Old Dog vs. Young Lion -- Place your mixed martial arts (MMA) bets!
Entering the Octagon for the first time ever on the heels of two straight Strikeforce Middleweight title defenses, Luke Rockhold is out to stake a claim in the crowded Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 185-pound division. Playing the role of defender for the world's leading MMA organization is long-time veteran Vitor Belfort, who is coming off an impressive second-round knockout of Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 earlier this year.
The pair are set to battle in the latter's home country in the main event of UFC on FX 8, which is set to go down this Saturday (May 18, 2013) at Arena Jaragua in Santa Catarina, Brazil.
That's not all.
In fact, despite the star power and "name" cache," UFC on FX 8 looks to be a solid card. One in which combat sports fans can recoup the gratuitous amounts of money they obviously spent on their mothers this past weekend.
Follow me below for a closer look at the latest odds behind -- and best bets for -- UFC on FX 8: "Belfort vs. Rockhold:"
UFC On FX 8 Odds For The Under Card:
Nik Lentz (-185) vs. Hacran Dias (+145)
Gleison Tibau (-230) vs. John Cholish (+170)
Francisco Trinaldo (-350) vs. Mike Rio (+250)
John Lineker (-160) vs. Azamat Gashimov (+130)
Paulo Thiago (-180) vs. Michel dos Prazeres (+140)
Iuri Alcantara (-530) vs. Iliarde Santos (+350)
Fabio Maldonado (-260) vs. Roger Hollett (+180)
Jussier da Silva (-165) vs. Chris Cariaso (+125)
Lucas Martins (-260) vs. Jeremy Larsen (+180)
Thoughts: One favorite and one underdog have caught my eye this weekend: Lentz and dos Prazeres.
Dias is an exceptional fighter, but one who matches up poorly with Lentz. His top control-oriented grappling is poorly-suited to stop an aggressive wrestler, and while Nova Uniao’s takedown defense has historically been solid, "The Carney" made mincemeat of it against Diego Nunes.
On the feet or in top position, I fully expect Lentz to control the fight, so lay down a few on the American.
Dos Prazeres is a complete unknown with no Octagon experience, but the style match up favors him. Thiago has historically struggled with people who can put him on his back consistently, from Jon Fitch to Diego Sanchez to "Stun Gun" Dong Hyun Kim. And if there’s one thing dos Prazeres does well, it’s double-leg opponents through the floor. His stand up is likely inferior to Thiago’s, but the latter will most likely be spending too much time trying to scramble to his feet to bring that advantage to bear.
Therefore, a moderate bet on Prazeres should pay dividends.
UFC On FX 8 Odds For The Main Card:
Luke Rockhold (-125) vs. Vitor Belfort (+105)
Ronaldo Souza (-525) vs. Chris Camozzi (+415)
Rafael Dos Anjos (-190) vs. Evan Dunham (+165)
Rafael Natal (-350) vs. Joao Zeferino (+250)
Thoughts: There really isn't much here, but you might consider parlaying Rockhold and "Jacare."
One of the constants of Belfort’s career is that he really, really doesn’t like kicks. Kazushi Sakuraba ate him up with them, Anderson Silva knocked him out with one. He demonstrated against Michael Bisping that he can throw a decent one, but he’s just never adapted his striking game to counter them.
Even if Rockhold can’t put Belfort on his back, his large kicking arsenal should allow him to frustrate Belfort from long distance and avoid the retaliatory bombs.
I was originally considering holding off until/unless Rockhold became an underdog, but you can beef up the profit slightly by including Souza. Frankly, I can’t think of a single facet of MMA in which "Jacare" isn’t clearly superior to Camozzi, so use that to your advantage.
Best Bets For UFC On FX 8:
- Single bet: Nik Lentz -- Bet $80 to make $43.24
- Single bet: Michel Prazeres -- Bet $40 to make $56
- Parlay: Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza -- Bey $30 to make $34.20
Two elite middleweights and a hell of a lot of scraps with the potential for fireworks. Not bad for a free card.
See you Saturday, Maniacs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver live UFC on FX 8: "Belfort vs. Rockhold" 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.