Fire on the mountain, run Maniacs, run. That's because if the devil does decide to come back to Georgia, this weekend (April 21, 2012) at the Philips Arena is as good a time as any.
After handily disposing of former champions Mauricio Rua, Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones has a chance to settle an old score in the UFC 145 main event when he finally collides with former training partner Rashad Evans.
For "Suga," this will mark his first bid at reclaiming the 205-pound belt that he lost to the aforementioned Machida back in 2009.
In other pay-per-view (PPV) main card action, ultra mixed martial arts (MMA) prospects Rory MacDonald and Michael McDonald will make their long-awaited 2012 debuts, taking on the dangerous Miguel Torres and Che Mills, respectively.
And speaking of sin and vice, where there's violence, there's money to be made. Just ask good 'ole Charlie Daniels.
Join us after the break for an in-depth look at the odds behind UFC 145: "Jones vs. Evans" as we examine the betting lines for the upcoming MMA match ups this weekend in "Hotlanta:"
UFC 145 Odds for the Under Card:
Maximo Blanco (-325) vs. Marcus Brimage (+250)
Travis Browne (-250) vs. Chad Griggs (+195)
Mac Danzig (-190) vs. Efrain Escudero (+155)
Chris Clements (-230) vs. Keith Wisniewski (+180)
Anthony Njokuani (-200) vs. John Makdessi (+160)
Stephen Thompson (-300) vs. Matt Brown (+230)
Thoughts: While there aren’t as many truly absurd lines as I’d like, there is one that strikes me as one big bargain: Njokuani at -200.
I’m as big a Makdessi fan as anyone, but the flashiness of his striking and the awesomeness of the Kyle Watson knockout have masked a serious flaw in his style: For someone nicknamed "The Bull," Makdessi is too damn passive. It was obvious from the first minute of their fight that Watson had absolutely nothing to offer him on the feet, but Makdessi didn’t throw anything with heat until that spinning backfist. He also really should have put away Pat Audinwood, but apparently couldn’t be arsed. Frankly speaking, this will get him decapitated by Njokuani, who enjoys a significant height advantage and has the skills to hang with the likes of Edson Barboza standing.
Therefore, use Njokuani as the cornerstone of your parlays.
There’s not much else that stands out to me on the under card, although a pittance on Brown wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world, considering his enormous experience advantage over Thompson and the latter’s unproven ground game. Stick Blanco in a parlay, tool, because he is going to make an absolute mess of Brimage.
UFC 145 Odds for the Main Card:
Mark Bocek (-450) vs. John Alessio (+325)
Mark Hominick (-600) vs. Eddie Yagin (+400)
Brendan Schaub (-275) vs. Ben Rothwell (+215)
Rory MacDonald (-500) vs. Che Mills (+350)
Miguel Torres (-120) vs. Michael McDonald (-110)
Jon Jones (-450) vs. Rashad Evans (+325)
Thoughts: Not the most stacked card we’ve ever seen, but still one that deserves some scrutiny.
Alessio’s recent run has definitely been impressive, but he’s got too much going against him for me to recommend betting on him, while the odds are too skewed toward Bocek to make much of a profit on him. Alessio has only two fights at Lightweight and less than a month’s notice to prepare for one of the nastiest grapplers in the division.
Just leave this one alone.
If it wasn’t for the fact that Hominick got absolutely pasted last time out, I’d be questioning Joe Silva’s sanity and wondering which of his family members Yagin had crossed to deserve such a fate. Even so, despite his upset of Joe Soto, Yagin doesn’t have any outstanding skill he can bring to bear against the striking prowess of Hominick, having lost every other time he’s stepped up in competition. To make matters worse, Hominick is three inches taller and has faced and beaten much better than Yagin in the past. If you’re feeling lucky enough to put the necessary dosh down, Hominick’s as close to a lock as you’re likely to find in the next few events.
I’ll readily admit that Schaub’s jaw is pretty awful, but even -275 seems way too generous toward Rothwell. Yes, the latter is big, hits hard and can wrestle, but his cardio is God-awful and his only win in the UFC was dangerously close to being a stoppage loss. Unless he finds some way to wipeout Schaub inside the first five minutes, he’s going to be on the wrong end of one hell of a beating.
And I consider that likely enough to merit putting some money down on "The Hybrid."
While I’m somewhat concerned about ring rust on MacDonald’s part, there’s very little to convince me that he won’t snuff out Mills regardless. Che’s striking is nasty, but he doesn’t really offer "Ares" anything he hasn’t seen before, while Che has yet to face anyone with the sort of versatility that MacDonald brings to the table. He’s still dangerous enough for me to advise you to stay away, though, as the amount of money you’d need to make a solid profit on MacDonald is a bit more than I’d recommend risking.
I’ll readily admit McDonald’s prowess and grant that Torres’s last couple of fights have been stinkers, but I’m really digging that -120 line on the latter. Perhaps I’m being nitpicky, but I haven’t really been impressed with McDonald’s UFC efforts. You could definitely make a case that Chris Cariaso beat him and he was less-than-fantastic against Edwin Figueroa, who I consider the single worst fighter on the UFC roster. Sure, his crushing of Soto was impressive, but Soto was making his UFC debut on short notice with a grand total of six fights on his record. Torres has thrice the amount of fights as McDonald and his only recent losses were to the best of the best at 135 pounds.
Put some money down on "Angel."
I want Jones to lose this fight very much. I respect him as a fighter and acknowledge his abilities, I do not like him as a person. That doesn’t make me dumb enough to recommend betting against him, however. Evans is fast, has very good wrestling and legitimate power in his right hand, but he’s also five inches shorter than Jones and somewhat fragile. Ten or $20 on Rashad as a value bet wouldn’t be a terrible idea, but I’m just going to stay away from this one.
UFC 145 Best Bets:
- Parlay: Brendan Schaub and Miguel Torres -- Bet $40 to make $60
- Parlay: Maximo Blanco and Anthony Njokuani -- Bet $65 to make $62.50
- Parlay: Anthony Njokuani and Matt Brown -- Bet $20 to make $79
- (To go somewhat off-script: Shinya Aoki is a steal at +190 Friday night at Bellator 66. Just sayin.')
Can Jones make his third straight defense? Will Evans defy the odds and retake the title? Will they have to use a broom or a vacuum cleaner to remove what’s left of Maximo Blanco’s first UFC victim from the Octagon?
We'll finally find out this Saturday night. Same punch-time, same punch-channel.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 145 results this Saturday, 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.