Blinking is not recommended.
Two tremendous Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) knockout punchers will duel this Saturday (March 15, 2014) with a newly-vacant Welterweight belt on the line as would-be king Johny Hendricks takes on Robbie Lawler in the main event of UFC 171, which will emanate from American Airlines Center in Texas.
Dallas, to be exact.
The dynamic 170-pound duo will be joined by several more of their divisional peers on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card. In the co-main event, former Strikeforce standout Tyron Woodley faces former interim champion Carlos Condit, while Jake Shields takes on Hector Lombard in a clash of former mixed martial arts (MMA) Middleweight titlists.
If you're going to pay $60 for a PPV, the least you can do is try to earn it back the easy way.
Let's give it a shot:
UFC 171 Odds For The Under Card:
Kelvin Gastelum (-180) vs. Rick Story (+150)
Jessica Andrade (-300) vs. Raquel Pennington (+240)
Dennis Bermudez (-225) vs. Jimy Hettes (+175)
Alex Garcia (-400) vs. Sean Spencer (+310)
Renee Forte (-130) vs. Frank Trevino (EVEN)
Justin Scoggins (-485) vs. Will Campuzano (+350)
Sean Strickland (-140) vs. Bubba McDaniel (+110)
Daniel Pineda (-240) vs. Robert Whiteford (+180)
Thoughts: I was really hoping Garcia would be at least somewhere around -310; however, curse the nonexistence of the Spencer hype train.
Therefore, might just have to go with Forte instead.
Trevino just does not impress me. He’s not a particularly dangerous striker, has a poor ground game, and has the misfortune of making his Octagon debut against a three-fight veteran. Though his chin remains somewhat of a question mark, Forte packs the size and power to bowl him over without too much difficulty. The Brazilian also boasts a significantly tougher strength of schedule, beating Terry Etim and arguably taking two rounds from Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion Sergio Moraes.
This is not a 50-50 fight in my book, so a hefty bet on Forte should do the trick.
Story could be worth something, but he hasn’t got the best history with wrestlers. Wait and see if you can get him at +200.
UFC 171 Odds For The Main Card:
Johny Hendricks (-360) vs. Robbie Lawler (+300)
Carlos Condit (-190) vs. Tyron Woodley (+165)
Myles Jury (-170) vs. Diego Sanchez (+150)
Hector Lombard (-220) vs. Jake Shields (+180)
Ovince St. Preux (-365) vs. Nikita Krylov (+305)
Thoughts: I was briefly tempted by Woodley and Shields, but memories of the Nate Marquardt fight for the former and my unending hatred toward the latter put an end to those notions.
Banking on Lawler, though? That, I can get behind.
When you’ve got two guys who hit this mind-bogglingly hard, it’s generally worth taking a look at the underdog. This may be a weird reason, but I’m intrigued by how their power hands compare. Hendricks' best punch is the long looping left, while Lawler’s right hook is his money punch. Memories of Vitor Belfort vs. Dan Henderson come to mind; Hendricks’ tendency to wing that punch without setup or pump it to cover his entry put him in the firing line for that killer hook.
Plus, while Lawler’s got somewhat of a checkered past when it comes to fighting wrestlers, Hendricks' ability to hold his man down tends to drop as the fight progresses. Lawler has enough going for him for me to recommend a medium-sized bet.
UFC 171 Best Bets:
- Single bet -- Renee Forte: Bet $80 to make $59.25
- Single bet -- Robbie Lawler: Bet $40 to make $120
Finishers top-to-bottom and a title fight to cap off an exciting night ... life is good, Maniacs.
See you Saturday.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 171: "Hendricks vs. Lawler" results on fight night RIGHT HERE, 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.
Running Profit For 2014 Based On This Column: -$53.90