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Old 01-27-2012, 09:26 PM
Jizay Jizay is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 427
Default UFC on FOX 2 main card analysis

Doing a full-on write up again for old time’s sake. Details below, but my only pick on the main card is Rashad Evans, who is -176 reduced at 5dimes as of this writing, to win 2 units. For me, the other fights on the main card are a no-play, and I think they are priced about right.

Chris Weidman vs. Demian Maia: The casual follower of MMA might be surprised to see that Weidman, the lesser known and less experienced fighter, is the slight gambling favorite. But MMA is all about matchups. Maia’s strength lies in his excellent jiu-jitsu game, but that won’t do him much good if he can’t get the fight to the ground. Given Weidman’s excellent collegiate wrestling pedigree, it is unlikely that Maia can dictate where this fight takes place. Maia’s striking game has been improving, but it remains to be seen whether he can win a fight that takes place mostly or entirely on the feet. On the other hand, I don’t think we’ve seen enough of Weidman to be confident either. He has looked great in his brief UFC run, but Maia will be a big step up in competition. Too many uncertainties here; this is a no play for me.

Michael Bisping vs. Chael Sonnen: This matchup is a possible title shot eliminator in the middleweight division. The line favoring Sonnen, which has approached -500 at some books, is perhaps disrespectful to Bisping, a 22-3 fighter with 12 wins in the UFC. But again, MMA is about matchups and this matchup is bad for Bisping. While “the count” has a much more polished striking game, I just don’t see him (or most other middleweights) consistently stopping Sonnen’s shot and keeping off of his back. If he can, he will likely walk away the victor, but I see this line as being set about correctly.

The question mark: This is only Sonnen’s 2nd fight coming off of a long hiatus due to a suspension for PEDs. He put in a strong performance in his comeback fight against Brian Stann, however, and appeared to be as in shape as ever at weigh-ins today.

Most likely scenario: Sonnen will take Bisping down in every round and ground-and-pound his way to a unanimous decision.

Phil Davis vs. Rashad Evans: The winner of this fight earns a shot at Jon Jones’ Light Heavyweight title. The line in this fight looks low to me, as I expected Evans – the much more experienced and also more familiar fighter to the casual fan – to come out as a heavy favorite. Davis has had a nice run thus far, but Evans represents a quantum leap in the quality of competition for him. My speculation is that Davis is getting respect because he is a larger LHW (while Evans is not) and he is built like an action figure. Further, Evans’ base is wrestling and Davis’ wrestling pedigree is better. Fortunately, this isn’t a wrestling competition. Davis’ strength as a wrestler dating back to his collegiate career was more as a scrambler, and he’s not exactly a takedown machine. Evans is the more polished striker, and he should be able to keep the fight standing. Words like “potential,” “ability,” and “improvement” are being thrown around a lot in reference to Davis, but until I see it in the ring, I’ll let my money ride with the fighter who is clearly more accomplished.

Most likely scenario: Evans outpoints Mr. Wonderful in a lackluster fight that takes place mostly on the feet.
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