Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) locomotive has officially stopped in the Great White North.
This Saturday (Dec. 10, 2011), whirling dervish Jon Jones will look to be the first UFC light heavyweight champion since Chuck Liddell to defend his title more than once when he takes on the dangerous Lyoto Machida in the UFC 140 main event at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In addition, the most famous mixed martial arts (MMA) Brazilian brothers will be in action together on the same night for the first time in their UFC careers, with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira taking on former champion Tito Ortiz and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira gunning for revenge against the first man to ever finish him, Frank Mir.
And that's not even mentioning the fantastic undercard.
On the whole, we've got one fine cavalcade of violence to lift our spirits on this upcoming wintry weekend. And what's violence without the opportunity to profit from it?
Join us after a jump for a thorough breakdown of the odds behind UFC 140: "Jones vs. Machida" as we examine the betting lines for this weekend's myriad match ups:
UFC 140 Odds for the Under Card
John Cholish (-350) vs. Mitch Clarke (+265)
Rich Attonito (-225) vs. Jake Hecht (+175)
Mark Bocek (-135) vs. Nik Lentz (+105)
Yves Jabouin (-170) vs. Walel Watson (+140)
John Makdessi (-170) vs. Dennis Hallman (+140)
Jared Hamman (-300) vs. Constantinos Philippou (+230)
Krzysztof Soszynski (-225) vs. Igor Pokrajac (+175)
Thoughts: There’s a lot of value here, primarily on the favorites. In fact, aside from maybe the Hamman and Attonito fights, I think there’s money to be made on every single one of these bouts. As far as parlays go, Cholish and Soszynski will probably give you the most bang for your buck, while in my transcendently brilliant opinion, the best bargains for single bets are Bocek, Jabouin and Makdessi.
Lentz is a solid wrestler, but really, that’s all he is, and considering the difficulty he had with the (admittedly-excellent) grappling attack of Charles Oliveira, the fact that he hasn’t beaten a legitimate submission specialist since Rafaello Oliveira in 2009, and the trouble people without quadruple-jointed limbs and titanium-reinforced arteries (cough cough, Ben Henderson, cough) tend to run into against Bocek on the ground spell disaster for the Minnesotan.
As good as Watson looked against Sandoval, that was an atypical performance from him. He tends to be quite awkward on the feet. Even if "The Gazelle" has legitimately improved, Jabouin has historically had little trouble negating height advantage, landing huge shots on the likes of Mark Hominick and Pablo Garza. In addition, watching the Watson-esque legs of Garza buckle under Yves’s kicks fills me with pity for Watson’s own spindly appendages.
While Hallman was apparently fighting one-armed against Ebersole, this does little to ease my doubts as to his chances in this fight. This is his first time cutting to 155 in 10 years, and as good as his wrestling and submissions are, "The Bull" has proven more than capable of keeping the bout on the feet, and has also shown the ability to maintain his kicking game despite the threat of a takedown. Yes, he’s probably too small for 155, but frankly, I don’t think Hallman’s going to be the one to convince him to make the cut. Makdessi’s the younger and faster of the two, and that should be enough to overcome the experience gap.
UFC 140 Odds for the Main Card:
Mark Hominick (-600) vs. Chan Sung Jung (+400)
Claude Patrick (+120) vs. Brian Ebersole (-150)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (-195) vs. Tito Ortiz (+150)
Frank Mir (-270) vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (+210)
Jon Jones (-600) vs. Lyoto Machida (+400)
Thoughts: A nice mix of skewed lines and ostensible pick-em’s this week. Let’s look a little closer.
I’m a huge fan of Hominick and Jung -- both are incredibly exciting, have enormous heart, and are a pain in the ass for almost anyone in the division. Both have produced some of 2011’s finest highlights, with Hominick giving Aldo everything he could handle and Jung getting sweet revenge against Leonard Garcia, picking up "Submission of the Year" in the process. I really don’t want either guy to lose, but there’s gotta be a loser, and it’s probably going to be Jung Saturay night. After the Roop loss, he dedicated himself to fighting smarter, including going to Team Alpha Male to improve his wrestling, and should he get Hominick down, Mark’s going to be in big trouble.
However, I just don’t think he’ll get him there. Jung’s stand up is certainly tighter than it was against Roop and Garcia, but Hominick’s is on another level, and he’s got a truly wicked jab that should be able to keep "The Korean Zombie" at bay and make this a stand up affair. This one should be fantastic while it lasts, but Hominick’s too big a favorite and I have a few too many reservations about picking Jung to recommend a bet either way.
The second fight is the only one on the main card I have no major emotional investment in and also the one that, of the five, is the most likely to turn a profit. As much as I like watching Ebersole fight and as disappointed as I am that Patrick’s odds aren’t in the +200 range like they were earlier in the week, there’s still money to be made on "The Prince." Ebersole is entertaining as all get out, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that it literally took 10 seconds for Hallman to get his back (15 if you count getting both hooks in), and Hallman shot with no setup whatsoever. Patrick, in addition to having one dignified last name, is well-rounded enough to dictate where the fight takes place and hold his own wherever that may be. Ebersole throws with reckless abandon on his feet, and against someone with the clinch and takedown game of Patrick, that just strikes me as a bad combination. Lay down some dough on "The Prince" -- odds are he’s not putting Ebersole away, but he should be more than capable of beating him up on the feet or keeping him on his back as needed.
I will whine to anyone willing to listen that Rogerio beat Ryan Bader 29-28, but he definitely lost against Davis. In either case, Nogueira showed greatly-improved takedown defense in both fights. Davis only managed to get Lil Nog down with single-legs, and even then, he got no offense off once there. Ortiz has excellent grappling, but I have serious doubts as to his ability to get Rogerio down with any consistency. Nogueira’s been overly hesitant in the past couple of fights, though, so I recommend just staying away from this one.
I could go through a long spiel about the last two fights, but I’m not going to lie to myself or to you guys. I can’t help but be biased. Both bouts feature fighters I support wholeheartedly taking on people who I don't. All I’m going to say is this: I truly believe Nogueira and Machida both have a very real chances to pull off the upsets in their respective bouts, but only Machida’s lines are lopsided enough for me to recommend putting money on them. At +400, you don’t need to put down much to get a good return, and I don’t recommend putting down more than maybe $25.
That way, you, like me, will still be able to afford the cheap liquor needed to mend your broken heart afterward.
My UFC 139 Best Bets:
- Single Bet: Mark Bocek -- $68 to make $50.37
- Single Bet: John Makdessi -- $74.45 to make $43.79
- Parlay: Yves Jabouin and John Cholish -- $47 to make $50.05
- Parlay: Claude Patrick and Krzysztof Soszynski: $46 to make $100.18
- Single Bet: Lyoto Machida -- $25 to make $100
It's been a while since I’ve witnessed a bad Canadian UFC event; therefore, here to hoping the promotion keeps the exciting streak alive.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 140 results this weekend, which is as good a place as any to talk about all the action inside the Octagon, as well as what you've got riding on the sportsbook.
See you then, Maniacs!