doing the same, if not better this time around. So rejoice.
As for the card, for being an “also ran” PPV card in February, it’s pretty good. Fitch/Penn, Bisping/Rivera, and Sotiropolous/Siver are definitely worth the price of admission.
Don’t forget, the UFC is bringing nearly every fight to the fans. Ion TV has 3 fights and Facebook.com/UFC has another two. That’s 10 of 12 fights you’ll get to see if you buy the PPV. That’s quite nice.
As you can see, I’ve added the odds to all the fights, per reader request. Don’t say I never gave you anything. And instead of only breaking down the televised fights, I’m going to break down the main card, and then have one or two sentences about every preliminary fight. Also by reader request. You’re welcome.
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 Bodog.com. As always, I appreciate half of your earnings.
Lightweight bout: Maciej Jewtuszko (-150) vs. Curt Warburton (+110)
Both of these guys are 6’0″ at 155lbs, so no real reach advantage by either guy. This will come down to who’s striking is better. Going to go with the 8-0 guy on this one.
My Pick: Jewtuszko, Round 2, Submission
Heavyweight bout: Mark Hunt (+210) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (-270)
Tuchscherer needs to win or he’s going to be released. Too bad for him, because Hunt is going to land some real good shots and get this win.
My Pick: Hunt, Round 2, (T)KO
Featherweight bout: Zhang Tie Quan (-295) vs. Jason Reinhardt (+235)
Reinhardt is a big underdog, but he’s going to pull this out. He might have a little trouble with Quan’s reach, but he’s stronger and will be able to control Quan.
My Pick: Reinhardt, Round 3, Decision
Light Heavyweight bout: Anthony Perosh (+150) vs. Tom Blackledge (-180)
Blackledge’s striking will be too much for Perosh to contend with. If Perosh can gain top control he might be able to get the win, but I don’t think he’ll be able to close the distance.
My Pick: Blackledge, Round 3, Decision
Ion TV Card
Middleweight bout: Nick Ring (EVEN) vs. Riki Fukuda (-130)
Nick Ring finally gets to the UFC. He’s been out for over a year rehabbing an injury. Fukuda isn’t the best opponent to return to. The cage rust will affect Ring for a bit, but I think he’ll overcome it and stop Fukuda’s takedowns and out-strike the newcomer.
My Pick: Ring, Round 3, (T)KO
Light Heavyweight bout: James Te-Huna (+275) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (-350)
This is a huge test for Gustafsson. He’s young and has looked impressive, but Te-Huna is a beast and has won his last 5 by knockout. This will be a slug fest. Going with power on this one.
My Pick: Te-Huna, Round 1, (T)KO
Lightweight bout: Ross Pearson (-200) vs. Spencer Fisher (+160)
This is going to be a real good fight. Pearson has looked good since leaving the TUF house, but you can never count Fisher out. The fight is going to go back and forth. This is the hardest pick of the card.
My Pick: Pearson, Round 3, Decision
Middleweight bout: Kyle Noke (-225) vs. Chris Camozzi (+185)
This is a tough call. While Noke possesses the necessary skill set (boxing/wrestling) to defeat Camozzi, it’s not going to be easy. Camozzi had a nice come from behind win over Dong Yi Yang after Yang used wrestling to negate Camozzi’s Muay Thai. I think Noke is a much better and stronger fighter than Yang, so I’m leaning towards him in this fight.
My Pick: Noke, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: Chris Lytle (-270) vs. Brian Ebersole (+210)
I can’t believe it’s taken so long for Ebersole to make it to the UFC. At 46-14-1-1, he’s riding a 7 fight win streak making his UFC debut. While I would’ve much rather seen Lytle take on Carlos Condit like he was scheduled to, but Ebersole is a welcome replacement. Don’t know about those odds either. Lytle is a great striker, but so is Ebersole. I don’t see this one leaving the first round and it’ll be close.
My Pick: Lytle, Round 1, (T)KO
Lightweight bout: George Sotiropoulos (-515) vs. Dennis Siver (+315)
Wow! -515? That’s amazing. While I’m sure Sotiropoulos will win, if you are a gambler, that’s too much to pass up. Siver could easily connect with a spinning back kick or a left hand and drop Sotiropoulos. Don’t see it happening though. Every time Sotiropoulos fights he improves. After this win how can you deny him a title shot? Well, after Anthony Pettis.
My Pick: Sotiropoulos, Round 2, Submission
Middleweight bout: Michael Bisping (-325) vs. Jorge Rivera (+250)
At first I wasn’t excited about this fight. But then Rivera started talking trash. Then Bisping started talking trash. Then during the press conference Bisping kept it going. Now I wanna see it. Bisping doesn’t get enough credit for how good he is. Even from me. But he’s a smart fighter who picks and chooses his openings. If Rivera can’t get this fight to the ground, Bisping will out-point him.
My Pick: Bisping, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: B.J. Penn (+155) vs. Jon Fitch (-185)
I hear everyone is picking Fitch by decision. Wonder why that is? Probably because he’s boring and fights like a wet blanket. You add that to Penn’s suspect takedown defense against high level wrestlers, you have the makings of a boring fight. However, should Penn stuff a few takedowns, he could easily bust up Fitch’s face. I hope for such an exciting fight, but I’m thinking Fitch’s blanket will strike again.
My Pick: Fitch, Round 3, Decision