Here comes the (final) boom.
When heavyweight destroyers Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez first locked horns on the inaugural show for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on FOX, the devastating hands of the Brazilian won out in little more than 60 seconds. Now, one year and a knockout win for each later, Velasquez is back with a vengeance, looking to reclaim his belt in the UFC 155 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 29, 2012.
In addition, Alan Belcher will look to continue his stunning rise at the expense of Yushin Okami on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card, while Constantinos Philippou takes on the resurgent Tim Boetsch.
It looks like a fantastic night of fights, one with some serious opportunity for profit under the surface. Follow me for a closer look at the odds behind UFC 155: "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2."
First off, an explanation for the disaster that was my The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 16 Finale betting piece: to ensure that I make the most accurate predictions, I make sacrifices to dark powers beyond mortal comprehension. Many people have tried sacrificing goats or virgins, but I've found that the key to getting good results is sacrificing virgin goats.
Now, virgin goats aren't the cheapest, so I buy in bulk. Turns out some chucklehead decided to stick a male in the latest shipment without my knowledge and, well, the dark powers aren't fond of sloppy seconds. Had to scrap the lot after that mess.
Anyway, I made sure to enroll this week's goat into a local Catholic school for a week-long abstinence education program beforehand, so rest assured of the impeccable quality of the following predictions.
UFC 155 Odds For The Under Card:
Max Holloway (-380) vs. Leonard Garcia (+260)
John Moraga (-200) vs. Chris Cariaso (+170)
Todd Duffee (-300) vs. Phil De Fries (+250)
Michael Johnson (-240) vs. Myles Jury (+200)
Erik Perez (-420) vs. Byron Bloodworth (+335)
Melvin Guillard (-130) vs. Jamie Varner (+110)
Eddie Wineland (-115) vs. Brad Pickett (-105)
Thoughts: There are plenty of tasty-looking lines there; however, the ones that particularly catch my eye are Cariaso and Varner.
While I was initially hesitant to bet on the card’s sole flyweight showdown, the odds have dramatically shifted in Moraga’s favor far more than they should have in my opinion. Whether Cariaso can keep it standing remains to be seen, but he is a superior striker to the vast majority of the lower weight classes and certainly better than Moraga.
As with all bets where one factor (takedown defense) will decide the winner, make it small, but put a handful down on Cariaso.
I’m concerned by Varner’s illness and what looked like a bad weight cut before the TUF 16 Finale, but Guillard should not be a favorite over anyone with a solid wrestling and submission game. Varner’s chin is rock-steady, his takedowns are powerful, and his right hand is vicious.
A moderate bet on the former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champ is the way to go.
UFC 155 Odds For The Main Card:
Junior dos Santos (-220) vs. Cain Velasquez (+180)
Alan Belcher (-110) vs. Yushin Okami (-110)
Jim Miller (-220) vs. Joe Lauzon (+180)
Constantinos Philippou (-110) vs. Tim Boetsch (-110)
Chris Leben (-150) vs. Derek Brunson (+130)
Thoughts: Philippou is your man. As impressive as beating Okami and Hector Lombard consecutively is on paper, the fact is that Okami was spanking Boetsch in every aspect of MMA for two rounds and Lombard -- despite fighting the worst fight of his career -- probably deserved the decision in their fight.
Philippou’s takedown defense has looked ironclad so far in the middleweight division and the Riki Fukuda fight showed a marked improvement in cardio. Frankly, I don’t see Boetsch holding any advantage whatsoever in this fight -- Fukuda is superior to him in every aspect save power punching and couldn’t do a thing to "Costa."
Go big on the Cyprus native.
Leben may also be worth a bet. Sure, a long layoff is never a good thing, but Brunson is coming off a knockout loss and is a wrestler at heart. Leben may look and fight like a mindless knockout artist, but he developed an excellent wrestling game while nobody was looking, meaning Brunson pretty much has no advantage.
Stick "The Crippler" in a parlay.
UFC 155 Best Bets:
- Single Bet: Chris Cariaso -- Bet $25 to make $42.50
- Single Bet: Constantinos Philippou -- Bet $100 to make $90.91
- Single Bet: Jamie Varner -- Bet $40 to make $40
- Parlay: Chris Leben and Constantinos Philippou -- Bet $60 to make $131.40
Big guys + small gloves = somebody is going to sleep in "Sin City."
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC 155: "Dos Santos vs. Velasquez 2" results this Saturday night, 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.