SACRAMENTO, CA - JUNE 26: Urijah Faber talks with the media after working out during the Team Alpha Male Media Open Workout at Ultimate Fitness Gym on June 26, 2012 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
"Beta Male" no more?
After Dominick Cruz was forced to bow out of their UFC 148 showdown with a torn ACL, Urijah Faber finally got a crack at the (interim) 135-pound title that didn't involve his jittery nemesis. Instead of Cruz, Faber will now face Nova Uniao's Renan Barao in the main event of UFC 149, which is set to take place at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, this weekend (Sat., July 21, 2012).
Barao is the proud owner of an unbeaten streak that would make the average movie-goer sigh in disbelief when the flick's antagonist was introduced as being on it. In addition, Bellator murder machine Hector Lombard will face Tim Boetsch in the co-featured fight of the night, with the latter Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran riding a wave of momentum on the heels of his upset knockout of Yushin Okami.
While the card has been riddled with injuries, several intriguing match ups remain, as well as several opportunities for profit.
Join us after the break for an in-depth look at the odds behind UFC 149: "Faber vs. Barao" as we examine the betting lines for the upcoming fights in the "Great White North:"
UFC 149 Odds For The Under Card:
Court McGee (-130) vs. Nick Ring (EVEN)
Anton Kuivanen (-130) vs. Mitch Clarke (+100)
Daniel Pineda (-260) vs. Antonio Carvalho (+200)
Bryan Caraway (-200) vs. Mitch Gagnon (+160)
Ryan Jimmo (-145) vs. Anthony Perosh (+115)
Francisco Rivera (-170) vs. Roland Delorme (+140)
Thoughts: There are a couple of nice underdogs here. The ones who stand out to me are Perosh and Delorme.
As I mentioned in my previews, Jimmo is arguably the least entertaining striker on the planet. He has no finishing power, no killer instinct, no apparent desire to do anything but stare at his opponent. Perosh has been knocked out in the past, but he’s persistent with his takedowns in the face of heavy artillery and has a fantastic top game. He’s not going to be intimidated by Jimmo’s striking and -- even if he can’t get him down -- will keep trying and earn a decision.
Parlay him, but consider a straight bet if he gets closer to +150.
What makes Delorme’s line appealing is the fact that Rivera has basically the same skillset as Denis, but not the same Earth-shattering power. He hits hard, sure, but Delorme survived Denis’s worst and came back to submit him. He should be able to withstand Rivera’s assault and submit him.
Definitely worth a look.
Carvalho might be worth a very small bet, if only for his durability and experience against upper-tier competition.
UFC 149 Odds For The Main Card:
Renan Pegado (-180) vs. Urijah Faber (+150)
Hector Lombard (-300) vs. Tim Boetsch (+240)
Cheick Kongo (-115) vs. Shawn Jordan (-115)
Matt Riddle (-165) vs. Chris Clements (+135)
Brian Ebersole (-500) vs. James Head (+350)
Thoughts: Many of the "names" are scratched, but still some nice fights on the main card. Let’s look closer.
Ebersole vs. Head is a very intriguing style match up, as Ebersole has so far used his wrestling and ground-and-pound to dominate opposition, while Head tore through Papy Abedi’s Judo like it was nothing. While it’s probably going to be quite fun to watch, I don’t think betting on it is a great idea. There was such a huge difference between Head in his debut and Head against Abedi that I’m not entirely sure what he’s capable of.
If you absolutely have to bet, a small wager on Head is probably the way to go, but I don’t advise it.
If I knew that Riddle was going to use his size and wrestling and not try to trade punches with one of the nastier knockout artists in Canada, I’d say jump on it. Clements’ ground game is quite weak, and with his penchant for moves that leave him open and Riddle’s resilience, I think Riddle will have a very easy night if he just has his head on straight.
Since he apparently gets off on fighting like a hockey goon, though, I’d say leave this one alone, too.
I don’t like the current odds on Kongo-Jordan, but considering Cheick’s name recognition and track record, I think they’re going to shift in his favor. If they do, jump on Jordan. His chin isn’t the best, but Kongo has been gunshy since his fight with Frank Mir and hasn’t really looked good since he fought Paul Buentello. Jordan may not have fought the same level of competition, but he hits hard and is pretty well-rounded. I think Kongo’s jaw is deteriorating as well.
If you find Jordan as an underdog, bet on him.
I’m going to be perfectly honest: I think Boetsch is absolutely screwed. I thought the same thing about his fight with Okami, true, but I doubt someone with Lombard’s finishing ability is going to give him time to mount a miracle comeback.
Where does Boetsch excel? In the clinch (wrestling background) and with power punches. Where does Lombard excel? In the clinch (Olympic-caliber Judo) and with power punches. Lombard hits harder, is faster, is stronger in the clinch, and has far more experience.
Use him to stuff parlays.
As is, I don’t see much value in the main event. If things swing just a little more in Barao’s favor, though, Faber might be a good value. I don’t think Barao has fought anyone with Faber’s speed, nor his ability to combine his striking and wrestling. Plus, what he did to Brian Bowles was one of the more spectacular ass-kickings of the past year. Barao’s apparent unstoppability makes me hesitate to bet at the current odds, but a shift to +180 or better for Faber warrants a look.
UFC 149 Best Bets:
- Single Bet: Antonio Carvalho -- Bet $20 to make $40
- Parlay: Roland Delorme and Hector Lombard -- Bet $40 to make $87.60
- Parlay: Anthony Perosh and Hector Lombard -- Bet $30 to make $55.80
Just because the big boys aren’t fighting doesn’t mean we won’t get some mighty fine scraps.
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 149 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.