Buncha' mixed martial arts (MMA) whippersnappers causin' a ruckus up in London, England, this weekend (Sat., Feb. 16, 2013).
In the youngest title fight in modern Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) history, Michael McDonald, 22, will look to unseat interim Bantamweight champion Renan Barao, 27, in the UFC on FUEL TV 7 main event, which goes down this Saturday afternoon in Jolly Ole' England.
In addition to some solid fireworks potential, the card can also provides fight fans with some recompense after buying your sweetheart that over-priced diamond she (or he) didn't deserve for Valentine's Day if you know where to look.
Follow me below for a closer look at the latest odds behind -- and best bets for -- UFC on FUEL TV 7: "Barao vs. McDonald:"
UFC On FUEL TV Odds For The Under Card:
Terry Etim (-325) vs. Renee Forte (+250)
Paul Sass (-115) vs. Danny Castillo (-115)
Josh Grispi (-135) vs. Andy Ogle (+105)
Tom Watson (-130) vs. Stanislav Nedkov (EVEN)
Vaughan Lee (-210) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (+170)
Ulysses Gomez (-250) vs. Phil Harris (+195)
Thoughts: Your best course of action for the under card is probably going to be careful managing of favorites in parlays. That's because none of the underdogs stand out to me. The closest things to sure-fire money-makers I see are Lee and Etim.
I want Tezuka to win. In fact, it would make me giddy for the entire weekend if Tezuka won. But, he’s not winning. His takedowns are solid, but not enough to where he can consistently put Lee on his back. Further, his frenzied grappling style is just asking for trouble against a submission artist of Lee’s caliber. And despite Tezuka’s solid submission defense is, he’ll still find himself in enough bad spots to cost him rounds. The striking discrepancy speaks for itself.
Lee at anywhere better than -250, therefore, is likely a profitable endeavor.
As far as Etim, I just can’t picture any feasible scenario that ends with him losing. What grappling advantage Forte has -- if any -- is mitigated by his lack of effective takedowns and the massive gulf between the two on the feet. Make Etim the cornerstone of a parlay or two because the only question about this fight’s outcome is whether and how he finishes it.
UFC On FUEL TV Odds For The Main Card:
Renan Barao (-325) vs. Michael McDonald (+250)
Cub Swanson (-140) vs. Dustin Poirier (+110)
Jimi Manuwa (-230) vs. Cyrille Diabate (+180)
Gunnar Nelson (-250) vs. Jorge Santiago (+195)
Che Mills (-230) vs. Matt Riddle (+180)
James Te Huna (-210) vs. Ryan Jimmo (+170)
Thoughts: If Riddle’s brain wasn’t entirely incapable of functioning when not being mashed into pudding by opposing punches, I’d lay a decent sum on him to exploit Mills' grappling deficiencies. As is, Poirier and Gunnar are your best main card plays.
I won’t deny that Swanson has looked fantastic lately, but the Ricardo Lamas and Charles Oliveira fights have me concerned that his defensive grappling still isn’t quite up to snuff. Poirier may have originally made his name as a knockout artist, but his top game is his true area of expertise. And his time preparing for this bout at American Top Team (ATT) can only help that.
Combine this with a historically-solid chin and you have a good chance at an upset, one which you would be well-served banking on either directly or in a parlay.
Santiago is an under appreciated fighter in my book. Styrofoam chin or no, the guy took out Siyar Bahadurzada, Kazuo Misaki and Mamed Khalidov. It’s just unfortunate that he doesn’t have any perceivable advantage save experience against Nelson. It’s arguable whether Nelson’s striking is above Santiago’s, but there’s no question that he’s the better grappler of the two.
Further, his takedown ability makes their relative stand up ability irrelevant. I’ll wait to call Nelson a future champion until he faces a big, powerful wrestler like Josh Koscheck or Jake Ellenberger, but Santiago shouldn’t pose anywhere near the threat those guys do.
Bet on the Icelander.
UFC On FUEL TV 7 Best Bets:
- Parlay: Vaughan Lee and Gunnar Nelson -- Bet $50 to make $53.50
- Parlay: Terry Etim and Dustin Poirier -- Bet $40 to make $70
- Parlay: Terry Etim and Vaughan Lee -- Bet $60 to make $56.07
- Single bet: Dustin Poirer -- $30 to make $33
The only thing better than senseless violence is free senseless violence.
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC on FUEL TV 7: "Barao vs. McDonald" results this Saturday afternoon, 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.