What has it been, like a month since I’ve last done one of these? Must be the fight gods trying to ice me, because I went 9-3 in my picks at UFC 129. Yessir! Cash money, as Rampage would say. That brings my overall record to 52-40, so if you’ve bet using my picks, you’re welcome. I’m sure my check’s in the mail.
Now onto UFC 130. I was really excited for this card when Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Mayard 3 was the Main Event. I was really looking forward to Edgar putting on a clinic AGAIN, but this time hopefully the judges wouldn’t rob him. But, both of them got injured so it bumped everyone else up. Now we have a Rampage/Hamill Main Event. That’s just ehh, but the rest of the card is still pretty good. You’re buying this PPV card for the whole, not just one fight. And it has been said that should Rampage win, he’ll be the first to get a shot at Jon “Bones” Jones. So if you want to see that, root for Rampage.
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.
Bantamweight bout: Renan Barão (-365) vs. Cole Escovedo (+285)
Let’s just put it this way, Barão lost his first professional fight back in 2005 and hasn’t lost since. Yeah, exactly. Not going to happen Saturday. His Muay Thai/BJJ are top-notch. Good luck with that Escovedo.
My Pick: Barão, Round 3, Submission
Bantamweight bout: Michael McDonald (-500) vs. Chris Cariaso (+300)
McDonald will be way too much for Cariaso. He’s 5 inches taller and his striking is better. That’s a fantastic combo when you are going against someone smaller.
My Pick: McDonald, Round 3, Decision
Lightweight bout: Gleison Tibau (-365) vs. Rafaello Oliveira (+285)
Oliveira has problems with strikers it seems. And Tibau can definitely throw his hands and he’s definitely the stronger of the two. He’s favored that much for a reason.
My Pick: Tibau, Round 2, (T)KO
Spike TV Card
Middleweight bout: Kendall Grove (-140) vs. Tim Boetsch (+110)
So which Grove is going to show up? When I pick him or pick against him he does the opposite. And recently he’s traded wins and losses. If I go by that, he’s due for a win. But it’s going to be tough. Boetsch is going to pressure him from the get-go. If Grove weathers the storm he should be able to use his spidery legs and arms to gain control of the “Barbarian” and lock in a submission.
My Pick: Grove, Round 1, Submission
Bantamweight bout: Miguel Torres (-135) vs. Demetrious Johnson (+105)
This is a very tough fight to call. Johnson is going to be relentless with his takedowns attempts but Torres has some pretty decent takedown defense. I think Torres will be able to stuff enough of them and pick Johnson apart from the outside like he did Antonio Banuelos. This will frustrate Johnson into making a mistake. Tap tap tap.
My Pick: Torres, Round 2, Submission
Middleweight bout: Brian Stann (-150) vs. Jorge Santiago (+120)
I like Santiago. He’s a great fighter. He hasn’t lost much, but his last three losses were via TKO or KO from people who pressed the action and who have power. Stann is exactly that and he’s on a tear and looked better and better every time he gets in the Octagon. I don’t see Santiago’s return to the UFC going as he planned.
My Pick: Stann, Round 3, Decision
Welterweight bout: Thiago Alves (-250) vs. Rick Story (+190)
Rick Story ASKED to fight Alves? I know he wants to fight the best, but there is another step after Dustin Hazelett and Johnny Hendricks, and it’s not Alves’ level. Alves looked phenomenal against John Howard. He changed the way he trained and his diet and it showed. He is saying he’s even better now. Not good for Story.
My Pick: Alves, Round 2, (T)KO
Heavyweight bout: Stefan Struve (+110) vs. Travis Browne (-140)
This is a very winnable fight for Browne. Struve will either look like a great young prospect, or he’ll come out flat and get knocked out. I’m leaning towards the former on this one solely because Struve is riding back to back knockout wins and he has a 5″ reach advantage. I think he lands a few good shots and eventually takes Browne’s back.
My Pick: Struve, Round 2, Submission
Heavyweight bout: Frank Mir (-140) vs. Roy Nelson (+110)
A closer line that I expected. Mir will try to keep this standing because he’s the bigger and stronger fighter. He may try to press Nelson up against the cage and control him, but Nelson’s belly will help him swing momentum if Mir keeps him there too long. That’s not a joke. He can use that mass to his advantage. Nelson does have knockout power, but unless he can somehow pin Mir on the ground and beat on him, I don’t see him winning.
My Pick: Mir, Round 3, Decision
Light Heavyweight bout: Quinton Jackson (-265) vs. Matt Hamill (+205)
Before Hamill came out and said in interviews that he was going to break Rampage’s will, I gave him a snowball’s chance in Hell of defeating the former champion. Now, I’ll sell my house if Hamill wins. There really is no way I can see Hamill getting his hand raised. Hamill will try to use the Rashad Evans game plan, but he’s not as good as Evans and will be knocked out.
My Pick: Jackson, Round 2, KO