I know, I know, it's been almost a week since my last post and I never did my reactions for UFN 25. Well please, allow me to explain....... Uhhh...... What had happened was......
If you really want to know, I don't have cable because I just moved in to a new apartment. I was also invited to a very interesting event the night of the fights so I wasn't able to watch them live. By the time I actually did get a chance to watch them, it was too late. So here I am before you once again, asking your forgiveness. For what its worth, I was totally distraught about it for like six minutes. Honestly, it was agonizing.
We're now in the thick of it. Every title in the UFC will be defended over the next six weeks. UFC 135 is just the beginning. The next two cards are completely stacked, and it all ends with the UFC's coming out party on November 12th. This is truly a historic time in the history of MMA. What a time to be a fan!
Being one that accepts constructive criticism, I've decided to take some wise advice and get to the point a lot quicker. I realize that I can be a bit long winded. So sue me..........Lets get on with it then......
At the behest of a friend, I've decided to start including betting odds in my break downs and predictions. If nothing else, it might help you degenerates out there make the right decisions about which picks to make. I'm not the biggest supporter of sports betting, but I'll do anything for a friend. Well....almost anything.
As usual, there will be two fights televised for free on Spike TV. These will be among the last few fights to show for free on Spike. The festivities begin at 8:00 pm est. Don't miss it.
(The betting odds reported here are as up to date as possible. They were obtained from bodog.com at 11:34 pm the night before the fight)
Tim Boetsch (-150) vs. Nick Ring (+120)
I wasn't particularly impressed with the selections that were made for the Spike Tv portion of this card, but free MMA is good MMA, so I'll take what I can get.
You may remember Tim Boetsch as the guy who sent Kendall Grove packing from the UFC. You may also remember him as the one and only victim of the "Philmura." If nothing else, Boetsch will go down in MMA history for that fact. Boetsch has pretty powerful striking and good wrestling. He is fighting at Middleweight for only the second time in his career. Nick Ring is the Ultimate Fighter alumni who could very well have taken the whole show had he not gotten himself injured. If you remember, he beat Court McGee (the eventual winner) in one of the earlier rounds. His injury is what allowed McGee to come back and win it all. Ring trains out of the Tri-Star gym with the likes of Georges St. Pierre.
This is one of the more evenly matched fights on this card. Both men have solid stand up skills and decent enough grappling. I don't know why, but I just don't see there being a finish in this fight. Ultimately, I think Nick Ring will do enough to take a decision by using his grappling and BJJ skills to take the fight where he wants it. I would pick Ring just on the strength of his training partners.
Bet: Ring at +120 is a solid bet here. This is a good fight to add to a parlay.
Prediction: Nick Ring by Unanimous Decision
Tony Ferguson (-350) vs. Aaron Riley (+275)
If I were Aaron Riley, I'd be pretty mad at the odds makers. This fight is a lot more evenly matched then the odds might reflect. Even so, Aaron Riley is going to be in for a tough night. Tony Ferguson is the winner of the Ultimate Fighter Season 13. He looked impressive in the finale showing a good sprawl and very technical boxing. Riley has had some success in the UFC but has lost decisively when fighting top competition. If he can muscle his way inside and take Ferguson out of his game, then he has a very good chance of winning this fight.
Look for Ferguson to try to stay on the outside and use his boxing to pick Riley apart. As much as I like Aaron Riley, I don't think he'll win this fight. Ferguson just looked too good the last few times I've seen him and I don't think Riley will be able to work his game plan.
Bet: Up to you if you want to take Ferguson at -350. Not a lot of money to be made there, but it's a good bet that Ferguson will win.
Prediction: Tony Ferguson by 2nd Rd TKO
THE MAIN CARD
Ben Rothwell (-340) vs. Mark Hunt (+260)
What a great fight to kickoff the PPV with. I'm always a fan of some much needed Pride nostalgia. For those of you that don't know who he is, Mark Hunt has been around for years, always competing against top competition. In Pride, he was at one point considered a serious contender but was never able to put a good amount of wins together. Ben Rothwell has not fought in the UFC in over a year and is finally coming back after some injuries derailed his progress. You might remember Rothwell as the guy who sent Gilber Yvel packing. Most likely, you remember the one sided beat down he took at the hand of Cain Velasquez.
This is a tough one to predict because you never know which Mark Hunt will show up. If Mark Hunt the pissed off Samoan shows up, then Ben Rothwell might as well just pack his bags and go back to the corn field. If not, then Rothwell should have an easy enough time with Hunt. Still, I'm going to take Hunt here. What can I say, I have a soft spot for the old days.
Bet: Taking Hunt at +260 is risky. Rothwell (-340) is a much safer bet. Hunt has crazy power though, and can end the fight at any time. Go with Rothwell. Not everyone is as crazy as I am.
Prediction: Mark Hunt by 1st Rd KO (More of a wish then a prediction)
Nate Diaz (-270) vs. Takanori Gomi (+210)
A little bit more of that Pride nostalgia. Sweet! I'm most looking forward to this fight because its almost a rematch, but not. Gomi fought Nate's older brother Nick a few years ago and was ultimately submitted by gogoplata. The decision was later overturned to a No Contest when drug results showed that Nick Diaz fought with incredibly high levels of THC in his system. Funny huh? Both Gomi and Diaz (Nate) are high intensity fighters who like to stand and bang when the situation calls for it. Gomi has shown serious power in the past while Diaz uses that pitter patter style made famous by his brother. Both men are also very well versed on the ground.
Gomi is another one of those ex-Pride guys that are very hard to read. The way he fights is very much contingent on how stable he is mentally. I think the loss to Clay Guida really took a lot out of him and Nate Diaz will be able to capitalize on it. Diaz has great submissions, especially off his back, and has shown that he has a tough chin. I think Diaz will ultimately be able to use his boxing and cardio to wear down Gomi and lock in the submission.
Bet: There's a lot of upside to taking Gomi (+210) here but you'll probably be throwing your money away. Instead of taking Diaz straight up, try betting on him wining inside the distance (+120).
Prediction: Nate Diaz by 2nd Rd Submission
Travis Brown (-400) vs. Rob Broughton (+300)
I don't know if its the fact that I have a soft spot for Hawaiians, but I just can't seem to pick against them. This time, its a pretty safe bet because Travis Browne is a killer. Let me paint a little picture for you....Travis Brown is 6'7". His last fight was against Stephan Struve, who is 6'11". When Brown knocked out Struve, he did it while Struve was in mid air trying to hit him with a flying something or other. That means Browne was punching up at Struve from about 7 or 8 inches below him, and he still knocked him out cold. Now that's power. Broughton is a skilled fighter with some impressive grappling credentials, but he's in deep water here.
Broughton will probably try to shoot in for the takedown over and over again because that's where his strength lies. Browne will have to channel his inner Chuck Lidell and sprawl and brawl his way in to the win column. Ultimately, Browne will be able to use his superior size to keep the fight standing and deliver another beautiful KO for the fans.
Bet: Not a lot of upside to taking Browne (-400) here. This is another one of those situations where you should take a prop bet. Betting on the fight going a full round is +150. Much better odds there.
Prediction: Browne by 2nd Rd KO
Josh Koscheck (-550) vs. Matt Hughes (+375)
This fight was originally booked as Matt Hughes vs. Diego Sanchez. An injury to Sanchez caused him to pull out on short notice. He was quickly replaced by Josh Koscheck. What a bummer for Matt Hughes. Matt Hughes is a legend and will always be a fan favorite. Unfortunately, Koscheck is a really bad stylistic matchup for him. Koscheck was flirting with the idea of fighting at Middleweight before he was offered this fight on short notice. He's bigger, arguably stronger, and throws bombs. Hughes won't be able to use his wrestling here as Koscheck is an accomplished wrestler in his own right. I'm not really sure what the game plan is for Hughes at this point, but he needs to come up with something big if he wants to win this fight.
I think this is the fight that sends Matt Hughes in to retirement. He's hinted at wanting a "Chuck Lidell job" so this will probably be the end for him. Hughes' chin isn't all that great and Koscheck will be able to exploit that. Thanks for all the great fights Matt, but I think this is the end of the road.
Bet: I don't know if it's even worth betting on this one. The odds undeniably favor Koscheck. If you're feeling squirrelly though, taking Matt Hughes by decision is +600. Hey, it could happen. Probably not though.
Prediction: Josh Koscheck by 1st Rd TKO
Jon Jones (-550) vs. Quinton Jackson (+375)
What can I say about Jon Jones that hasn't already been said? You know when people say, "He gets better every time I see him" ? Well, there are only two fighters I've ever actually believed that about. One is Frankie Edgar. The other, as I'm sure you know, is Jon Jones. What he's been able to do in three short years is incredible. In the words of Quentin "Rampage" Jackson (I'm paraphrasing), "Jon Jones is the future of MMA, but I'm the present." That's right! I think "Rampage" is going to win this fight! Call me crazy, but there's something about this matchup that reeks of an upset. I don't know if its the fact that "Rampage" looks more motivated than I've seen him in a long time, or whether it's Jones' attitude, but I truly believe that the Light Heavyweight championship will change hands once again. Experience is an asset that most undervalue in MMA. This is really the first high profile fight of "Bones'" career and I think "Rampage" has managed to get in to his head. Yeah, Jones is flashy and has a ton of talent, but when Jackson gets that fire in his eyes, he's a dangerous man.
This should be a really good back and forth battle. I see this being the fight where we finally find out what kind of chin Jon Jones has. Eventually, he won't be able to use his reach to keep Jackson at a distance. I think "Rampage" will be able to use the clinch to his advantage and dirty box his way to a win. Of course, there's a very good change that I'm 100% wrong and that my Pride nostalgia is kicking in again. I still smell the upset though. Jon Jones will one day be as unbeatable as Anderson Silva, but not yet.
Bet: Don't let the odds fool you, taking Jackson (+375) is a very promising bet. It might be a bit of a nail biter, but it'll be worth it.
Prediction: Quentin Jackson by 3rd Rd KO
Well I hope everyone likes the new format.
Please feel free to offer any suggestions of what I can be doing better.
Don't forget the Bellator 51 is the same night as UFC 135, so program your DVR's accordingly.
There's also another big event this weekend that some of you might be interested in. The ADCC Submission Grappling World Championship will be held on the 24th and 25th. We're talking the greatest grapplers in the world going toe to toe for two days. You can watch them live on PPV for $30. If nothing else, tune in for the finals on day 2. It's going to be sick, I promise.
I'll be doing be post fight reactions directly after the fights from now on. No more waiting a day to know who won!
As always, don't forget to follow me on twitter @TheGuardFighter.
Enjoy the fights tonight everyone! I know I will!