Put on your blue suede shoes because it’s time to break it down.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will make its way back down to Nashville, Tenn., for a Friday night (Jan. 20, 2012) fracas for the first time since April 2009 at the Bridgestone Arena.
Deposed lightweight contenders Melvin Guillard and Jim Miller will collide in the main event for a chance to scrape their way back to the top of the heap, while resurgent Duane Ludwig and Josh Neer will go toe-to-toe in their climbs up the welterweight ladder.
And whenever (and wherever) there’s high-octane punching, there’s money to be made.
Join us after the jump for a closer look at the odds behind UFC on FX 1: "Miller vs. Guillard:"
UFC on FX 1 Under Card Odds:
Nick Denis (-225) vs. Joseph Sandoval (+175)
Daniel Pineda (-135) vs. Pat Schilling (-105)
Fabricio Camoes (-280) vs. Tom Hayden (+220)
Kamal Shalorus (-115) vs. Habib Nurmagomedov (-115)
Charlie Brenneman (-300) vs. Daniel Roberts (+230)
Eric Schafer (-140) vs. Jorge Rivera (+110)
Thoughts: I'm not going to lie, Maniacs, the pickin’s are slim this week. The "Prelims" are loaded with UFC debutants and painfully inconsistent veterans. The only guys I consider worth risking money on are Denis (as a parlay stuffer) and Nurmagomedov (straight up).
Denis is more experienced than Sandoval, both in quality and quantity of opposition, and plays Sandoval’s game far better than he does. He’s got truly ferocious power in his hands and Sandoval, while by no means a bad fighter, has neither the savagery of Marlon Sandro nor the sneaky submissions game of Yuji Hoshino.
Denis should be able to put him away with little trouble and is, in my opinion, worth a bet as low as -250.
While it’s always a risk betting against the more seasoned wrestler, Shalorus just does so many things wrong that Nurmagomedov, while probably a smarter play on the various sites presenting him as an underdog, strikes me as a solid bargain. I doubt he’ll be able to get Shalorus to the ground, but he’s a much cleaner striker and is significantly faster than Shalorus.
Put some down straight up on the Russian.
UFC on FX Main Card Odds:
Thoughts: Interesting handful of battles. Let’s see what we’ve got in store.
I will never, in my time as an mixed martial arts (MMA) gambler, put money down on any fight involving Pat Barry ever again. He’s got enormous power, he’s much faster than he’s given credit for, and he has some of the best kicks in the division, but nobody snatches defeat from the jaws of victory quite like "HD." Morecraft looked pretty pathetic last time out against Matt Mitrione, but frankly, I have no idea what Barry’s going to do once the cage door shuts.
Leave this one alone.
Easton is a major prospect despite his decision "win" over Chase Beebe in 2009. He also holds notable wins over The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 veterans Josh Ferguson and John Dodson, even though the fights took place a while ago. Further, he trains out of Alliance MMA and has demonstrated serious power and speed in the Octagon. The issue with this bout, however, is my inability to find recent footage of Papazian, who owns wins over the likes of Abel Cullum and previously-unbeaten Marvin Garcia. With the amount of money needed to make a profit at -400, I can’t advocate putting money down on Easton (though I do believe he’ll win handily), and I don’t know enough about Papazian’s current abilities to risk anything on him.
Again, leave this one alone.
I was flat-out shocked by Ludwig’s performance against Amir Sadollah, considering his shaky chin and historically-porous ground game. I expected Sadollah to run roughshod over him. His takedown defense and crisp technique impressed me quite a bit and, despite his gas tank running low near the end, he nevertheless made me feel ashamed for writing him off.
If he wins on Friday, I’m going to feel bloody awful.
Despite that victory, the fact remains that "Bang" hasn’t won three straight since 2006, has been finished 10 times, and is a pretty small welterweight. Neer isn’t a world-beater, but he’s only ever been finished once by strikes, while having enough power to put down Ludwig and a submission game that is far superior. At +105, Neer is definitely worth putting money down on -- it ought to be a great fight, but he’s the more durable of the two and is far superior on the ground.
Miller strikes me as a terrible match up for Guillard. Not only does he possess the notorious Miller Brothers indestructible DNA, he’s got the sort of wrestling and grappling games that have given "Young Assassin" fits all throughout his career. Unlike Shane Roller, an accomplished wrestler who found himself completely unable to generate offense, Miller is durable and skilled enough on the feet to set up his shots properly and is more than capable of bringing down Guillard.
Naturally, Guillard could certainly score a knockout shot -- there are few people at 155 pounds I’d pick to eat a flush bomb from him and stay standing. With Miller’s relentless approach and the fact that Guillard continues to struggle against tough guys with his type of style, the latter strikes me as an excellent value at -180.
Therefore, cram Miller into a parlay.
UFC on FX 1 Best Bets:
- Single bet: Josh Neer -- Bet $50 to make $52.50
- Single bet: Habib Nurmagomedov -- Bet $40 to make $34.78
- Parlay: Jim Miller and Nick Denis -- Bet $41.41 to make $51.63
Now go get on your 10-gallon hat on and enjoy some quality scraps this weekend.
See you Friday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC on FX 1 results this Friday, 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.