UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche Preview

History will be made Saturday night as the UFC hosts its first ever women’s bout, a championship contest between undefeated Ronda Rousey and No. 1 contender Liz Carmouche.

UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche will come live from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., with pay-per-view action starting at 10 PM ET. A full preliminary card – to be broadcast on FX and Facebook – will be held beforehand.

The historic event marks the sixth time the UFC has held an event in Anaheim, and the first since UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. dos Santos on Nov. 12, 2011. The Honda Center famously saw Cain Velasquez defeat then-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in Oct. 2010.

As well as featuring the Rousey-Carmouche fight, UFC 157 will see light-heavyweights Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson take to the Octagon in a bid to cement No. 1 contender status for Jon “Bones” Jones’ title.

Rousey vs. Carmouche

Even by UFC standards, the hype surrounding this debut is something else. Saturday night is gearing up to be something special, although it could be over before you know it.

Ronda Rousey (6-0-0) will look to remain unbeaten as she competes in the UFC Octagon for the first time. Her last contest saw her successfully defend the Strikeforce Women’s Bantamweight Championship at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman, that promotion’s penultimate event.

Rousey has finished all six professional fights in the first round utilizing an armbar. Only one of those bouts went longer than one minute; she defeated Meisha Tate for the Strikeforce title in 4:27 back on Mar. 3, 2012, her fifth pro fight.

After all the hype and publicity, Dana White and the rest of the Zuffa brass will probably be hopeful this one goes a little longer. So will Rousey’s opponent.

After a pair of defeats sent Liz Carmouche (7-2-0) to a 2-2-0 record in Strikeforce, the San Diego fighter appeared at the first two Invicta FC events in 2012, securing two victories. Carmouche handed Ashleigh Curry a TKO defeat and besting Kaitlin Young by submission.

It was reported that the fighter known as “Girl-Rilla” was set to make a Strikeforce comeback last November, but the scheduled event was axed as the promotion set to close its doors. Now she gets to fight on the biggest MMA stage of all.

The UFC has been criticized in some territories for serving up a weak opponent for Rousey in her first bout with the company. Carmouche will look to prove such doubters wrong with a strong performance in Anaheim.

Rousey enters the championship bout as favorite (1/10) with Carmouche considered the underdog (

Machida vs. Henderson

UFC 157 didn’t need another marquee fight to stir up interest, but it got one anyway.

Ranked No. 2 and No. 3 (by Sherdog) in the light heavyweight division respectively, Dan Henderson (29-8-0) and Lyoto Machida (18-3-0) will take to the Octagon in what many believe could be the fight of the year.

After falling to Jon Jones at UFC 140 in a Fight of the Night performance, Machida continues his bid to get another shot at the champ. Machida turned down a short-notice opportunity to challenge Jones last September. The southpaw from Salvador will hope that a win over Henderson will propel him to top contender status in a fully-scheduled bout.

The Los Angeles fighter defeated Ryan Bader last time out (Aug. 4), knocking out the Tempe, Ariz., wrestler in the second round.

Henderson on the other hand will be looking to put the halters on Machida and improve his own standing in the process. The final Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has won four straight and seven of the last eight.

His most recent bout – a victory over Mauricio Rua, the man who stripped Machida of the light heavyweight title – saw him return to UFC after a stint with Strikeforce, and was awarded Fight of the Year honors for 2011.

Henderson had been scheduled to face Jones at UFC 151 last September, but an injury kept him out and effectively cancelled that event.

Machida enters the bout as favorite (5/12) although Henderson (19/10) has seen plenty of action with the bookmakers.

Best of the Rest

Elsewhere on the main card, Urijah Faber (26-6-0) will look to bounce back from two losses in three bouts as he takes on Ivan Menjivar (25-9-0) in the bantamweight division. Menjivar is an impressive 4-1 since joining the UFC, earning two Submission of the Night awards in the process.

Faber is the favorite (4/15) heading into the fight but Menjivar (57/20) will like his chances.

In the welterweight division, Court McGee (13-3-0) will tussle with the veteran Josh Neer (33-12-1). Both fighters have dropped two bouts in a row so a win on Saturday night will be crucial for both parties.

McGee is favored (1/3) over Neer (23/10).

In the main card opener, Josh Koscheck (19-6-0) will square off again former Strikeforce combatant Robbie Lawler (19-9-0, 1NC) in the welterweight division. Again, both fighters are coming off a loss and will be looking to score a victory by any means necessary.

Koscheck (1/5) is favored over Lawler (7/2), who has dropped three of his last four bouts heading into his UFC debut.


For a full list of UFC 157’s undercard bouts and current odds, check our quick guide below.


UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche

Saturday 23 February, 10:00 PM ET

Honda Center, Anaheim, CA

All odds supplied by Bovada.



“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (6-0-0) vs. Liz “Girl-Rilla” Carmouche (7-2-0)

Class: Women’s Bantamweight (Championship Bout)

Odds: Rousey (1/10), Carmouche (6/1)


Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (18-3-0) vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (29-8-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Machida (5/12), Henderson (19/10)


Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (26-6-0) vs. Ivan “Pride of El Salvador” Menjivar (25-9-0)

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Faber (4/15), Menjivar (57/20)


Court “The Crusher” McGee (13-3-0) vs. Josh “The Dentist” Neer (33-12-1)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: McGee (1/3), Neer (23/10)


Josh “Kos” Koscheck (19-6-0) vs. Robbie “Ruthless” Lawler (19-9-0, 1NC)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Koscheck (1/5), Lawler (7/2)



Brendan “The Hybrid” Schaub (9-3-0) vs. “Big” Lavar Johnson (17-6-0)*

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Schaub (2/3), Lavar Johnson (6/5)


Michael “Maverick” Chiesa (8-0-0) vs. Anton Kuivanen (17-5-0)*

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Chiesa (20/41), Kuivanen (33/20)


Dennis “The Menace”Bermudez (10-3-0) vs. Matt “The Ral One” Grice (15-4-0)*

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Bermudez (2/9), Grice (13/4)


Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout (19-8-1) vs. Caros “The Future” Fodor (7-2-0)*

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Stout (5/4), Fodor (20/31)


Kenny Robertson (11-2-0) vs. Brock “The Machine” Jardine (9-2-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Robertson (27/20), Jardine (20/33)


Jon Manley (7-2-0) vs. Neil Magny (7-2-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Manley (27/20), Magny (20/33)


Nah-Shon Burrell (8-2-0) vs. Yuri Villefort (6-1-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Burrell (20/23), Villefort (20/23)


Preliminary bouts marked (*) will air on FX.

Preliminary bouts marked (^) will air on the UFC Facebook page.

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonand Preview

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald comes live from London’s Wembley Arena in the United Kingdom this Saturday afternoon.

Coverage of the event – due to start in the early evening in London – will start on Fuel TV at 2:00 PM ET.

UFC London 2013 – as it is also being billed – will be the first event to be held in the historic London venue, and the first time UFC has visited the city since UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama in October 2010. It will be the sixth UFC event to be held in London and the 13th event to be hosted by a United Kingdom city.

The event will be headlined by Renan Barao’s UFC Interim Bantamweight title defense against Michael McDonald.

After the excitement of UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar earlier this month, bettors can expect more intriguing action from this one despite its apparent lack of star power.

Barao vs. McDonald

Interim UFC Bantamweight champion Renan Barao (31-1-0, 1NC) will look to win his 20th straight fight on Saturday night.

The Brazilian native hasn’t tasted defeat since his very first bout back in April 2005, and only a No Contest result against Caludemir Souza in December 2007 sits between him and 29 straight wins. Since arriving in UFC – following the merger with WEC – he has gone 4-0, winning the interim title in his third bout.

For many, Barao is on a collision course with bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, currently sidelined with an ACL injury.

Barao battled at UFC 136 in Birmingham, England, defeating Brad Pickett via submission in the first round. That bout won Fight of the Night honors. Barao will hope to repeat that achievement on Saturday.

At just 22 years of age, Michael “Mayday” McDonald (15-1-0) has a shot at becoming the youngest champion in UFC history.

The young Californian has ran out to a 4-0 record since entering UFC two years ago, and has won his last two fights with first round knockouts. His knockout of Alex Soto at UFC 139 scored a Knockout of the Night award. Doing the same on Saturday would be a huge statement.

Barao (1/3) is favored to retain his title against the underdog McDonald (23/10).

Swanson vs. Poirier

Cub Swanson (18-5-0) will look to build on a three-fight winning streak on Saturday night. After losing his UFC debut, the Palm Springs fighter has defeated the international trio of George Roop, Ross Pearson, and Charles Oliveira in the span of less than nine months. After five months off, he’ll reenter the Octagon in London.

Swanson certainly has pedigree. His last two fights have seen him pick up Knockout of the Night honors while he was a three-time Fight of the Night winner whilst fighting in WEC.

It was only two months ago that Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (13-2-0) stepped into the Octagon to take down Jonathan Brookings, winning via submission in the opening round. Now the talented Lafayette native will look to make it two wins in a row.

Poirier’s battle with Jung Chan-Sung last May (UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier) is widely regarded as the Fight of the Year. Poirier lost that bout but certainly gained respect in the process. A win over Swanson would see him rocket up the featherweight rankings.

Poirier’s pedigree and the Swanson’s talent could well see this fight steal the show on Saturday.

Swanson (4/5) is a very narrow favorite over Poirier (20/21). This one’s going to be exciting.

Manuwa vs. Diabate

Jimi “The Poster Boy” Manuwa (12-0-0) will look to record a 13th professional win and a second UFC win in front of a hometown audience on Saturday.

That hometown crowd could prove a huge advantage. All 12 of Manuwa’s previous bouts have been in England, with eight coming in London. His opponent has fared less well in the United Kingdon.

Cyrille “Snake” Diabate (20-8-3) has a 3-5 record when fighting in the United Kingdom, with a 3-3 record in London. His last bout in England (UFC 138) saw him lose via submission to Anthony Perosh.

Diabate has won nine of his last 11 bouts, but Saturday night will be a tough one; Manuwa has won eight straight fights, and 11 of 12, either by knockout or TKO.

Hometown favorite Manuwa (5/12) is favored over Diabate (19/10) in this light heavyweight contest.


Best of the Rest

Elsewhere on the Main Card, undefeated Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (10-0-1) will take on Jorge “The Sandman” Santiago (23-10-0) in a welterweight clash. With 10 straight wins, the Icelandic submission specialist will look to send the Brazilian to a third UFC defeat.

Undefeated Nelson (4/11) is a heavy favorite over Santiago (43/20).

In the light heavyweight division, New Zealander James Te Huna (17-5-0) will look to win a fourth straight bout and move to 5-1 since joining UFC on Saturday. He’ll be up against Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo (17-1-0) who won Knockout of the Night honors in his UFC debut back in July. Since losing his first professional fight, Jimmo has notched 17 straight wins and will be looking to prove himself in this one.

Te Huna (10/23) enters the bout as favorite over Jimmo (9/5).

Finally, Che “Beautiful” Mills (15-5-0, 1NC) will compete against Matthew Riddle (7-3-0, 1NC) in a welterweight contest. Mills will look to ride the support of his native English fans to a second straight win and a 3-1 UFC record. Riddle will look to build on November’s win over John Maguire as he looks to put a failed drug test and an overturned submission victory (at UFC 149) behind him.

Mills (10/19) is favored to defeat Riddle (31/20).


For more information regarding the preliminary card of UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald and current odds, checkout our quick guide below.

UFC on Fuel TV: Barao vs. McDonald

Saturday 16 February, 2:00 PM ET

Wembley Arena, London, United Kingdom

All odds supplied by Bovada.



Renan Barao (31-1-0, 1NC) vs. Michael “Mayday” McDonald (15-1-0)

Class: Bantamweight (UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship bout)

Odds: Barao (1/3), McDonald (23/10)


Cub Swanson (18-5-0) vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (13-2-0)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Swanson (4/5), Poirier (20/21)


Jimi “The Poster Boy” Manuwa (12-0-0) vs. Cyrille “Snake” Diabate (20-8-3)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Manuwa (5/12), Diabate (19/10)


Gunnar “Gunni” Nelson (10-0-1) vs. Jorge “The Sandman” Santiago (23-10-0)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Nelson (4/11), Santiago (43/20)


James Te Huna (17-5-0) vs. Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo (17-1-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Te Huna (10/23), Jimmo (9/5)


Che “Beautiful” Mills (15-5-0, 1NC) vs. Natthew Riddle (7-3-0, 1NC)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Mills (10/19), Riddle (31/20)



Terry Etim (15-4-0) vs. Renee Forte (7-2-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Etim (20/67), Forte (51/20)


Paul “Sassangle” Sass (13-1-0) vs. Danny “Last Call” Castillo (14-5-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Sass (20/23), Castillo (20/23)


Andy “The Little Axe” Ogle (8-2-0) vs. Josh “The Fluke” Grispi (14-4-0)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Ogle (23/10), Grispi (20/29)


Tom “Kong” Watson (15-5-0) vs. Stanislaw Nedkov (12-0-0, 1NC)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Watson (5/7), Nedkov (11/10)


Vaughan Lee (12-8-1) vs. Motonobu Tezuka (19-5-4)

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Lee (10/19), Tezuka (31/20)

Phil Harris (21-10-0, 1NC) vs. Ulysees “Useless” Gomez (9-3-0)

Class: Flyweight

Odds: Harris (19/10), Gomez (5/12)

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar Preview

UFC returns to action on Saturday night with UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar. The explosive bill will see Jose Aldo make the fourth defense of his UFC Featherweight Championship against former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar, a match eagerly anticipated by not only fans but everybody involved.

The pay-per-view event will come live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Las Vegas Strip. Preliminary bouts start at 8:00 PM ET with the main event commencing at 10:00 PM ET.

The event will be the 23rd event UFC has hosted at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and the first since Feb. 2012, following the cancellation of UFC 151: Jones vs. Henderson last September.

The event will mark the third straight weekend the UFC octagon has been active. Last weekend’s UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson mainly stuck to the script, with seven of 11 favorites scoring a victory. This included a successful flyweight title defense by Demetrious Johnson.

The only bout on the main card to go to the underdog was Ricardo Lamas’ second round knockout of Erik Koch. Bettors taking Lamas at 13/10 were rewarded.

UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping – held one week earlier – saw both the main and preliminary cards split down the middle in terms of favorites and underdogs scoring the victory.

Read on for Casino Review’s preview of the UFC 156 main card.


Aldo vs. Edgar

Since being crowned the first ever UFC featherweight champion in September 2010, Jose Aldo (21-1-0) has owned the division, taking down Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, and Chad Mendes in succession. It’s been over a year since the champ took to the octagon though.

On Saturday Aldo will face former UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar (14-3-1) in what promises to be one hell of a fight.

Edgar is coming off consecutive losses to Benson Henderson in the lightweight division. Edgar dropped his title to “Smooth” on Feb. 26 last year, before failing to regain it in August. Now the New Jersey native has set his sights on the lighter division, and poses a real threat to Aldo’s title.

It won’t be easy though. Aldo has won 14 straight contests. His last loss came on Nov. 26, 2005, and he has gone 3-0 since joining UFC. Aldo won his only previous bout in Las Vegas, a knockout of Mike Brown at WEC 44 on Nov. 18, 2009.

Meanwhile, Edgar compiled an impressive 9-1-1 record in UFC before hitting the brick wall that is Henderson. Edgar is 4-0-1 when fighting in Las Vegas, including a 1-0-0 record at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. That victory came on Feb. 3, 2007 at UFC 67: All or Nothing against Tyson Griffin.

Bookmakers favor Aldo (10/21) in this one, with Edgar (17/10) looking to score the upset win.


Evans vs. Nogueira

In a bout worthy of headline status, Rashad Evans will clash with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the light heavyweight division.

Evans (22-2-1) failed in his bid to capture the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship last April, losing a unanimous decision to champion Jon “Bones” Jones. The loss snapped Evans’ four-bout winning streak which began after he lost that same title to Lyoto Machida at UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida.

It’s unlikely that a win on Saturday night will immediately catapult Evans back into the title picture, but it certainly won’t do him any harm. A win on Saturday will be hard to come by.

Nogueira (20-5-0) defeated Tito Ortiz to close out 2011 and to snap a two-fight losing streak. “Little Nog” returns to the octagon for the first time since on Saturday. The former gold medalist boxer will look to pick up an upset win over Evans, and perhaps insert his own name into the title conversation.

Nogueira is 2-1 when fighting in Las Vegas. He scored a knockout victory over fellow Brazilian Luiz Kane in his only fight at Mandalay Bay Events Center.

Evans has never fought at the venue, but he has compiled a 6-1 record in Las Vegas, the city he both won and lost the light heavyweight crown.

Evans (2/11) is a heavy favorite over Nogueira (15/4).


Overeem vs. Silva

A pair of heavyweights collides as Alistair Overeem (36-11-1) takes on Antonio Silva (17-4-0).

Overeem has won eight straight fights and has not lost in his last 12. His last loss came on Sept. 17, 2007. In his UFC debut (Dec. 30, 2011), the “Demolition Man” handed Brock Lesnar a retirement-welcoming TKO defeat. Overeem is 1-1 when fighting in Las Vegas.

Silva scored a victory over Travis Brown last time out (Oct. 5, 2012) to make up for a UFC debut loss to Cain Velasquez. He’ll look to score a winning record with Saturday’s bout, less than four months after last stepping in the octagon. Silva is 1-0 when competing in Las Vegas.

Overeem (1/4) is favored over Silva (3/1) heading into this one.


Fitch vs. Demian Maia

Jon Fitch faces Demian Maia in a welterweight clash at UFC 156.

Fitch (27-4-1, 1NC) scored a fight of the night award his last time out, defeating Erick Silva at UFC 153: Silva vs. Bonnar in Rio de Janeiro on Oct. 13, 2012. It was Fitch’s first victory in three fights, and moved his record to 14-2-1 since joining UFC.

Maia (17-4-0) picked up a win – his second in a row, and third in four bouts – at that same event, using a neck cramp to force Rick Story to submit. The Sao Paulo, Brazil, native is now 11-4-0 when fighting for UFC.

Fitch has gone 8-2 in Las Vegas and 2-0 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. Maia meanwhile is 4-0 in Vegas and 1-0 at Mandalay Bay.

Fitch (10/21) is favored over Maia (17/10).


Benavidez vs. McCall

The main card’s opening bout sees a flyweight battle between Joseph Benavidez and Ian McCall.

Benavidez (16-3-0) lost out to last week’s headline winner Demetrious Johnson the last time he took to the octagon (Sept. 22, 2012). That lost cost him the inaugural UFC Flyweight Championship. The loss was also the San Antonio native’s first loss in UFC (3-1).

McCall (11-3-1) also fell to Johnson. Having fought to a draw on Mar. 3, 2012, Johnson scored the semifinal victory on Jun. 8. McCall will now look for his first UFC win on Saturday, as well as the opportunity to get another shot at Johnson.

Benavidez owns a slight advantage in Sin City, having gone 3-2 in the city. McCall is 1-1.

Benavidez (2/5) is favored over McCall (39/20).


UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar Full Card

Saturday 2 February, 10:00 PM ET

Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, NV

All odds supplied by Bovada.



Jose Aldo (21-1-0) vs. Frankie Edgar (14-3-1)

Class: Featherweight (UFC Featherweight Championship bout)

Odds: Aldo (10/21), Edgar (17/10)


Rashad Evans (22-2-1) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (20-5-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Evans (2/11), Nogueira (15/4)


Alistair Overeem (36-11-1) vs. Antonio Silva (17-4-0)

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Overeem (1/4), Silva (3/1)


Jon Fitch (27-4-1, 1NC) vs. Demian Maia (17-4-0)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Fitch (10/21), Maia (17/10)


Joseph Benavidez (16-3-0) vs. Ian McCall (11-3-1)

Class: Flyweight

Odds: Benavidez (2/5), McCall (39/20)



Gleison Tibau (35-8-0) vs. Evan Dunham (13-3-0)^

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Tibau (5/6), Dunham (10/11)


Tyron Woodley (10-1-0) vs. Jay Hieron (23-6-0)^

Class: Welterweight

Odds:  Woodley (5/7), Heiron (11/10)


Jacob Volkmann (15-3-0) vs. Bobby Green (19-5-0)^

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Volkmann (5/19), Green (29/10)


Yves Edwards (42-18-1) vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg (13-3-1)^

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Edwards (5/14), Vallie-Flagg (11/5)


Chico Camus (12-3-0) vs. Dustin Kimura (10-0-0)*

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Camus (20/33), Kimura (27/20)


Edwin Figueroa (9-1-0) vs. Francisco Rivera (8-2-0, 1NC)*

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Figueroa (49/20), Rivera (20/63)


^These bouts will air on FX

*These bouts will air live on UFC’s Facebook page.

UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson Preview

The UFC returns this Saturday for the second of three straight weekends of action. UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson will air live from the United Center in Chicago, Ill., from 7:30 PM ET.

The event marks the second time the UFC has visited Chicago, after UFC on Fox: Evans vs. Davis was held at the United Center on Jan. 28, 2012.

Last weekend’s UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping was a mixed bag for bettors and bookies alike. Five bouts were awarded to the favorite with five bouts also going to the underdog. The 11th bout was ordered a no contest after Yuri Alcantara struck Pedro Nobre with an illegal punch to the back of the head. The event’s biggest upset went to Ildemar Alcantara – considered 37/20 to win the contest – who applied a kneebar, forcing a second round Wagner Prado submission.

This Saturday’s event features a four-bout main card (to be aired on Fox) alongside a six-bout preliminary card (to be aired on Fuel TV). A seventh undercard bout between Simeon Thoersen and David Mitchell will be broadcast on UFC’s Facebook page ahead of the event.

Johnson vs. Dodson

The sixth installment of UFC on Fox will be headlined by a bout for the UFC Flyweight Championship.

Inaugural flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson will defend the title he won at UFC 152 against John Dodson, who defeated Jussier Formiga on Oct. 5, to be named No. 1 contender.

Johnson (16-2-1) is 4-1-1 since joining UFC in Feb. 2011, with all four victories coming via a decision. His only loss came in a UFC Bantomweight Championship matchup against Dominick Cruz on Oct. 1, 2011. Johnson has won two straight since that bout, a contest he lost by unanimous decision.

Johnson’s last bout was on Sept. 22, 2012, in Toronto. That night, the native of Madisonville, Ky., defeated Joseph Benavidez to become the UFC’s first flyweight champion, albeit by split decision. Johnson will hope for a decisive victory on Saturday night to cement his position at the top of the weight class.

Dodson (15-5-0) – winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14 – has gone 3-0 in his short UFC career. Two of those fights have seen a TKO finish on punches, while his bout against Tim Elliot at UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller ended with a unanimous decision. The Albuquerque fighter has won his last 5 bouts.

Bookmakers have the defending champion as favorite in this one. Johnson is 4/9 to win the bout, while Dodson is 7/4.

Jackson vs. Teixeira

It’s been nearly a year since Quinton “Rampage” Jackson stepped into the Octagon. He’ll make his eagerly-awaited return on Saturday against Glover Teixeira.

Jackson (32-9-0) will enter the United Center looking to put the brakes on a two-bout skid. In his last outing (Feb. 26, 2012), he came up on the wrong end of a decision against Ryan Bader, who will feature on Saturday’s undercard. Before that, Jackson was bested in a UFC Heavyweight Championship bout with Jon “Bones” Jones. The veteran fighter will look for a win on Saturday to remain relevant in the light heavyweight division.

Teixeira (19-2-0) is a fighter on the way up, potentially at least. The Brazilian has won 17 straight fights, including his first two bouts in UFC. The last time he tasted defeat was on Mar. 26, 2005. Of course, during that streak he didn’t face anybody quite like “Rampage” Jackson.

In his last bout (Oct. 13, 2012) Teixeira finished off Fabio Maldonado by TKO in Rio de Janeiro, after doctors pulled the plug on the fight. A win on Saturday night would be huge for Teixeira’s career, and would certainly have to propel him into the championship conversation.

Bookmakers have Teixeira as favorite at 5/17, with Jackson considered 13/5 to win.

Pettis vs. Cerrone

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis will square-off with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a lightweight elimination matchup on Saturday, with the winner moving forward to challenge for the title, currently held by Benson Henderson, who defends against Gilber Melendez on Apr. 20.

Cerrone (19-4-0, 1NC) will look to win a third straight contest, and seventh in eight attempts since joining the UFC. The only blemish on his UFC record came against Nate Diaz at UFC 141 on Dec. 30, 2011. Last time out (Aug. 11, 2012), Cerrone handed a KO defeat to Melvin Guillard.

Pettis (13-2-0) will also be looking for a third straight victory and a seventh win in eight bouts. The Milwaukee-based fighter and The Ultimate Fighter 13 runner-up has gone 2-1 in the UFC. In his last bout (Feb. 26, 2012), Pettis scored a KO victory over Joe Lauzon.

Bookmakers have Cerrone evens to take the bout, while Pettis is the favorite at 10/13.

Koch vs. Lamas

In the opening bout on Saturday’s main card, two fighters undefeated in UFC action will clash, as Erik Koch takes on Ricardo Lamas.

Lamas (12-2-0) is 3-0 in UFC contests, defeating Hatsu Hioki – who will feature on Saturday’s undercard – by unanimous decision in his last bout (Jun. 22, 2012). Lamas returns to the city he was born in looking for a big win.

Koch (13-1-0) is 2-0 in UFC contests and has won four straight bouts all told. Last time out (Sep. 17, 2011), the Milwaukee fighter scored a unanimous decision over Jonathan Brookins. A submission specialist early in his career, Koch has yet to show the UFC world what he has to offer in that department, scoring one victory by KO and the other by decision.

Bookmakers favor Koch in this one, giving him 5/8 odds of winning the bout. Lamas is considered 13/10.


UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson Full Card

Saturday 26 January, 7:30 PM ET

United Center, Chicago, IL

All odds supplied by Bovada.



Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (16-2-1) vs. John “The Magician” Dodson (15-5-0)

Class: Flyweight (UFC Flyweight Championship Bout)

Odds: Johnson (4/9), Dodson (7/4)


Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (32-9-0) vs. Glover Teixeira (19-2-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Jackson (13/5), Teixeira (5/17)


Anthony “Showtime” Pettis (13-2-0) vs. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (19-4-0, 1NC)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Cerrone (1/1), Pettis (10/13)


Erik “New Breed” Koch (13-1-0) vs. Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas (12-2-0)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Koch (5/8), Lamas (13/10)



T.J. Grant (19-5-0) vs. “Handsome” Matt Wiman (15-6-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Grant (4/5), Wiman (20/21)


Clay “The Carpenter” Guida (29-10-0) vs. Hatsu Hioki (26-5-2)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Guida (2/5), Hioki (39/20)


Ryan “Darth” Bader (15-3-0) vs. Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko (26-6-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Bader (2/11), Matyushenko (15/4)


Mike Russow (15-2-0, 1NC) vs. Shawn “The Savage” Jordan (13-4-0)

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Russow (10/19), Jordan (31/20)


Mike Stumpf (11-3-0) vs. Pascal “Panza” Krauss (10-1-0)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Stumpf (2/1), Krauss (5/13)


Rafarel “Sapo” Natal (14-4-1) vs. Sean “Black Magic” Spencer (9-1-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Natal (5/13), Spencer (2/1)


Simeon “The Grin” Thoresen (17-3-1) vs. David Mitchell (11-2-0)

Class: Welterweight

Odds: Thoresen (5/12), Mitchell (19/10)

Belfort-Bisping Headlines UFC on FX

The UFC presents its first fight night of the year on Saturday, with UFC on Fox: Belfort vs. Bisping airing live from the Ibirapuera Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The event opens with a preliminary bout on Facebook at 6:30 PM ET, before the preliminary bouts proper begin at 7:00 PM ET on Fuel TV. The four-bout main card gets underway at 9:00 PM ET on FX.

The event’s headline bout pits Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort against Michael Bisping. Belfort returns to middleweight status following an unsuccessful attempt at the UFC light heavyweight title.

Belfort (21-10-0) will look to return to winning ways after being handed a submission loss by Jon “Bones” Jones at UFC 152 in Toronto on Sep. 22. In order to do so, Belfort will need to win in his home country of Brazil, against a tough Bisping (24-4-0).

Bisping won by unanimous decision over Brian Stann at that same event, and has won five of his last six bouts. The British fighter is 13-4-0 since joining UFC in 2006, and has secured eight TKO wins during the period.It was reported that the two combatants had a run in at a press conference on Thursday but yesterday’s weigh in went by without incident.

Prior to September’s loss, Belfort had won seven of eight bouts, the only loss coming to Anderson Silva at UFC 126, another fight in which the Brazilian failed to win gold, this time the UFC middleweight crown.

The matchup – which could easily have appeared on one of UFC’s pay-per-view cards – sees Belfort a marginal favorite.

The undercard features the UFC debut of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil finalist, Daniel Sarafian.

Sarafian (8-2-0) will battle C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway (13-5-0), a finalist in The Ultimate Fighter 7.

The bout will be Sarafian’s fifth professional fight in Sao Paulo, a city he is undefeated in. Dollaway will make his first appearance in Brazil fresh in the knowledge that he is 2-0 when fighting outside of the United States, with wins in Australia and Mexico.

Sarafian has won four straight contests, three by submission. Meanwhile, Dollaway snapped a two-fight losing skid with a unanimous decision win over Jason Miller on May 26, 2012, at UFC 146.

Sarafian is favorite to take the bout.

In a heavyweight battle, Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (13-6-0) will face Ben Rothwell (32-8-0).

Rothwell was awarded ‘Knockout of the Night’ honors in his last bout, a 1:10 first-round knockout of Brendan Schaub at UFC 145. The victory curbed a streak of three losses in five fights, and moved Rothwell to 2-2 since debuting in UFC.

Gonzaga – who has been fighting in the UFC since 2005, compiling an 8-5 record – has won two straight fights, both by submission. The Rio de Janeiro native is 5-1 when fighting in Brazil, although most of those fights came early in his control. A victory over Ednaldo Oliveira at UFC 142 in Jan. 2012 – his last outing – took place in Rio.

Rothwell is a narrow favorite ahead of the showdown.

Rounding out the main card is a lightweight showdown between undefeated Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (18-0-0) and Brazil’s own Thiago Tavares (21-4-1).

The Russian Nurmagomedov is 2-0 since joining UFC, with one unanimous decision and one submission victory. Prior to arriving in the United States, “The Eagle” was as adept at knockout as submissions, a dual threat that could spell trouble for Tavares.

Tavares has won two straight and three of the last five, including one draw. He has posted a 7-4-1 record since joining UFC. However, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist is 2-0 when fighting for UFC in Brazil and 5-0 in his native country all told. Saturday’s bout will be Nurmagomedov’s first fight in South America.

Nurmagomedov is a heavy favorite to win the bout, despite his lack of experience fighting in the Southern Hemisphere.

For information  and odds on the undercard, check our quick guide below.


UFC on FX: Belfort vs. Bisping Full Card

Saturday 19 January, 7:00 PM ET

Ginasio Estadual Geraldo Jose de Almeida, Sao Paulo, Brazil

All odds supplied by Bovada.



Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (21-10-0) vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping (24-4-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Belfort (10/11), Bisping (5/6)


Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga (13-6-0) vs. Ben Rothwell (32-8-0)

Class: Heavyweight

Odds: Gonzaga (5/6), Rothwell (10/11)


Daniel Sarafian (8-2-0) vs. C.B. “The Doberman” Dollaway (13-5-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Sarafian (4/7), Dollaway (29/20)


Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (18-0-0) vs. Thiago Tavares (21-4-1)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Nurmagomedov (10/19), Tavares (31/20)



Ronny Markes (13-1-0) vs. Andrew Craig (8-0-0)

Class: Middleweight

Odds: Markes (5/18), Craig (27/10)


Diego “The Gun” Nunes (18-3-0) vs. Nik “The Carny” Lentz (24-5-2, 1NC)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Nunes (5/8), Lentz (13/10)


Milton “Miltinho” Vieira (13-7-2) vs. Godofredo “Pepey” Castro (9-1-0)

Class: Featherweight

Odds: Vieira (1/2), Castro (8/5)


Edson Barboza (10-1-0) vs. Lucas “Mineiro” Martins (11-0-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Barboza (20/57), Martins (9/4)


Yuri “Marajo” Alcantara (26-4-0) vs. Pedro “The Rock” Nobre (14-1-2)

Class: Bantamweight

Odds: Alcantara (2/11), Nobre (15/4)


Wagner “Caldeirao” Prado (8-1-0, 1NC) vs. Ildemar “Marajo” Alcantara (17-5-0)

Class: Light Heavyweight

Odds: Prado (20/47), Alcantara (37/20)


Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo (11-2-0) vs. C.J. Keith (8-1-0)

Class: Lightweight

Odds: Trinaldo (2/9), Keith (13/4)

Strikeforce on Saturday: Great Main Card Lined Up for MMA Fans

Is it as glamorous as it’s bigger brother, the UFC? No. Are the match-ups as spectacular as say, last week’s Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen bout? Of course they’re not. However, tonight’s main card for Strikeforce, set to take place at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon, offers plenty of reasons for UFC/MMA fans to jump into the action, as no less than 4 solid flights are lined up for online sports betting at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here at CR. With 9 bouts in total lined up for the six-sided cage this evening, there’s sure to be a number of great potential wagers out there for you to get your hands on. Let’s take a sneak-peak at the best bouts lined up for the night, and the best odds to get a hold of at today’s featured sports betting destination at Bovada sportsbook.

Main Event: Luke Rockhold (9-1) vs. Tim Kennedy (14-3)

Middleweight champion and titleholder Luke Rockhold gets an interesting draw against former Green Beret Tim Kennedy, in a well-matched bout for the Strikeforce Middleweight belt. Rockhold has defined himself as a get-it-done-early type of fighter, finishing off 6 of his 10 opponents via submission in the first round, and two more by either KO or TKO in the first. He is undefeated in Strikeforce competition, and has a significant reach and height advantage over the challenger Tim Kennedy tonight. Both fighters are excellent grapplers, but Rockhold, with the longer reach and better striking capabilities, should prevail in this bout tonight and defend his title for the second straight time.

Rockhold: -325 odds to win

Kennedy: +250 odds to win


Welterweight Showdown: Tyron Woodley (10-0) vs. Nate Marquardt (31-10-2)

There is a vacancy for the Welterweight title, and one of these fighters is going to fill it after tonight. Tyron Woodley is known for his wrestling ability (a former D-1 All-American), and while perhaps not the more glamorous type of fighter (see: boring), he’s got the toolset to give any opponent difficulties with his ability to grapple a wrestle his way to victory via his dominating physical presence, but his lack of striking ability is quite irritating to fighting fans. Marquardt on the other hand poses an interesting challenge tonight, being relatively good at grappling, and has seen all levels of UFC/MMA competition (getting all the way into a Middleweight bout against Anderson Silva, way back in UFC 78). Marquardt is a submission specialist, evident by his 15 submissions during his career, but has a much broader range of tactics to bring to tonight’s fight. It’ll be interesting to see how cautious he is against the strength and takedown ability of Woodley, who may be the more physically fit fighter tonight, but don’t count out Marquardt being able to win this fight via his excellent guillotine, and range of technical ability. The longer this fight goes, the more it leans Marquardt, but either way this is going to be a solid bout to watch and wager on.

Woodley: +105 odds to win

Marquardt: -135 odds to win

Middleweight Match-up: Roger Gracie (4-1) vs. Keith Jardine (17-10)

Gracie is perhaps the lankiest Middleweight fighter competing today, at 6’4” with a 79-inch reach weighing in at 185 pounds. His 4 victories have all come courtesy of submission, and he’s rated as one of the best sub-grapplers in the division. However, Gracie does lack abilities in the striking department, which should give Jardine an advantage in tonight’s bout. Jardine has lots of experience, having defeated both high-caliber names Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell previously, and in a straight-up striking fight he’s clearly a favorite. However, that massive reach and size advantage going to Gracie is hard to overlook, as is his ability to wrestle well on the mat. This should be another great fight to watch, but we’re siding with the more physically gifted Gracie to pull out a victory tonight.

Gracie: -210 odds to win

Jardine: +170 odds to win

Middleweight Match-up #2: Robbie Lawler (19-8) vs. Lorenz Larkin (12-0)

Lorenz Larkin is set for his first bout in the Middleweight category, in a very evenly matched fight with Robbie Lawler. Larkin will be exciting to watch, as he favors a kicking-based approach, and is a solid boxer as well. Lawler on the other hand is pure MMA brawler, but he’s been noted to struggle against kickboxing strategists, just like Larkin. Nonetheless, for fans that like straight-up fighting, this should be an extremely appealing showdown. The difference in these two fighters however, is in how they like to combat their opponents. Larkin likes to keep his distance and use his longer reach and powerful spinning kicks to keep opponents frustrated and at bay. Lawler likes to come in at the body, and deliver the one-stop KO punch to the chin. Quickness undoubtedly will be key for both fighters, as each one can deliver a crushing blow that can stop a fight instantaneously, but we like the wider skill set and faster movement of Larkin to help him come out with a victory via KO.

Larkin: -130 odds to win

Lawler: EVEN odds to win

UFC on Fuel 4 Main Event: Munoz vs. Weidman

With this week in sports extremely light on action for online sports betting, Wednesday ramps up the excitement with the 4th edition of UFC on Fuel TV featuring a great middleweight clash between Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz (12-2, 7-2 UFC) and the undefeated Chris “The All-American” Weidman (8-0, 4-0 UFC). After this last weekend’s title defense by Anderson Silva, who emerge the clear owner of the UFC Middleweight crown after disposing of contender Chael Sonnen in just 2 rounds, the winner of tonight’s battle may indeed be next in line to get a crack at either Sonnen or possibly Anderson Silva. That should let you know just how much is on the line for these two fighters heading into this made-for-TV match-up this evening at HP Pavillion in San Jose, California, with the main card set for 8:00 PM ET.

This bout features an intriguing match-up of two former NCAA Division I wrestlers, with Mark Munoz being a national champion at Oklahoma State back in 2001, and Weidman coming from lesser-known Hofstra. The pedigree, both in wrestling and in the octagon definitely lies with Munoz, who has proven himself by moving to more of a striking fighting style with a ‘ground and pound’ approach that has seem him mow through some quality competition in the UFC. Munoz has thrown together 4 straight wins inside the 8-sided cage, but will present an upright approach to attacking his challenger this evening. Weidman on the other hand is much more reliant on his wrestling background as he comes into tonight’s fight looking for a 5th consecutive victory in the UFC. Weidman likes to go to ground, where he’s finished off half of his 8 opponents in MMA fighting via submission. While it should be expected that Munoz would try to keep this fight upright for most of the bout, Weidman’s advantage should lie with getting Munoz to the canvas and avoiding going toe-to-toe for too long. He’s a submission artist by trade, and has explosive quickness, which is certain to come in handy against the hard-hitting Munoz, who loves to do big damage with heavy blows in straight-up fighting.

What makes Weidman an intriguing pick for sports betting fans tonight is the fact that while he’s relatively unproven against top competition in the UFC, he’s coming up fast with some impressive recent wins and has the submission game down to an art. While Munoz is a great wrestler by background, he’s not as well versed at going to the canvas, preferring to trade blows stand up against his opponents. There is no question of who the better fighter is in an all-out brawl, but Munoz hasn’t really had to face a challenger who is so adept at getting opponents to the mat. Weidman could produce himself a victory if he can take Munoz out of his strongest element and force him into an early round submission. However, if Munoz is able to stay on his feet, and the rounds start to stack up, the odds have to start shifting in Munoz favor, as he’s proven to be a tough and cagey fighter that is able to withstand plenty of offensive onslaught. There’s no question that Weidman has to get away from going blow-for-blow with Munoz, and if he can use his skills that netted him two first-round stoppages in 4 of his UFC battles, this fight could be over in shockingly early fashion.

For the betting lines on tonight’s main event, Bovada sportsbook is currently given Weidman the odds as the favorite to win straight up, with -145 odds. Munoz, who in many people’s eyes should be the favorite by virtue of his stronger history in UFC fights (and who also has a 4-bout winning streak) is a tantalizing pick at +115 odds.

For the prop bets on these two fighters, much discussion has lay around whether this fight will end up going the distance, considering the two fighters’ background in wrestling, and a subsequently higher potential that a submission may come into play. For odds on the fight going the distance, Bodog offers -180 odds that it will be determined by a decision, and +130 odds that the fight will end before the final bell. With so much at stake between these two fighters, and both set to be careful through the earlier rounds, most MMA analysts have predicted this to be a bout decided at the final bell, and from what we’ve seen across the internets, most in the know are taking Munoz to be declared the victor.

That leads us to a very interesting wagering option taking Weidman inside the distance, which stands at a healthy +300 odds at present time, or by taking Munoz inside with +350 odds. With both fighters knowing they’ll need to make a statement tonight in order to fully lobby for a title shot against Anderson Silva in the future, will we see someone take some risks and go for a knock-out blow or a submission? We certainly hope so, as toe-to-toe fighting between two wrestlers who are both very capable striking fighters will only show off half the skills these two fighters have. We are beyond tempted, just due to the odds alone, to put a small money wager on Munoz as the harder hitter to finish off Weidman inside, and capture some great money with the +325 bet.

Make sure to also check out other match-ups on the card for UFC on Fuel TV tonight, as Aaron Simpson gets into a battle with Kenny Robertson, James Te Huna takes on Joey Beltran, and Rafael Dos Anjos fights Anthony Njokuani, all of which should bring their own intrigue into online sports betting tonight. Whichever way you wager, make sure to check out all the competitive odds at Bovada Sportsbook today, and good luck betting on the bouts!

UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II, Ortiz rematches Griffin in Final Bout

Will Anderson Silva be able to silence the trash-talking Chael Sonnen once and for all?

The UFC/MMA world gets a fantastic treat on Saturday night, as UFC 148 is set to produce a handful of great and memorable fights from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. On top of everyone’s fight card will be two very closely watched battles, with the main event featuring a rematch between two of the toughest middleweights in the world, Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, and a nostalgic clash between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, in a send off of the 15-year octagon veteran Ortiz, who will make his final appearance in a professional bout this evening. With some calling this UFC night one of the biggest of the year, there’s no question we’re getting a piece of the action tonight for online sports betting at one of the top reviewed online sportsbooks found right here at CR.

Main Event Showdown: Anderson Silva (31-4 overall, 14-0 UFC) vs. Chael Sonnen (27-11, 6-4 UFC)

Sparks have already flown during the weigh-in for these two competitors, as Silva made it known with a shoulder shot to Sonnen’s jaw that this fight tonight means all-out war. These two fighters first clashed back in UFC 117, where Silva managed to produce a choke-out after struggling to contain Sonnen for 5 previous rounds, and heading into tonight’s featured showdown, there is plenty of bad blood and retribution lingering for Sonnen in particular. This match-up of fighters is perhaps one of the best ever to enter the octagon, as despite two very different fighting styles (Silva is a master of Muay Thai and Brazilian Jujitsu, Sonnen a wrestling specialist), the two are extremely well matched in terms of intensity, training, and stamina. As we saw in the first meeting between these two fighters, Sonnen is perfectly capable of standing toe-to-toe against Silva, winning the first four rounds of the UFC 117 bout, but he will have to find a way to use his wrestling expertise to get the better of ‘The Spider’ tonight, as Silva has plenty of poise and stamina to last throughout a long fight and wear down his opponents. You make one mistake with Silva and you’re done, so Sonnen will concentrate on avoiding the veteran striker’s quick shots, and look to get him down on the mat in later rounds. Silva on the other hand should be expected to stay coy, work the fight more like a boxing match, and wait for the right time to strike. You can rest assured Silva won’t look taken aback like he was in the first fight, and won’t be underestimating his loud-mouthed opponent in arguably one of the biggest career bouts for both fighters.

There is perhaps one difference between these two fighters that stands out, and that’s in their methods for engaging a fight, and having respect for their opponents. Sonnen has publicly insulted Silva, his wife, and his country of Brazil. Silva has stayed the constant professional, even refusing the fight Sonnen due to his disrespectful nature. However, nothing shuts a flapping mouth up more than direct confrontation, and there will be no question that if Silva, tonight’s favorite at -290 odds to win straight up at Intertops sportsbook (vs. Sonnen at +220 odds), can beat down Sonnen, the case will be made that Silva is without question the best middleweight fighter ever to step in the octagon, and Sonnen will finally have his harsh words fall upon deaf ears.

Former Light-Heavyweight Title Holder Bout: Tito Ortiz (15-10-1) vs. Forrest Griffin (18-7)

It’s a little bittersweet to see tonight mark the last fight in long and storied career of ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’, as Tito Ortiz is set to retire after his third match-up against fellow former Light Heavyweight title holder Forrest Griffin. Perhaps retirement is even coming a little to late in the eyes most fight fans, with Ortiz struggling in the past 5 fights, posting a 1-4 record over the last few seasons. There was no question that in his prime, Ortiz would be the better of the two men in this match-up, as Forrest Griffin isn’t known for being a great toe-to-toe fighter, but now it appears that the younger, better trained Griffin has the opportunity tonight to send off a champion and 15-year octagon veteran into full-time daddy mode. Key for Ortiz, if he is to walk away a winner here this evening, is to avoid letting the fight go early. He’s got to be a risk taker, which may open himself up against a more agile and likely better conditioned fighter in Griffin, but without going for an early finish there is no doubt he won’t be able to handle a multi-round straight up brawl. Remember though, that Griffin hasn’t fought in nearly a year, coming back in the octagon after getting knocked-the-F-out by Mauricio Rua in UFC 134. While Ortiz is an underdog at -290 odds, his veteran skills could still find him getting one last haymaker in that sends him out of the UFC world in style. We can’t bet on that though, and expect Griffin to pull off a victory via overwhelming Ortiz with his better stamina and inability to play into Ortiz’s hands. Look for him to stay away from the wrestling game, leading to a decision in favor of Griffin tonight.

Make sure to catch these two bouts, and a host of others on the UFC 148 fight card tonight from Las Vegas, as it’s certain to be one of the most exciting events on the UFC/MMA calendar this year!

UFC 146: Heavyweight Bouts Dominate an Exciting Sin City Fight Card

It’s been a while since we’ve seen a UFC fight card as exciting as this come across the betting lines of the top online sportsbooks reviewed here at CR, but with Saturday night’s UFC 146 showdown in Las Vegas, Nevada there’s a mountain of great MMA action for sports betting fans, that will certainly be worth at least a couple wagers today. Let’s take look at the match-ups, and find out the best options for sportsbook betting at Sportsbetting Sportsbook, the best online sports betting site featured today.

UFC Heavyweight Title Defense: Junior dos Santos vs. Frank Mir

The top option for MMA fans looking to wager on UFC 146, the dos Santos vs. Mir fight, is certain to be a fast, furious, and hard-hitting bout between two of the best names currently in the UFC stables. At weigh in, a confident dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) was quick to indicate he would be the winner by virtue of knock out in the second round against the more seasoned Mir (16-5 MMA, 14-5 UFC), taking out the former heavyweight champion who came in at a hefty 30 pounds bigger than him. What will be truly interesting though, is whether or not dos Santos can avoid being drawn out of his stand-up fighting element, which he has relied on in his maintaining a perfect record in UFC bouts. There is no question that dos Santos is the better straight-up striking fighter in this match-up, but with Frank Mir an excellent grappler who is arguably one of the best submission artists in the heavyweight division, it will be intriguing to see if Mir is able to shock the MMA world with a surprising takedown, and a quick finish against a better all-around fighter. The bookmakers certainly aren’t expecting that to be the case, with dos Santos a -550 favorite straight up tonight against who many are calling a fighter past his prime in Mir, but if you’re feeling saucy regardless, the +400 odds on Mir may be worth a small bet on a shot in the dark.

Second Heavyweight Bout: Cain Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) vs. Antonio Silva (16-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

Cain Velasquez will no doubt keep an eye on the main event, if only to see how Junior dos Santos, the man who took Velasquez’ own heavyweight title from him, fairs this evening. However, Velasquez will also have his hands full against Antonio Silva, who makes his first appearance in the octagon after becoming the Strike Force grand-prix champion. What’s intriguing about this match-up, which arguably will be the most exciting match-up considering the huge odds stacked in dos Santos’ favor in the main event, is the fact that these two fighters are training partners, and know each other very well prior to entering the octagon together. What we like about Silva is the sheer size and bulk this guy has. 6’4″ inch frame packing 265 pounds. He’s got five inches of reach on Velasquez to go with 4 inches of height, but no doubt he’ll try to get Velasquez to the ground and execute some of his superb jiu-jitsu prowess, as Velasquez has to be considered the better striker of these two fighters. If there is a underdog on your betting ticket tonight, best make it Silva, who at +320 odds to win could make for a great pay day if he can absorb the hits coming from Velasquez, and use his big body to smother the former heavyweight champ into submission.

Roy Nelson vs. Dave Herman: UFC’s Kenny Powers Has Still Got It.

We love a guy with a sick mullet, and Roy Nelson has got the ape drape down to a science. What he doesn’t have down is a winning record in MMA fights lately, going 1-3 in his last four fights. ‘Big Country’ simply has to step up his game against Dave Herman, who despite getting beaten by the elites in the UFC (dos Santos, Mir and Velasquez), has earned a reputation of being able to survive a beating and keep fighting to the final bell. However, what may be even more resilient than Dave Herman, is Roy Nelson’s chin and his massive hands, which both seem to be fashioned out of iron. While Herman may be a better stand-up fighter, Nelson is going to get this fight to the ground one way or another, and should simply out-last Herman in a good brawl. At -200 odds to win, Nelson has the best odds for a fighter who everyone is banking on to pull through with a victory tonight.

Someone is Going to Get Knocked Out: Lavar Johnson vs. Stefan Struve.

This is a very interesting match-up, with a near 7-foot Dutchman in Stefan ‘The Skyscraper’ Struve up against the scrappy Lavar Johnson, who is fresh off two straight wins in the octagon. Struve is coming up fast, at just 24 years of age with already 28 fights under his belt (23-5), and will have a big advantage if he can get Johnson to the mat, as he’s a very talented in the submission game. Johnson, while being a hard-hitting striker that everyone has come to like considering his distaste for fighting to the distance (17-5, no matches reaching the final bell either way), has a big disadvantage in his unfamiliarity with fighting on the canvas. No question Johnson wins if he can come out hard and fast with his hands and get some big shots to the head of Struve, but if he slips up and Struve gets him to the canvas, the big Dutchman is going to secure his 3rd straight victory in the heavyweight division. This is a tough call, even for the bookmakers, with Struve at -135 odds for the favorite and Johnson at +115 odds as underdog, but look out for the submission to be the determining factor in this bout, as Struve avoids going toe-to-toe and takes Johnson to the canvas for a 2nd round finish.

Make sure to check out all the available betting lines for tonight’s heavyweight-infused fight card for UFC 146, and prepare for some great fights from Sin City to cap off a great day of online sports betting at the Sportsbetting sportsbook.

UFC 141 Heavyweight Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem

The Ultimate Fighting Championship concludes another great season of bouts with another great heavyweight match-up for Friday night as UFC 141 from Las Vegas, Nevada finds former UFC Heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar (5-2) getting set for a return to the octagon against the awaiting former Strikeforce Heavyweight champion, Alistair Overeem (35-11). With plenty of question marks around each of the fighters heading into a key bout that will give the winner a shot at Heavyweight title-holder Junior Dos Santos, let’s take a look at tonight’s exciting match-up, and spot our best picks for sports betting at one of the best online sportsbooks reviewed here.

Brock Lesnar looked to be well on his way towards being the top fighter in UFC/MMA, before a string of medical issues and the loss of his Heavyweight title belt to Cain Velasquez in October of last year led many to question whether the UFC’s brightest star could return to fighting at the same level as before, if at all. Suffering through mononucleosis as well as two cases of diverticulitis (in short layman’s terms, a nasty condition whereby one’s intestinal walls become split, and the bad stuff goes into the stomach area) Lesnar hasn’t been the same man powerful wrestling force as he was before, and there’s outstanding concern that the massive 6’3″, 265 lb behemoth will continue to be reluctant to take heavyweight-caliber hits in a match-up like the one tonight against a capable striker and kickboxer. While Lesnar’s future remains uncertain past tonight’s fight, the bottom line for this match with Overeem remains that Lesnar, when in form, is one of the most athletic, aggressive, and punishing brute fighters to step into the octagon. Drawing on his wrestling skills first and foremost (which include being an NCAA champion, with a 106-5 record overall during college), Brock Lesnar is not as much of a stand-up type of fighter, but if he can get an opponent down on the canvas, few have the defensive capabilities to prevent a submission hold or TKO from deciding a fight. In a five-round bout (usually reserved for title bouts) that goes into late rounds, Lesnar may find it difficult to contend with a stand-up, striking fighter like Overeem so getting this fight to the ground quickly will be essential for a Lesnar win. However, judging by words from both fighters, nobody expects this to end in a decision; from the horse’s mouth, Lesnar summed up what we can expect tonight but stating, “This is a heavyweight fight that we’re both going in to finish. I don’t foresee it going five rounds.”

For Alistair Overeem, there’s questions about doping, and questions about the quality of competition in his 45 MMA bouts over his career, but there’s little question that with a background in kickboxing, muy thay and jiu-jitsu as well as his massive 6’5″, 265 pound physique, Overeem will be a solid competitor against Lesnar in this heavyweight match-up. Overeem must take heed to avoid getting caught up in a wrestling scrap with Lesnar, who will likely try to come out quick and wrap Overeem up, and would do well to keep the fight upright and try to work on breaking down Lesnar’s lower body. While Lesnar is all steel up top, he comes into this fight looking rather top heavy like a body builder, and Overeem could find an advantage by taking the legs out from under his opponent, slowing him down and making him more susceptible to quick strikes. Mixing his style of attack up against Brock Lesnar is key, considering that Lesnar, while a good wrestler, is still developing his striking abilities after just 7 bouts in UFC competition and his skills around adjusting to fighters with wide-ranging attacking methods isn’t fully polished. Overeem should know that his advantage in this fight lies with staying upright, and working in carefully targeted attacks. There’s plenty of force behind Overeem’s strikes, but it’ll be his ability to stay away from Lesnar getting a body on him and putting him on the mat that may really define the bottom line for this fight; An upright Overeem who lands a few key heavy blows will find success, whereas an Overeem down on the canvas locked up in a wrestling match will quickly turn the favor to Lesnar.

Betting Lines for UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem

We’re featuring the Intertops Sportsbook for betting lines on tonight’s UFC 141 Main Event, and checking the straight up bets on this bout we find Alistair Overeem as the slight favorite, getting -150 odds to win while Lesnar comes in as a +120 underdog. With -170 odds on the fight to be under 1.5 rounds, bookmakers are also predicting (alongside the fighters) that this match-up will be finished early, with someone gaining a knock-out or submission in the first two rounds. With both fighters knowing they need to put their best foot forward early, look out for a first round KO or submission to be the bottom line for tonight’s fight, with a move to the canvas shifting the advantage to Lesnar, and an upright fight working to favor Overeem’s style. If you’re looking for even more betting props on this match-up, turn also to the Bovada Sportsbook for a few good betting lines, as Bovada also includes props on either fighter completing 1, 2 or 4 rounds, winning by decision or the fight finishing in a draw. Make note that if you’re set on picking Lesnar tonight, Bovada has slightly better odds (+130) for the underdog, which could pay off well on a hefty wagering amount.

Our Pick to Win:

As far as an all-around fighter goes, Alistair Overeem is a well-conditioned, well-trained fighter that should be big enough to handle the load that Brock Lesnar brings to the ring. His striking ability kickboxing background and relative lack of injury/health concerns certainly make him a good pick for this bout tonight against Lesnar, who faces many questions about his health, willingness to take big shots, or simply whether he’ll even continue fighting in the UFC after tonight. Nonetheless, this is a big match-up that should bring the best from both fighters, with all the questions being left outside the ring. Lesnar is huge and skilled at overwhelming opponents early; Overeem prefers to chip away with heavy strikes and keep the fight upright. I fully expect Lesnar to avoid tip-toeing around this fight and go straight for the kill from the start, while I expect Overeem to look for a first counter to Lesnar’s advances to give him a shot at a big connecting strike. I also very much like Lesnar being the underdog in this fight, as Overeem seems overly confident of a win from his pre-fight comments, and the lack of hype around Lesnar should have him mentally balanced and poised to overcome his doubters. Let’s not forget that while Lesnar doesn’t have deep experience in these big match-ups, his caliber of competition is much higher that Alistair Overeem’s has been, and at this weight level, Lesnar could easily bully Overeem around, as he’s not as used to carrying so much weight around, or facing such a bull of an opponent. Bottom line, I’m taking Lesnar to silence some critics tonight, and earn himself a shot at Junior Dos Santos ahead as he forces Overeem into submission in the early going of the second round.