Photo of UFC on FX 2's Thiago Alves via Sherdog.com.
Warning: (angry) Men at Work.
After a veritable onslaught of quality events, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will ease back on the throttle for the month of March to gear itself up for the next round of mixed martial arts (MMA) mayhem, which is set for this Friday night (March 2, 2012) at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Bringing the thunder in the UFC on FX 2 main event are murderous strikers Thiago Alves and Martin Kampmann, who will look to scramble back into the 170-pound contender mix while division champion Georges St. Pierre recovers from recent knee surgery.
In addition, the flyweight division will finally make its way to the Octagon in the form of a four-man tournament, featuring two of the bantamweight elite -- Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benavidez -- taking on two of the most established flyweights in the world, number one-ranked Ian McCall and number three Yasuhiro Urushitani, respectively.
Violence, pint-sized or not, brings the potential for profit. And the keen-eyed gambler has the chance to make quite a bit of scratch.
Join us after the break for an in-depth look at the odds behind UFC on FX 2: "Alves vs. Kampmann" as we examine the betting lines for the upcoming MMA match ups "Down Under:"
UFC on FX 2 Odds for the Under Card:
Shawn Jordan (-210) vs. Oli Thompson (+170)
James Te Huna (-300) vs. Aaron Rosa (+240)
Nick Penner (-125) vs. Anthony Perosh (-105)
Cole Miller (-500) vs. Steven Siler (+300)
Kyle Noke (-300) vs. Andrew Craig (+240)
Jake Hecht (-130) vs. T.J. Waldburger (EVEN)
Mackens Semerzier (-160) vs. Daniel Pineda (+130)
Thoughts: While I wouldn’t recommend going near as crazy in this event as I recommended for UFC 144, there are a few good bargains available. The three fighters who particularly catch my eye are Shawn Jordan, James Te Huna and T.J. Waldburger.
Yes, Thompson is incredibly strong, and yes, he has actual MMA skills to complement that strength, but they’re not anywhere near Jordan’s. Oli doesn’t really have much of a striking game to speak of, which means Jordan’s somewhat-questionable jaw should be safe and sound. Further, his takedowns seem like they rely entirely on strength, which is a losing proposition against an athlete of Jordan’s caliber.
Go big on the fullback.
Te Huna has some flaws in his game, namely the wild nature of his striking, but Rosa hasn’t demonstrated anything to make me think he can capitalize on this weakness. He’s an alright all-around fighter who doesn’t really possess anything he can use to overwhelm the Kiwi bruiser.
Use Te Huna as a parlay stuffer.
Waldburger has historically struggled with anyone with pop in his hands, but Hecht does not fall into that category. He is a ground fighter through and through, one whose grappling chops do not compare to Waldburger’s. Sooner or later, the fight’s going to hit the mat, and I have trouble imagining Hecht pulling off another crazy miracle like he did against Rich Attonito.
Waldburger by throwing submissions at the wall until something sticks.
UFC On FX 2 Odds for the Main Card:
Thoughts: That’s several elite fighters for a free card. Let’s look closer.
While Philippou definitely hits hard enough to put down McGee, he’s suffered from cardio issues in the past, which hurt him against Nick Catone and nearly cost him the fight against Jorge Rivera. Court doesn’t excel in any particular area, but he is as gritty as they come and has cardio for days. Granted, both of Costa’s fights I just mentioned were on short notice, but it is a rather disturbing trend.
I expect Court to weather the storm, and at -130, it wouldn’t be the worst idea to lay some down on him.
Maybe it’s just because I’m afraid that if I recommend against it I’ll wake up with him standing over me with a horrid smile on his face, but I really think putting a pittance on McCall would be a good idea. Yes, he’s making his UFC debut, but he’s got big show experience, having fought three times in the UFC. Further, Johnson is definitely small, but he’s never made the cut before, while McCall is the rightful number one flyweight alive. After close first rounds, he utterly thrashed Jussier Da Silva and Darrell Montague. Finally, I believe Johnson’s weakness is defensive wrestling, and McCall is fantastic at combining his solid striking with well-timed takedowns.
"Mighty Mouse" deserves to be the favorite, but putting $10 or $20 on McCall should be a profitable venture.
Every fiber of my Japanese MMA-obsessed body is screaming at me to tell you guys to put everything on Urushitani and bask in absurd profits, but even I can only ignore logic for so long. Urushitani deserves his place as the number three flyweight behind "Formiga," having beaten or drawn with such great 125-pounde fighters such as John Dodson, Mamoru Yamaguchi and former number-one Shinichi "BJ" Kojima, but this is about as bad a style match up as you can get. He’s a slow-paced counter-striker with nice kicks, a sneaky left straight, and solid takedown defense, but he’s never experienced anything like the speed and wrestling of Benavidez. Frankly, Urushitani doesn’t offer anything Eddie Wineland didn’t, and considering his lack of cage experience, I would consider him beating Benavidez one of the craziest things I’d ever seen in MMA.
Still, anything can happen in MMA, and so I’d recommend just leaving this fight be.
While the main event is pretty much guaranteed to be absolutely awesome, it’s not one conducive to making money. When both men are at their best physically and mentally, there are very few welterweights I’d pick to beat them. While I favor Kampmann slightly, both men’s inconsistency makes the outcome impossible to predict with any certainty, especially considering the incredibly finishing power of Alves’s knees.
Enjoy this one without putting any fiscal stake in it.
My UFC on FX 2 Best Bets:
- Parlay: James Te Huna and Shawn Jordan -- Bet $100 to make $197
- Single Bet: T.J. Waldburger -- Bet $50 to make $50
- Single Bet: Ian McCall -- $20 to make $50
- Parlay: T.J. Waldburger and Shawn Jordan -- Bet $50 to make $98
It's kind of sad that this is the only UFC event we’ll get in the coming month, but it’ll be a doozy, and at least we’ve got Bellator to keep us entertained.
See you Friday, Maniacs!
Remember that MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the UFC on FX 2 main card action below on fight night, which is slated to air at 9 p.m. ET on the FX Channel. The latest quick updates of the live action will begin to flow earlier than that around 5:30 p.m. ET with the "Prelims" bouts on Facebook and FUEL TV.